From the May 1958 magazine.

No Thanks. . . I Don't Drink

THAT USED TO BE QUITE A GAG with me--"No thanks, I don't drink." It is a pity that I was not gagged more often and more effectually. But whenever I was offered a drink, I used to reply "No thanks, I don't drink"--at the same time grabbing for the glass. The laughter value of this soon wore off, but like most alcoholics, I was the last to realize it, and continued to use the statement until one day I got to thinking that I had not used it so often in the recent past. . .people were not offering drinks to me. I wondered why. Any alky who reads this knows the answer, but I did not. . .for quite a long time.

A little over three years ago, I was making the statement again--this time with real intent, and some kind of timid defiance. Because it is just over three years ago that I realized why people were not offering me drinks. . .and I found AA. So, for a while, I told those who did not know of my entry into the fellowship that I did not drink (as I have said, with a kind of timid defiance). That attitude soon changed into one of pride. I know that all the alcoholics I have met who have embraced the AA program get to that stage of pride, and I think it is not entirely a bad thing. But I foresee a danger in living too long with that type of pride. I wish I had foreseen it for myself. The danger is that we might set out to prove that although we do not drink, we could if we wished. I thank God that I saw that happen with someone else, and realized that it was time to reevaluate my mental state when I said, "No thanks, I don't drink."

-- Tom Tom

Bulaway, S. Rhodesia, South Africa

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