"Impressed by those who visited him at the hospital, he capitulated entirely when, later, in an upper room of this house, he heard the story of some man whose experience closely tallied with his own."
All through my recovery over the last 21 years, I have benefitted enormously from the breadth of the fellowship: finding people with the same problems, both drinking and sober, destroyed the sense of 'anxious apartness' and gave me hope that there was a solution that would solve all my problems.
I am grateful to have a sponsor who can share practical experience on problems or difficulties I encounter and can say how he actually applied the programme in practice to such situations.
Sponsees will sometimes share very difficult situations from the past in areas I have no experience in. I can share the principles on how to deal with such situations, but I can usually point them in the direction of someone with personal experience. People report to me that this helped significantly in their healing.
I have not had to make amends for shoplifting. I can share general principles on step nine with sponsees on this matter, but I suggest they also speak to friends of mine who have direct experience on how to go about such amends.
I do not have children (although having a lot of sponsees can sometimes feel that way), so I share general principles in this area but suggest they talk to other parents in AA for experience on how to apply the programme in this area.
Fortunately, I have had many problems and a varied life since I was gotten sober by God. Most problems people come to me with I can share experience on, regarding how I used the twelve steps and twelve traditions to handle and transcend them, always turning them to good account. The practical examples of how I dealt with such problems are worth any amount of theorising.
Identification is key: people trust me when I say I have found a solution to all my problems in God, because, when I talk about those problems, they identify. The capitulation, as described in the Big Book quotation above, is very gratifying to see.