They Stopped In Time - p. 279
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
had little or no acquaintance with delirium, with hospitals, asylums,
and jails. Some were drinking heavily, and there had been
episodes. But with many, drinking had been little more than a
sometimes uncontrollable nuisance. Seldom had any of these lost
health, business, family, or friends.
Why do men and women like these
The seventeen who now tell
experiences answer that question. They saw that they had become
or potential alcoholics, even though no serious harm had yet been done.
They realized that repeated
of drinking control, when they really wanted control, was the fatal
symptom that spelled problem drinking. This, plus mounting
disturbances, convinced them that compulsive alcoholism already had
then; that complete ruin would be only a question of time.
Seeing this danger, they came
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
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."