The Price of Just Don’t Drink and Go To Meetings! OR Why Meeting Makers Don’t Make It by Cliff B. TX for Big Book Sponsorship
When Bill W. prepared the Forward to the Second Edition, he shared with us the success that he and the other recovered alcoholics had witnessed as the result of having the book “Alcoholics Anonymous” as the only guide for recovery within the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. What he wrote was, “Of alcoholics who came to AA and really tried, 50% got sober at once and remained that way; 25% sobered up after some relapses, and among the remainder, those who stayed on with AA showed improvement.” (AA, pg. xx.) On the average, 75% got sober and stayed sober and Dr Bob, Clarence S.and some of the others were realizing 90%+!
When carefully reading the Big Book (AA member’s fond nickname for this volume and which very few alcoholics ever do read let alone study) we learn that these alcoholics went to only one or two meetings a week. They did, however, spend a great deal of their spare time searching for sick alcoholics and sharing their experience with each other on where to find the sick ones and how to be more effective in trying to carry our message to the suffering ones. Of course, they had a message to carry. They had been blessed with a spiritual awakening/experience as the result of taking the Steps in the early days of their sobriety. In many cases, the alcoholic had taken the Steps and recovered before he/she ever attended an AA meeting. They report this fact in the Big Book. “Here are the Steps we took which are suggested as a program of recovery.” (AA, pg. 59) They did not say, “Here are the meetings we went to”, nor did they say, “Here are the Steps we discussed and/or talked about”. No, they said they TOOK the Steps and they further said, “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we try to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs”.(AA, pg. 60) They did not say, “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of going to meetings”. No, they TOOK these Twelve Steps following a “course of vigorous action” (AA, pg. 63) by “precisely” (AA, pg. xiii), “specifically” (AA, pg. 20), “exactly” (AA, pg. 45) following the “clear-cut directions” (AA, pg. 29) the 1st One Hundred laid down for us in the Basic Text for our Society, “Alcoholics Anonymous”. (AA, pg. xi)