I tried to remember how it felt when I was in detox and what came to mind was the "jumping-off" place, the place where you can't stand drinking any more yet, at the same time, you can't imagine your life sober. I was stuck in that place for a long, long time. And I remember at some point reading this passage and being filled with sudden hope for my future.
This is from Chapter 11, A Vision For You, page 152 in the AA Big Book.
I love this passage! I sure wish that it was placed earlier in the book because this to me is so powerful and depicts the state of the "jumping-off place exactly how I felt. But reading this gave me hope, because it said that there is a substitute - there is a solution - the fellowship of AA, and right in my own community! And that was so true, these "new friends" gave me hope and strength to finally, after many years of struggling, to finally get sober!
Now and then a serious drinker, being dry at the moment says, “I don’t miss it at all. Feel better. Work better. Having a better time.” As ex-problem drinkers, we smile at such a sally. We know our friend is like a boy whistling in the dark to keep up his spirits. He fools himself. Inwardly he would give anything to take half a dozen drinks and get away with them. He will presently try the old game again, for he isn’t happy about his sobriety. He cannot picture life without alcohol. Some day he will be unable to imagine life either with alcohol or without it. Then he will know loneliness such as few do. He will be at the jumping-off place. He will wish for the end.
We have shown how we got out from under. You say, “Yes, I’m willing. But am I to be consigned to a life where I shall be stupid, boring and glum, like some righteous people I see? I know I must get along without liquor, but how can I? Have you a sufficient substitute?”
Yes, there is a substitute and it is vastly more than that. It is a fellowship in Alcoholics Anonymous. There you will find release from care, boredom and worry. Your imagination will be fired. Life will mean something at last. The most satisfactory years of your existence lie ahead. Thus we find the fellowship, and so will you.
“How is that to come about?” you ask. “Where am I to find these people?” You are going to meet these new friends in your own community.
To find meeting in your area please visit the Alcoholics Anonymous website: How to find AA meetings.