1. People often think that their working with others is only intended to help the people they are working with.
2. While their efforts do help other people, working with others also plays a vital part in their own recovery.
3. Dr. Harry M. Tiebout was the first psychiatrist to closely examine the Twelve Step Program. You can read about him in A.A. Comes of Age, or on page 6 in R.A.'s Living In Recovery Guide.
4. He found that almost everyone he saw had some personality traits in common. They had "a narcissistic egocentric core," or as we would say today, they were selfish and self-centered.
5. He also found that joining the program and working the Twelve Steps changed someone's core personality.
6. This is the process described by the pioneers in the Big Book.
7. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book on page 26, in the second paragraph, the pioneers say:
Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now. If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it—then you are ready to follow directions.
8. This means that when someone joins the program, he or she usually makes a commitment to go to any length to find the permanent recovery found by the pioneers.
9. In Recoveries Anonymous, we ask newcomers to make several commitments to him or herself. They will be asked to make a commitment:
- To fully work all Twelve Steps by completing the Recoveries Anonymous Step Presentation.
- To start, and continue having, the vitally important Daily Quiet Time.
- To contact an R.A. sponsor on a frequent basis.
- To attend Recoveries Anonymous meetings.
- To carry the R.A. program's message of hope, sanity, and recovery, to those who still suffer.
10. In R.A., we believe it is important to note that each of these commitments involves other people!
11. Once someone starts considering other people, they are no longer purely selfish and self-centered.
12. For example, they will need to ask other people questions about the program, and listen to explanations. They may ask others to join in their Daily Quiet Time. They will need to set up a schedule to contact their R.A. sponsor, and if they won't be available, they will need to let their sponsor know. They will share at R.A. meetings, and perhaps take a service position that will help the meeting to function. They will tell others about the R.A. program, and perhaps encourage them to join.
13. Most importantly, as they work the Twelve Steps within Recoveries Anonymous, they will begin to develop a relationship with a loving Creator who will restore their sanity.
14. If the change in their core personality becomes permanent, he or she will permanently stop hurting others or themselves.
15. In R.A., working with others is a vital part of the recovery process!
16. If nothing you have done has worked up to now, try this!
17. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book, on page 41, in the first paragraph, it says:
"Practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure your own immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics. It works when other spiritual activities fail. This is our twelfth suggestion: Carry this message to other alcoholics! You can help when no one else can. You can secure their confidence when others fail. Remember they are fatally ill."
18. In R.A., we have found that one of the best ways, to learn about the program, is to explain it to someone else!
19. In his essay about the Twelfth Step, in A.A.'s 12&12, starting in the bottom paragraph on page 109, Bill Wilson writes:
"Even the newest of newcomers finds undreamed rewards as he tries to help his brother alcoholic, the one who is even blinder than he. This is indeed the kind of giving that actually demands nothing. He does not expect his brother sufferer to pay him, or even to love him. And then he discovers that by the divine paradox of this kind of giving he has found his own reward, whether his brother has yet received anything or not. His own character may still be gravely defective, but he somehow knows that God has enabled him to make a mighty beginning, and he senses that he stands at the edge of new mysteries, joys, and experiences of which he had never even dreamed."
Please use R.A.'s Questions and Answers Forum to ask any questions or make any comments about any of this.