Being of Service

“It is not a matter of giving that is in question, but when and how to give. That often makes the difference between failure and success. The minute we put our work on a service plane, the alcoholic commences to rely upon our assistance rather than upon God. He clamors for this or that, claiming he cannot master alcohol until his material needs are cared for. Nonsense. Some of us have taken very hard knocks to learn this truth: job or no job – wife or no wife- we simply do not stop drinking so long as we place dependence upon other people ahead of dependence on God. Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trusts in God and clean house.” – Pg.98 Working With Others from the Big Book Of Alcoholics Anonymous

It is normal to want to help other alcoholics out when they are having a hard time with problems other than alcohol however if it is not the right kind of help we could be potentially harming them as far as stunting their sobriety is concerned. After all most of us had gotten to the place where we were willing to ask for alcohol addiction help because we were so desperate. It was painful and difficult at times but we almost always came out the other side. To help out financially or with a place to stay could mean robbing someone of that experience. These struggles for many were what kept us going at times we might have given up. It’s what also makes our new sober life that much more amazing because we were so broken, and beat down that everything else seemed pretty great and we were open to the alternative life sobriety had to offer. Therefore if we come across a newcomer we can help them along the path of recovery instead of taking it on for them. If they need jobs or a home we can work with them on the steps so that they once again can become employable if they are not and we can make suggestions for sober living, an affordable rehab, AA, or rehabs that take insurance etc. We may also share our experience, strength, and hope so that they may be able to see that we went through the same struggles, were able to stay sober, and that through God and sobriety anything is possible.

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