Lack of Service or Just Enough?

From that ten-cent phone call and a cup of coffee to AA's General Service Office. What's your take on service?

Lack of Service or Just Enough?

Postby emeraldg » Sat Jul 23, 2016 9:55 am

Hello, lovely day!

I have a question for you all. A friend of mine in the program has felt very pressured to do certain types of service work, including by her own sponsor in her own home group.

There is 2 things she is not yet willing to do (she has a neurological disorder in which panic can trigger a nasty attack): Chair open meetings (which is how her home group is set up), and speak, or have a recurrent responsibility such as secretary, treasurer etc. I can see why people in her home group get annoyed, as it is a small group, but here's what she DOES do:

-She often buys sweets, sugar, milk for the group
-she sets up coffee at several groups,
-she will set up tables and chairs at her group and at others
-she puts money into the 7th
- she will do readings (but not slogans)
-she will give her email address to new or struggling women
-she attends meetings early and stays a bit later to socialize
-she greets people where possible
-she attends medallions when possible, and will bring some food for them
-she chairs at sit down, closed non speaker meetings

This seems like she is doing an awful lot no?
Am I wrong here?
What would you all do?
Thanks so much
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Re: Lack of Service or Just Enough?

Postby D'oh » Sat Jul 23, 2016 12:12 pm

It sounds like she is quite an asset to the group.

The one thing I know about Service work is, The more that you put in, the more you receive. I am sure she has seen some of the rewards. I am grateful for the many like her.
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Re: Lack of Service or Just Enough?

Postby Noels » Sat Jul 23, 2016 9:16 pm

Good morning Emerald :D I agree. She's doing more than her share. The members on your side of the world seems to be very interfering? I believe the BB tries to teach us to stop looking at what others are doing or not doing and start looking at what we are doing or not going - therefore the 'going and looking at and into ourselves? '
We are all unique personalities with different strength and weakness and no one should be forced to do something they don't feel comfortable with. I for instance can't take a service position of secretary or librarian at the moment because I'm not at meetings every week BUT I can give lifts, wash the dishes, help set up or pack chairs away and chat to others when I am at the meeting.
If everyone rather concentrate on what THEY do and stop looking at what others do or not do there won't just be peace in the rooms but peace on earth.
Love and light
Noels xxx
There is only Love
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Re: Lack of Service or Just Enough?

Postby emeraldg » Sun Jul 24, 2016 4:48 am

Noels wrote:Good morning Emerald :D I agree. She's doing more than her share. The members on your side of the world seems to be very interfering? I believe the BB tries to teach us to stop looking at what others are doing or not doing and start looking at what we are doing or not going - therefore the 'going and looking at and into ourselves? '
We are all unique personalities with different strength and weakness and no one should be forced to do something they don't feel comfortable with. I for instance can't take a service position of secretary or librarian at the moment because I'm not at meetings every week BUT I can give lifts, wash the dishes, help set up or pack chairs away and chat to others when I am at the meeting.
If everyone rather concentrate on what THEY do and stop looking at what others do or not do there won't just be peace in the rooms but peace on earth.
Love and light
Noels xxx


Thank you lovely Noels.
Yes, her small home group can be very interfering- trying to pressure her into doing jobs that they won't themselves even do. Her work schedule varies a lot and this is her favorite group to belong to, so even though she may only attend 2-3 times a month she offers a lot when she attends. She is unable to chair an open speaker home group meeting at the moment, not only because of her neurological disorder, but because based on her work schedule she won't even be sure she will be able to attend the following week's meeting. Also why she is unable to take on any secretary/treasurer/library positions. But when she IS there, she brings baked goods, milk, does coffee, helps set up, does a reading, socializes with others, loans books to others, gives money in the 7th etc. Her job is clearly important to her as she has a family to feed, and one time she got rather upset when another group member told her she "needed to book off every home group meeting from work". This is not feesible to her or something she is willing to do. But without her, her home group wouldn't have donuts, a nice woman, milk for their coffee, sweeteners for diabetics, a warm body to lovingly sit next to and extra money in the 7th. Nor would they have an extra helping hand and attendee at some other people's medallions.
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Re: Lack of Service or Just Enough?

Postby Barbara D. » Sun Jul 24, 2016 7:51 am

Perhaps this gal needs to tell the "wardens" that they need to take their own inventories! You are a member when you say you are, the only requirement being a desire to stop drinking. Service is voluntary. Granted, service did make me "a part of" early on, but part of my recovery was learning how to say NO when I meant NO. I do still get into justification mode though.

If the pressure begins to interfere with serenity, I'd look around for another Group! Also, I was taught to have more than one sponsor back in 1981. The whole wonder of recovery is having feedback from many people. As I understand it, as a guide, all I have to give is my experience, strength, and hope. I can't tell anyone how to work their program, just about my own struggles and what worked for me regarding using the Steps and Traditions to change my thinking, belief system, and way of life.

In fellowship, Barbara D., alcoholic
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Re: Lack of Service or Just Enough?

Postby PaigeB » Sun Jul 24, 2016 11:15 am

The only service one SHOULD do is service they are called to do by their own Inner-most Self.
or
Life begins at the end of our comfort zone.
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
The e-AA Group's 7th Tradition link: www.e-aa.org/group_seventh.php
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Re: Lack of Service or Just Enough?

Postby avaneesh912 » Sun Jul 24, 2016 2:46 pm

What would you all do?


As a district corrections rep worked on getting meetings into the hall county jail and after 2 years of struggle we are in finally. I also take meetings into the correction facility on sundays (across the jail) its also called a work camp. Inmates typically serve 6 months to more than 10 years. Take a meeting into a 1/2 way house on Wednesday. Regular meetings on Monday. If possible try to catch another nooner on Friday. Outside of these, constantly look into ensuring the people taking meetings into the jails and institutions have literature. Mainly those pocket sized big book. I do not participate in any of the group activities. My 2 year term is coming up and I have already told the district I am out but continue to take meetings into the corrections facility. When I retire probably I will increase my service activities. Also periodically conduct workshop on step 1 since the whole fellowship is caught up with powerlessness after we take the 1st drink, this workshop is geared to put the focus on the 'peculiar mental twist' part, using the stories from "More about alcoholism".
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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