Member: Linda P
Location: CA, USAS
Date: 31 May 1998
Time: 15:56:46

Comments

Hi everyone, Linda an alcoholic. The Fifth Tradition is a good topic. That involves the "message," what is was like (drinking), what happened (our bottom), and what it's like now (in recovery). I have attended meetings where anything but our disease was discussed, and at times I am perplexed by it. Probably one of the reasons I attend mostly closed meetings rather than open. If we get too diversified in our messages and fail to deliver the one of recovery from alcoholism, we sort of diminish our effectiveness within the body of this program to help the alcoholic newcomer.

Service is what we are all involved in any time we share at a meeting level. When we go beyond that to alcoholics that have not found our program yet, it is even more essential we give it to them straight, and not cloud our message to them with every other ill that might be effecting us. It can be too confusing. Once sober, they can branch out to other types of meetings, or professional help to deal with whatever other issues that need to be faced in sobriety. This tradition helps keep our fellowship from going by the wayside. It keeps us united with a common purpose, recovery from alcoholism.

Thanks for allowing me to share. Love to all, Linda P.


Member: Linda P
Location: CA, USA
Date: 31 May 1998
Time: 15:56:51

Comments

Hi everyone, Linda an alcoholic. The Fifth Tradition is a good topic. That involves the "message," what is was like (drinking), what happened (our bottom), and what it's like now (in recovery). I have attended meetings where anything but our disease was discussed, and at times I am perplexed by it. Probably one of the reasons I attend mostly closed meetings rather than open. If we get too diversified in our messages and fail to deliver the one of recovery from alcoholism, we sort of diminish our effectiveness within the body of this program to help the alcoholic newcomer.

Service is what we are all involved in any time we share at a meeting level. When we go beyond that to alcoholics that have not found our program yet, it is even more essential we give it to them straight, and not cloud our message to them with every other ill that might be effecting us. It can be too confusing. Once sober, they can branch out to other types of meetings, or professional help to deal with whatever other issues that need to be faced in sobriety. This tradition helps keep our fellowship from going by the wayside. It keeps us united with a common purpose, recovery from alcoholism.

Thanks for allowing me to share. Love to all, Linda P.


Member: Tom F
Location: Claremont NH
Date: 01 Jun 1998
Time: 00:33:29

Comments

Hi to all, I'm Tom and I AM an alcoholic. Very good for me to remember the traditions of AA. I've known of some step meetings where people will intentionally stay away when it comes time to do a tradition. The steps show us how it works and I've heard people refer to the traditions as why it works. The traditions are written for a reason and to me they are what holds AA together.

Tradition five is plain and simple and states our singleness of purpose. To carry our message so freely given to us to those who still suffer. It states that as a group our main purpose is to pass on our experience, strength and hope.

I agree with Linda P that our main focus during a meeting needs to be kept on our alcoholism, how it affected us, what we did about it and what we continue to do about it. The newcomer needs the groups experience, strength and hope to identify with us and to begin to see that there is a way out...For me it was also very important to begin to feel that, yes real happiness was possible without having to rely on drinking for a false elusive sense of freedom.

Thanks for listening....................Tom


Member: Barbara S.
Location: NJ
Date: 01 Jun 1998
Time: 12:03:56

Comments

My name is Barbara and I'm an alcoholic.

I've always particularly loved this Tradition. I like that phrase "one primary purpose" - it settles most questions for me. It reminds me that whatever else might happen in an AA room, we have but "one primary purpose." It helps me to get focused, to remember that other people may have different ideas and feelings about everything else, but that no matter what, we have this one very important, central thing in common. That all else, in an AA room, is secondary, because without AA, I would probably no longer be alive. I'm certainly not always perfect at remembering this, but I have the Tradition to go back to in case I forget.

I, too, love the Traditions. I've also loved reading all the other literature about the founding of AA ("Dr. Bob and the Good Oldtimers," "AA Comes of Age," the individual Traditions stories in "Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions" - are there others?) They remind me, always, that I am a human being like other human beings, but that there are some principles to follow which work to get me right with the world, and to help make me a better person. I feel very lucky, these days.

