May 03: Rule 62

Rule 62

When I was new to AA, people would refer to Rule 62. I had no clue what they were talking about. I thought it was some secret code. And I guess it is really. “Don’t take yourself too seriously.” That’s Rule 62. It tells me to let go of all that ego stuff and just relax. For me, there are few more important rules in the program.

Don’t drink – no matter what – is, of course, the big one. I don’t have a chance if I can’t put the bottle down. Believe me, I know. It took me nine years to get from my first meeting to my last drink. If I can’t get my mind clear, I won’t get the benefits of the steps and the wisdom that’s so plentiful in the rooms of AA. But once I can actually stop drinking, what’s next?

I thought life was going to be boring and empty. Without my best friend, how in the world would I enjoy anything? It was a tremendous surprise to realize that I was busier than I’d been for years and that I was actually enjoying life without booze. But it took longer to learn how to laugh.

We are not a glum lot. The most amazing thing to me about meetings is how much we laugh. Sometimes, it’s very dark humor, but that’s what makes it funny – we know what dark is. We laugh at things that others might find embarrassing or humiliating. We tell stories on ourselves, admitting our defects without feeling ashamed of them. We know we are sick, but we are getting well – together.

When I can let go of my pride, when I can be right-sized, I don’t have to protect my fragile ego anymore. I don’t get insulted or hurt so easily. I don’t have to make snide remarks to or about others. I am not perfect, and it is perfectly ok. It is even funny. I no longer take myself so damned seriously. What a tremendous gift it is to be free enough to laugh at myself. So, newcomers, when you hear about Rule 62, remember how important it is.

Remember that a sober life is a life that includes plenty of laughter. I invite you to share this week about the laughter in your program – about not taking yourself too seriously.