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Sunday Sundries … Traditions

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It has been warm the past couple of days. And night time temps sit in a tremulous balance between, a little too warm, and not cool enough. I should have left the a/c unit in the window a few more days. We get sun on our side of the building from 11 a.m. until sunset, and so we bake during the day.

Almost over night the trees on Tupper, just downstairs have turned a bright fiery yellow. The yellows are the first to turn in our neighborhood. There are no reds or oranges in this area. But there are a few reds over on Rene levesque, not far from here.

In Westmount, trees have yet to turn. Last week I noticed that the church yard trees were dropping green leaves, and today upon closer inspection of the trees, the leaves are spotted with disease, so I don’t imagine a great turn from the trees on the property. However the trees down the street are still green.

I was out early and set up girl was waiting for me and we cranked out set up and decided to sit outside prior to the meeting. There is a bench out front and to the side of the front of the church, underneath a copse of trees which lends to a nice greeting area outside.

We sat a fair number tonight. It is last Sunday and a Tradition night. And since it is the ninth month, we read from the Twelve and Twelve and Tradition Nine.

“A.A. as such, should never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.”

A.A. as such should never be organized, yet, organization is at the heart of our fellowship. It is the triangle upturned. There is no leader – and it is a loving God who may express himself in our group conscience that is in control.

From General Service in New York, to your General Service in your city, to your Area Committee to the D.C.M. (District committee members) to your G.S.R. (General Service Representative) down to the group, there are many committees that serve the community in a well oiled machine.

There are three sides to the service triangle: Unity, Recovery and Service.

Every group is unique, yet what we do is somewhat identical. The reading may be altered, the routine may be different, but the one thing we all do is carry the message to the alcoholic who still suffers.

Traditions are in place for the groups to run smoothly and the Steps are there to hopefully teach us to run smoothly.

Every member has a story about what they have seen in the years they have been sober. The old timers spin tales of people gone bad, thorns in our sides, and issues that have come up, only to be rectified in the meeting of a group conscience.

There are no rules or regulations in joining a group. You come by your own volition and we welcome you openly and humbly. Where you go in your sobriety is entirely up to you. It is just a suggestion but … When you come in it is suggested you go to as many meetings as possible, and in time, chose a home group, where you can get active and do service.

You become one of many, in an effort, on a grand spectrum, to carry the message to the alcoholic who still suffers. There is a routine to meetings.

Someone comes and opens up a church basement or meeting location. Then there are people to set up and make coffee. Once you get into rotation we rotate from service position to another. Eventually with time and experience, you get to chair. The whole purpose of a home group is to get you into service that will only enhance your sobriety.

Some groups are much more comprehensive in regards to service. You should see the jobs they create in a meeting in New York City and how many people usually show up for any given meeting. It defies convention but down south they come in hundreds, unlike here they come in twenties or thirties.

When I got sick, many years ago, I was getting sober at the same time. I was introduced to structure. Severe structure. I had doctors appointments, and treatment days, pharmacy calls, and social worker meetings. All these things were done on a daily or weekly basis, and missing an appointment would mean no services – so you went – even if you were sick. And at certain points, whether or not you were dying.

I also had a structure at the job I was employed at, which kept me very busy, my mind off my own personal issues and centered on the work I was mandated to do on a daily/nightly basis.

Meeting were interspersed with work until that came to an end. And little by slowly meetings and sobriety lost their priority. And I went out.

So much for trained structure.

When I came back, i was re-introduced to sober structure and I took to it like a duck to water. For the first few months the people in the group I joined served me, took care of me, mentored me and helped me clean myself up.

It wasn’t until I hit Montreal that things changed. I did meetings and met people. I rooted in a home group, (Tuesday Beginners) and went to the other weekly meetings. I built my life Around my Meetings…

The Home Group was a Non-Negotiable night.

When I joined the group it was mostly women and a couple of men. I had certain responsibilities each week for months. First I set up tables and chairs. For months. Then I moved to coffee, for months. And at a year’s time I was able to chair a meeting. (Then there were two; a beginners meeting and a speaker meeting).

Over the twelve years I was there many things changed. All the old timers left for other meetings. So as they all left I stepped up into the main service person along with two friends that had come to the group.

Building my life around my meeting was at times difficult, because of university. Some semesters I had to forgo my home group because of class, but that only happened a few semesters over nine years.

Today I am grouped at several meetings. Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday nights. I am a member on Sunday’s. Tuesday’s and Thursday’s… Friday is my night for me. I hit the A.B.S.I. meeting to be with my friends. I go to do twelve step work.

But i do step work at every meeting. Being a housewife, my life revolves around my meetings, and I don’t know what I would do without that structure to my days. They are my life, on a daily basis I have someplace to look forward to visiting and seeing my friends and fellows. I get to do service and be part of a movement that is greater than myself.

For an unorganized fellowship, it is our organization that makes it all work, through a God of our understanding who speaks among us in our group conscience.

I am grateful for our organization and the fellowship.

A good night was had by all.

More to come, stay tuned …

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