Peace to all -


Member: Bonnie C
Location: Seattle
Date: 01 Jun 1998
Time: 18:14:33

Comments

Hi extended family, bonnie/alcoholic here, (((ROOM-HUG))) so good to be amongst my caring, loving brothers and sisters in this program. I am blessed. This tradition keeps the program alive and adds the new blood to the meetings that is so vital to it's survival. Have you ever noticed that after you've gone to the same meeting for 5 or so yrs that when some of the old timers open their mouths you could almost say ver batem what will come out of their mouths. I acquired a resentment many yrs back about this until I realized that what these folks were saying was every bit as helpful than any of my long winded stories could ever contribute and because they were so repititious that they probably made a lasting impression on those they helped and probably saved many a life. besides I had to get rid of my resentments when my sponsor pointed out that resentment is like poison you drink expecting the other person to hurt or die. comforting thought. anyway, the alcoholic that still suffers could be anyone at a meeting so if I'm hurting I go to listen for me till I can inventory my painful area, if I'm feeling good I go and listen for someone that I can go to coffee with after the meeting for you did that for me when I was, thank you dear family. God bless all who venture here, Love, bonnie c bonzoc@webtv.net


Member: John E.
Location: Kentucky
Date: 02 Jun 1998
Time: 10:26:22

Comments

Hello everyone. My name is John and I am a recovering alcoholic. I believe a lot of great things have been said so far, but one very important thing has not. We as members of AA must make sure that we also carry the message outside the meetings. My home group is very active in supporting institution meetings, and this is one way to get to the people that are unaware of AA. I also serve on the Public Information Committee in my district. P.I. is a great way to carry the message by having public service announcements on radio, cable, and locat tv stations. Also supplying schools and libraries with meeting schedules and AA pamphlets. Probably the most important thing that tradition 5 says to me though is that it is a group effort. This means making a committment to a group to help give back some of what was so freely given to me.

Thanks,


Member: Doris H
Location: Springfield, Oregon
Date: 02 Jun 1998
Time: 12:38:18

Comments

Hi there, My name is Doris and i am an alcoholic. It think that this is a great time for this tradidion. According to what I have been reading there was quite a mess in the coffee pot last week. Lest we forget - - I would like to say this tradition is very inportant. "remembering that each group has but one primary purpose, anbd that is to carry the message to the still suffering alcoholic. From what little I understand that is probably not what was going in the coffee pot last week. Was what was being seid helpful to the newly recovering acoholic? Maybe - - maybe not. I always like to tell my riding students that you can LEARN even from a bad example. This tradition, as stated, is pretty simple and I think it would be very helpful to remember it once in a while. The simplicity of it , to me , is what makes it so powerful. Thank You, Doris


Member: Patrick C
Location: Wisconsin
Date: 02 Jun 1998
Time: 13:13:19

Comments

Hello, I am an alcoholic and drug addict, my name is Patrick. Carry the message in my thoughts, words,and all my actions is what I am trying to do and I do fail on numerous times. The failers are less day by day as long as I make the constant effort to change myself and my addicted way of selfesh thinking. I strugle on a daily basis with my self centeredness and grandiosity. They are the two things that impede my journey the most in my recovery. Another thing that slows me is the way I have so many good intentions and then they never become action. I stumple there a lot. I am so gratefull for this Tradition because it means I will always have a meeting to go to when I need one. Please continue the great work and maintain those meetings for me. I know that I don't have a lot to offer at the meetings but I can't believe how much better I feel after one. Thanks for this Tradition, thanks for the forsight of our founders and thank you all for teaching a hardhead like me that I can change. THANK YOU ALL!!!!


Member: Doris H
Location: Springfield, Oregon
Date: 02 Jun 1998
Time: 13:19:25

Comments

Hi there, My name is Doris and i am an alcoholic. It think that this is a great time for this tradidion. According to what I have been reading there was quite a mess in the coffee pot last week. Lest we forget - - I would like to say this tradition is very inportant. "remembering that each group has but one primary purpose, anbd that is to carry the message to the still suffering alcoholic. From what little I understand that is probably not what was going in the coffee pot last week. Was what was being seid helpful to the newly recovering acoholic? Maybe - - maybe not. I always like to tell my riding students that you can LEARN even from a bad example. This tradition, as stated, is pretty simple and I think it would be very helpful to remember it once in a while. The simplicity of it , to me , is what makes it so powerful. Thank You, Doris


Member: Andy T.
Location: Newportbeach,CA.
Date: 02 Jun 1998
Time: 13:49:51

Comments

Hi my friends,Andy T. alcoholic.The 5th Tradition to me means ,give back what was so freeley given to me. where I live we have a detox called Charlie st. Three nights a week a group of us guy's go and share our E.S.H.To the guys there.I guess what it really come's down to is one alcoholic talking to another alcoholic,just like our two founder's did...Bill W.and DR.Bob. Back then they did'nt have the Big Book, 12 Steps or Tradition's .All they had ,was their 2 man group carring there message of E.S.H.that there was a way out of there own private hell. Remember what we can not do on our own, we can do as a group. well take care my friends, hey if you want a good laugh go into the coffee pot and read about my near death experince this morning. Andy T.


