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Nov 14

where it begins and ends for us

“It seems to me, in the beginning, a home group is all most of us can possibly handle.  It’s where we first find a sponsor, where someone first sees that we get a Big Book, where we first see the Steps on the wall, where we learn again to pray, and where we first begin to recover.”  p. 17  AA Grapevine booklet:  The Home Group:  Heartbeat of AA

it is easy to get caught up in the normal, everyday vibe and routine of working the program…it is in this haze that we forget our primary purpose, and possibly let some of our visitor’s slip through the cracks…it is my understanding that the goal of our meetings is to carry the message to the still suffering addict/alcoholic…however, there have been meetings i attend where that ideal gets diluted…every now and then i come into a room that is reminiscent of a group therapy session…at these times i feel it is vital to remember who the most important person in the room is

when i share in a meeting, i try my best to speak directly to the newcomer…not cross-talk, but in a general way…i act as if a chair is being filled by a person who doesn’t know the first thing about staying sober, or a 12 step program, for that matter…very valuable information can be lost in some of our meetings…things as simple as announcements for sponsor’s to raise their hand…i always make sure to pipe up quickly when this happens…”what’s a sponsor?”, i say…this always generates laughter (particularly from the chairperson)…but, really…a person first walking into the room may not have a clue what it means to sponsor another member, much less the meaning of true membership

the founders of this program knew what they were doing when they wrote our literature…it speaks directly to the heart of those affected…whether they be the drunk, the addict, the husband, the wife, the parent, best friend, concerned pastor or physician…it all speaks to those who are misinformed or completely bewildered by the predicament they currently find themselves in…the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous was written when membership was small (about 100)…it was meant to reach the world outside the two already established meetings, so that all could enjoy the solution they had found

so, when we share in meetings, keep in mind that you may be the only Big Book or basic text the new man may ever hear…reserve you personal problems and tribulations to that meeting with your sponsor…or after the meeting, in the parking lot or half measures room with your close friends in the program…keep the meeting shares to how it was designed…provide good information for those who desperately need to hear it…tell them what it was like when you were getting loaded…what exactly happened when you finally decided to stop…and what it is like now that you have managed to stay sober for sometime…that is the most valuable experience you have to offer…that is what speaks to the hearts and minds of the afflicted…it is what keeps the pulse of our home group meetings beating