Step by Step
Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016
When membership in a fledgling movement hit 2,000 members in March 1941, “(AA) then entered a fearsome and exciting adolescent period. The test that it faced was this: Could these large numbers of erstwhile erratic alcoholics successfully meet and work together? Would there be quarrels over membership, leadership and money? Would there be strivings for power and prestige? Would there be schisms which would split AA apart? Soon AA was beset by these very problems on every side and in every group. But out of this frightening and at first disrupting experiences the conviction grew that AA’s had to hang together or die separately. We had to unify our Fellowship or pass off the scene.” – Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Foreword, pp xviii-xix.
Today, my sobriety and recovery are not entirely my own and reflect the effectiveness and success of all AA, to some extent. This is my obligation to AA – to represent it to the best of my ability, and the best is measured to some degree by my role in my home group. From this passage in the Big Book when AA’s membership hit 2,000 people, that number since has multiplied by literally more than a thousand times. But there are still arguments in groups about who is to be allowed to attend meetings, who is in charge, if the group’s treasurer can be trusted with members’ money, if members are out for power. We as individuals and collectively need only look to the 12 steps and principles that require only the desire to quit drinking for membership, that we have no leaders and instead only trusted servants. And our group politics are dictated only by a group conscience. I ask today if I am a contributor to any friction in my home group or if I am a mediator in divisive issues. Either way, I am representing not only myself but the effectiveness of AA. Today, if my choice is to die separately or hang together, I could have had the former by continuing to drink. Today, I choose the latter. And our common journey continues. Step by step. – Chris M., 2016