Location: Long Island
Time: 4:29:52 PM
Love this tradition!! If it wasn't for this one I wouldn't be here, probably in jail,a sanitarium, or dead!! I am a garbage head, the quicker something got me out of my head the better.Drugs did that for me. Alcohol just went with the atmosphere, parties,and bars, the places I could find my stuff. Never wanted to get too messy from drinking.
When I first came into this program, as per orders by my rehab, I thought I don't belong here. Never really had the strong desire for drinking like I did for drugs. Liked the tools used for the program to stay sober, Big Book, steps, and HOW, but still had in the back of my mind that I didn't really belong. After almost 18 months of meetings, eventaully stopped, thought I was cured, desire was lifted to do anything mind altering. In 2 months time my head kept saying to me "you can have one drink, that isn't your problem", so of course I did, and before I knew it I was drugging just like I had before I came into the rooms. It was exactly the same,if not worse!Drinking brought me back to my same old pattern of drug abuse!!
So for me "the desire to stop drinking" is just as important as the desire to stop drugging now.
I love AA and it's tools! I definetly belong here,and God willing am staying!!
Member: Gabrielle P.
Location: Arlington, TX
Time: 4:57:49 PM
Gabrielle, grateful recovering alcoholic, When I got here I remember being the first time I was truely happy to say I was an alcoholic, because up until then in my life, I didn't know what I was. I didn't know how to stop the insanity, to quit the abuse and the surviving on a daily basis. I was not thrilled to have to learn all these Steps and Traditions the way my sponsor wanted me to because she was very big on having to believe in and live by both. I just have to have to the desire to not want to be the way I was and want to get to what I am suppossed to be and the in between is the reason I drank. So today I look forward to a new day and a new opportunity to grow and learn and if by some chance I give another the gift of hope, my prayers have been answered. I have not had the desire to drink for a long time, but I remind myself that is just a pick up away if I fail to do what is necessary. A simple program for complicated people.
Member: Lessa E
Time: 7:22:11 PM
Hello, Lessa E here, grateful recovering alcoholic. I LOVE this tradition!!!!
When I first came to AA, as a result of a DUI, I had no desire to stop drinking. Unfortunately for me, the good state of Illinois had that desire for me (*g). I'd hear folks say, "I'm an alcoholic and drug addict". And I'd wonder why they were at that meeting. I mean I'd never done drugs. I'd hear about folks that lost their jobs, their families, their homes. And be further convinced I wasn't qualified to be a member, since I hadn't sunk that low. But, since my 'sentence' was two years, I had to continue to attend the meetings. And I guess what struck me was that these folks, who I thought were so much worse off than me, these folks who definitely had a desire to stop drinking were happy, joyous and free. I'd never been any one of those three things and longed for it. And, gradually, I, too, acuired the desire to stop drinking.
I'd like to say there was a happy ending after this. But, I went back 'out there', after a couple of years in the program. Another DUI. And this time they didn't even bother to tell me to go to AA - I knew I had no choice. Not because of the law. But, because there was no other hope for me.
This time through the program, I'm the 'bad example' for others. However, I have a HUGE desire to stop drinking. And, as a result, I've been willing to go to any lengths, even at times when the urge to drink has been tremendous. I've been studying the traditions, as well as the steps and BB. And it was with some relief that I found out early AA was intolerant, as I was, of alot of folks that wanted to attend. For instance, in the 12 & 12 we're told 'fallen women' weren't allowed in. Don't know about any other women, but when I drank, I sure 'fell' alot. Back in the early days, I wouldn't have been welcomed here. And yet, I've been welcomed with open arms in AA whenever I've come to the tables.
I know how reluctant this alkie can be to admit it when I'm wrong. I'm still amazed that the early AA's were not only able to admit they were wrong on some early notions (hence, the traditions) but admitted it in writing so those of who came after could learn from them. And not make the same mistakes.
Grateful to be sober today. And very grateful today that I have a sincere desire to stop drinking (which also used to be part of the verbiage- the sincere part......)
Member: Jim S.
Location: Fortaleza, Brazil
Time: 8:38:38 PM
Hi, I'm Jim, alcoholic. I hear the folks that wrote the Big Book actually fought like cats and dogs while writing it. It sure came out right, though. The 3rd Tradition leaves nothing hidden, even for hard headed, unncessarly complicated people such as myself.....then again, if I let my brain take over instead of my HP, I still have the desire to drink. Where does that leave me? Trying to keep it simple, which I think the 3rd Tradition is. Thanks. This is going to keep me sober today.
Member: Mark W.
