From the August 1984 magazine.

When Is an AA Meeting Not an AA Meeting?

EIGHTEEN YEARS ago, I thought I was the brightest newcomer who ever walked through the clubhouse door. In only a month or so, I was asked to be the chairman of a weekly AA discussion meeting. I was thrilled. I wanted to be different; I wanted to be outstanding. I made photocopies of some "tests" from a national magazine: "Do You Have a Temper?"; "Do You Feel Sorry for Yourself?"; "How Normal Are You?" I passed the copies around as the meeting started and announced we would all read the tests and discuss our answers.

Several older members of the Fellowship descended upon me like a swarm of angry bees. Of course, they were right, and their action preserved the integrity of that particular AA meeting. But at the time, I could not understand what I had done that was so wrong. I had thought my idea was an original, creative approach to Steps Four and Ten. I mumbled and grumbled to myself for a few weeks and then went out and got drunk.

-- B. M.

Huntington, West Virginia

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