One of the most rewarding aspects of sobriety, and one of the simplest, is working with another alcoholic with the hope of no more reward than they kick addiction as you did. Watching the addiction clouds part and the sun shine on a newly recovering drunk or addict is glorious to watch. When you see another experience the delight of freedom for the first time in a long time, well it just doesn’t get any better than that.
We get to experience that feeling all over again for ourselves.
The key to working with others is our experience. It’s tough to give someone something we don’t have ourselves. In fact, if one wishes to know if they’re “working the program” properly, that first few times they go to work with someone else, it should scare the hell out of them. We should wonder if we’ve got enough good to pass on to someone else, but know that’s what we have to do to stay sober, so we push through it and give freely.
This is how we know we’ve got the proper amount of humility. If not, it helps to knock ourselves down a few pegs.
There is action and more action. “Faith without works is dead”. … To be helpful is our only aim. – Alcoholics Anonymous page 88-89
And it’s as simple as that.
If we want to know how our recovery is working, all we need do is work with someone who is new to the program. If we are down, we help someone else get out of their hole – this, by the way, works for depression as well. I always find it interesting that the psychiatric community has yet to embrace “working with others” as a viable aid in coming out of depression. I have a feeling it has a lot to do with the fact there’s no money changing hands in that. Anyway, I digress.
When we help someone else, not only do we remember how to help ourselves, we remember how good we’ve got it in the first place. That is a pretty wonderful place to be.
Thanks for reading. Ride hard, my friends.