The book "Alcoholics Anonymous" (AA's Big Book) tends to use the words "dry" and "sober" interchangeably. It is in the book "Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions" (more commonly called the 12&12), written roughly a dozen or so years after the Big Book, where the idea of sobriety as we think of it today -- that is, a spiritual, mental, emotional state rather than just a physical one -- is fleshed out.
AA has survived the "bright ideas," best intentions, foolishness and chicanery of hundreds of thousands of alcoholics and addicts over more than 70 years. While comparatively speaking that is not a very long time, if Alcoholics Anonymous hasn't imploded by now, it's probably going to be okay. It will continue to grow and change and evolve, as it has from its inception, but it's solid as an old oak. While we each have an important responsibility to safeguard the Traditions and AA's singleness of purpose, perhaps the greater danger to each of us, over time, is becoming AA "purists" -- after all, God has a hand in this thing too. A little foolish sharing, a long-winded old timer who seems more dry than sober -- these things are hardly a death knell. Keep rowing the boat, keep speaking up when you feel you need to, but don't let safeguarding the Traditions, or keeping AA the way it "ought to be" make you grim or dogmatic.
It is an especially nice thing to compliment the coffee person at a meeting on how delicious the coffee is. Yes, yes, it is a program of rigorous honesty, but this is the one allowable exception.
Sometimes the speaker is there to be of service to the meeting, but sometimes the meeting is there to be of service to the speaker.
Sometimes people have to take the blueprint for living that AA offers and make for themselves a fortress, before they can figure out that they really need to make a tree house. Or vice versa. The amazing thing about the spiritual tools and the 12 Step process of Alcoholics Anonymous is that you can use them to make either.
The reason the expression is to be "in the middle of the life boat" is because when a big wave comes sometimes the people on the edges get washed away.
If you're having a problem with the 3rd Step, that is, if you're having a problem turning your will and your life over to the care of God as you understand God, then maybe the problem isn't with your willingness -- maybe your problem is with what your understanding of God is. I had a much easier time turning my life over to God once I realized that God wasn't out to get me -- that my recovery would not be a series of painful and difficult lessons which, if I failed to understand them, would be followed by still more painful and difficult ones. God is probably not setting you up for a cosmic "gotcha."
Willingness does not mean "want to." An alcoholic who is waiting to "want to" do the steps, or write their inventory, or be of service, is probably going to be waiting for a quite a while. It is a hallmark of the perversity of my alcoholic nature that I usually only want to do things after I've actually started doing them.
The day goes much easier for an alcoholic if they stop evaluating every little thing that happens to them as a "good" thing or a "bad" thing and just look at each thing as meant to be and a chance to be of service.
Self examination and sharing is not the same as constantly taking your emotional temperature and then describing it to everyone around you.
Plato put it this way: "Be kind to everyone, for we are all fighting a hard battle." Go, Plato.