Spencer, Ruth, and Wendy talk about Tradition 3, which states “The relatives of alcoholics, when gathered together for mutual aid, may call themselves an Al-Anon Family Group, provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation. The only requirement for membership is that there be a problem of alcoholism in a relative or friend.”
Ruth contributed her reading of Tradition 3 in German: “Wenn sich Angehörige von Alkoholikern zu gegenseitiger Hilfe versammeln, können sie sich Al-Anon Familiengruppe nennen, vorausgesetzt, dass sie – als Gruppe – keine andere Bindung haben. Die einzige Voraussetzung für die Zugehörigkeit ist, dass bei einem Angehörigen oder Freund ein Alkoholproblem besteht.” (From http://www.al-anon.de/grund/programm/12traditionen.htm)
Ruth and Spencer talked by Skype, and we then added her contributions into the conversation with Wendy. We used these questions to guide our discussions:
How do you interpret the word “relatives” in this tradition?
What about “alcoholic” and “alcoholism”?
Does your loved one have to admit they are alcoholic before you qualify for Al-Anon?
What if the alcoholic is no longer present in your life?
Do you think this tradition is intended to be inclusive or exclusive? Or maybe some of both?
How do you feel about including members whose loved ones are addicts to another drug or behavior?
Can alcoholics and addicts qualify?
How do we welcome them and keep the focus on Al-Anon at the same time?
What does this tradition suggest about how our groups function?
Welcoming new members?
Keeping focus on Al-Anon?
Who gets to decide whether someone is qualified to attend Al-Anon?
Can we read this tradition to say “we don’t judge motives”?
How can I use this tradition in my personal life?
How can I use it at work?
How can I use it in relationships?
Our topic for next week is Hope. A cancer surgeon recommended that his patient’s family cultivate a hopeful attitude rather than an optimistic attitude. How is hope different from optimism? Can we have hope in “hopeless” situations? Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.
Music from the show
Linkin' Park: Somewhere I Belong
Pat Benatar: We Belong
Pink Floyd: Welcome to the Machine
Wendy mentioned the song, “One of Us?” by Joan Osborn, which has the refrain “What if God was one of us?”