From the Big Book, page 151-152
The less people tolerated us, the more we withdrew from society, from life itself. As we became subjects of King Alcohol, shivering denizens of his mad realm, the chilling vapor that is loneliness settled down. It thickened, ever becoming blacker. Some of us sought out sordid places, hoping to find understanding companionship and approval. Momentarily we did-then would come oblivion and the awful awakening to face the hideous Four Horsemen-Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration, Despair. Unhappy drinkers who read this page will understand!
Now and then a serious drinker, being dry at the moment says, “I don’t miss it at all. Feel better. Work better. Having a better time.” As ex-problem drinkers, we smile at such a sally. We know our friend is like a boy whistling in the dark to keep up his spirits. He fools himself. Inwardly he would give anything to take half a dozen drinks and get away with them. He will presently try the old game again, for he isn’t happy about his sobriety. He cannot picture life without alcohol. Some day he will be unable to imagine life either with alcohol or without it. Then he will know loneliness such as few do. He will be at the jumping-off place. He will wish for the end.
Been there. I’ve got the t-shirt, and worn it to tatters.
It’s been a long time since I felt the cold desperation of my jumping-off place. I haven’t forgotten the feeling, though. I remember it like I was there yesterday.
There’s a better, brighter future for we alcoholics. There is a new freedom, a new happiness… a new peace.
If you’re struggling with alcohol, walk into a meeting and sit down. If you can’t picture life without alcohol, the problem is with the eyes through which you look. It’s not the process, or the program. Given a chance, your perception will change over time. It does, if we allow it.
When I was sitting in those shoes, I was the problem. It was my eyes that were inadequate to see a way out, let alone see a way to happiness and freedom. I did get there, though. One day at a time.
To start, though, what’s important is that a leap of faith is far better than a leap.
I made it to the other side. I can see the sun shining and it feels good. And if I can get there, anyone can.
For those who are new, let me be the first to welcome you to a new and glorious way of life. Freedom and happiness are not only possible, they’re promised. If we work for them.
And if nobody’s told you they love you today, let me be the first.
Good Lord, it’s good to be free. Join me. I’ll enjoy the company.