What is service? Why is it a ‘cornerstone of recovery’?
When you read the SLAA Preamble you will note that SERVICE is one of the tools for recovery. Service is an opportunity for us to give back that which we so freely received.
When am I ready to serve?
Most people are ready to serve when they have gained some sobriety. Early service can begin at meetings with helping to set up or close meetings. For many people service begins when they are able to see beyond their own crisis, chaos and feelings.
Can service be misused?
What sorts of opportunity for service are there?
Service exists at all levels.
- Meetings. At meetings service can start with helping to set up or close meetings. Once you have 3-6 weeks of sobriety and regular meeting attendance, you may want to volunteer to chair a meeting. Each meeting sets its own sobriety requirements. Some meetings have a greeter, a person who makes sure that newcomers are welcome and that everyone is met at the door. Some meetings assign a treasurer, a rather larger responsibility.
- Intergroup. The intergroup is a collection of meetings in an area. You may choose to be an alternate or representative from your group to the intergroup. You may choose to attend intergroup meetings to see what happens there. At the Intergroup level, most of what is done is service work in recovery. Individual work in recovery is done at the group level.
- Local conferences. There are often local conferences. Volunteering to speak, to help with set up and closing and eventually to speak at such conferences are all types of service on a local level.
- Fellowship Wide Services. If you are fortunate to live in Texas you can serve the Fellowship by going to the office in San Antonio, Texas.
- Annual business meeting. If you are working with your Intergroup perhaps you can be selected to serve as a Delegate to the Annual Business Meeting. Here service is on a national even international level. Representatives help shape policy and programs for the fellowship as a whole.
- Committee work. You don’t have to be a delgate to work on a committee for the fellowship. Most require a minimum of six months of sobriety from bottom line behaviors. There are lots of committee and YOU can become involved in writing or helping the fellowship. Look on the web site at Fellowship Wide Services for committees and how to contact them. You can ask your local intergroup representative as well.
- Sponsorship. We don’t often think of sponsorship as service. It is. It is perhaps the highest level of service to the fellowship because one day at a time, one addict at a time you are helping someone to become clean and sober from this addiction.
So. Are you ready for service work? Contact your sponsor and ask. Think of your service as part of a higher calling.