It's All About Me

AA works because it's all about me: my sobriety, my spiritual growth, my sense of usefulness and purpose, my joy. I receive these gifts by being of service to others. Since it's in my best interest, I share my ESH with anyone who wants to listen. It is an added bonus if I can play some small role in helping another human being turn their lives around, but it's none of my business who "gets it" and who doesn't. I just do what I learned from my sponsor and others and try to get out of the way and let God do its thing.

Buddha said to find a job you love and you'll never work a day in your life. I do not consider my 12-step activities to be work--much less self-sacrifice. I might think differently had I come along thirty years earlier. I've heard old timers describe 12-step calls back then. How they often left their warm beds in the middle of the night to go to some flophouse and clean vomit off wet drunks. How they put their belts between the teeth of a shaking alcoholic so he wouldn't swallow his tongue. How they abandoned their wives and kids to help some poor wet-brained sot stay away from a drink for few hours more. A self-centered person like me might conclude that a steady diet of these activities is self-sacrificing. But the principle is the same. The old timers did this work to stay sober themselves and for the joy it gave them. Self-interest pure and simple.

Am I doing enough? I have no idea. I know that I am sober; I know that I feel much more comfortable in my own skin today; I know that my life has meaning; I know that the spiritual love we alcoholics have for one another has grown in me over the years. All these gifts are a direct result of passing on to others what was so freely given to me. Self-sacrifice? Hardly.