A core principle behind the First Tradition is that it's better do one thing very well than many things badly. So sharing our Experience, Strength, and Hope, and the message of DRA is what we do. We keep it simple and keep our Meetings, Groups, and Service Work, focused steadfastly on DRA's Primary Purpose.
DRA's Preamble states, "The primary purpose of DRA is to help one another achieve dual recovery, to prevent relapse, and to carry the message of recovery to others who experience dual disorders. When we have our Group's business meetings each month this is one of the first things we discuss. How well are we carrying the message? How well are we fulfilling our primary purpose?
I'm a Group Treasurer and when our Group wants to allocate funds for special projects I always interject and ask them if this is a really good way to carry the message of DRA. For instance, we have a potluck picnic every fall. We need to pay day rent for the softball diamond and covered area at the park, insurance, and some to promote it. We always have one or two Open meetings that day and distribute plenty of literature. Since many family members and friends show up and we invite the current clients of a local treatment center, we all feel like we are not only creating unity for our local Groups but really carrying the DRA message out into new places.
DRA is all about dual recovery. We help each other to stay in recovery and live free of our addictions while managing our symptoms in a healthy way. That's all we do really. As a Group or as a DRA member, we don't crusade for any causes and we steer way clear of all politics and controversy. We don't promote any causes or endorse any organizations. All we do is help each other recover using the tools of DRA. That singleness of purpose is really important to me. That's one of the main reasons I feel so safe at my meetings.
The World is a complicated place filled with complicated problems and complicated people. In my recovery I've found the slogans, "keep it simple" and "First things first" a couple of the most important tools I've got to keep me focused on my dual recovery. If I don't put my recovery first in all areas of my life, I increase my chances of getting stoned or forgetting to take my meds for awhile and having another devastating manic episode. It's the same way with a DRA Group. We are all recovering people affected by dual disorders who are trying to support each other's recovery processes. If we keep it simple and stay focused on carrying the DRA message we are all very likely to do pretty good. We can't afford to let down our guard and get involved with a whole bunch of other issues. I know how easy it is to let myself get sidetracked and lose sight of my real priorities... staying clean and continuing to manage my bi-polar in a healthy way every day.
The DRA Preamble expands on this Tradition. It says that "The primary purpose of DRA is to help one another achieve dual recovery, to prevent relapse, and to carry the message of recovery to others who experience dual disorders." I think that carrying the message involves just about everything that happens in a DRA Group meeting. The sharing and caring, the mutual support, and the warm welcoming atmosphere that feels safe to newcomers, reading Getting Started and at the start of every meeting... Every nuance is an element of our Group actively carrying the message. We also do things like sending our Group meeting schedule and a Welcome to DRA pamphlet to local treatment and mental health centers at least once a year and occasionally hold special Open Speakers meetings and pot lucks so people can learn about DRA and dual recovery.