Alcoholics Anonymous 

South Africa

They Stopped in Time

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 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 seventeen 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 help.

Therefore, these seventeen A.A.’s, 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.”

  1. The Missing Link (58k pdf)
    He looked at everything as the cause of his unhappiness—except alcohol.
  2. Fear of Fear (50k pdf)
    This lady was cautious. She decided she wouldn’t let herself go in her drinking. And she would never, never take that morning drink!
  3. The Housewife Who Drank at Home (50k pdf)
    She hid her bottles in clothes hampers and dresser drawers. In A.A., she discovered she had lost nothing and had found everything.
  4. Physician, Heal Thyself! (54k pdf)
    Psychiatrist and surgeon, he had lost his way until he realized that God, not he, was the Great Healer.
  5. My Chance to Live (57k pdf)
    A.A. gave this teenager the tools to climb out of her dark abyss of despair.
  6. Student of Life (56k pdf)
    Living at home with her parents, she tried using willpower to beat the obsession to drink. But it wasn’t until she met another alcoholic and went to an A.A. meeting that sobriety took hold.
  7. Crossing the River of Denial (58k pdf)
    She finally realized that when she enjoyed her drinking, she couldn’t control it, and when she controlled it, she couldn’t enjoy it.
  8. Because I'm an Alcoholic (57k pdf)
    This drinker finally found the answer to her nagging question, “Why?”
  9. It Might Have Been Worse (59k pdf)
    Alcohol was a looming cloud in this banker’s bright sky. With rare foresight he realized it could become a tornado.
  10. Tightrope (62k pdf)
    Trying to navigate separate worlds was a lonely charade that ended when this gay alcoholic finally landed in A.A.
  11. Flooded With Feeling (49k pdf)
    When a barrier to God collapsed, this self-described agnostic was at Step Three.
  12. Winner Takes All (52k pdf)
    Legally blind but no longer alone, she found a way to stay sober, raise a family, and turn her life over to the care of God.
  13. Me? An Alcoholic? (50k pdf)
    Alcohol’s wringer squeezed this author—but he escaped quite whole.
  14. The Perpetual Quest (58k pdf)
    This lawyer tried psychiatrists, biofeedback, relaxation exercises, and a host of other techniques to control her drinking. She finally found a solution, uniquely tailored, in the Twelve Steps.
  15. A Drunk, Like You (56k pdf)
    The more he listened at meetings, the more he came to know about his own drinking history.
  16. Acceptance Was the Answer (66k pdf)
    The physician wasn’t hooked, he thought—he just prescribed drugs medically indicated for his many ailments. Acceptance was his key to liberation.
  17. Window of Opportunity (59k pdf)
    This young alcoholic stepped out a second-story window and into A.A.