Service Experiences

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admin
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Joined: 2009-08-28

Have an experience or question about AA service that you'd like to share? Here's the place to do it.

Anonymous
A new outlook

Peace, Ive been clean for 17 years in another fellowship and I feel like somethings missings. When I attend AA meetings I feel like I don't have all that the 12 steps have to offer. can anyone relate or am I just having a moment?

Anonymous
RE: A New Outlook

At about 17 years sober in AA, a someone mentioned how
difficult the 19th. year had been. Smugly, I thought I
am happy and secure and am "working my program". That
won't happen to me. Well, guess what. That 18-19-20 year
period was very challenging. I stayed close to A.A. and
did another inventory and a thorough fifth step.
I also belong to overeaters anonymous. Some of us
have food allergies. I started paying more attention
to my diet. I was concerned with diabetes and had been
diagnosed as pre-diabetic. Twenty five years later I
am still sober and still pre-diabetic.
The re-visit to the fourth and fifth steps were a great
help. I had a priest friend to help me and listen to my
defects of character.
Are there life situations which need to be changed?
Pray for wisdom and courage. Acceptance is not always
the answer. Bob H. Seymour, Ct.

heatherh
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Joined: 2013-10-09
missing something

I wonder if you are missing something in AA meetings as you don't identify as an alcoholic .. maybe you need to up your 'other fellowship ' meetings and work/rework the steps with a sponsor whose recovery you admire.

AA's bog book tells us to work with 'other alcoholics' and to 'stick to our last' so unfortunately we can't carry a message to you as we only understand other alkies :) all the very best :)

Anonymous
A Mircle of The Heart

Hello my name is LeVeare A. Of Oceanside, Ca.. My soberity day is. 30 June 1992. I was the type of child a na woman that was molest and sold as a child protatute as a kid.

Anonymous
Wow

I am sober, happy, joyous, and free for more than 15 years. I got bored with just going to meetings, doing my step work and growing slowly. I told my sponsor because he asked me to be as honest as I could be with him. He smiled. I've done service work because that is what my sponsor said to do. It started in the local jail of my home County. I told him I could not do that because I know too many people. He said (EGO). We went into that first meeting; I knew the officer going into the jail. I knew eight of the nine inmates at the meeting and also knew the officer when we left. He said ok maybe you do know a few people. My point is I did what my sponsor asked of me and to read most of the comments here about Service, Trustees, Board Members of our program are very disturbing.

Where do some of you come from? Not AA in my opinion. When does your program of action come in? What experience do you have with the 12 steps (for you) the 12 Traditions(You and your home group)? My God. I know our program and some of our identified members are not perfect but wow. My experience of more than 14 years of AA service comes from reading quite a bit of our literature regularly, and there is a lot. Attending my home group Business meetings, District meetings, Area meetings and Committee meetings. Discussing my questions and concerns with my sponsor and my experienced network of recovering men and women. Some of these comments clearly show me that I am not only sober but informed of our AA structure and why we and it is still here today. I hope those of you who are upset with this entry talk to your sponsor, better yet seek out a service sponsor and get some real experience and knowledge of our God given program of ACTION.

jefft1962
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Joined: 2013-11-25
Re: Wow

I am three years sober and the best thing that I did was to get involved in A.A.'s Third Legacy. I go to District and Area meetings and have meet some really great people that have changed the way I view my new sober life. I have learned and changed so much by getting involved in service. I have learned to be tolerant and loving to others. The other A.A.'s in service have inspired me and challenged me. I could go on and on.

I just renewed my GV membership after letting it lapse for a year. I too was very disappointed by comments on this forum. I found it best just not to comment on them. I don't want to encourage negative feedback. I left A.A. for 25 years and resisted coming back. Anybody can find fault with A.A. if they want. But this program works if you work it; but it isn't for everyone, and not everyone is ready to stop drinking.

But back to service work: like the Twelve Steps, I had to believe that I made it back into the rooms of A.A. for a reason; I didn't have the answers. The same goes for service. I walked through that door for a reason; I could learn how to get along with others better. The Twelve steps got me out of my alcoholic isolation. The Twelve Traditions and Twelve Concepts taught me how to get along with others and come together to help the still sick and suffering alcoholic in ways that I had never imagined!

Anonymous
Doing it the Right Way

I've been in AA four a little over four months. Since the beginning I have done what the Big Book says, getting there early, helping out, etc. I've taken on a few services for 6 months. Here's the thing, everything I do is critisized. Opinions of others on how I'm doing things not the 'right' way is hurtful. I watch as others do absolutely nothing to help out in meetings yet they'll have a negative comment. It's beginning to get on my nerves (only because it hurts). Perhaps I'm being emotinally immature but the point is I'm doing exactly what the book suggests. Any positive advice would be very much appreciated. Thx nd GB.

heatherh
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Joined: 2013-10-09
early recovery

I have found out what other people think of my is none of my business .. unless its someone like my sponsor or someone whose recovery i admire: i ignore the others even if it hurt as i'm an alkie and want you all to love me!!!!

Just work your steps as quickly as possible with your sponsor and all this will soon pass. dont worry about what others do or don't do except as a lesson for your self ( yes i want to be like him/her so will do that OR the reverse)

there will always be takers in AA who don't contribute but who cares .. i dont have to live their often shallow recovery. for me the 7th tradition is not just about money. all the very best heather h

Anonymous
Doing it the right way

My name is Steve. I've been sober and in the program for 34 yrs. Not everyone in AA is doing the program. I hope you have a Sponsor. I was taught early on to take my problems to my Sponsor and bring my solutions to the meeting. Feelings are what they are, no more, no less. But they are still feelings. You can't and should not be concerned about what others say or do not do. Perhaps they too are doing the best they can for that day. Resentments are the no. 1 killer of out sobriety. Only about 2 yrs. ago I called my Sponsor and was whining about some perceived problem or that someone was not treating me right. He simply told me to, "read pg. 62 and read it everyday" and he hung up on me (he simply will not tolerate my whining). I picked up my BB and turned to pg. 62 and started to read. I recognized the words immediately, for I had read them many times before. I thought to myself, "When am I ever going to learn?" I then thought , "Probably never." But now whenever I feel the anger and resentment well up I turn to pg. 62 and read. The answer usually comes. One other thing I've learned over the yrs. is that usually the faults I see in others are usually the faults I readily find in myself. Please continue to serve and do your best. Don't drink, go to meetings, stay in close contact with your Sponsor (that's why we have one) and read the BB. :-) Allow yourself to have a good day today. Steve K. 4-3-79

Anonymous
the right way?

One thing that really irritated me in early sobriety was that people did not change when I got sober. The sick and jealous ones were still sick. And they didn't like me or anybody. And I didn't like anybody either. And it was all so much worse because I couldn't blot it all out with booze.
Other people's opinions are theirs and don't necessarily have anything to do with me. Even when they are talking to me, they aren't talking to me as a person.

It may also be that in doing what is suggested, you have gained something that other's want. We alkies and addicts can be not very destructive to anyone who has what we want.

It might also be time to find a group that is more supportive. But one of the things that can happen is that if you are attractive and doing well, the compliments can make you complacent.

Honesty and step work makes us God reliant rather than people reliant. If that is our focus, we will stay sober.

Anonymous
Doing it the right way

No matter what they say, don't drink, finish your commitment and please don't stop attending AA meetings! You are loved and needed in AA. I watched and listened last Monday during a group conscious meeting when, against the spirit of rotation, against the spirit of transparency…the treasurer of more than 10 consecutive years refused to relinquish the position, refuse to give a report, refused to give a balance! That treasurer had formed a very violent and aggressive gang/posse that threaten everyone. One of the gang/posse members started swearing and throwing things around in the church. People started running out of the church in fear. As the treasurer and gang/posse left, they looked puffed up and proud of what they had done. In fear, I asked them why they did what they had done. Their response which appeared to have been rehearsed (and stupid) was, "If it ain't broke don't fix it!!! Please help me to understand what could be more broken…?

Anonymous
non rotation

Almost the exact same thing happened in a group I was in.
It turned out that the person and friends were using. The whole atmosphere was poison. It was horrible. In our case, the treasurer was the minister's son too. He did step down and he and many of his friends left the group. In time the group recovered and became a really beautiful service group for beginners.

