Working With Others (comparison)

Comparing “Working With Others” to the original manuscript for our Basic Text

Comparison Format — Colors appear here only and are — — not used in the actual comparisons. — Words above brackets are from the pre-publication version. < Bracketed copy is from our Basic Text as it reads today. > ~ Format Examples ~
Rarely have we < RARELY HAVE WE > seen a person fail who has thoroughly directions followed our < path >...
~ ~ ~
Now we think you can take it! < — — — — — > Here are the steps we took...
~ ~ ~
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our — — — — — — < conscious > contact with God < as we understood Him >...
~ ~ ~

Chapter 7 < Chapter 7 > WORKING WITH OTHERS
Practical experience < PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE > shows that nothing will so your own much insure < > immunity from drinking as intensive spiritual work with other alcoholics. It works when other < > twelfth suggestion 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 fatally fail. Remember they are < very > ill. The kick you will get is tremendous. < Life will take on new meaning. > To watch people come back to life < recover >, to see them help others, to watch lonli- ness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up about you, to have a host of friends – this is an experience you must not miss. We know you will not want to miss it. Frequent contact with newcomers and with each other is the bright spot of our lives. Perhaps you are not acquainted with any drinkers who want to recover. You can easily find some by asking a few and doctors, ministers, priests < or > hospitals. They will have your help be only too glad to < assist you >. Don't start out as an evangelist or reformer. Unfortunately a lot of prejudice exists. You will be handicapped if you arouse it. Preachers don't like to be told they don't < Ministers > and doctors < > know their business. They usually < > are < > competent and you can learn much from them if you wish, but it happens that because of your own drinking experience you can be uniquely useful to other alcoholics. So cooperate; never criticize. should be your To be helpful < is our > only aim.



     When you discover a prospect for Alcoholics Anonymous,   
find out all you can about him.  If he does not want to stop  
drinking, don't waste time trying to persuade him.  You may   
spoil a later opportunity.  This advice is given for his      
family also.  They < should > be patient, realizing they are  
dealing with a sick person.                                   

     If there is any indication that he wants to stop, have   
a good talk with the person most interested in him – usually  
his wife.  Get an idea of his behavior, his problems, his     
background, the seriousness of his condition, and his reli-   
gious leanings.  You need this information to put yourself    
in his place, to see how you would like him to approach you   
if the tables were turned.                                    

     < Sometimes > it is wise to wait till he goes on a binge.
The family may object to this, but unless he is in a dangerous
physical condition, it is better to risk it.  Don't deal with 
him when he is very drunk, unless he is ugly and the family   
needs your help.  Wait for the end of the spree, or at least  
for a lucid interval.  Then let his family or a friend ask him
if he wants to quit for good and if he would go to any extreme
to do so.  If he says yes, then his attention should be drawn 
to you as a person who has recovered.  You should be described
to him as one of a fellowship who, as < > part of their own   
fellowship who, as < > part of their own recovery, try to help
others < > and who will be glad to talk to him if he cares to 
see you.                                                      

     If he does not want to see you, never force yourself upon
him.  Neither should the family hysterically plead with him to
do anything, nor should they tell him much about you.  They   
should wait for the end of his next drinking bout.  You might 
place this book where he can see it in the interval.  Here no 
specific rule can be given.  The family must decide these     



things.  But urge them not to be over-anxious, for that might 
spoil matters.                                                

            The                                 represent     
     < Usually the > family should not try to < tell your >   
< story >.  When possible, avoid meeting a man through his    
family.  Approach through a doctor or an institution is a     
better bet.  If your man needs hospitalization, he should     
have it, but not forcibly < > unless he is violent.  Let the  

doctor < , if he will, > tell him < that > he has something   
<   > in the way of a solution.                               

     When your man is better, <   > the doctor < might >      
suggest a visit from you.  Though you have talked with the    
family, leave them out of the first discussion.  Under these  
conditions your prospect will see he is under no pressure.    
He will feel he can deal with you without being nagged by his 
family.  Call on him while he is still jittery.  He < may > be
more receptive when depressed.                                

     See your man alone, if possible.  At first engage in     
general conversation.  After a while, turn the talk to some   
phase of drinking.  < Tell him > enough about your drinking   
habits, symptoms, and experiences to encourage him to speak   
of himself.  If he wishes to talk, let him do so.  You will   
thus get a better idea of how you ought to proceed.  If he is 
not communicative, give him a sketch of your drinking career  
up to the time you quit.  But say nothing, for the moment,    
of how that was accomplished.  If he is in a serious mood < > 

dwell on the troubles liquor has caused you, being careful    
not to moralize or < lecture >.  If his mood is light, tell   
him humorous stories of your escapades.  Get him to tell      
some of his.                                                  

     When he sees you know all about the drinking game,       
commence to describe yourself as an alcoholic.                



Tell him how baffled you were, how you finally learned that   
               as well as weak                                
you were sick <               >.  Give him an account of the  

struggles you made to stop.  Show him the mental twist which  
leads to the first drink of a spree.  < We suggest you do >   
this as we have done it in the chapter on alcoholism.  If he  
is alcoholic, he will understand you at once.  He will match  
your mental inconsistencies with some of his own.             

     If you are satisfied that he is a real alcoholic, <   >  
<   > begin to dwell on the hopeless feature of the malady.   
Show him, from your own experience, how the queer mental      
condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal        

functioning of the will power.  Don't < , > at this stage     

< , > refer to this book, unless he has seen it and wishes    

to discuss it.  And be careful not to brand him < as > an     
alcoholic.  Let him draw his own conclusion.  If he sticks    
to the idea that he can still control his drinking, tell      
him that possibly he can – if he is not too alcoholic.        
But insist that if he is severely afflicted, there < may be > 
little chance he can recover by himself.                      

                                          a sickness          
     Continue to speak of alcoholism as < an illness >, a     

fatal malady.  Talk about the conditions of body and mind     
which accompany it.  Keep his attention < focussed > mainly   
                               If doctors or psychiatrists    
on your personal experience.  <                           >   
 have pronounced you incurable, be sure and let him know      
<                                                       >     
 about it.                                                    
<         >  Explain that many are doomed who never realize   
                             who know the truth               
their predicament.  Doctors <                  > are rightly  

loath to tell alcoholic patients the whole story unless it    
                                , but                         
will serve some good purpose < .  But > you may talk to him   
about the hopelessness of alcoholism < > because you offer    
a solution.  You will soon have your friend admitting he has  
many, if not all, of the traits of the alcoholic.  If his own 
doctor is willing to tell him that he is alcoholic, so much   
the better.  Even though your protege may not have            



entirely admitted his condition, he has become very curious   
to know how you got well.  Let him ask you that question, if  
           If he does not ask, proceed with the rest of your  
he will.  <                                                 > 
 story.  Tell him exactly what happened to you.               
<        Tell him exactly what happened to you. >             

Stress the spiritual feature freely.  If the man be agnostic  
                                    he does not have to       
or atheist, make it emphatic that < he does not have to >     
  agree with your conception of God                           
< agree with your conception of God >.  He can choose         

any conception he likes, provided it makes sense to him.      
  The main thing is that he be willing to believe in a        
< The main thing is that he be willing to believe in a >      
  Power greater than himself and that he live by spiritual    
< Power greater than himself and that he live by spiritual >  
< principles. >                                               

     When dealing with such a person, you had better use      
everyday language to describe spiritual principles.  There    
is no use arousing any prejudice he may have against certain  
theological terms and conceptions < > about which he may      
already be confused.  Don't raise such issues, no matter      
what your own convictions are.                                

