Saturday night I was asked to lead my meeting with two minutes warning. I think that’s the least amount of warning I’ve ever had when asked to tell my story. I didn’t hesitate to say yes (though I didn’t want to do it). I was told to say “yes” to anything anyone asks me to do in AA (within reason, and having to do with AA, and that I can possibly do) and that was an excellent idea for me to internalize. Left to my own desires, I would never want to tell my story and I probably never would.
For the topic for discussion I chose “carrying this message.” People talked about some of the many ways AA members carry this message. The literature tells us that we must carry this message to stay sober, and that working with alcoholics is the surest way to ensure personal sobriety.
All acts of service are carrying this message as we keep AA going for ourselves and for those yet to come. And even though the concept of carrying this message appears in Step Twelve, the newer newcomer is also doing it when he or she helps someone who is even newer. Also anytime we encourage someone or help someone or share our experience to ease the way of someone we are carrying this message.
Someone mentioned being “out” as far as the people in his life know he is in AA, so they can come to him for help if they want help. It made me think about a few of my favorite active alcoholics, all family members. My mother and my uncle certainly know that I was a big bad problem drinker way back when, but I don’t know if they, especially my uncle, ever thinks about those times or realizes that I am 100% sober. He surely doesn’t know I’m in AA.
I struggle with things like that, and years pass during which I offer no help to anyone outside of AA. Within AA I’m rather poor at reaching out as well.
On to the character defect list I go . . .