“Helping a newcomer to bridge the gap between the cocoon like life in a hospital or treatment center and becoming sober, active member in the Fellowship is possibly the oldest, and one of the most critical, challenges Alcoholics Anonymous holds out to any of it’s members.”
The story of how in 1935 Bill W. and Dr. Bob S. visited A.A. number three, Bill D.- known as “the man on the bed”-in an Akron, Ohio, hospital has become a Fellowship legend. Dr. Bob’s Herculean Twelfth-Step activities at St. Thomas Hospital before his death in 1950 is another. So spectacular were the thousands of recoveries attributed to Dr. Bob and nurse Sister Ignatia, that Bill frequently referred to his co-founder as “the Prince of twelve-steppers.”
Barely sober alcoholics today may come from one of several different sorts of institutions, after which they are encouraged to start working the A.A. program as soon as possible. For many, this is not quite as simple as it sounds. Where do they go? What do they do? Whom can they trust?