Stability From Service In CoDA

In May of 2003, I came to appreciate how stabilizing my CoDA service work is to my life. Needing all the stability I can get, the realization prompted me to accept the chairperson position vacancy for the service committee known as the Outreach Committee.

When I first came into CoDA, I was in personal crisis and was not capable of any true service work. My history included over functioning and lots of community service. Lacking good boundaries, this community work depleted me. I was often tired and resentful. I somehow knew that I should not
follow the same path in CoDA so I resisted the urge to volunteer just because no one else was doing so. I didn’t rescue my CoDA fellowship.

I worked the steps on an entirely imperfect schedule and life began to get better for me. Slowly I emerged into a new level of awareness about service. My first official service job was organizing the phone list for my Wed night homegroup. My second service job was volunteering to chair meetings. In the meetings I attend, chairing is a one time job, neither monthly nor longer. In hindsight I see I served in unofficial ways by my friendliness towards newcomers and helping set up or put away chairs.

Three years into CoDA recovery, I volunteered for a year long commitment as a group service representative for our newly formed regional Intergroup and at the same time at the national level as a committee member of the Outreach Committee.

When, in the spring of 2003, my personal life hit another pretty big bump, the repercussions were different in large part because of the work I have done for the Outreach Committee and my local Intergroup. Oh to be sure, I am definitely still a codependent with boundary struggles and character
defects, but those struggles and defects aren't nearly as hideous as once they were. I attribute this not only to working a program of recovery but in large part, working a program of recovery that includes a substantial amount of service work.

Much study of the Twelve Traditions and CoDA literature has helped me along the way with the service I undertake. I also find prayer and meditation (working Step 11) to be integral to my stability and recovery with regards to service.

After one year as a GSR, I resigned. To date, no one has filled the vacancy. I am saddened by this unfilled need but I know that even in CoDA, I can not do everything. I can only do what my Higher Power calls me to do. I do not always enjoy what my Higher Power calls me to do but I can always
(eventually) see the gifts and benefits of answering the call.

Erin Q. (2004)