May 23, 2005

Freed from Prisons

As Bill Sees It
Freed Prisoners, p. 234
Letter to a prison group:

"Every A.A. has been, in a sense, a prisoner. Each of us has walled himself out of society; each has known social stigma. The lot of you folks has been even more difficult: In your case, society has also built a wall around you. But there isn't any really essential difference, a fact that practically all A.A.'s now know.

"Therefore, when you members come into the world of A.A. on the outside, you can be sure that no one will care a fig that you have done time. What you are trying to be--not what you were--is all that counts to us."

"Mental and emotional difficulties are sometimes very hard to take while we are trying to maintain sobriety. Yet we do see, in the long run, that transcendence over such problems is the real test of the A.A. way of living. Adversity gives us more opportunity to grow than does comfort or success."

1. Letter, 1949
2. Letter, 1964

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