“Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio and films.” – The AA 12 Traditions
I’ve been thinking about my motivation behind talking about AA online – several people have mentioned to me its not very AA-like to shout about the program from the rooftops. The main thrust of it is, I knew about AA but I only ever heard bad things about it, that it was a cult, that it was annoying, that it was for jesus freaks. Everyone who thought it would be a good idea for me assumed I knew about it, who hasn’t heard of AA? and so never mentioned it. So I didn’t go for the first 4 years after I quit drinking, and I felt awfully alone, alienated, and like I was the only person in the world who abstained from alcohol – certainly the only one who didn’t drink but spent most of her time wishing she could, and hating everyone else for getting to. Finally I started being honest about how much I was suffering, and braved an AA meeting at the urgings of a friend of a friend, and it changed everything. I know a lot of drinkers and I know a lot of people who quit drinking. I also know a lot of people who are wondering how. So I think it’s important to say, hey I’m in AA and it makes not drinking so much better. In fact it’s making everything better, to the point I’m starting to feel less crippled by my alcoholism and more like AA is the best thing to ever happen to me, before or after quitting drinking.
Tonight none of my home group members showed up, everyone is out sick. So I secretaried and chaired the meeting, and really became what my homegroup members were for me not even a year ago – a face to put to the concepts, someone to listen, someone to give gentle suggestions about what worked for me, when asked. Everyone who came contributed to this wonderful whole – one person mentioned how much they didn’t want to be there – I could not relate. I sometimes drag my feet but the second I arrive, AA is such a highlight for me…a chance to sit around and talk with people about our problems, our solutions, our relationship with spirituality. It’s everything I used to get out of the bar, a bunch of people supporting me for an hour, listening and nodding and hearing what I am saying, only its much better, because I take it with me. Even when I am dead, I will still have it, as I melt into the greater awareness I have discovered by being honest with myself and the world.