~Big Book, pg 96 wrote: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 what you offer. We find it a waste of time
to keep chasing a man who cannot or will not work with
you. If you leave such a person alone, 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.
The gift of desperation.
Alcoholics are great starters -- they just don't finish well.
I'm not sure if Bill was embellishing when he wrote the above -- about the one that failed with his first half-dozen, or, if this was a success story!
When we look back on Bill's experiences before he hooked up w/ Dr. Bob (the first one that stayed sober as a result of Bill's efforts) ... Bill was providing them food, shelter, letting them live in his house, they were tearing up his house, getting drunk, thrashing the clothes & furniture, and committing suicide. Bill was discouraged by the time he met up w/ Dr. Bob. And, he didn't go looking for Dr. Bob "to be of service." He was searching for an alcoholic to help BECAUSE he would drink again if he didn't.
Perhaps, the reason more of them don't make it is -- we would run out of prospects, and then, what would we do to keep us sober?
Maybe that's what we need to remember. It's not about them. It's about our sobriety. That's what keeps US sober... regardless if they make it or not.