Recovery & Service

As I pack my bags with all of the belongings I’ll be needing for the next two days, it’s easy to wonder why I’ve willingly agreed to spend my weekend in a full assembly room surrounded by three hundred alcoholics, while my other friends get to spend the weekend taking pictures of their pets and catching up Netflix.

I don’t exactly remember what possessed me to put up my hand when I heard that the home group I had just joined needed a GSR, but I know why I kept showing up and was eager to do more service after completing my two-year GSR rotation.

Four times a year, alcoholics from 48 districts meet as Area 79, which includes most of BC, Yukon and one small section of Washington.  These weekends (called either Quarterlies/Assemblies) are full of brainstorming, passionate sharing, presenting motions and voting.  Much as I’m healthier and happier when I’m in touch with other alcoholics, my home group thrives when it is linked in with our General Service Office and the rest of AA, by being registered and having an active GSR (General Service Representative).  The group’s GSR acts as a two-way street to share information from their group with the area and district, and then back from the area and district to their group.  This way, each group is informed as to what’s happening in AA and the group is able to impact the direction of AA as a whole.

Being the representative of only one group at this huge Assembly, I was skeptical that I could actually make an impact.  But I’ve had the experience of watching one voice from one AA member travel all the way down the triangle and make it to the General Service Conference in New York.  This is what it’s all about!

The passion at these events is contagious.  Although motions don’t always pan out the way that my group has voted, watching the process makes it all worth it.  Being surrounded by hundreds of alcoholics who love AA and who would rather do what is right than be right is a truly humbling experience each and every time.

If you’re curious about service, we have a Voting and Elections Assembly coming up on October 14th through the 16th in Campbell River that any alcoholics can attend.  Although all of the Quarterlies and Assemblies are interesting, this will be a particularly good one to check out since it’s here on the island, and we will be having some exciting voting and important elections.  Visit for more info, or feel free to get in touch with and Ed or I will be happy to answer any questions that we are able to.

As much as I go to the Assemblies and Quarterlies because I believe in AA’s upside down triangle and I believe in GSRs linking their groups to AA as a whole, I go just as much to learn, grow, observe and absorb the energy.  I return feeling grateful, inspired, connected and very full spiritually — exactly the opposite of how I felt when I drank.