Welcome to part two!
Sometimes when a meeting ends with a prayer, someone says, “Let’s say this prayer for the still suffering alcoholic and those still suffering in these rooms.” Then there’s a few moments of silence before we all start reciting it. What do you think about when someone says that? Sometimes I think about me. How I’m still suffering in my recovery. Other times I think about someone I know who has been in the program and went back out. (Whatever “back out” means.) On other occasions, I picture someone I don’t even know; someone who reminds me of me, and say the prayer for them. Sometimes I don’t think about anyone at all because I just want the meeting to end. Really. I’m THAT selfish.
But what does it mean to carry the message? We’ve all heard of service work. How we’re supposed to do it, and lots of it, or we won’t be well. Empty the ashtrays, (Remember when we smoked at the club?!) make the coffee, share in a meeting, be a temporary or permanent sponsor, speak at local treatment centers, take a meeting to the jail, chair a meeting, do a 12 step call with an active alcoholic, give a newcomer our phone number, serve on intergroup, be a GSR or a district somethingoranother. Somehow, we all work together to carry the message because we all have different gifts and talents. .
But what message? Some people think it’s a message of sobriety. Others think it’s a message of hope. I think it’s a message of a spiritual awakening. And how do you do that in your daily life? Is it a formal declaration of wellness after addiction? An informal conversation with someone who is curious about your way of life? Do people in your life even know you’re in recovery? (That’s the next post. I’m getting ahead of myself.) But what message are you carrying to alcoholics?
I have a good friend who once said to me, “Are you the mess or the messenger?” What a challenge. Be the messenger today. We’ve all been a mess. Certainly. Or we wouldn’t be desperate to have a new way of life. I challenge you to be the messenger. What a gift it is to carry the message. A privilege and an honor. Don’t forget those last two things. Privilege and honor. We earn that as we continue to work the program. We carry this message of a spiritual awakening because it is a life or death mission for all of us. Do not mistake the laughter in the rooms for the seriousness of the addict’s situation. Because when it comes down to it, not sharing our way of life is to steal the joy that we have been given. Don’t lose it by not giving it away.
Kate Zimmerman #35