February 14, 2012

Tradition or limitation?

Riddle Me This … Why do old time members of the “Alphabet Groups”, AA, NA, OA, etc., resist any new technology that compliments face to face meetings?

networkIt seems to me we should “go to any length,” by using our bicycles, scooters, computers, smart phones, Big Books, Little Books, or whatever else is at our disposal to achieve a spiritual experience. Our experience has shown us time and time again that when we surrender and work the Steps, we will have a spiritual transformation that offers us a daily reprieve from our addiction.

I was recently reminded of a woman who was being sponsored by a stark self proclaimed “AA Purist.” She advised this woman to give her children to her estranged husband if they got in the way of her recovery. For example, if she could not make at least 90 meetings in 90 days (even though the woman was three years away from a drink), then she needed to “let go” of her children. As the story progresses, the woman followed the advice of the “sponsor” and gave up her children only to see them every other weekend. This lasted for three months, until she ended up drunk once again. Within a month of that drink she was arrested four times. The last time she was arrested, she took her own life in the jail cell.

That story is obviously the extreme of what can happen when sick people try to help sick people. I feel sure the “sponsor” in the story only meant the best for the suffering lady. In fact, that sort of “tough love” probably worked on her.

As I ponder the scenario above, I can only wonder how much pain the woman was in to give up her children. I wonder if the outcome would have been the same had she had “recovery” at her fingertips. What if she went to an online meeting every other day because they fit into her busy schedule? Would she have given her children away? Or, what if the woman had found other recovered people online who might have “balanced” the advice her sponsor gave her. In these times, I consider myself very lucky to have so many tools for my recovery available with a blink of an eye.

I listen to podcasts and speakers all day long. I peruse the online recovery rooms for opportunities to be of service. I read blog after blog of fellows who share their experiences. I have been accused of “breaking the traditions” for participating in my online recovery groups. I feel like it shouldn’t matter. I am just as anonymous online as I am sitting in a room (which I do often as well). For me, technology offers more of what I love and need…fellowship. What say you?

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