From the April 1992 magazine.

A Quiet Invitation

I felt alone, alienated. I was just a couple of years in the program and had recently moved from a village of a few thousand to a city of over half a million. I missed my friends and my home group. I missed the meetings I knew well, the ones that saved my life. The big-city meetings lacked the friendliness, the warmth, and the intimacy of my village groups. The largest meetings I had known were never more than a dozen or so; "small" meetings in the city were often in excess of forty people. I felt lost in them. Speaker meetings were the most common, with often well over a hundred people sitting in a large room. Smaller discussion meetings like the ones that sobered me up were rare. There were none within miles of where I lived. Complaints about what was wrong with the new-to-me AA were a part of almost all my phone calls to my sponsor back home.

"It will take time for your homesickness to end," he said after one particularly angry call from me. "But," he continued, "keep going to meetings, whether you like them or not. They will help you get out of your negative thinking." Before I could say anything he added, "Why not give some thought to what the 'Twelve and Twelve' has to say about the Fourth Tradition? It might give you some ideas that can help you understand better what AA is all about. That's also a part of your problem."

-- Jamie C.

W. Henrietta, New York

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