The fifth tradition enables members of AA and Al-Anon to carry its message about breaking the bonds of addiction. It also conveys a message that help is available at any time if they so choose. The same applies with family members of those struggling with alcohol. The tradition also allows AA members to comfort those who are struggling with alcoholism and are actively looking for a solution. We often ask why members of AA come to meetings every week. Yet, the group’s why is clear: to reach out to those who still suffer. Each individual in the group has a personal story of struggle and strength that they share with fellow members. Those stories can serve as inspiration for people who continue to suffer alcoholism.
People who decide to join AA are first unaware of what may happen once they attend a meeting. Soon, they’ll realize that it only takes one or two meetings to know that someone will have their back no matter what. By the time a new member walks through the door, political beliefs, religion, sexual orientation, or anything else is irrelevant. The one thing that matters more than anything is sobriety. While each may have different beliefs and value systems, they share the common goal of living an alcohol-free life.
In Al-Anon, the fifth tradition for members is to help those who deal with loved ones who have alcoholism. This does not mean supporting them financially. It means that it’s done by listening to the person and talking to them. It’s also helping them realize that the words and actions of their loved one is controlled by alcoholism and not the true nature of that individual. To give comfort is not just to make the person feel good, but make yourself feel good in the process.