One of many excerpts on "controlled drinking" found in the Big Book
of Alcoholics Anonymous
. (3rd edition)
Chapter 3 (pg 30-31)
More About Alcoholism
"Most of us have been unwilling to admit we were real alcoholics. No person likes to think he is bodily and mentally different from his fellows. Therefore, it is not surprising that our drinking careers have been
characterized by countless vain attempts to prove we could drink like other people. The idea that somehow,
someday he will control and enjoy his drinking is the great obsession of every abnormal drinker. The persistence
of this illusion is astonishing. Many pursue it into the gates of insanity or death.
"We learned that we had to fully concede to our innermost selves that we were alcoholics. This is the first step in
recovery. The delusion that we are like other people, or presently may be, has to be smashed.
"We alcoholics are men and women who have lost the ability to control our drinking. We know that no real
alcoholic ever recovers control. All of us felt at times that we were regaining control, but such intervals usually
brief were inevitably followed by still less control, which led in time to pitiful and incomprehensible
demoralization. We are convinced to a man that alcoholics of our type are in the grip of a progressive illness.
Over any considerable period we get worse, never better.
"We are like men who have lost their legs; they never grow new ones. Neither does there appear to be any kind of
treatment which will make alcoholics of our kind like other men. We have tried every imaginable remedy. In some
instances there has been brief recovery, followed always by a still worse relapse. Physicians who are familiar with
alcoholism agree there is no such thing a making a normal drinker out of an alcoholic. Science may one day
accomplish this, but it hasn't done so yet."
Addendum: I was ever-so-gently directed to Cut-and-Paste Writeups Will Die
. Hey, if I could have expressed it better in my own words I would have. This was hardly C&P'ed; I typed it from my well-worn Big Book! At least the source is documented. Give me a break, huh?