Step 12 (carry this message)

I’m regularly exposed to a group of very intelligent, hardcore Big Book thumpers. I really enjoy listening to them and learning from them, especially about AA history. But also about everything else. I feel like these people have a bigger, deeper, better understanding of just about everything than I do, and it feels like AA school. I would definitely go to AA school if such a thing existed.

So my distillation of what message I receive from them, what I think they are saying, may be very incorrect. But I’m doing it anyway. They seem to believe that the program (a word they think has been corrupted, along with many other things, by rehabs) as laid out in the book is the beginning and the end. That is it!

I personally wonder about “more will be revealed.” I think of it more along the lines of Quakers not having a “book” because then the “word” becomes solidified and people worship the book.

Anyway these folks are recovered. They have been released from alcoholism and as long as they keep working with newcomers they will not relapse.

There are many, many ways I know I do the program “wrong” in their eyes (me and most of AA, ahem) but at the moment I’m considering the 12th step and carrying the message. In my pink cloud pretend AA universe showing up at a meeting, even if I don’t say anything or contribute to the basket, is carrying the message. Talking to AA friends about specific situations in my life – talking to my WE (I hate that expression, here the thumpers and I are one), is, to me, carrying the message.

I’m sure this blog is filled with me whining again and again about the tough road an introvert must travel in this WE PROGRAM. So I’m whining about that again. I don’t sponsor 12 newcomers. I don’t approach people out in the world (like the supermarket worker I saw sitting on the pavement outside the supermarket smoking a cigarette, probably drunk) with my solution. THE solution. My effort may be directly tied to my happiness or life satisfaction or sobriety. Is it tied to my sobriety? Have I been on a dry drunk these past four decades? Do the thumpers know something I don’t? Surely they do, but they haven’t taught it to me, and I’ve actively trying to learn.


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