Wednesday, May 6, 2009


I wrote an article yesterday where I was whining (my word) about being publicly and privately betrayed and attacked as a part of my participation in AA service. A couple of folks commented about how rotation is a way to deal with the sort of burnout and questions that I struggle with. Rotation is a great thing and solves many of the problems or resolves some of the questions I raised.

Among the many lessons I've learned as a part of traveling this path is that there's a difference between "rotating out" and "rotating on" in my AA service path. As I've reflected on the current situation I find myself in, it might be instructive that I'd privately told my sponsor and sponsees a year and a half ago that I was done with this phase of General Service and that I was instead going to participate in Intergroup, my home group and sponsorship/workshop activities instead.

Then, I was asked to co-chair a committee and (was it ego?), I said yes. I only know one way to commit to something and so we were off to the races.

Some of the reasons I accepted this opportunity were:
  1. I've seen trusted servants who "rotated out" of service who drank and/or died of our disease
  2. I felt I had some unique experience to offer the person appointed as chair
  3. in consultation with my sponsor, we agreed it was "next" for me
As it has developed, this particular committee that I'm participating in has provided an immense growth opportunity in learning how my character defects and attachments are still present and active in my life. As I suggested yesterday, it seems like the crucible of AA service has worked in roughly the same way since the times of Bill and Bob - we seem to attack whoever we put in positions of trust and leadership.

I will be so very glad when this service opportunity is over in September. September will be a big month for me for rotation as not only will this gig be over, but I will rotate off the board for a conference that I've been involved with for 16 years (been on the board for 4 years). It has been good service for me but the board has wanted to take the conference in another direction so it's clear that I'm done there.

Anyway, I thank God for our principle of rotating leadership. I'm grateful that others rotated before me to give me these opportunities to serve and I'm grateful that I only have to survive in these positions for another few short months to be able to move on to something else where I can be useful.

It is still a puzzle to me why some members have gotten so personal in their accusations and challenges to me and why some members are so resistant to anything that disrupts their ways of understanding the world (e.g. fear and uncertainty). I do understand that may be more about their problems and challenges than mine.

But, as comfortable as it is for me to write this blog and share myself with all who participate in this sphere, I also understand why it was necessary for me to sit in that crucible of AA service for a while to grow in the ways I've grown. I think I will be improved as a consequence of that...

Did I just answer my own questions?



Syd said...

I don't understand why people personally attack others in AA or Al-Anon. It's the character defects coming out. But I've thought that we are all in this "boat" together. Why not get along and work together for the greater good? Seems simple in concept but our humanness gets in the way.

Steve E. said...

For some reason(s) I find myself not able to identify with the "attacks" on me by others. Maybe I walk through my AA life in a fog of denial
but I don't think so.

These things DID happen to me when I was new, thought I'd "change some things", and also thought I pretty much knew some or all of the answers "you" were searching for.

Ed, are YOU the fellow who recently told me about Barefoot Bob? I need to know. Just YES or NO will do. Thanks!

dAAve said...

Been there. Done that. Seen it too. But I don't think I've ever been attacked. Well, maybe once. Or twice.