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A Program of Action

By Tex B. Posted August 4, 2000

There seems to be a general misconception of the way the AA fellowship helps alcoholics to stop drinking. AA is portrayed as so powerful that it can "cure" a non-participating member.

The "AA Meeting" and its function is not usually understood. Heavy emphasis on attending AA meetings has given many new people the mistaken idea that the meeting itself is the thing that produces sobriety. They feel that the meeting is magical and can produce sobriety by proximity and that whatever "it" is, it will rub off. Instant sobriety with no effort other than bringing the body.

“The Meeting" (or more likely "da meetin") is no longer just an AA function, it has become AA itself. Outside of “the meeting” there is no AA. It has become the replacement for the Third Step, requiring only attendance, but not participation, at “the meeting” to transform one’s life.

The miraculous, mystical, mysterious, magic meeting is the universal cure for almost anything, including alcoholism. It charms the unwilling into submission, and heals by proximity.

The meeting has become almost sacred, and is form and content is not to be questioned. In fact most meetings are quite sappy and ineffective. It is like my placing an order for some integrated circuits for one of my electronic projects. In a few days I get a box containing two quarts of styrofoam peanuts and less than an ounce of chips. There is a lot of styrofoam in “da meetin.”

It is a simulation of AA, a lot of people who don’t really know each other gathered together talking about recovery and their "issues," but totally ignoring the principles of the program that they are talking about. The AA idea is felt to be so powerful that just talking about it is the same as actually doing what is suggested.

Many AA meetings are filled with "clients," who come for the healing - like arthritis patients who go down in an old uranium mine to sit for a couple of hours, while low-level radiation "heals" their arthritis.

The meeting exists because the "AA way" only works when you try to pass its ideas and your experience with it on to someone else who needs help. The meeting gives you an opportunity to reach out to try to help.

The attendee who there like a student "auditing" a class and not doing any of the classwork or homework will fail. Outside of the meeting, when you are alone, read the Big Book and try to do what it is describing.

The AA "program" is a program of action. You admit your need for help, you ask for the help and give your consent to getting sober. Nothing will happen contrary to your deep wishes.

There must be a surrender to the reality of your life. You won't get sober sitting around picking lint out of your navel, unchecked selfishness and self-concern can kill an alcoholic.

If you want something to change, then do something about it!

More From TEXBRO
Tex B., known to many as "TEXBRO" passed away October 5, 2000. He was 81 years old, with 53 years continuous sobriety. Until three weeks before his death, Tex shared his considerable experience, strength, and hope with visitors to the Alcoholism Forum at About.com. Some of those messages are archived here to benefit those of us he left behind, and those will who will in the future find their way into the rooms.

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