Grapevine Online Exclusive

Published March 2011.

Web Exclusive: Must We Hear from Her Again?

It took years for this member to see that an old-timer’s simple message was the way to go.

“I came to AA to get the family off my back!”

“There she goes again,” I said as I nudged another newcomer next to me. She was Mercy, one of the matriarchs of the Monday night meeting who at that time had 30-plus years of sobriety. I was a relative newcomer with a couple of years who thought I knew everything about sobriety and AA and the book and AA history and how to share at meetings and … well, everything.

I had read many books on sobriety and recovery and knew that the purpose of meetings was to dig deep into psychological “issues” and how they related to my sobriety. I knew deep down that a solution as simple as Mercy’s might have been OK for them in the old days of the 1950s when she got sober. But it was 1989 and now we knew so much more about sobriety than those old-timers.

-- James J.

San Diego, California

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