I've been sober in AA for over 13 years now. It'll be 14 in January. When I came into AA, thankfully, there were many "old-timers" who got sober in AA a long time ago, when AA was simpler and more "by the book." They told me to get a Big Book (already had one lol), sit down, "take the cotton out of my ears, put it in my mouth" and listen to what was being shared. My first home group was a 12X12 meeting, so we read, studied and shared on the Steps and Traditions. My next home group was a Men's Closed discussion, full of these "salty dogs" who had gotten sober in a time when AA was full of "low bottom, skid row" drunks. So, thankfully, I got the AA message loud and clear, from the beginning: Trust God, Clean House, Help Others. Some of these guys had been sponsored for years by Bill and Dr. Bob's sponsees... So it was AA from the wellspring.
They told me the only two things I really had to do were to stop drinking and change my whole life lol. But, they told me I only had to do those things one day at a time, just like they had. They shared with me how hopeless and defeated they all were when they came through the doors, yet some sober, hard-headed low bottom drunk was there to help them along. They told me to go to 90 meetings in 90 days, to read AA literature daily, to get a home group and a sponsor and use them early and often. They told me to get on my knees in the morning and ask for help, and hit my knees again at night and say thanks for my entire day, especially if I'd stayed sober. What they did, was show me the fundamental tools to stay sober a day at a time.
Sure, I had feelings issues, girlfriend issues, job crap, money stuff that wasn't pretty. I had parent stuff, anger issues, lust, greed, you name it. All they worried about at those meetings was keeping themselves and me sober. In time, through working on the Steps, my sponsor (and his) helped me sort through the more personal issues. But, even that was tough love, straight from the gut honesty. No, froo froo, frilly, warm fuzzy "don't hurt his feelings," mamby pamby, casper milktoast (are you getting the point?) nonsense from these folks. And thank God they respected me enough and understood the serisousness of our disease enough to cut through the bull shit and put it to me straight. Yea, I heard some stuff I didn't like. I felt bad about myself at times (hello, I was not exactly pure as the driven snow here folks...), I felt guilt, remorse, shame for the things I had done and the way I was living. But hell, I had been much harder on myself than these guys ever were on me. And their toughness was nothing more than honesty and love. They were simply and honestly helping me to see the truth about Scott, and the way out of my hell. They knew EXACTLY what I was going through, they knew how I was feeling. They knew the solution. The solution was less Scott, more God and AA principles. The problem was Scott, plain and simple. So Scott needed a new solution, these guys showed me the way.
I will always be grateful for their example and their love, even if it hurt at times. A few hurt feelings is nothing, compared to the life I've been given a day at a time.