There was a lady in our women’s meeting tonight who sat next to me but kept her head down for most of the meeting. When they called for newcomers to identify, she reluctantly introduced herself. She wore despair and shame like a cloak. I had the strongest urge to reach over and hold her hand, but I knew that would really send her over the edge. I mean really…who does that?
It was a great meeting. There was a lot of laughter and some real heartfelt sharing. I could “feel” her next to me, and I noticed my focus shifting off of the meeting and on to her. I wanted her to feel something….anything….I wanted her to walk out of that meeting with HOPE.
When the meeting ended I asked her what she thought. “Did she like it?” She said “well no, it was too overwhelming.” I remember that feeling. She asked how long ago I stopped drinking. When I told her she looked sad. She said she would like to just be able to stop for 24 hours. I could smell the alcohol on her breath and coming from her pores. I told her I understood.
The fact is that most alcoholics, for reasons yet obscure, have lost the power of choice in drink. Our so-called will power becomes practically nonexistent. We are unable, at certain times, to bring into our consciousness with sufficient force the memory of the suffering and humiliation of even a week or a month ago. We are without defense against the first drink.
from There Is A Solution Big Book Alcoholics Anonymous