I’m aware that people all over the world stay sober without meetings. People who follow the AA program, but have literally no meetings to attend, impress and inspire me. I have always had abundant meetings available to me. I’m also aware that this is one of the slogans that anti-AA people use as an example of AA-speak and brainwashing.
I wonder if someone who hasn’t been to AA for any length of time can understand. I tried without AA. I tried and tried and tried. I couldn’t do it. There are many more people like me, who couldn’t do it without AA, but can do it with AA. It’s simple.
I’ve seen it so many times that someone in my 3D life, someone who has abundant meetings available, doesn’t want to go to them. There’s laziness, boredom, inertia, and maybe some anti-AA feelings there. At first, to use another popular AA phrase, “People who don’t go to meetings don’t get to hear what happens to people who don’t go to meetings.” I wonder how many folks I attended meetings with have fallen by the wayside and are living an unpleasant existence or have come to an unpleasant end. I can’t know that. But because I’ve been around so long, and because I’m still in touch with someone from the place where I first got sober, and because Carole is outgoing and friendly enough for the two of us and she doesn’t let people go without putting up a good fight and a good effort to stay in touch, I know of many people who stopped going to meetings and how they are doing now, or what kind of end they met. Truly, it’s all bad. That’s just my experience.
There’s the question of what came first, the lack of meetings, or the decision to drink. Maybe people who are disinclined to stick to something like AA for whatever reason are disinclined to stay sober also. Maybe the people who love AA and thrive in AA are the ones who love or at least can tolerate meetings.
I go to meetings because
- It’s a small price to pay for my continued sobriety. The consequences of drinking for me are so terribly huge, I’m not willing to risk it.
- I increase my understanding of the program and how to live it. It’s invaluable to me to hear how others do it because just me, alone with a book, I’m not nearly smart enough to apply it to my life day in and day out.
- The society of the people in AA is awesome and wonderful. We truly do share a huge bond, and just knowing that someone is a fellow alcoholic binds me to him and a way I treasure. We know so much about each other and never use it to harm each other. Most people in the rooms truly want each other to succeed and are willing to go far to help that happen.
- I get to hear about and remember what is was like drinking. I will glamorize it and I have glamorized it to myself by myself.
- Working it improves every area of my life and makes my actual life possible in a way I couldn’t do without meetings.
The little slogany catch phrasy thing is true for me, and I think it’s important to preserve and repeat these slogans. They’ve proved helpful to so many people who go on to succeed in AA. They are not for everyone. It is not for everyone. In fact it seems to me today like it is only for the very fortunate few.
And I was wondering if there’s AA in nursing homes. Should I find myself in one, with my wits still about me, I hope someone will bring one in or offer me a ride.