Big Book Discussion
“ We would like it understood that our alcoholic work is an avocation” to me, this suggests I have other interests besides AA. Our alcoholic work is not all we do. We have jobs, homes, hobbies, husbands and wives. If I go to AA meetings everyday, I won’t have time for the wife or kids. Eventually I won’t even have a wife, because she will leave from neglect. Even while going to all these meetings, I won’t have time for actual one on one 12 step work because I am too busy going to meetings. Of course I have to put my sobriety first, or else I will have nothing else, I just think there needs to be balance for an ordinary drunk like myself.
“We, of Alcoholics Anonymous, are more than one hundred men and women who have recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body. To show other alcoholics precisely how we have recovered is the main purpose of this book. For them, we hope these pages will prove so convincing that no further authentication will be necessary. We think this account of our experiences will help everyone to better understand the alcoholic. Many do not comprehend that the alcoholic is a very sick person. And besides, we are sure that our way of living has its advantages for all.”
Notice the word “recovered” is used twice in this paragraph. Rarely do I hear recovered anymore. I hear a lot of recovering. Much can be said pro and con, personally, I would rather be recovered than recovering. Many will say there is no cure for alcoholism. There is also no cure for the common cold. We all know the difference between recovery from a cold and being recovered. When we recover from alcoholism, we are symptom free. When we are recovering, to me, we still have many of the symptoms, but we are getting better.
“to show other alcoholics precisely how we have recovered”- I was taught to use the book as a text book, not a novel. When it said we did this or do that, we did it and it works.
“we hope…….no further authentication will be necessary.” I’ve always felt they meant they wouldn’t have to write any more books.
If you have time, read the forward to the first edition along with the preamble written by the grapevine. The preamble was written by the grapevine editor at the time. Mostly from what was written in the forward. Check it out.
"Forward, " and, "Foreword," are two very different words.
'Bill W. firmly advocated the use of recovered... Recovered meant, "I'm well today" recovering meant "I'm still sick".' (from Mrs Marty Mann: the first lady of Alcoholics Anonymous, by Sally and David Brown, page 194).
However, the Big Book is NOT a textbook giving instructions; it is AA's basic text: 'The story of how many thousands of men and women have recovered frlom alcoholism' (title page). So the Big Book is a story book, not a text book.
And by the way it is foreword not forward.
Thanks for the correction and for the message. I often
wish for a better knowledge of the English language. Although I consider myself a recovered alcoholic (the
obsession/compulsion was lifted on a Saturday long ago),
I do not use the words recovered or recovering at
meetings. I only state my name and that I am an alcoholic
which, by the way is part of the first step. This stating
my name and that I am an alcoholic was never meant to be
a greeting or salutation. ANONYMOUS
Thank you for your quote.
I came into AA with a spiritual thirst, but I didn't want to quit drinking. The Big Book and meetings showed me how to let God into my life. I was so thrilled with the new way of life I put the plug in the jug after six weeks.
I recently suggested the site administrator add a big book discussion topic to the “what’s on your mind forum”. My feeling is to take a page or so and discuss it with other members of AA. I felt having this as a topic would give AA members a forum to discuss our basic text without giving other members the impression we were shoving the book down their throats. This way, if you don’t want to read or hear about the big book, don’t click on the big book topic.
With no further ado, let’s look at the first few pages of the big book, the page with the heading “other books”. This page gives a list of “conference approved” literature. What that mean so me, is simply the literature committee has reviewed and confers that this material aligns with AA principles. It does not suggest that other material is not approved, the conference only approves AA produced material.
I have made it a practice to reread the 12x12,AA comes of age, pass it on, dr bob and the good oldtimers, on an annual basis. I keep copies of the pamphlets the “group” and “problems other than alcohol” in my big book for reference at meetings. I feel there is a wealth of useful information in this literature. After studying these books, I have found many comments that are taken as facts in AA meetings wind up as fiction. For example, did you know Bill W gave Dr. Bob his last beer or that Dr. Bob didn’t work the 12 steps, because there wasn’t 12 at the time, he worked the 6 step word of mouth program.
Thank you Grapevine for providing a digital forum for us to discuss the book that gave me directions for recovery from alcoholism!
"Lack of power, that was our dilemma. We had to
find a power by which we could live, and it had to be
a Power greater than ourselves. Obviously. But where
and how were we to find this Power?
Well, that's exactly what this book is about. Its
main object is to enable you to find a Power greater
than yourself which will solve your problem."