When anyone, anywhere reaches out for help, I want the hand of AA always to be there; for that I am responsible. This is a declaration from an international convention of Alcoholics Anonymous in 1965. This is the platform on which AA started. It is one alcoholic helping another by sharing what we went through. In Alcoholics Anonymous there are all kinds of people, some we may never have associated with outside of AA. Something about the common bond of the disease of alcoholism, we are basically stripped down to nothing but a desire to be sober.
When I walk through the doors of AA I have a feeling of having come home. I feel safe and it is the only time that I don’t feel ashamed of being an alcoholic and an addict. I am not implying that I walk around with my head down all day feeling useless, I do often feel less than when I am with people who know I am an alcoholic. Many people in my family drink especially when we get together. I have one brother-in-law who will inevitably ask me if I would like to try something he is drinking. His next sentence is “that’s right you can’t drink”. My reply is always “yes I can drink but for today I chose not to”.Those are the times that I feel maybe not ashamed, but at the very least I feel different from them.
Alcoholics Anonymous is an anonymous program. However, many of us in the program are very open about our disease. I feel so strongly about the above declaration, I will openly share that I am an alcoholic in case the person standing next to me is suffering and needs to hear that he/she is not alone.
Alcoholics Anonymous is a fantastic program started by two men who couldn’t stop drinking. These two men went on to stay sober for years until their deaths just by carrying the message of hope. These men worked very hard to make sure that the program would always be around and not be weakened thereby creating the 12 traditions. The most important part of Alcoholics Anonymous is when anyone, anywhere reaches out for help, we want the hand of AA to always be there and for that we are all responsible.