Why ’not drinking’?
We members of Alcoholics Anonymous see the answer to that question when we look honestly at our own past lives. Our experience clearly proves that any drinking at all leads to serious trouble for the alcoholic, or problem drinker. In the words of the American Medical Association:
Alcohol, aside from its addictive qualities, also has a psychological effect that modifies thinking and reasoning. One drink can change the thinking of an alcoholic so that he feels he can tolerate another, and then another, and another.
The alcoholic can learn to completely control his disease, but the affliction cannot be cured so that he can return to alcohol without adverse consequences.
And we repeat: Somewhat to our surprise, staying sober turns out not to be the grim, wet-blanket experience we had expected! While we were drinking, a life without alcohol seemed like no life at all. But for most members of A.A., living sober is really living-a joyous experience. We much prefer it to the troubles we had with drinking.
One more note: anyone can get sober. We have all done it lots of times. The trick is to stay and to live sober. That is what this booklet is about.
Living Sober, 1975, Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc