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My daughter got the brilliant idea that her daughters (aged 14, 14, and 11) would benefit from attending NA meetings with their addicted father and me (mom came along too). What a circus! Neither Dad nor I could share while they were there. Then while at a nonNA cultural event, one of the teens outed 3 members by hollaring, "hey didnt I see you at the NA meeting?" at them. They have moved to a neighboring town now. Dad is back out and not attending meetings. Me? I am enjoying meetings without kids!
I would like to know what other people think of this my husband is in AA and he had an affair with a woman at his AA meeting that he attends the affair is over but he continues to go to the same meeting where she is at every day I think that he should Attend other meetings instead of going to that same meeting where she is
Thank you for bringing up the topic. I had an aa buddy reveal to me that he had had an affair. He also disclosed that he was a sex addict. Alcohol is a drug, cocaine is a drug and sex is a drug. When he screwed around he "slipped" just as if he snorted coke or picked up a drink. His ego is too fragile for him to admit to a new sober date and that's why he continues to have affairs. The Big Book sort of, kind of, talks about affairs as shortcomings and no big deal because the author Bill W. was a serial adulterer. I certainly have consided taking an elicit afternoon, but being riguosly honest and guarding my sobriety tooth and nail have never thought it was worth it. I can't imagine going from 21 years to 1 day. Maybe let lover boy know that he can continue attending the meeting if he will start over with day 1 when the affair ended and every time he slips.
Could you please tell me where you found the information regarding Bill W. being a "serial adulterer"? I put those words in quotes because certainly you copied them from information you have found or been given.
As an A.A. historian, I missed that piece of documentation. We know that Bill had relationships with women before and after sobering up. We also have evidence that his wife, Lois, had full knowledge of those relationships. I am at a loss as to how that could make him "serial".
As to how one has to acquire a new sobriety date because he falls into lust, hard drugs or any of the other million and one things human beings fall into, is a curiosity to me. Sobriety, as defined by A.A., is freedom from alcohol. Period.
Where did you find documentation that Bill
had affairs before he got sober? I do know that Bill wrote
in the Big Book: "There had been no real infidelity, for
loyalty to my wife, helped by extreme drunkenness, kept me
out of those scrapes". Bill wrote this in his own story,
page 3 in the fourth edition. Why would Bill even mention
it if it were not true? It is only in recent years that I
have come to realize that Bill was just a man, like so
many of us. No Saint. Bill was also addicted to nicotine,
but kept his mid Dec 1934 sobriety date. He also
experimented with L.S.D., but it was just that: a controlled
experiment. Very few A.A. members today have any interest
in the history of Alcoholics Anonymous. A real study of
A.A. history will reveal the many reasons for our lack
of growth over the past two decades. But how do we get
members to read it? ANONYMOUS
It's realy non of our business what you and your husband do, whether he is in AA or not. However since you asked our opinion, I will give you mine.
There is no reason your husband needs to be near a woman he had an affair with. there are many meetings he can attend. my guess he isn't working the program of AA if he is having affairs. If he is an alcoholic, he will be drunk in short order if he continues to selfishly hurt you, the person he had the affair with, and this group where he met this girl.
Again there is no reason on earth why he needs to attend a meeting with this girl.
Your post sounds like your husband is the only AA in your house. Al-Anon Family Groups (which we are not afiliated with) offers support for family members of alcoholics.
Recently while reading Dick B’s “the golden text of AA”, on page 36, I came across a letter written in 1957 by Bill W that I have never read or seen before, here is what Bill said:
You will remember there was another spot in the manuscript where the Buddhists wanted to substitute the word “Good” for “God” in the 12 steps. Here I felt I could make only a partial accommodation. To begin with, the Steps are not enforceable on anyone-they are only suggestions. A belief in the Steps or God is not in any way a requisite for AA membership. Therefore we have no means of compelling anyone to stay away from AA because he does not believe in God or the 12 steps. In fact, AA has a technique of reducing the rebellion among doubting people by deliberately inviting them to disagree with everything we believe in. We merely suggest that the doubters stick around and get acquainted. They are assured they are members if they say so………
I use that same technique today. I often speak of what I do as a program of recovery. It includes homegroup membership (having a job in the group), holding jail/detox meetings, regularly meeting with my sponsor, sponsoring newcomers, going through the steps in the big book annually (plus whenever I take a pigeon through the steps), applying big book pages 84-88 in my daily life, and doing 12 step work whenever possible. Then I say this is what I do, you can do whatever you like, I simply know this works for me, my sponsor, and the 2-4 newcomers I work with every year that are all sober to this day. Feel free to reinvent the wheel if you want, I just do what was taught to me by my sponsor in 1992. He learned the steps from his sponsor in 1982 and he learned it from his sponsor and so on. I sometimes say something like,” and if you have been sober awhile and don’t know exactly what you have done to stay sober, how are you ever going to carry the message?”
