From the February 1969 magazine.

Happy Because I'm Sober

This AA looked at the people around him who were progressing most in the program. Here's what he found. . .

SINCE my earliest days in this Fellowship, I have heard about something called happy sobriety. Apparently, this is a special product of our way of life; if you work things out with the tools our Fellowship provides, the product is yours. But some feel it should be theirs as a matter of right, or simply for the asking. These poor souls overlook the vital word in the above statement: work. The AAs who are supremely happy, I find, are those who really work the program. Indeed, they live it--day by day, even minute by minute.

Most of us have jobs and families. After all, we tell ourselves, we ducked these responsibilities while drinking, so isn't it a prime part of our new life to meet them head-on? As we start out bravely, it is the easiest and most natural thing in the world to get so involved with our personal problems that we have little time to engage in Fellowship activity. First, we gradually adjust our AA schedule to our convenience. Often, this leads to minimum regularity: a meeting a week perhaps; then a meeting each month; and, of course, nothing aside from this waning number of meetings unless we are urgently called upon. Even then it must suit our convenience. Conversely, many of us go overboard in a maelstrom of enthusiastic AA activity. Some of these do not have family and job responsibilities. Others do, but obviously neglect them.

-- L. H.

Cleaveland, Ohio

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