One of my favorite, inexact quotes from the literature, I know not which literature, says something like, “no baleful consequences have resulted from dependence upon a higher power or an AA group.” No consequences full of bale here! I pictured a bale of hay but no, bale also means “something bad.”
I’m reading Five Days at Memorial about a hospital in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. There, patients were dependent upon machinery to keep them alive. Without electricity, they could and did die.
Am I dependent upon AA? Yes, and I don’t know. I couldn’t stop drinking without it and I could keep drinking and live. But now, is it so much a part of me that I don’t need it anymore?
People comment here from time to time that for various reasons they don’t go to meetings. There are places in the world where there are no meetings. Would I drink if I lived there? I don’t think so, but I don’t know. Part of the function of AA meetings in my life is to remind me where I came from and where I would return if I drank. No meetings won’t likely be an issue for me as long as I live unless something drastic happens to AA. Also, I see the elderly and people who can’t drive being taken to meetings, and I hope someone will take me if I’m ever in that position. I know that when people go into long-term care, like a nursing home, the meetings effectively stop. At that point I probably wouldn’t be able to get alcohol, if that ever happens to me.
Drinking, I was dependent on my mother. Granted, I was young, but I could not support myself and drink also. That dependence wasn’t good. I depended on alcohol to let me live even as it was killing me. This is why I sought out AA and a solution.
When I finally stopped relapsing, I was so afraid of drinking and dying that I gladly depended on AA and it didn’t let me down. Not everyone in AA is a good person, and depending on an individual in AA is not a good thing. But the group will eventually steer newcomers away from harmful people. I hope it will.
So now, what do I depend on, what do I fall back on? It is the things I’ve learned in AA over the years that keep me sober and so, alive. I depend on the program to have the answers I need and I depend on the people and the literature to reveal those answers to me. I don’t know if I still need them to live, but I believe I need them to live well today. I’m lucky to be dependent on something to dependable.