Thursday, August 28, 2008

Let's separate

I think that the idea of having separate fellowships via Tradition Six is an excellent one and needs to be observed at meetings. In general, the sixth tradition is observed but occasionally someone will identify themselves with the "other" fellowship or quote out of non-conference approved literature. In one meeting, a lady read from A Beautiful Boy.

Generally, someone will come over after the meeting and remind the people who committed the faux pas that in Al-Anon, we only speak Al-Anon, share our E, S, and H and use Conference Approved Literature (CAL). There are lots of reasons for this. When Al-Anon members use AA literature for their meetings there is a tendency to concentrate on the alcoholic and his/her behavior rather than the family experience and our own recovery. The mention, recommendation or discussion of material other than Al-Anon Conference Approved Literature can be confusing to newcomers and takes the focus off of the Al-Anon program. I think what it boils down to is program integrity. And keeping with CAL helps maintain the integrity.

And here is one of the best statements that I've found to clarify the separateness of the programs:"If you are a member of another 12-step group we ask that you limit your comments to Al-Anon topics and save other comments for their respective recovery group. We do this not to limit you, but to be sensitive to our new members who may still have unresolved issues surrounding alcoholism, drug abuse, or other such problems."


  1. They dont like people To talk about drug problems at AA, like I said yesterday my cannabis addiction went hand in hand with alcohol which I guess made me find it hard to seperate them when at a meeting and talking about my past, I also used to abuse solvents as well, in fact I was a complete idiot when I think about it now.
    I am still on antidepressants because I suffer really chronic depression without them and I dare not take them.
    Over the last 4 years my life has gradually and slowly improved and I still have a long road ahead.

  2. Ahh we have the same problems in both programs don't we?
    It's an important issue, I'm glad you are standing firm for your fellowship.

  3. Very well stated, Syd. If anyone questions the logic of "Singleness of Purpose", write me at: (No Spam, please -g-.)

    Whoever responds questioning the validity and reasonableness of S-of-P will at least be allowed to consider another viewpoint.

  4. For many of us, when we are new to Al-Anon, knowing that someone in our meeting is also an alcoholic would destroy our feelings of safety in the meeting, because it is alcoholism which has created such devastation in our lives. We wouldn't feel able to share honestly, or believe that those listening truly feel compassion and understanding.

    I had enormous hostility towards the disease and its sufferers, when I first began to attend meetings - I would not have been able to set that aside, because I had no recovery.

    I believe this is of paramount importance, especially for newcomers.

  5. Let me be the dissenter, and say that is why one should try a lot of meetings. The meeting I like the best is looser (although no one has ever read out of a book) Sometimes a person just rambles, and it's ok with us. I went to one that was "tighter". It was good, but I guess I like my kinda flighty group best.

  6. excellent poem syd and I have put you as a follower, I bet you are on your boat meditating as I write this arnt you.

  7. This issue just came up at my last Alanon meeting, now I know it's a God thing that I connected to another blog and then to you through that blog...

    Thanks for sharing this, the wording was exactly what we needed for our Alanon group's "suggested opening" for the meeting!

    Amazing every time my HP steps up with exactly the right thing at exactly the right time.

    Thanks again!!!


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