How Do I Continue to Carry the Message of AA to Other Addicts?
The twelfth step of Alcoholics Anonymous involves a spiritual awakening that is the result of the steps the addict has followed and the promise to carry this message to other alcoholics. Sometimes, this can seem like a daunting task, but it is important to the practice––and to your own recovery––that you understand how to help other alcoholics understand and consider joining AA.
Spreading the Message Makes a Difference
Being able to see and accept how spreading the message of Alcoholics Anonymous can benefit both you and the others that you meet is essential to following the final step of the process. First, it allows you to stay involved in AA even after you feel you have found the awakening that has helped you create a more stable recovery and a happier life for yourself. In addition, understanding the importance of spreading the word of the program can help you be more committed to your own recovery as well.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Self-help groups can complement and extend the effects of professional treatment.” Therefore, the program should be an option for as many people who can be helped by it as possible. If you already know or you meet someone who is an alcoholic and could benefit from the support of AA, it is important that you provide them with the information they will need in order to join.
AA isn’t for everyone. But as long as you’re kind, courteous, and understanding of the feelings of others, people who are looking for help will often be willing to listen to you and perhaps even consider attending an AA meeting. Your task is not to ensure they come to the meetings but only to provide them with information about the program and the possibilities it can help the individual achieve. As long as you have been kind, understanding, and supportive of the feelings of those you are trying to help, you are spreading the message of the program accurately.
Honesty is one of the most important principles of AA, and its members are encouraged to be honest at all times. Therefore, if someone asks you about your meetings or another aspect of the program, it is important to answer honestly about your journey as a recovering addict. This is another way to carry the message of AA; you may not be aware that someone you are talking to is an alcoholic, butt they may see your courage and the work you have done to recover and decide to ask more about the program or find out more themselves.
It can be extremely difficult for someone to realize that they have a problem and they need treatment and support in order to stop drinking. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes in order to understand and empathize with their current plight of admitting they need help––something you may have struggled with yourself once. When speaking to them, always keep their situation in mind.
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