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Here’s What I Loved About AA
I was a devoted 12-Stepper while behind bars and regularly attended a daily meeting for the last 18 months of my sentence.
Although I didn’t continue going after my release, what I learned during those months was invaluable.
Here’s a look at a few of the things I loved most about AA:
- The Fellowship: I found it comforting to be with a group of people who understood – better than anyone else – what I had been through. Our shared bond created an instantaneous connection. In all honesty, I’ve found that the fellowship I had with my AA group has been hard to replicate out in the “free world.” After all, there aren’t many places where you’re greeted by people who are genuinely happy to see you and rooting for your success.
- Having fun without alcohol: When I was a practicing lawyer in my 20s, everything I did in my free time involved drinking. My entire social circle drank, so I just figured that was what everyone did to unwind. Oh, how wrong I was! AA introduced me to the big, fun world of sober activities and you know what? I’ve never been happier.
- No more glorifying the past: While behind bars, memories of all the “good times” kept me going. I often found myself dreaming of those carefree, drunken nights out on the town. But AA opened up my eyes to the negative effects alcohol had on my life. The “fun” I experienced was fleeting and followed by much longer feelings of emptiness, humiliation and self-disgust.
- Spirituality: Even though my grandfather is a retired Baptist preacher, I didn’t grow up super religious. In fact, I rebelled against religion in my 20s, often thinking that God’s sole purpose in my life was to make me miserable. But after I survived a near-fatal car crash, I truly started to believe in a Higher Power again. I liked AA’s focus on spirituality and some of the phrases I learned in there, like “Let go and Let God,” still give me peace, clarity and focus today.
My Journey Inspired
I respect and admire those who’ve chosen AA as their path. It’s a great program and I regularly use what they taught me in my everyday life. If you’re looking for outside support or some extra help to maintain your sobriety, check out your local AA chapter. You’ll be glad you did.
Additional Reading: A Cautionary Tale: Beware of the 13th Steppers
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