Letter From Ben

Posted by Judith Kastle on

Good morning! I wanted to reach out to thank you for your podcast. I have found it insanely helpful, especially since I started going back in time to your earlier Big Book Workshop episodes. 
I am a member of Alcoholics Anonymous and while the book and steps are not new to me (I do have a sponsor and also my pre-covid home group was a Big Book Study and my Zoom home group is a Steps meeting), I'm seeing and understanding each in a radically different way now that I've been listening to your podcast (and a few others you've shouted out). The impact has been profound and is particularly helpful in my work with a sponsee. He and  I started working together earlier this year. It's probably no coincidence that this deeper understanding, combined with closer following of the clear cut directions, AND working with another alcoholic has led me to be feeling better than I have in a long time. I am not sure I can think of the right words to capture what's happening, though. Maybe it's best to say that it's finally making sense--the lights are finally on. Maybe it's a spiritual awakening, or another in a series of spiritual awakenings and psychic changes that I've had since I became a member.  (Do people have more than one? Or do all these add up to one singular awakening? Does it even matter?)  Whatever it is, I feel grateful. And recovered. Thank you for helping me.
Between the podcast, the books and the modeling you must get a ton of emails. I do have a couple of questions, if you have the time. One would be about the handouts from your workshop you mentioned...can you please share those with me? Also is this workshop a regular thing, something that will be held again sometime? I would love to be a part of something like this.
This kind of leads to my next questions...how do I find meetings that would be more like your podcast and ones where the true message and clear-cut directions of the big book are more front-and-center? I'm just not hearing that same message in the meetings I go to, which seem to be more about "keep coming back" and "call your sponsor every day" and "make a list of how your life was unmanageable" and the 12 x 12 over the Big Book. I've noticed my shares are changing, though, as I try to offer my own experience, strength and hope and relate it to the first 164 pages. Although saying things like "just don't drink and go to meetings wasn't enough for me" in a meeting where people really like to say that makes me feel a little awkward.....or when recently when the topic was step 5 and I quoted the 5th step promises, the person sharing after me said "this isn't a big book meeting." 😂   My approach to sharing has evolved over time. I think I used to share what I thought the old timers wanted to hear, then I moved to sharing things to help myself, and now as I'm learning more and seeing things more clearly, I'm in a phase where I'm trying to direct my shares to newcomers by just talking about what works for me (aka clear cut directions). All that to say, my final question is: How do you approach sharing in meetings?
I've gone on too long. Any response you're able to provide would be greatly appreciated.  Again, THANK YOU. I'm off to live a life worth saving. 
Detroit, Michigan