From the February 1980 magazine.

A Great Loss Made Him Even More Grateful for AA

AFTER NEARLY forty years of drinking followed by over seven years of happy sobriety, I found I had fallen into a certain degree of complacency. I was then subjected to a fearful shock that jolted me to my foundations and forced me to reassess completely my feelings about what AA meant to me and what I felt I owed the Fellowship.

Until that time, I had looked on AA as a sort of bank. When you first really want to stay sober, you borrow heavily on the experience, strength, and hope of your fellow members, hoping only that sufficient credit will be granted you to build a firm foundation of sobriety. I was given to understand that, after you're reasonably well established, it's customary to start paying back your loan by doing Twelfth Step work, serving on committees, making coffee, speaking at open meetings, and doing any one or more of the multitudinous jobs that have to be done to keep AA running smoothly and ready for the next newcomer who needs help.

-- J. V. B.

New Orleans, Louisiana

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