Service Resentments!

Is the concept of a Home Group dying? What is a Home Group anyway? Talk about it here.

Re: Service Resentments!

Postby triumphantarch » Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:26 am

ann2 wrote:I guess I'm lucky, I have a good sense of my priorities because I'm still raising my children -- hardly ever a sense of guilt about not being able to help out, but glad when I can.



This raises an excellent point. One of the reasons I do as much service as I can is because I am totally in a position to do so. I have no children, am not married, am awaiting a decision on a disability claim, and only work part-time. There is simply no reason for me NOT to be doing as much service as I can. I really can't explain WHY I get these petty resentments from time to time . . . . probably for the reasons people have already cited. There is some disturbance in ME that I must pay attention to.

By the way (and back to my original point), I never, ever resent people with families (spouses and children) who do not do much service work. As a never-married, childless individual, I cannot even fathom how many responsibilities people with families have. Besides, I think one of the principles AA teaches us is that we have to be present for our families to the greatest extent possible. This is part of what getting sober is all about--healing and mending those relationships. I would never want anyone to do service work at the expense of time spent with family.

I tend to get my nit-picky resentments at those folks who are clearly able to pick up some of the slack, but choose not to do so.

Truth be told, I really don't know why I bother getting resentful at all. It's just plain silly. I am blessed with tons of free time, due to the aforementioned circumstances. (The only reason I really can't take on the commitment I mentioned in the OP is because I will be out-of-town. Otherwise, I'm pretty sure I would enjoy helping make it happen. I sometimes complain, and then pretty much always end up enjoying myself doing service work with other people. :))

In any case, I know I can never repay what AA has given me. Never. As Tommy S said,
Tommy_S wrote:

I serve and keep passing it on because it keeps me sober. Period. It's my life I am fighting for. And because of Alcoholics Anonymous, I have a good life, and continue to do what got me it.


Thanks for all the fantastic input.
"In the end, everything's okay. If it's not okay, it's not the end."
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Re: Service Resentments!

Postby Marc L » Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:53 pm

Service in AA has been an On and Off thing for me over the years.
At times there has been frustration for sure.
There also have been rewards: Only one white chip, Zero relapse
and I'm coming up on Seventeen years of uninterrupted sobriety.
The one thing which has remained consistent in my carrying of the message is availability of my written stepwork
for an alcoholic who might find it useful and for the past couple years I have been searching for a way to improve upon that.
Believe it or not, I may be a bit comedic about what I do but I do do it for a reason. Humor relieves tension and is often an easy way to avert defensiveness. I have checked with the service manual and found this:

Our Twelfth Step — carrying the message — is the basic service that the A.A.
Fellowship gives; this is our principal aim and the main reason for our existence.
Therefore, A.A. is more than a set of principles; it is a society of alcoholics in action. We
must carry the message, else we ourselves can wither and those who haven’t been given the
truth may die.
Hence, an A.A. service is anything whatever that helps us to reach a fellow sufferer —
ranging all the way from the Twelfth Step itself to a ten-cent phone call and a cup of coffee,
and to A.A.’s General Service Office for national and international action. The sum
total of all these services is our Third Legacy of Service.

I also have a plan to do something different for AA. More on that later...

Sincerely;
Marc
Recovery won't just happen by Osmosis. You gonna' have to work at it some.
12th Step work ain't just a job... It's an Adventure.
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Re: Service Resentments!

Postby leejosepho » Wed Aug 08, 2012 5:44 am

MarcLacroix wrote:... A.A. is more than a set of principles; it is a society of alcoholics in action ...

Organism that can only fail by becoming organic! ;)
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================
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Re: Service Resentments!

Postby Whadahay » Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:38 pm

The climate in my neck of the woods, is to do Service if you are "Willing" AND "Able." Sometimes, a person is willing, but not able.

I've been in General Service 6 years now (I said 5 years on another post - but was reminded the other day that I have been involved for 6 years now. Wow - where did the time go?) Anyway, after serving in various positions on the District and Area levels, I know so well what it is like to have folk whine the excuses out. One woman said, I can't do it because it's my "birthday." I said something like, "So?" And she got horribly angry at me. I've since learned to be careful with my responses. Heck, the first Area Assembly I attended was on my birthday - from 9am to 5pm. I'm glad now that I didn't also spurt out to this woman with the birthday that she wasn't 10 years old anymore.

Like it was mentioned earlier, Service Work kept me sober too! I needed more than just attending the meetings - as most of them weren't even book-study groups, just topic groups - that sometimes went way way off topic! Bill W. stated that we need the meetings for the Newcomer. The real work - or 12-Step work - is outside of the meeting rooms - in so MANY capacities. By being "in" AA and not just "around" it, I have learned SO much! Service has given me a rock solid foundation to work from. My AA roots are all that much deeper, too. Every time I step out of my comfort zone to do the next right thing, it is always an opportunity for personal and spiritual growth!

