Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions


we are to confide. Here we ought to take much care, remem-
bering that prudence is a virtue which carries a high rating.
Perhaps we shall need to share with this person facts about
ourselves which no others ought to know. We shall want
to speak with someone who is experienced, who not only
has stayed dry but has been able to surmount other serious
difficulties. Difficulties, perhaps, like our own. This person
may turn out to be one's sponsor, but not necessarily so. If
you have developed a high confidence in him, and his tem-
perament and problems are close to your own, then such a
choice will be good. Besides, your sponsor already has the
advantage of knowing something about your case.

Perhaps, though, your relation to him is such that you
would care to reveal only a part of your story. If this is
the situation, by all means do so, for you ought to make
a beginning as soon as you can. It may turn out, however,
that you'll choose someone else for the more difficult and
deeper revelations. This individual may be entirely outside
of A.A. —for example, your clergyman or your doctor. For
some of us, a complete stranger may prove the best bet.

The real tests of the situation are your own willingness
to confide and your full confidence in the one with whom
you share your first accurate self-survey. Even when you've
found the person, it frequently takes great resolution to ap-
proach him or her. No one ought to say the A.A. program
requires no willpower; here is one place you may require
all you've got. Happily, though, the chances are that you
will be in for a very pleasant surprise. When your mission
is carefully explained, and it is seen by the recipient of your
confidence how helpful he can really be, the conversation