Are There ‘Such Unfortunates’?


In hundreds of meetings every day, How it Works is read.  It is a straightforward explanation of the program, it’s inner workings and the 12 steps.  Yesterday after a meeting we had an interesting conversation about the ‘unfortunates’ who will not recover, the specific reference is (from the Big Book):

Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. Their chances are less than average.

When you read this passage, it’s rather defeating and lacks hope.  The cover station that was had following a meeting was based around throughout early recovery the thought popped into our head of ‘am I one of these unfortunates?’  Maybe many people have had these thoughts early in recovery, that we were hopeless and destined to die as a drunk.

While the sad truth is that there are many people who will not be able grasp a sober way of life and will end up either locked up, committed or dead, I think we need to get past the fact that there are certain ‘unforunates’ that have no chance, who were born simply to wreak havoc and are destined to never get out of the situation they are in.

Similar to my post about Alcoholism being a responsibility and not an excuse, I think we need to look at this from the perspective that every individual has the chance to realize a life of optimism, joy and hope!  While we may have been ‘born’ into being more likely to become an addict, we all have the same ‘chance’ to get into recovery. It’s not an easy path, but it’s an accessible path.

So, if you currently feel, or have ever felt, feel that your chances are low, or that you don’t see that light at the end of the tunnel, just keep going, it gets better.  In any meeting you can see examples of what seemed to be a hopeless life, totally turned around, and turned into something amazing.

Just keep going, it gets better, I promise.



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