SINGLENESS OF PURPOSE
When other addicts are asked to not share in our meetings, we are not excluding them. It is our way of saying we have limitations in our effectiveness with their addiction, and there are others who are better qualified than us to help them. By maintaining our singleness of purpose we establish realistic expectations with whom we can help and it promotes humility, which is essential in our recovery.
The reality is we cannot help everyone. When claiming we can help other types of addictions, we dilute our fellowship and we lose sight of the needs of the heroin addict.
Tradition One: Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends on H.A. unity.
This tradition reminds us that the common welfare of our fellowship comes before our personal agendas. H.A. is a “we” program, not an “I” program. We are each responsible for placing the common welfare of H.A. first. The good of H.A. must always be a first priority even if it means we can’t get what we want.
What we can do to promote unity in H.A. –
We identify ourselves as “Heroin Addicts,” leaving our other problems and addictions at the door. This means we do not identify ourselves as addicts or alcoholics. The only identification that belongs here is that of being a heroin addict.
Our sharing should be based on offering our experience, strength, and hope to still suffering heroin addicts. Our meetings should not be used as dumping grounds for all of our personal problems and issues. These things are to be discussed with our sponsors and others outside of meetings. We are here to offer hope to the suffering heroin addict – that is our primary purpose.
When we start sharing whatever we want, we become divided by our differences. We are no longer bonded by our common problem with heroin addiction and we are threatening our unity. When we don’t take responsibility for our common welfare, we deprive the newcomer of recovery and everyone suffers.
Tradition Two: For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority – a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
Heroin Anonymous is a fellowship that is directed through a loving God – not by individuals who want to run the show their own way. The more we allow God to direct our actions through a group conscience, the more we move out of “self’ and our own wants and desires. With our own plans and designs set aside, God can better move our fellowship in the direction of helping the still-suffering heroin addict and help us to carry out our singleness of putpose.
Tradition Three: The only requirement for H.A. membership is a desire to stop suffering from heroin addiction.
Our third tradition clearly states that membership is limited to those that suffer from heroin addiction. If we have suffered from heroin addiction we identify ourselves as heroin addicts. If a person has not suffered from heroin, they cannot have a desire to stop suffering from heroin addiction. These individuals do not meet our requirement for membership. They are welcome to participate in the readings, and are asked not to share.
When an individual does not live in the spirit of Tradition 3, the person then places his or her own wants and desires ahead of the common welfare of H.A. When people identify themselves as “addicts”, they may think it’s all the same. This is a problem and it is not the same because they don’t share our common problem.
These persons cannot honestly offer a solution to the still-suffering heroin addict. There are differences in the experience of heroin addiction and other addictions.
A non-heroin addict, who is allowed to speak in H.A., cannot carry the message to the heroin addict. They do not share a common problem nor do they share in a common experience. Our singleness of purpose is completely lost and our precious fellowship loses its focus of helping the suffering heroin addict.
When we allow this kind of thing to continue because we are too scared to stand up for the principle of this tradition out of fear of hurting someone’s feelings, we end up placing our own fears ahead of our singleness of purpose.
Tradition Four: Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or H.A. as a whole.
This tradition reminds us to be mindful of how we conduct our meetings. Some groups use this tradition to their advantage by leaving off the latter part “except in matters affecting other groups or H.A. as a whole”. This is the most important part of this tradition. It reminds us we have to place the welfare of H.A. as a whole before our group’s wants and desires.
Tradition Four allows groups to have their own variations, personalities, and formats as long as it does not affect H.A. as a whole. Tradition Four does not give a group permission to do whatever it pleases and be a free-for-all. The common welfare of H.A. must come first. Without common welfare, our fellowship will not survive.
Some groups allow non-heroin addicts to share using the explanation that they are autonomous and can do whatever they want. This affects H.A. as a whole. When we allow this, we confuse the newcomer about our singleness of purpose and we dilute our primary purpose of helping the suffering heroin addict. It gives the impression that we don’t have singleness of purpose.
Tradition Five: Each group lias but one primary purpose – to carry its message to the heroin addict who still suffers.
Tradition five reminds us of the sole purpose of our meetings; to carry the message as outlined in the AA Big Book. We aren’t supposed to offer our own spin on the message based on personal opinions or agendas. The j group’s message to the still suffering heroin addict should be clear cut and taken from our basic text.
Our primary purpose is to carry a message of hope to other heroin addicts and help them achieve sobriety. Singleness of purpose is lost when we use H.A. as a social hangout, a gossiping circle, or a place to find a , date.
Who is the heroin addict who still suffers? When trying to identify this person, we often think of the newcomer who just walked through the door. But this person can also be an old-timer, a personal friend, or someone we dislike. It does not matter who the person is. It is our responsibility to carry THE message to all suffering heroin addicts and to help them in the capacity that we can.
By not honoring tradition five, we cannot protect the survival of our fellowship. In fact, we may be contributing to its downfall. Principles must always be placed before personalities.
Tradition Ten: Heroin Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the H.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
Sometimes people share their opinions under the guise of sharing their own experience. How many times have we heard people make comments on rehabs, the courts, religion, or the police out of resentment? This kind of sharing has nothing to do with our common problem or common solution.
Anything shared at a meeting that does not relate to heroin addiction is an OUTSIDE ISSUE. A newcomer may take the personal opinions shared at a meeting as I representing H.A. as a whole. Where does this leave the I suffering heroin addict? Why do we waste our time and ! energy sharing opinions when we should be helping others? Opinions shared at meetings have nothing whatsoever to do with our singleness of purpose, and have more to do with our self-will and selfishness.
All of our energy and efforts need to be extremely focused. Heroin Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from heroin addiction. Without this, our fellowship will ultimately destroy itself from within. More and more heroin addicts will unnecessarily die and Heroin Anonymous will cease to exist if we do not take a steadfast approach to honoring , our singleness of purpose.