Program, whether it's Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Emotions
Anonymous, Al-Anon, CODA, etc. etc. etc. is what's written the books, Alcoholics
Anonymous, known by most of us as the Big Book, and The
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.
Fellowship is when any two or more of us gather to share our 'experience
strength and hope.' Meetings are part of the Fellowship; so is
conversation over coffee, web sites like this, online meeting, books (including
mine) etc. etc. etc.
working the Program when I'm working with any of the Steps or
Traditions. I'm involved in the Fellowship any place else I'm
talking about my Program.
distinction is important. Without understanding the difference, it's easy
to assume that, for example, anything and everything said at a meeting is
the last and authoritative word on the subject.
for instance, my sponsor tells me not to get involved in a relationship or
make any big changes during the first year of recovery, I may think this
advice is part of the Program... it isn't. It may be good advice or bad...
but it's based on my Sponsor's opinion and part of her sharing
'experience, strength and hope.' And it should be viewed as such.
someone suggests another needs to get ready for an inventory or they have
to remain perpetually powerless over everything other than their addiction,
they are sharing what they believe, and NOT what's actually in the
is why I believe it's important for 12 Steppers who are not dealing with
alcoholism get familiar with the Big Book and the 12 Steps and
12 Traditions... even though it may seem odd at first glance. But in
truth, those two books are the original source material; when you're
dealing with a different addiction/dysfunction, you need only substituted
the name of the affliction to discover how they apply to you. You may be
surprised to discover you too have a belief about Program that simply
Love, peace and