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re. Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous

I want to thank you for your simple message of gratitude. I too am so grateful to have in my life the program that was outlined in the Big Book by the original members. I often think of that moment described in "Chapter 11 - A Vision for You" when Bill was wavering in that hotel lobby, wondering whether to go into the bar and sit with a ginger ale or perhaps a few drinks. I see him standing there wondering, and often feel that all our fates hung in the balance at that moment. Then the Higher Power took him to that church directory and here we stand today, sober and hopefully to some level happy, joyous and free.

Thanks for the gratitude reminder. Have a great day!

Cheers / Love.

Cheers / Love

I believe it was the fear of drinking again and the deep
desire to live, that brought Bill to that church directory.
He needed another alcoholic to talk to in order to preserve
his own sobriety. Call It Higher Power if you wish. ANONYMOUS


The first 100 members left us a path to follow, not
directions. This vital decision was made just before the
Big Book went to print. And that technique will work again
when and if we ever return to it. We are failing hundreds
of thousands of alcoholics every year because of our refusal to study the history of AA. We pay to have surveys
done. Then we ignore the numbers. The membership numbers are available from our General Service Office. Study the
numbers from 1935 to the present. What happened in the
1980's to cause our collapse in the 1990's? Surely there
are others who have remained in AA, who saw the blunders
being made. ANONYMOUS


Our Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous describes the path in specific, precise, exact, clear-cut directions. While there may be ways to get an estimate of the numbers of people who attend A.A. meetings at certain times, it would be close to impossible to discover how many are actually practicing the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. The treatment center boom in the 1970's-1980's contributed to the numbers of people who attended meetings at that time. Also, we have shared our 12 steps with other fellowships who continue to grow at a rapid pace. I had a spiritual awakening as the result of the 12 steps and love the A.A. of 2011.

Joined: 2011-07-28
Personalizing the Steps

I find personalizing the Steps is a way to "own" them and make them mine. I put them in the first person. 1. I admit I am powerless over alcohol and my life is unmanageable. 2. I believe that God can restore me to sanity. 3. I turn my life and my will over to the care of God. 4. I made a fearless and searching moral inventory of myself. 5. I have admitted to God, to myself, and to another human being the exact nature of my wrongs. 6. I am willing to have God remove these defects of character. 7. I continue to humbly ask God to remove my shortcomings. 8. I made a list of all persons I have harmed and am willing to make amends to them all. 9. I have made direct amends whenever possible without hurting anyone. 10. I continue to take personal inventory and when I am wrong, I promptly admit it. 11. I seek through prayer and meditation to improve my conscious contact with God. I pray only for God's will for me and the power to carry that out. 12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, I try to carry this message to alcoholics and practice these principles in all my affairs.
It works for me.

work them fast and faster

i done the steps in 12 weeks and i take the newcomer frow them in 10 weeks godbless

Joined: 2011-06-06
Story of the Day

"Like a Hangnail in a Pickle Factory", printed in April 1995 was chosen as The Story of the Day for July 4, 2011.
What a disgrace! Members like this "sponsor" are the direct
cause of our loss of effectiveness in the 1990's. The mind
set of whomever chose this story to be Story of the day is
one of the main reasons for our continued loss of effectiveness today. How to do the 4th step inventory is explained in the 12&12, beginning on page 50. It is of no surprise to me that our fellowship is near death. Step five
ought to be done with a priest or someone sworn to secrecy.
I certainly would not want a "sponsor" such as this to listen to my step 5. We have discarded Dr Bob's final advice to us to keep it simple. Even that we have distorted into Keep It Simple Stupid. How deplorable! Bill W explained exactly how to do Steps 4 & 5 in the 12 & 12,
for those members who wish to use them. If you haven't
noticed, they ARE suggestions. God Help Us!!

RE: Story of the Day

We have found a cure for insanity - Yet to come close and find one for stupidity. Some people only look for an example but most can't find one - themselves.

