Sometimes when I hear this discussed at meetings, people say they do not want to see their program as a discipline. Surely beginning in AA takes discipline. Ninety meetings in ninety days, not drinking, all that takes discipline. And it brings a chaotic, actively-alcoholic existence into a state of order, if you’re lucky.
It takes discipline for me now. I don’t “like” meetings. I’d rather go home and stay home. I’d surely rather just attend the meetings rather than go early and make the coffee and get the speaker. But doing those things develops and improves my skill of living as a sober alcoholic. And it’s gotten to be, for me, that I actually want to do some of these things some of the time. I like to say I’d like to “have been” to the meeting without making the effort of actually going there. But not really.
From time to time I see someone out in the world who I’ve seen at meetings, but who no longer goes. If the person seems to be successful I usually assume he or she is not drinking. I know lots of alcoholics abstain without AA but I wouldn’t trade places with them for anything. What would I have missed, had some miracle struck me sober? The best parts of my life.
I keep the discipline because I’m afraid not to. But also because I want to. I don’t want this to slip. I don’t want to do it half way. I don’t want to give it up. I want to miss anything.