This article merely expresses the viewpoint of one individual and is an effort to express what AA is and what a newcomer can hope to expect from Alcoholics Anonymous
AA is a loose-knit group of people who have the same problem – alcoholism. There are many who do not like the sound of that word so let me explain that an alcoholic is a person who has
- a mental obsession for alcohol and
- a physical allergy to it.
That is one definition of an alcoholic. I prefer a much more descriptive one, that is an alcoholic is a person whose feet are firmly planted in mid-air. The mental condition of an alkie is like the man who under stress; jumps into his car and drives off madly in all directions.
Let’s be serious for a moment. Alcoholism is an illness, a large number of doctors state that it is a disease. No doctor will question the fact that an alcoholic is an ill person in many cases’ desperately ill
Within AA, there are men and women who had been conservative drinkers, as well as those who drank anything drinkable any time’ anywhere
Alcoholism does not depend on the quality or quantity of grog consumed. It must be pointed out that an alkie and a controlled drinker use alcohol for entirely different reasons. The controlled drinker uses liquor for socialability and conviviality, he enjoys a drink because it gives him an awareness of his immediate surroundings and is a relaxant usually at the end of his working day
In most cases an alkie drinks to escape reality’ because he is not content to accept it or cannot face it. The easiest thing to do with an alcoholic is to dry him out physically. A week or so in a good hospital will do this.
The interest AA has in an alcoholic is to help him reach an intellectual or mental sobriety This entails a lot of time and help’ plus an effort on the alkie’s part.
If an alcoholic desires to do something about his problem, he has to accept that he must develop a personal honesty and humility (two qualities that are certainly lacking in a practising alcoholic).
Many men and women come to AA in despair with a lack of confidence that there is any solution to their problems, which have usually been distorted beyond reality, to the extent that they appear insolvable.
Those who have accepted the reality that drink is the big problem and are working towards a mental sobriety and the maintenance of it, have found that our lives really had few problems that could not be solved, when approached in a sober frame of mind and with a little help or advice from a friend who has gone through the mill too.
Successful members of AA have found that an enormous amount depended on their mental attitude in their approach to living.
AA is NOT a Club that you join. It is just a simple straight forward programme for living, it could be called a design or philosophy for life. You can call it anything you like but it is a programme for living that, if accepted, will begin to put some contentment into life and give you a cheerful way of living Sober.
Alcoholics Anonymous is not a temperance league, far from it, we are not against grog, if a person wants to drink, that’s OK by us. We do not have any magic spells or potions to cure your problem we do not ask you to sign a pledge. All we ask is that a newcomer has the desire to stop drinking and get well.
AA will come to you slowly and as time passes You will begin to get contented in your sobriety, but you must realise right from the start that there are no short cuts and that AA is just a simple suggested programme which as you practise it, will lead you to a lifetime of happy sobriety
The philosophy contained in the Twelve Steps is a guide by which you can find sobriety and a new life. We ask only that you take the First Step with honesty “We admitted that we were powerless over alcohol— that our lives had become unmanageable”
The first step is the admission or understanding that you are an alcoholic anybody can say this, but unless you honestly believe that it is true very little is accomplished.
When you make the decision that you are an alcoholic you must be sure that you believe that you cannot take a drink and control your life too.
No other thing on this earth is truer than that for an alcoholic ONE drink is too many a thousand not enough”
IF you are not an alkie, you can have one drink then forget about the next one physically and mentally and go about your business without another thought of a drink for 24 hours.
CAN YOU HONESTLY?
The Listener. H.OW. Group, The AA Pathfinder Brisbane 1970.