The “Big Book“, which is actually titled, “Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Recovered from Alcoholism” is one of the most influential texts of the 20th century and was created and edited by a process we now know as “crowdsourcing”.
The 12 steps of AA are radical and simple. The meetings themselves are an odd and wonderful combination of rote conformance (the recitation of the steps, the format of the talks) and completely unpredictable local variation. The result is we can walk into a room, anywhere in the world, and have an immediate fellowship and sense of purpose with others. This centralization of mission and decentralization of operations is the basis for myriad movements.
Here’s what works for me:
- I never eat food that has (or is supposed to have) alcohol in it. Never mind the idea that the alcohol burns off in a bourbon steak, or the chef can forgo a boozy sauce. I’ll have something else, no big deal
- When someone says, “let’s get a beer”, innocently and with a sense of camaraderie, I have to immediately say, “I don’t drink”, and offer a coffee share. Otherwise I don’t advertise my status as a member of AA, but I just can’t countenance someone on Earth thinking I drink
- When in a restaurant, if I am offered a drink, I have to say, “I don’t play that way”, politely. Not sure how this one started
- I have zero issue being around alcohol/ bars/ etc. Normal life. But I do stay away from people, places, and things that feel alcoholic. Hard to explain this one, but it has very little to do with actual alcohol consumption. It’s one of the mysteries of AA— ya can’t drink, but it ain’t really about drinking. It’s about fear and resentment. Weird, right?
- If I have some real trouble, I write/ call my ad hoc sponsor. You know who you are
Pretty simple program. I want to be a better AA. If you have any questions about recovery, hit me up.