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December 1976

Too Much Drunkalog?

Sometimes, in our zeal to qualify ourselves as alcoholics, we forget to tell about our recovery

HAVE YOU ever gone to a meeting and come away feeling something was missing, but you're not sure what? I have. Some other members and I were talking about drunkalogs and how we feel about telling ours.

I believe it is excellent for new-corners to hear drinking stories so that they can identify. But if everyone follows the same pattern, telling drunk stories but adding very little about the AA program of recovery, we lose the purpose of the meeting.

When I came to the program, I felt lousy. I was sick of the life I had lived and the feelings I had felt. I desired an end to all that. It was good to hear others tell their stories, because I could see a little of me in all of them; but primarily I wanted to hear how to stay sober and follow a better way of life.

When a speaker meeting starts off with only the usual qualification, all other participants seem to follow suit. There have been times when I, too, have overqualified, finding it easier to relive the pre-AA side of my experience.

Some of us in my group feel that, in a discussion meeting at least, the qualifications should not get more attention than the topic. If one of us chairs a meeting, we try to be brief about how we got here and to concentrate on where we are.

When the Big Book says we share our experience, strength, and hope, I really feel it's referring to our AA experiences. We need to discuss our experience of handling daily life sober. We all know what it's like to drink. We came into AA to hear how not to drink and still live a normal life.

I think being aware of this problem may help. In our group, we are going to use this for a discussion topic.

I now try to forget the past to a degree. I try to steep myself in right now, in every positive thing the program teaches. It keeps me and many others sober.

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