- Tradition 5

Tradition 5




Discussion related to the 12 Traditions

Tradition 5

Postby Frananne » Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:46 pm

Feeling somewhat confused today. We have a person who announces himself as an addict and at last meeting said he occasionally drinks. I do not understand why an addict sharing is any help to an alcoholic. This is an open meeting however I thought one was supposed to share on one's experiences, strength, and hope as it relates to alcohol.

Help?...
Frananne
 
Posts: 92
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2012 6:18 pm
Location: Sugar Land, TX

Re: Tradition 5

Postby Dallas » Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:46 pm

Traditions-wise, the general consensus appears to be that: In an open meeting, a non-alcoholic may introduce themselves, if asked to do so -- otherwise they should refrain from all sharing. The purpose of having an Open Meeting, which allows anyone from the general public to attend -- is so that non-alcoholics may attend "to listen" and see if they identify as an alcoholic.

Most meetings have what they call a "Blue Card" and is read before the meeting, along with the Preamble. On one side there is a Statement to be read at Open Meetings. And, on the other side, is a modified Statement, appropriate for Closed Meetings. It's typically the Meeting Secretary or Chairperson's or Leader's responsibility to make the announcement.

One of the additional things that was passed on to me, when Chairing or Leading an Open Meetings, is to announce "My name is Dallas, and I am an alcoholic. Can I see a show of hands of anyone else that identifies as an alcoholic?" Then, I note who didn't raise their hand -- and I refrain from calling on them. And, if they start to share, I explain the tradition and re-quote the Blue Card for them, as I ask them to refrain from sharing during the meeting, and to see myself or one of us AFTER the meeting, when we will be glad to talk with them.

This is something that will occasionally happen at OPEN meetings, especially when care has not been shown before the meeting starts -- to make the appropriate announcements. If it happens often -- the members in the meeting should have a Group Conscience meeting to decide if it would be more appropriate for them to be a CLOSED meeting instead of an OPEN meeting.

Also -- I've never been able to figure out WHY any AA meeting would be an Open Meeting -- if it is not an Open Speaker Meeting. Because any Open Meeting that allows Alcoholics Anonymous to share their stories with non-alcoholics is breaking the tradition of Anonymity for the alcoholics who are present.

I don't blame the non-alcoholic for sharing, in a situation like this, if: A. They have not been instructed to NOT share, prior to the meeting. And, B. If they have been called on to share. It is the AA Meeting Chairperson's responsibility to see that appropriate measures have been taken to prevent it from occuring.
Dallas
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4781
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:05 pm
Location: Fort Smith, Arkansas USA

Re: Tradition 5

Postby Toast » Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:53 pm

Tradition 5

“ Each group has but one primary purpose-to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers”


Tradition 5 guarantees our singleness of purpose and ensures we are not diverted from our number one obligation, the carrying AA’s message to the alcoholic who still suffers.

Having tried and failed to be experts at everything under the sun from pigeon fancying to ship building we have found that the only lasting thing we are really good at is sobering up ex drunks, people like we once were. AA has nothing else to sell and by the time they need our services ex-drunks have nothing else to buy. So we stick to what we’re good at, nothing more. We don’t give out advice on financial, legal or matrimonial matters; we don’t have a cure for halitosis, heart disease or haemorrhoids. We can’t get you a job, fix your car or teach you how to play the trombone.

And we especially dare not tell you to stop taking prescribed medication. I’ve heard a few dangerous CD’s recently telling alcoholics to stop taking anti-depressants or anything else that’s finally brought a bit of peace into our lives and the lives of those around us. These dangerous egotistical loony’s clearly suffer from a ‘ Messiah’ complex. These people take the view that if we want to be saved we must do it their way or we’re doomed to die in ignorance. But the truth is they are far from qualified to talk on medical matters or very much else for that matter so stay well clear of them, no matter how convincing they sound.

But we AA’s can get you sober, given the chance, because we have been given a gift. A gift so precious that those of us who have been blessed by it now have a moral obligation to share it with our fellow suffers. Its been proved time and time again that only an alcoholic can help another alcoholic, many professionals more learned than us have tried and failed miserably. We are people who have no special learning skills to pass onto a new prospect only our experience, strength and hope, and we know this works.

For we are people who live on borrowed time, and if we are to live at all we must give away all we have learned in AA. Anyone else who’d been saved from a life threatening illness could just resume their daily lives and one day forget that they were ever sick. For us this would prove fatal, for we know alcohol to be a subtle foe, it is cunning, baffling, powerful and also very, very patient. For us to forget where we came from would be deadly and we’ve learned the most effective way to ‘keep the wound open’ is to work with other alcoholics.

