The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous states on page 19 that “we feel that the elimination of our drinking is but a beginning. A much more important demonstration of our principles lies before us in our respective homes, occupations and affairs.” This means that we need to apply what we have learned by taking the steps to our daily lives and interactions with others. Yes, putting down the bottle is a monumental accomplishment. But incorporating the principles in our thinking and behavior can be quite a task. This is accomplished through time and consciously being aware of how we are behaving towards others.
Application of the principles found in this book is the key to a sober and happy life. The book states that we become happy, joyous and free. This freedom from the bondage of self can be quite exhilarating. We no longer have to make excuses for ourselves. We are now able to be honest and forthright with others. The joyous part describes how we feel after being released from a doomed alcoholic existence to a life full of purpose and meaning. Before sobriety we were as beasts to roaming the earth looking for our next drink. Never mind if we stepped on anyone’s toes or hurt them emotionally. So naturally our new way of life produces great happiness for us.
In trudging the road of happy destiny, we encounter new suffering souls just coming into the program. We may shake hands and greet the new person while welcoming them to the meeting. We try to be friendly with them, but we allow them to take the lead (page 96). If they show interest in recovery, we may begin to share pieces of our past that possibly this new person can identify with. Perhaps our story resonates quite strongly with this person. We hear them saying something to the effect of “yeh that’s me. I do that too when I drink.”
So, you see our story becomes our experience, strength and hope which we pass on to newcomers. They say we have to give it away to keep it. This is very true in order to maintain our sobriety and grow in the program. So, our story becomes one of our greatest assets. Working with others becomes the bright spot of our lives as we share what has been so freely given to us.