In the passage below, Ebby Thacher, the man that carried the message to Bill W, discusses some of the thoughts that would precede a relapse for him:
I don’t have trouble daily or every few days the way that some people say they do about taking a drink, or wanting to take a drink. It does come back once in a while, sometimes in the springtime or in the fall; I don’t know if it’s the change of seasons or what it is – you got to blame something. You know what Omar Khayyam said: ‘Come, fill the Cup, and in the fire of spring, the winter garment of repentance fling.’
I always used to believe in that. Come spring if I had been on the wagon for a few months I always had to have my spring drunk. So that’s all there was to that. But I don’t know what makes us fall off the wagon again – drink again after we have been sober for a number of years. It is undoubtedly due to wrong thinking and that wrong thinking can sneak in sometimes and get so set in your mind that you don’t recognize it. I know that I’ve had a number of drunks as I look back on it now where I was drunk mentally a long time before I took a drink.
In time I was able to get to the point where I could recognize this type of thinking and do something about it before I picked up the drink. I was able to “think the drink through” before taking it and know what was going to happen if I didn’t change my thinking. It was like walking through a bunch of doors and each door that you go through things continue to get worse all the time, each door taking you closer to drinking.