I hope we have a topic out of all that!
Reading your messages, I feel that you are telling me
what you did to get sober, and then implying that if
I don't do likewise, I will never have a message to carry.
The entire Big Book is meant to be suggestive only. The
steps are only suggestions.
I believe that sharing with other alcoholics how I got
sober (EXACTLY) is all I am supposed to do. That is the message I carry. I give no directions. ANONYMOUS
Page 164 "Our book is meant to be suggestive only." The way I look at it is if I take the suggestion and use The Program of Alcoholics Anonymous to maintain my sobriety, then there are 82 "musts" in the book. If I want to stay sober using this program the I must use the program as "suggested". It is also suggested that if you jump out of an airplane that you pull the rip cord. Failing to take either suggestion can result in disaster.
I have used that example many times in past years. I wonder
how many lives that has cost. Our entire A.A. message must
be offered in the form of "suggestion". To say that the
steps are free, the only ones you pay for are the ones
you don't take, negates the meaning of suggestion.
Alcoholics approaching us may, and probably will, respond
favorably to a suggestion. Give that individual directions
and she/he will almost always rebel. ANONYMOUS
"How many lives has it cost?"
A lot fewer than the dilution of AA's message has.
If we diluted the coffee as much as you dilute the message a pound would last years.
I am sorry you haven’t worked through your over-sensitiveness.
If you are happy, joyous, and free, by all means keep doing what your doing. If you have as yet not found a happy sobriety, try my suggestions posted above.
Also please elaborate on what “exactly” is.
Some think How it works is read too often. Maybe not enough.
The steps are not suggestions they are ONE suggestion. It's on page 59 if you care to look.
Anonymous says that Dick B wrote that Bill W wrote in a letter
Is that straight from the horse's mouth or what?
I hope it’s legitimate. You can check for yourself. Purchase or borrow a copy of “The Golden Text of AA” by Dick B. The letter is on page 36 with notations on the bottom of the page referring to Bill W’s correspondence with Father Ford while editing “AA Comes of Age”.
I was recently told that the share a day events were started to promote a better understanding of AA for the public. Is that true? Does anyone know who started the first share a day or anything on how these events came to be. Thanks. I am currently a Public Information Chair.
maybe I live under a rock, but I have never heard of "share a day". could you please tell more about it?
Having consumed two pints in 40 minutes time I blacked out. Binge alcoholic that I was I "purged" those two pints all over my date and myself. Then I fell to the floor and passed out. It took two "friends" to carry me back home. I came to the next morning with no hangover yet an intense craving for more alcohol.
Luckily for me none was available. I fought alcohol tooth and nail for the next 14 years.
Finally, years later on a week long binge on alcohol and experiencing panic attacks and a deep sense of impending doom I saw that I needed help with my drinking.
In utter despair I called out "God help me."
In seconds the feelings subsided. Clarity was restored. In this reprieve my mind recalled a family friend that I knew who was in AA. I called and within ha couple of hours found myself in an AA meeting.
I don't recall what was said in that first meeting, yet I do remember the sense of warm fellowship and caring that each AA had for each other.
Having Twenty Eight years of sobriety I have a deep and abiding faith in Alcoholics Anonymous.
