Big Book Musings: Not So Smart
Chapter 3 of Alcoholics Anonymous, titled “More About Alcoholism,” talks more about the power of booze over the individual. It is a powerful testament to those who are still convinced that they can either control their drinking, or put it down for a while to return to it just fine at a later date.
There are many intelligent alcoholics. None of those people ever got up one day and said “Today I think I’ll be an alcoholic.” Alcoholism is a disease. Alcoholism has an effect on those predisposed to it that does not otherwise effect the normal drinker.
In the Big Book, Chapter 3 it says:
To be gravely affected, one does not necessarily have to drink a long time nor take the quantities some of us have. This is particularly true of women. Potential female alcoholics often turn into the real thing and are gone beyond recall in a few years.
No matter how smart you are, how much you think you can control your drinking, how much you can quit then start back up again, in the end alcohol will possess the alcoholic.
And the thing is, no matter how intelligent you think you are, no matter how much you think you’ll be able to inflict your will power on it and resume it later, the worse your condition becomes:
This is the baffling feature of alcoholism as we know it–this utter inability to leave it alone, no matter how great the necessity or the wish
Ultimately, you must (Step 1) admit you are powerless over alcohol (Step 2) come to believe that a Power greater than yourself can restore you to sanity and (Step 3) make a decision to turn your will and your life over to the care of God as you understand Him.
Then you are really ready to do the work that is suggested in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.