More on Tradition #11

Here are a Good public relations are A.A. lifelines reaching out to the brother alcoholic who still does not know us. For years to come, our growth is sure to depend upon the strength and number of these lifelines. One serious public relations calamity could always turn thousands away from us to perish — a matter of life and death indeed!few more questions to consider: ~ Grapevine

https://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/smf-131_en.pdf

4. Am I ashamed of being a recovered, or recovering, alcoholic?
5. What would AA be like if we were not guided by the ideas in Tradition Eleven? Where
would I be?
6. Is my AA sobriety attractive enough that a sick drunk would want such a quality for
himself?

I used to be ashamed of being a recovered alcoholic and would sneak around to go to meetings. Then, one day a friend of mine pointed out that he had felt the same way until he realized that he always parked his company truck out front of the local tap without any shame. Why would he feel ashamed of seeking help? That helped me get over my ego problem.

Without Tradition #11, I don’t think AA would have flourished. I think we would be stuck in our individual ego problems, ruled by social pressure to just “get over it”, and too stuck in our own shame and fear to ask for help. In AA we have found that we are not above or below anyone else. We are a part of; not apart from. Thank goodness for AA.

Attraction not promotion is key to helping others. In AA, there is a segment of our meetings that are called Foxhall. They require that their sponsees to wear business attire in order to be a good example of AA. That is fine and good for those who need more structure. I wear casual street clothes. I am not here to impress anyone else. I believe that we seek out those who have what we want. I don’t think we need to be anything more or less than who we are: sober, healthy, happy and free. If they want recovery, they will seek us out.

 

 

A Motley Crew

AA, as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve. ~ AA 12 X 12

We are a motley crew of drunks who manage to have special events, service boards and committees, conventions, etc. that go off seemingly well. I know it baffles newcomers who want to know who is in charge. Who should they go to for the rules and directions? I used to wonder that too. My objective was that I wanted someone to blame if I failed. I also wanted to know what the rules were, so I could systematically run afoul of them; in the hopes of being kicked out. That didn’t work either!

This weekend, I will be attending a 12 step state convention. Somehow, several parts of the state come together each year and throw themselves a fun, weekend long party. Everyone is welcome to participate. No one is turned away if they cannot afford it. We each pitch in. This year, I put the flyer together, will do a shift or two at the registration table, and speak. I am speaking on the topic of acceptance. Had I never accepted the concept that I was an alcoholic, and that my life was unmanageable by me, I would not be 31 years sober. I would not be up at 6 AM typing this, and I surely would not be spending a whole weekend at a 12 step convention. Join the party and get involved. Your soul will thank you.

About Turning 31

You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there is going to be

somebody who hates peaches. ~ Engine 2 Diet

You got to love AA. We celebrate birthdays! We celebrate that others saved their own butts by getting and staying sober. Now, isn’t that ironic? Today is my 31st AA birthday. My first thought this morning is that I am glad that I lived long enough to see 31 years of sobriety. Then I thought of all the wonderful people that I have met in AA here in the metro area. AA is alive and thriving in the Des Moines area. For that, we can all breathe some in gratitude. We have a growing and sober community of support for the still suffering alcoholics who may want us some day. How sweet is that?

So, 31 means I have been sober longer than I drank, for certain. Much of my drinking life feels like a nightmare that I once witnessed someone else going through in slow motion. Due to black out drinking, I don’t remember most of the gory details. Back then, I could never imagine living without alcohol as my main beverage. Now, I cannot imagine alcohol in my life. There would be no space or room for it. I have too much going on and too many things to accomplish to let it back in my door. I tell people if they want long term sobriety, all they have to do is not drink and stay alive! So, I will leave it right there. Stay sober and stay alive. Thank G.O.D. we found AA.

 

Agnostic as to Application

The devout active alcoholic, unable to apply their religious truths,

are agnostic by application. ~ Anon

The single greatest chapter in the Big Book to aid my recovery is We Agnostics. This helped to explain that AA is not a religious program, and that sobriety is not just for the Christians among us. What a relief! This is a spiritual recovery program open to everyone. When we use the words G.O.D. or Higher Power, etc.; how we envision this is very personal and unique to each of us. We are all inclusive and accepting of all persons no matter what they choose to believe or not believe in. To me, that is so freeing and liberating. We do not have to accept cultural norms that limit who we associate with.

We get this chance to do things all over again. Our sobriety allows for a fresh perspective on life and other humans. In sobriety we see the souls of others and regale in their beauty. We learn that so long as we were drinking, we may have been very devout in our beliefs, but in practice, we were agnostic. So long as we continued to drink, we had no trust in a HP. Our HP was booze. That was the only thing we believed in. E.G.O = Edging G.O.D. Out. Thus, alcoholism was the great equalizer. We all came in agnostic. It is sobriety that gives each of us the opportunity to find our own HP concept. Now, that is true freedom. Wouldn’t you wish that for everyone?

Home Group

We have two things in common: the dis-ease of alcoholism and sobriety. Looks for the similarities; not the differences. ~ Anon

The concept of having a home group in AA is a valuable one to embrace. I have lived in  few different states and cities over the  years, so setting up and keeping a home group on my weekly schedule has helped me get to know people in AA and my community much easier. As I have mentioned before, I am a bit socially anxious and a loner, so this is as necessary to me as unpacking my boxes after a move. Home groups offer a sense of home, where we have our elders, youngsters, a common bond (sobriety), we have chores to do, and we celebrate birthdays! Ergo, “home” group. For some of us, this is the only family we have in life. I like to call it “my tribe”.

I have moms, aunts,and grandmas in AA that have been my role models and have seen me through life’s ups and downs as a blood relative might have done in past generations. I got to learn how to age gracefully and go through changes in my body and life; that I would have had no clue of what to expect. Over the years, we have shared parenthood, grand parenting, aging, health concerns, deaths, and births, jobs, and retirement. When people wonder aloud how I can live alone, I need only remember the tribe I have around me, to realize that I am never ever alone. They are just a phone call or meeting away. That is the fellowship of AA promised in tradition #8.