Saturday, February 12, 2011

From the late Don Pritts, GrapeVine article, 1988, Part One:

If Our Message Is Clear. . .
In working with professionals, let us keep in mind that for our friends to recommend us, they must understand us. And for that, we are responsible.
As AA grows, cooperating with members of the professional community becomes one of the most important activities we can engage in. We are experiencing a growth beyond our wildest dreams, but with that growth come some problems. Most groups are finding that many of the new people coming to us are not alcoholics, but suffer from many other maladies. The people who refer them have seen the true miracles that happen in AA and, having no other resource, they lovingly send everyone to us.
While I believe that our recovery program, the Twelve Steps, will work for any problem, our Fellowship of alcoholics does not seem to provide the same service for others as it does for us. Fellowship is a gathering of people of like mind, and while there are many similar behaviors among alcoholics and others suffering from obsessions of many kinds, the alcoholic mind and body are different. According to Dr. Silkworth, in "The Doctor's Opinion" in the Big Book, "This phenomenon [of craving], as we have suggested, may be the manifestation of an allergy which differentiates these people, and sets them apart as a distinct entity." So, as we are experiencing, nonalcoholics coming to our Fellowship cause us to be uncomfortable because we do not really understand them. We cause them to be uncomfortable because we demonstrate that we don't understand them. We know when our principles are applied to problems other than alcohol, in fellowships designed for each problem, such as Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, or Overeaters Anonymous, the results are the same.

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