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October 1994

Your Move

A Mania for Alcohol

Responses from young readers on the topic of singleness of purpose

I have been sober and a member of AA since March 1987 and am now twenty-eight years old. My drinking career was brief--spanning only seven years. But when I came into AA at twenty-one, I was already a chronic rumhound.

Like many younger members of AA, I used substances other than alcohol during my drinking career. However, alcohol was what dominated my life. In the "Twelve and Twelve," the chapter on Step Six talks about the "mania for alcohol" in our lives (p. 64). That description fits me perfectly. I had a mania for alcohol.

I was arrested for drinking and driving three times--not for smoking, shooting, or popping pills and driving. My ego and my craving for alcohol were at the center of my life.

I remember hearing a friend in AA telling me a truth about alcoholics. He said that in order for a person to become an alcoholic one must consume alcohol. I became an alcoholic because I drank alcohol to excess--not because I drank milk or tea to excess or because I smoked or swallowed drugs.

AA's singleness of purpose is important to me because it constantly reminds me that AA exists to bring the message of recovery from alcoholism to alcoholics. Because our alcoholism is the only malady that we all have in common, our singleness of purpose reminds us that we are to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.

Because AA existed and carried the message of sobriety and serenity to me seven years ago, and because of the love of one drunk for another drunk, I am filled with gratitude.

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