From what I understand, this story made an appearance in West Wing a few years back, but it’s been an A.A. staple for decades.
Stumbling home one night, a drunk tripped and fell into a hole in the street. Dazed and confused, he cried out for help. A priest answered.
“Do you need help, my son?”
“Can you get me out of this hole?”
“No, but let’s pray together for your safe escape.” The priest mumbled a brief prayer and walked away.
Next came a psychiatrist. “Tell me your problem, and I'll try to help” he said.
“I’m stuck in this hole and can’t get out. Can you do anything?”
“I think so. You sound depressed, so here’s a prescription. Take these as directed, and I’ll come back every week to discuss your feelings.”
A third man came along. Seeing him peering over the edge, the drunk cried out again. “Thank God! Can you help me?”
“Do you want to get out of this hole?”
“Yes, yes. Please. Can you get me out of here?”
The man jumped down in the hole next to the drunk. The drunk yelled “What the hell are you doing? Now we’re both stuck. We’ll never get out.”
“It’s okay, don’t worry,” replied the man. “I’m a drunk, too. I’ve been in this hole myself, and I know the way out. I’ll show you, too, if you’ll walk with me.”
“Take my hand.”
If you ever wanted to know what the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous are about, that pretty much covers it.