Member: Susan S.
Location: Delaware
Date: 3/28/00
Time: 3:43:26 PM


Hi,name is Susan ,I am a gratefully recovering alcoholic.Thank God for the steps and traditions.I would be drunk without them.This is probably my favorite tradition as it tells me that no matter what else I believe ,think or long as I have the desire to stop drinking ,I am welcome here.When I got here this time I was not welcome anywhere.I was not me correct myself,Only by the county jail,was this bum wanted.I didn't know what I was gonna do when I got back here this time...If I was gonna stay,get involved,or just sit in the back and do my "time" in A.A.but , I did really want to stop drinking.This time I learned that I had become I couldn't control it,and that I really didn't want to.Being alcoholic,and trying to control my drinking....those were my most miserable days.How grateful I am that I was told all I needed was a desire to stop drinking!!!!If I had been told that I needed to be of a certain economic class,or religon...That I needed to do anything other than just desire to stop drinking...I dont think I would be sober today. I have learned so much from you all,and the biggest lesson is that I need to stay and keep learning,and keep it green.That I need to stay so that I can give this thing away,so that I can keep it.The wonderful paradox.Thanx for letting me share....

Member: BJ
Location: OR
Date: 3/28/00
Time: 5:10:01 PM


Hi! I'm BJ, an alcoholic. This tradition is saying that AA has no requirements other than that the person has a desire to stop drinking. There are no rules about gender, economic status, race, religious affiliation, etc. A person simply must decide if they desire to stop drinking or not. If they don't have the desire to stop, there is no place for them in AA and, quite frankly, AA would do them no good in that case anyway.

When I attended my first AA meeting I was somewhat drunk and reeked of alcohol. At the conclusion of that meeting, a member came over and spoke with me. He asked if I really had the desire to stop drinking. When I said yes, he gave me his phone number and replied that if that was the case, he looked forward to seeing me at the next meeting sober and not reeking of alcohol. This was all done politely and I have never gone to a meeting in that condition again.

Thanks for letting me share.

Member: Michael B.
Location: AZ
Date: 3/28/00
Time: 9:15:18 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 BJ and Susan for sharing!

I think the Third Tradition conforms perfectly with the other tenets/suggestions of the AA program, especially in it's egalitarian intent. Nevertheless, I would like to make some comments from personal experience and knowledge about this Tradition that I feel need to be made, in an attempt to help maintain the integrity of the Tradition.

First, as someone who has worked in treatment facilities for years, I've seen this Tradition abused by people who, while maybe having a desire to stop drinking, have no history of substance abuse or alcoholism. They may have a desire to not drink or, more often in my experience, the desire to disrupt meetings using this Tradition as an excuse for attending the meeting. While I realize this scenario is not too common, does anybody know why this Tradition does not include something pertaining to a requirement of having some history related to the problems our program addresses? There may be a good reason for the omission of such a requirement--I'm just not aware of it.

Also, I think that, as conscientious AA's, we need to make sure that we apply this Tradition uncritically. I think the worst threat to maintaining the integrity this Tradition comes from us restricting membership based on social and cultural restrictions that we have always accepted uncritically. Of course, this was quite a problem in the early days of AA acccording to the literature, but there is no reason to believe that it isn't going on to some degree right now or that it can't happen in the future. In other words, this is God's program and these are Tradtions inspired by God, and, for this reason, I think we need to follow closely Tradition 3 and the other Traditions regardless of the popularity of any contemporary cultural or social strictures.

Member: Kathy S.
Location: Connecticut
Date: 3/29/00
Time: 11:37:42 AM


I've been embarassed at AA meetings where some old timers have picked on or demeaned relapsers. It's really not up to us to criticize or judge, it takes what it takes. I believe everyone is welcome, if you have the desire to stop, it's not our job to push anyone away. We are always supposed to reach out.

Member: Tim V
Location: Treasurer
Date: 3/29/00
Time: 1:20:08 PM


7th tradition!

Member: Mary L.
Location: Buffalo, NY
Date: 3/29/00
Time: 6:57:45 PM


Thank God for this tradition!

If the fellowship wasn't so open, this "retread"" would never have had the nerve to come back!

Thank you all for your compassion, love & support!!!

Member: margrit p
Location: Alberta, Canada
Date: 3/30/00
Time: 1:18:34 AM


For me, the 3rd tradition is very important because it took me a long time to identify what my problem really is. It also gave me the "permission" I needed to keep coming back to meetings even though I hadn't drunk as much as some of the others at the meetings. I'm very grateful to the program and for being a member of the "not yet" club. Thanks for letting me share.

Member: Chuck M
Location: Alberta
Date: 3/30/00
Time: 2:18:20 AM


I'm Chuck, an alcoholic. When the New York office asked the groups to send in their list of membership requirements it was found that if all the requirements were in effect no one could belong to AA. This group excluded women, this one homosexuals, this one native americans, this one young people, etc. Out of this came tradition 3. Tradition 3 is all enclusive and excludes no one. For myself I found that the desire to stop did not have to be strong. I did not come voluntarily, but my 1st meeting gave me hope that maybe there was an answer. Subsequence meetings have proved that the answer is in the BB.

Peace and Serenity

Member: Cec H
Location: Cowtown[calgary]
Date: 3/30/00
Time: 4:42:01 AM


Hi all , Cec H alcky here, Margrit is that you? If so how was Tuesdays Meeting? I couldn't go Doing the parent thing don't ja know ,asked Tony to say hi for me at the Group,I like 3 because I could keep coming back until I got it right.It took me three years to get my first year and yes some of the old timers [ anybody with a year or more at that time LOL]put me down, hell there's one group in town that had bets going on wheather or not I'd stay sober [ hope I cost them big time LOL]the thing I found about the put downs is they come in two catagoreys[?] fear, he drank i might drink too,frustration, it's not easy but i did it why can't you ? I was once told by an old timer that I was doing the most unnatural act an alchoholic can do, I wasn't drinking, and it was thru tradition 3 and the twelve steps that the unnatural became the natural. Remember, If you have one foot on yesterday & one foot on tomorrow your pissing on today. Another 24 to go please

Member: Paul Q
Location: Toronto
Date: 3/30/00
Time: 7:59:57 AM


Desire to Stop......does not say stop...

