Dear “Alcoholism Kills”

Dear “Alcoholism Kills”,

I well remember the first symptom I had that led me to think I had a serious drinking problem. Back in 1972 (I drank alcoholically for 26 more years) I was in the Pa. National Guard, and we were called up to help clean up Harrisburg after Hurricane Agnes.

After several straight days of heavy drinking (interspersed with National Guard truck driving duties), a bunch of us wound up in yet another bar one morning about 9AM for liquid breakfast.

As I went to pick up my first beer, I found my hand to be shaking too much for me to get the glass to my lips. When I thought no one was watching, I grabbed the glass with both hands and drank the whole thing in one gulp.

An observant friend familiar with the problem bought me a couple shots of some rotgut whisky, and before I knew it, I was off and running.

That was only the beginning of years of “the shakes” and secretive morning drinking to relieve them before going out to more public places…and it is definitely a sign of that “cunning, baffling, powerful” disease of alcoholism!