I DISCOVERED MY TALENTS (Italy)
It was my first convention, so I knew very little about how things worked. At the registration desk, I was asked what service I could sign up for. Oh. OK. I guess that’s what people do at conventions. What is it that needs doing, clueless me asked. We don’t have enough translators.
I am fluent. I thought I’d give it a try. I ended up translating half the sessions. I did not know that I could do it. I also did not know that I could have so much fun doing it, that I could feel so free. The response was unbelievably warm–encouraging and affirming– and it broke through my defenses. I started believing in what my voice could do, and found myself with a marketable skill. At my first ERI convention, I learned that willingness to try is the ingredient with which my HP creates the miracles in my life.
THE GIFT OF GUIDANCE (Estonia)
When I found DA, I knew I had found a solution. The only DA group in the country, small and just re-established, helped me keep my recovery in focus. But how to find a sponsor? I knew I needed program experience. When I heard about the upcoming European Convention, I thought that it was my chance. I vowed not to return home without at least asking someone.
At the 2016 Convention in Ranica, I was full of enthusiasm for all the recovery I saw around me. However, I realized that I was not connecting from my core. Left to my own devices, I would re-create the relational pattern that had made me fear sponsorship. So I got down on my knees, admitted that I was incapable of making a healthy choice, and asked my Higher Power for help. I suddenly became aware of a person I had overlooked.
It took all the courage I had to ask, and I asked at the last possible moment, but I asked. I could not be happier with the result. My sponsor loved me out of my compulsive underspending, leading me with a firm and gentle hand. Today I serve in ERI, to help other debtors find recovery through connection.
AN INSPIRING VISION (UK)
The 2017 Convention at Worth was a real eye-opener for me. It was such a peaceful setting —sheep grazed in the field on my way to breakfast. Meeting members from so many different countries was both daunting and exciting. I was surprised that the business meeting was open to all. So l went, out of curiosity. l heard someone speak so passionately about the Vision for the ERI: to be a hub of connection and support for all of Europe!
I immediately wanted to be a part of that, joined the monthly ERI calls and started serving as a committee member. Being a part, however small, of something so immense—and watching it grow—is both humbling and extremely satisfying.
UNITY THROUGH DIVERSITY (France)
I believe that European debtors have a lot in common. Working to bring them together through ERI has allowed me to be of service in a way that has great meaning for me. I believe in the unity of European DA as a way to find communitas (“Unity through diversity” -Paolo Freire), on a scale that works for me. We can then build a meaningful connection with World Service.