How I feel is not related solely to how hard I'm working the AA programme. It's a function of (a) how hard I'm working the AA programme and (b) how strong my ego is. Imagine two runners. How I feel is a function of whether I'm ahead of the other runner or he's ahead of me. I'm responsible for the actions I take, but the ego is an unpredictable force. Sometimes it's weakened, for various reasons, and I don't need to do much to stay ahead of it. (This, by the way, explains the phenomenon of happy newcomers.) Sometimes it's given a whacking boost by external events, an uncovered reservoir of unprocessed spiritual magma that is bubbling up from within me, or identification, deliberate or unwitting, with people whose own egos are in the ascendant. Either way, I'm not responsible for that; I'm responsible for how I respond.
Does that mean I sometimes have to work the programme really hard just to stay afloat, let alone prosper and thrive? Yes. Sorry about that. I didn't make up the rules: I'm just observing how they operate.
The good news is that all of the hard work during difficult times does pay dividends, just not when you expect. Everything has its due return.