Tradition Five

Tradition 5

"Each group has but one primary purpose to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers."

This is my understanding and experience of this tradition so far. I have been a member of AA since December 6th 2005. However my sobriety date is January 28th 2006.

As I was being driven from my first meeting to the coffee venue, by a chap that was later to become one of my closest mates in AA, I asked what was all that  “can I remind the group of tradition 5” that the secretary was calling out? He informed me it was because there were newcomers, like me, in the room and not enough people had their hands up to share.

Not so long after, say 2 months, I did get the message and have since completed the 12 steps and have entered into the world of the spirit. I have had a spiritual awakening which has brought about recovery from my alcoholism, utterly. I will not elaborate too much upon the miracle of my journey through the 12 steps as this article is about tradition 5. I must add, though, to any newcomer: The Solution is the 12 Steps and they are The Message this tradition speaks of.

For me, this tradition is very closely related to step 12: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps we tried to carry THIS MESSAGE to alcoholics…so you see step 12 says, this message. The message of the 12 steps. And tradition 5 says to carry its message. At my home group we are hardcore, undiluted, Alcoholics Anonymous, Big Book, 12 step based. So our message is exactly that of the 12 steps. And thank God for that because it is just what I needed, although I would have never of guessed it was what I needed before I had taken the steps, for I was living in that strange world of alcoholism were everything is distorted and exaggerated.

In my time in AA I have rotated through the service structure as far as group secretary, as all service is directed at carrying the message. As part of our daily suggestions we are advised to call newcomers to ask how they are and to give encouragement and support and assure them that if they mean business there problems are over! It is pure joy to help others recover and a Home Group is indeed the most amazing place to carry out 12th step work. That being so your Home Group should be treated with great care and respect because it actually saves lives and should be a place where recovering alcoholics are joined in brotherly and harmonious action, and where we are all joined by a common singleness of purpose: To aid fellow sufferers in a solution to their problems.

Jamie, Road to Recovery, Plymouth