If you come in touch with A.A. the way we did, you really don't need to want what we have right away. For now, it's enough that you don't want what you have, and that you're ready to go to any lengths to get rid of it! We boast that A.A. is a program of attraction, which it is. It seems, nevertheless, that many enter the doors of A.A. not because they are attracted to A.A., but because they are repelled from the alcoholic life they already have. So be it.
It is not our purpose to convince you to lay off alcohol. If your experience with alcohol hasn't yet taught what you need to learn, maybe you haven't graduated up to A.A. But before you head for the corner pub, reconsider why you reading this in the first place. Maybe your reasons for meeting up with A.A. are valid. Only you can know if you want what alcohol has to offer you more than you want what we have. Remember, though, that you must take all of what alcohol has to offer. You can't just skim the giggles or the oblivion off that next drink. You'll always take all it has in store for you every time. That's just the way it is. It will never change. But, unlike the booze, A.A. is not an all-or-nothing proposition, at least not at first. Take from us what seems right for you. And, as you manage to stay off the sauce and to come back, you are likely to find that the rest of A.A. seems pretty palatable, too.
Not sure if you even have a drink problem? There are, of course, some tests you can take. Have 4 or 5 drinks then stop for the day. If you want to convince your gut instead of your head, try staying off the sauce for a month. If total abstinence for 30 days is easy for you, you just may not have a problem with alcohol. If, on the other hand, you experience environmental, physical, or mental pain without alcohol, give yourself a chance. Be honest. We only miss the things we love - or which have us by the you-know-what. Persist in abstinence until the pain is gone. Then you will be in a position of neutrality from which you can choose with clarity and objectivity. As a last resort, you may feel compelled to do more research by drinking. But, please come back before your life is totally destroyed or you die.
If you are one of the fortunate ones, you don't need to be convinced that you want to stop drinking. You just want to know how. We'll show you.
Most people being introduced to A.A. have reservations as to whether they should adopt our program of recovery. Here is some of the mythology we often hear that keeps alcoholics away:
–I would rather not associate with a bunch of admitted alcoholics who have done (and might still do) some pretty sordid things. I am a cut above.
–I may not be alcoholic. I didn't drink as much as you A.A.s did, and I have never been in jail.
–My problems are with my environment (job, home, health, misfortune, etc.). Once these externals are fixed, I'll be fixed, too.
–I need to find out why I drank before I do all that step stuff.
–I am not prepared to shed all my self esteem by accepting the humiliation of admitting I am alcoholic. To the contrary, I need education and support which will bring me to believe in myself again.
–A.A. just might be a religious cult. All this God stuff is intrusive, ineffective, irrational and irrelevant.
While there may appear to be a superficial shred of truth to these statements, you will find that they are basically irrelevant and not factual. Hanging onto such reservations can kill you, if you are alcoholic. Why don't you let the odds be in your favor? Stay off the sauce, put your reservations on the back burner. and give yourself a chance to experience sobriety. We do not know of a single instance in which taking the steps of A.A. has ever injured anyone! If the results are not to your liking, you can always try something else and be a better person for having given yourself the chance.
If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it - then you are ready to take certain steps.