- Singleness of Purpose

Singleness of Purpose




Help for alcohol abuse addiction alcoholics who want to stay sober

Singleness of Purpose

Postby Pebbles » Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:47 am

Hi all, if this is inappropriate to have on this forum, I will understand. But this topic is what is going on in my neck of the woods, and I was wondering if others are noticing the same thing.

Singleness of Purpose-Tradition 3-The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking....

We have lots of people who are coming into the program, who started out their "careers" drinking alcohol, and then moved on to drugs. When they share they talk of their alcohol use, and their drug use, and the "old timers" have a problem with the fact that they share about their drug use. It is getting to the point where people are getting run out of the meetings and not coming back in again because of it. I started out my career by drinking, and used drugs too, and I share that once in awhile if it's appropriate at the moment.
For me, "When anyone, anywhere reaches out for help, I want the hand of AA always to be there, and for that I am responsible". NA is struggling badly in our area, and so if people can't find NA meetings to go to, why can't they go to AA, especially if their history contains alcohol abuse?? In my 4th addition BB on pg. 407 the story is "Acceptance was the Answer", a physician who abused alcohol and drugs-Now if a story in the BB talks openly of the drug abuse, that means something to me-acceptance is the answer.... :)
Again, I apologize if this is an inappropriate subject for this forum....I will understand.
Pebbles
 
Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2010 1:24 am
Location: Idaho

Postby sparklek » Wed Feb 09, 2011 1:12 pm

I remember feeling so slighted and uncomfortable when I was in a location where people shared much more about their drugs than their drinking. I sat i meetings for 3 months in my head, trying to figure out what I should say, if anything.

When I had a trip back home I shared about this feeling of "they are not doing it right." I got two answers that changed my experience when I returned:

1. I am responsible. My sponsor suggested that if I felt the traditions were not being respected and I had a responsibility to voice this in a gentle way. If I was that uncomfortable, I could start another meeting "for alcoholics only."

2. I read a story in the BB called "window of opportunity" where a young member feels people are not "doing it right." After much strife through voices his opinions, his sponsor asked him if those people doing it wrong are staying sober. If so, he could try listening for how they are doing that.

These two things, especially the second, helped my perception change when I returned. I found myself suddenly listening for the similarities and not the differences and I finally was able to be an active member in these groups.

At the same time, I always made sure to share my experience strength and hope as bed wetting, blackout drinker as I believe that story belongs in AA, too. This program means everything to me and I trust that my HP is guiding us all. I once feared that if we lose our singleness of purpose, we would lose our precious AA. Now I realize that God is bigger than any mistakes we may make.

Krystal
sparklek
 
Posts: 78
Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:20 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Postby Dallas » Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:44 am

Great answer Krystal. And, good question to ask Pebbles.

Singleness of Purpose IS what makes AA -- AA, and not some other A.

Rather than get into a lengthy discussion, which we've already covered here a few times in this forum -- I'd suggest reading the Chapter on Tradition Three, in the book 12 Steps & 12 Traditions. Also, to read the Long Form of the Traditions in the Big Book, and that pretty well says it all.

This is a common question. It seems to be most often asked by those that have been to NA, seeking help for a drug problem -- and they want to go to AA meetings... primarily because NA is weak in recovery in their area.

I often answer the question by asking three questions:

1. IF NA was stronger in your area -- is this where you would go? (Often, the answer is yes).

2. Do you think it's a good idea -- that people from NA, should come to AA -- and do what they are doing in their local NA -- and make AA just as ineffective and as weak as their NA?

3. Why don't you just go to NA, if that's what would be better for you -- and support them, to make it stronger?

When I first landed in AA in December of 1985, shortly after learning that they had NA near by -- I figured "well, heck! I should probably be there, too... because of all the drugs that took while drinking!" :lol:

NA was a very strong group... and, the group I decided to attend was one of the founding NA groups in Southern California. And, it was packed w/ NA Oldtimers. :wink:

When it came time for me to introduce myself, I picked the newly popular term that developed in the early 80's... as "My name is Dallas, I'm an alcoholic-addict." :lol:

Nearly the entire room full of NA Oldtimers slamed me with "Did you shoot heroin? Did you fix dope?" I said... "No, but I sure did take a lot of it!" The very promptly "ran me out of the meeting"... explaining "you don't belong here -- you should probably go back to AA." They went on to explain that NA was for "Narcotic's Addicts"... They founded their entire program for "heroin addicts" -- it wasn't for "just any kind of drug addict."

NA used the same 12 Traditions as AA -- except they modified it for their Primary Purpose -- and were very strongly committed to their 3rd Tradition and their Singleness of Purpose in helping Narcotics (heroin) Addicts. This is also why "Cocaine Anonymous" was started in 1986/87. And, later on, anonymous groups such as "Crystal Meth Anonymous."

