Singleness of Purpose???

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Singleness of Purpose???

Postby No Bovine Scat » Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:34 pm

Any thoughts on the concept of "Singleness of purpose?

In my mind our purpose is to stay sober and help others attain sobriety.

Yet old timers get upset when some one mentions drugs at a meeting. Until an addict admitted he was powerless over his drug of choice that person has no chance to recover.

My guess is that most people that come into A.A. now a days on paper are there for abusing substances other than alcohol. I have talked to several of those people who have attended NA meetings.....CA, HA or whatever meetings and have found A.A. meetings more helpful. Often because at the other types of meetings drugs are easily obtained and the temptation is to much to deal with.

In my mind, no one should ever be turned away from a A.A. meeting because of their drug of choice. I for one will stick out my hand and offer that person what ever I am able to give. If I turn some one out of a meeting and that person overdoses and dies I would feel partly responsible if I did not at least make the effort to help the person.
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Re: Singleness of Purpose???

Postby Blue Moon » Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:00 pm

If someone is not.alcoholic, they are welcome to.attend Open AA meetings, but not Closed meetings nor join an AA Group.

The reason is simple, and twofold: 1. there are other places for addicts to go, 2. the fundamental principle for recovery is identification with the problem.

If an alcoholic is sitting in an AA meeting yet unable to identify with alcoholics, that's a problem. This applies whether the sharing is about cocaine, guns, jobs, cars, or anything else not remotely related to alcohol or alcoholic recovey.

If you're an addict in AA, chances are you also have an alcohol problem. Tell us about the alcohol problem. Or, of course, you're welcome to sit quietly and pass when invited to speak.
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Re: Singleness of Purpose???

Postby Brock » Fri Apr 20, 2018 6:36 pm

In my mind our purpose is to stay sober and help others attain sobriety.

I admire your wish to help everybody who needs help, but AA got it’s strict attitude based on the experience of other organizations, which helped alcoholics but ended up failing, due to not sticking to a singleness of purpose, mainly the organization known as the Washingtonians.

Our purpose as stated in the traditions is - “Each group has but one primary purpose—to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.” That says alcoholic, but I agree that many come in these days with more than one problem, once they keep the main focus on the alcohol side I am OK with it.

Many health workers might agree with you, this is a section of an AA pamphlet on singleness of purpose -
Mental health workers, however, have great difficulty with A.A.’s Fifth Tradition: “Each group has but one primary purpose—to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.” Since mental health workers often admire the success and geographic availability of Alcoholics Anonymous, they understandably wish to broaden its membership to include other substance abusers. They also note that pure alcohol abuse is becoming less frequent, and polydrug abuse more common. In addition, mental health workers sometimes view singleness of purpose as outmoded and exclusionary. They worry that the Tradition is a holdover from the early days of A.A. and that the young, the poor and the minority with a criminal record will be barred.

The full leaflet can be found here - https://www.aa.org/newsletters/en_US/f- ... nter02.pdf
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Re: Singleness of Purpose???

Postby JungianRecovery » Sun Apr 22, 2018 9:05 am

The fundamental psychological issue that causes the substance abuse is the same no matter what that substance happens to be. It goes beyond substances to distractions. An alcoholic who's thinks abstractly enough would be able to get just as much from a GA or DA meeting as he would from an AA meeting.

The call of recovery is to relate with as many people as possible, even if that means relating with people who want to limit AA to the abuse of alcohol. The actual rule probably doesn't matter so much to discuss, and of course is up to each individual group.
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Re: Singleness of Purpose???

Postby 1Peter5:10 » Tue Apr 24, 2018 7:11 am

Drug addicts, who pick up a drink, find their dealer's phone number sitting at the bottom of the third glass. Drinking even a little bit of alcohol leads to drug relapse. Drug addicts have the desire to stop drinking and that is the ONLY requirement for membership.

In my case, I spent years (hard) drug free, and thinking wimpy ol' alcohol couldn't possibly hurt big old me drank and ulitmately switched addictions. (THAT with decades of living right between the two active addictions).

What your AA, or any specific meeting chair allows that person to say/share is a matter of someone else's conscience not mine.

At my first AA people mentioned drugs but then spoke of alcohol as a metaphor so they did not have to name any other drug. One could mention other drugs but one's focus had to be in alcohol.
That satisfied our group conscience.

Unless one goes iff in a drunkalogue or drugalogue one seldom mentions hus drug anyway. "I got fired." "I have trust issues." "I think 13th stepping is a lot like child rape." "It turns out I was in denial about a lot of things, denial us MY disease, drinking us just the symptom" etc. etc. etc. hardly ever require mentioning the substance being abused.

I hope this helps.
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Re: Singleness of Purpose???

Postby D'oh » Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:40 am

Alcohol is but a symptom.


