Chairman of the Board
Another day, another milestone! Today I had the privilege of chairing my first 12-step meeting. A little background… each fellowship, I am sure, has its own proceedings, but in Alcoholics Anonymous, each meeting is very regimented. It is typically one hour long, and has one person who leads the meeting… that person is the chairperson. There is an agenda that is followed exactly the same at each meeting. There are different types of meetings: speaker meetings, where the chairperson asks a member of the fellowship to share his or her story. There are literature meetings, where the group reads a portion of AA-approved literature. Finally, there are topic meetings, where the chair person talks about something related to recovery. No matter which type of meeting, the last 30 minutes are devoted to sharing, where the group talks about how they relate to the speaker, literature or topic, or they simply share what is going on in their lives as it pertains to their addiction.
Mondays at my group are speaker meetings, so I asked my sponsor to share her story with the group. I was very surprised to discover that I was nervous this morning. Typically I don’t mind speaking in front of people, plus I believed that the chairperson has a fairly straightforward job. But I did not realize how different it would feel sitting in front of the group, rather than in the midst of it. And I felt the importance of my task from the moment I sat down… this meeting could be life or death to someone, and I was in charge of it! It felt like a tremendous responsibility in the moment. And yet, at the same time, the encouragement and support from the “regulars” who have gotten to know me in the past 93 days was absolutely overwhelming, and gave me the strength I needed to power through.
And I don’t really have the words to describe the feeling of accomplishment I had when I completed the meeting. I have been watching the chairperson for a really long time, and thinking that I would never meet the requirements for taking on the role (90 days of sobriety), so the feeling of pride I have, even now, is amazing, and I look forward to volunteering for the role again!
Posted on April 30, 2012, in Recovery and tagged AA, Addiction, Alcoholic Anonymous, Big Book, Chairman, Health, Meeting, Milestone, progress, Recovery, Sobriety, Substance Abuse, Support group, Twelve-Step Program. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.