At the suggestion of my sponsor, I joined the same home group that he was a member of. I attended my first business meeting after the regular meeting was over. The Group Service Representative (GSR) asked for a volunteer to set up, make coffee and clean up before and after the meeting. I was surprised to see my sponsor raise his hand. He had 2 years clean and sober and was willing to come early and stay late to do service work. I was thinking what a nice guy he was. Then when he was called on, he said, “John Y will set up, make the coffee and clean up.” I was shocked and angry all at the same time. I told my sponsor I didn’t want to have to be early or stay late and I didn’t know how to make coffee. He asked me if I was serious about staying clean and sober; I answered yes. He then shook my hand and said, “Congratulations on doing service work; it will keep you clean.” He said he would teach me how to make coffee.
It became my job to get there early to set up, make coffee, put out ashtrays and the literature. What I learned is that the people who were serious about recovery seemed to be the same people who showed up early for the meeting and then stayed and helped clean up after the meeting. This is what I learned was the meeting before and after the meeting. It’s also where I got to meet and spend time with the winners in recovery. We weren’t allowed to leave the group’s things at the meeting place; so each meeting I would load up the stuff, take it to the meeting and then bring it back home.
At around 6 months clean and sober, I decided that I didn’t want to do recovery anymore. Instead of going to the meeting, I was on my way to get some drugs when I turned the corner way too fast and the box with the meeting’s stuff went rolling across the backseat of the car. The coffee pot fell apart and the coffee can opened, coffee went everywhere. When I pulled over to clean up the mess, I had what I know was a message from my HP. Very clearly I thought: if I go use, who’s going to make the meeting’s coffee? Well, I decided to go to the meeting. I was a little late and my sponsor was waiting for me. I told him my story. He just smiled and said, “I told you making coffee would keep you clean.” He was right!!