That being said, Street Drugs are illegal, Alcohol is not (as long as the Gov gets their tax dollars). AA's pioneering time, a Small Fragile Anonymous Group, were worried about the thing continuing forward it's self, let alone Addicts being involved.

I have No Problem with the so called "And A's" that attend Meetings here. But small town Canada, there is very little NA available.
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Re: Singleness of Purpose???

Postby avaneesh912 » Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:58 am

We will be arguing for ever. People should take ownership and create groups that could cater to those people. Most times, its pure selfish self-centered reason. Not want to take effort but just use current facilities. But things are changing where I live. Kids are enthusiastic about their recovery and they respect the singleness of purpose and forming their own fellowship they like. There is a CA meetings that is strong and is open to all addictions including alcohol.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: Singleness of Purpose???

Postby tomsteve » Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:49 pm

i am responsible
when anyone anywhere reaches out for help.......
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Re: Singleness of Purpose???

Postby 1Peter5:10 » Wed Apr 25, 2018 5:11 am

Just to condense my (above) post.

Drug addicts, who pick up a drink, find their dealer's phone number sitting at the bottom of the third glass. Drinking even a little bit of alcohol leads to drug relapse.

In my case, I spent years (hard) drug free. I substituted one addiction for another.

Drug addicts really and truly are drawn to alcohol and really and truly do have the desire to stop drinking.

If your group conscience prohibits them from speaking about their experience, or speaking about it in certain ways or making certain repeated references, then that is your group conscience and you should follow it.
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Re: Singleness of Purpose???

Postby Blue Moon » Wed Apr 25, 2018 7:22 pm

As an asthmatic, I have a desire to quit gasping for breath. I don't bring my asthma problem into AA for sharing, except explicitly where and how it overlaps with alcoholism.

It really is that simple: if you have a problem which you cannot relate to your alcoholism in an AA meeting, by all means take it up with someone outside the AA meeting.
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Re: Singleness of Purpose???

Postby avaneesh912 » Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:27 am

then that is your group conscience and you should follow it.


Nice. I go to one group where its strictly enforced, cant even curse.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: Singleness of Purpose???

Postby positrac » Thu Apr 26, 2018 6:39 am

avaneesh912 wrote:
then that is your group conscience and you should follow it.


Nice. I go to one group where its strictly enforced, cant even curse.

Cussing is one of my weakness and clearly not professional or literate. But in certain circles I have to deal with it is the norm and I remember one meeting up in Brooklyn many years ago this guy he is expressing his condition via a lot of cussing.
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Re: Singleness of Purpose???

Postby Spirit Flower » Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:05 pm

positrac wrote:
avaneesh912 wrote:
then that is your group conscience and you should follow it.


Nice. I go to one group where its strictly enforced, cant even curse.

Cussing is one of my weakness and clearly not professional or literate. But in certain circles I have to deal with it is the norm and I remember one meeting up in Brooklyn many years ago this guy he is expressing his condition via a lot of cussing.
Saying f*ck can be so liberating, especially for alcoholics in meetings.
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Re: Singleness of Purpose???

Postby Brock » Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:24 pm

...then that is your group conscience and you should follow it.

That makes sense, except we basically depend on the chairperson to ‘enforce’ what the group decided. Some who chair meetings may not follow what the group conscience is, others who didn’t vote for a particular motion, when they are chairing ignore it.

There was a question here where the person wanted to know what to do in such a situation, someone wanted every newcomer to the meeting to read aloud ‘How It Works,’ for the lamest reason I constantly hear in AA, ‘that’s the way my sponsor showed me.’ She couldn’t agree that some trembling newcomer, who might not be good at reading, would be put off by this. So every time she was in the chair that’s what she made newcomers do, and to hell with the group conscience. My recommendation was to hold another group conscience, and propose she not be allowed to chair meetings again.

AA is non professional by design, and I believe we must give room and not enforce group decisions to the letter, if we say no cussing for example, and a new person cusses a bit, it’s best to let it be and perhaps mention it after in a nice way. Same with speaking about drugs, there is no need to embarrass anyone while they are contributing, a kindly worded talk after is always best. Of course the best practice is to announce group policy at the start, people might still break it, but at least after we can say you knew what the policy was before you spoke, please follow it next time.

Spirit said -
Saying f*ck can be so liberating, especially for alcoholics in meetings.

I agree, but in some societies like where I live it is a real no no, I believe it should be reserved for things like when you spill your coffee, nobody objects to a cuss for a good reason.
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Re: Singleness of Purpose???

Postby Greywolf » Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:22 pm

Spirit Flower wrote: Saying f*ck can be so liberating, especially for alcoholics in meetings.
My first home group on Monday was a men only, closed discussion
meeting. That was over 50 years ago but IIRC there was some scatological language occasionally used. Cussing too. :wink:
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