Member: kyle B.
Location: Florida
Date: 03 Jun 1998
Time: 20:48:04

Comments

Kyle B. Pensacola, Fl 6/3/98

My name is Kyle, a grateful alcoholic and I appreciate to chance to share my experience, strenght and hope with you.

Like the steps, some of the traditions a in reality lock together. This in particularly true of T. 3-5. If, like step 1, T.3 is not fully taken in the spirit and truth that it was written, little will be of value from that point on. Sadly, and I have been practicing the program for quite a few years, this is what has happen to the traditional AA that got sober me sober. I didn't have to suspend my smoking, be a black, gay, male, female, professional, non-professional, nurse, lawyer, the list now goes on ad infintum, to be a member of what I'm quite sure the founding fathers called a group, not a meeting. I think the forward of the 1st addition of the BB makes it pretty clear that these were men and women from all walks of life with no special affiliation. So today, the statement that "the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking" of the 3rd T is no longer valid. This has been further escalated into the failure of the 4th T to be up held by AA at large by our allowing the concept of "common welfare" to be disregarded by the "specialized" groups of the "modern age". Most of oldtimers will accept and do partiscipate in mens or womens MEETINGS, but do not belong to specialized groups, unless you want to call a home group special, which I do. This leads me to the 5th T. With out the right amounts of sand and mortor as per the BB, our foundation will not stand the test on time and will crumble from it's on fragmentation. Unless we get back to the basics, including the traditions, we will have very little to offer the still suffering alcoholics, either in or out of the rooms. And we will find ourselves exercising a very wierd sense of self centeredness. I owe a great debt to the program of Alcoholics Anonomus, and one the most important things is to be honest about what it was like, what is like now, and in this case what trends I see for the future.

God Bless you along the Broad Highway

Kyle

kyle.pens@worldnet.att.net


Member: Kelley C.
Location: Chicago
Date: 04 Jun 1998
Time: 14:31:52

Comments

Hi. I'm Kelley and I'm an alcoholic/addict. Kyle, I like the thoroughness of your argument and I appreciate the candor with which it was written. It is, however, for me an interesting take on the postmodern condition. The nature of unity is often the experience of fragmentation. Indeed, AA is founded upon fragmenting a smaller group out from the social order in which they otherwise exist. If groups offer "specialized" meetings, the primary purpose need not be altered. The message of recovery from alcoholism is stable, but the program asks us, in recovery, to reconstitute our approach to living in this world. The world I encounter is, however, not the same world as all alcoholics any more than the world that you encounter is synonymous with mine. My skin for whatever reason this lifetime is "white" and I don't know the triggers associated with confronting this world with systems of racism in tact and having to do that sober and see it continually for what is. If recovery didn't ask us to participate in life...then finding "our" story might not be so important in a world so fragmented by social systems and social heirarchies. But that is NOT the world we live in and if it helps me to find comfort and understanding in the rooms of those who share my social world and its unfortunate order (or disorder) then may god/dess bless that journey and help that recovery. I am female, I am an incest survivor and an alcoholic. My sobriety has forced issues of sexual abuse out from the recesses in which they hid. My recovery was best understood by those who have been and done that...the same as AA itself is premised upon. Perhaps we should rejoice in our unity of AA (and recovery from alcohlism) and ALSO our willingness to seek those that share fragmented pieces of this world that may be difficult to encounter with a sober mind and clean heart. Thanks for letting me share.


Member: Pat O
Location: gRAND jUNCTION, CO
Date: 04 Jun 1998
Time: 22:42:50

Comments

I've been real lax about making meetings lately. I seem to get real confused about my primary purpose and my primary needs. I don't know, I seem like a magnet to all the needy newcomers that are more than willing to compromise theier integrity to fulfil their needs. I know tht every thing happens on God's world the way it is supposed to, but I wonder about my hidden agendas. Of course, I have a plethora of mixed motives, but even these can be rationalized. But, my conscience vacillates, sometimes I need to regurgatate. But, I can always find some "old- timers" to help me justify my behavior. I don't know I seem confused and if i ever got some ethics, it would make for a dilemna, but...


