Influences Off The Beaten Path

Many of my long time readers know that I’m in Alcoholics Anonymous. If you didn’t, you do now. I don’t care if you know it. Anonomymity is for me to protect you. And it’s for you to protect me. It’s not for me to protect me.

Last night I woke up disturbed. I got up and wrote it out, which I’m pasting below. I think it’s poorly written, I have to re-read bits to get the meaning. I hope you don’t agree.

2:19 AM 04 Jun 2019
Just woke up from dream, wondering if I could stay sober with these new rules.


From now on, we gotta do what “AA Tapelessons” says. And “The Guru”. Those are the new rules from my dream.


I don’t even know the difference between “AA Tapelessons” and just the Big Book. I remember I started listening to the audio, but can’t remember what I didn’t like about them. (Can’t they read? Why does there seem to be no printed version of the “AA Tapelessons”?)


“The Gurus”, while most usually like them, are somewhat annoying at times, they go through periods where they seems to want to change every facet of every AA thing. They want to change what we read at the meetings, how we read it, how much of it we read. They want to be elected as a groups representaive, even though they don’t visit the group much or don’t even live here. (They want to do this for their benefit, not the groups, but they seldom realize it. They think they are ‘needed’)


It’s one thing to do things how you want, it’s another to try to change the way everyone else does them.


So, what am I disturbed about? Do I feel I have to defend the way I “run” AA in my own brain? No. Do I have to change my AA program for you? No. I might get upset when you try to change the format of a meeting, or change my interface with the AA program.

I would dislike it if you win the vote to change something in AA to a way I don’t like. I might worry and wake up about it. I guess it’s fear in me that causes this. If I don’t get my way in an vote, oh well, I have to live with it, but let’s have a fair election.


I don’t always want to do the work that I feel is necessary to protect my sponsee’s from what I see as going “off the beaten path” influences. I don’t want to listen to the “AA Tapelessons” so I can explain or prove why they suck. I don’t care if they suck or not. I don’t want to have to argue to defend the meeting format of how we read what we read.

It’s not my postion to say “this is better than that”, but only to say “this is the path I took, I’ve seen others fail going the way you propose.”


If you’re a desperate alcoholic who wants to get sober, and wants me to be your sponsor, I recommend you do what I did, how I did it. Because I did it like the founders of AA did it as best I could, and it seems to be working.


I don’t want to waste time in discussion with “The Gurus” who say things like “It would be better if we read one sentence at a time and pause for discussion after each sentence.” Especially when the smug look on their face seems to imply that their unspoken motive for the change is allowing them to talk more, ‘insert their influence’. Because obviously, they’ve got it all figured out, and obviously, no-one else does.


I’ve been to ‘Read-A-Sentence-And-Discuss-It’ meetings before, and they’re fine. They’re good. If you want a group with different format, start one. Just don’t come trying to change my home group. You might succeed. I don’t think one should be arrogant enough to try to change something that has worked perfetly for years since before they even came around.


If you’re my sponsee, and I see you going off the path, I’m going to tell you. The danger to me, and my sobriety, is that I feel an obligation to run ahead of you down that wrong turn to see what, (if any) dangers there are. It might be fine, but there might be a monster that kills me.


This feeling of obligation that I have is false. I have no such obligation. My job is to tell you how I have stayed sober these past 28 years. To take my advice is your choice. If you stay sober, I don’t take any credit, if you get drunk, I don’t take any blame.

I felt better and slept after writing this last night. This morning I edited it a little. I took out the name of the tape set and peoples names.

Have a great day!

2 thoughts on “Influences Off The Beaten Path

  1. Hey! Good going! 28 down, 28 to go. Then 28 more.

    My problem is gut problems. No alcohol, no caffeine, nothing spicy. I never did like spicy stuff and the other two have not been a problem.

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