Hey Zanthos!!! As always... Good to hear from you again!
Hmmmm. Well don't tell that to newcomers!
Actually, I believe that we should be telling that to every newcomer!
And... I do... every chance I get.
Okay... just for you, Zanthos, I'll post what I edited out of my message above.
The very first time that I came to A.A. , I remember hearing someone say... "90 meetings in 90 days" and "Just don't drink, no matter what". I was really determined to get my six month chip
... and I was a sore loser... with a very competitive nature... so, I was going to about 3 meetings a day for the first 90. I had came in to A.A. on a New Year's Alcothon -- which lasted four days... and had about 28 meetings for my first four days! So, for my first 90... I figure I had attended at least 298 meetings my first 90 days.
And, for about the next two and a half months... I was going to at least two meetings a day... so that would be another 150 meetings... which figures to 448 meetings for the first 5 1/2 months in A.A.!!!
And, guess what? .... I started drinking within 13 hours of the last meeting that I had attended!!!
I had been feeling good. No big deals going on. Money in my pocket. Business going well. No intention of drinking. Was being very carefull. And, I didn't even buy the first drink for myself... I bought it for a non-alcoholic lady who was going down to Mexico with me, to spend a couple of weeks R & R, and to get a nice golden tan so I would look real good in my white shirt when I picked up my six month chip!!! And, I only took a sip of one of the cans of beer that I had bought for her! I had even told the guy at the counter in the store where I bought it... "Oh! These aren't for me! I'm a sober member of A.A. and I don't drink!" ... and, when I handed them to her... I said "These are for you! I don't drink anymore! I'm a sober member of A.A.!!!" I was real proud of myself and my AA sobriety!!!
So... what does all that have to do with your question... of "90 in 90"?
I think it has a lot to do with the question! You see... I became convinced, that what the real A.A. program was... "just don't drink and go to meetings!" And, "why read some old out-dated book that was poorly written by some guys who were already dead... before I even got sober?" And... the 12 Steps? Why bother to even read them? And, a sponsor? What the heck did I need to call him for? To me... 90 in 90 had me convinced that the only thing I needed to do was to go to meetings!
I almost died drunk after I started drinking again. I couldn't get sober. I couldn't sit in a meeting sober... and I tried! For almost five more months... day after day after day after day...I was going to A.A. meetings... and it was taking everything I had... just not to drink during the meeting! Sometimes... I couldn't do it... so, I'd leave the meeting early to get outside to have a drink!
What was my problem? Had I gone to too many A.A. meetings... and that got me started drinking again? And... after I tried over and over and over again... to get sober... why couldn't I just not drink for the hour-and-a-half, for the meeting? I was going to meetings. Why couldn't I stop drinking?
So... that's what I think about "90 meetings in 90 days!"
If the only thing an alcoholic is going to do... for 90 days... is go to meetings... then, why even bother to go to the meetings? If the alcoholic is an alcoholic of my type... all he will be doing is keeping the seat warm for the next guy who comes in!
Heck! I like to have fun! I like to make life busy!
My thinking would be "I'm important! I've got a life!!! I got a wife! A job! Business! Responsibilities! Why even bother wasting my time going to meetings?"
I believe that we do the newcomers a huge harm by not telling them the truth about alcoholism. It's a deadly, progressive and often fatal condition that not only destroys the alcoholic... but it destroys their family, friends, other loved-ones, and even strangers (like the family driving down an Interstate Highway... and an alkie drives up the exit ramp... hits them head on and kills the family). It would be no different than a doctor telling someone that had cancer... that if they'd only attend some cancer awareness meetings... they would be cured.
Alcoholism demands to be treated. It will either be treated by alcohol, or by an actual recovery program that works. And, going to AA meetings is not the AA program of recovery.
The Preface to the Big Book... paragraph 2: "Because this book has become the basic text for our Society and has helped such large numbers of alcoholic men and women to recovery, there exists a sentiment against any radical changes being made in it."
The Doctor's Opinion (Big Book, page xxiii) "We of Alcoholics Anonymous believe that the reader will be interested in the medical estimate of the plan of recovery described in this book." -- That means, that there really is an AA Plan of Recovery... and it's described in "this book" (Big Book).
In the 12 Steps... there isn't a Step that says "Go to meetings." And, "if" going to A.A. meetings would successfully treat alcoholism... then we could throw away the Big Book and the 12 Steps... and replace it with a one step program of "Go to meetings and you'll recover."
When the book was published, there were only a few meetings. If an alcoholic didn't live in New York or in Ohio, there were no meetings that they could attend. They heard about or read an article... wrote to New York and ordered a book. The book was mailed to them. They didn't have a sponsor. And, they didn't have a meeting to attend.
Some of them read the book and followed the instructions in the book... and... they got sober!
The A.A. program of recovery... for it to work... as described in the book... means that the new guy who gets sober reading the book and following the instructions in the book... "must" find another alcoholic to help (especially, if he want's to stay sober and get better!). That resulted in two and three alcoholics... that the new guy helped... and then, they started having their own meetings.
In some meetings today... a newcomer gets the idea that all he's got to do is go to a few meetings and then he'll be sober, sane, happy joyous and free. He thinks he has an "alcohol problem" rather than an "alcoholism problem".
If the guy (or girl) just has an "alcohol problem"... or they are a "problem drinker" and "they are not an alcoholic"... all they have to do is stop drinking to solve their problem. They don't need to go to any meetings to do that.
Sometimes "the alcoholic" ... shows up in an A.A. meeting... and they get treated like a "problem drinker"... and told to "just plug the jug and go to some meetings!" (Which will work for the non-alcoholic, who just has an alcohol problem). Unfortunately, "the alcoholic" dies in his/her disease.
A good way to become aware how serious the problem is... I would suggest that an A.A. member start volunteering to work their local A.A. hotline, helpline, or Intergroup/Central Office. It's amazing how many
"alcoholics" -- "think" they tried A.A. -- and it didn't work for them, and they continue to drink until they are locked up or covered up.
When you ask them "What did you do or what did you try in A.A.?" They always say "Well. I went to the meetings and it didn't work." They have become convinced... that A.A.'s program of recovery... is just "going to meetings."
Sorry for the long post ---
--- that's why I edited the message the first time!
Oops!!! I better edit this again
YES!!! Meetings are very important! I attend at least 5 meetings each week and I talk to at least a few A.A.'s every day - about recovery.