AA: Abstinence over Processes.

The Central Purpose of AA

After spending decades attending Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings, it’s easy to become engrossed in the intricate discussions that unfold. However, amidst these dialogues, we sometimes lose sight of the primary objective of AA: the absolute and total abstinence from alcohol and non-prescription drugs. This is the simple yet profound solution that AA proposes.

So, if you’re abstinent today, rejoice, for you are living in AA’s proposed solution.

Navigating the AA Landscape

The components of AA like Steps, Sponsorship, The Big Book, Spirituality, Service, Meetings, and God often spark intriguing conversations. They form the undercurrent of our journey towards sobriety and are significant aspects to discuss and learn from each other. However, it’s critical to recognize that these are processes leading to the ultimate solution, not the solution itself. Everyone’s path to sobriety is unique and personal.

This distinction often causes confusion, especially with the Big Book’s contradictory statements that it provides “precise” recovery instructions but is meant to be “suggestive only.”

Indeed, different individuals place varying emphasis on program elements based on their circumstances. Some may frequent meetings, while others may not. Some may converse with their sponsor daily, while others might not. Debates about “the right way” to navigate the program often reflect ego rather than a genuine intent to assist others.

The Paramount Importance of Abstinence

Despite the complexity of AA processes, abstinence remains the cornerstone of AA.

Consider a newcomer who adopts abstinence and maintains sobriety for 30-60 days. You’ll observe notable improvements in their appearance, feelings, sleep, and digestion, coupled with a renewed sense of hope. These transformations result solely from abstinence. Diving deeper into the AA program’s additional facets could catalyze further progress.

Moreover, such drastic changes resulting from mere abstinence strongly indicate the initial presence of alcoholism. If all life aspects improve merely by stopping drinking, doesn’t it imply that the core issue was alcohol consumption?

So, if you’re currently practicing abstinence, kudos to you! As an individual struggling with alcoholism, you’re on a promising path to a healthier life!

Understanding Self-Diagnosis

Remember, at present, there is no definitive blood marker for alcoholism. Diagnosis typically involves self-assessment through a series of questions designed to ascertain if one is “powerless over alcohol,” as per AA’s terminology. However, this method can sometimes lead to misdiagnoses, conflating occasional binge drinkers with chronic heavy drinkers (alcoholics).