From the January 1979 magazine.

You Can't Fly a Christmas Tree

Our attempts at controlled drinking always failed. Why did we keep trying again and again?

LAST WEEK, I talked to a friend of mine (call him Joe). Joe has been getting worried about his drinking lately, and since he knows I'm in the program, he sometimes talks to me about his problem. As usual, he was concerned about his lack of control. "Every time I start out, I'm just going to have one or two," he said, "but I always end up getting drunk." He admitted it was beginning to scare him.

I told him what I always tell him: that I had the same problem but solved it through AA. And he shook his head the way he always does.

"I'm not ready for anything that...

-- M. M.

Newark, California