Big Book Online - Personal Stories

PART II

They Stopped in Time

Among today’s incoming A.A. members, many have never reached the advanced stages of alcoholism, though given time all might have.

Most of these fortunate ones have had little or no acquaintance with delirium, with hospitals, asylums, and jails. Some were drinking heavily, and there had been occasional serious episodes. But with many, drinking had been little more than a sometimes uncontrollable nuisance. Seldom had any of these lost either health, business, family, or friends.

Why do men and women like these join A.A.?

The seventeen who now tell their experiences answer that question. They saw that they had become actual or potential alcoholics, even though no serious harm had yet been done.
They realized that repeated lack of drinking control, when they really wanted control, was the fatal symptom that spelled problem drinking. This, plus mounting emotional disturbances, convinced them that compulsive alcoholism already had them; that complete ruin would be only a question of time.

Seeing this danger, they came to A.A. They realized that in the end alcoholism could be as mortal as cancer; certainly no sane man would wait for a malignant growth to become fatal before seeking help.

Therefore, these seventeen A.A.’s, and hundreds of thousands like them, have been saved years of infinite suffering. They sum it up something like this: “We didn’t wait to hit bottom because, thank God, we could see the bottom. Actually, the bottom came up and hit us. That sold us on Alcoholics Anonymous.”

(1) The Missing Link
He looked at everything as the cause of his unhappiness—except alcohol. PDF

(2) Fear of Fear
This lady was cautious. She decided she wouldn’t let herself go in her drinking. And she would never, never take that morning drink! PDF

(3) The Housewife Who Drank at Home
She hid her bottles in clothes hampers and dresser drawers. In A.A., she discovered she had lost nothing and had found everything. PDF

(4) Physician, Heal Thyself!
Psychiatrist and surgeon, he had lost his way until he realized that God, not he, was the Great Healer. PDF

(5) My Chance to Live
A.A. gave this teenager the tools to climb out of her dark abyss of despair. PDF

(6) Student of Life
Living at home with her parents, she tried using willpower to beat the obsession to drink. But it wasn’t until she met another alcoholic and went to an A.A. meeting that sobriety took hold. PDF

(7) Crossing the River of Denial
She finally realized that when she enjoyed her drinking, she couldn’t control it, and when she controlled it, she couldn’t enjoy it. PDF

(8) Because I’m an Alcoholic
This drinker finally found the answer to her nagging question, “Why?” PDF

(9) It Might Have Been Worse
Alcohol was a looming cloud in this banker’s bright sky. With rare foresight he realized it could become a tornado. PDF

(10) Tightrope
Trying to navigate separate worlds was a lonely charade that ended when this gay alcoholic finally landed in A.A. PDF

(11) Flooded With Feeling
When a barrier to God collapsed, this self-described agnostic was at Step Three. PDF

(12) Winner Takes All
Legally blind but no longer alone, she found a way to stay sober, raise a family, and turn her life over to the care of God. PDF

(13) Me an Alcoholic?
Alcohol’s wringer squeezed this author—but he escaped quite whole. PDF

(14) The Perpetual Quest
This lawyer tried psychiatrists, biofeedback, relaxation exercises, and a host of other techniques to control her drinking. She finally found a solution, uniquely tailored, in the Twelve Steps. PDF

(15) A Drunk, Like You
The more he listened at meetings, the more he came to know about his own drinking history. PDF

(16) Acceptance Was the Answer
The physician wasn’t hooked, he thought—he just prescribed drugs medically indicated for his many ailments. Acceptance was his key to liberation. PDF

(17) Window of Opportunity
This young alcoholic stepped out a second-story window and into A.A. PDF


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