I think it's past time to have a series or articles on the women who made a difference in early AA. Henrietta Siberling, a non alcoholic, actually put Bob and Bill together when Bill made that infamous phone call in Akron. They got together for the first time in Henrietta's Gate House and AA was born. There is also Anne Smith who Bill called the "Mother of AA." Of course there are Marty M. and Lois Wilson too.
I am another bozo on the bus. I hope to always be learning how to be a better man today than I was yesterday by God's Grace in this fellowship. I hope to always become a better AA member. With God's Grace I'm coming up on 28 years shortly. I have attended meetings faithfully for almost 41 years and was without a drink in AA for most of the first 12 plus years. My sobriety date is from my last drink yet I do have almost 41 years of experience & observation in AA. I am not a great orator, not a shining example of P.C., not all things to all people, not a social worker or psychiatrist, not a clergyman, not of great education, not even a good schmoozer. None of these things are requirements to be a good AA member. Like Popeye, "I am what I am and that's all that I am". I am a drunk with a great love of other drunks. I have been given a unique gift by God to be of service where other's may not have been able to. As a consequence I've learned something of what it is to be loving, tolerant, patient & respectful in all aspects of my life. The rewards of being an AA member trying to practice this design for living are fantastic. I do not however confuse these traits with enabling other's to think it's ok to practice behavior that is just plain rude, unacceptable or even unsober especially within AA meetings. Technology is a wonderful thing and progressing faster than most of us can keep up with. The abilities that hand held or pocket devices today have are so much more than anyone could have imagined not too long ago. It's hard to find a meeting today that doesn't announce at the beginning for the attendee's to respect the group's wishes not to use these devices, shut them off or silence them during the meeting. What's just as hard to find is group member's [who voted this language into the group's wishes] that will actually stand by this request. Some years ago at my home group we had a young fellow coming back in again. A likable young man, who like me at his age, just wasn't done yet and was pretty clueless as to what AA is & what it is not. Texting had just come on the scene. People were consumed by it. So for the first 2 months this fella was back, he faithfully attended meetings with cell phone in hand & operating the text part of it all thru the meeting using the excuse that he wasn't using his cell phone. Standing outside after the meeting one night this fella laughingly let us know what his friend, who wasn't there, thought of the meeting. We were confused. He then let us know that for the last 2 month's he would text others, not in attendance, what was going on at the meeting, who was there, what was being shared & their opinions on all this. We all looked at each other in absolute shock. I for one felt like I needed a shower immediately. As serious a violation as this was, this fella just couldn't grasp that he was doing anything wrong. He was just too consumed by this new toy & too clueless as to our traditions. I am happy to report that this "still" young man is sober and doing well as an AA member. Our group ended up with that announcement I previously mentioned. Yet there was not a group member aside from myself that would stand by it when it was being violated sometimes ad infinitum. If I did delicately bring attention to a violation during the meeting, I would be excoriated by other's including group member's who voted the announcement in. I have been the speaker at meetings, sometimes out of state, where 4 or more people never looked up from the devices they were operating during the entire meeting. I DO FIND THIS RUDE & DISTRACTING & I think that is a normal response. I've been made aware of countless situations of member's lives being enormously affected as a result of our amazing technology being used at AA meetings. And to this day I don't know who I am more annoyed with. Those who refuse to respect the wishes of the house they're in, or those who refuse to stand by their own wishes for the sake of the group & other's in attendance. I first came to AA in my hometown of the Bronx in 1972 & have attended meetings faithfully since, even with my short periods of drinking between years. Again my last drink & sobriety date being 6/85. With all the smoke that filled the rooms, the smell of bad coffee & the smell of booze coming off the active drunks that were welcome there, an AA meeting was still a place that was to be respected by those in attendance. If you were reading a newspaper during the meeting you would be asked to put it away & it would. If you were talking thru the meeting you would be asked to stop & it would. If you were a constant offender & refused to stop you would be asked to leave the meeting. And whether you wanted to or not, you did. The same for drinking at the meetings. It wasn't complicated & it wasn't a big deal. Many member's were well aware that although the welfare of the individual was of extreme importance, it was a close second to the welfare of the group. And none of these member's were mean. As a matter of fact their love & dedication to the primary purpose of AA & the drunk were astounding. I must say that I truly miss common sense leadership. The poor leadership I often see today most likely stems from poor sponsorship & poor power's of example. I was taught a long time ago that as a group member, whether I'm leading the meeting or not, that I not only have the right, but an obligation to see that the group meeting's stay on track. I for one refuse to be an AA member that will allow an AA meeting to be a place to learn that it's ok to disrespect a meeting, the wishes of the group, the individuals or myself without mention. Yes, there are no AA police, thank God. But if a diplomatic mention or reminder is seen as offensive, TUFF!
