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Working with others

bib book i

At times we hear the expression: “Take the cotton out of your ears and stick it in your mouth,” or worse, “Shut your toilet,” spoken to new comers.  I have even heard of groups who don’t allow a newcomer to share until after a year.

What does the Big Book say about that?

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. BB p-91

My personal experience is that being able to express my state of mind during early recovery calmed the storm in my head and helped develop some spiritual values such as being humble and honest which I value much today.  I am grateful for a group who gave me their unconditional love.  Hearing other newcomers talk today keeps me grounded and centered.  It reminds me of what I mess I was and lets me be thankful to my Higher Power for saving me.

The Big Book quotation above, in my opinion, suggests that we encourage the newcomer to speak out.

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.”
― Ernest Hemingway


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