When I was invited to share my experience as a member of the Forum Editorial Advisory Committee (FEAC), I was scared, but I jumped on the opportunity to further my recovery by reflecting upon and sharing my experience, strength, and hope in service as an At-Large member on an Al‑Anon/Alateen World Service Office Committee.
I came to Al‑Anon alone, broken, lost, and hopeless, at the suggestion of my therapist. Soon, I got a Sponsor, as my therapist also suggested I do. My Sponsor showed me so much love and patience that I could not help but respond and open up to her. I was not used to this. I was used to chaos.
Before long, I learned to open up at meetings. As I became comfortable, I took on the coffee maker position. From there, I went on to serve as Secretary, Literature Chairperson, and more. I loved my meeting and grew in confidence and self-esteem. Here, I was in a place where I felt loved and nurtured.
Unfortunately, my husband and I moved to another town to retire, and I lost the meeting that I had grown so fond of. Once settled, I found a new meeting to attend. Here, again, I felt the love and nurturing that Al‑Anon meetings bring. Yet something was missing. I knew the solution: service. Service would help me connect and grow again. I did not know what kind of service; I only knew that service was necessary for my recovery.
As luck would have it, an announcement was made at the new meeting that volunteers were needed to serve on the FEAC. This was a godsend! Literature and reading and writing were right up my alley. I applied but did not think I would get the position. I told myself that I was not good enough. They would never choose me to be on the Committee. But lo and behold! They chose me! Panic set in. Would I measure up? I felt cautiously optimistic. So, with fear and brawn, I set out to be my best at my new service position. I am forever grateful that I accepted the challenge.
As a member of the FEAC, I, along with four colleagues, read sharings that are submitted to The Forum. Each month, we are sent 50 anonymous sharings to review and comment on. We do not look for grammatical errors or anything like that; rather, we check to see if the sharing reflects the Al‑Anon program. Quarterly, we meet with the Forum editor to discuss recent issues and address any questions we may have.
I love the camaraderie and singleness of purpose we enjoy at these meetings. And I love how this service has given me a connection to the worldwide fellowship. I have learned that I do not have to be perfect to serve on the Committee. I am okay as I am. My willingness and love for the fellowship is all that is needed.
By Marianne M., At-Large member, FEAC
The Forum, August 2023
Feel free to reprint this article on your service arm website or newsletter, along with this credit line: Reprinted with permission of The Forum, Al‑Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., Virginia Beach, VA.