Like Sugarbear said: the "not yets". I used to think that alcoholics were homeless, jobless, alone living under a bridge, drinking cheap wine out of a paper bag. I thought, "That's not me." I thought alcoholics were people who had lost jobs, lost homes, lost family and friends, drank every day, went to jail, drove drunk, drank in the morning, drank after work, before work, instead of work...and I thought, "That's not me." I should have added, "not yet" to all of those. Over the years, as my disease got progressively worse, I could put a check mark beside most of the things above. You don't have to wait until you hit bottom to stop drinking. I meet people every day who were much worse off than I was, and also people who hadn't gone as far down the scale. I still find similarities in each of their stories and my own. Look for the similarities and not the differences.