Years ago, I went with my sponsor to a meeting. He said, “Do you see those people over there”? I nodded my head in acknowledgement. “They don’t drink and they go to meetings; and you don’t want to be one of them”. At first I was confused. I knew a number of people from the group he had mentioned, and they had long-term sobriety. Over the next few weeks and months, I came to see why he had made his statement. In listening to their shares and observing their behaviors I came to realize that it was true that they didn’t drink. However, emotional sobriety had eluded them. Many of them were what we called “dry drunks” They exhibited many of the characteristics of the addict without using. They were still bundles of fear, resentment, pride and self-centeredness. They were certainly not people who I wanted to emulate. On the other hand, there were people in the rooms who really had transformed their lives. They were the ones who were honest in their dealings, humble, open and given to doing service. Many of them today are my friends. Personal Reflection: Are you one of the winners?
One of the joys of the program is that meetings are available in almost every city, village and hamlet of the world. Whether you’re taking an exotic cruise, exploring the French countryside or are visiting relatives in South America; a meeting is usually not far away. Quite often, there are English-speaking meetings in far off places. Sometimes of course there are not. Yet when we sit in a meeting conducted in a foreign language, we still feel very much at home. We recognize the serenity prayer and the Twelve Steps, regardless of the language. More importantly we feel the sense of kinship from our brothers and sisters in 12 step rooms across the world.
On a deeper level, the program has no fixed address because it resides in each and everyone one of us. As members of the program, we carry the message wherever we go. We are taking it with us of course by maintaining our sobriety. It is also taken with us when we conduct ourselves with emotional sobriety. We tap into our Higher Power wherever we are found; for G-d is certainly not limited by physical boundary.
Personal Reflection: How do you take the program with you?