My name is Anne, I'm an alcoholic,
I wondered, too...how am I to apply these priniciples, and these steps...this program...outside of these walls. For whatever reason, & after not too long of a time, Tradition 10: Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the A.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
Tradition 10 jumped off the page. I was moved to read the long version: No A.A. group or member should ever, in such a way as to implicate A.A., express any opinion on outside controversial issues--particularly those of politics, alcohol reform, or sectarian religion. The Alcoholics Anonymous groups oppose no one. Concerning such matters they express no views whatever.
### 567, ####. This is one I can start w/, I thought. I can take this tradition to the outside world. Heated arguements or discussions that were ####### insignificant, or--furthermore, really none of my business anyway began to disappear. This grew to a point where, when something occured where another person tried to use whatever method to lure me into a place ###, an emotional ####, my response...rather than reaction...would be something like: sorry, that's an outside issue for me. Over time, this tradition has backed me out of situations that, were I still drinking, or not applying this one principle/tradition...I would've roared in head first w/ guns a-blazin'. I'd begun to adapt this program into my daily life.
Since then, it has been my experience...that if I really work this program to the best of my ability...I get back what I put into it. When I work my program, the program works for me--and I don't have to really think about it. The program has taught me how to...just be
. Does this happen 100% all of this time? Of course not
, I'm an alcoholic
. Today I can walk into a crowded room without having to stand right beside an exit ### I can be inside that room another 5-10 feet instead
####. I could, at one time, be up on a stage, sing a thousand songs to the more people, the better...drunk or sober. When I stopped drinking/came into AA...I couldn't be inside that room full of people--big time clausterphobic. I's about 2 years into the program when my only sibling got married. I wasn't asked to say anything/give a toast, speech, whatever...but it was brought to my attention by another relative that it was my place to do so--so I winged it. By the way, for me, standing up in front of a room full of strangers is much easier than standing up in front of a whole bunch-a people I know. After I was finished, it was mentioned a few times that "they knew I had something planned to say all along."
I contributed that ability to, simply...the meetings. I'd not too long prior finally let go of that "gotta think of something to say", and missing what was gettin' said at the meetings. As I sat down after sayin' whatever it was I said ### dunno...I winged it
####...it occured to me that I was able to do that because of the program...I, for the first time honestly felt, deep down, that the program was working for me...outside the walls of the meeting halls. I sat for a moment, quietly, and thanked God, of my understanding...for doing for me what I could not, at one time, even begin to comprehend. I didn't have to drink, either--not before outta fear, not after outta celebration/relief, or for any other excuse.
As you work the steps/the program...don't worry about how to apply them...it'll just happen...kind-a like an echo.
Tap 'er cool, kids, & don't sweat the small stuff.