Live and Let Live

- October 15, 2023


This is another one of the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) slogans we see displayed on the walls at meeting facilities.  To me it means that I should live my best possible life and, let others do the same.  Or it could be said that I need to mind my own business.  There is a saying around AA that one’s business ends at the tip of their nose.  Alcoholics are notorious at having answers and opinions for what other people should do or think.  Especially while active in our addiction we become experts on whatever the topic of conversation is at the moment.  Never mind that we are getting dangerously close to being in a blackout, we are still the expert that everyone needs to listen to.  

We take great pains to explain how things should be to others.  Never mind that we have no experience in what they are talking about.  We try to be the center of attention and offer unsolicited advice at random.  The bottom line to all this is that we are quite annoying people.  We disregard what others have to say or offer to the conversation.  All that matters to us is that everyone should understand and agree with our unsolicited advice.  We can become quite belligerent in trying to get our point across.  This is especially true of alcoholics who drink in bars.  Most bar tenders are trained to cut off the drinks if they believe that someone is getting too tipsy or obnoxious.  This was not so true back in the day.  They would just keep serving the drinks when asked.  As a result, we have a lower legal level of intoxication that was put into place here in California.  I believe the legal limit for alcohol is .08 in this state.  

Living the best life, I can live means staying sober on a daily basis.  In sobriety I learn to not be so quick to offer my opinion or unsolicited advice.  This makes for more harmonious relationships with others.  I have more friends now as I am not so obnoxious to be around.  Possibly someone will ask for my advice and respect my opinion!  That’s a huge change from holding court in drinking establishments of the past.  I can become an asset to the group and actually help others by sharing my experience, strength and hope.  This is quite a change from the know it all that used to be.  It feels good to have one’s opinion respected.  Possibly someone may even ask me to sponsor them.  Such changes do occur when we take the steps and apply them in our lives.  Then we are able to help others with the steps and to recover from the disease of alcoholism.  In the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous it states that “we have the power to avert death.”  That’s a tall order but our sharing in a positive and truthful light may allow someone to hear what they need to hear.  So it’s best to “Live and Let Live” rather than trying to run the show all by ourselves.  

Written by Phillip