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Audio Version  

Sometimes when I look at the Traditions Guidelines I struggle a bit to see how they actually relate to the Tradition in question. However, in the guidelines for Tradition Eleven I can see how they relate.

Do I come across an AA fanatic? Well, I would rather hope not but then it's the balance of knowing what AA has done for me but not going overboard when I relate that. I do find it hard to put into words my journey in recovery and trying to explain how when I came into AA I did not think it would work for me but because I stuck around it did work and still does. Then trying explain all the changes along the way and how that came about. For example, how I stopped worrying about stuff so much and became a bit more chilled about things.

Someone in AA once set me a list of twenty defects of character. I'm not sure if they were trying to suggest something, but gossip is on the list. I know that gossip for me is bad. It feels bad when I get sucked into it so it's best I keep away from it. In meetings I tend to be okay but outside, like in the workplace, I can find more of a challenge as basically I am bit of a nosey so and so. Something I need to watch out for.

I don't often go to meetings where there are people who might be a bit more known outside the rooms. I am not that up on things anyhow so if someone did come in who was a celeb, chances are I would not have a clue anyhow. If by chance I did recognise them, well they are another member with the same problem. What they do for a living does not really come into it. I have learnt more about this by being involved in the Prison Postal Service. Writing to someone inside has really made me realise how we are all the same.

I would not say that I am ashamed I am alcoholic but I don't go around broadcasting it either. That is not because I still feel ashamed it's more because I have to watch my motives if I want to start telling people. Is it to be helpful or to get a bit of attention? Something else I have to watch out for. I was ashamed when I came into AA but then, as they say, nobody comes into AA skipping with joy. When did I stop being ashamed? Like everything else, for me it took time.

As for my sobriety being attractive to a newcomer, well what to say on that one? I share what I found useful in my early days. The basics: don't drink whatever, get to meetings and use the phone. Sometimes I wonder maybe I am not very attractive because I don't tend to bang on about stuff but that's me. I was full of my opinions when I was drinking so best I try not and behave like that. Plus, I am a bit on the quiet side. If I share at a meeting I hope it's because I want to add something to the meeting and not because my ego is getting in the way and I want to sound good. Something else I need to watch out for.