Being of Service… Another Milestone!
Very often you will hear recovering alcoholics say that a big part of their program involves saying yes whenever they are asked to be in service, whether they want to or not. I had that experience today, and it led to another personal milestone.
I walked into my regular daily meeting with about two minutes to spare, because I had finally hauled my lazy a$$ to the gym. It is important to note that I was at the gym, because that means I walked into the meeting looking quite a bit more “casual” (a kind understatement) than I would normally prefer to look, but I was so pleased with myself for exercising, I figured it would be worth it. I was happy as a clam, and my normal gang was already seated. I was just getting ready to have a quick conversation with the group, when the chair called me to the front of the room. As I walked up, I realized it was Monday, which means the format of the meeting is a speaker meeting, and the speaker seat was empty. It was all I could do not to go running right out the door, but, remembering all I have learned, I took a deep breath, and approached the chair of the meeting.
And I, with exactly zero time to prepare, became the speaker at this morning’s meeting. While I do not have a terrible hardship with public speaking, I do have a problem with being unprepared for public speaking. Again, I called to mind what I have been taught, which is that there is no need to prepare, simply ask God to put the right words in your mouth, so I shot up a quick prayer (and I mean quick, there was NO TIME!), and off I went.
Here is what I learned: sometimes taking a deep breath and saying a prayer is all the preparation you need. Fortunately, I had told my story once before, when I did have time to prepare, at a different meeting, so I could draw upon that experience to help me lay out my personal timeline as it related to addiction. Another big benefit to this blessing in disguise… I felt like I had really gotten to know many of the “regulars” at this meeting, but, now that I have shared my story with the group, I feel like they really know me. One person raised their hand and said they appreciated my “brutal honesty,” which was a great compliment, because, as I have mentioned in earlier posts, I truly struggled with honesty for a long time, and so being told that felt like true progress. I also worry that my story is unusual compared to what I often hear in the rooms, and yet I had 2 different women and 1 man walk up to me afterwards and tell me that I told their exact story. Knowing that my speaking touches another… it is hard to put into words how rewarding it feels.
Even though I wanted to kill him at the time, I will remember the chairperson of this meeting for a long time, because he gave me a great gift!
Posted on July 16, 2012, in Recovery and tagged aa meeting, Addiction, Base on balls, Business, Communication, Education and Training, Glossophobia, God, Meeting, program, publicspeaking, Recovery, speaker, Winston Churchill, xa. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.