Banging the Gavel – Anne A_Sept2017

When I came to Alcoholics Anonymous, I was completely naive to the ways of the program and was very broken by alcohol. I knew of AA and thought, I have no where else to go, these folks know more than I do about Alcohol…it’s in the name. I attended my first Quarterly business meeting after being in and out of the program for 6 months. During that 6 months, I heard about service and I was ready to listen. I took up a coffee position and was so nervous I was going to screw it up, I barely slept the night before. I was taking the whole thing very seriously. So at the first business meeting, I wanted to observe and find out how the “real” business of how the group functioned and how it worked was important to me. I also wanted to figure out who was “in charge”. Like I said, I was still new. I watched, I listened, I learned and found out slowly about the different long-term service positions and how they worked together. I continued to do coffee and eventually was brave enough to step up to a chairperson position. Again, no sleep the night before and worried I would make a mistake. People are counting on me and this is life or death…very serious. After awhile, I settled down and the man who kept the group phone list named Ed, was moving away. I offered to help maintain the list. Turns out the man was the secretary of the group and I got elected to secretary of the Wake Up Call in Park City the very next business meeting. People actually voted me in! I was happy to be of service and yet, had no clue what I was doing. “Don’t they have training for this sort of thing – I’m totally unqualified!!!” My next thought was at the other end of the spectrum: “Stand back and let me show you all how this meeting should be run!”. Yes, I know…keep coming back. After many reassurances from my sponsor and the elder statesman, I’ve relaxed A LOT. I turned to the tribal knowledge of the group, explored AA literature on how to run a group and approached the task with a heightened sense of responsibility – instead of panic or pride. Today, I’ve been conducting and chairing the quarterly business meetings, spontaneous group conscious meetings and documenting the Wake Up Call business for almost two years. I had come from a place of no knowledge, fear, more fear and it’s good friend, anxiety… to one of curiosity, willingness and openness to suggestion. The group consciousness is a powerful force and one I am proud and honored to call to order as often as needed with the bang of a gavel.  

-Anne A

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