THEY STOPPED IN TIME
think that about one-half of today's incoming A.A. members
were never advanced cases of alcoholism; though, given
time, all might have been.
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 twelve 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
twelve A.A.'s, and thousands like them, have been saved
years of infinite suffering. They sum it up 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."