When working with newcomers or folks who need steps, we get them in the steps and free of sponsorship immediately.
You know the funny thing about the people who do A.A. tapes? The people who do A.A. tapes. It takes an incredible ego to do that stuff. If anybody tells you otherwise, they're a liar.
We believe that the alcoholic ego grows right up alongside the recovered alcoholic. So if anything, the steps become more vital. The path narrows. This is what I've been told and it reconciles with my experience.
Dr Harry Tiebout was ambivalent to the "disease model" for alcoholism. I personally think it's bullshit. I believe alcoholism to be a spiritual malady for me... the real alcoholic.
I don't care if you believe in doing the 12 steps yearly or not. What I'd like to learn more about is why you do and what you get from it and why you do NOT and what you get from that. To me, doing steps yearly is quite natural. It's simply what we do. But when it's time to do the work again, I go out on my own... and decide for myself, if this is what I will continue to do... or not. We question the whole deal. I question the whole deal; Maybe I'm an alcoholic. Maybe I'm not. Maybe I need God. Maybe I do not. When once I decide from there, I'm either in or out. Are you in or are you out?
Based on work with 250 alcoholics during his first 10 years at Blythewood, Tiebout developed the following conception of the alcoholic mind:
"In the normal individual there is a tendency to create some privacy for his inner life, for his motivations, reflections and emotions, so that they are not completely accessible to the environment. Normally this attempt interferes only slightly with the freedom of movement of outgoing and incoming stimuli and impulses. The boundary which the normal individual sets up between himself and the environment may be called a floating or diffuse boundary. In incipient alcoholism, however, it appears that the boundary is drawn somewhat tighter than is usual, and that with each stage of further development of the alcoholism more and more gaps are closed until the alcoholic seems to have erected what may be called a barrier which permits only a minimum of interplay between the inner self and the environment."