This 10 Day Workshop was held at The Recovery Group on October 16, 2006.


A WORKSHOP FOR THE 12 TRADITIONS
October 16th October 26th

Share and Questions ~ Tradition Eleven

"Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion;
we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio,
films, television, and other public media of communication."



Hello everyone, my name is Athena and I am a gratefully recovering compulsive overeater. I joined Overeaters Anonymous (OA) in December 1980, and I have been abstinent with a few slips since June 21, 1982, and with back-to-back abstinence since September 1999. I am maintaining a weight loss of 50 pounds and am 16 pounds from goal weight.

OA has definitely changed my life for the better. I don't even want to guess how it would be had I not entered the rooms, largely as the result of an article about OA in an Ann Landers column. My Higher Power and the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions and the tools are what have kept me working this beautiful program and recovering one day at a time. I'm happy to give service in and out of the rooms, at the group level and as a sponsor. I've also contributed articles to OA's wonderful magazine, Lifeline, over the years. I particularly appreciate Lifeline's useful articles on the steps and traditions that are a regular feature of the magazine.

Tradition 11 reads:

"Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need alwaysmaintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, films, television, and other public media of communication."

I love the fact that we are not proselytizing people to come into OA. People are informed but not pressured. Each one comes into OA as a result of their own decision. We may want very much for someone we care about to enter OA. Yet this Tradition remind us that it is our own recovery that will attract them, not our efforts to promote OA as the solution for them.

It is essential to get the word out about OA though. People need to know we exist, and what we are, and how to reach and join us. The fact that our public relations efforts doon't show faces or tell the stories of individual members is surely a plus. Potential members have the basic information not a sales pitch, nor before and after pictures. They don't have to wonder if photos are retouched or whether those in them have maintained their weight loss or dropped out of program. Nor must they buy any particular products or foods, pay membership fees, or follow a particular food plan.

Once again, I credit the wisdom of AA, our "parent" organization, in this Tradition. Recently, my husband and I were in New England and we visited the Norman Rockwell Museum. There, I found a postcard with his painting of a 1940's school girl on a cover of The Saturday Evening Post, a very popular magazine at the time. In the bottom right-hand corner of the cover were the words Alcoholics Anonymous and the author's name. That article is the one still cited in the rooms as opening the door to countless thousands of potential AA members across the country and giving AA its first real boost in members, through public media. How many suffering men and women might not have found the rooms and the hope of a new life without reading that article? I bought the postcard and have it in my study as a daily reminder.

I also appreciate reading articles in magazines about OA members and occasionally I've seen members on television, photographed from behind or in silhouette. I also value the articles in which the author is listed as "anonymous," or else refers to OA as a "support group" or "12-step program" or uses other indirect language. I wince when, on occasion, the article's author indicates OA membership directly and includes thier name. Fortunately, I've only encountered this on rare occasions.

Letting go personal ambition and not assuming the role of OA "spokesperson" is at the heart of this Tradition. As is expressed in the idea, "principles before personalities," OA is not a place for personal ego or personal notoriety and fame. It can be humbling not to promote one's views at a public level but instead to remain anonymous. But it is Overeaters Anonymous to which we belong! I like coming to a place where I don't have to be concerned with what I or anyone else does for a living, or what religious or political views we hold. We all have a common bond -- we seek freedom from compulsive overeating. That is our weakness, our strength, and also our hope.

THE QUESTIONS

1. How do I let people know about our meetings?
I let people know about new meetings, or if meetings have changed location, and I serve for one meeting as the person to be called on the Where and When and on the web.

2. Is my OA recovery attractive enough to others so they will want to join OA?
Sometimes in conversations food or weight issues come up. If people I'm with seem interested in a different answer, I mention that I am in OA and discuss it. 3. Do I speak up when this tradition is not being followed?
This has not come up in my experience.

4. Do I consider sharing my recovery through articles for the media such as my group's newsletter, Lifeline, here on TRG, or in other ways?
I had had articles published both in local OA newsletters and in Lifeline.

I encourage you to answer the bold-typed questions and to send your answers to the workshop and/or share them with your sponsor.

Thank you.

Athena

Below again are the questions for Tradition 11:

1. How do I let people know about our meetings?

2. Is my OA recovery attractive enough to others so they will want to join OA?

3. Do I speak up when this Tradition is not being followed?

4. Do I consider sharing my recovery through articles for the media, such as my group's newsletter, Lifeline, here on TRG, or in other ways?





Website Contact: Webmaster@TheRecoveryGroup.org

spinning globe image
Copyright 1995-2010 THE RECOVERY GROUP All rights reserved