On this day, 80 years ago, an alcoholic named Bill Wilson was admitted to a New York hospital.
He had just celebrated his 39th birthday.
Alone in his room he cried out, “I’ll do anything, anything at all!” He described what happened next: Suddenly, my room blazed with an indescribably white light…Then, seen in my mind’s eye, there was a mountain. I stood upon its summit, where a great wind blew. A wind, not of air, but of spirit. In great, clean strength, it blew right through me. Then came the blazing thought, “You are a free man.” I became acutely conscious of a Presence which seemed like a sea of living spirit. I lay on the shores of a new world.
Wilson said that after this experience, he never again doubted the existence of God. And he never took another drink.
Bill Wilson is the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous.