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Service to others keeps me sober

I’m 78-years-old and I’ve been sober 29 years. I attribute the good life I’m living today because I make it a priority every day to stay in service to others.

The Alcoholics Anonymous Step 12 is: Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs. I truly believe practicing this step as I do has helped keep me sober.

A number of years back, a friend of mine, Paul, volunteered at CAT bringing a meeting down there to the guys in detox. When Paul fell ill, he asked me to fill in for him. I told him ‘yes’ but I made it clear that once I volunteered, I wasn’t going to leave anytime soon. And that’s exactly what happened! Paul got better and came back to run the meeting and there I was, still at it. So he and I co-chaired the meeting for years and years. Sadly, Paul has since passed but I’m still keeping at it… going down to CAT every Monday morning for as long as I can remember.

My story is not unlike so many others. I drank until it nearly killed me. It was only until I went to treatment and talked honestly with a social worker about my drinking that things changed. After she told me, “Frank, I fear for your life and your sanity” that I realized I needed to surrender in order for me to be happy again. That’s really all I ever wanted—just to smile, be happy and have fun in life. I’ve found that in sobriety and in volunteering. I keep myself in service not only at CAT but at my home group, the Talbert House, and even a nursing home.

My advice to anyone still suffering is this – if all you can do is get to a meeting, then get to one. Just keep coming back and things will be alright!

Frank J.