We tolrate BOZO's all the time what's the big deal? LOL
Keep coming back
Popeye said, "I yam what I yam and that's all that I yam"
Other than that I loved every word of your post. Keep up the good work.
HI, I have almost 15 mo of sobriety, I went to a business meeting to be approved to chair a meeting, During that meeting I was told we needed a Grapevine chair, I asked what the grapevine chair entailed, they said we will tell you after you accept the position, I did this also i wanted to get into service, What happened after that was, I would go to a older sober from the meeting and ask a question and be told I don't know ask so and so, well so and so would do the same thing, So i went home got on my Comp and found GV guidelines and started going by the book,Come to find out that I stepped on some toes, Going off the Guidelines i cleared the board of anything that wasn't GV approved, the board was full of gym memberships as well as people seeking work, Put up a new background and started adding GV quotes a bunch of different stuff from The GV articles, During this time i repeatedly told these people that Asking for any input, basically i was new and didn't know anything and was teachable,I guess no one had touched the board for 2 yrs, AS soon as i took off all the out side issue's. Well i also added a few sayings such as inspirational saying concerning using your sponsor and stuff we were taught when i first got sober, Some older sobers have been doing behind my back and removing articles, saying its not AA APPROVED,NONE OF THEM AND A LOT OF SOBRIETY BETWEEN THEM AND SAID, HEY THIS IS THE WAY WE DID THINGS OR GIVE ME CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM. i'M NOT SURE WHAT i AM ASKING EXCEPT HAVE you experienced older sober thinking they aremsomones higher power? I Asked someone why they put up with this and got schooled on tolerance, and as petty as this sounds and it is, somone has been adding things to the board wanting people to think its me, I use 2 sided tape and these are all put up with push pins, So i know i didn't put it up, I was taught we are here to help the still suffering alcoholic. Thank you for letting me vent, What i do know is no one is going to run me off..I want to help the still suffering ALCOHOLIC.
What does your sponsor say?
You remind me of me and that’s good. You remind me of me and that’s bad. Welcome to the zoo. For some reason in AA service work, cause and effect, principle and practice, seem unrelated at times. What other organization posts all of its rules (traditions) on the wall, or needs to? And then have them ignored? Admitting members based on their liabilities rather than their assets might have something to do with it. There are few set answers. Every group is unique (autonomous) and ever-changing.
If the bulletin board is important enough (with the group conscience OK), get a rubber stamp with the group’s name on it and stamp everything that the group conscience regards as OK. Maybe add a permanent sign to the effect that the bulletin board postings are limited to those following the traditions of singleness of purpose, non-affiliation etc. Others will be removed.
Write “My job is to be of service, not to control the outcome” one hundred times. Repeat as needed.
I went to my second meeting about three months after the first with the attitude that if AA wasn't big enough for me and the guy that ran me off the first time, he could leave. That was thirty three years ago and I'm still here.
Thanks for sharing and good luck.
Dear friend, Some members may tell you: Just take it
easy; acceptance is the answer. Accept the things you
cannot change. Personally, I have begun to try to
changs the things I can no longer accept. Hopefully
you wii join me. Don't You Dare Quit!! Rose
Just goes to show that even though a members has been dry awhile, they are not necessarily emotionally sober! They had there chance for input when u asked for it. You did the right thing by following the liturature guidelines. That's why we have them. Keep up the good work!
In our A.A service structure, who gets paid the "big bucks"? The top salary range is
currently $265,000 anually plus benefits. This has been increased from $225,000 to $250,000
and to $265,000 in recent years. Add on insurance and other benefits.
