From the April 2012 magazine.

April 2012: Mining for Gold

Inspired by one man's service, she struck it rich giving back

Several years ago, I was diagnosed with a rare form of Parkinson’s, which is progressive and affects all the systems of my body. Soon afterward, I was given the gift of clinical depression—and these with 17 years of sobriety! I was afraid and suicidal. I was at the “jumping off place.” The phone weighed 1000 pounds, and although my friends in the Fellowship were numerous, I was beginning to isolate. Then my wife and I divorced, and I had to give up my dog due to my inability to care for her. I was unable to work and went on disability. So this is what they meant when they spoke in meetings about hitting a bottom in sobriety. I called my sponsor for help. We started at Step One and proceeded to take the Steps in order, using the “Twelve and Twelve.”

It was at this time that I remembered a small service group at the Northern Nevada Intergroup called the Sunshine Committee, whose function it was to take meetings to shut-ins and to alcoholics in hospitals, rehabs and homes. I found out later that the committee was introduced to intergroup by a fellow named Eddie, who got it going in 1990. My call to the Sunshine Committee resulted in a gentleman coming out to visit the next day at my home. He spent an hour with me, and through the discussion we found common ground as recovering alcoholics and people dealing with depression. I also found out that Bill W. suffered from these maladies as well. I asked the gentleman if he could come back next week, but he replied that he was going out of town for two weeks and that he was the sole member of the committee. I thanked him for his time and for sharing with me. I felt much better as a result of his visit. Since I had managed to pick up the phone that one time to call the Sunshine Committee, it then became much easier to call my other sober friends and ask for help. Many replied and came to visit me, and the veil was lifted. The depression lessened over the next few weeks and months.

-- Anonymous

Reno, Nevada

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