Hilarious AA speaker, Karl M. shares from his heart a wonderful story about his journey from active alcoholism to recovery. He highlights the importance of one alcoholic working with another, and how that is the foundation of the program.
Alcoholics Anonymous in its purest form
I saw other people that were going to two or three meetings over that weekend. I learned something about how we go to meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous. I am going to correlate it to a football team. Now, a football team is out there on the field for one reason, and one reason only, to win the game. How do they win that game? They make a plan in the huddle, run a play, and then make another plan together, and so on. This is exactly what we do here in Alcoholics Anonymous, and the game around here, is one day without a drink. If you do that one day at a time, you’re a big winner. How do we do that one day at a time? Well, we run in here and we huddle up. In the huddle we say, “Everyone remember we’re bodily and mentally different from our fellows.” Then we go out there in the world and we try a little of this and we try a little of that.
I remember in my Navy days, on our ship there was one other sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous. He was waiting for me, and his name was Bob W.. He was fourteen months sober and he became my first sponsor even before I asked him. He could care less whether I wanted him to be my sponsor or not. He was trying to save his own life, and he was all over me. He had me as a captive audience, and at times I would feel like jumping off the ship to get away from him. I’m really, really grateful for this guy though. We were the blind leading the blind in my first two years of AA sobriety. I was a nomad. Our ship went up and down the west coast, up into Alaska, down to South America, and out to Hawaii. He and I would go to meetings wherever we could. When the ship was out at sea, I would meet him at end of the ship, way down in this little battery shop in this little room at the bottom of the engine room.
I remember the very first night that I met him down there, he had that blue book with him and he tossed it down the table. He asked, “Have you read it?” I said, “Yes. There’s something like how it works. We antagonize some doctor with an opinion about something.” Just remember, he was fourteen months sober at this time. He kind of didn’t know what he was doing. He opened up the book and he started to read, when he was tired, I would read. I really think that Alcoholics Anonymous in its purest form is the blind leading the blind. We were two guys trying to have an experience with the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous and we didn’t even know what that experience would be.
Note: Karl’s story highlights that one alcoholic can help another regardless of how much time they have. There are many misconceptions out there about length of sobriety before working with others. In Karl’s experience, the man who saved his life was sober only a couple months over a year. While each group and each sponsor may have a different opinion on this matter, the undeniable truth is that one alcoholic talking to another can be a catalyst for a life-changing spiritual experience.