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Grapevine : March 2011
Grapevine 33 drinking myself into a liv- ing hell, I wound up at an AA meeting. I related to everyone almost immedi- ately. I gained hope; I felt better. e only problem was that the group mem- bers at my first meeting, which would become my home group, were mostly white. And I was di erent, di erent from everyone else. at was a problem for me, and an excuse for me to relapse. And a er that relapse, IcamebacktoAAandto my home group, still feel- ing and being di erent. But this time I heard the ird Tradition---thank God. A er learning the ird Tradition in detail, I could no longer disqualify myself for being di erent and drink again. One day at a time, I've been sober ever since. Shawn B. Stamford, Conn. thathewasinfora treat and to please enjoy her cookies as we introduced him to everyone at the meeting. Our Friday night meeting is a Big Book study meeting and we were on the Eleventh Step, start- ing on the bottom of page 85. Our prac- tice is to read a few paragraphs and then comment on what was read. We had a small number of people at our meet- ing and there was plenty of time for ev- eryone who wished to share. Most of us commented about our religious upbringings and how we had learned to pray and to rely on prayer. Almost everyone in the room besides Grant had identified himself or herself as a Catholic or a Protestant as they shared about their experience with prayer. Grant said that he had had some concerns about coming to our meeting because he is a Muslim, and was not sure how he would be received. He said that prayer was a big part of his religion and that he prays every day. I told Grant I was glad that he was there. e doors to AA are very wide. Our ird Tradition states, " e only require- ment for AA member- ship is a desire to stop drinking." AA has no litmus test for deciding whether or not you can join AA other than the desire to stop drinking. We do not ask your poli- tics, your profession, your marital status, your favorite sports teams, your religion or even if you have one. I said that I had been raised as a Southern Baptist and they do not believe in drinking alcohol. Muslims do not believe in drinking alcohol either, yet there we both were, in an AA meeting on a Friday night in Sanford, N.C. When I dropped Grant o at the prison a er the meeting, I asked him if he wanted to go again the next week. He wanted to know if there would be more cookies. ere is no small print in the ird Tradition. ere is no application to fill out, no initiation fee, no screening commit- tee and no rulebook. AA is working for so many of the diverse people in the meet- ings I attend.John K. Sanford, N.C. He had some concerns about coming to our meeting.