     Your prospect may belong to a religious denomination.    
His religious education and training may be far superior to   
yours.  In that case he is going to wonder how you can add    
anything to what he already knows.  But he will be curious    
to learn why his own <         > convictions have not worked  
 ,                     have given you victory                 
< > and < why > yours < seem to work so well >.  He may be    
an example of the truth that faith alone is insufficient.     
To be vital, faith must be accompanied by self sacrifice and  
unselfish, constructive action.  Let him see that you are not 
there to instruct him in religion.  Admit that he probably    
knows more about it than you do, but call to his attention    
the fact that however deep his faith and knowledge, <  he >   
   must be something wrong,                            Say    
< could not have applied it > or he would not drink.  <   >   
    that perhaps you can                           fails      
< Perhaps your story will > help him see where he <     >     
     to apply to himself                                      
<  has failed to practice  > the very precepts he knows       
           For our purpose you                                
so well.  <        We         > represent no                  


particular faith or denomination.  < We > are dealing only    
with general principles common to most denominations.         

               our                        telling him         
     Outline < the > program of action, < explaining > how    

you made a self-appraisal, how you straightened out your      
past < > and why you are now endeavoring to be helpful        

to him.  < It is important for him to realize that your >     

< attempt to pass this on to him plays a vital part in >      

< your own recovery.  Actually, he may be helping you more >  

< than you are helping him. >  Make it plain he is under no   
obligation to you, that you hope only that he will try to     
help other alcoholics when he escapes his own difficulties.   
< Suggest > how important it is that he place the welfare     

of other people ahead of his own.  Make it clear that he is   
not under pressure, that he needn't see you again < > if he   
doesn't want to.  You should not be offended if he wants to   
call it off, for he has helped you more than you have helped  
him.  If your talk has been sane, quiet and full of human     
understanding, you have < perhaps > made a friend.  Maybe you 
have disturbed him about the question of alcoholism.  This is 
all to the good.  The more hopeless he feels, the better.  He 
will be more likely to follow your suggestions.               

     Your candidate may give reasons why he need not follow   
         your                 will                            
all of < the > program.  He < may > rebel at the thought of   
a drastic housecleaning which requires discussion with other  
people.  Do not contradict such views.  Tell him you once     
felt as he does, but you doubt < whether > you would have made

much progress had you not taken action.  On your first visit  
tell him about the < Fellowship > of Alcoholics Anonymous.    
If he shows interest, lend him your copy of this book.        



     Unless your friend wants to talk further about himself,  
do not wear out your welcome.  Give him a chance to think it  
over.  If you do stay, let him steer the conversation in any  
direction he likes.  Sometimes a new man is anxious to <    > 
 a decision and discuss his affairs                           
<            proceed               > at once, and you may be  
                    proceed             almost always         
tempted to let him < do so >.  This is <  sometimes  > a mis- 
take.  If he has trouble later, he is likely to say you rushed
him.  You will be most successful with alcoholics if you do   
not exhibit any passion for cru- sade or reform.  Never talk  
down to an alcoholic from any moral or spiritual hilltop < ; >
simply lay out < the > kit of spiritual tools for his inspec- 
tion.  Show him how they worked with you.  Offer him friend-  
ship and fellowship.  Tell him that if he wants to get well   
you will do anything to help.                                 

     If he is not interested in your solution, if he expects  
you to act only as a banker for his financial difficulties    

or a nurse for his sprees, < you may have to > drop him       

until he changes his mind.  This he may do after he gets      
hurt < some more >.                                           

     If he is sincerely interested and wants to see you       
                   be sure to                                 
again, ask him to <          > read this book in the interval.
                       is to                                  
After doing that, he < must > decide for himself whether he   
                        is          to                        
wants to go on.  He < should > not <  > be pushed or prodded  
by you, his wife, or his friends.  If he is to find God, the  
desire must come from within.                                 

     If he thinks he can do the job in some other way,        
or prefers some other < spiritual > approach, encourage him   
to follow his own conscience.  < We > have no monopoly on God,
  you                                             you         
< we > merely have an approach that worked with < us >.  But  
point out that we alcoholics have much in common and that you 
would like, in any case, to be friendly.  Let it go at that.  



