In conclusion, I want to thank each and every one of you reading this for committing to following through with these blogs. I wouldn’t have spent so much effort and time writing about this addition to our 12 step program if I didn’t think it were well worth while, or wasn’t doing it myself. Like I have already mentioned, Steel on Steel has fundamentally changed and improved the way I practice our way of life. I was speaking with my sponsor about this the other day, and SOS basically reinforces those aspects of the AA principles that we should have been working all along, anyway. And like AA, it doesn’t cost a dime. SOS is an avocation, meaning we want to do it.
Early on my sponsor encouraged me to get to know people at my group on a personal level. My sponsor is not available to take my call at any time. He has a life too, and is a very busy man, in the program and otherwise, in his personal life. I was forced to find other men I could confide in and trust, should my sponsor be unavailable. Before being introduced to Steel on Steel, my sponsor already established a group of guys that he stays in contact with on a weekly basis. He implored me to do the same. SOS has now given me what my sponsor has recommended I do all along. For the longest time I thought that the fellowship of our program was going out to bowling parties, or having coffee after the meeting. Campouts, golf tournaments and other engagements are very important to sobriety. Don’t get me wrong. It is vital to find fun things to do without getting loaded. However, it is my experience that the true fellowship involves a group of people who have gone through the difficulties I have, and chose not to drink. They are there to show me how they managed and what they did to avoid the next drink.
To recap the material we have covered in this thread, we first decide who is to be in our Steel on Steel group. SOS is not a men’s group. Again, I have to reiterate this fact. My sponsor’s wife has a Steel on Steel group. There are many women who are involved in SOS. We should find people who are close-mouthed individuals, just as interested in working the program and staying sober as we are. SOS is not for newcomers. Each member should be at least through with their amends. A variance in sobriety time, age group and marital status is preferred. This adds a rewarding dynamic to the considerations portion of the meeting. A time-keeper should be appointed. Time is of the essence in Steel on Steel.
At our first meeting we should discuss how the meeting should be run. The .pdf file format should be copied and given to each member to review. The speaker tape should be listened to. A mini ‘group conscience’ should convene, in which the time, day and frequency of meeting is established. Steel on Steel is not AA. It is wise to approach your home group’s steering committee or foundation board before agreeing to meet at the group. I recommend meeting at each member’s house on a rotating schedule. Breaking bread, or sharing meals with one another is preferable. Just remember to meet early, if you do. That way the hour of the actual SOS meeting is not compromised.
Have a dry-run to get a feel of the meeting format. Alternate who leads the group and recites the readings. Say the prayers together as a group. Allow only 10 minutes to answer the questions of the inventory. Do not offer any comments while others are reading their inventory. Keep a journal or piece of paper in which to write your considerations and keep advice given from the other members. Pray, meditate and think about what you hear and absorb during the meeting. Do not retort or justify your actions during the consideration portion of the meeting. Only say ‘Thank you’ and leave it at that. Make sure to get the phone numbers of the other members of your group. A simple phone call in between meetings can mean the world to the person who is struggling with a difficulty in their lives.
I want to thank Joseph G. for inviting me to submit these pieces for his wonderful website. I have known Joseph for some time now, and consider him a valuable friend and important mentor for working this program and understanding the principles in our 12 steps and 12 traditions. It is my pleasure and honor to be a part of carrying the message online. What Joseph has been doing here at Rum Radio has been and continues to be an inspiration to my own endeavors. Writing blogs and broadcasting internet radio shows on 12 step sobriety is a joy and privilege of my own personal program. But, that in itself does not keep me sober. Steel on Steel is another addition to an absolutely miraculous way of life. I find nothing objectionable to its format or intentions. It is an absolutely wonderful idea, and my hope is that everyone who is serious about working the 12 steps in their daily lives pick this meeting up and incorporate it into their own program. If you are as passionate about SOS as I have been, I encourage you to propose having a workshop about it at your home group. As of this date, I am currently working on a panel and given the go ahead to lead a SOS workshop at my own home group.