It was hard to stay humble and look for the Higher Power's will in that situation because my will was pretty strong.
I discussed the situation with our local Central Office and some oldtimers about traditions. I followed their suggestions and most of all I stayed sober. Bringing it to the wisdom of AA experience gave me the courage to restart the group and not take a service position myself.
You are not alone with this unless you want to be.

clu1992
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Joined: 2012-05-30
treasurer

some groups do have a permanent treasurer, whilr rotating. other. positions. however it does sound like time to leave this griup for one that practices the program and traditions.

Anonymous
RE: treasurer

We have a local church where several meeting are held.
Two of the larger meetings had the same treasurer for several
years. He was stealing from both groups, an easy source
of cigarette money. He would make a report once in a while
that the rent had been paid. I finally approached the
church priest, and he said none of the contributions from
groups were recorded. He kept no records.
We are responsible to assure that the money in the
basket is spent wisely. Our relationship with the church
or other landlord needs to be favorable. It is part of our
public relations policy. We are not to appear as freeloaders. Our expenses are minimal and we are to pay our
own way with money from our own pockets.
Regular monthly group conscience meetings are necessary.
Insist on them to keep the group informed. ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
Be gentle with your self.

Be gentle with your self. Remember we are not all well in aa

Anonymous
"everything I do is criticized"

Those five words tell me you are doing it right. Welcome to AA:)
If you become active in any group, inevitably, you will garner criticism from those who will complain. ( a personality trait shared by many..not just us alcoholics) yet refrain from doing anything themselves ie: "this coffee is too weak"..."too strong"..."seats are too hard"..etc..etc.
The main thing to focus on is ... its keeping YOU sober!
Criticism comes with the territory....and the hurt you are experiencing are called "growing pains"....so hang in there and "keep on keepin on"...This Too Shall Pass"

Og

christalc
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Joined: 2013-09-11
everything I do is critisized

I say change groups if you ca if you're being criticized or do a service where you can't be critized. Not sure what that would be maybe answer phones for your groups time slot for intergroup?? Good Luck!

Anonymous
I am a GSR. The Group asked

I am a GSR. The Group asked me to do something and when I did the people who were not at the business meeting are now mad at me. I had to change my number because of all the harrassment. Now I hear they are going to ask me to step down. I didnt get sober to be treated like this.

Anonymous
GSR , The Group asked

If you acted at the request of those that attended the Group business meeting , those that did not attend in the past may choose to attend the Group business meetings now ( only those that attend can voice a view as a voice of one ) unity of the Group . I pray that your desire to stay Sober and may you share how you stay sober with others in your Home Group meetings . Thanks for the service that you provided as your GSR .

jenniferc
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Joined: 2013-02-26
I am a GSR. The Group asked.

I am not a GSR yet but didn't your group vote on whatever it is they asked you to do? Might be time to find another group. Good Luck!

Anonymous
GSR

Listen to How it Works. Listen very carefully and you will hear,
“there are those too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders”.

Alcoholics Anonymous was barely four years old and had only one hundred members when this was written. Members with these problems were already prevalent enough to be specifically identified in one of the most important parts of our handbook, “Alcoholics Anonymous”.

The preamble: “the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.”
Think about that. The only requirement for membership is to be crazy. It’s not forbidden or even overlooked it’s REQUIRED. How crazy?

Then there are us “Regular” alcoholics described by a Dr Harry Tebot in “Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age” as “a narcissistic egocentric core, dominated by feelings of omnipotence, intent on maintaining at all costs its inner integrity.” WOW! There’s a curriculum vitae for a life coach. Now collect a rabble of them in one place, stir them up and give them one target to point at, the GSR.

Now are you ready for the bad news? Despite the overwhelming number of reasons to quit, we still do it. No one is making you do it except the man or women you look at in the mirror. Those that came before you did it and the ones that follow will do it. It needs to be done and you will learn how. I’ve taken their inventory, now how about yours? Everything you are feeling right now has nothing to do with them. You feel all the anger and hurt and frustration because of your reaction to them. You feel it because of your unrealistic expectations of them. You’ll work that out. Welcome to Alcoholics Anonymous.

Anonymous
Promoting Grapevine at Conference -- Any Ideas?

I am on the Grapevine committee for a state conference. Do you have any ideas for promotion of GV in a conference setting? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Anonymous
Paper boys

Remember the old newspaper stands where the newspaper boys would cry out loud : paper here, paper here, take it here!
Well I suggest you could use the same idea instead of trying to reinvent the wheel. How?
1- getting a paper stand and decorating it attractively with GV magazines .
2- getting an uppy person to do the advertising. This is very important otherwise it won't work.
Where is it going to take place? If in CA, get in touch with me. I will gladly come. Hugs,
Victoria G.

Anonymous
Paper boys

Remember the old newspaper stands where the newspaper boys would cry out loud : paper here, paper here, take it here!
Well I suggest you could use the same idea instead of trying to reinvent the wheel. How?
1- getting a paper stand and decorating it attractively with GV magazines .
2- getting an uppy person to do the advertising. This is very important otherwise it won't work.
Where is it going to take place? If in CA, get in touch with me. I will gladly come. Hugs,
Victoria G.

Anonymous
Start at the home groups

Home groups have the option of conference level involvement , I am learning that there is a lot more to AA . This information is only passed along at the end of the meeting as AA events by AA members .

Anonymous
Conference Level Involvement

I have often wondered what happens to messages like
this one which will not be posted. Do they remain somewhere
in outer space where they can be retrived if the need or interest ever arises?
In an article, written by Bill for the A.A.
Grapevine's January 1966 issue, "The Guidance of A.A.'s World Affairs". It begins on page 334 in the book
"The Language of the Heart".
Then chairman of the General Service Board, Dr. Jack
Norris brought up the topic of the make-up of the GSB
being 10 non alcoholics and 9 alcoholic members on the
board. I found it interesting to read on page 335 that
Dr. Jack's plan was ALMOST unanimously recommended by
his fellow trustees. It is obvious that even at that
time some of the trustees wanted the ratio to remain
unchanged. I would assume that some of the non-alcoholic
trustees did not want to give up the power and prestige
of their position. Also that some of the alcoholics did not want to accept the added position of responsibility.
Folks, there was a lot going on at that point in time.
Bill wrote that "Future Historians will no doubt record
this occasion as a major turning point in the unfoldment of
our well-loved fellowship.
Long-winded messages are many times unread, especially
on the small screens of smart phones. This message from
Bill is available by E-Book. Those same opponents of
change still exist throughout A.A. They will refuse to
read and discuss any radical idea.
My point is that the time has come (long overdue)
for our fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous to assume
responsibility for all of its affairs. The reasons for
having non-alcoholics on our General Service Board
no longer exist. When members for the A.A. Foundation
were needed, Bill W's non-alcoholic friends stepped
up to help. They were needed. That need no longer
exists.
My recommendation is that as the non-alcoholic's
term of service is completed it not be filled. We would
be left with 14 A.A. members on the board. They would
all be Class "A" Trustees. Alcoholics Anonymous would
truly "Come of Age".
You might say that just can't be done. But the
21 members of the Board of Trustees have absolute legal
power over all of A.A. They own the Books, control the
finances, the whole fellowship. They can legally do
anything with A.A. that they choose to do.
It boils down to humility and responsibility. The
class A trustees need enough humility to give up the
positions. The class B trustees need enough confidence
to accept the added responsibility.
Where are the Bill Wilsons, and the Dr. Jacks today, when we need them?
Bill left us almost all we need to know in his writings.
We only need to READ and HEED. ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
RE: involvement

Some say that we need the non-alcoholic trustees to
represent A.A. in public, if the need ever arises. Today
there is a lot of criticism about A.A. But it useless to
deny the critics. Most of the negative comments and
remarks are true. If criticism is completely false, it
is best to ignore it and remain silent. But if there is
the least bit of truth in what is being said and written,
we must make whatever corrections necessary.
Personally, I do not see how a non-alcoholic could
possibly understand much about how Alcoholics Anonymous
works. They may have surface knowledge, but no real
understanding, of what it is like to be an alcoholic,
or the great miracle of recovery.
The time has come for us, who are alcoholics and are
sober members of A.A. to accept full responsibility for
our own affairs. Sure, it is an awsome responsibility
and we are probably ill-prepared, but to continue down
the dead end path is just not an option. ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
re non alcoholics on the board

I am of the opinion that we need those nonalcoholic trustees today more than ever. I don’t know about you, but I am fully aware of the alcoholics ego and it’s ability to rejuvenate over time in sobriety. We used to call them “bleeding deacons”. I know, because I spent some time as the head bleeding deacon.
This summer, I believe AA will celebrate 78 years. Since Bill W died in the early 70’s, I think AA has moved from a spiritual progress centered, altruistic movement to a non-drinking society. The average AA member today seems to be less aware of the 12 steps that the AA recovery program is based on, the 12 traditions that our groups use as guidelines to get along with each other, and the 12 concepts for world service. Not that there are not AA members out there with sponsors and a working knowledge of the steps and traditions, it just seems to me that when I came to AA, most were. In the community where I live it’s the exact opposite. Even the old timers seem to be from the treatment center psychological approach were alcoholics and addicts of all kinds are given full membership. God help us if the AA’s in my area were on the board with no non alcoholics to keep us centered. Especially if I was on the board!

