Be of service, do the steps, ask for help. Repeat. Recovery and sobriety is something that we have to work for; it doesn’t come wrapped in a beautiful package with a bow and rainbows. It takes work: hard, dedicated, committed work. You’ll have to start feeling those feelings you may have used as fodder for your drinking and using. You’ll have to be present for your own life and start taking responsibility for not only your actions but for your feelings as well.
“I am responsible . . . When anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help,
I want the hand of A.A. always to be there. And for that: I am responsible.”
This is one of those particularly profound quotes from an A.A. pamphlet that we so often see in 12-step meetings. It’s not only profound because it’s telling you to stick your hand out to others, it’s profound because it also means that you have to reach your hand out when YOU need help. In essence, we are responsible for being of service to others, and we are responsible for asking for help when we need it. For that, we are responsible.
There are so many ways you can be of service.
I’ll list a few to get you started, but know that there are many more options:
- Get a commitment at a meeting – any commitment will do, but go for the ones that no one wants, because that’s where the need is. (coffee commitment, clean up, etc.)
- Reach out to newcomers. Don’t wait for them to call you, call them. You know the guy or gal hiding in the back, shaking and scared? Go up to him or her and offer your hand.
- Volunteer – there are a number of places that need volunteers. Some that come to mind are: answer phones at Central Office, volunteer at the Los Angeles Mission, the ASPCA, FoundAnimals. Find a need and fill it.
I’ve dedicated my life to service work. When I am being of service and taking positive action, I am grounded and full. When I take my recovery and sobriety for granted, I am empty and of no use to anyone. I learned early on that asking for help and accepting help were crucial actions I needed to take for my recovery. I knew how to help others, but I often viewed accepting or asking for help as a sign of weakness. Asking for help and accepting it is not weak; it is an act of self-care and a sign of courage. You are, in essence, being of service to yourself.
Do the steps so you can find peace; take others through them so they can find peace. Get into action so you can find peace. Be of service. You will be ok.