“Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”
My father was a great believer in the Socratic maxim that “the unexamined life is not worth living.” He was convinced that the quest for genuine self-knowledge, though it
often reveals unpleasant truths, is still the only workable foundation for a valuable life. I never asked him to explain why he was so attracted to this point of view or what he thought it meant. Had I done so, I don’t expect his explanation would have satisfied me or even made much sense. I was not a fearless child and the idea of uncompromising self-honesty made me uncomfortable. Even before I discovered alcohol, I learned to mask the real reasons for my behavior in layers of denial, self-justification and rationalization. I tended to move away from self-knowledge rather than toward it. Not until desperation drove me to the doors of Alcoholics Anonymous did I really begin to grasp the importance of self-examination. First there was pain. Living hurt. I didn’t begin my recovery from alcoholism until I was in my late fifties. By the time I joined the fellowship, I was utterly baffled and confused. I knew next to nothing about my self and what I did know, I didn’t much like. I was drinking to blunt a growing sense that my life was a pointless exercise in futility, and slowly but surely, that solution was beginning to break down. Out of pain came willingness. I abandoned myself to the idea that an entirely different way of seeing the world was both possible and necessary. The Twelve Steps provided me with a path to follow and for that I am deeply grateful.
Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.
The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for AA membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions.
AA is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy, neither endorses nor opposes any causes.
Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.
Before there was a "Big Book", Twelve Steps, Twelve Traditions, the "AA Grapevine" or General Service -- before there were meetings, clubs, conventions or any AA literature -- before there was an H&I committee, there was a visit to an Akron hospital where "one drunk talked to another."