Nobody in AA is able to answer this question definitively.
The only person who is truly able to determine this is you.
What we can say, concerning this very personal decision, is that we were all faced with one, if not both, of the following two conditions:
- “If, when you honestly want to, you find you cannot quit entirely,
- or if when drinking, you have little control over the amount you take, you are probably alcoholic.” (Alcoholics Anonymous, Chapter 4, Page 44.)
“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.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, Chapter 3, Page 30.
If you have said to yourself: “Yes, I’m one of those people who are powerless over alcohol. My life has become unmanageable. I can’t stop drinking and I want help”, you have made a good start on Step One and discovered, as it says in the Big Book, “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.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, Chapter 2, Page 24.
Is AA for You? Am I an alcoholic? Questionnaire
- Have you ever decided to stop drinking for a week or so, but only lasted for a couple of days?
- Do you wish people would mind their own business about your drinking – stop telling you what to do?
- Have you ever switched from one kind of drink to another in the hope that this would keep you from getting drunk?
- Have you had a drink in the morning during the past year?
- Do you envy people who can drink without getting into trouble?
- Have you had problems connected with drinking during the past year?
- Has your drinking caused trouble at home?
- Do you ever try to get “extra” drinks at a party because you do not get enough?
- Do you tell yourself you can stop drinking any time you want to, even though you keep getting drunk when you don’t mean to?
- Have you missed days of work because of drinking?
- Do you have “blackouts”?
- Have you ever felt that your life would be better if you did not drink?
Did you answer YES four or more times? If so, you are probably in trouble with alcohol. Why do we say this? Because thousands of people in AA have said so for many years. They found out the truth about themselves – the hard way.
But again only you can decide whether you think AA is for you. Try to keep an open mind on the subject. If the answer is YES, we will be glad to show you how we stopped drinking ourselves.