     Do not be discouraged if your prospect does not respond  
at once.  Search out another alcoholic and try again.  You are
sure to find someone desperate enough to accept with eagerness
eagerness what you offer.  < We find it > a waste of time     
 and poor strategy                                            
<                 > to keep chasing a man who cannot or       

will not work with you.  If you leave such a person alone,    
 in all likelihood he will begin to run after you, for        
<                                                     >       
he < may > soon become convinced that he cannot recover       
< by himself >.  To spend too much time on any one situation  

is to deny some other alcoholic an opportunity to live and    
be happy.  One of our < Fellowship > failed entirely with his 
first half dozen prospects.  He often says that if he had     
continued to work on them, he might have deprived many others,
who have since recovered, of their chance.                    

     Suppose now you are making your second visit to a man.   
He has read this volume and says he is prepared to go through 
           twelve steps of The Program of Recovery            
with the < Twelve Steps of the program of recovery >.  Having 

had the experience yourself, you can give him much practical  

advice.  < Let him know you are available if he wishes to >   
          Suggest he                his            with you   
< available if he wishes to > make < a > decision <        >  
and tell <   > his story, but do not insist upon it if he     
prefers to consult someone else.                              

     He may be broke and homeless.  If he is, < you might >   
                                       .  Give                
try to help him about getting a job < , or give > him a little
                         , unless it would                    
financial assistance < .  But you should not > deprive your   
family or creditors of money they should have.  Perhaps you   
will want to take the man into your home for a few days.      
But be sure you use discretion.  Be certain he will be wel-   
comed by your family, and that he is not trying to impose     
upon you for money, connections, or shelter.  Permit that     
and you only harm him.  You will be making it possible for    
him to be insincere.                                          


      will                                ,                   
You < may > be aiding in his destruction < > rather than his  

     Never avoid these responsibilities, but be sure you are  
doing the right thing if you assume them.  <    Helping   >   
<   > others is the foundation stone of your recovery.  A     
kindly act once in a while isn't enough.  You have to act     
the Good Samaritan every day, if need be.  It may mean the    
loss of many nights' sleep, great interference with your      
pleasures, interruptions to your business.  It may mean shar- 
ing your money and your home, counseling frantic wives and    
relatives, innumerable trips to police courts, sanitariums,   
hospitals, jails and asylums.  Your telephone may jangle at   
any time of the day or night.  Your wife < may > sometimes    
say she is neglected.  A drunk may smash the furniture in     
your home, or burn a mattress.  You may have to fight with    
him if he is violent.  Sometimes you will have to call a doc- 
tor and administer sedatives under his direction.  Another    
time you may have to send for the police or an ambulance.     

< Occasionally you will have to meet such conditions. >       

      This sort of thing goes on constantly, but we           
     <                                         We  > seldom   
allow an alcoholic to live in our homes for long at a time.   
It is not good for him, and it sometimes creates serious      
complications in a family.                                    

     Though an alcoholic does not respond, there is no        
reason why you should neglect his family.  You should         
                                 in every way                 
continue to be friendly to them <            >.  The          

family should be offered your way of life.  Should they       
accept < > and practice spiritual principles, there is        

a much better chance < that > the head of the head of         
the family will recover.  And even though he continues        
to drink, the family will find life more bearable.            

     For the type of alcoholic who is able and willing to     



get well, little charity, in the ordinary sense of the word,  
is needed or wanted.  The men who cry for money and shelter   
before conquering alcohol, are on the wrong track.  Yet we do 
go to great extremes to provide each other with these very    
things, when such action is warranted.  This may seem incon-  

sistent, but < we think > it is not.                          

     It is not the 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 and 
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   
                                        No person on this     
he can get well regardless of anyone.  <                 >    
 earth can stop his recovery from alcohol, or prevent his     
<                                                        >    
 being supplied with whatever is good for him.                
<                                             >  The only     
condition is that he trust in God and clean house.            

