Mendocino Coast Intergroup
Pacific Home Group
Description of PHG Service Positions
Service Work Helps To Keep Us Sober!
Many of the open service positions have been held for multiple terms by the same people. There seems to be a core group of people that support the local fellowship and rotate through various positions. It’s up to all of us to carry the legacy forward and get involved in service.
The Importance of Service in A.A.
Groups like Alcoholics Anonymous could not function without the voluntary services provided by members. If nobody was doing any service work, the Alcoholics Anonymous program would simply cease to exist. All these meetings around the world are organized and maintained by volunteers. Without the service work of those who came before us, none of us would be here now!
Service Work In Recovery
One of the more common sayings you will hear at an Alcoholics Anonymous Meeting is that, “you have to give it away in order to keep it”. What this is referring to is the idea that service in recovery can help the giver as much as the receiver. Numerous studies have provided evidence that helping others in recovery provides great benefit to the helper. Such work is highly rewarding and it can strengthen the commitment of the individual to their own recovery. In many instances it will be the giver who ends up benefiting the most.
The Benefits of Service in Recovery
Those people who devote some time to helping others are less likely to suffer with depression. Helping others with problems reminds the individual of where they have come from. This will keep the pain of dysfunction fresh in their minds so that they never forget it. The giver will feel that they are giving back and this will increase their confidence and self-esteem. Helping others takes the focus off the individual. This is important because a lot of problems in the recovering A.A.’s life will be due to self absorption.
Service in Recovery Defined
Service in recovery refers to work carried out for no financial reward or compensation. This may involve directly helping somebody else, or indirectly helping them by providing services. Some individual go on to make a career out of helping others. Almost every person at meetings will provide some type of service. Those who share their past can prove inspirational for those who are struggling with similar problems. Anything that directly or indirectly helps others in recovery could be considered service even if it is just sharing a bit of their story or preparing the coffee.
My Personal Testimonial
I was gently nudged into service by a member I had tremendous respect for. It was a bit daunting to be involved at the Intergroup level but soon I began to feel at home. Many of the business agenda items went over my head but I continued to offer my help when possible. As time went on I began to “feel part of” this group and a greater sense of belonging within the Mendocino Coast AA community. This is something that was lacking from just attending meetings.
I’ve been encouraged by my sponsor to step up when I am asked to be of service. I do my best to say yes whenever that opportunity arises. Where I found my greatest growth/satisfaction is stepping up when I was very uncomfortable with what was being asked of me. Pushing through those fears/trepidation lead to incredible growth. I am no longer that guy sitting at the back of the room sneaking out after the meeting. I am now fully engaged within the local AA community.
The website you’re surfing today is an example of what’s possible by saying yes to service. I knew very little about them prior to taking on (begrudgingly) this service commitment. It’s a skill set that I am grateful to now have. Secretary positions helped my confidence and public speaking. Hotline service is my favorite, when a call comes in you’re pulled out of your head and into the world of helping others. I could go on and on about service commitments but I don’t want to spoil the surprises/rewards. So when asked just say yes! Better yet step up!