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In Loving Memory of Vic

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Need to get to a meeting and speak to someone right away? Below is a list of online meetings and resources to help you find a meeting and fellowship.

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Tradition Five

Tradition Five

“Each group has but one primary purpose – to carry the message to the addict who still suffers.”

In a group that is preoccupied with personal problems, the spirit may die back. The suffering we talk about in our meetings is the feeling of absolute hopelessness. Our new members are nervous over even allowing ourselves to seek help. Recovery seems so impossible that whatever help is available and whatever lengths we go to get it, we fear we will still come up short and be no better off. Like a lot of the lies that we fall prey to, we are the ones in the greatest danger. We get energy from helping others. Our new man or woman may with luck and grace stagger onward to a real meeting where caring and sharing are in evidence. We are the ones stuck with our silly games and our depleting supply of spiritual energy, aggressively taking matters once again into our own weary hands.

When we allow ourselves to be used as conduits of the love that originally attracted us to recovery, we are on safe ground. When we forget our role as caretakers and instruments of a loving God, it can seem like we have a lot at stake personally. We don’t tend to recall that the supreme, all powerful, all loving creator of the universe is that one that is really protecting us. Going with God, we cannot lose. When we go back to actively listening not only to what is being said but what is not being said, we can, with prayer, begin to carry our message again. We are reminded where we come from and how much we wanted recovery in the beginning. We forget the pain of withdrawal the same way women forget the pain of childbirth. To stay clean, we help others who both remind us of our pain and help us hear the solutions we now have to share.

Complexity is not the key to doing better. Simplicity and surrender offer us a better platform on which to rebuild. This particularly applies to helping others get the help they need at our meetings. We care, we share, we know it works for us. We pass on what worked for us out of what we heard other share with us and our own experience. The message is not what we say. Anyone can “talk the talk.” We carry the message by living in the solution to best of our ability. We welcome the addict to our group and we try to live, through our caring and sharing, the message of hope. I am being accepted until I can accept myself. I am being loved until I can love myself. The message that you are carrying to me is, “We love you. You are not along. We will help you. You can recover.”

When we carry the message of recovery, we plant seeds, encourage growth and strengthen foundations. While we are carrying the message, addicts still suffering will continue to die in active addiction. Our group’s focus is to carry the message, not the addict, not the addict’s significant other, not the addict’s children — just the simple message of Narcotics Anonymous recovery. This message gets fragmented and clouded by ego and advice. It is necessary to maintain the spirit of unity in our message of recovery. None of us alone own the rights of Narcotics Anonymous and none of our ideas or opinions are the “best.” We are individuals who come together to share the common bond of recovery. Our personal surrender speaks for itself when the group atmosphere is that of recovery, hope and strength. We can only keep what we have by giving it away. Our primary purpose is not respected when we become involved with outside issues or begin to compromise our spiritual principles. Newcomers keep us alive. They prevent our stagnation. We need to be nurtured and loved. Without surrendering to our 5th Tradition, we loose our purpose and die.

An addict shares, “The primary purpose of each group is to carry the message, not the mess. For me this tradition deals with the solutions of recovery that are continually facing each group and in turn each group member. We are not here to give consultation of financial, marriage or any other affairs. This tradition for me deals with the solution to the small wars of life that my disease escalates into major conflicts. I do not attend meetings to hear about what I am doing wrong, how I continue to do it wrong and how I am going to do it wrong again. I go to meetings to hear the message of recovery so that hopefully I will learn to do it, maybe not all that correctly, but in an appropriate manner next time. For me, this is what recovery is about. It is about striving for solutions instead of pondering on problems. This Tradition is written so that a newcomer who walks into the rooms hears about the solutions instead of the many other outside issues around today.

The primary purpose of NA is to carry the message to the addict who still suffers and this is what each of us must do if we are to continue to recover both as individuals and as a group. If we do not carry the NA message to the still suffering addicts, then we will loose our ability to attract new members. Without new members, NA will wither and die. Without NA, none of us has any chance to recover. It is said, time and again, that the newcomer is the lifeblood of NA; therefore it is no coincidence that one of the main themes through our literature states, “We can not keep what we have unless we give it away.” To me this means that in order to stay clean, each of us a members of NA are obligated to do everything we can individually and, as a group, to see that the NA message reaches as many sick and suffering addicts as possible through group meetings, H&I, PI, or literature distribution. We are bound by the 5th tradition to get involved.

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