I recently saw a tweet that said this:
“I said I was good and didn’t need to go to a meeting. My sponsor said, ‘Really? What about everyone else?’”
A big part of going to meetings is meant to help us maintain our own sobriety. But AA works because it is one alcoholic helping another. So, there is another purpose for going to meetings: being there to share your experience, strength, and hope with others to help them maintain their sobriety. I’ve always known that AA works because it’s one alcoholic helping another. But it’s only been in the last several months that it’s really become clear to me (with the help of my sponsor) that going to recovery meetings is an act of service.
Service is one of the main tenets of Alcoholics Anonymous, along with unity and recovery. It’s important because doing service work means that we have skin in the game. It gives us purpose and helps build relationships with other sober alcoholics. And that helps us stay sober.
There are days that I don’t want to go to meetings. I live in a small town with limited options for recovery meetings. I see the same people most of the time and often hear the same stories again and again. It’s easy to think that I don’t need to go because I feel good and already know what will happen at the meeting.
That may be true, but even so, I need to go to meetings. If for no other reason than to be there for other people. Maybe there will be newcomers. Maybe I will say something that someone needs to hear. Maybe just being present will show others that recovery is possible.
There are many ways to be of service to others in recovery. Going to meetings is just one way.
How are you of service to others in recovery?