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Thursday, June 18, 2015

(insert metaphor about six in a row here)

Today was my sixth A.A. This makes six days sober. This was a different type of meeting I had not been to before: an Anniversary Meeting. This meeting allows those celebrating a milestone period of time sober a time to speak and they are alloted more time than in regular meetings.

All meetings that I have attended, besides this one, have a nearly identical format. The meeting starts by describing the purpose of A.A. (helping people stay sober), the fees due (none), the requirements to join (a desire to stop drinking) and a speaker is introduced. This speaker tells of some of his experiences, troubles, and how A.A. has helped him.

The floor is then opened up to short, usually two to five minute, times for any member to speak. No topics are off-limits as long as it relates to drinking, desire to drink, or stopping drinking. People talk about family, friends, A.A., food, vacations, depression, suicidal thoughts, and any other topic imaginable. The members are either chosen by raising ones hand, or a round-robin starts at some point in the circle. If round-robin is the method, the last fifteen to twenty minutes are held aside for someone who wants to speak but was missed.

The meeting ends with words from a founder of A.A. being read and the whole group holding hands and saying "Live and let Live" together.

It may sound hokey. People who have done 12-step may say "where is your highest power," "when do you study the steps," "who is your sponsor," "where is your chip," or a half dozen other questions. My answer is "This is working for me. This is helping me."

I didn't slip yesterday. I haven't slipped yet today. I'll worry about tomorrow tomorrow.

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