Cure for Insanity?

I am sure the medical society will be pleased that we have
found a cure for insanity. Our educational institutions may
be disappointed that studying and learning is not a cure for
ignorance. Manny Q.

faster and faster

When Bill W was working with other alcoholics in the spring
of 1935, during the nearly six months of what he called "violent exertion", his success was dismal. Dr.
Silkworth advised him: These alcoholics want to get well
but they just can't swallow all this God Stuff. Bill
wrote that some would fly "high as geese" and then flop
dismally. Speed does kill. At a beginners meeting recently
out of 35 members, I counted fifteen chronic relapers. They
are very obedient. We chant to them "Keep coming back" it works if you work it, so work it you're worth it, I die if I don't work it etc, etc, etc. So they keep coming. anonymous

Joined: 2011-07-29
faster and faster

It was helpful to me to attend Big Book studies and workshops so that I could understand the directions. Working With Others tells us that the only time we do not stress the spiritual feature freely is when we have a prospect in the context of a 12th step call. The message we carry in a meeting is that we've had a spiritual experience as a result of these steps.

Joined: 2011-08-01

Relapse is a part of recovery.


It's not part of Recovery it's part of the illness...

RE; Free Gift

Would take one true serenity pray than all the sponsor nuts one can find


Why not take the steps and let God do the work instead of have someone tell you to work them and when they fail they clam it's better you than them.

Daily Step Work

I saw a sticker that said
Dr. Bob's Rx:
take 2 steps and call me in the morning.

More than half of the spiritual experiences in the steps are in the daily step prayers. Especially the 4th step prayers and the 9th step prayer have grown me up in my relationships. Often the prayers are just a few words of suggestion..We ask God to......

Irene (not verified)

I used to feel bad because I worked steps very, very slowly. Now I realized that is my way, one step for year..


If you broke your leg and a orthopedic surgeon wanted to perform emergency surgery to save your leg, would you say, "I don't want to rush into anything Doc. Why don't you get back to me in a few months and we'll discuss different surgical options."

Taking the steps slowly is no different. The spiritual awakening is THE RESULT of the 12 steps. It's not the result of not drinking and going to meetings. Why would you choose to not do everything within your power to ensure recovery, i.e. the steps.

In the early days of AA, all 12 steps were taken within the first few days of sobriety - sometimes the first day of sobriety. You've got the rest of your life to work them again over and over but for your own sake, do it soon.

this isnt the early days if

this isnt the early days if your working them thats great to much to soon not 4 evrybody this is for a lifetime and it is your program both ways ok keep it simple

Joined: 2011-06-06
Break a Leg

Bill W. wrote in an article to the AA Grapevine printed on
page eight of language of the heart, that we do not cram the steps down anyone's throat. I had a spiritual awakening before joining Alcoholics Anonymous. The steps have helped me keep what God gave me. Would it not be just wonderful if
we could present the 12 steps, as written, to an alcoholic,
tell him/her to take these steps and you will be well. IT
JUST DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY! The "few simple rules" mentioned by Dr Silkworth in the BB, The Doctor's opinion,
page xxix are NOT the 12 steps. We stay sober by first and
most important, not taking that first drink, and second,
trying to help other alcoholics out of their dilemma. We
share with other alcoholics EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED TO US.
When members and groups return to the origional technique,
AA can recapture its effectiveness, Anonymous.


"Would it not be just wonderful if
we could present the 12 steps, as written, to an alcoholic,
tell him/her to take these steps and you will be well. IT

Actually, IT DOES WORK EXACTLY THAT WAY! Sober AA members who have worked the steps guiding newcomers through the steps. AA has always worked that way and it will of course, continue to work that way.

Your solution of not drinking and "helping other alcoholics stay sober" is referred to in AA as "two-stepping" and it doesn't serve the two-stepper or the newcomer well at all. It inevitably ends with one or both members either going back to drinking or working the rest of the steps.