Anonymous
RE: re non alcoholics

Just a few comments: Actually Alcoholics Anonymous has moved from a fellowship of men and women, to a Twelve
Step Program, only one of many such PROGRAMS.
Do me and yourself a service and develop an understanding of why Bill chose non-alcoholics in the first place. They were legitimate reasons. These were special friends and
supporters of Bill. Those reasons no longer exist.
Unless we again plan to solicit money from the wealthy
and the public. That is why they were chosen in the
1940's. We are close to that now; acceptance of gifts
from outside of our own members.
Look for yourself: the warning from Bob P. written
in 1986 has been removed from the service manual. Our
current and past General Service Board members,
both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, have ignored that
warning for years. Last year they deleted it from the
2012 edition of the Service Manual. Around page S72.
The paragraph begins "in 1986".
The alcoholic's EGO might be a little more apparent,
but in my opinion, the Alcoholic and the non-alcoholic
EGO's of our GSB trustees could stand much deflation.
They are ruining what is left of our Alcoholics
Anonymous fellowship. I doubt that any of them could
give you a definition of altruistic. ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
current service manual

I only have a current service manual. How can I learn what the "in 1986" paragraph reads, please? I agree that sometimes (often) I get a sense of being in a group therapy or rap session than like the 12 step meetings from the 1980's (when I came in), which is distressing to me. It is important to share about the traditions and the concepts as well as the 12 steps but these spiritual principles are virtually ignored at most meetings. I do hear the "this is a selfish program" and "I'm here for ME" - and so one person at a time, and lovingly as possible, we share, but if you disagree in any but a loving manner (and even then), you get dismissed as old school and irrelevant. Old timers have their own meetings where the newcomers are absent, which only makes the problem worse not better.

Blessings to you.

Anonymous
RE: current service manual

Thanks for the "Blessings". I need and accept all the
help I can get. The "in 1986" paragraph was deleted from
the 2012 manual. The previous manuals contain the paragraph.
Surely you can find one. around page 72. It was written by Bob P. a former
Trustee and Manager of the General Service Office. He
left us the warning in his farewell address, although it is apparent that he had
paid little attention to the warning. He was in a position
of power for 15 years and continued to use profit from
the sale of Books and Literature for working expenses.
Our goal was to be fully self-supporting with money
contributed from our own members and to sell books and
literature at the cost of printing. There are several
good reasons for Tradition Seven. Most of them have to
do with our public image. ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
current service manual

Thank you for the comment. I attended my first meeting in 1991 and have stayed sober since that date.
I owe a great debt of gratitude to the couple who guide me into our rooms.
We have many meetings in my home town very few pay any heed to the traditions. They are nearly all just group therapy sessions, and serve as free coffee venues for " recovery" houses. Or drop in places for pysch patients.
We are now going under ground for our meetings as the drug culture and the above mentioned conditions dictate that in order to maintain our sobriety, we do so.
The steps keep us sober, the traditions keep the fellow ship sober..thanks.

echapel
Offline
Joined: 2013-03-08
Service

From my shoes , I am grateful for all the service done by others that the tradition can grow . May my little bit of service with that of others that are good servants help the tradition keep getting stronger . I am grateful for those that have served . That my recovery may be an act in progress . Thanks

echapel
Offline
Joined: 2013-03-08
Service

From my shoes , I am grateful for all the service done by others that the tradition can grew . May my little bit of service with that of others that are good servants help the tradition keep getting stronger . I am grateful for all that have and those that now serve . That my recovery may be an act in progress , Thanks

Anonymous
Just don't call it 12th.Step work

Just because support activity,like making coffee,etc.,helps us stay sober-it does not necessarily follow that it substitutes for true one-on-one 12th.stepping.How many times has someone picked-up a white chip and been ignored,leaving the meeting feeling lonelier than when they got there?The harvest is great and the workers are few."We are not an organization in the conventional sense"but,boy,do we have structure.If you are one of those who think themselves a "big shot in AA"because you are a trusted servant(trustworthy or not)you are not a member of my fellowship unless you take action to sponsor a newcomer.I've sponsored hundreds but I can't sponsor them all.OK,"admin",go ahead and censor me to "help AA".I got it off my chest.wcfrank

Anonymous
RE: Just don't call it???

