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TRADITION ONE

Our Common Welfare Must Come First - Personal Recovery Depends Upon AA Unity

Audio Version

Twelve words to learn so much from.

My first step into the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous, that first knock on the door, was a great act of desperation. So many other ways had failed.

The relief was instant, and so was my first puzzle: why the secrecy? By now everybody and his mother knew that I had a drink problem. On meeting my twelve stepper I introduced myself with my full name and I was told that my first name or any other name I wished to use was all that was required. This was truly an anonymous society. I didn't ask where this came from, where was it written, I just thankfully accepted. There were a lot more acceptances ahead.

I think that in those early days I listened more than I thought because confusion reigned. I was beginning to realise that there were no rules or regulations, no one was authorised to tell me what to do, how to do it or when. Very unreal. I had been a career serviceman, used to following orders - and giving them - in accordance with a myriad of Standing Orders, Routine Orders etc.

Realisation came to me that anonymity was crucial. I not only had to guard mine but also those of my new found friends. To break that bond could seriously affect our lives. In other words our common welfare must come first and equally our individual welfare will follow, as night follows day.

PETER R