I was asked at short notice to do a chair at a meeting last night. I said yes - I've learnt that it is best for me to do these things. Tradition 7! What?! Ok I talked about my view of it, I did a little research before dashing over there, like the 1986 Act AA had passed so it could refuse outside donations etc. I talked about for me this being more than money (although that is the real emphasis) but also about service etc.
Anyway - 20mins later I shut up. There was a newcomer in the meeting - I spoke with him afterwards. Poor man. "How do you just stop?" There is the dilemma of all alcoholics at this first step of the journey. Big tough lad he was, looked like he could handle himself if you get my drift. I asked him had he tried stopping, he had on his own via another programme all failed. Why was he here then? His kids, his daughters both late teens I think had said they'd disown him. One found where the meeting was and brought him to it. Unbelievable love. As he told me this, the tears welled then rolled down his cheeks. A tough, rough man beaten to and beyond surrender by drink. I hope he goes to more meetings, I hope he can put the drink down and I hope he can build a relationship back with his kids - who clearly love him dearly.
Whatever his outcome - today I am a totally grateful recovering alcoholic. I have all that he wants but seems so far from his reach. We were either side of a very thin dividing line. He's taken his first brave step - I hope his path continues.