In part 2 we will look at Jim’s story. He tells the AA members exactly how it happened that he drank again. It is his story. It starts with him going to work on Tuesday morning. Where was he Monday? He remembers he was irritated that he was a salesman for the agency he once owned. Remember in the Drs. Opinion he says alcoholics are restless, irritable, and disconnected, and seek the ease and comfort of alcohol. He had a few words with the boss, but nothing serious. Is he telling a lie to himself? So Jim is irritated and angry and decides to go to the country to see a prospect to sell a car. Why? There just happens to be a roadside place on the way that has a bar where he can have lunch.Do you see the alcoholic thinking? He says he had no intention of drinking because he had eaten there before and had not drank.
Jim is restless, irritable and discontented. He is sober. Remember the disease of alcoholism occurs sober. It is the spiritual malady that occurs before the first drink. Sober without God we run the show, it doesn’t come off well. Jim did not enlarge his spiritual life. He is angry about being a salesman , losing his automobile agency, and angry at his boss. For an alcoholic this is a dangerous condition. So what does Jim do? He decides to have lunch in a bar. Can you see the insanity of the disease of alcoholism. How our emotions build up and we may not realize what is happening because it is the lie we have been living on. The Dr. says after a time we cannot differentiate the true from the false.
” Suddenly the thought crossed my mind that if I were to put an ounce of whiskey in my milk it couldn’t hurt me on a full stomach.” He believes a lie. “I ordered a whiskey and poured it into a glass of milk. I vaguely sensed I was not being too smart, but felt reassured as I was taking the whiskey on a full stomach.” It went so well he had another and thus started the journey to the asylum for Jim. He had no defense against the first drink. Ask yourself what is your defense against the first drink today, right at this minute, For me it always starts with a right relationship with GOD. How do I maintain this right relationship? By continuously working the program of action outlined in the big book.
Jim had the threat of commitment. No defense. The threat of loss of family. No defense. The threat of loss of position. No defense. The recall of the suffering and humiliation that always followed the first drink. No defense. He knew he was an alcoholic. He had, no defense against the first drink.
” Yet all reasons for not drinking were easily pushed aside in favor of the foolish idea that he could take whiskey with milk.” This is insanity. They call it the lack of proportion to think straight. On my own there will come a time when my emotions will build up and I will drink again. At that time my will power will not work! Why not? Because right before the alcoholic takes the first drink he can only see what it is going to do for him, not to him! Without God I have no defense against the first drink. They spend 43 pages plus the Drs. Opinion to hammer home this point to the reader.
They knew that unless I can truly see that I have no plan or power that will ever work against taking the first drink I won’t be willing to go thru the plan of action required. My power and my plan will never work. The rest of the book from page 44-88 is the plan of action. Unless one is completely defeated on himself and completely willing to change and follow directions, the book says there is no hope. Yet on p 55 they make the following statements: If this testimony helps sweep away prejudice, enables you to think honestly, encourages you to search diligently within yourself, then, if you wish, you may join us on the broad highway. WITH THIS ATTITUDE YOU WILL NOT FAIL.
In conclusion if I fully concede that I have no power or defense against the first drink I begin to change my attitude! I start to turn away from me for a solution to something greater than myself. Turn away from me. This is the starting point on the path to spiritual progress.