I can remember back to the very day, when I was new and sitting in a meeting trying to sort it out.
And, one of those "strange things" started going on in my head. It was a memory, of when I was a little kid about five years old. My family had moved into a big apartment building on Sunset Blvd. in Los Angeles -- we were new to the area and the whole thing of big city and apartment building was totally new and awesome to me as a kid!
I watched these two little scrawny guys lift this huge piano up to a second or third floor balcony type thing... with some ropes and pulleys. Neither one of those guys could have picked up the piano, and I doubt seriously if they both could have lifted it together!
But, with those pulleys and the ropes... they easily lifted the piano! That had become one of my favorite kid memories for years. I became a pulley fan! And, I started collecting pulley wheels and ropes hoping to someday figure out how they did it!
When I was sitting in the meeting, and the weird thing happened to me, it brought back that memory. Somebody had said something about "tools" or something and then said something about the 12 Steps. I was still too much in a fog to know what they really were talking about, but suddenly the thought crossed my mind like "Tools? Okay. I know what tools are! Wrenches and screwdrivers and sockets! Oh year... like a car jack, too! Lifting a car w/ a jack... that I would never be able to lift on my own strength, but w/ a jack! No problemo! And, then the memory flashed up w/ the two scrawny guys... and the ropes and pulleys... and I thought... Oh! Okay! 'Power Greater than Myself, eh?' By using 'tools' I could do something that I could never do before!"
That's when I started thinking... "12 Steps? Hmmm. 12 Wrenches! 12 Jacks! 12 Screwdrivers! 12 Pulleys w/ ropes!"
So, I started to believe in something that made sense to me. "A Power that I could have some kind of my own understanding about!" Something personal to me! And, that was the kicker that got me started. Once I had opened my mind to Something... even if it were only 'tools'... it made sense to me. I figured, Okay! I can try this! I'll try the Steps!
That was near the same time that my sponsor had said to me, about the necessity of "letting go of my old ideas absolutely" and that he thought I wouldn't be able to do that! He said, that he didn't believe that I could let go of my old ideas... and it was my old ideas that were going to keep me from staying sober and being able to get this deal. He had worked with probably a couple of hundred drunks and had helped them... but he told me he had never worked w/ one as bad off as I was!
And, said "don't get your hopes too high!"
Years later... he said he didn't say that to me!
He said 'you might have heard that but I didn't tell you that!" And, to this day, I'd swear that he did! I heard it!
What I heard -- even though he swears he didn't say it -- was precisely what I needed to hear! It was the truth! And, the truth was in the process of setting me free! The truth was: I was hopeless! I had already lost the game! I was nuts! I couldn't save myself, and even the greatest sponsor I could find... and all the human power in AA... couldn't help me! I needed a power greater than all of that! And, if I didn't find a way to find one -- I was screwed! Doomed!
So, I became willing to do anything and go to any lengths. And, the 12 Steps were what lead me to getting rescued.
That's why I tell the new people when I get the opportunity to help them, "I don't give a crap about what you believe or don't believe! I don't want to hear it! We're going to focus on taking actions and that's all I'm going to talk w/ you about is taking the actions." And, that's what we do. And, to my amazement and theirs... they get better. What can I say? We may be doing it wrong -- but, we ain't drinking and we're getting better!
The funny thing, too? We all end up coming to believe in something!
So, my suggestion to anyone is: Don't worry about being right or wrong. The only thing you are positively wrong about is taking a drink! It's always wrong to take a drink! Now, let's get to work!
Works for me. And, it's worked for them. What can I say? I actually don't want to know "How or Why"... because getting into "How or Why" gets me into thinking... and it's my thinking that will lead me back to drinking. And, it's my actions that will lead me to and keep me in, sobriety.