My personal observation has been that the 12 Step Anonymous Organizations -- that "stuck to" their 3rd Tradition, not only survived, but they grew, and those that sought their help and their Fellowship -- recovered. And, the Anonymous Organizations that didn't stick to their Singleness of Purpose -- rapidly began to get worse, rather than better. And... what do they often do??? Head over to AA, proclaiming "acceptance is the answer"....... :lol: :lol:

btw: Acceptance is NOT AA's Answer. AA's Answer is: The 12 Steps & the 12 Traditions. :wink:

Dallas
Dallas
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4781
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:05 pm
Location: Fort Smith, Arkansas USA

Postby Pebbles » Thu Feb 10, 2011 8:30 am

Thank you both for your answers-it has helped to clarify alot of answers that I was looking for. I guess the best answer is to find people who are willing to start an NA meeting and go from there. Dallas, I thank you for having this forum. :)
Pebbles
 
Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2010 1:24 am
Location: Idaho

Postby Dallas » Thu Feb 10, 2011 10:49 am

The best solution would be to get a Group -- of like-minded members of the Fellowship of NA, that will make a committment to be a "Home Group" that's well structured, disciplined, and dedicated to the NA 12 Traditions -- to start and run the NA meeting. This is often where the real value of having Oldtimers who have experience, strength and wisdom -- that can be shared. When this isn't possible -- some of the other (including NA) Anonymous Organizations have enlisted the help of AA Oldtimers to assist them in their start-up.... provided that the AA Oldtimers understand that they are simply assisting and not endorsing or facilitating or associating themselves with the "outside entity."
Dallas
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4781
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:05 pm
Location: Fort Smith, Arkansas USA

Postby john boy » Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:27 am

I have been characterized as "unwelcoming" to those who come to our noon meeting of A.A. identifying themselves as addicts because I ask they refrain from sharing as suggested in our format which is read at the start of the meeting.

I do welcome them to stay and listen and return as they wish for one day they may discover they are alcoholic.

I caution they may not hear what they need to hear in a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous to address their illness. I also suggest that perhaps they can take back to N.A. that which they find appeals to them in A.A.

I do have a question...how does one address the issue of Public Health services directing non-alcoholics to meetings of A.A.? Say nothing at all and let those afflicted find their way to N.A. (or wherever)with the love of our fellowship? Or, do we communicate our singleness of purpose back to Public Health services? Thoughts?
john boy
 
Posts: 78
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2007 2:23 pm
Location: New York

Postby cue » Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:18 am

Professionals sometimes have the wrong idea about what AA does and does not do. That is why we have a public relations policy and PI committees. They help smooth relationships between public health and the fellowship.
Our local group thought it was very funny that the doctors in the area wanted to meet with the "AA counsellors" when we first made contact. Then we realised that this misconception was actually OUR responsibility. We had been sitting on our butts letting these misconceptions happen without taking the time to meet and explain what we were about.
cue
 
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:28 pm
Location: Ireland

Postby john boy » Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:57 pm

I should ask our PI committee what they have and haven't said to the Public Health folks in our community.

thanks
john boy
 
Posts: 78
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2007 2:23 pm
Location: New York

Postby Dallas » Tue Jun 21, 2011 4:45 pm

Just do the same as you do with those that identify only as addicts.... reading from your Blue Card, or whatever it is on.

Actually, they shouldn't even be requested to identify or introduce themselves.

Anyone from the community can attend an Open AA meeting. Example, a speaker meeting. This should be the only kind of AA meeting that a non-alcoholic is attending. Discussion meetings and literature meetings should be closed meetings (even though many are not), so that the traditions can be honored in the meeting.

The way around this for introductions would be to ask "Are there any alcoholics present at this meeting?" Ask for a show of hands -- so that you don't pick a non-alcoholic to share.
Dallas
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4781
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:05 pm
Location: Fort Smith, Arkansas USA

Postby Roger8-1-88 » Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:51 pm

What’s the difference between an alcoholic and a drug addict? An alcoholic will steal you wallet never to be seen again. A drug addict will steal your wallet and help you look for it. I was taught early on by good sponsors that AA is for ALCOHOLICS! And NA is for addicts. I had the same situation when I first got sober/clean. I went to both......believe me I need both and a few other programs. The NA in my area was......well let say....a hard place to get clean. So I started a new young peoples NA meeting at my local AA club house and it is still up and running as far as I know. Let me tell you at first it went over like the led balloon. BUT I STAYED SOBER! Both programs are what you make of them. Make the best of both!
Roger8-1-88
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:09 pm
Location: Florida

Next

Return to Help for alcoholics who want to stay sober

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest









.








12 Step Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery | - Singleness of Purpose