From the October 2011 magazine.

Reflections on the Third Tradition

A member describes the importance of the Third Tradition in his sobriety

"The short form of Tradition Three was a shield from the storm of personal testimony."

I hated the idea of AA back when a shrink in the alcoholic ward of a psych unit told me it might be the only shot I had at learning to live without alcohol. While under his care, and still quite befogged and barely coherent, I stumbled through Bill's story and that was enough for me. God was not in my vocabulary in those days. Having been introduced to eastern philosophies at young age, I was an atheist; or, as Bill puts it in Step Two, the belligerent one.

I left that hospital with the assurance that my liver was cirrhotic (fortunately that was erroneous) and for me "to drink was to die." I moved in with my father whom I had grown to resent over the years. He accompanied me to 90 meetings in 90 days. He prayed for me when I thought prayer so useless that it knotted my stomach to hear people speak of it as a "tool of recovery."

-- Jason P.

Fishers, Indiana

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