“Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”
One of my favorite quotes from Chapter 7 in the Big Book is, “practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics” (pg. 89).
While incarcerated in county jail, I was either given or I found a Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous along with a pocket Bible. I was one of the lucky ones to have anything to read at all in what seemed to be a very horrific place. I read a little (very little) of both. The more pressing question was who I can or want to associate with. You have to learn very quickly in a place like this who you can trust and who you want to distance yourself from. There are LOTS of knuckle-heads! After a few days, I got settled in with a new cellmate. When he sees my reading material, he says that he has been to a few AA meetings a bunch of years ago. We both had the same story. We got into some kind of trouble with or at (insert home, work, relatives, neighbors, and people neither one of us knew), and out of pure desperation to cover our asses, we dragged ourselves into a couple of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.
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."