     Now, the domestic problem: There may be divorce,         
< separation >, or just strained relations.  When your        
prospect has made such < reparation > as he can to his        
family, and has thoroughly explained to them the new          
principles by which he is living, he should proceed to        
put those principles into action at home.  That is, if        
he is lucky enough to have a home.  Though his family         
be at fault in many respects, he should not be concerned      
about that.  He should concentrate on his own spiritual       
demonstration.  Argument and fault-finding are to be          
avoided like < the plague >.  In many homes this is a         



difficult thing to do, but it must be done if any results are 
to be expected.  If persisted in for a few months, the effect 
on a man's family is sure to be great.  The most incompatible 
people discover they have a basis upon which they can meet.   
Little by little the family < may > see their own defects and 
admit them.  These can then be discussed in an atmosphere of  
helpfulness and friendliness.                                 

     After they have seen tangible results, the family will   
                 join in the better way of life               
perhaps want to <           go along           >.  These      
things will come to pass naturally and in good time < > pro-  
vided, however, the alcoholic continues to demonstrate that   
he can be sober, considerate, and helpful, regardless of what 
anyone says or does.  Of course, we all fall much below this  
standard many times.  But we must try to repair the damage    
immediately lest we pay the penalty by a spree.               

     If there be divorce or < separation >, there should be   

no undue haste for the couple to get together.  The man should
be sure of his < recovery >.  The wife should fully understand

his new way of life.  If their old relationship is to be re-  
       ,                                            old one   
sumed < > it must be on a better basis, since the < former >  
did not work.  This means a new attitude and spirit all       
around.  Sometimes it is to the best interests of all concern-
ed that a couple remain apart.  Obviously, no rule can be laid
                                       new way of life        
down.  Let the alcoholic continue his <    program    > day by
day.  When the time for living together has come, it will be  
apparent to both parties.                                     

     Let no alcoholic say he cannot recover unless he has his 
family back.  This just isn't so.  In some cases the wife will
never come back for one reason or another.  Remind < the >    
prospect that his recovery is not dependent                   



upon people.  It is dependent upon his relationship with      
God.  We have seen men get well whose families have not       
returned at all.  We have seen others slip when the family    
came back too soon.                                           

     Both you and the new <  man   > must < walk > day by     
day <    > in the path of spiritual progress.  If you persist,
                               to you                         
remarkable things will happen <      >.  When we look back,   

we realize that the things which came to us when we put our-  
                                   for us                     
selves in God's hands were better <      > than anything we   
could have planned.  Follow the dictates of a Higher Power    
and you will presently live in a new and wonderful world,     
no matter what your present circumstances!                    

     When working with a man and his family, you < should >   

take care not to participate in their quarrels.  You may      
                                                    you may   
spoil your chance of being helpful if you do.  But <       >  

urge upon a man's family that he has been a very sick person  
and should be treated accordingly.  You should warn <    >    
against arousing resentment or jealousy.  You should point    
out that his defects of character are not going to disappear  
over night.  Show them that he has entered upon a period of   
growth.  Ask them to remember, when they are impatient, the   
blessed fact of his sobriety.                                 

     If you have been successful in solving your own          
domestic problems, tell the newcomer's family how that        
was accomplished.  In this way you can set them on the        
right track without becoming critical of them.  The story     
of how you and your wife settled your difficulties is worth   
               preaching or                                   
any amount of <            > criticism.                       

     Assuming we are spiritually fit, we can do all sorts of  
things alcoholics are not supposed to do.  People have said   
we must not go where liquor is served; we                     



must not have it in our homes; we must shun friends who drink;
we must avoid moving pictures which show drinking scenes; we  
< must not > go into bars; our friends must hide their bottles

if we go to their houses; we mustn't think or be reminded     
                                Experience proves             
about alcohol at all.  < Our experience shows that > this is  
< not necessarily so >.                                       

     We meet these conditions every day.  An alcoholic who    
cannot meet them, still has an alcoholic mind; there is some- 
thing the matter with his spiritual status.  His only chance  
for sobriety would be some place like the Greenland Ice Cap,  
and even there an Eskimo might turn up with a bottle of scotch
and ruin everything!  Ask any woman who has sent her husband  
to distant places on the theory he would escape the alcohol   

     < In our belief any > scheme of combating alcoholism     
which proposes to shield the sick man from temptation is      
doomed to failure.  If the alcoholic tries to shield him-     
      ,                                       will wind       
self < > he may succeed for a time, but < he usually winds >  
                                        Our wives and we      
up with a bigger explosion than ever.  <        We      >     
have tried these methods.  These <       > attempts to do the 
impossible have always failed.                                

