Tag Archives: 12-step Programs

I Know A Few Myself…

Eighty years ago today, a proctologist in Akron, Ohio, took his last drink of booze.  As a result of his having gotten sober with the help of another drunk, a businessman from New York, Alcoholics Anonymous was born.  More here.

It would be interesting to know how many people owe their lives and the sanity of family members to that happy coincidence, via the rooms of AA and its sister organization Alanon.  We will, of course, never know.  We can surmise that the figure is in the millions, but there is no real way to tell.

There’s a bunch, though.  I know a few myself.  Happy Birthday, AA!

And thanks, from the bottom of my heart.

Inertia In The Rooms

Newton's First Law

Newton’s First Law

There was a recent attempt to change a group by-law in one of the fellowships that I attend.  Although it would have affected only that group, it was a pretty big deal.  So far as anyone could tell (including the national office) it had never been done before, although it didn’t seem to violate any of the national by-laws or the traditions. I had my reservations, but I sat in on the meetings and gave input in an attempt to keep things from becoming too radical.

Want to get a lot of folks to a 12-step business meeting?  Try changing a by-law that would curtail a current custom.  There were at least four times as many members there as I had ever seen at a business meeting — maybe five times. The discussion was amicable, however, and the proposal was defeated by about a five to one margin.  Addicts. Do. Not. Like. Change.  However, we do love our rituals.
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girls_sitting_on_benchBy Bill

I’ve come to believe that going to meetings, getting a sponsor and working through the 12 steps is the most important part of recovery.  Why?  Because the process provides a template for dealing with recovery and its problems.  

When I got to recovery, I was a victim of my own Most Unexceptional thinking.  Someone pointed out to me that just because you can take a watch apart, it doesn’t mean you can put it back together;  you have to learn the skills.  That made sense to me. I had been unable to think myself out of multiple addictions, and it was clear to me that I wasn’t going to be able to think my way into recovery.  I needed to listen to people who had done what I needed to do, and learn from their experiences (and my own failures).  Getting a sponsor is really a prerequisite for going through the steps effectively, so I thought I’d kick out a few ideas about sponsorship.  READ MORE…