Step by Step
Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015
“Helping others is the foundation stone of your recovery. A kindly act once in a while isn’t enough. You have to act the Good Samaritan every day, if need be. It may mean the loss of many nights’ sleep, great interference with your pleasures, interruptions to your business. It may mean sharing your money and your home, counseling frantic (spouses) and relatives, innumerable trips to police courts, sanitariums, hospitals, jails and asylums. Your telephone may jangle at any time of the day or night. …A drunk may smash the furniture in your home, or burn a mattress. You may have to fight with him if he is violent. Sometimes you will have to call a doctor and administer sedatives under his direction.” – Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Ch 7 (“Working With Others”), p 97.
Today, just as I was responsible for the consequences of my drinking, so I am also responsible to sobriety and recovery. Both are a gift, and they require nurturing and work to grow. “(T)he foundation stone of …recovery” is helping others, that is, carrying the AA message to others who need and want it. But in our work, we must understand that we are also required to stress individual obligation to sobriety, that it is neither a right nor given without responsibility. The work of the truly effective and committed 12th-stepper is seldom limited to just talking to someone who cries for help. But the work to carry the message and in the process holding onto it is nowhere near the work needed to get and stay drunk. And our common journey continues. Step by step. – Chris M., 2015