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Service keeps me sober

This vital tradition reminds me of the triangle within the circle of the worldwide Fellowship of AA, the triangle of Recovery, Unity and Service. Without service I wouldn’t have had my tearful phone call answered by a member, no meeting to attend, or message of recovery to hear. After four years of being in and out of the Rooms, the ‘revolving door syndrome’, I was as ready to listen and as open to conversation as the dying could be.

My sponsor said to jump right in with service, which I knew was always in demand, and after chairing my first full month and being the milk monitor, I was ready (though still slightly fuzzy) when I attended my first Lincolnshire intergroup with him (he was GSR for my Home group Lincoln Tuesday in August 2008.  Here were members from all over the area from Boston to Skegness, giving up their Sunday mornings to report to intergroup, then report back to their groups about myriad service roles in Telephones, Prisons, Probation, Health, Young Persons, Public Information, SHARE magazine and Armed Forces. Also, to report on the Lincolnshire Intergroup Chair, Secretary, Archives, Treasurer, Regional Delegates, Conference Delegates and Northern National Convention Delegates.  This really opened my eyes to the role of service, carrying the Twelve Step message and indeed, the significance of the middle word in General Service Board.

With my group’s backing, I became GSR for three years, then a telephone responder (my shift is Saturday nights since February 2013), then group treasurer, literature secretary, SHARE representative also, with firm but fair prodding from my sponsor and some old timers.  I began my road to Conference by bring voted in as Regional Delegate at intergroup with Millander Region voting me in as Conference Delegate in autumn 2017.

The General Service Conference in York is a memory I shall always treasure and share about, and how right they were when saying after my third and final year I would say to myself, “If only I could go for one more year”.  I ask my Higher Power to keep me right-sized by always acknowledging that service is a privilege and not a right, and to always keep an eye on those who appear ready for service positions. Even if it sounds corny, I endeavour to keep the AA truism of ‘service keeps us sober’. Nowhere is this better illustrated than by Bill and Bob working with others until they had AA number three, and then in 1939 the first hundred members contributed to the Big Book, carrying this message to the four corners of this world. My sponsor tells me, “When AA calls, always answer that call”, and thank goodness someone did when Bill W made his phone call from the lobby of the Mayflower Hotel in New York or I and countless others like me wouldn’t be here today. Love in Fellowship.

ALEX J, Lincoln