In 1995, I was just a few weeks into the program when a group of women I had met invited me to attend the Ontario Regional Conference (ORC). I had no idea what this was but gladly accepted – I was terribly lonely and was excited for the company. As I was still in a fog, I didn’t know what to expect.
When I arrived at the ORC late Friday afternoon after work I was overwhelmed by the number of people at the event. We started the meetings in the usual fashion, saying the Serenity Prayer, and ended the meeting holding hands and saying the Lord’s Prayer. It was overwhelming, exciting, exhilarating and terrifying all at the same time.
At some point that weekend, Patti O. got up to share her experience strength and hope. At first, all I could see was how different she was from me – older (probably the same age I am now), with gray scraggly hair. And she was missing a few teeth. At the beginning of her talk, she made a joke about drinking perfume and I was pretty much done. I wanted out!
But as she continued to share, my ears opened up just enough to hear her story. She began sharing her experience with the 12 steps. I will never forget what she shared about Step 3. She said she didn’t hang around with the people who debate who and what God is. She hangs around with the people who just do it – and how you do Step 3 is you do the rest of the steps.
I don’t know why that penetrated my brain that day, but it did. And it became a cornerstone of my program.
Today, I think back on that time fondly. It is just one of reasons I love the ORC. Every year I have attended the ORC, there has been at least one speaker that has spoken to my heart and left a mark on me. This year, it is a privilege to be on the ORC Committee and assist in putting on this amazing conference. My hope is that someone else will hear a little gem that will help them on their sobriety journey.
By Lisa W., Graphics Co-ordinator 2018 ORC Committee