Came and Stayed

Andy Crooks writing as Andy C
3 min readJun 23, 2022


I recently heard two outstanding shares at an AA meeting, one building on the other. The first fellow began, “I came to AA because I had nowhere else to go; I stayed in AA because there is nowhere else I would rather be.”

After that fabulous opening, he continued, “I didn’t come to AA skipping merrily through the doors. I was forced, compelled, and commanded to go to AA.

My wife threatened to throw me out unless I went to AA, my firm was ready to fire me unless I went to AA, and I had an impaired driving charge pending, and my lawyer said AA would look good for the judge.

“I came here because there was no other choice. I remember people at my first meeting praising me for the courage to come. It might have seemed courageous to them, but it felt more like desperation to me.

“Courage implies choice; going to my first meeting did not feel like a choice; it felt like I had nowhere else to go.

“From each speaker at that first meeting, I heard my story. I remember thinking, ‘these people have read my scripts.’ Of course, I was not that unique; they, and you, were a lot like me. And there are many more like us.

“My first sponsor said, ‘you will like hanging out with AAs; we are the drinkers who could keep up with you; we are the Olympians of drinking. In AA rooms, you will find the same crowd that would be with you in any bar.’

“And he was right. You are the same crowd I used to drink with; if we were at a wedding, we would all be at the same table; if we were at the Calgary Stampede, we would all be in the same corner of the show band tent. Now that we are in AA, it is not surprising we are all together again. I was where I belonged. I was a round peg in a round hole and a perfect fit.

“Now I go to meetings because I want to; it is where I belong. Thanks.”

The next share improved the point.

He began with the usual introduction and continued, “I agree with the last fellow; I came to AA because I had nowhere else to go, and now there is nowhere else I would rather be. I agree with all the reasons given, and I have one more.

“When I come to an AA meeting, I feel valued. Some days it seems it’s the only time I feel valued and useful. In AA, I have something to offer to another alcoholic; we have something to give to each other, our experience, strength, and hope.

“It was not until I came to AA and stopped beating my head against the drinking wall that I realized how much it hurt. And it was not until I came to AA that I realized, I never felt valued.

“Like my friend, I had nowhere else to go, and like my friend, I identified with everyone in the rooms of AA; in addition, for the first time in my life, I felt useful and valued.”

A couple of great shares that made my day.



Andy Crooks writing as Andy C

For Andy C, not drinking was the first spiritual awakening. He’s been blessed with subsequent spiritual awakenings as the results of the 12 steps.