Progress Not Perfection

The oldest & longest running LGBTQ Alcoholics Anonymous conference with Al-Anon participation in the world.

Progress Not Perfection

November 18, 2019 Uncategorized 0

“…we claim spiritual Progress rather than spiritual Perfection.”

Page 60 – The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous

One of the first responsibilities I was tasked with as Chair for the 2020 – 45th Annual Western Roundup Living Sober Conference was to select a theme.   The theme provides guidance, direction, and helps us focus on a specific factor of our sober journey.   This year, I selected Progress not Perfection! 

Progress not Perfection holds many meanings to me.  First, my own journey through sobriety has been far from perfect.  I spent nearly a year and a half chronically relapsing, barely able to hold onto more than a few weeks at any time.  I was lying to my sponsor and fellows about my last drink, and collected a number of undeserved milestone chips. I put on a smile to mask the shame and despair I was feeling.  It wasn’t until I realized that no one cared if I was perfect and “got it” on the first, or even second or third time. What they did care about (and more importantly what I cared about) was that I got and remain sober.  Even sobriety hasn’t been perfect. Old behaviors re-surface, I’m unkind to someone, I act selfishly…the list goes on. The difference between then and now, is now I have steps 10,11 & 12 to help correct course, learn, and change – Progress.  

Western Roundup Living Sober also cannot claim perfection.  At the end of the day, we are just a group of alcoholics with the support and participation of our Al-Anon fellows, trying to put on a great Conference, and fun fundraising events throughout the year.  Mistakes will be made, and lessons will be learned. We are hopeful that some of the changes we’re making (stay tuned!) will help foster Progress in our inclusivity, outreach, focus on the Newcomer, and overall delivery of memorable sober experiences.  

2020 marks our 45th year of planning and producing our Western Roundup Living Sober Conference in San Francisco.  At the core, our purpose and fundamental principles are the same as they were when the Conference was conceived in 1976, but we’ve also evolved, adapted and made Progress throughout the years, and 2020 will be no exception.  

I invite you to join us this year!  We have great fundraisers planned including community favorites like Spring Fling, Drag Bingo, and we’re bringing back our Summer Soiree to Oakland!  We also have lots of exciting plans for our Conference which we’ll share as we get closer to our dates of August 21-23 2020.   

If you want to be part of WRLS history, and join our General Planning committee, or volunteer at any of our events, reach us at for more information.  

Let’s make Progress together!