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The Stories We Tell

An AA reflects on how we recover by sharing our personal experiences

When I arrived at the doors of AA some time ago, I had no knowledge of the Program, so one of the biggest surprises for me was to learn that I would be hearing and reading a lot of stories. In fact, one of the primary methods of carrying the AA message is through the telling of personal stories. I've learned that these individual stories are vitally important to my own recovery and the recovery of others.

The importance of relating our stories is stressed throughout the Big Book. Most of our literature, including Grapevine, contains numerous members' stories. In the chapter called "The Family Afterward," we read, "The alcoholic's past thus becomes the principle asset of the family and frequently it is the only one!" And later on the same page, "Cling to the thought that, in God's hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have—the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them." The AA Preamble says, "We are a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope…"

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