From the December 2010 magazine.

Prison politics

If you think your group's business meetings are tense, try having one behind bars

IF not for the last part of the Twelfth Tradition, "place principles before personalities," I would not have managed to stick around the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous. I'll explain. I have heard members say, "Don't leave before the miracle happens." I have seen many miracles occur in the rooms of AA over the last 15 years. For a fact, I am evidence that miracles do occur; however, I refuse to allow my ego to tell me that I am a miracle.

Once upon a time I was antisocial, but I stuck around until AA turned me into a social butterfly. That alone is a miracle, indeed, since my natural tendency when confronted with difficult issues--during a group conscience, or in the context of any large group of people I don't care to be around--is to say the hell with it, and to then get the hell out, rather than to participate in working out the issue. Many times when I had had enough of the political B.S., God sent his messenger to change my direction. You see, I learned AA in a men's prison, and since prisons are dominated by people with personality disorders, myself included, you can imagine how political meetings can become when fueled with testosterone and sometimes driven by megalomania, with a touch of more severe mental conditions.

-- WAYNE D.

Edgefield, S.C.

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