‘Then he fell victim to a belief which practically every alcoholic has—that his long period of sobriety and self-discipline had qualified him to drink as other men. Out came his carpet slippers and a bottle. In two months he was in a hospital, puzzled and humiliated. He tried to regulate his drinking for a little while, making several trips to the hospital meantime. Then, gathering all his forces, he attempted to stop altogether and found he could not. Every means of solving his problem which money could buy was at his disposal. Every attempt failed. Though a robust man at retirement, he went to pieces quickly and was dead within four years.’ (Page 32 et seq.)
Every so often during my drinking I was washed up by the sea of alcoholism onto the shore of sobriety. I didn’t choose to get washed up; the currents are more powerful than me. After three years of being washed up but then succumbing to the first drink, I started, in 1993, to take every action suggested to me in AA, and I haven’t had a drink since then. Once you get washed up on the beach, the job is to get off the beach and head inland, before the next big wave takes you out again. If the sea takes you out again, the currents can be so strong that you never get washed up on the shore again and drown.