My name is Barbara, and I'm an alcoholic.
"The joy of living is the theme of A.A.'s Twelfth Step, and action is its key word." This is the first sentence of Step 12 in the book "Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions."
And so here are Tim and Barry, working to get the website going again. (Thanks you guys!) Here are the leaders, secretaries, coffee makers, and members of AA groups, stopping whatever else is going on in their lives at the moment to head out to AA meetings around the world, eager to share in the experience of sobriety and to try to help someone else. There are the telephone volunteers at Intergroup, and the people who run area committees and those who take meetings into jails and instittutions.
From these actions come the joys of living! I have found an eagerness for life that must have come from the steps. I actually _enjoy_ going to work every day! I think about going back to school and feel excited about the gift of being able to think, to study, to accomplish what I could not do previously. I even find it wonderful to be able to do what I don't really want to do, in service to (wo)man and God. I feel something I haven't felt in years: I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings, thanks to God and the program of AA.
This is the joy of living for me.
Hi I'm Cherise and I'm an alcoholic. Great topic Barbaram thanks. Always when I need to hear something it's right in front of me, sometimes it takes me awhile to realize it though. Lately I have been in a wierd place, and my sponsor just yesterday suggested that I start helping people. When she left I said to myself how am I going to do that??? where do I start?? She suggested that I not talk about myself and just listen to other people. Well I got a call to bring a newcomer to a meeting last night, she cancelled at the last couple hours. I sat back a minute, the phone rang and it was a girl who had 9 months who drank. I ended up taking her to a meeting and she asked me to be her sponsor. Then this morning I went to the early morning meeting and another newcomer was in need of some help and she ended up coming over for coffee. picture that at 7:30am a visitor having coffee. I remember still drinking at this time in the morning. Helping others with my experience strength and hope and LISTENING!!!! is a joy of living for me. I feel better than I have in months. And God brought it all to me when I was ready for it. Amazing miracles every day in this wonderful program. God Bless you all
Thanks, Barb, for a good topic. When I was drinking, I didn't care about ANYyone, not even myself. (I wasn't much, but I was all I ever thought about! I love that line!) When I first joined AA, I wanted to re-write the Steps. I wanted the First Step to say "that our lives had become POINTLESS" (rather than unmanageable. I sponsored 2 women almost immediately (very few women in those days) and my life began to have PURPOSE. I think I cared about them before I cared about myself, but that doesn't matter. I cared. My purpose was to share, support, help, love ... and that way of life has comtinued now for many years. When I wake in the morning I'm instantly curious about what unexpected blessing will come my way -- and it always comes, and it is always someone needing support or peace or acceptance. And I do my best to be helpful (without enabling, of course) and I can honestly say that I am usually filled with joy. When I'm not, it's because my Ego is in charge again and I've twisted myself around into self-centeredness. I love to read the Promises, because they've all come true for me -- because I've learned to be of service to others. It's really very simple, isn't it? Follow the plan of the Steps: Trust God; Clean house, Help others. Voila! Joy and wonder and fulfillment every day. It's a Spritual Program.