Our job is to explain our approach and win their confidence.
But the ex-problem drinker (addict) who has found this solution, who is properly armed with facts about them self, can generally win the entire confidence of another alcoholic (addict) in a few hours. Until such an understanding is reached, little or nothing can be accomplished.
That the person who is making the approach has had the same difficulty (pattern of addiction), that they obviously know what they are talking about, that their whole deportment shouts at the new prospect that they are a person with a real answer, that they have no attitude of Holier Than Thou (we are not saints nor are we crusaders or mission makers), nothing whatever except the sincere desire to be helpful; that there are no fees to pay (Big Book Sponsorship has to be FREE), no axes to grind (we’re not here to have windy arguments or frothy debates with you), no people to please (no “ass-kissing”), no lectures to be endured (we are not here to run your life) these are the conditions we have found most effective. After such an approach many take up their beds and walk again. (p. 18-19, A.A. 4th Edition)
Practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking (using, acting out in a compulsive-obsessive behaviour) as intensive work with other alcoholics (addicts). It works when other activities fail. This is our twelfth suggestion: Carry this message to other alcoholics (addicts)! You can help when no one else can. You can secure their confidence when others fail. Remember they are very ill. (p. 89, A.A. 4th Edition)
This seemed to prove that one alcoholic (addict) could affect another as no nonalcoholic (non-addict) could. It also indicated that strenuous work, one alcoholic (addict) with another, was vital to permanent recovery.
(p. xvi – xvii, A.A. 4th Edition)
We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others. (p.132, A.A. 4th Edition)
But if you are shaky you had better work with another alcoholic (addict) instead.
(p. 102, A.A. 4th Edition)
Helping others is the foundation stone of your recovery. A kindly act once in a while isn’t enough. (p. 97, A.A. 4th Edition)
It is important for them (newcomer) to realize that your attempt to pass this on to them plays a vital part in your recovery. Actually, they may be helping you more than you are helping them. (p. 94, A.A. 4th Edition)