Step by Step
Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016
“We learned that we had to fully concede to our innermost selves that we were alcoholics. This is the first step in recovery. We know that no real alcoholic ever recovers control. All of us felt at times that we were regaining control, but such intervals – usually brief – were inevitably followed by still less control, which led in time to pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization. We are convinced to a man that alcoholics of our type are in the grip of a progressive illness. Over any considerable period, we get worse, never better.” – Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Ch 3 (“More About Alcoholism”), p 30.
Today, conceding to “our innermost selves” that we are alcoholic is the first step in recovery. Without that admission, every attempt to stop drinking is doomed to failure: our private drinking histories are mute testimony to that. But if we can finally admit to ourselves that we are alcoholic, the answer to the next logical question – Why do I have to quit altogether instead of cutting back? – is obvious: alcoholism is a progressive condition that is never cured and, when fed, gets worse. But alcoholism can be arrested, and the only guaranteed method is total abstinence. Today, if I still struggle that the drinking problem I clearly have has progressed into alcoholism, I have to retreat within my innermost self in absolute honesty and, if I acknowledge the obvious answer, AA awaits me, just for the asking. And our common journey continues. Step by step. – Chris M., 2016