CoDA Weekly Reading 4/9/24

From: "CoDA Weekly Reading" <>
Date: April 9th 2024

Rabbit Holes

I have 22 months in CoDA. My therapist recommended it. My mother was an adult child of an alcoholic. If you had told me 22 months ago, that one of the most difficult steps in the program for me would be the 12th Step, I wouldn’t have believed you. After all, who has a problem with service? Well, I guess I do. It has a lot to do with my previous career. In my late teens until my mid-30’s I was a minister. I thought I knew what service was. I went to seminary, have a master’s degree in Theology, and served two different churches after seminary. I used to talk about service all the time. And then it happened. I came out as a gay man in my 30’s, divorced my wife, and left the church. I was burned out and I didn’t want anything to do with church, God, or service for that matter. It took me a long time to make my way back to some belief in a higher power…enter CoDA. I had a very wise sponsor early on in CoDA that told me that I didn’t have to work so hard at finding a higher power because in time, my higher power would find me.

 Imagine my surprise when I started attending a CoDA meeting and heard words like “service” and “fellowship.” I was aghast when a group “passed the hat” for the first time. Talk about taking me back to my earlier years in church. Things I had been trying to escape and forget had come back to haunt me. Sirens went off. Lights flashed. I couldn’t get out of that meeting fast enough. It felt like I had just been to a Wednesday night spaghetti potluck and I didn’t want anything to do with it. Thirty years later, I still can’t eat spaghetti!

 I read the CoDA Blue Book. There is a page and a half of “service” opportunities. Things like sponsoring other people, setting up for a meeting, chairing a meeting, greeting newcomers, keeping up with a phone list, and on and on it goes. It scared the bejesus out of me. I wasn’t ready for any of that. It also looked like people volunteered for things who already had a lot on their plate. That sounded way too familiar.

 I was Alice in Alice in Wonderland. I felt like something, or someone, was pulling me down the rabbit hole again kicking and screaming. And then, I hit pause. I didn’t have to worry about “service.” I could let go of “service” and whatever that ends up meaning because it is different for everyone. There is no one way to define “service” in CoDA even though there may be one or two pages of service ideas in the Blue Book. Like finding my higher power, service will eventually find me. It will come when it comes and it will make sense when it does and when it does, I will be ready.

Mike H. 01/09/2024



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