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Excerpts from "Living Sober"

"It is the first drink which triggers, immediately or some time later, the compulsion to drink more and more until we are in drinking trouble again. Many of us have come to believe that our alcoholism is an addiction to the drug alcohol; like addicts of any sort who want to maintain recovery, we have to keep away from the first dose of the drug we have become addicted to."
From "Staying away from the first drink:" c. 1975, Living Sober, page 5

"Here's an old saying that has special, strong meaning for us. Simply stated, it is this: Above all other concerns, we must remember that we cannot drink. Not drinking is the first order of business for us, anywhere, any time, under any circumstances. "This is strictly a matter of survival for us. We have learned that alcohol is a killer disease, leading to death in a large number of ways. We prefer not to activate that disease by risking a drink."
From "'First Things First':"1998, Living Sober - page 32


"As alcoholics, we often tended to gulp drinks faster than other people did. "The slogan 'Easy Does It' is one way we A.A.'s remind each other that many of us have tendencies at times to overdo things, to rush heedlessly along, impatient with anything that slows us down. We find it hard to relax and savor short, how to enjoy the journey, instead of just fretting until we reach our destination.
"Remind yourself once in a while that maybe 'Easy Does It' is this day's ideal speed."
From "Easy Does It:" - c. 1998, Living Sober, pages 44-46

"We drunks are very 'iffy' people. During our drinking days, we were often full of ifs, as well as liquor. A lot of our dreams started out, 'IF only...' "Over and over, we have found we cannot stay sober long just for the sake of wife, husband, children, lover, parents, other relative, or friend, nor for the sake of a job, nor to please a boss (or doctor or judge or creditor) -- not for ANYONE other than ourselves."
From "Getting out of the 'if' trap:" c. 1998, Living Sober - pages 63 & 64

"It is now well established that willpower all by itself is about as effective a cure for alcohol addiction as it is for cancer...Most of us tried going it alone, hoping either to control our drinking or to stop, and we had no lasting success in either endeavor. "But we finally asked ourselves: Wouldn't it be more intelligent to seek out and tap a strength greater than our own than to persist in our futile solo efforts...?"
From "Letting go of old ideas:"1998, Living Sober, page 73

"We realize now that we were excessively self-centered, chiefly concerned about OUR feelings, OUR problems, other people's reactions to US, and OUR past and future. Therefore, trying to get into communication with and to help other people is a recovery measure for us, because it helps take us out of ourselves. Trying to heal ourselves by helping others works, even when it is an insincere gesture. Try it sometime."
c. 1975, Living Sober, page 85