The Doctor's Opinion (Continued)
J: Okay, to further explain (this allergy). We see how the book never will tell us a subject (and just quit there.)
Throughout this weekend we'll be talking about how it describes, and how it illustrates and broadens on those points. Now, he said this is a physical allergy. He's going to broaden on it on roman numeral page twenty-six. (p. xxvi, par. 2) 'We believe, and so suggested a few years ago, that the action of alcohol on these chronic alcoholics is a manifestation of an allergy; that the phenomenon of craving is limited to this class and never occurs in the average temperate drinker. '
Now, there's some words here, again we need to understand, some... I didn't like. Some words I don't like, I never understood them, but I don't like them anyway. One of them is the word chronic. If we look up chronic, it means more than once. So if you did it more than once you're chronic. (laughter)
C: That's true with a lot of things besides alcohol.
J: And a... phenomenon of craving... means that we know that it occurs, but it's unexplainable to us today. We can see that it occurs, but we can not explain what causes this to happen. And he says: (p. xxvi, par. 2) 'These allergic types can never safely use alcohol in any form at all and once having formed the habit and found they cannot break it, once having lost their self-confidence, their reliance upon things human, their problems pile up on them and become astonishingly difficult to solve. '
And he says this never occurs in the average temperate drinker. Normal social drinkers do not crave alcohol. And again we want to be (careful with words.) You know a lot of times around A. A... we've gotten off (the track.) We've made a few changes, and we keep saying these things over and over. You hear a lot of people say, well I came to A. A. and I quit drinking. But I craved alcohol for two years or three years after I quit drinking. In the context of the Big Book, that's not true.
According to the Big Book, the only way we can crave alcohol is (to) put alcohol into the system. Now, he might have had a mental obsession to drink, but the only way you can crave alcohol is to put it into the system. If we never take the first drink, (we won't crave alcohol.) He says normal people never crave alcohol, normal social drinkers. That's just amazing to me. I see them on these airplanes, and oh, I just love to watch them. God' You know, they get that little glass. The stewardess brings it by, and he gets one little ounce. One ounce, One, just one ounce. (laughter)
C: Costs them two and a half.
J: Cost two dollar, or three dollars. And he pours it in there. Now, they got them little sticks. I don't know what they're for. (laughter) And they stir a lot. They stir a lot! I don't know what
they -- they stir it all up. Once they get it stirred up they let it sit there. He reads his magazine. You know, goes to read it. And you're saying, why don't he drink that thing. (laughter) You know, it makes you nuts. Now, realize, when he's drinking, it takes him a half hour, or an hour. I've even seen them throw it away. Because they don't crave alcohol.
In fact, you know, one day I saw a guy call her back. I said, he's going to get another drink. You know what he said? Give me some peanuts. (laughter) I don't know what you need peanuts for. (laughter) But the real baffling thing for us to realize is that they do not crave alcohol. So that means every time they drink, they drink all they want! They get all they want, every time they drink. I drank alcohol for sixteen years, and I never can recall in my mind one time when I got enough. (laughter) Because it's not a visual thing. It's not a visual manifestation, but... the craving is what occurs in me. That doesn't occur in the average temperate drinker.
C: I think it's very important for us to remember as we progress through the book that this word craving always deals with the body, not the mind. In the context of the Big Book, the only way we crave it is after we've had one, two, or three drinks. That triggers the physical craving for more of the same. Now, the other term they're going to use is the obsession of the mind. But that deals with the mind craving always with the body. If we can remember that as we go through the book, then everything begins to fall in place, and begins to make sense to us.