We Know that Little Good Can Come to any Alcoholic (Step One continued)

We know that little good can come to any alcoholic who joins A.A. unless he has first accepted his devastating weakness and all its consequences.  Until he so humbles himself, his sobriety-if any-will be precarious.  Of real happiness he will find none at all.  Proved beyond doubt by an immense experience, this is one of the facts of A.A. life.  The principle that we shall find no enduring strength until we first admit complete defeat is the main taproot from which our whole Society has sprung and flowered.

I’m struggling to help someone right now, and this I believe explains her problem.  Accepting the consequences of the weakness, of being alcoholic, is a mammoth, life-changing event.  I still remember, to a certain extent, the cold stark fear of admitting the fact that I couldn’t live with alcohol any longer.  I already knew that I couldn’t live without it.  And so, I thought, I really couldn’t live.

If only . . . If only I could find the words that would ultimately be convincing to someone who struggles.  If only I could somehow give the hope that you can live without alcohol.  I am living without alcohol, and so are so many happy, serene people in the program.  Lots of the people are unhappy, too, but not usually at the soul-crushing level that alcohol makes us happy.

It’s a fact of A.A. life.  Unfortunately, I see it proven again and again by people who can’t accept the weakness and all its consequences.  An alcoholic who continues to drink is just not headed anywhere good.

Complete defeat.  That has brought life to me, and I’m here to say it is worth it.

2 thoughts on “We Know that Little Good Can Come to any Alcoholic (Step One continued)

  1. For me it was the example set by others that made the difference. Seeing people live a full and happy life without alcohol, people who themselves once believed that wasn’t possible…that’s when the penny dropped for me.

    I actually think I understood and accepted defeat quite awhile before I quit drinking. It was fear that held me back. I was afraid of living without alcohol…it had become such a part of me that I simply wasn’t able to imagine life without it. What it took for me for me to finally quit was hearing sober people share (over and over and over) their deep sense of gratitude for the life they have now vs the life they had when they were drinking.

    It’s no surprise that my sobriety date is less than a week after Thanksgiving–a time when the gushy gratitude comes hard and heavy. Somewhere in that gratitude flood, some small part of me started to hope that if they could find peace and joy, maybe…just maybe it was possible that I could to. So I decided to trust their words and examples and stop drinking (at least for awhile) to give it a fair chance and see if living a happy sober life could be possible for me. And sure enough, it’s great!

    I’m not sure where I”m going with this, except to say that the words you’re looking for probably don’t exist. But if you (and others in your group–I’m assuming this person your helping comes to meetings) keep shining your sober joy and zest for living in her face, maybe eventually she’ll do what I did and decide to give it a try to see if its all it’s cracked up to be. 🙂

    Thanks for this blog. I don’t really ever comment, but I do read it regularly.

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