Alcoholics Anonymous is 75 years old. The first meeting was advertised in The Financial Times (other newspapers wouldn’t allow such advertisements) and held in The Dorchester Hotel in 1947. Around 5000 meetings take place every day in the South East of England. Deepfake technology allows some of these alcoholics to tell their stories.
I’m already familiar with them. I’ve been to a meeting with my brother, Stephen (SEV) who was an alcoholic and read The Big Book. Last week somebody asked me when he’d died and I had to think about it. He was born in 1959 and was 35 when he died. So I guessed it was 1985.
When I did the eulogy at Bob’s funeral a few years ago, I told the tale of how he’d a fish supper in front of him and a bottle of Buckfast, when I found his body. The message was it wasn’t that bad. But it was for his mum.
AA makes demands on its members. Anyone that has read my longer story, Ugly Puggly, knows how badly written it is, but also how funny that cultish behaviour can be. But here it is literally a life saver. Admitting you are an alcoholic and you need the help of a higher power (whatever you want to call it), is the first step of 12. It takes a lifetime. It makes a lifetime. It is a lifeline, but not everybody can cling on. Amen.