I am so fortunate that I had every bad experience known to mankind when I came into AA. And I never thought about leaving. I didn't want to drink. I had tried getting sober on my own, to no avail. I knew I needed AA. So, I persevered and found better/healthier - groups/people/places/things.
I believe that God not only takes care of us when we are drunks, and then kindly guides us to the doors of AA, but that he also walks in with us and takes care of us as we try to get sober. I have left meetings with newcomers and found that they have been at the same meeting that I was just in, but had an entirely different experience. I have found in AA that for every person sitting in a meeting, every person will take away something different.
If you are done drinking, you will find a way to stay sober in AA. If you are looking for an excuse to get drunk, anything will do.
Yesterday I had a wonderful experience speaking at a meeting I had never been to before. It was a lovely group. I was greeted in the parking lot, I was greeted in the meeting room, I was treated kindly - just like I was a newcomer - because they didn't know me from Adam - until I started talking, and then every alcoholic in the room knew me on a cellular level! It was nice. My message isn't always easy to take if you are new in AA. My story isn't really pretty. It gets nice looking later on, but it starts kind of bad and stays that way for a long time.
After I was done talking, some guy shared - I am not real sure what he was saying, but he did say "if they told me that when I was a newcomer, I would have run the other way." I don't know if he was responding to something I said or not... and I don't care. After the meeting, I felt like a movie star with people flocking around - and this is something I am very very uncomfortable with. It is my story, it is not something I made up creatively. It is not something that displays talent or work. It is a story about the grace of God doing something for me that I could absolutely not do for myself. It was nice that they liked me, but there is something creepy about being praised for telling your story. And that is why, at a roundup or convention, or other AA event, as everyone else stands to give the speaker a standing ovation, I remain firmly in my seat. Why on earth would you give an alcoholic a standing O? It is ego feeding and just wrong!
My story is my story. I do not try to make it sound good to impress anyone. I do not try to make it sound bad to impress anyone. I love to tell it to remind myself of where I have been in this life, because I do forget.
I thank God for His many graces. Without them we would all be dead.
"The power of God goes deep." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 114