AA Grapevine April 2017 Issue is Out

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AA Grapevine April 2017 Issue is Out

Post by Thumper »

April 2017 Table of Contents
Room 307
Alone and afraid, a young alcoholic
enters a facility that will connect
her to AA and a better life

Jump start
The information he got in
treatment about the program
started this young man’s engine
and put his sobriety in high gear

Basic training.
Five weeks of outpatient were the
building blocks to AA and a sober

Just released—what now?
When it’s time to leave the facility
and there’s booze on every corner,
Bridging the Gap can help

Miracle in Hollywood
After years of relapsing, he finally
connected to AA at a recovery
house in the town known for
making dreams come true

Here come the vans
Just when he felt too nervous to do
service, some guys who needed help
saved the day

Any lengths.
A former Class A Trustee and
addiction professional shares about
the wonderful ride she and AA
have been on for the past 26 years

Steps and Traditions

Deep cleaning
How several years of self-
examination and inventories gave
her peace and set her free to help others
Related:Power of the pen

Cake or no cake.
After moving to different towns,
a member gets a big lesson in how
other meetings like to clap, share,
pass the basket and celebrate

Our Personal Stories

He thought he had the perfect cover,
that he could keep everyone away—until
someone saw right through it

She completely changed the
menu. The liquor had to go
Related: The power needed

Good news for Miss Dog.
No job, no house, no money—he
knew it was time to end it all. But
what about his poodle?
Related: Yesterday’s mistakes

Into Action

A happy mending.
A disastrous start to an overseas
trip was saved by some cheerful,
service-loving Brits


Bird trouble.
He was in a jam alright, but it
wasn’t over feathers. This time
liquor had him locked up good

Emotional Sobriety

Free to fly.
During a tough time, a husband
takes action and finds new ways to
take the next right step

Great stories. All things about the Grapevine can be seen here thanks to e-AA. http://www.e-aa.org/grapevine.php But, you will need to have a full subscription to read them all. You can enter to win to win a free subscription as a gift from e-AA http://www.e-aa.org/form_gv.php or subscribe yourself at https://store.aagrapevine.org/Subscript ... aspx?PC=AG

Let me share (with permission) just one of the stories. I do not have the opportunity to attend F2F meetings here in Saudi. But when at home in the USA, we celebrate sober anniversaries different in different ways and every meeting has its own traditions. This is a good one.

Cake or no cake
After moving to different towns, a member gets a big lesson in how other meetings like to clap, share, pass the basket and celebrate

I got sober in a large metropolitan area where there were well over 200 meetings per day listed in our Where and When. Meetings varied in attendance and content: some were open, some closed; some were Step meetings, some Big Book meetings. There were discussion meetings and speaker meetings. Groups might only meet once a week or have multiple meetings every week, even several a day. Variety was there in all its glory and I thought nothing of it.

At around five years of sobriety, I moved to a small rural town where there was only one meeting a day in my county and only seven groups in our entire three-county district. The meetings and the people seemed so different that I found myself reporting to my former big-city sponsor: “They don’t do it right here!”

Among my issues were the way folks celebrated sober anniversaries. In my old city, anniversaries were celebrated at the big weekly speaker meetings with cake, cards and medallions. They announced who was celebrating, and where, at least three weeks in advance. Group secretaries used pocket calendars to keep the parties straight.

In my new town, no announcements were made. In fact, no anniversaries were celebrated at all. You picked up a chip at whatever meeting you attended on the day of your anniversary. Everyone clapped and that was it—what a letdown.

I learned that there are two major lines of thought on this: Some feel that celebrating an anniversary is an ego trip that should be minimized. Others think it very important to make a big deal out of an anniversary to show the newcomer that the program works. My new home group was somewhere in between.

Eventually, I moved again to a slightly larger community with more and bigger meetings, and more than 30 groups in my district. In my new town, anniversaries were celebrated at special speaker meetings once a month, where cake, cards and medallions are offered. I felt like I was “home” again, even though it was not exactly how it was done back in the big city, where they did it right.

Imagine my surprise—and attitude adjustment—when a woman moved to my new town from the same place I had gotten sober—and complained that we “didn’t do it right here.” Her big issue was “half-time.” In our old area, the meeting leaders often read the announcements and passed the basket halfway through the meeting, while my new groups would make the announcements and pass the basket at the beginning of the meeting.

I have attended meetings from Oregon to Florida to New York to San Francisco, as well as meetings in several foreign countries. In one meeting I visited, they announced that cross-talk was not permitted and if you had something to say to someone else, you wrote them a note. Note cards were then presented to the attendees. In another meeting, a speaker talked for a half hour and then everyone took a smoke break, coming back to finish the meeting with open discussion. In one large city, a meeting starts off with the readings and someone offers a topic, then the group counts off by ones and twos to split up and discuss the topic in smaller groups.

The bottom line is this: The details of the format are not important, no more than the details of the individual alcoholic. I may be old or young, wear glasses or a beard, be male or female. None of that changes the fact that I am alcoholic. Whether a meeting offers note cards or passes the basket at the midpoint of the meeting doesn’t take away from the message of sobriety offered by the folks who are present in the meeting.

The Fourth Tradition permits the individuality of each group to reflect their own personality, which then allows each of us to retain our own individuality while we pursue our common goal—to stay sober and help another alcoholic get sober. Today I find that comforting.

-- Rosemary P.
Waynesboro, Virginia, USA

Peace and Sobriety,
Dale B.

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