ly days, I imagine I would give high-priced speeches on the secrets of finding sobriety despite the fact that I only learned the secret was to surrender when the shards of my life were down around my ankles and I wasn't fit for human companionship. Who wouldn't surrender when it got bad enough? Hitting bottom is a rude, rude wake-up call to either grow up or die. I would have been chasing that A.A. gravy train though even if I had to do it still half in the bag and thinking pathetic mush. I would have liked to educate the masses on how alcoholics should be treated in this society. I'd rather teach than be a doer, that's for sure. The ugly truth of this story is that I did once take that I also wanted to cash in on A.A.'s success by working as a certified substance abuse counselor for ten years. In this capacity I used little of what I learned about Counseling Psychology in graduate school, and mostly answered patient questions about the length of my sobriety, my personal story of losing all and regaining my life, and sharing humorous anecdotes about some of the insane things I did while high. These conversations brought me a decent income and some status, even as the two hats I wore grew heavier and more cumbersome. Finally, I decided I never drank or drugged as bad as most of my patients, and I could afford to have just one drink. That led to my losing everything sobriety had given me. I lost my husband, custody of my children, became homeless, unemployable and ill and lost the hope that I could ever return to the beautiful sober life I had enjoyed for 15 years. These circa 1941 recovering alcoholics seem not to have had to ride their delusions into relapses, and I imagine that when they looked back at their thinking during that time they could only attribute this fact to the grace of God. Many hospital treatment programs cash in or seem to on A.A.'s reputation by using their 12 step program as a treatment model and getting all patients, and clients into mandatory meetings as soon as they stop throwing up and shaking after detox. But Alcoholics Anonymous is not responsible for this commercial abuse. A.A. should not be regarded as greedy and money-seeking on this account. They still only get the one dollar or two at most that members put in the basket at meetings to cover literature, and the expenses of keeping the thing going with paid staff workers who are non-A.A. Who or what will next attempt to get rich quick on the 12 steps is only a matter of waiting to see. I believe I have been restored to sanity and just want to leave this world a little better than I found it and I don't plan on getting any public accolades for doing so.