I was 19 years sober when I went to my first BBA meeting and I was floored.
Up to that point, if anyone had told me I was suffering from untreated alcoholism, I would not have believed them. After all, I was going to meetings and sponsoring, doing service, going through the steps every year just like I was taught, how could I possibly have untreated alcoholism?
But in that BBA meeting, for the first time in all these years, I heard sharing which made me actually "want what they have" (I am referring to their spiritual lives, not the stuff.) The people in BBA were talking about things like being "rocketed into a fourth dimension" and "we have entered the world of the spirit," which were promised by the Big Book but never, ever discussed in the meetings I attended.
Possibly because the people in those meetings, like me, did not have such experiences because they, like me, had never done the steps exactly as outlined in the Big Book. How could they possibly give what they did not have?
I immediately began the work and learned that before BBA I had just enough God to stay clean & sober 19 years. I believed in God, had a relationship with God, had faith in God but I had no access to God.
Access made all of the difference. Thanks to the work in BBA, I, at last, had the spiritual experience promised in our Big Book. One of the things that happened was that at least 50% of my fears disappeared. They were just gone. I still can't remember what those fears were about. I did the work again and discovered a pocket of peace deep inside of me. I don't freak out over things, which was definitely new. I have emotions over difficulties; but I don't have panic, as I always did before BBA. I still love and am grateful to the men and women in those "AA Lite" meetings. I was a homeless and hopeless low-bottom drunk about a mouse-hair away from death and these people saved my life. They were kind, they were generous and they actually cared about me and my recovery. Today, I try to give back through sharing what I have learned. After all, the work of the work is to take someone else through the work.
I may have stayed clean and sober for 19 years, but my real recovery began the day of my first BBA meeting.