By Larry K.
“I am responsible. When anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help, I want the hand of AA always to be there. And for that I am responsible”.
If I move past all of the early lessons in my sobriety and the work that turned my life around, a few things become clear. One of them is that the fellowship of AA is a place where I can draw upon wisdom and strength. It is where I find my respite in my days of dreary doings (when they feel like that) and of community when I need to have contact with the world to get me outside of my own head.
I have always been drawn to this declaration because it inspires me to think outside of my own existence. I have held hands with the hopeless and shed tears with the broken and laughed away the pain of desperation with men and women that have found their way into the rooms of our “family.” Some have lived and grown in amazing ways. Some have not. Some have died. None of those folks would have had any of those moments were it not for our fellowship. While with us, each and every one of them had a chance.
My father followed me into AA. He didn’t come in because I talked the talk…I didn’t preach. I didn’t nag. I didn’t do anything other than show up to visit on a normal and regular basis the way I always almost did…and I didn’t drink. I continued to “not drink” in front of his face for four years. My life improved and he could tell. He finally asked how I did it. He took my advice and got sober in AA and stayed sober for the rest of his life.
Knowing the power of example first hand and having seen lost lives recovered, I keep walking the walk and going to meetings to make sure that they stay “open for business.” What moves me about this is far more selfish. I have three daughters. They are, indeed, their father’s kids. They know the meetings. They know where I am. They know where help can be found. That is the hope of my contribution. To ensure that at least one meeting will still be open if they need one.
I hope it is all a waste of time on my part. I hope they never need to go through the hell I felt I went through.
“I am responsible…” This declaration is a credo for me. It is the marker between the hell I found myself in and who I am today, both inside and outside of the rooms of AA.