When being the solo speaker at a meeting it is suggested that we share our experience, strength and hope with the group. Our experience is highlights of our drinking and using careers. We may have gone very far down the scale, and we need to share this so that others may identify with our story. Some of us have been incarcerated for long periods of time prior to becoming sober. Others have experienced sexual trauma such as being molested or raped. Still others may have had a childhood of deprivation and physical abuse. I drank and used for seventeen years before finding sobriety. Actually, sobriety found me at a crucial turning point in my life. My drinking was on a fast downward spiral, and I was dangerously mixing pharmaceutical drugs with alcohol. I was in a domestic violence relationship and had lost all friends and acquaintances due to my behavior when drinking. I had emptied the bank accounts and did not know where to turn. Fortunately, God intervened, and I ended up in a detox program. I was given the gift of surrender and was introduced to the program of Alcoholics Anonymous.
My strength became my relationship with my Higher Power. This relationship was formed by taking the 12 Steps and applying the principles of the program to my life. When in doubt I learned to pause and ask God for direction in handling a particular situation. I learned to listen for God’s will to be revealed to me. God works through people, so I learned to listen to others in Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. I also learned to take direction from my sponsor. I didn’t have to go through any situation alone as there were others to guide me along the way. I had real friends instead of just drinking and using partners. Personally, I gravitated back to my religion, and this became a real strength for me. I learned how to express my spirituality in a way with others that could be helpful to them.
As far as hope goes, I have a large measure of hope that everything is just as it is supposed to be. When adversity comes (and it will) I have my hope in my Higher Power to lean on. I just have this feeling of knowing that everything will work itself out OK. It may not be how I pictured it to be, but it will be for the best as long as I am doing God’s will. My experience can benefit others and give them hope that they too can recover from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body. To watch others recover reinforces my hope in my Higher Power and gives me great joy. It is said that you have to give it away to keep it. And that’s just what I do by working with others, sharing at meetings and being of service in the fellowship.