In order to keep what has been so freely given to you, you have to give it freely to others. Being of service is a critical component in recovery. Whether you participate in 12 step recovery or not, volunteerism in any way is good for you mind and your soul. Research has found that giving to others makes you feel better and lights up the reward center in the brain. Some have argued that this natural reaction shifts selflessness to selfishness. When “old timers” say they come to the meeting for the newcomer, they usually also say they need the newcomer. It’s a double edged sword, but without the controversy. Being of service helps you help other people and in so doing, you are helped.
How Can I Be Of Service?
I am responsible. When anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help, I want the hand of AA always to be there. And for that I am responsible. These are the words of the “AA Agnostica”. In step twelve, we learn that having had a spiritual awakening as the result of the steps, we are to “carry the message” to other alcoholics. We aren’t meant to save drunks, rescue people, and help them see the light. Instead, we learn that when a hand is reaching out for help, we know a way to help.
Service opportunities come in many forms. Often, service opportunities are called commitments. A commitment is something you do to be dedicated to a cause. Recovery, being and staying sober, is your cause. Finding and getting a commitment is a small form of action to stay accountable, have responsibility in recovery, and show yourself you are dedicated to your cause.
At each individual meeting, there are different positions of service you can fill, depending on the amount of time you have sober. Initial jobs can include setting up, closing down, and cleaning. You might be able to be a greeter and meet everyone who comes to the door. Later, there are jobs like leading a meeting, which is a form of service. There are coffee commitments, cake or doughnut commitments, and other supplemental commitments like being a literature person or token person. Commitments which require the most amount of sober time usually include being a secretary, a treasurer, or an intergroup representative.
Outside of meetings, you can be a sponsor once you finish the twelve steps. However, there is a unique way you can be of service 24 hours a day, seven days a week: stay sober. Your ultimate commitment is to your recovery. There is no better way to demonstrate your dedication than by staying sober, one day at a time.
Design For Change offers refuge for those in recovery seeking a long term solution. In the fight against addiction, you can come out victorious. It takes a little change. Let our treatment programs show you how. For more information, call (877) 267-3646.