When we first got sober we set foot in the AA meeting and asked, begged, for help. They told us to sit down and shut up, to go to meetings, find a sponsor, read the book, and be of service. We were instructed to go to 90 meetings in 90 days. The Big Book became our bible, and the fellowship became our family. We became born-again sobriety enthusiasts; we lived off coffee and cake, spoke highly of our newfound philosophy. Friends of Bill W were our friends, and we became disciples of Dr. Bob. If AA bumper stickers wouldn’t betray our anonymity, they would surely be plastered across our bumpers.
Soon we were attending meetings morning noon and night. In fact, we were at meetings more than we were home and at work combined. Our sponsors came before our mothers on our speed dial; an evening without fellowship was a bad evening. Program became what we lived for. We had become hopelessly addicted to AA.
What do we do when we find that our passion for AA fills the hole that our addictions left behind? When recovery becomes our drug of choice, where do we turn? It is not uncommon for us to become overzealous with our sobriety. Drugs and alcohol were the axis of evil, and AA became our saving grace. It was only natural for us to cling to what made us feel so good.
But addiction takes many forms. When we were out using, we were estranged from our families and ourselves. Recovery shouldn’t function in the same way. We go to meetings to heal, and heal those we have affected, not remain distant from them. We practice the principles because we yearn to change our reckless behavior, not to make us even more separate from our loved ones. The fellowship is meant to be a group to rely on, and not be dependent. AA is a tool for equalization, and not division. We use it to enhance life, and not to replace it.
It is crucial to remember that as much as Dr. Bob was recklessly practicing medicine while under the influence, he didn’t give up his medical profession when he got sober. Living life to the fullest is the message of AA. AA provides a fellowship, as well as tools for healthy decision-making, so that we can take in all that life has to offer with those we care about. You may be the secretary of your meeting, but don’t forget you are the CEO of your life.