The Big Books says if your not sure Drink.Drink try it more than once and when your convinced come here..where to a meeting? the Big Book with another Alcoholic who has worked the path and continues to work the path..... Hold your hand and walk by your side through those pages and get a spiritual awakening...

Member: Joe M
Location: W.P.B. Florida
Date: 3/30/00
Time: 10:46:46 AM


"The only requirement for memborship is a desire to stop drinking". I have been in and out of AA for the last 18 years. Every time I came back I had a desire to stop drinking. When I got to feeling good, or when I became depressed or if there was a crisis I would get a desire to start drinkning again. Today I have the gift of desperation. When I came back this time I was and still am desperate to stop and to stay stopped! I not only desire not to drink today but I desperately desire it.

I can't say that I wouldn't have joined AA if it had other, more stringant requirements for membership, but it would probably have taken me longer. When I came back this time I would have sold all my possessions, shaved my head, and stood in airports with pamphlets in order to get what I knew AA had to offer.

The thing is I see some come in who are in their addiction/consequences where I was years ago. And I see them make it. They don't have to go through what I've put myself through. I've seen drug addicts, killers, even mentally unstable people come in and make it. I've even seen still active drunks come in, stop drinking, and succeed in sobriety. They're welcomed in because they have a desire to stop drinking even if that is just one thing among several that they may have a desire to stop. I thank God for this program for it is truly inspired by God. And I thank those who found it necessary to establish and maintain this site as part of their 'giving it away".

Thanks for letting me share.

Member: Kim S.
Location: Michigan
Date: 3/30/00
Time: 6:52:40 PM


"Tradition Three-The only requirement for membership is the desire to stop drinking."

Alcoholic named Kim, here. Isn't that self-explanatory? As long as I desire to stay sober, I can (finally) fit, somewhere. If this tradition would have told me that I HAD to do anything, I wouldn't have made it. I was the stubborn, bullheaded personality who would do the exact opposite of what anyone told her to do; just to prove to you that you couldn't tell me what to do. Thanks to my this tradition all I needed was the desire to stop. Thank (God) my HP.

Thanx for listening.

Member: angelo b
Location: nunavut
Date: 3/31/00
Time: 9:18:59 AM


Tradition three kept me sober in the beginning when I was too confuesed to decide whether I was a "boozer" or just had emotional problems or was just plain insane - with or without the booze. That tradition saved my life when I heard it this way: "Nobody here is going to call you an alcoholic. You are if you say you are and you can stay til you find out." Comforting words. The more I identified with what folk were sharing, the more I knew I was an alcoholic and the more I knew I had to do what these people were doing. I'm still doing it.

God bless, Angelo

Member: Harry P.
Location: Ohio
Date: 3/31/00
Time: 12:37:44 PM


Hi All Funny or too real?Well I have been in and out of AA for about 10 years.I thought the other night that I was able to be a social drinker. Boy was I wrong!!! I decided to see what was on the net for Alcoholics A.And I found the third tradition being discussed.Well that is why I am here. I have thought already that I had it under control.Hah!what A fool I am.I'm not even sure if i'm in the right area of this page or not, I'm just in the need for a meeting and have enjoyed the readings,As far as the topic,If it wasn't for this tradition I would have had no desire to be here.

Member: MaryJ
Location: Seattle
Date: 3/31/00
Time: 7:33:38 PM



I'm Mary and an alcoholic. This is one of the classics phrases in the K.I.S.S concept - Keep it simple stupid. Since drinking made me stupid, adhering to this tradition is a no brainer.

Member: michael
Location: san diego
Date: 4/1/00
Time: 4:29:36 AM


This is one of my favorite traditions as well. When i got to the program I came in with my tail between my legs like a whipped pup left out in the rain. I was fortunate that alcohol had completely burned out my ego enough to where I was willing to do anything ie. the steps. If there had been rules and regulations I too may not have stayed sober these last three years. So if you are new we dont want anything from you except that you may recover from this disease and then help other drunks get sober too. May you all have a happy, serene, joyful month of April. Love, Micheal

Member: Laila L
Location: Turku, Finland
Date: 4/1/00
Time: 2:48:10 PM


Hi! Laila, alcoholic and codependent here i'm very grateful for the 3rd Tradition. I thought I wouldn't be allowed to join because I was too young (24), hadn't been in jail, lost my family, my job...Thought those were requirements for joining. Thank God I was wrong! Thanks for this sober day! Laila DOS 2nd Oct 1996 email

Member: sanjay
Location: g
Date: 4/1/00
Time: 9:32:09 PM


Member: Catherine W  aka  ramonacat
Location: Ramona, CA
Date: 4/2/00
Time: 1:21:08 AM


Catherine here~~Grateful; sober alcoholic!

Have to agree w/ whoever said that I came here with a desire many times over 14 years, but once I got sober for a while the desire to drink returned and so I drank. Finally in 92 my desire to stay sober far out wieghed my desire to drink. I wanted to stay stopped, so I surrendered to the suggestions so simply laid out in the Big Book and the guidence of my sponsor and the many who had been here for the long haul.

The desire to stop drinking...thats all, real simple. No have too, no must, no other fancy regs, a "desire" to stop drinking! Wow, how profoundly simple.