I know that heads of other non-profits are sometimes paid millions. Alcoholics Anonymous is supposed to be different. I have personally stopped donating to those organizations.
I want to know what our ten top paid employees are paid annually. And why this information
is kept secret. Are we concerned that if the membership learns what our leaders are paid,
we might object? Maybe they are not being paid enough. We have the right to know. Not only
the right to know, but we are responsible to make sure that every dollar placed in the A.A.
basket is well spent. Today it is called total transparency and we cannot accept less.
I also want to know how many of our ten top paid employees are past trustees. How many
of these paid positions have given to individuals who elected THEM? Bill warned us about this
practice in the Service Manual. In the POWERFUL TRADITION Bill wrote that this NEVER ought
to be done. Bill explains this in the Service Manual. Page S72 in the 2012-2013 edition.
The trustees elect, (select) their own replacements. These replacements give the paid positions
to the people who chose them. Please, anyone out there; Am I just totally missing something? ANONYMOUS
I suppose one way to get the information you seek is to do what those in charge of it have done. Starting as a GSR and performing good enough in service work for twenty or twenty five years to be recognized as the best person in your area to represent it at the General Service Conference. Then when you get there demonstrate why you have the expertise to be on the Compensation Committee. Considering this screening, I’m satisfied with whatever decision these people make.
Compensation today boggles the mind. My best year likely grossed about one tenth of the figure you posted for AA’s head and he’s getting about one percent of the compensation of the president of Ford or GM. Silicone valley pays more. Mark Twain said that travel is the best cure for prejudice and I am learning to believe him. Most winters we are able to take a short vacation to Florida. See lots of luxury pleasure boats. Some at anchor because there isn’t room to tie up. After they reach a certain size the going price is easy to estimate, $1,000,000 per meter. Need a cruiser half as long as a football field? Lots of people seem to. That will be $50,000,000 please. Cash, check or credit card? If you think trustees are creating fat jobs for themselves at the General Service Office you might want to visit Miami or Fort Lauderdale or one of another thousand ports to see what real money is today.
I don’t know where you got that AA’s compensation for management should be different from other nonprofits. With our disease are we so unfortunate that skilled, educated, dedicated professionals should forego half their salary for the privilege of serving us? I try to keep in mind that we have a disease that is curable with a 201 word instruction sheet hanging on the wall that most think is too hard and die instead. Why would anybody in their right mind want to have anything to do with us?
Are you missing something? You might find an answer on page 60 “…Each person is like an actor…”
When Alcoholics Anonymous finally accepts donations from
the general public and accepts government bailouts, we
will be able to pay salaries like General Motors. We
have headed in that direction for years. We finally deleted
the "in 1986" paragraph from page S74 of "our" Service
Manual. We ignored it for 25 years and then just got rid
of it. It was a warning from Bob P. of the danger of continuing the use of profits from the sale of books and
literature to pay for services. Instead of heeding the
warning we just continue to increase expenses.
Bob P and his friends did nothing about the problem
other than leave us the warning.
Bill W. left us concept seven giving final control
of our fellowship in the hands of the fellowship. Our
current GSB have negated that control by selling books
and literature at increasing profit, totaling about
ten million dollars last year. The sad part is that
most of todays AA membership do not care where
the money comes from. Tradition Seven requires that we
support our fellowship from top to bottom with money
from our own pockets, and sell books and literature at
the cost of printing. ANONYMOUS
My concern is that we are spending money which we
are not supposed to have in the first place. The ten
million dollars earned each year from the sale of books
and literature is earned by violation of our Tradition
Seven. Your message is the epitome of distraction.
My past delegate, area chair, and my current delegate
are unable or unwilling to get that salary information.
Why do I want to know? If I have employees working for
me, do I not have the right to know what I pay them?
Why should it take me 20 - 25 years to find information
which ought to be transparent? ANONYMOUS
Problems presented by alcoholism are unlimited. Our servants need to prioritize. Apparently they don't see your interpretation of Tr 7 as important enough to divert energy from something else. We select them. That's there job. Your obsession with this is not helpful to anyone. Why not get on board somewhere where your effort will be helpful?
