After the Tears
Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014
“11. – Our relations with the general public should be characterized by personal anonymity. We think AA ought to avoid sensational advertising. Our names and pictures as AA members ought not be broadcast, filmed or publicly printed. Our public relations should be guided by the principle of attraction rather than promotion. There is never need to praise ourselves. We feel it better to let our friends recommend us.” – Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Appendices, “The Twelve Traditions” (long form), p 567.
Today, the 11th Tradition reminds and compels us not to “praise” ourselves inasmuch as my drinking is concerned, be it years of sobriety or a decision to attend our first meeting tonight. While it is appropriate to give a quick pat on the back for working toward recovery, the overwhelming “credit” belongs to the Program and its Steps without which we have no lifeline to grab and hold onto. If I should boast about my sobriety as my own achievement, if I become complacent in sobriety or if I neglect to do what the Program requires I do daily, I have probably neglected my responsibility to be one of its “success” stories anonymously. Today, I will be stingy in claiming my sobriety as my own accomplishment and instead remember that it’s largely the product of AA. And our common journey continues. After the tears. – Chris M., 2014