Mary D., GSR – Downtown First Things First
I was about 6 weeks sober in March of 1999 when my sponsor told me to shake people's hands as they entered the meeting room. I was aghast! "I can't do that! I don't even KNOW these people!” "It'll keep you sober" Diana said. So, I shook the hand of every person who came in that room. That simple suggestion gave me an amazing sense of belonging.
Several weeks later, I was told to get to my home group early, to "make the coffee!" Now I had held jobs at OSU Hospitals and JP Morgan Chase that required some difficult skills but making the coffee for this AA group terrified me. "I don't know HOW to make coffee, what if I screw it up, what if they don't like it?" "Tell them to talk to their sponsor!" Diana said. I measured out that coffee with a measuring cup I had brought from home! You would have thought I had been asked to do open heart surgery! Why did I feel all this weight at performing these simple acts of service in my first year?
Well, for one thing, AA was my Higher Power in the beginning (I have since been “contacted”). Also, AA was my HOPE; I had not known hope for a long time. These simple tasks gave me such confidence, such a sense of purpose, at a time when I was at my lowest. Thank God for service work!