Commitment seems to be something that most alcoholics shy away from. We believe that the grass is always greener on the other side. We use phrases like “I guess,” I’ll have to see,” and “call me later’ among others. We feel like wild spirits free to roam the world as we please. We feel stifled by others if they get too close or demanding of our time.
Commitment is part of life to the alcoholic’s dismay. We commit to obeying traffic rules (some of the time), we commit to paying our bills (also some of the time), and to be at a certain place at a certain time to name a few. In our twisted alcoholic thinking we just want to be free. We are rebels without a cause. All of this rebelling and negative behavior takes a toll on us.
When we come into Alcoholics Anonymous the first thing, we have to do is to commit to working the program! This just goes against our grain, but it is something that has to be done in order to gain and maintain sobriety. The wind is taken out of our sails so to speak by this requirement of submission. But is it necessary to becoming a sober member.
One way we learn commitment is to be responsible for a position in a group. This can be from cup washer to secretary to literature person to many more tasks that need to be performed in order to have a meeting. Meetings don’t usually just happen. There are usually a number of people behind the scenes that make sure the meeting does happen. These people have taken their jobs to the commitment level in order to have a meeting.
After a few months of sobriety, the sponsor may suggest to the newcomer that they get a commitment at a meeting. An in-person meeting, not a Zoom meeting. For some who may hold high positions in the world they may feel demeaned if they are asked to wipe off tables or empty the trash. These acts are helping the new person to experience ego deflation at depth which is necessary for recovery. These appointments also help the alcoholic learn to commit to something outside of themselves for the greater good. Having to show up somewhere every Tuesday at 5:30 is a great way to begin to learn what commitment is all about. If the door isn’t unlocked there will be no meeting. So, we count on someone to show up and unlock the door. And we also have a person who commits to making our beloved coffee.
So, you see that commitment is a very large part of sobriety. We commit to being of service in a lot of different ways. We also commit to taking the 12 steps with our sponsor or a closed mouth friend. Without these commitments on our part there will be no recovery. We will be doomed to continue living in an alcoholic fog. So being committed to all aspects of the program sees like the best choice for me.