If there's one word in the world that doesn't seem like it should follow "self" it's "sacrifice." Self-centered sounds right as does self-righteous, self-indulgent, self-conscious, self-willed, self-serving, self-sufficient
and a whole bunch more manifestations of self, but "self-sacrifice"? No way.
It says in the dictionary that self sacrifice is the "willingness to deprive myself" Not to argue with Bill's choice of words, but I don't think a useful, contented sobriety is about depriving myself at all. I think it's about enriching myself. It's about receiving gifts.
There's a gift waiting for me at every meeting I attend if I am open to receiving it. It could be something as subtle as seeing the light in eyes of another alcoholic or hearing the solution expressed in a way that I can finally understand it.
To me helping other drunks is not self sacrifice. It is a gift and it is a privilege granted to me by my Higher Power. It gives me a great feeling to share what I have been so freely given. How is this depriving myself?
In my experience AA works because of the principle of "enlightened self interest." I get a good feeling when I can be of service to another drunk. If something I say or do lightens another person's load then everybody wins.