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Audio Version

That's what I put in the pot when I first came around.

I would like to say that my ruddy cheeks were an indication of embarrassment at this small contribution, unfortunately it was an indication of you know what.

Talking about my face - you'll probably not hear that phrase again in SHARE - it was, or felt like, an amalgam of Edvard Munch's 'The Scream' and a Salvador Dali surrealist painting.

Having said this, I must confess the only artist I've been, is as it pertains to drinking!

Dead eyes. In fact I looked like a raccoon - black areas under the eyes. 

In my early days, I found myself in the middle of the perfumery section of a large store.  Surely they don't get many 16-stone blokes frequenting their emporium? I was seeking something to take away this blackness. So with a very small tube of something or other from a beautiful lady and a receipt for 89 pounds, I left. It didn't work. On reflection what may have worked was to get more sleep, stop drinking and take some vitamins.

Anyway this isn't all about me - now there's a new concept.

A great way, in my experience, to finance AA birthday cakes and sobriety chips, if these are bought, is a 'social pot'.

When I now put (more than twenty pence) in the pot I expect that to be used to further the group passing the message to the still suffering alcoholic. 

After the payment of rent, refreshments, AA literature and contributions to Intergroup, how much money is left? What are our priorities?

When, occasionally, a group is reminded of Tradition Seven, some say they can't afford to contribute more, or indeed anything. That is okay. Welcome. Stick around. You don't need to contribute anything if you can't.

Conversely, I've witnessed the closure of meetings because of a strange intransigence to put money in the pot. Ultimately a group will decide its own future. 

So, as some of us arrive in expensive cars, travel back to lovely homes whilst smoking like chimneys and glued to our smartphones, give a thought to the primary purpose of a group.

To have the doors open.