Have you a sufficient substitute?

Chairing a discussion meeting for May. Think I’ll pick the following for tonight, always seems to be the same people getting involved and doing service. Not sure if we attract enough people to service at the moment. Although I don’t remember being a volunteer for most the service positions I’ve been lucky to be trusted with, one arm seemed to be up my back, although it always proved result in me getting farĀ  more out of the service I did than the effort it took to do it.

We have shown how we got out from under. You say, “Yes, I’m willing. But am I to be consigned to a life where I shall be stupid, boring and glum, like some righteous people I see? I know I must get along without liquor, but how can I? Have you a sufficient substitute?”

Yes, there is a substitute and it is vastly more than that. It is a fellowship in Alcoholics Anonymous. There you will find release from care, boredom and worry. Your imagination will be fired. Life will mean something at last. The most satisfactory years of your existence lie ahead. Thus we find the fellowship, and so will you.

“How is that to come about?” you ask. “Where am I to find these people?”

You are going to meet these new friends in your own community. Near you, alcoholics are dying helplessly like people in a sinking ship. If you live in a large place, there are hundreds. High and low, rich and poor, these are future fellows of Alcoholics Anonymous. Among them you will make lifelong friends. You will be bound to them with new and wonderful ties, for you will escape disaster together and you will commence shoulder to shoulder your common journey. Then you will know what it means to give of yourself that others may survive and rediscover life. You will learn the full meaning of “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”

It may seem incredible that these men are to become happy, respected, and useful once more. How can they rise out of such misery, bad repute and hopelessness? The practical answer is that since these things have happened among us, they can happen with you. Should you wish them above all else, and be willing to make use of our experience, we are sure they will come. The age of miracles is till with us. Our own recovery proves that!
Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous

 

One thought on “Have you a sufficient substitute?

  1. The practical answer is that since these things have happened among us, they can happen with you. Should you wish them above all else, and be willing to make use of our experience, we are sure they will come.

    Spoke with my sponsor tonight after a group conscience on Saturday when we discussed the possibilty of our group closing down if things don’t change. In my frustration, I told him you know that things won’t. They haven’t in four years. My defense: We need more time. I’ve been thinking about that. That has been my major plea to God: I need more time as if I were asking for a stay from execution. The truth of the matter I never get anything done with more time other than more worry and more solutions that won’t work. But I continually ask for it. Sometimes I ask for it, because I don’t want the judgment to be passed. Other times I ask for it because I believe a miracle will come.
    “Wait and see.” Then I remember a scene in Cider House Rules…it’s selfish to ask others to wait and see on the premise that you are just indecisive. There are even parables about how being lukewarm is worse than choosing either side. So it comes back to doubt: I know that this works for you, but can this work for me? Can I truly build lifelong friends in this fellowship even though I have friends that have been with me through my sobriety? Is it true that these people know more at times than I know myself? Of course all these questions are true. I just ask myself all the time how in the world did this happen when it never happened before? And I know the truth to that one as well. Because it was necessary for me to live and not die.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *