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October 1994

Your Move

The Path to Sobriety

Responses from young readers on the topic of singleness of purpose

When I came into the program at the age of eighteen, I didn't know what singleness of purpose was. Come to think of it, the only thing I knew was how to get drunk. I was scared, lonely, and didn't know what to expect. But people in the program started to give me hope that I could stay sober. I couldn't believe that these people wanted to help me and didn't want anything in return.

People in the program who were ten, twenty years older than myself would take me out with them for ice cream or coffee after the meeting. Believe it or not, I had just as much fun with these older guys as I did with guys my own age. They showed me the path to sobriety and convinced me that I was worth something in this world today.

Now, five years later, it is my job to keep our singleness of purpose alive. The way I see it, singleness of purpose is to carry the message to the still suffering alcoholic who needs help like I needed help.

I remember being in a meeting after my first anniversary and seeing this guy come in with a Mohawk hairdo, ripped shirt, and raggedy jeans. I said to myself, this guy is never going to make it. As the meeting was going on I was still judging him in my head. When the meeting ended, I started to feel guilty for what I was thinking about this guy I didn't even know. What would have happened to me if people had judged me and hadn't given me a chance? Would I be here today or would I still be getting drunk?

I can't honestly answer that question, but I can tell you I stopped judging that newcomer and introduced myself to him instead. From that day on, we have been best friends and I was able to help him like people helped me in the beginning.

So I always need to remember AA's singleness of purpose and have my hand out for the next person.

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