I have followed tradition in recovery meetings and identify myself in the way everyone else does, by saying my first name and the saying I am …an alcoholic, addict…fill in the blank. I understand the importance of the constant reminder that I am one drink or drug away from going back to where I came from and that constant diligence is required. However, it seems that the Big Book, “the primary text of our fellowship (fourth edition dust jacket quote” seems to emphasize the solution rather than the problem. The first Edition forward, the very first sentence of the message from the Founders, states that “we are more than 100 men and women who have recovered from seemingly hopeless state of mind and body” and Bill’s “AA Golden Text on page 191 of the 4th edition BB says “I am just so grateful that the Lord has cured me from this terrible disease, that I just want to keep telling people about it.” . Page 161 of the 4th edition BB says ” We are
restored and united under one God, with hearts and minds attuned to the welfare of others” and BB 4th edition p 63 says “We were reborn.” and lastly the page 25 description of the solution sums up the recovered persons new state of being exceedingly well.

So why all the focus in modern meetings on identification to the problem rather than the solution? I will leave the research of the hows and whys we came to that to others, but I don’t think it has always been that way. I have heard recordings of Bill and Bob both where they did not introduce themselves in that now customary way.

For me, there are a number of alternative ways to “identify” at a meeting:

“I am a recovered alkie and a friend of Bill’s Friend on p13 of the BB”
” I am a born again alkie like on page 63 of the BB”
I am a restored Alkie through the One who has all power in How it Works”

These are but three of numerous ways to identify with the miracle in my life, and testify about the One who is responsible.

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