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What all does AA give us? A member in Kentucky attempts to answer.

A newcomer recently asked me what AA taught me. I thought, how on earth can I summarize my time in the Fellowship?

First off, it taught me how to be a decent person and how to live a life inconceivably better than the one I had been living. It taught me how to form a connection with an amazing community of recovering alcoholics and a Higher Power of my own understanding. I learned that AA is a “we” program. We learn from each other, and we are here for each other.

Over the years, I’ve gotten to listen to members who offer hope when it seems like there’s no hope. I’ve learned from those who share that humility is not humiliating and those who show us the futility of envy. I’ve listened to those who show gratitude in the face of deep loss, who give more than they take and who show how faith can overcome fear.

Fellow members have taught me how to pull myself off my pity-pot, demonstrate generosity in the face of personal poverty and appreciate the perpetual joy of practicing our Twelve Step principles. They have encouraged me to embrace the love in our Fellowship and become a more honest, kind and emotionally sober human being.

This has been my experience. Our sponsors lead us and our sponsees show us. Newcomers inspire us and old-timers forgive us. We’re here for each other. We lift each other up, we take this journey together and yes, sometimes we even carry one another across a deep, icy stream. That’s what we do. We’re AA. What we’ve been given is a gift, and we’ve learned how to give it all away.

By Alex M, Louisville, KY, Reprinted from the May 2024 A.A. Grapevine. Used with permission.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the AA Cleveland District Office.