Location: St. Louis
Time: 7:24:45 AM
What a club! Only ONE possible exclusion! If I do not have the desire to stop drinking, I am not welcome. Well, just how many come to meetings to avoid jail time? Meet probation rules? In an attempt to get out of the trouble their life is in, but really intend to drink through it? I feel that those described above are many. I have been in many AA meetings that there were those there that were obviously of the ilk I described. I have been in AA meetings where the police arrived and arrested, then dragged out a newcomer. I have not been in an AA meeting that someone was refused entry, even if drunk. The only times I've ever seen membership exclude anyone was when they were disruptive. This fellowship has helped so many sober up. I am one of those. I've seen the lights come back on for some of the above types, because they were allowed to stay long enough to "get it". I came when I was good and ready, others come for other reasons. That is O.K. There is a guy who irregularly attends my home group. I have followed him in line at a local store. He always had beer to buy when I was there. He came back recently and finally spoke at the meeting. He is three months sober, and will probably make it this time! What would have happened to this fella if I had given him a hard time at meetings he attended? I'd guess he would have quit going to AA meetings. I know I would have in his shoes at least.
AA has taught me a lot. Contempt prior to investigation is well remembered. I used to practice that daily. Not so often anymore. Acceptance of what "is" has been an uphill learning experience for me, but I believe I am making progress.
Thank Higher Power the founders had sense enough to prepare their fellowship for everyone of us.
Mark W. LMW007@aol.com
Member: Norman C
Location: Reading, PA
Time: 8:30:37 AM
Hi, I'm Norm, another grateful alcoholic. I know I am a beneficiary of this tradition. All I had to do was to show up. That was hard enough for me. If I had to do more, it would have been much more difficult for me. Andd I'm not sure I even had the desire when I went to my first meeting. I know I did have the desire from that meeting on.
Location: NW USA
Time: 2:06:52 PM
The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.
I like that because that makes every alcoholic qualify, I like that because I'll get the benifit of the expereince, strength and hope of all alcoholics. In all that expereince, strength and hope there is a "Healing Power"
I live in a small town on the beautiful Oregon coast and often I go for a walk on the beach. One day there was a small boy about 7yrs crying because he had a speck of blood on his leg. He could not run in the sand, he could not build sand castles, he was so full of fear and tears he could not "see God, hear God nor feel God".
I understood he felt he did not qualify for membership (of the human race) because of that little speck of blood (he was convinced that he did not qualify because of some imperfect DNA).
The only requirement for A.A. meembership is a desire to stop drinking.
I like that ... the "Healing Power" to see God, hear God and feel God.
Thanks for sharing your experience, strength and hope. Thanks A.A.
Member: Diana M
Location: Sunshine State
Time: 7:35:18 PM
I am grateful that that is the only requirement. Had they said I had to give up Coffee and Cigs, I would have been in trouble. But I think that some people use the 3rd tradition to talk about too many other things. Staying sober by the Grace of God!! Oh someone sent this to me so I will pass it on to you all. If God brings you to it, He will see you through it. God Bless
Member: Connie S.
Location: Riverside, N.J.
Time: 9:11:59 PM
hi all, alcoholic Connie here. Thank GOD this tradition is here. I waited so long for you guys to wise up. Sooner or later they are going to realize who I am, and realize they don't want me here. THEN WHAT? I was so afraid when you all heard what I had done, and me being a mom and all. Well the third tradition says I am allowed to be here. I need to be here. Its been over four years and no one has asked me to leave ...yet. And about that mom thing. By the grace of God and the people in these rooms, I am a better mom, I have to be. Thanks
Time: 1:40:26 AM
Ahhh what a great thing! It used to read "an honest desire to stop drinking" but the first few alcoholics figured that since dishonesty is part of the disease, it might have to be changed to include us all.
I came to AA meetings daily for about two years still drinking...but I didn't want to drink. I somehoe thought it was YOUR job to make me stop. Hmmmm It sure took me a long time to figure that out. Thank GAD people like you let me come as long as I was not disruptive. They would just say "keep coming kid" and "don't give up before the miracle happens".
I am so glad that the oldtimers were around to show others that tolerance and patience are sometimes (allmost always) necessary when dealing with newcomers. I have been sober now since August of '95 and it still baffles me that I don't have to drink even if my mind thinks I want to. If you are new...just keep coming back to meetings and AA WILL get you. :+)
Member: Rollie G
Time: 7:31:11 PM
Good evening everyone out there i am ROLLIE G a great ful alkie i sure like tradition 3.when i asked god to take away my thirst after 37+yrs of heavy drinking and help came immediately i sure am happy for AA. and its membership .everyone out there have a great 24hrs of sobriety and good luck to you all LOVE ROLLIE G.
