Most of us have been unwilling to
admit we were real alcoholics. No person likes to think he is
bodily and mentally different from his fellows. Therefore, it
is not surprising that our drinking careers have been
characterized by countless vain attempts to prove we could
drink like other people.
The idea that somehow, someday he will control and enjoy his
drinking is the great obsession of every abnormal drinker.
The persistence of this illusion is astonishing. Many pursue
it into the gates of insanity or death.
We learned that we had to fully concede to our innermost
selves that we were alcoholics. This is the first step in
recovery. The delusion that we are like other people, or
presently may be, has to be smashed.
We alcoholics are men and
women who have lost the ability to control our drinking. We
know that no real alcoholic ever recovers control. All of us
felt at times that we were regaining control, but such
intervals-usually brief-were inevitably followed by still less
control, which led in time to pitiful and incomprehensible
demoralization. We are convinced to a man that alcoholics of
our type are in the grip of a progressive illness.
Over any considerable period we get worse, never better.
We are like men who have lost
their legs; they never grow new ones. Neither does there
appear to be any kind of treatment which will make alcoholics
of our kind like other men. We have tried every imaginable
remedy. In some instances there has been brief recovery,
followed always by a still worse relapse. Physicians who are
familiar with alcoholism agree there is no such thing as
making a normal drinker out of an alcoholic. Science may one
day accomplish this, but it hasn't done so yet.
Despite all we can say, many who are real alcoholics are not
going to believe they are in that class. By every form of
self-deception and experimentation, they will try to prove
themselves exceptions to the rule, therefore nonalcoholic. If
anyone who is showing inability to control his drinking can do
the right- about-face and drink like a gentleman, our hats are
off to him. Heaven knows, we have tried hard enough and long
enough to drink like other people!
Here are some of the
methods we have tried: Drinking beer only, limiting the number
of drinks, never drinking alone, never drinking in the
morning, drinking only at home, never having it in the house,
never drinking during business hours, drinking only at
parties, switching from scotch to brandy, drinking only
natural wines, agreeing to resign if ever drunk on the job,
taking a trip, not taking a trip, swearing off forever (with
and without a solemn oath), taking more physical exercise,
reading inspirational books, going to health farms and
sanitariums, accepting voluntary commitment to asylums-we
could increase the list ad infinitum.
with permission of The A.A. Grapevine, Inc.
owned by a Friend
of Bill W.