I was not a vision for you when I walked through the door to my first meeting. I had just spent the last eight months in extreme isolation while old delusional ideas went round and round in my head. I was emotionally frozen. I didn’t feel much of anything back then except fear. The face of my fear was anger. I think most of us are angry as hell when we finally make it to AA -- angry at others, angry at ourselves and angry at God. Take away the alcohol from an angry alcoholic and you’ve got a mighty toxic personality. That was me.

I wanted to be left alone, to remain aloof, to stand outside the circle of life where it felt safe. But you guys wouldn’t let me. You pulled me into the center of Alcoholics Anonymous with handshakes, hugs and pats on the back. You invited me to coffee. You told me to keep coming back. Something in me believed you really wanted me to come back.The icy veneer began to melt. It wasn’t long before I really wanted what you had and I was graced with the willingness to do what you did.

My recovery depends upon passing on to other alcoholics the love, understanding and support so freely given to me. Meetings and service commitments are enjoyable, but sharing my ESH with another alcoholic, one on one, is the key for my recovery. I’ve been blessed with many fine opportunities to work with other men. Many did not stay sober, but I grew with every relationship. My life feels useful and content when I’m actively working with another alcoholic.

I put my hand out when anyone, anywhere reaches out for help. I’ll go to any lengths to help an alcoholic who is willing to take the suggested actions. Through the years I’ve had a few difficult people. Then I try to remember what I was like when I first walked into the rooms. I am happy to work with unlovable people and unpleasant people, but I will not work with unwilling people. It’s simply a waste of everyone’s time.