Tradition Eight

“Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers.”

I’m actually not dreading writing about this!  I read the text last night, and I don’t have the book out here on the back porch with me (there are VERY high winds, and my book is VERY delicate – I think I need a new one, I didn’t take it to a meeting the other night because there was a very light rain).  So I can’t quote.  But when I read it, something in the text jumped out at me.

It said, approximately, that professionals have never been able to help us the way we can help each other.  So true!  And so cool!

I know that some of the criticisms of AA center on the fact that AA doesn’t advance medical advances in the treatment of alcoholism.  It’s important for me to say that in my experience, AA does not deny or hinder these advances either.  But if some newcomer were to show up at my meeting and ask about a pill or a therapy or anything else, she would be told that for us in that room, maybe to a person, these things did not help us stop drinking or stay stopped.  I also need to point out (not to the proverbial newcomer, but here) that those things are not readily accessible nor are they free.

But anyway.  Nonprofessional.  I guess the thought is that once someone, anyone, even a member in excellent standing, a certain percent of us stop listening.  And the motives of the paid person don’t stay 100% pure (or nearly).

I think it goes along with the traditions for therapists and counselors to disclose they are in AA, if it fits, but they have to make it clear that they don’t speak for or represent AA, except in their own person.

And thank goodness for all of the paid people through the ages, members and nonmembers, who have kept the business of AA going so that when we needed it, it was there.


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