I don't get resentments any more about other people not stepping up. I'll encourage, but if they push back, I let them be. Mostly, because I can't stomach all of the lame excuses!! It's amazing how angry some can get when it's mentioned that there is service work out there if they want to do it.
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Re: Service Resentments!

Postby AnitaR » Mon Feb 23, 2015 1:50 pm

I, too, believed in never saying NO and I loved my service activities. I was GSR for my group and then Treasurer. I sponsored five women. I cleaned the hall. Getting out of myself was the key to my early sobriety. THEN... no one wanted to be on the Business Committee so people started resigning. Got too busy. Relapsed. Not showing up at all. The same loyal few had to do it all. I didn't develop a resentment. I burned out! So for my own serenity, I had to start saying NO even though it meant we had no GSR, one less person at the District meetings, no Treasurer (for a while).

Did I feel guilty? Yes!! Did I know it was for my own good? Yes! If you can't say YES to service work and really mean it, say NO and do so for your own sake and for the sake of others who might be counting on you.

IMHO.
DoN't CrAp oN mY SeReNiTy! Valley Hope Alumni '07
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Re: Service Resentments!

Postby Brock » Mon Feb 23, 2015 3:16 pm

AnitaR wrote:Did I feel guilty? Yes!! Did I know it was for my own good? Yes! If you can't say YES to service work and really mean it, say NO and do so for your own sake and for the sake of others who might be counting on you.


Welcome to e-AA Anita, I believe the problem that you faced is not uncommon; I have seen this in two groups I attend. In one I was both coffee man and treasurer for over three years, and for the last year asked regularly for assistance and nobody came forward. Finally I had no choice but to just insist, left the treasurers book with a healthy balance on the kitchen table and refused to make coffee, stayed away for a couple of meetings as well, they got the message. Then last month I was asked to do a stint as chairman, at the second meeting the new coffee person didn’t show up, after the meeting not one of the others thought to put a hand in washing up and putting the stuff away, so I was now chairman and reserve coffee man. I quit as chairman and took the further step of resigning as a member, I am like a visitor, and you don’t ask visitors to do service. This all sounds very childish, but what you said resonated with me, I had to do this for my own wellbeing, and hopefully it may be for the wellbeing of the group, since members may now have to offer themselves for service, time will tell. The worst part was anytime new chairpersons were needed, hands shot up like lightning, happy to volunteer for that but nothing else. Thanks again for your post, when we see others with the same problem we are dealing with it helps.
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Re: Service Resentments!

Postby positrac » Wed Feb 25, 2015 4:39 am

triumphantarch wrote: What do you do when you are starting to resent service work?
:)




Pretty simple: Just quite an step away as one reason I left the rooms is over personalities over principles! (<---- backwards for a reason) Got sick of the same ole things these same specific people were doing at every meeting I attended, chaired and or had any service work in. For me I'd rather clean shittters, make coffee and clean trash up than do serious F2F service work because sometimes I just don't work well with others. I try and I try not to control, become overbearing and I hate being a door mat for the cause of sobriety.

I hate quitting life's work as I feel I failed and it is hard for me not to people please. So if I were in your shoes I'd bail like a bad habit as you are human and honestly most people understand that only a few do the work of what others enjoy.

life is short and just go away and do a good pass down and don't burn a bridge that you'll have to make amends for later as we all have pride and no one likes being the resident jackass especially me! :roll: You know your group if it is strong will continue to work with out you and that was one hard fact I had to swallow. And when you are ready take on some responsibility that you will enjoy and grasp with a smile and maybe you won't resent it so much next time.

Cheers and be well you deserve it.
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Re: Service Resentments!

Postby Barbara D. » Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:50 am

For me, one-size-fits-all does not apply to service work. When I got here, I ran a household, took care of my 2 boys, was the housekeeper and cook. Just getting to meetings without my husband's support was a challenge. My "service work" was limited to sharing and helping clean up after meetings 2 to 4 times a week, washing all those ashtrays. After my father died and my handicapped Mom got situated in her own apartment, I had a year sober and began the path to divorce proceedings. As of the Separation, my Mom could babysit the boys, and my meetings and service work increased.

Yep, I heard the mandate that no one is ever supposed to refuse service opportunities, but I never bought it. Perhaps, being high-bottom was the reason my surrenders came in installments. I firmly refused to accept any positions outside of Home Group level. I did allow myself to be bullied into taking my turn at being the speaker at meetings for some years, but that remained a torment because I didn't really want to do it in the first place. And I got very involved with one Home Group, chairing, taking care of money and buying supplies...eventually, I resented the fact that no one ever stepped up to do anything except chair the meetings. The GSR was in the same boat. And then my personal life changed again, and I just handed over my supplies, keys, literature, medallions, all that stuff...to the poor GSR. And you know what? That meeting didn't miss a beat! I still attended some meetings, but folks did step up when the alternative was closed doors.

So, for me, at times, service work was my AA lifeline, my social life, my reason-to-be aside from motherhood. But my recovery depended on working the Steps, not how involved I was with service work. I feel the same way about it that I do about my AA "membership"...if I don't want that seat, someone else will take it. I believe AA is a force in itself, and it doesn't depend on me. I think my service work was for me, that helping others is the result of spiritual intervention via various tools.

