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May 04 • For Me or You?

Day 665

What is my primary purpose of being in recovery? I assumed it was to recover, to put the days of sexually compulsive behaviors behind me, and find a way to live as a good person and functional member of society. Somewhere along the arc of recovery, all of that remains true on a personal, critical level. But as a member of a community of sex addicts that leans on each other, knowing that this baffling disease is too much for most of us to tackle alone, there is a higher purpose.

Pages 77-96 of the Green Book breaks down the traditions of SAA groups, and the fifth tradition (page 84) states emphatically that we are not here just for ourselves:

"Each group has but one primary purpose — to carry its message to the sex addict who still suffers."

My home group breaks down the twelve traditions into individual values that we include in our weekly meetings, focusing on the one that correlates with the number of the month; in January, we read the first tradition in each meeting, in February the second, and so on. This is my third month of May through this process, so I know I've heard this before, several times. But today is the first time I heard it sufficiently to think about it. I know that we sometimes need to hear important words many times before we get their meaning; I hope this is an indication of growth, not callousness. So what can I do, what should I do, to carry my weight as expressed in the fifth tradition? First, I need to work my program to gain through experience the insights I can share with others that still suffer. Second, I need to stay sober, at least for today. Third, I need to look beyond myself with a vision and heart to give to others what others have given to me. It sounds like a lot of work, but I can do it, one day at a time. Whether a newcomer or a fellow with years of sobriety, recovery is more than can be accomplished in isolation, and in our own power. So, (at the risk of offending my more conservative religious friends) as you travel your recovery road, May the Fourth be with you, as you understand it ;-)



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