AA is most effective when a member who has taken all 12 steps guides a new member through the 12 steps as they are presented in the Big Book and the 12 x 12.


AA is most effective when someone who has been relieved
of the obsession/compulsion to drink shares the experience
with other alcoholics. Again, pushing the steps on AA
members, new and old, pushes them away. Please don't say
"oh, they are just not ready". Give them time and let them
become ready. The churches may say "you must be saved today". We give the suffering alcoholic a little more
time, and allow her/him to decide if they want what we
have. This concept is almost impossible to understand.
But alcoholism is a strange illness. The remedy may
need to be a little strange. ANONYMOUS

Happy for you

Alcoholics Anonymous has lost most of its effectiveneess
because of beliefs such as this. Who are we most
concerned about?, ourselves or the suffering alcoholic
entering our rooms? We are not teachers, preachers,
advisors, counselors. We must stop playing these roles.
We must stop pushing the steps on anyone. Bill W. tells
use to share exactly own story when trying to help others.
The Work the steps or die approach pushes newcomers and
others away. I ask you to take a good look at our
membership growth over the past two decades. These
numbers are available through GSO. Why do you personally
think AA membership is stagnant? If we are helping
others we should always grow. ANONYMOUS

Break a leg

Yes it would be wonderful if we could remedy the dilemma of the alcoholic with the twelve steps. We could take alcoholics into our custody, sit them down with pen and
paper, a twelve steps working guide, and in the presence of
a sponsor, counselor, or other leader, many self appointed,
guide them through the twelve steps to recovery. This seems to be the mindset of Alcoholics Anonymous and the many
recovery programs today. And a few alcoholics are saved
giving the appearance that the twelve steps work. But our
co-founders discovered a solution that works for the wholesale recovery of alcoholics. As difficult as this is to understand, we must at least try to understand it. The
future of Alcoholics Alcoholic depends on it. Dr. Silkworth
worked with alcoholic sufferers for forty years with very
limited success before he met Bill W. He and Bill W developed a solution for the wholesale recovery of
alcoholics. Is there any AA member left who understands
the technique. As with other important things in life,
if we don't know the proper technique, we will seldom
get the desired results. I find that many AA members do
not know the technique and refuse to even investigate.
We pound that Big Book and cram those steps. We demand
that this is the way it has always been done and we
will continue doing it this way. It has not always been
done this way. AA meetings in the decade of the 1970's
barely resemble the chanting, praying meeting of today.
Our membership doubled that decade, using the technique
developed by Bill W and Doctor Silkworth. Anyone listening?

Trust God, Clean House, Help Others = Happy, Joyous & Free

My alcoholic dilemma was remedied with the 12 steps. A trusted friend sat me down with pen, paper and a guide to the steps called, "Alcoholics Anonymous." He guided me through all 12 steps as they're suggested to be taken in the Big Book. Several decades later I am still sober and still experiencing a spiritual awakening as a result of continuing to take personal inventory on a daily basis, continuing to improve my conscious contact with God, carrying the message to the alcoholic who still suffers and practicing these principles in ALL of my affairs.

I thank God EVERY SINGLE DAY that I was introduced and strongly encouraged to work the steps right away and waste no time going about it. I also thank God I was smart enough and desperate enough to follow those suggestions.

I have yet to meet one, single, individual alcoholic out of the tens of thousands I have met over the years, who has been "saved" (to use your phrase) who has not worked all 12 steps. Perhaps someday I will but I'm not holding out much hope.

I have no idea what "solution" you're talking about. Please enlighten us if you will. I do know this - I have a solution - it's the same one that's described in the first 164 pages of the Big Book.