Currently, my service work is showing up and sharing. I also mail in contributions to e-AA. I'm old and have become allergic to commitment. Sometimes, I feel guilty about this. You'd think e-AA would be the perfect place for me to feel useful again, but I can't make myself volunteer. We'll see what happens, one day at a time. I know I need people, other recovery folks in particular, as long as you don't interfere with my private time. :roll:
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Re: Service Resentments!

Postby Lali » Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:04 pm

Barbara D. wrote: I think my service work was for me, that helping others is the result of spiritual intervention via various tools.


True. Service works helps the person doing the service. However, there is one other reason for service work = to show gratitude to the group that helped one with their sobriety. I say this to let newcomers in on this little "secret". Its like when one of us (in the meetings I attend) celebrates an AA birthday; the birthday boy or girl brings a cake to show their gratitude to the group.
Step 1: I can't
Step 2: He can
Step 3: I think I'll let him
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Re: Service Resentments!

Postby desypete » Fri May 22, 2015 4:50 am

it is my pet hate in aa and i make no bones about saying so at times in meetings when i hear people share how grateful they are yet they can not even be bothered to help to wash a cup in the fellowship, they are far more interested in sharing and sounding like some sort of guru showing the rest of us how much wisdom they now have etc

how wonderful it is that they can go on holidays and take there familys out for meals etc, not a word about how happy they are to help others not a word about there service work they put in or the benifits it gives them etc

the only thing i have been told when i can feel like telling people what a crock of crap they come out with is to shut up and get on with doing my own thing, for me i see there missing out on a golden chance of finding out what life is really all about but there is one thing that stands out to me bigger than anything else in aa, all those people who have been so very active in aa are still around today, after many many years and there still doing there bit to help, where as i have heard and seen many great speakers in aa who come across full of expert knowledge etc yet there no where around aa anymore, i think they get bored with there own voice and bored of aa and need a new toy to play with ? who knows but for me i just do my bit and try and not let the others who do nothing affect me to much. its there own journey like my journey is my own.

if we all get fed up to the point we give in and stop doing our bit then were would aa be ? so we have to just keep on doing our bit, try not to take on to much, do our fair share and get on with it. i found the more i did the more happyier in my heart i felt so i treasure that feeling more than anything, i can only get that feeling when i am really doing things for others without expecting a reward of course.
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Re: Service Resentments!

Postby PaigeB » Sun May 24, 2015 12:13 pm

Here is a new rendition of an old classic which popped into my head when thinking of what to say, so here it is!

"If you're happy & ya know it wash a cup! If you're happy and you know it wash a cup! If you happy & you know it then your ACTS will surely show it - if you're happy and you know it wash a cup!"

HEAR! HEAR!
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
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Re: Service Resentments!

Postby desypete » Tue May 26, 2015 9:59 am

PaigeB wrote:Here is a new rendition of an old classic which popped into my head when thinking of what to say, so here it is!

"If you're happy & ya know it wash a cup! If you're happy and you know it wash a cup! If you happy & you know it then your ACTS will surely show it - if you're happy and you know it wash a cup!"

HEAR! HEAR!


love it :D

i will sing it in the meeting tonight when i tell the other lazy sods to pull there finger out :D

that has to be the wisest thing i have heard on this site

i am off to wash my cup tonight
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Re: Service Resentments!

Postby FluffUSPS » Tue May 26, 2015 3:34 pm

Understood. Very well. I resigned as the chairman of a sober club recently. Yet my service at the club continues. Through meditation, prayer and consultation I came to the conclusion that I was biting off too much...a thing common with this alcoholic. I had to decide that limits to what I SHOULD and COULD do had to be set...if for no other reason than to help my serenity. But I realized one more thing: that while the program and all of its tools are accessible and capable to and for everyone, we are not all the same. Uncommon people with a common disease and a common solution. Some are just naturally inclined to be more helpful and giving. These are the people who are called upon most. I truly believe there is design there.
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Re: Service Resentments!

Postby Lali » Tue May 26, 2015 6:56 pm

Need advice. Have been speaker seeker for nearly 2 years but my health is going downhill and I can't get anyone to take it over. I have gone from 5 meetings a week to about one every two weeks due to health problems. I have speakers thru July. Should I just tell the group conscience I'm done? I tried it 6 months ago and they said oh, just ask so and so to help. He hasn't helped.
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Re: Service Resentments!

Postby Tosh » Wed May 27, 2015 12:11 am

Lali wrote: Should I just tell the group conscience I'm done?


Yes. I've done similar myself and explained to the group why I wouldn't continue to do the service positions I was doing (I was doing too many and I got resentful about it); I was also under orders from my sponsor to let go of some of these service positions.

Just be honest with your group about your situation and step down.

And I hope whatever is ailing you gets better.

Have a hug. **hug**

Tosh
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)
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