So I am not a member of "your" fellowship if I don't
sponsor newcomers? I agree with at least one of our posting
friends that today's concept of sponsorship does much more
harm than good. Maybe our fellowship will return to an acceptable rate of effectiveness when we lose the lable
"sponsor". Thanks "admin" for posting wcfrank's message.
I have heard that in AA there are no big shots and
no little shots; one shot and we are all shot. ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
I call it 12th step work

Support activity. I don’t accept that there is any such thing as support activity. A recovering alcoholic either contributes to some part of carrying the message and practicing these principals or they don’t. Until I have had a Spiritual awakening as a result of these steps I don’t have a message to carry. I can sure tag along and be the second guy beside the bed and say “What this guy is telling you has been working for me”. That’s important. As a newcomer, seeing someone with years of sobriety meant nothing to me. On the other hand a guy with four months was doing something that I might possibly be able to do.

Working with others is rarely being "The man beside the bed" picture hanging in most meeting places. Carrying the message is usually done in meetings. Walk-ins, court, probation and parole, treatment centers, counselors, angry wives get them to us bodily at least. I highlighted 13 items in Working With Others in my Big Book that are perfectly appropriate for meetings. I couldn’t agree more with your attention to newcomers and its right there in the book. I'm old and I don't need to do any thinking on the subject, it has already been thought out and written down. I just need to read and follow label directions, as usual.

As far as carrying the message, I once wrote a letter to the editor of Time magazine following an issue about spiritual solutions for physical illness. I didn’t dream that they would publish it, but they did. More than one way to carry the message if I believe it and put forth the effort.

Anonymous
Re: Just don't call it 12th. Step work

To some extent I agree with you, the new comer that walks out of a meeting without talking to any one has been shown a disservice but, when I first arrived inA.A. I had neither the capacity or will to speak with anyone,if it weren't for the coffee maker at the meeting I went to every Sat. Evening Imam not sure I would still be around. He asked if I wanted to help him set up so I started giving hima hand there was no conversation but it instilled a sense of belonging that I might not have gotten any other way. It took many weeks before I started to open up in meetings. Please do not judge 12th step work by what you see, not every new comer is willing to chat before or after a meeting. I am a trusted servant, trusted by my higher power to try my best and trusted by my group to do my best and am glad for the opportunity given me to serve.

Anonymous
Re: Just don't call it 12th. Step work

To some extent I agree with you, the new comer that walks out of a meeting without talking to any one has been shown a disservice but, when I first arrived inA.A. I had neither the capacity or will to speak with anyone,if it weren't for the coffee maker at the meeting I went to every Sat. Evening Imam not sure I would still be around. He asked if I wanted to help him set up so I started giving hima hand there was no conversation but it instilled a sense of belonging that I might not have gotten any other way. It took many weeks before I started to open up in meetings. Please do not judge 12th step work by what you see, not every new comer is willing to chat before or after a meeting. I am a trusted servant, trusted by my higher power to try my best and trusted by my group to do my best and am glad for the opportunity given me to serve.

Anonymous
I Stay Sober By Doing Service

I found my sponsor on day 11 in sobriety and she immediately had me start doing service by introducing myself to others at AA meetings. This evolved into my starting a home group and being elected GSR. While GSR I was elected to District secretary. From there I went to ADCM and now am DCM and the Grapevine Chair for my Area. Service was what made me feel useful while working the steps. The steps got me to my Higher Power and my HP keeps me sober. I try to be the best sponsee I can be and I try to be the best sponsor I can be. I love how I feel when I am doing service whether it is one on one with another alcoholic, or as a member of AA at a General Assembly, Service Conference, or any other AA gathering. If I didn't have service obligations I think it would be easy to rest on my laurels and we know what the Big Book says about that - we are headed for trouble if we do. I'm preparing for my first service assembly as Area GV chair and boy, is it keeping me busy. Considering I'm going through some major life changes, I consider this a way of HP saving my life. The more I have to spend my time preparing for this assembly, the less time I have to be concerned with my own problems. What a relief. I have actually spent hours not thinking about myself. That's a miracle in my book. I pray that I'll always say, "Yes, please!" when asked to do service - in and out of AA.

