Service Away From Home

As a newcomer to Alcoholics Anonymous, I was actively encouraged into service by my sponsor and the old-timers of the group. And it was explained that if I want what my sponsor and the old-timers have I must do as they do. Having good examples of getting into good habits early, from my third meeting of what has become my home group I became a Sunday night cleaner. At first I was not impressed with being a cleaner as all I could do at the time was think of myself. However it did not take long until I realised the importance of service at any level, through seeing how other members of the group treated their service positions. I continued to enjoy my service position and took it seriously. I progressed through the service structure at my home group; making the tea, then becoming responsible for the scrolls.

Towards the end of my position of doing the scrolls at 14 months sober I had the opportunity to move away to study. This was an exciting opportunity that would not have been possible if I were still drinking. I had wondered how I could remain active in service whilst I was away from my home group. Having discussed this with my sponsor she suggested that I do as much as I could, thinking of others and trying to be of use. My first night away I went to a meeting and I quickly found that the good habits I had got into at my home group I could maintain whilst away. Such as getting to the meeting early to help set it up and staying after the meeting to clear away, and working with newcomers.

I spoke to the group's GSR to see if I could be of service. A tea position became vacant and I started making the tea at one of the meetings. I also spoke to the Public Information officer and asked if there was anything I could do. This led me to doing school and other talks in the area. A lady I met was part of the E12 team, responding to the emails for the AA website. I enquired how to get involved and I then had a Sunday evening slot answering emails, after checking this out with my sponsor. This was a fantastic service position as it meant I could do service whether I was at home or away.

Maintaining active in service in Alcoholics Anonymous is vital to my own recovery. It gives me the opportunity to give back a little of what AA has given me, to work with and to think of others. I have continued to do service in AA from that third meeting, I have found it rewarding and a privilege to do service. There are always opportunities to do service in AA even when you're miles away from your home group.

Amy W
Road to Recovery
Sept 2012