Member: bj
Location: miami, florida
Date: 05 Jun 1998
Time: 01:43:46

Comments

i am a recovered alcoholic, and I identify with kelley from cgo; I too am a survivor of sexual abuse; because Bill W. faced his particular demons and started this wonderful fellowship, we have all been blessed. The beginning of overcoming my demons started with the 4th and 5th steps in AA when I was able to share my deepest, darkest secrets with my sponsor--something which years spent in psycho wards never accomplished (or uncovered} and then to finish clearing up my past, I joined another l2 step program, ACOA. What a wonderful group of suffering people; so loving and so very very honest. I know we in AA think we are the only ones following this way of life, it is an eye-opener to see these "victims" engage in open, honest discussions about themselves which in turn helped this victim/alcoholic, begin to heal, one day at a time. I will be forever grateful, because without resolving these issues, I would never have been able to maintain sobriety and in turn reach out to others. And, since this is a Tradition meeting, think how wonderful to realize that this group was using the same traditions borne out of the blood sweat and tears of the original l00 alcoholics. I love reading about how our steps and traditions came about and feel deeply deeply grateful that they held steadfast and passed them on to us. I feel truly blessed. Thanks for letting me share.


Member: ulf w
Location: slovenia
Date: 05 Jun 1998
Time: 04:45:56

Comments

ulf w I want to express my gratitude for all the painful sharing in ACOA. Talk,talk...... Expression insted of depression. L O V E ULf


Member: AA member
Location:
Date: 05 Jun 1998
Time: 10:50:51

Comments

Kyle B.-Care to share your real feelings about the specialized groups in AA? I am truly interested in your thoughts and would especially like to try to understand why the harmless unity or as you call "fragmentation" is threatening to you. I have enjoyed gay AA groups in addition to traditional groups only because there are other people who understand the underlying problem of discrimination that gay members feel when trudging the road to happy destiny. I have never preferred one group to the other, but tend to flock to my own when possible as I feel more comfortable discussing gay issues while not having to edit my feelings or worry about not being accepted-or worse-opening up the chronic debate on the morality of homosexuality. I read in a study that 1 in 10 people are alcoholics, and 3 in 10 gay people are alcoholics. These people are in desperate need of help, and if attending straight meetings is at all intimidating to them then the option of attending a safe gay meeting is invaluable. I suspect others with specialized needs would feel the same way. This does in no way alter the 12 steps and 12 traditions, and threatens no one but broadens the possibilities of recovery for people who want it.


Member: Ronald P
Location: Per?
Date: 05 Jun 1998
Time: 14:45:58

Comments

Dear Friends , My name is Ron and I'm an alcoholic .A friend of mine in service alwats said your part of the problem or your part of the solution . Well looking at it in that light I would like to comment on Tradition 5 . I 've often heard at meetings for some time now "I don't want to hear a drunk-a-log I want to hear program . Well I don't tend to agree with that , and I believe some have had lost perspective on what is the message . My Big Book states " an alcoholic armed with the facts about himself can usally win the confidence of an other alcoholic with in a few hours , untill this is done little or nothing can be done ". For me the first part of the message is identification second the solution(the steps and tried experiences ) We seemed to forget that the message was all the pain and sufering that we had to pay to be willing to surrender . The active alcoholic can relate with these things and not with 2 hour lectures on steps and traditions . The tradition also says , STILL suffering , it does not say newcomers . I have seen it so often an oldtimer going through really hard times and we seem to forget that the to need love and understanding . I remember my dad , when his mother past away . He sat in the livingroom crying at 29 years sober , saying where are all the people I Helped now that I need them . I simply asked , But dad do they know how you feel or that you need them . It seems that some old timers get so accustomed to giving they don't seem to remember how to ask for help or there pride won't allow them . On the group level I have seen my group decide to stop doing service here in Per? and it has went from a Group of 15 down to two people , it just so happens that those two are the only one still sober . May God keep you in his loving Embrace Ronald P


Member: Karen M.
Location: NJ
Date: 05 Jun 1998
Time: 23:12:53

Comments

My name is Karen and I am an alcoholic. I believe so strongly in the importance that we give back what we have been so freely given. God has blessed me with the ability to help others get sober and I am clear that this truly is my primary purpose in life. Sobriety is a gift and I pray that I always remember... "I am responsible, that whenever anyone, anywhere reaches out for help, I want the hand of AA to be there. And for that I am responsible." Peace, Karen


