Losing Myself in Others
I was told early on in the program of AA, to be of service....to lose myself by helping others. There were several volunteer jobs in the program. After a year of continuous sobriety under my belt, I felt ready to step into action and volunteer. The first opportunity was to become Literature Chairperson for the group. It was my responsibility to update and stock pamphlets for the meeting so that newcomers and old-timers alike had access to information from AA World Headquarters based in New York. The job entailed going to the local Central Office and purchasing brochures and AA Big Books, written by the founders of AA. Our meeting provided free "Big Books" to newcomers who couldn't afford them or at cost to those that could. The meeting treasurer would always re-imburse us for the cost of literature. Everything at the meeting...coffee, books, rent for the space, sobriety cakes and sobriety tokens were paid by contributions made by members at the end of the meeting. Meetings were fully self-supporting. My next opportunity was to become Secretary of the Meeting which I volunteered to do. It was a six month commitment but when my term sas up, the group decided (group conscience) to have me continue the commitment. Without a doubt, being in a service capacity to a group that I was deeply grateful for was the least I could do. Besides, it kept me sober during those first years of sobriety. I equated volunteering as "sobriety insurance". I knew that someday I might have to use that insurance to weather the inevitable firestorms that life throws at us. For me, doing service work kept me focused on what really mattered in life...staying sober one day at a time.