January 30: How were we convinced that we were a real alcoholic?

For this week’s topic I would like to suggest how were we convinced that we were a real alcoholic?

But what about the real alcoholic? He may start off as a moderate drinker; he may or may not become a continuous hard drinker, but at some stage of his drinking career he begins to lose all control of his liquor consumption, once he starts to drink (AA p.21).

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 know that no real alcoholic ever recovers control (AA, p.30).

For me it took time, sure I was able to joke with my friends that when I drank I did so alcoholically, but to actually come to terms with being an alcoholic full time, all the time, it took much longer. I was lucky, the spiritual aspect of the program appealed to me so much that I was willing to stick around to learn how that came about and eventually even I had to admit I was an alcoholic.

As a counselor in my outpatient treatment center said, “if it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck.” I have NEVER heard of a non-alcoholic having blackouts, getting DWIs or driving drunk. Normal drinkers can take it or leave it, their whole life does not resolve around drinking and getting drunk. They don’t have to worry about what they said or to whom they said something. They don’t wake up in strange places, with people they don’t know.

When I came to AA I found what I had been searching for my whole life. I was one of those who came to scoff but remained to pray (AA p. xxxii). The serenity I found amongst giants in this program gave me hope, that if I did what they did and worked the steps in all my affairs, I might become the person I was meant to be. I would be able to hold my head up and mingle with anyone without worrying that I might do something wrong.

As time passed, I got to chuckle when AA principles were explained to non-alcoholics, or seeds were planted in potential alcoholics. But most of all I was proud of the person I became and the life I led. I stopped having to lie to anyone about anything, I never had to wonder which story I told to whom.

I am eternally grateful to AA for the fellowship, concepts and principles by which I live my life today. I wish all of you another 24 hours sober.

Thanks for letting me chair this meeting,

Theresa B (TX)