     So our rule is not to avoid a place where there is       
            if we have a legitimate reason for being there    
drinking, < if we have a legitimate reason for being there >. 
That includes bars, nightclubs, dances, receptions, weddings, 
even plain ordinary whoopee parties.  To a person who has had 
experience with an alcoholic, this may seem like tempting     
Providence, but it isn't.                                     

     You will note that we made an important qualification.   
Therefore, ask yourself on each occasion, "Have I any         
<   good   > social, business, or personal reason for going   
                 Am I going to be helpful to any one there?   
to this place?  <                                          >  
 Could I be more useful or helpful by being  somewhere else?  
<                                                           > 

< Or am I expecting to steal a little vicarious pleasure >    

< from the atmosphere of such places? >"                      



If you answer these questions satisfactorily, you need have   
                    You may go                  whatever      
no apprehension.  <    Go    > or stay away, < whichever >    
seems best.  But be sure you are on solid spiritual ground    
before you start and that your motive in going is thoroughly  
good.  Do not think of what you will get out of the occasion. 
Think of what you can bring to it.  But if you are            
<           > shaky, you had better work with another         
alcoholic instead!                                            

      You are not to                                          
     <      Why     > sit with a long face in places where    
there is drinking, sighing about the good old days.  If it    
is a happy occasion, try to increase the pleasure of those    
there; if a business occasion, go and attend to your business 
enthusiastically.  If you are with a person who wants to eat  
in a bar, by all means go along.  Let your friends know they  
are not to change their habits on your account.  At a proper  
time and place explain to all your friends why alcohol disa-  
                                             no decent person 
grees with you.  If you do this thoroughly, <   few people   >
will ask you to drink.  While you were drinking, you were     
withdrawing from life little by little.  Now you are getting  

back into the < social > life of this world.  Don't start to  
          from life                                           
withdraw <         > again just because your friends drink    

     Your job is now to be at the place where you may be      
of maximum helpfulness to others, so never hesitate to go     
 where there is drinking,                                     
<        anywhere        > if you can be helpful.  You should 

not hesitate to visit the most sordid spot on earth on such   
   a mission                                                  
< an errand >.  Keep on the firing line of life with these    
motives < > and God will keep you unharmed.                   

     Many of us keep liquor in our homes.  We often need it   
to carry green recruits through a severe hangover.  Some of   
                                  in moderation,              
us still serve it to our friends <              > provided    
          people who do       abuse drinking                  
they are <             > not <  alcoholic   >.  But some      
of us think we should not serve liquor to anyone.  We never   
argue this question.                                          



We feel that each family, in the light of their own circum-   
stances, ought to decide for themselves.                      

     We are careful never to show intolerance or hatred of    
drinking as an institution.  Experience shows that such an    
attitude is not helpful to anyone.  Every new alcoholic looks 
for this spirit among us and is immensely relieved when he    
finds we are not witch-burners.  A spirit of intolerance      
repel alcoholics whose lives < could > have been saved, had   
not been for < such > stupidity.  We would not even do the    

cause of temperate drinking any good, for not one drinker     
               is willing                                     
in a thousand <  likes   > to be told anything about alcohol  
by one who hates it.                                          

     Some day we hope that Alcoholics Anonymous will help     
the public to a better realization of the gravity of the      
    liquor               .  We                                
< alcoholic > problem < , but we > shall be of little use if  
our attitude is one of bitterness or hostility.  Drinkers     
will not stand for it.                                        

       After all, our troubles were of our own making.        
     < After all, our problems were of our own making. >      
  Bottles were only a symbol.  Besides, we have stopped       
< Bottles were only a symbol.  Besides, we have stopped >     
  fighting anybody or anything.  We have to!                  
< fighting anybody or anything.  We have to! >                

e-aa discussion of Working With Others