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Grapevine : August 2010
I've also seen: people who live in AA meetings and whose life outside of AA is a disaster zone, even a er years of recovery. O en it is the people in AA whose life outside of AA is very unsatisfying who are the most insistent that everyone else in AA needs to do more than they are doing for their sobriety. O en it is the sickest among us in AA who at- tempt to speak with the most authoritative mes- sage at the podium. is is unfortunate, especially for the newcomer. ere is nothing wrong with those won- derful old-timers who are retired and going to daily meetings. We need them, just as we need the newcomers going to daily meetings to survive early sobriety. But hopefully, as people become healthier in AA, they will also find places outside of AA to practice the principles. We would serve newcom- ers better by letting them know that it's OK to have a life and be a member of AA. Most people I admire in AA are those who bring the principles of their pro- gram to their marriages, their relationships, their work, their children and the world around us, so in need of these wonderful Twelve Step principles. is program was never meant to be about hiding out from life in AA, but about taking the Twelve Steps and applying them to what hopefully becomes a happy and peaceful life both inside and outside AA. Brad K. Los Gatos, Calif. T wice at recent meetings we've been lectured by men "with time" following a share by a new- comer or struggling- back relapsee with scoldings about the good old days, when the grizzled double- digit gang in charge forbade novices from speaking at "their" meetings.,"for a year, and only maybe then." By coincidence, in both instances the self-appointed task- masters also hauled out their opinions against attending rehab. An ironic disregard of the literature---what- ever happened to "let's be friends with our friends"? Might the callous attitudes result from fear of being upstaged in what- ever sermon they'd prepared for the as- sembled---upstaged by some comparative newcomer or recent relapsee sharing from the heart? Tonight I was the latter. And I'm proud for sharing what I did of confusion and such. Pushing on through the emba- rassment of a grown man hearing his voice breaking in a crowded room. I'm glad too for writing this. Resent- ment put on paper (and shared with my sponsor). Now I'm le with warm memo- ries of the men and women who spoke encouragingly and/ or o ered a hug as we trickled out. P.H. Delray Beach, Fla. ALL ARE WELCOME HERE 58 August 2010