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Feeling A Part Of

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I resisted doing service—the same way I’d once resisted writing out a food plan for the day. And I hated the slogan “service is slimming,” which some members chanted during the reading of the Tools in meetings. But my program was faltering in all areas: physical, emotional, and spiritual. I was forgetting all the important parts of the program, forgetting to use all the Tools, forgetting the feeling of being a part of the group. Instead, I felt apart from the group.

Something had to change so I could get back my abstinence. I had become willing to read my daily readings, make calls, and write. I’d had enough of doing things my way, and it was time to do things the way the program suggests. It was on that note, despite lots of mental struggle and rationalizing, that I decided I would do some service. Sometime the opportunity would present itself to me, and I committed to myself and possibly even mentioned to my sponsor, “I think I need to do some service in OA,” and I left it at that.

Then, on March 17, 2017, I attended a local OA convention. I was captivated by how well everything was being run— all the different workshops, speakers, printed materials, auction baskets, raffle prizes—it was amazing. It was evident that many hours of work went into this convention, and that meant many, many hours of service by OA members from the Milwaukee area.

What really impressed me was how happy everyone seemed. It was that feeling! The feeling one gets when they are a part of something, not apart from it. I wanted to be a part of it and get that feeling, which I remembered from years ago. It’s a wonderful feeling. Nothing beats it!

Strengthened by the camaraderie and fellowship I observed, I left with the feeling that the idea of doing service was a good one, and when something came up that I felt drawn to, I would do some service. Of course, it didn’t take long. An opportunity to help with an upcoming retreat came to my attention, and after thinking about it for a few days, I called and offered to help.

I’m grateful for a little willingness, which I think was provided by my HP. I’ve heard one paradox of life is that the more you give, the more you get. I’ll be giving more.

— Edited and reprinted from Out of the Cocoon newsletter, Milwaukee Area Intergroup, July/August 2017

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