I feel it’s strange that even casual reference to our book “alcoholics anonymous” can be considered big book thumping. Even stranger that a reference to a page in our book can get members of a group upset about quoting pages.
I feel there is a huge difference between memorizing a book and having a working knowledge of a manual. A good example is when I get upset over some trivial event. As I go through my 10th and 11th step inventory (big book page 84-88) I often think of page 108 where it talks about the alcoholic living in that strange world of alcoholism where everything is distorted and exaggerated. These days I almost immediately snap out of it while turning my thoughts to someone I can help.
I invariably find those who are complaining about intolerance are practicing intolerance themselves. I know because it’s almost always me!
Who could imagine members of Alcoholics Anonymous talking about the book for which AA was named after! How could they! ;)
Big book "thumping"......an interesting term! Harkens to the days of the old time travelling preachers who hit the lecturn with their bibles to wake up their less than interested members of the congregation. I can still see my dad jolting upright in his seat whenever the preacher did that.....and later suffering the under blistering diatribe of my mother.
Seems that pounding the podium was a rather common practice among public speakers of those early years, and if you have an opportunity to listen to recordings of Bill W (as well as other early members of AA) speaking, you will hear him
Repeatedly hitting (thumping if you will) the lecturn with his hand to emphasize a point.
That said; Let me pass on a suggestion given to me by my sponsor 41 years ago when I was a new member of this fellowship and complaining about this very subject... " Try treating the meetings like a garage sale....often the same old stuff...sometimes a lot of junk...but ocasionally a "treasure" to take with you and pass on"....:)
I am nine months sober and clean. I love meetings and have tried a few on but am now a member of an AA Home Group. I have a question first and a comment afterward.
I would sincerely like to know how others handle Big Book Thumping in meetings.
I have experienced this in a few meetings and have found it quite disturbing and at times a real turn--off.
Don't get me wrong, I love my Big Book, but I certainly feel that someone telling me how I should interpret it and then getting upset when I share my interpretation, is, to say the least, disturbing as a relative newcomber. This is about the only time I have experienced others cross-talking in meetings so I believe that I am not the only one who gets upset with people that insist there is only one way to interpret it and follow the message or carry it out.
There is no interpretation of the first 164 pages. They are clear & concise instructions. Remember: if you want what we have & are willing to go to ANY length.... There are some options such as, to use a minister for the 5th step or not. The interpretation part is one reason that most people return to drinking from AA. I share this after 42+ years of continuous sobriety. But then, it sounds like you are probably immune from drinking again. Corky S. 7-8-71
simpleist thing I learned when I first got clean over 22 years ago. Was that speaking in meetings was a format of take what you want and leave the rest. thumpers will be thumpers' Just live and let live'
P.S.I was told that any disscusion, opinion or interpitation was to be decussed after the meetings giving me the choice to ingauge or not. Not a big thumper fan myself.
Yes indeed it does happen.
I have been in AA for 31 years+.
I like the parts of the big book which tell stories of fellow members.
They were sober at the time who knows if they still are. Nevertheless the sharing of experiences is so valuable. What I do not like is the rules at the beginning of the book. I get so bored when "How it works" is read. Being an atheist I also find
the chapter on the Agnostics so condescending.
HigherPower and Spiritual awakwnings are not for me
There many subjects, topics and people which, shall I say, could try my serenity.
I left meetings many times.
If a God Believer is tolerant of the fact that I do not believe in return I am tolerant to the fact that if it helps him or her to stay sober , it is just great.
I stick to meetings where tolerance is practiced. I have not given up the "dictature" that alcohol had and still has dormant on me to replace it by the " dictature" of a higher " whatever".
I try to concentrate on what makes me stay without a drink and there are enough people and I hear a lot of honest and sincere sharing to keep me out of trouble.There so many good things in AA.
I never heard of any different ways of interpreting the Big Book (Except into foreign languages) Until an operator of a treatment facility and his partner began selling tapes telling what the Big Book really says. Using that as an example, everybody and his brother began writing 'Big Book Study Guides" which, I assume, are supposed to break the secret code hidden in the book.