Smart enough and desperate enough

I am happy that you found sobriety through this approach. I
believe there are many who have gotten sober just this way.
For three decades i believed that it was not only the best
way, but also the only way. But I know today that the
steps are suggestions to be used as the individual AA
needs them or wants to use them. Today I fully understand
why Bill W. Wrote on page 8 of The Language of the Heart,
that we do not cram the steps down anyone's throat. We
push new and old members away using this approach. Sure
there are some spectacular recoveries. You were obviously
one of them. But for the wholesale recovery of alcoholics,
Dr Silkworth came up with a novel "IDEA" which he offerred
to Bill W in the spring of 1935. Bill used this approach
when he met with Dr. Bob. Todays AA has lost this
technique. Simply share EXACTLY what happened to you.
Allow the newcomer to follow our path, not our directions.
The IDEA is the "cart before the horse" approach. Today's
AA sponsor, leader, preacher, teacher has ni idea what
that IDEA is and refuse to even consider it. Bill W.
wrote many times that without this IDEA, AA could never
have been born. Thanks for the comment and the question.


I'm about 90 days into the program, and I've finished the steps. Some may say I'm on a pink cloud, but I choose to call it God's grace. I feel happy, joyous, and free. I'm happier than I ever have been in my entire life. The faster you work the steps, the faster you recover.

Joined: 2014-03-20

Its great that one finishes the steps in 90 days and is happy, joyous and free. I believe that is what is supposed to happen. But when things change and life once again shows up I can't get discouraged and give up on the program. I must simply re take the medicine one more time to get back on track. Its called step 10. I have to remember that I am never going to rise above being a human being.

Joined: 2014-09-13

I am also new to the program. I am working the steps with the guidance of my sponsor.i am starting to get the benefits of the program, but I am clear that it is an every day- for ever work.

Joined: 2014-09-13

I am also new to the program. I am working the steps with the guidance of my sponsor.i am starting to get the benefits of the program, but I am clear that it is an every day- for ever work.


On the topic of what speed to work the steps, I found that I originally worked through them quickly, which was good at the time to help familiarize me with the program. Now after 14 years of sobriety I realize that there is no end to working the steps. They are spiritual principals that help us to grow in deeper ways as we continue to practice them in all of our affairs. Every sincere effort we make at working the steps is helpful and it is a life-long process. We cannot rest on our spiritual laurels and we do not graduate from needing the steps.

Joined: 2011-05-22

I to made the first trip through the steps is a very short time because I had a sponsor that would not have it any other way.
The pink cloud came to me and he told me that it would never leave if I lived what I was being taught through the steps.
That was eleven years ago. He was right on and today I do the same things as I did from the very beginning.
My life is not perfect but I have never had it so good today.

Joined: 2011-05-07

The first time I was in AA I read the Steps; I shared on the Steps; I went to Step meetings; I thought about the Steps, but I never took the Steps. When I got back to AA after finally having had enough to drink, I found a sponsor who had done the work as described in the Big Book, and I began taking the Steps.

It's been a few years now; and I've made amends to everybody on my list that I've been able to find. I realize now that I must always be taking all the Steps, and that I will never "finish" any of them- & that's OK.

Working the steps slowly

There is no time table to work the steps but now that I am sober I like to feel good.I work the steps as situations present themselves in my life and I feel happy, joyous and most of all, FREE

Working the steps

After 22 years in recovery, I find that as I try to face my life with a better attitude, that the step just shows up as the solution to my troubles. Luckily I have years of your voices running around in my head and I can usually hear some smart drunk telling me what I need to hear to work the step and relieve my suffering. So magical!

So magical.

I appreciate this article. An AA friend says, it just happens, as long as we listen and learn. The step just shows up as the solution to my troubles. That is really the
purpose of the steps, as a lifelong adventure. This happened to me at nearly five years sober, while going
through a divorce and possibly losing my home. Step
four was right in front of me. Steps four and five helped
me get through that difficult time. The smart drunk has
left the path for us to follow. He/she does not try to
give us directions, only a path that we follow. ANONYMOUS

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