I Saw Religion Remake A Drunkard – Dr. Bob by D.J. Defoe for Silkworth.net
Through Liquor, this physician had lost his practice, his reputation and his self-respect. Then one night in a gathering in a private home, he found the way of escape.
WHEN a doctor starts drinking, he’s usually on the skids for keeps. His profession gives him so much privacy, so great exposure to temptation both from liquor and from drugs, and his need of a stimulant to lift him from depression becomes so extreme, that many a good doctor has dropped into oblivion for no cause other than his own thirst for drink.
I could tell you about more than one doctor who came to no good end through liquor. Their stories are alike in their early furtiveness, then a brazen attitude of liquor – might -do-things-to some-men – but – I’m-different, then a broken desperation to try to keep up appearances and pretend nothing has happened, and finally exposure—and failure—and disgrace. One brilliant ex-surgeon a suicide; another exile from home; two others forgotten by their friends; so runs the history.
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But Dr. X handled his liquor problem differently. He came close enough to degradation to see how the jaws of hell reaching out for him. But then something interfered and saved him.
Today Dr. X—and I dare not give his name, or even the name of the city, for reasons you will soon discover—is alive and happy and is probably a better and more popular doctor than ever before. What saved his life and reputation? What force made him into a new man?
It was simply religion, brought home to him in a way he could use it. Simply the new habit of living his religion, and the discovery that he could utilize the power of prayer.
We used to see Dr. X around a lot. He was cheery, straightforward, friendly, and successful. His field was a particularly intricate form of surgery and he did well at it.
Then for quite a while we missed him. I saw his wife now and then, and noticed—even a man can things like that—that she seemed a little shabby and not especially happy.
We began to hear ugly rumors. That’s bad for any doctor. We heard he was losing his practice. When a doctor begins drinking, not many people are willing to trust their own lives to his skill with a knife.
Last year I met Dr. X for the first time in several years. He was a new Dr. X. Straight as an Indian. Clean eyes. An honest I-can-lick-the-world look in his face. He gripped my hand in a vise and said hello in a way that gave you something to tie to.
We were at a party. Someone offered Dr. X a drink. Then I remembered what had happened to him and wondered what he would do.
“I don’t drink,” he said evenly. “Some men can take a drink, or two drinks, and stop. I can’t. I had that ability once, but not now. If I’d take as much as a swallow of alcohol now, I’d disappear—and you wouldn’t see me for three weeks.”