Friday, April 23, 2010


At last night's "We Are Not Saints Meeting", two very young alcoholics expressed similar stories. One female, one male. I would say early twenties. I have sat at meetings with both of these individuals before, and to be honest, have heard the same stories coming from their mouths before. "I want to be sober, I want to get a job, I want to loose weight, I want, I want, I want...but then I get overwhelmed and I go out and get drunk". I could tell a few of the "old timers" had pretty much had it with both of them. The female was interrupted by her cell phone and kept checking it every few minutes until someone politely told her to shut the phone off. You could feel the tension in the air as one man with many years of sobiety spoke, "This is not a hard, or difficult program. It's actually quite simple, if you want what we have get a sponsor and start working the steps. You will have to work though. This programs requires a lot of work but it also rewards you in ways you can't imagine, but if you're not ready to work or committ, then this program may not be for you." Some people may feel this "talking to was not appropriate, or harsh but I can see why it could be necessary. The nature of this disease is serious, not something to be on the fence about. It takes a committment, it takes a lot of work, it will consume your days and nights but you will even early on see the benefits of staying clean. It requires realizing you are powerless over alcohol, believing in a power greater than yourself to restore you to sanity, and turning your entire will over to that higher power. I love the first three steps. They set the foundation, the cornerstones to what you will build upon. For me these have to be firmly in place before you move on. As these two young people spoke I heard many signs that they weren't quite ready yet, the huge presence of "I". The ego and self centeredness has to be set aside, when I was young this would have been very difficult for me to do. Also the overwhelmingness that was present, obviously because of wanting to tackle too many tasks at once. I was guilty of this too when I first walked through the door, but once I started working with a sponsor I know I had to work on one thing at a time. The twelve step program is designed for a reason, each step important with a purpose. I have to agree with the old timers, if your not ready to do the work, then you might not be ready for the program.....


  1. I for one believe that a person has to be ready to surender or they will probably not have much lasting success in AA recovery. It sounds to me like the two people you described simply aren't ready. And until they are ready, they will probably struggle. Sometimes long-timers are willing to lay it all out there in an effort to be honest and help wake someone up. The seed has been planted or they wouldn't continue to return. All we can do is encourage them to continue to keep coming back and be there for them when thye do. When they are beat down enough, they will do what they need to, to get sober.

  2. I like what the old timer said. If someone isn't entirely ready to work the program, then maybe they need to find another way.