Tradition five in simple terms states our singleness of purpose. To carry the message which was freely given to us. Each Alcoholics Anonymous group ought to be a spiritual entity having but one primary purpose — that of carrying its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.
The main purpose of an AA group is to share experience, strength and hope to the still suffering alcoholic. In my own personal experience, I am very grateful that I heard the great message of recovery at my first home group meeting. I am convinced I would not have come back if all I heard was a constant share about drinking and not the solution. For that night I didn’t just hear one message there was a unified message by ALL group members. That was the key for me to keep coming back…. the message!
At my Homegroup, meetings are run like a well-oiled machine because the group understands the importance of Tradition 5, when a member shares they share for the alcoholic who still suffers not always solely the newcomer. Whenever I am asked to share, I always remember how I felt walking through the doors the very first time and how anxious, nervous I was and full of fear. When the meeting started I heard some amazing shares the message was loud and clear. So I always think of the nervous newcomer and hopefully try and carry a message of recovery to give them hope that there is a solution to their alcoholism.
Doing service and my home group has been an honour and another example of Tradition 5 in action. I absolutely loved the service position of “greeter”, being the very first point of contact to the newcomer, a big smile and a handshake to help put them at ease. Even if I had a terrible day at work, where all things went wrong, I would simply “suit up and smile” regardless of how I felt. By the end of the service I would feel amazing, because I was thinking of others and not myself. My service position as secretary is a bit like a conductor at an orchestra to ensure-all the elements are running like clockwork. In the preamble we always have a moment’s silence to remember Tradition 5. During the shares from the floor I will promptly ring the bell if discussion of “Problems other than alcoholism” are dwelled on. This is not helpful for the newcomer, they need to hear that “sobriety, freedom from alcohol through the teaching and practice of the twelve steps” is possible.
Tradition 5 allows me to stay sober, I wouldn’t be able to maintain sobriety if I didn’t give it away. How can I continue to work the Steps and the program of AA and NOT pass this amazing message on?
Rhi, Road to Recovery Group Plymouth