Sunday, March 25, 2012


A thought that’s been running through my mind lately: Why me? Or even, why us?

Everyone walks into the rooms for their first meeting. Very few stick around. What is about those of us who do? I’m no more intelligent than the next person. I’ve seen people walk through the doors who were in a lot worse shape than I was when I first came in. They wanted to stop drinking as I did.

But they didn’t stick around. Or, if they did, it was step 3 and out. I stuck around.

I’ve heard various answers to the question lately. “We were chosen” is one of them. Why was I “chosen”? Why not the next guy who’s still out there? Am among the elect or something? I have problems with this answer as I question whether God picks and chooses. Two people come into the rooms and only one stays. Is that because God likes one and not the other?

Maybe I just wanted sobriety more than the other guy, but I can’t speak for him. I have a friend who was in and out for years, praying for help in not drinking. He just killed himself a few months ago. My guess is that he was never able to get what he wanted. But I was.

I’ve seen people coming to the rooms because they were court-ordered, and they hated AA when they first arrived. Years later they’re sober and happy because of the program. Why did they stick around?

The floor is now open for discussion.


  1. Thought provoking stuff, here's my simple answer. I don't know.

    I used to spend a lot of time thinking about shit like this, never got me anywhere but more confused. I agree with PAtrick, I don't think it's because "God" picks us or like one drunk more than the other.

    I can tell you that there is a reason I am sober today and some guys I worked with our knew are now dead. I was willing to follow directions, make all amends and do what the book said. This does not make me any better or worse, maybe more willing. Because I was willing I experienced the psychic change the book describes, right around this time I stopped thinking about blowing my head off which was always a thought I carried.

    AA even at the best of times was never 100%, some people are going to die of alcoholism, this is a shitty thing, but that's the way it is. I'm glad I will die an alcoholic but not from alcoholism. Interested to see what other have to say.

    On a different note,most of you guys know that I am no longer active in AA or consider myself a member. I am still sober and happy as a pig in shit, just wanted to let anyone who may stumble upon this to know these words are my thoughts and experiences and not to be mistaken for "AA" rehtoric etc..Carry on

  2. Thanks for the topic Joe and thanks for your testimony, Rob.

    I have done so little in and with A.A. in the last 6 months that I too should not consider myself a doer of A.A. or a member of A.A. Not because I don't want to be or anything... it's just that a new book has come into my life that I've ate, slept, and breathed for the last 6 months. It's a public utility book that I've had to study for my job to obtain a new lettered certification by the state and an increase in pay. It is over 850 pages long... and it's been a tedious sonofabitch. This book had a chapter on Analysis and presentation of data... calculus stuff... Variance and standard deviation... geometric mean stuff. It's not full-on diff EQ equations and stuff... but I did have to dig out the scientific calculator. This book has stuff that's mechanical... maintenance... saftey... MSDS and fire extinguisher stuff... and even administration stuff. I go into a conference room to take this test and there are 80+ people there marking little cicles with a #2 pencil... and they give us 8 hours for this exam.

    Well I'll find out how I did on the test in a couple of weeks. I'm just now finishing the workbook portion of the book to send in hopefully tomorrow as I have about 15 questions left and this will be done for a cheesy paper certification and some college credits. The test I took last week is for an increase in pay.

    Anyway... now I can get back to life and maybe making a meeting here and there. I've still been attending my Monday Night homegroup and next weekend, we're off to the mountains for our yearly retreat with the Denver group. Did I want to go? Hell no. Last year I didn't. The year before, they called me a bum because I was jobless. Fuckholes. Well, I guess I'll see what the fuckholes are up to this year. Real spiritual. Anywho... Gary wants me to go... and I am really proud of Gary this year. He's been through some shit this year and he keeps plugging away with doing steps. He's sober 33 years+ now.

    I can understand the not needing A.A. thing now. I really do. I go to those other meetings and love seeing the folks and stuff. I just can't do what they do... or don't do... and stay sober on that. Nor do they want what the fuck I think I have.

    Now that I've not been to some meetings I've attended for months and months... nobody is blowing up my phone or begging me to come back. Why? Well... life goes on. They're busy. They don't need me. I get it.

    1. The more I think about it the more I condense the answers... None seem to fit. We enter the rooms in pretty much the same shape, but only a few stick it out.

      The only thing that keep coming back to me is perhaps I was more receptive to the program than those who didn't stay.

      At first I was skeptical but I kept an open mind. Maybe that's the key. Sobriety wasn't at the forefront; ending the pain and despair was my only goal.

      After a while I saw some hope and decided to stick around. Who knows? Maybe those who don't make it aren't receptive in the first place, their only goal was to stop drinking.

      There's a difference in goals here. Stopping drinking wasn't the real solution, I was told. If nothing changes, then nothing changes. The same person will drink again. Stopping drinking merely allowed me to focus on changing the person - me. I was receptive to doing that. Maybe that's one reason some make it and others don't.

  3. Why me ? Why us ?

    This is where someone is supposed to say.....'why not'.

    I have a friend who is a dyed in the wool Calvanist. He would say God does, in fact, chose those he wants to respond to His grace.

    I don't think that's true. I 'think' God wants us all to get sober and stay sober and grow in his love and all that good stuff. But some of us just don't hit bottom. Some of us don't seem to have to ability to lose our ego long enough to allow God to get in and work His magic.

    So my guess would be that some of us don't hit bottom in the way necessary to allow a spiritual experience to set in.

    But that's not an answer, is it ?

    Bill and Bob were the only two this solution worked on for quite a while.
    It's not really an easy problem to solve. (although you may not know that reading the anti-AA blogs)
    The fact that we have as much success as we do is a credit to Bill's salesmanship and understanding of human nature.
    Bless his little conniving heart.

    Bill new the roadblocks we'd all have and laid them out. I think that's why people like me were able to get it. AA has evolved so that it's program is more accessible to the average alcoholic than the old Oxford Group type stuff was to Bill.

    So all in all we're probably doing very well.

    IF a person hits bottom and loses enough of their ego AND they're exposed to the spiritual ideas they have a fairly good shot at getting sober.

    The alternative is hit and miss stuff from Church and traditional religious stuff or therapy and mental health type cures.

    I mean, when you think about it there is no GOOD alternative. You have to bite the bullet and make a change one way or another. It's no wonder people fail. It's a wonder any of us manage to do it. lol.

    1. Yeah, I agree with the ego thing. I was thinking at a meeting tonight that maybe the reason some succeed and others don't is that in the successful ones, our ego doesn't get in the way.

      Everyone walks into the rooms. Everyone wants a solution. But many want a solution on their terms - I want to get sober, but only if the method meets the needs of my ego. They seldom make it as their ego doesn't allow for disagreement.

      Those that do make it may see a solution that can break through the ego, and although it may be painful it's a solution that they become receptive to.

      They look around and see a bunch of people who the program works for and that makes an impression. Maybe they see a glimmer of hope somewhere and decide to stick around.

      I don't discount the spiritual end of the program, but I think that for most of us that occurs after, not before we begin working the steps.

      Heard a guy say tonite that he went to church every Sunday drunk, praying for God to help him to no avail. It was only when he came to realize that he had to do something for himself did start coming to meetings.

      As the old saying goes, "God moves mountains when He gives us shovels."

  4. Many are called, but few "choose."

    God knows something that we don't.


  5. Sounds like a Dodge Ball selection committee.