Wednesday, November 15, 2006

AA in a nutshell

I recently read this article in the February Grapevine and am republishing it here with their permission. After having a few-month-long upset with my own home group, I found this article and felt like this person summed up perfectly, for me, the beauty of AA and how it operates. I reprint it in its entirety.

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship designed and administered by a bunch of ex-drunks whose only qualification for membership is that we finally realized we couldn't hold our liquor and wanted to stop trying to impossibly learn how to hold it successfully. It has no rules, dues, or fees, nor anything else that any sensible organization seems to require.

At meetings, the speaker starts on one subject, winds up talking about something entirely different, and concludes by saying he doesn't know anything about the program, except that it works. The groups are often broke, yet always seem to have money to carry on. We are always losing members, but seem to grow. We claim AA is a selfish program, but always seem to be doing something for others.

Every group passes laws, rules, edicts, and pronouncements, which everyone blithely ignores. Members who disagree with anything are free to walk out in a huff, quitting forever, only to return as though nothing happened, and be greeted accordingly.

Nothing we discuss in AA is planned in advance, yet great results are born from the things we share with each other, and our lives get better.

How can we survive like this?

Perhaps it's because we have learned to live and laugh at ourselves and with each other. God made us. He made laughter, too. Perhaps he is pleased with our disorganized efforts and makes things right no matter who pushes the wrong buttons.

Maybe God is pleased with our simple yet sincere efforts to do what's right for us and others. Maybe He is pleased with our trying to be nobody but ourselves. We don't know how it works, but it does, and members keep receiving their dividend checks from their AA investments.

It is wise to be sober, and it is much easier, my friends, to stay sober than to get sober.


Permission to reprint The AA Grapevine, Inc., copyrighted material [in this publication, organization, or website] does not in any way imply affiliation with or endorsement by either Alcoholics Anonymous or The AA Grapevine, Inc.

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