Thursday, September 15, 2011
The more I go to meetings, the more I realize that there are few people who actually get a sponsor and work the steps. There is no real "guide" for so many who are suffering from the affects of alcoholism in a relative or friend. What is amazing is that people are helped by coming and listening to the experience, strength and hope of others. They are getting a message. It may not be the entire message but some part of the program is helping them. And today, I think that some got a good message about giving back.
Probably one of the best kept secrets for many people who come to meetings is that helping others can actually help your recovery. My sponsor stressed service and doing for others. It was not the co-dependent type of doing that I had done in the past. Rather, it was about becoming involved with Al-Anon through talking to newcomers, chairing a meeting, participating in meetings, and simply doing for the good of the group. I got to know other members, made friends, and found that my recovery was helped when I gave something back.
I have moments when I get really weary of taking on more activities/jobs. I have to find a balance between taking care of myself and doing for others. I do reserve the right to say, "No thanks" if I am asked to do something when I am feeling overwhelmed with existing projects. Lately, I have felt overwhelmed with class and family. So I met with the District Representative yesterday to discuss how best to hand over something that I have done for the district for several years. I know that it's time to let another person take this work over.
I also get tired when people, who ask me to sponsor them, balk at working the steps. But I've learned that I can't make anyone do anything. All I can be is an example of willingness. I can share what helped me. And then I have to let the outcome go. In Al-Anon, I've learned that it is healthy for me to detach with love.
So, if you find that your recovery may be feeling a bit stale, think about getting out of yourself and doing something for others in the fellowship. It can be an amazing lift to the spirit.
Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does. ~William James
This is the true joy in life - being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. ~George Bernard Shaw