Why should I care?

Why Should I Care?

Before I share I always try to think to myself – “Why do I care?” Of course underneath it all I care because sharing is part of my Step 12 that keeps me sober.  And, sorry to say this, but I wouldn’t bother sharing if I could stay sober and happy without Alcoholics Anonymous! However once I’ve opened my mouth to share, how I say something is as important as what I say. We are human beings and are as moved by the person as we are by the words they say. And how I say something is not something that I can fake. So if I’m going to say something to try to help the still-suffering alcoholic, I first try to remember why I am even able to help still-suffering alcoholics. I am not an expert or a professional. I am untrained in alcohol therapy.

What I have is an astonishing story. Within a period of a few months, at age 23, I went from the greatest despair in my life to the greatest joy in my life. I went from a suicidal conviction of my own future death through alcoholism, to a sense of joyous and overwhelming disbelief that it was possible to feel so happy and free, and that the Twelve Steps had really worked for me. 

This is my truth and this is what I can share for the still-suffering alcoholic, 19 years on at the age of 41. I am not a special case, so if they’re not a special case they too can have this thing. That is why I should care. I know the suffering of the alcoholic and the joy of recovery. If I could see the despair and misery in the people in the lives of the still-suffering alcoholic, and if I compare that to the relief and joy that my friends and family experienced, how can I not care? How can I not want to give this away? 

Words shared without really caring but just with a memory of caring, are words which sound hollow. The message I carry is myself as well as my words. Before I speak in an AA meeting I always try to remember: Why should I care?

AK, 5/6/12