“Assuming we are spiritually fit, we can do all sorts of things alcoholics are not supposed to do. People have said we must not go where liquor is served;
we must not have it in our homes;
we must shun friends who drink;
we must avoid moving pictures which show drinking scenes;
we must not go into bars; our friends must hide their bottles if we go to their houses;
we mustn’t think or be reminded about alcohol at all.
Our experience shows that this is not necessarily so.
We meet these conditions every day. An alcoholic who cannot meet them, still has an alcoholic mind; there is something the matter with his spiritual status.”
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Working With Others, pg. 100~
I asked myself, “Why can’t the Twelve Steps work to release me from this unbearable depression?” By the hour, I stared at the St. Francis Prayer: “It is better to comfort than to be comforted.”
Suddenly I realized what the answer might be. My basic flaw had always been dependence on people or circumstances to supply me with prestige, security, and confidence. Failing to get these things according to my perfectionists dreams and specifications, I fought for them. And when defeat came, so did my depression.
Reinforced by what grace I could find in prayer, I had to exert every ounce of will and action to cut off these faulty emotional dependencies upon people and upon circumstances. Then only could I be free to love as Francis had loved.
As Bill Sees It p.63
When a drunk shows up among us and says that he doesn’t like the A.A. principles, people, or service management, when he declares that he can do better somewhere else–we are not worried. We simply say, “Maybe your case really is different. Why don’t you try something else?”
If an A.A. member says he doesn’t like his own group, we are not disturbed. We simply say, “Why don’t you try another one? Or start one of your own.”
To those who wish to secede from A.A. altogether, we extend a cheerful invitation to do just that. If they can do better by other means, we are glad. If after trial they cannot do better, we know they face a choice:
They can go mad or die or they can return to A.A. The decision is wholly theirs. (As a matter of fact, most of them do come back.)