After bouncing in and out of AA for about a year I knew if I wanted to stay sober I needed to do something different. I heard a guy at a meeting mention a conference down in Hyannis, briefly explained it and I was interested in seeing what it was about. I grabbed a couple of guys and drove an hour south to check it out. I was newly sober, didn’t know anyone down there. I saw people doing spirit fingers, dancing on their chairs, laughing and enjoying life. Then there was the kids outside smoking cigarettes where I spent most of my time awkwardly introducing myself to people and connecting with them on Facebook. I later heard about a bigger conference where people cross country would travel to get together, ICYPAA, it was being hosted down in Miami. Never being on a plane I decided I would register and try getting some people from the area to drive down with me. I posted on the ICYPAA Facebook page and ended up driving down there with four people I’ve never met before. What an experience!
When I was in Miami I met a lot of people from the Boston area that I never knew before. They told me they were on a committee trying to get ICYPAA in Boston. Curious about what it was all about I went to the bid skits and sat in the chair as Boston went up to put on their presentation. When they didn’t win I was just as disappointed after hearing all the work they out into it. I immediately wanted to get involved. Couple months later a friend told me to come check out the meeting. They were giving out positions and I took Service Chair because nobody else was interested in it. Having no clue what I was doing the group came together and explained it and the co-chair took majority of the stress from me.
I continue to bring new guys to these bid committee meetings, although they don’t understand what is going on, I feel it opens their minds to a new experience. Since then I’ve done a lot of outreaching and traveling to other area conventions. I continue to come because I know that if ICYPAA was hosted in Boston, there would be a large attendance of young alcoholics statewide, that can’t afford to travel out of state. I believe these conferences bring a new light to these new way of life.