Giving Service to Nar Anon
Message from the Chair of the Regional Service Committee 27/6/2020
As Chair of the RSC, I have been given the opportunity to help carry the message of hope throughout the world to those affected by the addiction of someone near to them. Covid is giving the world, both an opportunity, for example, Black Lives Matter, and is raising awareness of many situations in the world that are in desperate need.
Nar Anon has traditionally grown through face to face meetings. Here in the UK, we are 6 years old, and the efforts of those who set up Nar Anon in the UK, have taken us to this time. Growing the fellowship through face to face meetings will continue after Covid; and are valuable in building relationships in local areas. However, it is slow, setting up a new Group takes time and dedicated effort from members.
We now have an opportunity to grow our fellowship in the UK, from a few Groups to many. Video links mean we can interact with the World Service Office, and members from all over the world. I trust that there will be members who have benefited from Zoom meetings who will lead face to face groups and online groups in the UK soon.
For more Groups to happen, members can attend meetings, work the 12 steps, find a sponsor, and give service. In these ways, confidence grows, and suddenly setting up a Group seems simple.
What is service work? Why is it necessary? How does it help? Why do I need to do it? These are questions many Nar Anon members ask.
Service work covers a broad spectrum of activities including opening the doors and setting up for a home group meeting, sponsorship, serving the group as GSR or other trusted servant, any position of area, regional, or world service, and much, much more. Each of these opportunities to serve is valuable, none more important than another, and all of these are always needed and desired.
Service work by members of Nar Anon is necessary because we as a fellowship do not have paid officers to conduct our business for us; we must do it ourselves. Yes, there are paid special workers at WSO and several regional service offices who perform administrative tasks but, ideally, they do not conduct the business of the Nar Anon fellowship itself. Nar Anon members do that, and it is done on a volunteer basis. Without Nar Anon members acting as trusted servants, groups would not have literature, meetings would not be opened or closed. There would be no Nar Anon functions or activities, just to name a few.
So service is the backbone of Nar Anon functioning to help the still suffering family or friend of the addict. Yes, I know sometimes we tire of the perceived bureaucracy of some levels of service. If that is the case with you, simply do not participate at those levels right now, but please do not give up on service altogether. You are needed, you ALL are needed. Could Nar Anon exist without an area or regional service committee? Probably, but could it carry the message of recovery as effectively? I am thinking not.
There are many opportunities to serve our fellowship, in so many ways. It is generally true that a small percentage of Nar Anon members continually do a large percentage of the service that needs to be done. It is also generally true that those willing to serve are among those who tend to stick around the longest. And it does not have to be the case that so few are of service. Sure, world or regional service may not be for everyone, but there are ways to serve that any member in the fellowship can participate in.
There are service opportunities that do not require any membership time, and many others that only require minimal time. There are opportunities to serve that do not require any special skills. I started with making handing out pamphlets, handing around the basket for contributions and becoming treasurer of our Queen’s Park group. This led naturally to offering to serve as Treasurer, one of four officers, of the Regional Service Committee. One of the most rewarding service opportunities for me has been creating and managing our website.
Why do I participate in service? The answer is not an altruistic one at all. I continue to serve because of how it helps me, how it boosts my recovery. The saying that we cannot keep what we have unless we give it away is true, and it is very applicable to service work. I cannot speak for anyone else, but Nar Anon saved my life. I have absolutely no doubt that I would not be sane without it. It feels good to give back just a little of what was so freely given to me
Being of service enhances my recovery. It allows me to get more out of recovery and to grow in ways I could not otherwise. So, I challenge the reader: Find a way to be of service today. Service will enhance your recovery too!