Magazine

From the April 2015 magazine.

Shakin' it up

A member with time struggles with his home group and finds out that change is good

One of the toughest changes I’ve had to make in sobriety is my home group. It came after watching a badly needed group inventory that brought out more issues than could be solved. It was an explosive business meeting where a long list of changes were rammed through by newcomers. Afterward, I could not return to the place I had called my home group for 15 years. Regardless, if there’s one thing I’ve learned in AA, it’s that a group has the right to be wrong.

For at least a year, I knew something was badly out of place at our meeting. The attendance had gone from of a high point of 60 to 70 members every day, to staggeringly low numbers of 10 to 20. Our treasurer reported at the group inventory that we had not given a single dime outside of the group—not to Intergroup, our district or area or GSO—in more than 14 months. Because we met five days a week, we were once one of the richest groups in five districts, and we freely shared that wealth at the various levels of service. But six months ago, we had to beg the church to lower our rent. We also used to have one of the largest literature displays and libraries in the city for newcomers. Now there are no Big Books or Step books available.

-- Derek R.

Kanata, Ontario, Canada

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