The latest news from our Literature/Forum Coordinator for the Pennsylvania Area Assembly. Ellen C. is serving a three-year term on Panel 61. Ellen interfaces with the World Service Office’s Literature and Forum teams and shares that information with the Area’s Districts and Groups. She also encourages the display and distribution of CAL at meetings, the Assembly, and Conventions; provides information on new pieces of literature; encourages members to submit personal sharings to the WSO for use in publication of new pieces of CAL and issues of The Forum.
Autumn is also a transitional time for our fellowship as three-year terms of service come to an end in December. Folks are being asked to ask themselves about their willingness to step up. Service in Al-Anon, I have found, is unlike similar roles in other organizations. It is joyful and collaborative. It is challenging and fun. It has taken me on a journey of growth.
On Monday, Sept. 11, I got to my home group meeting for the first time in two weeks. It felt so good to be there! We met in a pavilion by a lake, which offered a peaceful breeze now and then as we read and shared from Courage to Change (B-16). Our topic was Changed Attitudes. I realized I needed to be there before I developed a bad one.
Calling all GRs going to Assembly! Please consider attending one of two workshops on The Power of Service. You’ll have an opportunity to do actual service, share your service journey and receive a raffle ticket for A Little Time for Myself (B-34), Al-Anon’s newest daily reader.
I have learned through Al-Anon that fear rides under my need to control and the illusion of power that it may give me. Naked, dumb fear. Fear of failure—that I won’t live up to the crazy, impossible expectations I give myself. That fear perched in my psyche long ago, when I thought I had to do it—whatever “it” was—all by myself. It was the price of being “independent.”
It seems like life went into hyper-drive after Memorial Day. Suddenly there were parties to attend, flowers to plant, windows to clean, and a $1,100 car air-conditioning bill to pay. Yikes. Oh, I got to my meetings, thank Higher Power. But I wasn’t taking the time to really pray or even read my monthly issue of The Forum. I was sliding into my alter-ego, the Control Queen, and I was not very happy with myself.
It is May 3—the second day of wet snow mixed with rain. Two weeks ago, in 80-plus degrees, my husband and I drove to Pittsburgh with a freshly broken air conditioner. That sweaty ride seems like a dream now.
We Al-Anon members know how working our program can restore us to sanity. Our Conference Approved Literature can play a big part in the process. Today I’d like to talk about how we can use our literature to spread the word to family members suffering from alcoholism.
My sponsor, who chaired the meeting, called Paths to Recovery (B-24), Reaching for Personal Freedom (P-92) and Al-Anon’s Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions (B-8) “the core books for the Steps.” They are the Big Three.
Her husband, Bill, co-founded Alcoholics Anonymous. She threw a shoe at Bill and yelled, “Damn your old meetings,” when he asked if she was ready to go to a meeting with him. Then she realized that her own life had become unmanageable, and that she needed help, according to “Al-Anon History” under the Newcomers section of pa-al-anon.org.
It’s January! Yipee! A great time for belt-tightening of all sorts. For instance, I confess to eating so much candy and cookies over the holidays that my tongue put on a coat of something funky—probably in self-protection! So I stopped eating that stuff. My tongue is grateful.