Anonymous
service

i came to the progam in 1986 and have been involed in inter group .and also area 44 as a dcm and gsr

Anonymous
Service

I have been in AA and sober since April 4, 1978 and my first sponsor got me involved in service almost immediately. He didn't ask me if I wanted to, he informed me that I did't hve to be ivolved in service, I could choose a different sponsor instead. My first exposure came at an Iowa State Conference in 1978 when I "volunteered" with my sponsor to chair a step meeting, the first step of course. From there I spoke at open meetings in the area and in 1980 spoke at a State Conferense Open meeting in my home group's city, Mason City. I was scared because there were about five hundred people in attendance but my sponsor just repeated what he ha told me many times before I spoke. "Speak from your heart and not your head. If you try to impress us you will look bad but if you tell us your story almost everyone will like it." This is still my direction for speking at any meeting and it still works. I went on to be a GSR, DCM Group and District treasurer and have chaired hundreds of meetings. I tell my pigeons the same thing my sponsor told me. Either get involvd in service or find a different sponsor. So far no one has fired me. I know this approach could seem too tough for some but I know that my servie work kept me sober through some rough times and recommend that all sponsors push their pigeons to get involved in Service.It is one of the better ways to work the twelf step.

Anonymous
Group Conscience Meeetings

These are my opinions, experiences, and observations. Every A.A. group ought to have
a group conscience meeting on a regular scheduled basis. The first or last meeting day of
the month. An absolute minimum of once a quarter, every three months. Only members who
consider themselves members of that group ought to participate. Others may attend as
observers. The Group Conscience meeting ought to be held outside the meeting time frame,
usually before or after the regular meeting.
The meeting format ought to include this statement: Our Group holds its Group Conscience
meeting on the last meeting day of the month, or whenever it is held.
At the Group Conscience meeting, which will be well attended,(laugh out loud), a chairperson
needs to be chosen to chair the Group Conscience meeting. It is usually the regular group
meeting chairperson, but if he/she is uncomfortable as chair, someone else is nominated
and voted in to chair.
The chairperson needs absolute control of the meeting. If any member speaks out of turn
more than once, that person can be asked to leave the meeting. Call the A.A. POOlice if
necessary. No one speaks from the floor until recognized by the chairperson. Order has to
be kept.
These meetings usually begin with a group treasurer's report, as detailed as possible.
Has the rent been paid? Is there money left over? Can we afford to make contributions to
our district, area and GSO? Are there checks and balances. I find it is best to pay
everything by check or money order. Everything to do with money must be documented and
transparent. The chair asks for a motion to accept the treasurer's report as read. The
motion is made and seconded. A vote is taken. Simple majority vote carries. BUT, there
must always be asked IS ANYONE OPPOSED. If there is any opposition, someone selected
by those opposing MUST be allowed to speak again for the minority opinion. After that
person has finished speaking, the question is asked: Does anyone wish to change Her?His
vote. If no one wants to change their vote, the motion carries. If even one person
wishes to change their vote, another full vote is taken. This vote is final. There
may be an event where the minority opinion will change the vote entirely. Bill W.
advised us about the value of the minority opinion.
Where there are important issues to be discussed and voted on, it is sometimes
best to table the motion to be further discussed at the next Group Conscience
meeting. Important decisions may take more time. Easy Does It!.
Our hope is to pass decisions by a unanimous vote. That does happen often.
When the vote is close, hard feelings may develop. Avoid this if possible,
but not at all costs. We need to be responsible and reasonable. Group
Unity is important. It is our first tradition, followed closely by our
second Tradition. Without an understanding of the Tradition Two, this
message is irrelevant. Comments, Criticism will be appreciated. ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
Concept V

I like how you worked concept five into the group conscience description without calling it that. I have watched this is action too, and it is a beautiful thing about AA. In other group (business) settings, the minority voice is not respected or listened to like it is within our fellowship. Sponsors can help this by going through the service manual with sponsees after the steps and traditions. The concepts for world service are beautiful spiritual principles.

