I attended the SRI Roundup this weekend – well as much as I attend roundups: I went to the Friday night speaker, the Saturday banquet and Saturday night speaker. I would have attended the Sunday morning speaker which I normally associate with the “spiritual” talk, but they do it differently here – here it’s a local person on Sunday’s and I figure I’ll hear them ranting eventually in a meeting so I can stay home and do chores.
Friday nights speaker was the energetic Katie P from Austin, TX. She told a very powerful story and it hit all the right points, I really appreciated her talk. She was funny at times, told of tragic happenings and stressed the importance of the Big Book, the Steps and even the Traditions. During her talk she talked about having “meeting based sobriety” which is different than “solution based recovery” and it was just right.
“The feeling of having shared in a common peril is one element in the powerful cement which binds us. But that in itself would never have held us together as we are now joined.” Alcoholics Anonymous, page 17
The fellowship is not sufficient on it’s own for real recovery from alcoholism was what she was relaying to us. In her experience she spent decades going to meetings for the sake of going to meetings before she needed something more. When she finally hit a spiritual bottom while sober for quite a while she found real solutions in the Book.
I myself never found a need to go to more than a few meetings a week, it would seem odd to stop going to bars and hangouts only to now to to AA houses and fellowship things. To be recovered we become a part of society again and that’s all society not just the rooms of AA.
Here in Phoenix I hear people say they are going to meetings two times a day, seven days a week and it just baffles me, these people have 20+ years and say they have to do that to maintain their sobriety… I say, there is a real solution in the book that will show you precisely to recover from alcoholism – and that solutions doesn’t mention 4 hours each day in AA. Going to meetings every day is “meeting based sobriety”, going every day to get a small spiritual fix in a meeting when a real solutions is in the action described in the book is insane.
The AA program is threefold: Recovery, Unity, Service – we need all three.
The Saturday night speaker was a “slogan slinger” he had a lot of slogans and stories to tell, most of them not his. It brought lots of laughs and claps, but it wasn’t his story really and that would have probably been a better talk.