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April 1956

Remember When?

"THIS is a slogan we see at many meetings," said the leader of our discussion group. "Let's see how we can use it to start a line of thought for tonight."

"If I remember when I came to AA with the shakes and sweats and butterflies only a month ago, I believe it will keep me away from that first one," said Mary.

"Yes, Mary, that first one is the one that does the damage," said the leader.

"You were called on to carry the message, Roy, but when you arrived you found your patient in the process of changing his mind. Have you anything you'd like to say?"

"Well," said Roy, "he gave me so many doggone excuses why he figured he wasn't an alcoholic that I got a bit browned off. Then I 'remembered when' I was in the same boat and the message was carried to me by three different people before I was ready to throw in the sponge. So who was I to criticize?"

"It isn't only the new contact that gives us the opportunity to practice patience and tolerance," said Tom. "About a hundred miles from here lives a chap with whom I went to college. We had done a lot of partying together. When I came to AA I began to realize that even at that time my drinking wasn't normal, nor did I think his was. Sometime later I planned to spend a weekend with him. After a good gabfest my chum decided to try AA I took him to the nearest group meeting and he really seemed to click with the gang.

"That was three years ago. In the first two years I made four return trips to see him, at his request, when he suffered relapses. Then I 'remembered when' I was so mentally ill that my own first approach was not successful. I had been at AA but nut in it. Then I had enough understanding to keep trying, patiently and slowly.

"This year has brought great rewards. We are both contentedly sober."

"That suggests to me one of our other slogans--use it or lose it--which we may be able to consider at a later date," said the leader.

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