While alcoholics have much in common, the personal stories heard at AA open meetings show that we took different routes to alcoholism. Some became out-of-control drinkers almost from the beginning. Others lost control slowly after years of seemingly moderate drinking.
These differences are underscored by the fact that we also differ in physical and emotional traits. Some alcoholics, for example, were so emotionally disturbed that they became problem drinkers from the very start. Some appeared to “have it all together,” yet became alcoholics after retirement or some other change in life patterns.
Whatever the route taken, we share in common our individual powerlessness at the time we knocked on AA’s door. And the solution for each of us was the same: sobriety in AA.
The risk in listening to such different personal accounts is that some of us twist these differences into “proof” that we are not alcoholics. The reward of such sharing , however, is learning that we do have a common problem and that there is a solution that fits everyone, in spite of our differences.
I’ll remember today that I came to AA because I was powerless over alcohol. That has not changed.