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Oct. 30, 2015 – Readings in Recovery: Step by Step

Step by Step
Friday, Oct. 30, 2015

“Men and women drink essentially because they like the effect produced by alcohol. The sensation is so elusive that, while they admit it is injurious, they cannot after a time differentiate the true from the false. To them, their alcoholic life seems the only normal one. They are restless, irritable and discontented, unless they can again experience the sense of ease and comfort which comes at once by taking a few drinks – drinking which they see others taking with impunity. After they have succumbed to the desire again, as so many do, and the phenomenon of craving develops, they pass through the well-known stages of a spree, emerging remorseful, with a firm resolution not to drink again. This is repeated over and over, and unless this person can experience an entire psychic change, there is very little hope of his recovery.” – Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, “The Doctor’s Opinion,” pp xxvi-vii.

Today, if I cannot forget “the effect” of alcohol as I grew progressively drunker, let me never forget the morning after with its consequences, none of which I care to be responsible for anymore. If I can remember the morning-after costs and that they were my “bottom,” may they be potent enough to remove any desire to drink again because, should I drink again, there likely will be no a deeper bottom – if I survive. I abused that “firm resolution” not to drink again when I was hung over, or standing in front of a judge with my latest DUI or after I broke every promise I’d made to family and friends. A “firm resolution” is so easy then. It can be just as easy if I apply it to being sober – if I remember the consequence instead of “the effect.” Today, I don’t need or want to remember the effect; the consequences are enough. And our common journey continues. Step by step. – Chris M., 2015

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