Tuesday, July 22, 2008

How to tell your "story"

The topic at my homegroup meeting last night was "how to tell your story". Telling your story is one of those opportunities to serve that is part of the Al-Anon legacy: "Recovery through the steps; Unity through the traditions; and Service through the Concepts." It is also an honor to tell your story.

We talked about some of the components in telling about your self. It's important to talk about what your life was like, what happened, and what it's like now. This is basically what the "old" you was like, how you wanted to change, what changed you and what the "new" you is like today.

Telling your story is an opportunity to be completely honest with yourself and your group. It doesn't matter how many steps you've done or how long you've been in the program. What matters is that you have accepted that you have a problem because of someone else's drinking; that there are things happening you cannot control by yourself; that you have to ask for help from others to begin recovery and that you must focus on what you can do with the help of your Higher Power. You can share what you have learned in the program and how it is helping you .

I don't think that there is any definitive way to tell your story. It is up to the individual. I know that when I told mine the first time, there was a lot of pain and more focus on the past. Now there is more focus on recovery. And I explain my recovery in the context of the steps which are the real "meat and potatoes" of the program.

If telling your recovery story touches just one person, you're a success. That person will have hope because there is a real person talking about living a happy life even in spite of alcoholism. Your experience will help somebody else, which gives your pain meaning. I've found that people love to hear stories and learn more about others.

You don't have to be a great orator or public speaker. Just tell your own powerful truth from your heart, as you know it, as it happened to you.


  1. firstly, what adorable pups! are they yours?

    the story. well. you've done it again. sharing it is important. not only to those you share it with, but also to you sharing it. it's a healing process. and you rightly said, the focus changes every time you do. progress? yeah, i believe so...

  2. (I hope) It has nothing to do with Pride or Ego, but I can tell you, "Syd" that it makes it a two-way reward, when someone comments on a blog. It makes one's "share" (I really never liked that word, but I use it!) important, like a gift. If no one can receive your or my gift, then it is not really a gift at all, but simply words strung out unto the beyond.

    Enjoyed last night's meeting "review" -grin-...thank for SHARING it with us/me!

    Steve E.

  3. I love the stories. It is seldom I don't cry. You are so right, one doesn't have to be a public speaker.I see people start out stammering, but once they get going there is no stopping them.

  4. Nice post, Syd.

    I remember my first share from the front, back in 2004....terrifying and liberating at the same time!

  5. I love to tell my story. I don't like to listen to people talk for the first 45 minutes about the problem and then 10 on the solution. So I try to talk alot about the solution. I go to a mixed conference once a year (AA and Al-Anon women). We love the Al-Anon stories....and think that alot fit into our AA program-even without the booze :)

  6. It can be quite an experience.

  7. It's the therapeutic value of one helping another. I get to see how I'm not alone, and I get to see how things change. You are right, my friend, it does work! Thank you for being there.

  8. I've shared just a few times. It was different each time as I discovered new things about myself both from the past and in my recovery. One thing I know for sure about sharing, I'm glad when its over and its a great feeling when someone says they identify with you and that hearing what you had to say helped them.

  9. love the doggy pic!! i recently wrote my story for the 1st time after a year and am still trying to understand what the hell happened! But I needed to get it on paper and practice it so I can begin sharing it with newcomers. I was told we need the stories so that others will identify with us.

    good post Mr. Syd.

  10. Syd,
    It has been almost 10 years since the last post here. Not sure if you are still active on this blog. Regardless, I want to thank you for this piece about "sharing out story". I am doing this next week, and you really helped me to understand what my purpose is! I am ready!!
    With gratitude in service,



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