Dennis talks to Don and Sam about living the illusion of controlled drinking, while getting beaten by hard drinking. Dennis describes North Stars in AA,—people who have experienced what he is going through and who give assurance that all will work out. In the Ask-It-Basket, Victor M. wants to know the difference between a “character defect” and a “shortcoming.” Dennis, Don and Sam share their thoughts, and Big Book historian Bill S. weighs in too. While we provide the podcast at no charge, we do have expenses. To support the AA Grapevine Podcast, please subscribe to the magazine or purchase books or other items at