Driving to the AA meeting tonight with my friend, The Professor, he mentioned a speaker he'd heard recently, a year sober, but wonderfully insightful and with a really clear, strong grasp of the 12 Steps.
After listening to this description I asked, "Is it my imagination, or does it seem like people in AA are much more poised in early recovery than we were?"
He thought about it for a minute. "I suppose. But then, public awareness of alcoholism and AA is a lot higher now, so I think more people show up earlier in the disease process."
I nodded. "Yeah, that's true. There's that TV show 'Intervention' and, God help us, 'Celebrity Rehab' and more books and movies and just, well ... it's really out there now."
"Plus," he added, "there's a more open conversation about addiction these days. People address it with themselves and each other with a little more candor."
"All true." I nodded again.
"But as far as people today being more poised than when we were new, even though they're showing up earlier, there's the other thing to consider too." He looked at me and raised one eyebrow.
"That we were deeply tragic messes, who drank so much we'd practically re-sequenced our DNA to include coding for the chemical Ethyl Alcohol?" I offered.
He nodded. "Yes, that. Definitely."