Julie wrote:When I came to AA I was drinking 3 gallons of vodka a week so that tells me "I" have a problem with alcohol
Hey!!! An Alkie of my own type!!! I relate to part of it! The drinking part... except for me... downing quarts of vodka was not a problem... it went down easy and sometimes came back up just as easy!!!
Alcohol was my solution, though -- it wasn't my problem.... Sobreity was my problem... I just couldn't seem to get sober and stay sober! That's because with alcohol I could solve my problems -- and I didn't know how to solve them sober! Thanks to AA -- that's all been turned around for me.
When I first got sober, I began to hear of the other 12 Step organizations... and listening to their titles... I figured I probably belonged and should go to MOST ALL of them!
I had been a chemical waste dump also -- so when I tried an NA meeting... (and I relate to EGO)... I ended up picking out the original founding meeting in Sun Valley, California... When it came time to introduce myself... they slammed me with questions "Did you fix dope? Did you put needles in your arm? Were you slamming smack?" ... and, my reply was... "Well, no... but I did all the other stuff!" They said "Then you need to get your ass out of here... NA is for slammers... it's for dope fiends. You're not welcome here if you didn't slam heroin!"
I can imagine how the founders of NA must be turning over in their graves moaning about all the meth-heads, pot-heads, pill freaks, and others that have inflitrated NA -- and changed it from what it was originally designed to be!
An old AA friend of mine (he had 44 years sobriety when I got sober in 1986) and mentor... a guy named Jack Prose (he's dead now) sponsored the AA member that started NA. Jack was very involved and responsible for starting most of the H&I (Hospitals & Institutions work) and Corrections work (jails and prisons) with AA in Southern California. His sponsee -- Jimmy K., had a heroin problem... and Jimmy needed to identify with other dopers... So, he got an idea to start meetings for druggies (heroin addicts)... that were also in AA. Jack P. was very religious about AA's 12 Traditions -- and he told Jimmy that he needed to start an organization for addicts... and he helped Jimmy get started with starting up NA.
Jim W. (Jim Willis... also now dead) was an AA, that didn't really identify as an alcoholic. He was a gambler. He went to my sponsor's one-time sponsor Chuck C. (Chuck Chamberlain, also now deceased but not forgotten)... and asked Chuck if he would sponsor him with his gambling problem. Jim was married to (at one time) the first and longest sober female member of AA in Southern California -- a lady named Sybil, that was the first manager of AA Central Office in Los Angeles.
Sybil, when she got calls in AA's Central Office, by gamblers, looking for help -- would hook them up with her husband Jim... a non-alcoholic, that was trying to go to AA meetings and find AA's with gambling problems, to help him stay away from gambling.
Chuck C., told Jim that he wished he could help him -- but, he wasn't alcoholic -- and couldn't help because he was alcoholic and not a gambler.
Jim, after several attempts that failed, finally got GA started. The original GA Big Book, was much the same as AA's BB, and Preamble... and that was the original GA program. Then, later, after Jim W. died, the GA ISO (International Service Office, in Los Angeles)... that wanted to change the GA program... hired an outside-enterprise to write a new BB for them... that eliminated most all of the AA stuff in their BB, and focused on "Group Therapy." They wanted to steer clear of any "God stuff" and spiritual awakenings as a solution to their problem. So, it became a secular Anonymous organization, with modified 12 Steps and 12 Traditions (not calling them 12 Traditions).
My sponsor, eventually sponsored Jim W., and helped him in his attempts to start GA and stay away from betting. Jim W., went to Las Vegas and relapsed ... not getting drunk... but returning to gambling... to make one more "Big Hit" at the tables to solve his money problems... and make it big before he would quit gambling again... Depressed over his relapse, he chose suicide.
Then, came along some fat ladies in Los Angeles... that werent alcoholic... but they suspected that AA's program of recovery could help them to stop over eating! Chuck C. and my sponsor would talk to them often, and helped them to get OA started.
I believe the best way that we can be helpful to others, that have problems... and want to use the AA program, but are not alcoholic, or are alcoholic-hyphen-anything... is to help them and encourage them and support them in their efforts to start their own organizations and fellowships that can help them solve their problems... We can share how AA's program of recovery, and our understanding of AA's program of recovery has helped us... and even though we can't identify with them and they can't identify with us... we can share with them, if they request.
If we feel that we are unqualified to help them get their own organization started... we can refer them to other Anonymous organizations that can better help them. I carry GA, OA, Al-Anon, and NA info and phone numbers with me to pass on to those that may benifit from them -- if they want it.
Also, we have Open AA Speaker Meetings. Anyone from the public can attend these meetings and if they think our program of AA can help them, they can listen to the speakers and attempt to translate the experiences in their own searching for a solution. And, even though anyone from the public can attend the Open Speaker Meetings... only alcoholics should participate in the meetings... thereby honoring our 12 Traditions.