Anonymous
re: Service Experiences | AA Grapevine

I joined AA at age 18 after I realized I couldn't stop drinking once I started. I feared I would drink myself to death so I called the AA central office here where I live. The woman who answered the phone guided me to my first meeting. I began working the program. I listened, put some money in the basket, shared and learned about the steps. Then I saw an opportunity for service. I asked a sober member if I could come up to the club and clean between meetings. He thought that would be all right. I wasn't sober but I wanted to be so that sober member and I came to the club between meetings and cleaned. I am grateful for that man who helped me clean. He gave me the opportunity to do service. I am sober today and I believe it's because of that service work I did cleaning the club with the sober member because I got sober a short time after I did that service. A few years after I got sober I was on an intergroup committee at another club and had a key. I invited a newcomer to come up to the club and clean the club with me between meetings. He came up to the club and did a very good job cleaning. Then I started going to meetings at a different club and lost touch with that newcomer but I hope he is sober today too. Thank you AA.

Anonymous
jail service

I volunteer for corrections meetings to remind myself that even though I haven't been incarcerated that I could be if I don't follow the program of AA each day,and to start the seed of there is a reason we do harmful things either by alcohol depression moments or just the fear of non acceptance.

Anonymous
AA Service

I lived in Haywardt to , Ca: My service experience was at a place called the Alameda County Sheriffs Work Fulough Center, I was contact chair for a H&I meeting, it was Tuesday nites, I went to a regular meeting at the Park St. Center, in Alameda, then after the meeting, it was from 5:30 - 6:30 PM one of the regulars from the meeting asked me where I was going I said Into a Jail, his eyes got real big, I said not I am not a guest, I just go there to put on a meeting and then after the hour I get to leave, he said oh ok. It was one of our regular meetings, one of the men was going back east to his moms funeral, he had asked his parole officer and the judge if it was ok if he went, they both said ok, as long as he attended meetings while he was there, so before he left he asked me If he could have a couple of blank cards at this time they were double sided, I gave him a couple. so he went to the funeral and also went to meetings and when he came back the judge and his parole officer told him to go and get his stuff and go home. why because he asked first before he left and second he went to meetings while he was gone. This was one of the many men and women I had the privilage to put on meetings for, I started out as a contact chair, them became chairman, then was asked to be the coordinator of the meeting, it was a mandatory meeting so there was a signup sheet that went around, it was copies and went to the different sargeants of the Sheriffs Dept. That was a great meeting, I saw several men and women get sober and stay sober, at first in the Work Furlough center, and then at other meetings, they would say thanks, when they saw me on the Bart Train, yet I always replied that it was your choice and your higher powers to nurture the seed of sobriety that I and a few other men and women planted.

That was back in 1991= 1996, the county finally had to close the place due to budget cuts.

Anonymous
Service

I was the GSR for my group and attended the monthly meetings
and brought the flyers and other information back to my group. I would give a GSR report at our monthly business/group conscience meeting. I was informed at one
business meeting that the local AA answering service system
was not working. I picked up the phone at home-there were
few cell type phones at that time- and dialed the number
listed in the phone book for Alcoholics Anonymous. I still
remember the answer I heard. "The number you have dialed is
no longer in service. Be sure you have the right number and
have dialed it correctly." I got involved and formed an
answering service committee. About three weeks later I
dialed the same AA phone number. The message I heard was:
The number you dialed has been changed, the new number
is:____. We are resonsible to insure that anyone who needs
AA can reach us. Service is anything we do to help the
suffering alcoholic, and anything that we do to make an
AA group available. The solution is found in the AA group.
Some may believe that the solution is found in the steps.
I believe recovery is made possible by the AA group. ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
Why does Alcoholics Anonymous go to jails and prisons?

Why does Alcoholics Anonymous go to jails and prisons?

Was asked this very interesting question by someone who does not think that AA should be inside.

My answer was "Have never gone, so I do not know."
Also provided the person the link to:
http://www.aa.org/pdf/products/p-20_AMessagetoCorrProf.pdf

Please no slogans or a cliches. Straight answers only.
Quick replies greatly appreciated.

Anonymous
why

An old time bank robber from year ago who's name excapes me once was ask why he robbed banks, his reply was,"That's where the money is." We go into jails because that where the drunks are. M.

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