Practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics. It works when other activities fail. This is our twelfth suggestion: Carry this message to other alcoholics! You can help when no one else can. You can secure their confidence when others fail. Remember they are very ill.
Life will take on new meaning. To watch people recover, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up about you, to have a host of friends — this is an experience you must not miss. We know you will not want to miss it. Frequent contact with newcomers and with each other is the bright spot of our lives. (A.A. pg 89)
What has been your experience of working with others addicts? Have you stayed sober or clean as a result of working with other alcoholics or addicts?
5 thoughts on “Working with Others”
I started working with other addicts in June 2005. Since that time I have shown 104 addicts, most of which are of the hopeless variety how to work the steps. My experience has been similar to what Bill W. and Dr. Bob said, – "There were many failures, but there was an occasional heartening success." (pg xvi. A.A. 4th Edition). And, like Bill W., I seem to succeed only in staying sober and clean myself. I was an addict for 26 years, who could not stop, even when I wanted to stop, but now, thanks to this simple program, I have several years of freedom from alcohol and drugs.
Carrying the message to other addicts is a bright spot in my day, and I do it with great joy and gratitude. Newcomers play a vital part in my recovery and they often help me more than I think I am helping them. I think of it as "spiritual banking" or as Dr. Bob said, "I spend a great deal of time passing on what I learned to others who want and need it badly. I do it for four reasons: 1. Sense of duty; 2. It is a pleasure; 3. Because in so doing I am paying my debt to the man who took time to pass it on to me; 4. Because every time I do it I take out a little more insurance for myself against a possible slip." (pg. 181 A.A. 4th Edition)
If your new to AA, NA, Ca, AAA, etc. Please understand that the steps were meant to be worked like some others shared, in a few hours or so. The Big Book was mean’t to be an "ego" deflater, not inflater." Endlessly speaking about the steps means nothing. The Big Book states that most alcoholics/addicts have a Grace period of about a week or month, then it will be forgoten how bad it was out there. Whats the solution? A Change in your thinking/psychic change… That will not happen by studying the steps, it comes by taking the steps…
When do you take the steps? It tells us exactly when in the Big Book. (BB. Pg.58…If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it — then you are ready to take certain steps… There’s a good guide on this site, for free, to take the steps, or the Back to Basics guide is a very precise, simple guide…
I will second that emotion, lol! I have worked in the substance abuse community for about 15 years. Not only does it keep me from "using"….it keeps me sane! It it can be very disheartening at times…hearing all of the heartbreaking stories, but very fulfilling. Our organization is also the resource online for MA,, Methadone Anonymous.
All this being said, if I can be of help to anyone anytime, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line or stop by!
(p.14 of the Big Book) …Particularly was it imperative to work with others as he had worked with me. Faith without works was dead, he said. And how appallingly true for the alcoholic! For if an alcoholic failed to perfect and enlarge his spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others, he could not survive the certain trials and low spots ahead. If he did not work, he would surely drink again…
Working with others is not optional… it is imperative.
Please try working with others if you are having difficulty staying sober. We have lots of handouts to help you along and lots of Beginners Meetings to teach you how to teach others. There is no excuse for anymore not to try to save another addict’s life.
Bang on…step 10 tells us,we now grow in understanding and application.do 1-9 have an awakening quick….then start to understand and apply it daily…thank god I found one of the few who still no this.Theres work to be done.lots of it. its simple aye!