Somehow I'm feeling as if I--an Alcoholic--have a 'brother' in Alanon, named SYD ("I'm Just F.I.N.E. in Alanon"). since he and I are typing out our take(s) on the Traditions these days. (I was gonna take a breather and post something else--but DARE not, can't let an Alanon get one up on me--AGAIN! -grin
Wednesday's posting follows:
Parts of the following are taken from literature which is listed under the following copyrights:
Copyright © The A. A. Grapevine, Inc., and Alcoholics Anonymous Publishing (now known as Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.)
"Each group has but one Primary Purpose--to carry the message to the alcoholic who still suffers."
Well, this Tradition names, and is obviously directed to "each group", so it does not directly affect me or my activities. Maybe I am involved insofar as the group decides who will make 12th step calls, etc. Right? WRONG!!!
The very heartbeat of Alcoholics Anonymous is addressed now. The life-giving blood which fills the arteries of A.A., the very essence of our program--is that one-on-one, eyeball-to-eyeball connection which occurs when one alcoholic meets with--and helps--another alcoholic. Sharing such as this is nothing less than spiritual, and in the balance hangs a new life--or death--for one, or both.
Early in sobriety, I found myself--The "REAL" MR FEAR AND PARANOIA--suddenly thrust into the role of "fearless leader" (well, not exactly!). Here I was, trying to help one whose life was in the toilet, not even flushed yet. At least, my old life was on the way through the pipes.
The blind leading the blind? Maybe so, but the guy who I helped--actually, he helped ME--was still around--sober-- thirty years later. We gave to each other the courage to let each other know the do's, don't's, the must's, the never's ("We do not drink, NMW--No Matter What!). We do not gossip--neither never got good at that! And we "hung around together". That became OH! so important.
I loaned money to newcomers...and had them do odd jobs for me at my house--heck, they needed SOMETHING to do! Right? NO, NO, NO. WRONG!!!
We do not do those things. A rule of mine has always ALWAYS been--when--if--I hand money to someone, it is a GIFT, NEVER a loan! Neither one need ever address the issue again. This has worked well for me.
I've always had a problem. (Ego, maybe? I'll have to remember to talk to my sponsor about this...Hmmmmm.) The problem is this. I hate to ask someone (in the program) to work for me. I figure I'll either pay him too much (and I'll get a resentment) or not enough (and he'll get the resentment). Ya know I DO realize this thinking is not valid, but it's an old defect that I just rediscovered a half-minute ago. Believe me, I do not ENJOY admitting I'm not perfect--to the dozen or so bloggers who read this.
I can "pick-and-choose" who I wish to 12th Step--steer clear of anyone who needs a bath, or a clean shirt...Again. NO, NO, NO. WRONG!!
Whoever walks in the door, and WHENever! I am there. Yep! Just ask around. I try to be right with the new face--IN their face, with a smile, a "Howdy!" and a "Welcome Home" (just like they say at Dr Bob's home in Akron OH.) And this happens frequently in my groups here. If (she's) wearing a bikini, I introduce her IMMEDIATELY to a woman I trust to be of maximum help. God usually lets me know who are these people.
And yep! I help my group in it's Primary Purpose venture. I'm librarian, in charge of giving away Big Books to those who cannot afford them.
I do NOT raise my hand when the chair asks who would like to be a sponsor. I think that should be a "God" thing. If a guy hears from me a message to himself, he can ask me to help him. My smile does NOT turn people away! I believe we try to "baby" our new people too much, and then we try to "make it easy" to do things like "ASK" for help.
I believe A.A. long-timers have it "made". they don't need help from ME. Right? WRONG!!
In this regard I am a failure, but from now on I shall be more vigilant. Some "old" guys need a ride to a doctor's office, they cannot drive home after a certain medication, maybe. Some "old" guys are just simply "lonely old souls". They have put in their time, have helped hundreds of drunks. And what do I give them? I A.S.S.U.M.E. they are F.I.N.E. After all, they've been sober what? 20-30-40 years???
They MUST be OK! Not necessarily so.
Twelfth-Stepping of the highest order MUST be in the helping of those elderly A.A.'s who are ill, hurting, broken-hearted, FEARFUL...or just plain TIRED.
I try to do my share, and then a little extra, for the guy who cannot. That's enough out of me on Primary Purpose--I could write on and on, with life experiences on this topic. Probably make some interesting blogs some day.
Today, I leave you all in God's hands, trusting that He will protect you and me, and that He will see us all stay sober today. Right? RIGHT!!!
Peace, and LOVE,