Welcome to another chapter of Grateful Heart Monday, which for this week I’m starting it off with a slice of gratitude for one of my AA home group members, Chris C.
Living a life of recovery in AA is so much more than simply abstaining from alcohol and drugs, yet many do just that, and much of their demons from the days of addiction remain active, especially the core behaviors of selfishness, self-seeking, dishonesty, and fear. But there are those who choose to go far above and beyond in their sobriety to live a life of recovery that is more about helping others than themselves and one such person is indeed my AA home group member Chris.
From the moment I met Chris, I’ve witnessed someone who’s always willing to help out, especially to those in need. He’s generally the first to offer his hand in support when someone is hurting. I see him constantly reaching out to newcomers as well, ensuring they feel welcomed. Chris isn’t afraid to show his emotions either, and has openly shed many-a-tears that has helped people just like me not feel so alone in the suffering they’re going through.
I actually feel that Chris represents much of what my first sponsor tried to mold me into from the first day I began my recovery work. I say that because I see him living a life of humility, servitude, and kindness to all, that’s free of judgment, and full of unconditional love for others.
Chris goes well above and beyond just showing up, like so many tend to do when it comes to getting sober. Far too many simply do nothing but stop drinking and drugging and maybe show up at a meeting here and there. Yet, that is so far from who Chris is and I first noticed that early on when I joined the home group he was already a part of. Each week, he was and usually still is, the first to show up, to begin the set-up process of putting the tables and chairs out, and even getting the coffee started if no one else is there yet. If we are out of supplies, he’s frequently the first to volunteer to go get what’s needed and when there’s a group social he makes sure to do his best to always be at them, showing his full support.
But, Chris’s dedication to recovery doesn’t end there. He’s also quite active in our local AA community, which is Area 55. There, he’s served in many positions, on multiple committees, and immersed himself in volunteer opportunities wherever he can. Chris has a joy about him when he serves in AA. I’ve personally witnessed this one night about a year ago when I joined him on a speaking engagement at a local detention center. There, his words were filled with a lot of passion and I could feel his heart and truth through his words, which I know was much-needed that night for those there.
Finally, on a much more personal level, I appreciate Chris because he has made sure to go out of his way on many-a-occasion with me, offering his support and companionship, knowing how much I’ve been hurting, depressed, and ready to call it quits. While I’ve never taken him up on his offer as of yet, mostly because I’ve become more of an isolator than anything these days, it’s still been comforting to know that he’s there for me, just a phone call away. And believe me, in a world where no one seems to answer their phones anymore when you try to call them, that isn’t the case with Chris. He’s always either answered me on my first attempt to call or called me back in an exceptionally short period of time.
That’s why I believe that Chris is a living, breathing example of the recovery life that Bill Wilson, one of the founders of AA, first set forth for all of us. But, even more importantly, I see Chris carrying a zest to serve God, which is overly apparent in so many of his words and actions. I’m grateful to have gotten to know him, to be in the same AA home group as him, and to witness someone who continues to grow spiritually, mind, body, and soul…
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson