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Any two or three alcoholics — Tradition Three

ThreeOur membership ought to include all who suffer from alcoholism. Hence we may refuse none who wish to recover. Nor ought A.A. membership ever depend upon money or conformity. Any two or three alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an A.A. group, provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation.

Tradition Three tells me that any alcoholic is a member when they say so. I was terrified when I came to my first meeting. I thought that if you knew me and what I had done during my drinking, you would chuck me out. I was told that if I have a desire to stop drinking, I belong here.

I wasn’t sure at first whether I had a desire to stop drinking, but the Long Form of the Tradition tells me that our membership ought to include all who suffer from alcoholism, and I knew I was suffering. It finally sunk in that as well as being united by the fatal peril of alcoholism, there was a solution here that would work for me too.

This Tradition encourages me to consider my conduct. Bill W wrote about not erecting barriers between ourselves and the alcoholic who still suffers, stating that we must enter the dark cave where they are and show them we understand. Am I actively welcoming people to the meeting? Are there any overt or covert barriers to people joining my home group, or attending fellowship? Tradition Three in the Twelve and Twelve taught me that when in doubt, I can ask: what would God
do?

I was shown that, just like AA doesn’t have any other requirements of me, my only requirement of God should be sobriety. When I had other demands, I continued trying to control that area, rather than handing my will and life over to the care of God. I can work this Tradition in my life by dropping these demands and having sobriety as my only goal. God provides what I need when I make trying to carry the message my primary purpose.

– Cara

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