From the April 1962 magazine.

300,000 Tested Methods

of working the program and every one is the "right" way

I HAVE been in AA five years plus. In the beginning I slowly and somewhat painfully learned the basics by which I moved through twenty-four-hour segments of time and space without benefit (?) of alcohol. I am grateful for those early cornerstones of "Stay away from the first drink," "Easy does it," etc.; for the penetrating wisdom of the Twelve Steps. I leaned on them then, I lean on them now.

Another source of help were those moments when out of a speaker's story would flash some facet of his drinking which mirrored a phenomenon of my own drinking days (and nights). From such moments of identification would come a warmth and feeling of kinship which added strength to my sobriety. All these well-known and enduring factors are rightfully stressed in our meetings. But lately I have had a growing awareness of something else, which, to me, gives powerful, additional depth of understanding. It is the factor of our individual uniqueness and the ability of AA to meet our own particular needs which, like thumbprints, are never quite like anyone else's. The similarities between us as alcoholics are subject to continuing and exhaustive discussion in our group meetings. Our dissimilarities also deserve recognition.

-- W. W. W.

New Hyde Park, New York

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