January 14: The good we do for others (and ourselves)

Topic for the week: The good we do for others (and ourselves)

Hi again, I’m Mari Ann and I’m still an alcoholic.

There are four of us at my home group who celebrate anniversaries in January and this year they all landed in the past week.  So we four, and our sponsors or a sponsee, went to dinner last night to celebrate the occasion for the first time together.

It turned out that the sponsor of one of the women was an old-timer known to most of us but whom we haven’t seen in years due to living in different towns some distance apart. I recognized Mary from a women-only conference where hundreds of sober women met for a day of workshops and where there was a sobriety countdown.  As each tier of time-sober women sat down, she was usually the last woman standing with a number of years sober that seemed impossible.

My own sponsor never attended those conferences and mentioned that she hadn’t seen Mary in 35 years – at least.

The group exchanged stories of experiences shared over the years, but the one that caused goosebumps to pop out all over me was when my sponsor reminded Mary that “You took me to treatment over 40 years ago.”

That simple acknowledgement of a single action that saved one more life took my breath away. How one woman, doing what was best for her own sobriety by doing service in bringing a teenage girl to treatment, had ultimately informed the lives of most of us sitting around the table.

Mary didn’t remember doing that particular good deed. Probably because over the course of her 49 years in the program she has done too many to recall.  Every time we share at a meeting, every time we give someone a ride, every time we do coffee, take a phone call, check on another person in the program we sprinkle the life-saving good in ways we can’t see, probably won’t remember, but do more good than we think possible.

I celebrated 36 years sober last Tuesday and every year believe more firmly that I am a conduit for this program. It passes through me to whomever needs it as long as I do my best to live it.

To borrow from the old Nike Ad “Just do it!” It saves others as well as ourselves.

Thanks for letting me lead this week.  Be assured whatever you choose to share will turn out to be needed by someone.

Mari Ann