If a sufficiently strong reason – ill health, falling in love, change of environment, or the warning of a doctor – becomes operative, this man can stop or moderate, although he may find it difficult and troublesome and may even need medical attention. ~ Big Book, Pg. 21
I want to zero in on the “change of environment” reason. My sponsor stressed this big time. Her comment is one I wrote in my book: Geographic cures never works. She went on to say, and I will remember this for life: Wherever we go; there we are. This resonated with me because I tried moving across the country 4 times. I changed jobs every 6 months. I changed relationships even more frequently. I know I moved at least 15 times in 15 years. Wherever I went; there I was. And, my heavy drinking (which was slowly developing into full blown alcoholism) was there as well. When new people come into AA telling us that they are in AA for one of the above reasons, we promptly correct them. Outside influences will never force a person to change. They may initiate the reason the alcoholic came to AA, but unless the alcoholic wants to change; no change will be had.
AA is for those alcoholics who want us, not necessarily for those who need it. This week, our small AA community lost another alcoholic to this disease. He was a tall, gangly, and shy guy who barely spoke, and when he did speak he would just whisper. He never hugged or greeted others. He would come in late and leave early. Sadly, he never got sober. I know he wanted to get sober, otherwise he would not have showed up at all. Each AA loss breaks my heart, but then I quickly turn to those who want what we have. I get busy with my own sobriety. They will not die in vain. There is much work to do. If you want sobriety, consider doing this AA program for yourself. Throw yourself into the middle of the AA community, do service, show up early, and stay late. Stop coming up with reasons. Just do it.