Time: 8:37:42 PM
"The Only Requirement For Membership Is A Desire To Stop Drinking" and I am very glad that this is the bottom line for AA. If they had told me that the "ONLY" way to have this program work was that you MUST turn your life over to GOD. I would have not returned to AA, I would have seen death as the easier softer way. I am also glad that this is a sugested program of recovery and not set in stone for all. This program of recovery may have been thought up by Mr. Bill and Dr. Bob. but, this is my program, not theirs. What worked for Mr.Bill in the 1930's has not worked for this Alcoholic of the modern world But, the doorway to recovery is wide and we do recover. I do very much like what someone said here about the "Healing Power" that, I have found in the rooms of AA/NA. Recovering Addicts and Alcoholic's. I can at least understand the "Healing Power" rather than the "Higher Power" which, escapes me, even today. The doors to AA/NA were open to me after a very long run on drugs and alcohol, the welcome mat was out and those Groups of Drunks told me to keep coming back. Don't drink or drug and discover what will or will not work for you. May your God or lack there of keep you clean & sober today! Elvis Bless You...kjoe
Time: 9:56:27 PM
THIS TRADITION IS ONE OF THE MOST MISUNDERSTOOD OF THEM ALL. SO YOU GOT A DESIRE TO STOP DRINKING, SO YOU,RE IN, SO WHAT
Member: Jack B
Location: Palo Alto, Pa
Time: 2:34:26 AM
Hi, I am Jack, a real alcoholic. For me the third tradition was what I needed before I even considered myself an alcoholic, or began to look at the steps. On a daily basis I still must maintain the desire to stay stopped. The day the desire to get drunk, gets greater than the desire to stay sober, I am going to drink and get drunk. Thru God's amazing grace, the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous , our 12 step program, and this simple desire,I have enjoyed 14 + years of continous sobriety. This tradition for me gives everyone the same opportunity to stop drinking it gave me back in 1987.We will not turn anyone away who has the desire to be helped. Thanks for allowing me to share and God Bless.
Member: Michael B.
Time: 2:54:28 PM
Hi! My name is Michael, and I am a recovering alcoholic and addict, sober today only by the Grace of God and the Fellowship. Thanks for the sincere shares! Welcome newcomers!
This Tradition exemplifies the kind of mercy that awaits us AAs, if we are open, honest, and willing and stick with AA long enough. As the AA history books tell us, if it were left up to individual groups and members to decide what qualifications were necessary to become a member, many of us would be excluded from the program.
I find it interesting how AA principles and Traditions are so forgiving, while a good number of AA members tend to act as gatekeepers, requiring a host of prerequisites before someone is acceptable to them. Not very merciful, indeed! Thank God for this program.
Time: 8:08:32 PM
this is the tradition that brought me here in the first place...of course, i had no idea it was a wonderful tradition! desire is one of our strongest emotions...desire can make you do things...it gives you power.
Member: Stew E
Time: 3:30:38 PM
I have always considered this the 'open door' to AA membership. In an elitist society where 'membership has it's privileges', it is welcoming to see a group where the only requirement is the defining requirement. At the same time, if you do not have this requirement, then you, by definition, are not seeking within yourself the benefits of the group.
Location: shy die die
Time: 6:07:15 PM
After so long a time; Wonder, Is there yet to be found at the least one worthy member among us?..On the cider died....
Member: Frank G
Location: Westchester NY
Time: 5:47:04 AM
So glad I found this site. I need 2 stop drinking but dont want 2 go 2 any meetings. Been there, done that... in 2 different cities across 10 years (on & off). Have finally again found the desire 2 STOP DRINKING all 2gether but that's all I have at the moment. Could change at any second. I really need help and hope that this time I find it in cyberspace. Its become my only reality. If I can stay sober long enough I just might B able 2 do something with all my 'smarts' that my friends keep telling me I have. A broken Supergeek that needs help... go figure. I CANT.
Location: sigh why die
Time: 6:34:50 PM
Sigh why die and pie why die time awhile ago and say yea, say day day, time dime dime and die die die say way day day, say day day....
Time: 9:23:07 AM
first years ago heard even if not alcoholic 12 steps is a good way to live life.good program to follow.didn't drink much or often at first or for a very long time.but intrigued me and knew sometimes i could really go overboard in drinking.anyway circumstances happened and difficult to face.told to go to rooms and just listen and realized there r many others who have had situations, problems, troubles etc. shame, embarrassment. realized certain situations wouldn't have happened if hadn't placed self in situation..partying etc..so this step kicked in and felt better.life is much grander when doing the step and thinking and doing asking self whats the next best thing to do.the next action and it goes from there. thanks for sharing everyone..one day, one moment at a time. liked the saying above that said if God sees u to it will see you thru it. thanks meagan
Time: 6:35:03 AM
I am an alcoholic and an addict I know I am a beneficiary of this tradition. All I had to do was to show up. That was hard enough for me. If I had to do more, it would have been much more difficult for me. And I know I did have the desire from that meeting on.and now to help others, I plan to follow this traditon. thanks to AA and Al Anon,