Step Takers Do.
Slogans kept me in a dark, dry, sick abyss for 15 long months. Unwilling to surrender and set forth on the real journey into recovery. I wanted to not have to drink anymore. I wanted what the people in the rooms had. Smiles, laughter, apparent happiness and comfort. But I was unwilling to do any work. I took what I wanted and left the rest. I never got a sponsor. I sloganed my way, alone and suffering, to another drink.
I knew in every meeting I attended, which was three a week, that I would drink again. I thought A.A. just wasn’t working. I had heard “Meeting Makers Make It” and “One Day at a Time” and was doing the best I could with this theory. None of the slogans suggested a sponsor or rigorous step work. None of the women who attended this meeting were willing to sponsor anyone. (And from what I know now, I may have ended up worse off if they had) And I knew I wanted that drink again. I just had to stay dry long enough for it to count. Maybe the people in my life would back off and I could drink again. And they did. So I did. For two agonizing years I was out there, drinking to escape, not trying to drink normally. Dying. Cursing A.A. and their slogans and books and meetings and snobby sober members.
When I was ready, when I had a moment of clarity and spiritual loneliness and vulnerability, I thought of those AA’s and what they really were offering. I knew I was half-measuring the program and not doing what it said.
So I went back.
I did everything they said. I had a spiritual awakening. And now I get to help little feeble drunk women like myself come to know the freedom this program has given me.
And I never tell them slogans.
I never make them go to 90 in 90.
For today I know the answer to the riddle, the solution to the spiritual malady is not in the fellowship by itself.
“90 meetings in 90 days” can kill someone.
Our instruction for the solution is in the book. It tells us to do these steps and work vigorously with another alcoholic and a bunch of other stuff I never knew. Meetings have a place in my life today. I go to offer a solution to the still suffering alcoholic, even if what I say may irritate some, the truth is icky, and I must not sway from that which saved my life. Someone may want what I have and ask me how to get it and I have a duty to be there and to take them quickly through the work.
Today I take this seriously for it is a life and death matter. I am hard-core about Alcoholics Anonymous, I may be a Big Book Thump-er, but I may also have a solution to a murderous obsession.
And it isn’t some corny slogan.