The Need for Old-timers by Peter Marinelli

Too often I have been at my 12 step fellowship and could not help but notice that our beloved “old-timers” were missing.

Unless I’m attending a conference, where I get to meet and see many of them, at our local meetings, I don’t. I have wondered why for so long. I began to ask some of them where are you, where have you been? We need your presence. Some have said it’s changed and they don’t want to compete with all the other addictions that now show up, too much Big Book and steps, and not enough discussion, some are disgusted in what treatment centers are turning out, and when they get to a meeting the newbie’s are not teachable because their counselor told them what to say or do. Many are simply frustrated at what they see and hear. Now I get it to some degree, but to quit and walk out isn’t acceptable. So a plea to out old-timers who aren’t present. Please come back we need you.

Now there are plenty of you guys who are on the firing line chopping wood and carrying water, who are a beacon to so many of us. Please stay with us. You men and women are our hope, and our teachers.

One of the most powerful events at conference is the countdown. To see the new person in the room and to see: yes the old-timers and the one man or women who is sober many years, still there and a part of. It brings tears in my eyes and hope for the future. What a treat for the newbie’s to witness this as well!

Old timers come back we need you!



Chop wood, carry water

Peter Marinelli

FHE Health

"Peter Marinelli Director of Sober Living "

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