From the October 1981 magazine.

A Motley Crew

Tradition 3 - The only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking

ONE OF THE fears that dogged me at the beginning was that I would not meet the requirements for membership. Every night at a meeting, the definition of Alcoholics Anonymous was read, and I heard "the only requirement." But my sense of uniqueness told me that the requirements for me would be different and more difficult. I concluded that they would be sprung on me at some critical moment. Either I would pass with flying colors and be instantly upgraded, or I would have to pay somebody off in order to hang on to my AA membership.

From my vantage point of twenty sober years later, it seems a pretty bizarre attitude. At the time, it made very good sense.

-- W. H.

Manhattan, New York

This is a preview. To view the full article, use the link below to begin a free 7-day trial!