My Purpose (12th December 1988)
Here I am at an AA evening meeting 29 day sober.
I arrived at the meeting hall with a small suitcase with all my worldly possessions. As I enter the room the hall guardian states “I am unable to bring my bag inside the meeting hall”.
Not wanting to leave it as it is all I own. I went to sit on the veranda outside. I thought from there I could hear the meeting when it started.
Just then I am befriended by a fellow member of AA (Lee V.) and he says I can leave it in his car and to come into the meeting room. We grab a coffee and sit down waiting for the meeting to start.
As we are talking Lee asks are you okay? I explained that I have just got out of rehab. No money nowhere to stay the night. He says we can handle that after the meeting. Then he says what else is bothering you? I said I feel so empty it’s like I am sober but I don’t have a purpose in life. Lee smiled said “you will soon” and just then the meeting secretary announced meeting time.
The meeting leader stood at the podium and said “Thank you ladies and gentlemen it’s meeting time. Welcome to the Thursday night Primary Purpose Group meeting of Alcoholics anonymous. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.
With that the hair on my neck chilled and I my body tingled. I looked toward Lee and he smiled. It was then that I came to believe my purpose in life was just that “ to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety”
That was in December 1988 and here we are in January 2017
Still sober still have the same purpose.
P.S. After the meeting Lee arranged for me to go to a halfway house; where I stayed for 6 weeks while I sorted out my life. He helped me find employment and was truly a great AA friend who was there for me, with whom I went to many AA meeting with and shared my early trials of sobriety. Not a sponsor (my sponsor that’s another story) a friend who demonstrated the first tradition of AA was an important part of continued recovery. (For both of us.)
Lee died in 1993 as a result of developing Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” which is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. He died sober and an AA friend who is always with me. He reached out his hand and gave me hope, love and understanding.
“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”.