As a group we do not seek fame but anonymity, not wealth but poverty and not prestige but humility. This is a programme of action not self-promotion. We take no credit for sobering up one single drunk, just like us newcomers are beholding to not one single person or group of persons for getting well. God does all the work we are merely his instruments. We forget this at our peril.
Toast
 
Posts: 471
Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2010 12:50 pm

Re: Tradition 5

Postby Dallas » Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:36 pm

That's awesome John! With your permission -- I'd like to pass this on as much as I can.
Dallas
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4781
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:05 pm
Location: Fort Smith, Arkansas USA

Re: Tradition 5

Postby Frananne » Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:52 pm

As always I appreciate the insights y'all give me. Thanks a bunch!
Frananne
Frananne
 
Posts: 92
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2012 6:18 pm
Location: Sugar Land, TX

Re: Tradition 5

Postby Toast » Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:29 am

Be my guest Dallas, if no one cared enough to pass on stuff to me i'd still be that lost little boy whistling in the dark!

Have a great day.

Love,light,laughter!


PS, still to get you that picture, had a weekend full of grandkids and never got round to it. Get it to you soon as.
Toast
 
Posts: 471
Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2010 12:50 pm

Re: Tradition 5

Postby john boy » Sun May 06, 2012 7:00 am

I recently began attending an open meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous at which the format speaks to our "singleness of purpose"... then continues on to ask for a topic about alcohol/alcoholism or "your drug of choice". The "drug of choice" statement concerns me.

I took my concern to the group conscience requesting the (a) "drug of choice" statement be removed or (b) they stop referring to itself as a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous.

My request(s) were voted down. :(
john boy
 
Posts: 78
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2007 2:23 pm
Location: New York

Re: Tradition 5

Postby Toast » Mon May 07, 2012 4:38 pm

Hi John Boy,

I for one don’t like hearing that, i know at heart all addicts are the same and its good for some members to hear how people coped coming off all substances its just i cant identify with other drugs because i never indulged in them.

For years i thought I only drank to be ' sociable,' well that’s what i told the judge on a monday morning. The fact is i was always a restless, irritable ticking time bomb who was drawn to drink to stop the incessant ticking but in the end booze lit the fuse big time and sent me off hurtling like a rocket through other peoples lives causing tears and mayhem wherever i went. This is how I know my emotional life was always ‘ unmanageable’ and thankfully AA showed me how to turn that around. And if I manage these same destructive emotions on a daily basis I need never return to drink.

Today thanks to AA I have been empowered to change my own mind and make the occasional sound decision that will help me stay in a fit spiritual condition to deal with life when it’s fired at me from point blank range. Now sober our life is defined in the last words spoken by Buddha’ Work on your own salvation with diligence.’

For me that mean’s keeping sober minded company, going to meetings where I hear the message of AA and removing myself for places that cause me inner conflict. I also had to stop being a seeker but a finder of the truth.

Keep going, you'll get there.

God Bless
Toast
 
Posts: 471
Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2010 12:50 pm

Re: Tradition 5

Postby john boy » Mon May 07, 2012 6:22 pm

Hi Toast,

I attended my first meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous in Los Angeles 50 years ago. I remember the speakers story to this day. I worked on step one for 23 years and when I returned to A.A. it was virtually the same as my first meeting. I was fortunate to have found a group of men who provided me the structure and discipline I avoided my entire life. I am convinced the Alcoholics Anonymous I found 28 years ago plays a significant role in my sobriety today. I have an obligation to those who will come after me to find the same as I did.

I am passionate about my A.A. I believe the rooms are one of the most sacred places on the face of this earth. Today I returned to the meeting I previously wrote about. I shared my concern for the newcomer who suffers from Alcoholism and hears it is acceptable to discuss his/her drug of choice. That is a violation of our traditions. I believe we have an obligation to politely speak up in these circumstances which I did. Today some thanked me others felt I should go elsewhere. I thanked both for their opinions.

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

Re: Tradition 5

Postby Toast » Tue May 08, 2012 3:05 am

Hi John Boy,

When you put it like that i guess i'll just shut up then!

And I guess the name ' John Boy' creates a false impression of you?

And your right, we have to stand up for what we believe to be right, after all if those ' drug of choice' types think they've found a new way of getting well why dont they start up there own fellowship and stop hijacking ours!

Be well
Toast
 
Posts: 471
Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2010 12:50 pm

Next

Return to 12 Traditions Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest









.








12 Step Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery | - Tradition 5