I n the first part of this post, we discussed the importance of attending Twelve-Step meetings regularly. However, when I hear the phrase, “Meeting makers make it,” I shudder. I believe this is misleading and unhelpful. The reason this saying is not exactly on point is that there are many other things we must do in order to “make it.”
First, the program of Alcoholics Anonymous is contained in the first 164 pages of the “Big Book.” Although we may hear the message in meetings, relate to others, and hear solutions, it is in the book that we find the basis for our program. Going through the book with a sponsor is an absolute necessity for those wishing to obtain long-term sobriety. When we say, “Meeting makers make it,” we are leaving out the importance of the Twelve Steps and Big Book. I have known many people who attend meetings frequently and relapse, while this number is smaller amongst those who get into the Big Book with their sponsor.
Along with going through the book with a sponsor, we must go through all twelve steps. In Bill’s Story, it is brought to our attention that Bill went through all the steps in the two days he was in the hospital. My personal opinion (and I claim in no way to be an expert) based on my experience is that there is no good reason to stall on working the steps. When we finish one step, we promptly move on to the next step. Alcoholics Anonymous is a Twelve Step program. We must go through the twelve steps in order to achieve sobriety.
Although meetings are an integral part of the program, the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous and the Twelve Steps are really where the program is. The book contains the principles that we must carry in all our affairs, the Twelve Steps we work, the program we take others through, and answers to many of the problems we face in our sobriety.