Grapevine Online Exclusive

Chanting to a Stone Wall

For this prisoner, the endless discussions about various practices in meetings is a luxury he doesn't have

I am in prison trying to clean up the wreckage of my past. I've been in and out of the program for many years. I've been reading issues of Grapevine for a while here. There's not much else to do in a cell for 20 hours a day.

A few things upset me about some of the articles past and present. Specifically, I mean the useless griping about seemingly trivial things like holding hands in meetings, saying the Lord's Prayer, or people who have other addictions.

From where I am sitting, it would be an honor to say any prayer with anyone anywhere for any reason. I don't want to die of this horrible disease and would do anything to be relieved of this nightmare.

Some people like options, for me there aren't any. If I was told that the only way to sobriety was to chant to a stone wall, I would do it.

I have hit so many bottoms and they have gotten lower and lower until I finally reached down to my coffin and sat on the lid. I figured there that I better either open it and get in or look up at the sky. When you are in that position, everything is better.

Holding hands or not, praying or not, mentioning drugs or not. If I am focused on that, I will lose the way out of this. AA has done fine for a long time so I will leave it alone and just try to help the next sick person that needs it.

—Damon S., Bonne Terre, Mo.

Related Items:

Sober Language
This AA wonders if profanity in meetings does more harm than good to the program

The Preacher and the Meeting
An AA tells how his home group had to find a new space to avoid hearing the message of the church

Gold Chip Sobriety?
A member questions the role chips and coins play in the program

A Desire to Stop Drinking
A member discusses his thoughts on singleness of purpose