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Grapevine : February 2011
took almost half an hour because the people chosen to read were hav- ing such a difficult time with the words. By the time it came to start sharing, half the people had left, half the remaining people were carrying on conversations with themselves, and several had fallen asleep. Every single person in the meeting got up at one point to get coffee or to scrape ice out of a large metal chest while someone was trying to share. There were a lot of distractions. I asked my Higher Power what he had gotten me into. It was only with his help that I was able to stay for the entire meeting. They closed with the Lord's Prayer. I was never so glad for the ending of a meeting. Ihadmadeupmymindtomakea beeline out the door. I thought my work there was complete. Little did I know I hadn't even gotten started. As I was making my way toward the door, I was stopped by a little, older guy. He had obviously experi- enced many hard times. "You look like someone who can help me," he said. He wanted to talk. I thought he was going to ask me for money or a ride or a place to sleep. I was more than slightly reserved. He continued: "I've heard all my life that people can actually get sober from AA. I didn't believe it till about a month ago. Can you help me find a sponsor?" Right then and there, I experienced an overwhelming sense of power that wiped out all those smells, noises and sights. I stopped to talk with him and with a few others before leaving that night. I made a commitment to start attending one meeting a week there. I've been doing that for over a year now and I've been asked about a sponsor many times. Several of the men actually asked me to spon- sor them, and the first of them just celebrated a year of sobriety. He's been through the first part of the Big Book with me. He's been making his amends and has re-established com- munication with his son. Every Wednesday night, as I walk into that treatment center, I ask God to remove from me my ego, fear, doubt and stress; that I may have the ability to deliver the pro- gram of action as outlined in our basic text; and that I share nothing beyond my experience. In this one short year, I have seen 10 men sit down with their sponsors and study the Big Book and I am in total shock to say that all 10 of them have con- tinued sobriety. Anonymous Oklahoma City, Okla. I was never so glad for the end of a meeting. I had made up my mind to make a beeline out the door. 54 February 2011