Grapevine Online Exclusive

Published September 2013.

A Six-Week Tour in AA

He went to help his daughter out and discovered that maybe he belonged there too

There is a practice at some AA meetings to ask, "Is there anyone here who is attending an AA meeting for the first time?" If someone raises a hand, then the topic for that meeting becomes Step One. The old-timers then share their experience with that step describing what it was like for them before AA, what happened and what it is like now.

These sharers are carrying out the language of Tradition Five: "Each group has but one primary purpose—to carry its message to the alcoholic who still stuffers." The testimonies of those who share are directed to an assortment of men, women and young people at vastly different stages of recovery. There are those who have not yet reached the point of acceptance, those who have crossed the bridge of acceptance into the realm of recovery, and those in recovery who are actively engaged in the remaining 11 steps. They give life to the Twelfth Step and are carrying the message.

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