Sep 18: Service


For today’s meeting I have chosen the topic of service.

A cornerstone of our philosophy, reaching out to another alcoholic has saved many an AA old-timer or newcomer from that first drink or drug.

“Practical experience shows nothing will insure immunity from drinking like intensive work with other alcoholic. Carry this message to other alcoholics…it works!” (BB of Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 89)

When I got sober in 1984, I started washing coffee cups and ashtrays at the clubhouse where I attended meetings. They were yellow plastic cups, and I stood at that sink for hours: washing, drying, putting away, laughing, and socializing.

At 9 months I was elected secretary of a large morning meeting. My duties included picking up the doughnuts, bringing in coffee from the kitchen, picking a leader, and cleaning the room when it was all over—every Wednesday.

These jobs showed me how to be more giving and also saved my life.

Now I try to be of service on line by answering all the emails in two women’s groups and chairing meetings as often as I can. You can be of service to anyone, non-alcoholics too.

Think about someone else and your own complaints will shrink or disappear.

This quote from the May 2016 Grapevine says it best: 
“At six months he was still grumbling, so his sponsor volunteered him to be the group/s coffee maker … though incensed and nervous, he got the job done.

Along the way he learned important things like asking for help, connecting with his Higher Power, becoming responsible to the group, feeling gratitude and thinking of others.”

How has service work been important in your sobriety?
What was your first service position in AA?
Did you accept the job willingly?
What have you learned through service?