Member: mike w
Location: saudi arabia
Date: 06 Jun 1998
Time: 08:52:27

Comments

Hi everybody, mike w, grateful recovering alcoholic. The 5th tradition, very important for me to remember this one. I feel this is about giving back to others what was so freely given to me. Whethter that's in an AA meeting, carrying the message to jails, detox's, sponsoring, or just sharing my experience with another recovering person. I need to think of the other person, which gets me out of self ( usually the person that gets me into trouble). I have to remember to keep it simple, I try to complicate my life, and I think my higher power tries to simplify it for me. I'm currently stationed (us navy) in Saudi arabia, and have no access to face to face meetings, so this site really helps me keep sober. As far as specialty meetings go, as long as recovery is taking place, and they are in keeping with the steps and traditions of AA, I don't have a problem. We must always be inclusive, never exclusive I think that's what the BB says if not mistaken. Thanks for reminding me of our singleness of purpose, love you all. if you're new, keep coming back, the miricle will happen if you want it too ( and sometimes even if you don't). ODAAT mike w


Member: Sanders W.
Location: Graceville, Fl.
Date: 06 Jun 1998
Time: 20:44:29

Comments

Hi to all Ya'll, I am very definately a real alcoholic and my name is Sanders. The old saying of " Jack of all trades and master of none" does NOT fit AA. We are absolute authorities on whate alcohol does to us and this is what the 5th tradition is. To remind us to stick to what we know about. I heard a speaker say this one night and I thought lots about it and aggree 100% with it. I am an authority on what alcohol does to me and no one can dispute that. Anything else in the world that I have an opinion or feeling about, someone can disput it but not the one thing I am an authority on. When I realized that, it was pretty profound to me and still feel it is very personel and extreamly important to me. When I share this with another alcoholic I have to remember to stay in my field of " expertise". When we deviate from this primary purpose, we have a diluted or watered down message and this is not nearly as " profound". I love this tradition and constantly remind myself of its importance to me and to AA as a whole. Love in the program and the fellowship. Sanders


Member: BJ
Location: Miami, FL
Date: 07 Jun 1998
Time: 16:46:32

Comments

bj, an alcoholic. gee, i hope i didn't offend anyone by sharing about ACOA...I was just prompted by another's sharing about an abuse survivor and giving credit to the beginning of this fellowship which open the door to other programs who also use the steps and traditions; at least two of us in this discussion have benefited from that and after all, if we cannot resolve all our pain (some are sicker than others) then, I believe we are doomed to drink again...of course I can only speak for myself but so far using aa as my #l source for recovery and all the other programs like CODA and when I first got sober, ALANON, have managed to stay sober for 28 years. I will add that I got away from my CODA issues about 3 years ago and last Dec. picked up a bottle of champagne (first time in all these years I would learn what it smelled like). I had just returned from f2f aa meeting, and had every intention of drinking. The smell is what stopped me; since the alcohol had been sitting in our home over a year (my daughter had used it in a photo shoot) it was really hot and spewed all over me; made me really sick and I poured down the drain and walked away; in that moment I realized I had lost the most precious thing I'd ever had - my peace of mind. And,over the next months, I was able to recognize that my co-dependency with my daughter had almost killed me. It is a very REAL illness and I continue to go in-between my AA meetings, to CODA and work the steps from that perspective once more. My daughter is now sober and clean in AA in another county and we mostly talk on the phone (and I get to speak to my grandson whom I cared for for 4 l/2 years waiting for his mom to get well) and it has been a painful "trip"; yet I am happy to report that I am accepting the situation and I have grown from it - well, when you go all the way down (almost) where is there to go but UP? When I can't get out to a meeting or get my sponsor on the phone, this site as the other meetings, has been another blessing. Thanks to all who share here - we must all not only live the steps and traditions but also remember that the price of sobriety is ETERNAL VIGILENCE. I learned that the hard way, but then, everything I've learned along the Path has been that way. And in keeping with this tradition, my primary purpose for living is to stay sober and carry the message which is the total sum of ALL my eperiences and believe it or not, because of my particular set of "other" illnesses, I am able to reach those that no one else could reach; I firmly believe that this is why God spared my life when my heart stopped last year and they operated to keep it going. He saved me for a purpose - my work to carry the message is not finished. I fully intend to carry my message wherever and whenever I am needed. God bless all who walk this way.

 

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