Meg is a former army officer (one of the few active-duty women who have actually staffed combat missions). She has a bachelor's degree in a technical field. She is physically attractive. She drives a late-model sports car and owns a home in the nicest area of town. She married another army officer, and they have an adorable toddler together.
A couple of years ago, Meg lost her military career when she tested positive for cocaine. She quit that habit to focus on (more legal) alcohol. Here's what that's gotten her, just during the past year:
- A driving-while-intoxicated arrest and conviction
- A divorce
- A Child Protective Services investigation into her parenting
- A custody battle
- Bills putting her near the verge of bankruptcy
Child Protective Services got out of her life. Her soon-to-be-ex was ordered to pay child support. Her DUI was dismissed after some time on an occupational drivers license. Everything was looking up for Meg!
She spent yesterday very drunk.
And so, the $64,000 question: why? She could lose everything she's worked for! It could get even worse for Meg if she keeps drinking!
Page 24 of the 4th edition says this, and it sums up for me the nature of the disease:
We are unable, at certain times, to bring into our consciousnesses with sufficient force the memory of the suffering and humiliation of a week or a month ago. We are without defense against the first drink.
So often I hear in meetings "If you don't take the first drink, you won't get drunk!", usually followed by guffaws of newcomers and the easily amused.
That's not in the Big Book, and for good reason (stated above): I'm without defense against the first drink! It's not that I didn't realize that alcohol is intoxicating.
If someone like Meg can look at all she has to lose and still drink, can't any of us? If her self-will could have prevented her relapse, surely it would have yesterday.
Robert Frost described two paths before him in a forest, and he chose the path that had carried fewer travelers thus far. He concludes that "... made all the difference."
I hope there's a road less traveled ahead for Meg.