Many newcomers are taken aback when they learn that we are working the same Twelve Steps as our addicted loved ones. Tradition Five explains why this is necessary and how it helps. The Fifth Tradition demonstrates the loving nature of our program. I learned by working the steps that the answer to recovery is not only to love and accept the addict but, more importantly, to love and accept myself.

One of most important lessons I learned is to stop the fighting and let go of the resentments. This is essential for my recovery. When I accept and practice the First Step, I accept that I am powerless over the disease of addiction. So what benefit would I get by going to meeting after meeting, reliving my war stories about the addict and complaining and blaming the addict for all of my problems? This behavior hurts me and does nothing for the addict. Further, it adds little or nothing to my fellow members’ recovery.

The second part of this Tradition is our fellowship’s role in sharing our message of hope and healing to others who are suffering. We can do this by supporting a newcomer or fellow member in crisis, providing information about our program to local drug abuse treatment centers, schools and prisons, and letting others know there is a better way to live.

Thought for Today: I am grateful for my Nar-Anon program, which teaches me that changed attitudes and encouragement to others will help me far more than focusing on my problems. In helping others and supporting my Nar-Anon group, I can reap the rewards of recovery.

“Each Nar-Anon Family Group has but one purpose; to help families of addicts. We do this by practicing the Twelve Steps of Nar-Anon, by encouraging and understanding our addicted relatives, and by welcoming and giving comfort to families of addicts.” ~ Nar-Anon Tradition Five