These little studies of A.A.’s Twelve Steps now come to a close. We have been considering so many problems that it may appear that A.A. consists mainly of racking dilemmas and troubleshooting. To a certain extent, that is true. We have been talking about problems because we are problem people who have found a way up and out, and who wish to share our knowledge of that way with all who can use it. For it is only by accepting and solving our problems that we can begin to get right with ourselves and with the world around us, and with Him who presides over all of us.
As I was writing that I heard someone on TV talking about he Boston bombing. He said that he lives by spiritual principles and basically wakes up and asks God to show him how he can be useful that day. Carole wasn’t paying attention, but I said to her, “AA?” Because that’s what we do! When we remember.
I’ve heard it said as a criticism of AA that we dwell on problems. Even the way we introduce ourselves, “My name is ___ and I’m an alcoholic,” or some version of that. I’ve heard people say that this focus on the problem, this giving it priority, keeps us sick. But I disagree.
” . . . we are problem people . . . ” We are. That’s why we go to AA. No one goes there because everything is good. And when people go to AA and don’t accept and solve their problem, their problem gets worse, and the havoc they wreck gets worse.
Even so, I don’t think the majority of the talk I hear in a meeting is negative. I’m curious and if I remember, I’m going to try to keep track for a while. I hear lots and lots of positive things and so many of us feel that we wouldn’t change our alcoholism even if we could, because the solution is so wonderful. I never want to be without it. Waking up and asking God how I can be useful that day is a wonderful way to live. But I wouldn’t have even tried to live that way had I not been forced to by alcoholism.
There are a few more lines of Step Twelve and I’ll be at the end of the steps. I’m going to start at the beginning because I began writing at Step Six . . . several years ago now.