I was able to finally get to the local noon AA group here in town It had been a few weeks between meetings, so I was ready to see my AA family. The newest of the meeting attendees (about 6 months) wanted to talk about how to carry the message of recovery to those who ask for help. Evidently he hass a friend he's been trying to help who hassn't "gotten it" yet.
I have never really been on an official "middle-of-the-night" 12 Step call before, so I coudn't really sppeak to that. But, I have been to the hospital, and have worked with scores of beginners one-on-one and in meetings. I recall being "young" in sobriety, and wanting to help as many "people who need it" as I could find. I merely wanted to shre the gift I'd been given so freely in AA. This guy had the same passion in his voice. We had to remind him that even though he hadn't been "successful" in getting his friend into recovery, he had managed to stay sober himself, and had benefitted from the process of sharing his story with this friend.
We talked about the importance of going with a sponsor or two when making a 12-Step call on a potential AA. We talked about the fact that we MUST carry the AA message to others if we are to remain sober ourselves. For me, I MUST be reminded of what's out there waiting for me, lest I forget where I've come from and decide that drinking and drugging might be a good idea again. There is nothing quite like watching a newcomer "get it" but for most newcomers, this is a process and not an event. I love to share the miracle given me by my HP (God, as I understand Him) with newcomers, but I have to remember not to make demands of newcomers, not to "instruct" them, and not to be all sanctimonious and profound, especially where spirituality is concerned. I must be humble, and tell my story honestly. Hopefully, the newcomer will be ready to hear what I have to say, and will be able to relate. Then the recovery can really begin.
Even at nearly 15 years sober in AA, it is still important for me to work with other alcoholics/addicts. I can too easily get comfortable in my recovery, and allow some poor thinking and dishonesty to creep in. I must remain in contact with newcomers, old-timers in meetings and one on one. Yesterday was a great reminder of this simple fact!