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Grapevine : April 2011
the message. We had reports from places like General Service, Grape- vine and district committee represen- tatives. I knew nothing of these weird names. But I stayed, and was asked to be a greeter. What a fearful day that was, until a voice spoke up and said, "I'll show you the ropes." The fear dis- appeared and I learned other ways of doing this thing called service. I watched and learned as my group spent their time working to create a safe haven for future members. The Big Book has taught me more and more about the self-centered na- ture of an alcoholic like myself. One day at a time, I was changing, ever so slowly, so my eyes could gaze beyond the neck of a bottle. My sponsor was there to guide me. With help from my service sponsor, I learned about the inner workings of our program, visiting our local district and area meetings, and finding out what some of the weirdly named places like the General Service Office did. One day, friends said there was a clambake up at Cape Cod and asked if I'd like to join. Free food was always a good thing, so I just got in the car and went with the gang. I had no idea there were going to be two gentle- men with long term recovery leading a workshop on the first three Steps. I found myself with a full stomach, on my knees, doing the Third Step Prayer, which, I might add, was not exactly on my agenda for the day. The road got a little bumpy for a while there, but I continued my Step work and found my source of energy and spirit when I needed it. I was told to do the same with others, and I have. My life changed as the dis-com- fort and dis-ease waned over time. There were times when life events took over and others came to help. After a long time in sobriety, my health failed and I was diagnosed with liver cancer (a direct result of my drinking). I could never repay the debt I owe for the help and sup- port I received during that time and I am so extremely grateful for it. As a result of doing the next right thing, I was given a second chance at life with a new liver. My group and family carried me along with my wife, even when we were three thousand miles from home. Eventually, I found a new group and another place to call home. AA has never lied to me. I found, over time, that my problem was in my mind and sickened spirit. I related strongly to a quote by Albert Einstein I call the Theory of Reality: "You can't solve your current problems with the same level of thinking that you used when you created them." Through service and the gift of giving, I have been rocketed into that fourth dimension of sobriety. I live in the Three Legacies of Unity, Recovery and Service, and have gained 36 spiri- tual principles to help me through life one day at a time. Ed M. Gig Harbor, Wash. aagrapevine.org 55