WHAT HAPPENED TO OUR PRIMARY PURPOSE?
What IS our primary purpose?
Over the years the primary purpose of every recovered member of AA seems to have been lost. Our primary purpose is to work the steps, have a spiritual experience, and then take that message to another addict. We then try to give that person a vision of hope and strength and freedom. THAT is our primary purpose. Just read the steps if you don't believe that. The 12th step says that having had a spiritual experience, we take this message to the new person. But I'm afraid that got lost somewhere along the line.
We have let that message get so watered down over the years that our meetings have become a self based dumping ground for our everyday problems. Somehow we have gotten the idea that we are drinking and drugging because of our "issues" and that is not true. That's not to say that these issues didn't compound the problem and make it worse. I'm sure they did, but these issues only help propel us further into our addictions.
The real reason we drink and drug is because we are genetically wired to be addicts. We start out normal enough, but after years of pounding the stuff into our bodies and brains, we cannot stop on our own. EVER. And the bad feelings that we are feeling never go away. EVER! And we end up drinking and drugging for the rest of our lives, UNTIL WE DIE.
Folks, AA is not a self help program. I don't care what you've heard. It is a program of action and faith and we really don't do the helping...God does. All we have to do is follow the instructions laid down by the forefathers that wrote the book. They found an almost fool proof method for getting clean and staying sober and the success rates were thru the roof compared to today's statistics. They had almost a 75% success rate! Compare that to the less than 10% that we have now and you should be wondering what happened.
What happened was this, we got so worried about offending someone with the word GOD that we started to back away from the real program. We started letting the newcomers come to meetings and babble about how rotten their day or life was. We let them go on and on and then when they were done we would say "keep coming back...meeting makers make it!" That is rubbish! Meeting makers go to meetings until they just can't stand it anymore and they go out again. Sooner or later they all go out.
We are not Jr. therapists and we certainly aren't qualified to tell another how to run their life. We are a bunch of drunks staying sober thru the power of GOD! We should not be trying to fix problems. In our meetings that is not what we should be talking about! We are supposed to be talking about how the power of God changed our lives and how things are so much cooler now that we have Him on our side.
Don't get me wrong, we do need to talk sometimes, but do that when it's appropriate. Like after the meeting. That's what the fellowship is all about! Having someone to talk to that is in the same boat we are. Just not during a meeting.
I don't really care if someone has preconceived notions about how this works. I don't care if they have a problem using the word GOD. They will get over it or they won't. Either way, we have to let them know that He took our obsession away when no man or treatment center could do so. And that FAITH in a Higher Power has the power in itself to open up many doors for us. It can knock down any barrier that our minds have constructed over the years, in an instant.
The newcomers at meetings need to know that working the steps WILL get them connected to their Higher Power. That is the goal of the steps. Not to just stop us from using. It's about filling that void that is left empty when we take the booze and drugs away. For the true addict, our problems with ourselves usually get worse when we take those things away. And they certainly do leave a void. So we need to fill that emptiness with God's grace so we don't try to fill it on our own. (We all know what we will fill it with...the things that made us feel somewhat good!)
Once we get connected to God and start filling that void, our obsession with drink and drugs magically disappears! It's that simple! We are put into a place of neutrality around those things. Quitting drinking and doing drugs becomes almost an afterthought, a pleasant byproduct of the work. And if we do the steps quickly and honestly, we WILL have an experience to some degree. There's no doubt. In my opinion, the quicker you work the steps, the bigger the experience is going to be. Of course that is only true if you are thorough and HONEST.
Call it a psychic change or spiritual experience, the results are the same. The fear, depression, anxiety, loneliness and anger all simply go away, as does the obsession to drink and drug. We are taken to a whole new level of existence and way of thinking. And this is VITAL for the true addict's survival. Without it he is lost and will resume using within a matter of time...everytime! We addicts have been given one chance and one method to break thru the foggy thinking and get connected to God...and that is by working the steps rapidly, thoroughly and honestly. PERIOD!