Help Another Alcoholic – 2

Outline the program of action, explaining how how you straightened out your past and why you are now endeavoring to be helpful to him. He should realize that your attempt to pass this on to him plays a vital part in your own recovery. Actually, he may be helping you more than you are helping him. Make it plain he is under no obligation to you, that you hope only that he will try to help other alcoholics when he escapes his own difficulties.
Suggest how important it is that he place the welfare of other people ahead of his own. Make it clear that he is not under pressure, that he needn’t see you again if he doesn’t want to. You should not be offended if he wants to call it off, for he has helped you more than you have helped him. If your talk has been sane, quiet and full of human understanding, you have perhaps made a friend. Maybe you have disturbed him about the question of alcoholism. This is all to the good. The more hopeless he feels, the better. He will be more likely to follow your suggestions.
Your candidate may rebel at the thought of a drastic housecleaning which requires discussion with other people. Tell him you once felt as he does, but you doubt whether you would have made much progress had you not taken action. On your first visit tell him about the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. If he shows interest, lend him your copy of this book.
Unless your friend wants to talk further about himself, do not wear out your welcome. Give him a chance to think it over. If you do stay, let him steer the conversation is any direction he likes. Sometimes a new man is anxious to proceed at once, and you may be tempted to let him do so. This is sometimes a mistake. If he has trouble later, he is likely to say you rushed him.
Never talk down to an alcoholic from any moral or spiritual hilltop; simply show him how it worked with you. Offer him friendship and fellowship. Tell him that if he wants to get well you will do anything to help. (Continued next week)

Reprinted from the Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous, page #94-95, with permission of AA World Services, Inc.
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DNA Newspaper Mumbai Edition Published Date:  Aug 21, 2012

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