A core principle behind the Eleventh Tradition is Unity and Fellowship. There are no leaders or bosses in DRA. Members who do service work are serving the Fellowship and expanding their own dual recovery. When members are ready, they appreciate how important the Unity of DRA as a whole is and usually offer to pitch in and help in some way. This "Service Work" is the basis that keeps our Fellowship growing and fulfilling our Primary Purpose.
I think this Tradition sort of sums up the first ten. I mean, there is a certain amount of responsibility required to keep DRA going. I'm really grateful that DRA was here for me when I needed it and I want it to be around for the next person. That's only possible with a sense of Fellowship and Unity. I come here to meetings and I feel accepted and loved and even needed. To keep that safe feeling I take turns filling service positions and helping out where I can. This doesn't take anything from me--it adds to me and my recovery and helps make sure newcomers are always welcome.
I like being an equal partner. The newcomer, the old-timer, we're all just one drink, hit, or pill away from a relapse. Sort of keeps us all pretty humble. It takes a certain amount of recovery to fill most Group Service Positions, but beyond that, I like to see the newer people filling the service positions. Gives everyone a chance to learn and grow and heal. That's why our DRA Group tries to rotate these positions every six months.
Service work comes in many flavors. It took me a long time before I felt comfortable sharing much at meetings. I would though stay after the meetings and help put the chairs away and empty ashtrays and stuff. Later on I started going around with the coffee pot quietly offering to fill people's cups. This helped reduce the traffic when people were sharing and I felt good about helping. Before I knew it I was asked if I would get there early 15 minutes early and open the doors for a week while the usual person was on vacation. After a few months I got more use to sharing at meetings and chaired my first meeting. I was a little nervous but soon got use to it. Now I take a turn chairing whenever I get asked. It's all Service Work and keeps my meeting going.
It says that our traditions and service work help 'us' maintain the integrity of 'our' program. I helped set up our meeting and the Twelve Traditions of DRA were key in guiding us. We weighed every initial decision against the advice given in the Traditions to insure that our meeting had a firm foundation that would best support everyone's personal dual recovery. We found that whenever we had a question or a decision to make, it was most productive if we went through all the Traditions one by one, slowly, to see how it fit within DRA's 12 Traditions as a whole.
We would ask if and how it affected our ability to carry the message of DRA? Did it effect who could attend the meeting? Would what we were considering place any limits on DRA being a program of personal freedom and choice? Was it compatible with the principles of DRA's 12 Steps? Were we being sensitive to the well-being and unity of other DRA Groups and the Fellowship at large? Was it an outside issue or would it cause us arguments or resentments about finances? Did it honor DRA's copyrights and trademarks or give the impression of any affiliations? Would it create or draw our Group into any public controversy such as political debate or issues of religion? Were we being as "self-supporting" as we possibly could be? Were we maintaining our autonomy and separate identity from the day treatment center where we hold our meetings? Would it violate anyone's right to anonymity?
What really happened was that a few relative new-comers were drawing on the wisdom of those who went before and we made mostly good decisions in the process of establishing our meeting. We didn't need to re-invent the wheel. By continuing to work with the Traditions our Group is able to grow and change and learn from any mistakes we might have made.