Last night I attended a meeting that made me feel like I am some kind of AA artifact. Like I am some kind of older edition of AA - and I don't really understand this new edition.
The year my son was in Iraq, I went to this meeting nearly every single day and felt it saved my life. At the end of the year I had enough philosophical differences with the couple of men who felt they "owned" the meeting that I was always butting heads with them. I felt it would be just fine if I left the group.
Last night I was shocked by the difference a couple of years made in that meeting. When did they start chanting? The entire room recited whole portions of the "promises," including dramatically stretching out "sometimes s-l-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-w-l-y!"
One woman who had only been sober for a few days was urged to get her 24 hour chip out of her purse and pass it back around the room so that "we can fill it back up."
Is this some new form of AA that I don't understand?
Is this voodoo?
If passing around a chip and putting our "mojo" on it worked, I don't think we would see so many people with such large collections of 24 hour, 30 day, 60 day, and 90 day chips, but who cannot achieve any kind of sustainable sobriety.
I did not hear one word about God (other than some poor soul stating that he was raised a Catholic so had a really BAD idea about God - oh really?), getting a sponsor, working a step, or anything else that might help a person actually stay sober.
Do we think we can keep a person sober by telling them to go to lots of meetings where we pass around magical chips and chant magical words?
Get me to a time machine STAT!
My responsibility? I do go to meetings and talk about what I consider the real deal. I sponsor women and part of my sponsoring them is that they sponsor others. We do the steps as written in the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous. But I feel like I am swimming against the tide. A tsunami.