This week I went to a meeting chaired by a person introduced to AA in a country in South America. They said they used to think AA was a special club that people could go drink whatever they wanted and no one would know because "they were anonymous". Everyone chuckled at that. They didn't have DUI's in this country, someone would just come knock on the door. One day, someone came and knocked on their door.
Despite the rief moment of humor that I found, and so often find in the rooms, I heard a bigger message in this.
AA in America has different associations with different people. They've seen it in movies or T.V. episodes. They were once, or are now, mandated by a court to attend have an embarassing "slip" to be signed. They know, or heard of someone that someone else knows who "has a problem". What a different place it is today than for my grandparents. It came to mind at a friend's 22 year birthday this month (HAPPY BIRTHDAY AA) that when my grandma was born, there was NO SOLUTION. Can you imagine that? There was only secrecy, shame, ruined lives, and doctors who'd look at them and to some say, " You are of a hopeless variety to whom there is no cure". The hopelessness and insanity that existed for alcoholics when there was no 164 pages of a book called Alcoholics Anonymous is beyond my understanding. It seems so far fetched, and in a way I can become complacent because of it.
A world with no solution to the madness and insanity of addiction... Sitting in this idea just brings me back to reality. What a miserable thought, one that should break hearts and drive home the point I am feel like sharing tonight. Unless we continue to share with others what has so freely been given to us, that is the reality of what will happen. If we don't sponsor others, who will guide them through the steps? If we don't go to treatment centers and hospitals, jails and prisons to share our experience, strength and hope, who will plant the seed? If we don't go to meetings as we get more time, who will be there for the newcomer?
This man in Guatemala had someone come knock on his door, and take him to a meeting. He chose to keep coming back. One alcoholic talks to another alcoholic for the first time, everyday, all around the world. And every day, someone chooses to keep coming back. I can't get someone sober, keep them clean, or make them be honest. What I can do is hold my hand out for those who are chosing to reach out for it.
Today I chose to keep coming back because I know that if I don't, I will die. If I don't, I will drive drunk, most likely with my kids in the car. If I don't, I will turn back to hard drugs. If I don't, there may not be a solution for my son's, or their son's or their son's.
Keep coming back. Not only for yourself, but for those who've yet to find the solution.