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Grapevine : March 2011
I've heard the rumblings that AA has stopped grow- ing, has reached a plateau. Looking around in meet- ings, from a strictly nu- merical standpoint, I'm not convinced, as I still see new faces popping up from time to time. And looking outside of meetings, I see no apparent de- crease in the number of potential candidates for AA. Yet, there does seem to be something resonant about the question. Ultimately, it's not so much about numbers as it is about the kind of growth we do as indi- viduals and as groups. The numbers, I suppose, can be verified (as much as any num- bers can be verified in AA), but the Fix me or else Has a notion of a "problem-free" sobriety warped our expectations? other kind of growth is much hard- er to read. Something I sense in the Fellow- ship these days is a feeling of obliga- tion---and not the kind of obligation I felt when I came into AA almost 33 years ago, where those of us who were lucky enough to stay sober felt obliged to the Fellowship for saving our lives. This new obligation revolves, instead, around a sense many seem to have that the Fellowship is obliged to them, to fix them, to make them happy. It is an acquisitive kind of re- lationship, I'm afraid; a kind of "fix- me-or-else" attitude, as if a problem- free life had somehow been promised through AA's Twelve Steps. If it's true that AA has stopped growing, it's because we, the Fel- 56 March 2011