Scrolling through my pictures for a reason to be here, in the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous, it didn’t take me long to find evidence of a reason. After pictures of the dog there are pictures of my house getting new windows, then a baseball game I attended , then some political something that Carole attended. My trip to Akron, my kids at an amusement park . I could go on and on and list the good things in my life, and those are the reasons I am here. Really, as much as I know my most important job as a person is to grow and serve, I also know I’m too driven by the pleasure principle to continue on with something year after that isn’t fun, and doesn’t yield results.
Writing my story has been instructive for me. I’ve always known I was alcoholic, but putting some of those things down and out there reminds me in spades that though I was young and didn’t drink long, I quickly sunk to the bottom of that pit. It is my belief, based on that the on the experiences of others, that none of this would be possible without AA.
Carole has a friend who shared early sobriety with her. I met her friend years ago, when I first traveled to visit Carole. There was a time when, through AA, the friend had many of the rewards. She had a long relationship, a child, a house, a career, and the respect of her family. Gone, all gone. As years go by, I see many different scenarios play out, and I see some people struggle year after year. I don’t know if this friend will make it back. It doesn’t seem likely, yet there is that small piece of her that continues to reach out to the program. For my sobriety, I take all this as evidence that the program works, and that those who go out can’t always make it back.
So all I have and all I want to keep is reason enough for me to attend meetings year after year. It goes way beyond that, though. I do feel that I have grown as a person through all these years and the working of the program. I am happier and more serene, in a general way, as the years go by, and I’d like that to continue.
There’s also the element of the interestingness of AA meetings and people. I’ve heard so many stories and so many deep thoughts and feelings expressed over the years. I approach AA people in a generally positive way, and I think that helps me with other people out there in the real world.
There’s also the leisure activity of it. As much as I feel like I don’t have as much free time as I’d like to have, I do think that with too much free time I’d get in trouble. Bad trouble. I see nothing wrong with going to AA meetings just for something to do, as a way to belong to certain group and to be social. Isn’t this why many people went to the bar?
Basically, I’m here because I continue to be blessed.