It was 20 July 1997. I emerged from the mother of all comas.  After having established that I was still on this side of eternity, I managed to crawl off my bed, which was covered with dried blood. I made it to the bathroom and looked in the mirror where I saw more blood, some on the mirror itself and some in my face, if you could still call that a face. Inevitably I had to kneel before the white throne to bring up my offering, and it was blood. The alcohol had started eating me from the inside, and I was certain I was about to die right there and then. Somehow I managed to have a shower and a drink of water, after which I regained a bit of stability. I inspected the devastation in the house, and suddenly it dawned on me: This is your handiwork! This is nobody’s mess but yours! Though I can’t remember the exact sequence of events, I know that somehow I managed to get the place shipshape again, but more importantly: I prayed, and this time it was genuine! I don’t recall what I prayed, but I do know that I gave this whole mess to Jesus.

Miraculously the AA program started working instantly because I worked the program. I don’t want to keep rambling on about the details of my recovery, mainly because it might re-hurt people whom I have tormented enough, but also because I can hear you ask: Why the ‘Night of the Generals’? Well, this is why:

One evening down the track at an AA meeting I mentioned that my sobriety date was 20 July, and someone said: “Oh, the Night of the Generals!” I was puzzled, but he explained: “That’s the name of a movie about the famous assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler on 20 July 1944 by General Graf von Stauffenberg”.

It certainly wasn’t my choice, but every year this event in German history reminds me of the first day of my sober life. God uses the weirdest stuff for His purpose.