We hope this booklet has made it eminently clear that we don't consider drinking a frivolous subject Alcoholism deserves and gets dead serious attention from us. We do not find jokes told at the expense of sick problem drinkers funny, except those we tell on ourselves from our vantage point of sobriety. We aren't amused when someone teasingly threatens to get drunk. That's like teasing about Russian roulette.
In spite of our serious attitude toward alcoholism, you will find we can usually talk with humor and detachment about our past and our recovery. This is a healthy approach, we think. Certainly, it does not weaken our resolve to get and stay well.
Most of us have seen death close up. We have known the kind of suffering that wrenches the bones. But we also have known the sort of hope that makes the heart sing. And we hope this booklet has conveyed to you more encouragement than pain. If you are a problem drinker, you already know enough about pain and loneliness. We'd like you to find some of the peace and joy we have found in meeting the reality of life's ups and downs with a clear head and a steady heart.
No doubt we have made just a bare beginning in the business of living sober. Time and again, we learn additional ideas that can help.
As you stay sober, you are sure to think of new ideas not recorded here. We hope so. We also hope that when you do come up with fresh ideas on this subject, you will pass them on. Please do share. (You'll recall that the act of sharing can itself be helpful to you.) The more experience we can all pool, the more problem drinkers can be helped.
Some of us go back to drinking a time or so before we get a real foothold on sobriety. If that happens to you, don't despair. Many of us have done this and have finally come through to successful sobriety. Try to remember that alcoholism is an extremely serious human condition, and that relapses are as possible in this ailment as in others. Recovery can still follow.
Even after setbacks, if you continue to want to get well, and remain willing to try new approaches, our experience convinces us that you have embarked with hundreds of thousands of companions on the path of a happy, healthy destiny. We hope we see you among us in person.
But whatever track you travel, along with us or on your own, you go with our strongest good wishes.