The three attributes of AA, the Steps, Traditions and Concepts, are the foundations of any program: Unity, Service and Recovery. Just as a triangle can’t support itself without all three sides, a 12-Step Group couldn’t survive without all three “sides” of its structure. With its sides intact, on the other hand, a triangle (or pyramid) is the most stable structure there is.
We have to:
Stick together and support each other;
Make sure that we — and newcomers — have a place to come to;
Progress physically, spiritually and emotionally so that we can get better ourselves and then help others to recover.
The home group is the basis of all three things. Read More
Night-before-last I was at a meeting, and the person who was supposed to chair failed to show up. Since he had all of the group’s paperwork with him, we didn’t have the necessary literature for the usual readings that begin the meeting. People sat there looking at each other, completely bamboozled by the fact that there was no way to complete the rituals before beginning to share. As a relative newcomer to that group, I kept my mouth shut. After about ten minutes, a guy came in with some of the necessary material, and we commenced the meeting in the usual way. It got me to thinking, though, about rituals in the rooms of recovery. Continue reading →
…addiction to alcohol and other drugs affects practically everyone in our society in one way or another. From time to time we all need to deal with an addict “up close and personal,” and most of us have no idea how to go about it. That lack of understanding can do considerable damage, to the addict and ourselves.
In my own case, I knew it some time before I got clean and sober, but I just didn’t think it was possible. I knew what happened if I went even for short periods without alcohol or a substitute, and there was no way (that I could see) to quit. But did I want to be free? Oh yes, desperately!
If you hang around treatment centers for any length of time, you will eventually hear someone say (or say yourself) something on the order of “I already know this stuff. Why should I stay here?”
This makes perfect sense, from the standpoint of someone in very early recovery. In treatment, there are things that get repeated over and over. That’s because we learn by repetition. If we were studying for a part in a play, we would think nothing of going over our lines and actions repeatedly. In recovery, we’re trying to replace old ways of instinctive thinking with new ones. Repetition helps, but it can be the “same ol’ same ol’” after a while.
We know, however, that addicts often need a second or third trip through treatment before they actually learn what they need to know to change old behavior and stay clean and sober. More…