What a difference when I last wrote an article. I had just discharged myself from a “nuthouse” and my sobriety was very new. In fact I had taken a drink after several years in the fellowship and I was back at the beginning
At the time I was living in Plymouth so was able to go to meetings every night and sometimes lunchtime as well. My sponsor at the time had been sober many years and had a collection of AA literature so I got to read the big book for nothing.
Fast forward nearly nineteen years. I now have had my current sponsor for 3 years I help on the literature table on a Friday night. I still have my first big book but it’s falling apart. But by reading it doing the steps and committing myself to a fantastic home group, turning up to do my service, I now have a life beyond my wildest dreams and I am no longer falling apart. As I always share the big book is only eight pounds which probably would not get you two drinks today it will transform your life, and I now have spare books of my own to lend until the newcomer can afford their own.
When I go to my home group I try to be as smart as I can, get there by 18.30. I have the privilege of doing service and maybe that big book the newcomer has just purchased will transform their life as it has transformed mine. When I first joined my home group I used to turn up just as the meeting started and left as soon as the serenity prayer was said. The reason I now get their early is that if we all turned up just before the meeting how would the newcomer get to buy their big book or see that our lives have been transformed by our wonderful fellowship? I was a scruff and hadn’t washed for a long time when I first came in. I now find it a pleasure to smarten up and do service. Remember you may be the person a newcomer identifies with and wants you to sponsor them and you will get to see one more drunk blossom into a sober useful human being.
My Dad had his own vet business and due to my alcoholism I ended up on the street so I went from a grand house to a doss house then to a nuthouse. Now I live in a lovely one bedroom bungalow with my wife who is 23 years sober and we have two very spoilt cats. Which goes to show if you get a big book, get a sponsor, do the twelve steps, be the best representative of AA, have a strong homegroup, you will transform your life beyond your wildest dreams.
Martin S. Plymouth Road to Recovery Group