When I was new nearly every speaker commented that at first he/she was going to rewrite the Big Book but found out that it was fine the way it is. Now anyone who wants to rewrite it does so, then travels around the country, all expenses paid, sharing their wisdom with the unenlightened.
Another thing we used to be told was to "read only the black parts." Now we tell ourselves we can read the white parts too, since they're more interesting.
I can imagine the uproar if a child came home from school and told his parents that his teacher said one and one are two, but it's perfectly all right to interpret it as three if they are so inclined.
When I was a Loner without meetings available a gent suggested I use my Big Book and a Higher Power. He said nothing about simply reading it, or studying it, or discussing it, just use it. That advice has worked for millions of us for many years.
Jim, could you be a little more specific? Just how do you
"use" the Big Book? I believe it is meant to be read,
studied and discussed. I gave a copy to a newcomer years
ago and he used it to hold the window open. How do you use yours, and what do you use it for?
I believe the third edition of the Big Book is the
second greatest book ever written. (for those who suffer
from alcoholism and the families and friends who also
suffer). I could be wrong but I do believe there is
much written "between the lines". Bill explains these in
his later writings. ANONYMOUS
In my opinion, every member of Alcoholics Anonymous ought
to own a copy of the Big Book. I prefer the third edition,
but the first part of the fourth edition is the same and what is now more
available. All members and potential members ought to read,
study and use the Big Book. Every person ought to be
allowed to develop their own relationship with it, keeping
in mind that the entire book is meant to be suggestive.
Also, keep in mind that Bill himself was sober less than
five years when it was written. At five years sober, I
could barely tie my own shoe laces. Bill wrote that more
would be revealed. The Big Book was a good beginning.
I try to remember that the purpose of the BB was to
spread the message that recovery from alcoholism is
possible; the story of how the first alcoholics recovered.
I don't know how it could be described as a work book. If
an individual member considers it a personal workbook, fine.
But we have no right to impose that concept on anyone else.
I agree with you.
I agree with you.
I have the benefit of enough time and practice of the AA program that it is incorporated in my life. Big Book thumpers and cross talkers don’t make me angry. My expectation that people will act halfway decent still does though. I’m in a room full of people who are required to be nuts to be there. I expect them to act not only sane but polite? Who’s nuts now? WE ALL ARE. At meetings (like everywhere else) things happen that I don’t intend to let happen and things that I intend to have happen don’t. It’s called unmanageability. Surprise! So what’s different? I can disconnect my emotions from my thinking and my action. Example: Emotions tell mind “THAT JERK HASN’T GOT ANY BUSINESS….BLA, BLA,BLA… Mind kicks in. “Yea, the guy’s a jerk; it’s probably the best he can do. Glad I’m not him.” EMOTIONS DON’T CARE. Override them. “Body, stay in chair.” Get through it. Go home and regroup with Higher Power and/or sponsor. Do my homework. Write IN AA NO ONE HAS ANY SENORITY ON ME a hundred times on the blackboard and start believing it. Is crosstalk and advice allowed or not? If he’s wrong rehearse my speech for next time. Take the chairperson aside quietly before the next meeting starts. State my problem. Remind him of policy. Get an ally.
Why is it that I was tough enough to live through crashing three cars and one bike but can’t say the words “Would you please shut up, I’m not finished?” We’re funny people aren’t we? I prayed for courage and waited and waited to be made fearless. Eighteen years of education and I needed a grade school dictionary. We will always be given the courage to uphold the highest ideal.
Hang in there and report back. I’ll be looking for you.
Glad to hear you are reading and using the big book. My suggestion would be to have some fun with it. If we all had the same interpretations, this deal would get boring. the steps and book are spiritual in nature. everytime I go through the book and the steps out of the book I see them a little differently. If my interpretations change, how can I be upset with you if yours are different from mine? If they are different, next year they might be the same. I know when yours are wrong, because you die or end up in jail. AA is like show and tell. you say what you do, I say what I do. If you are happier than I am, I'm gonna change and do more of what you do. If you are miserable, I know not to do what you do.
I think this saying fits here, "it's not what you dont know that will kill you in aa, it's what you know for sure that just isn't so.
remember rule 62-let's not take ourselves too damn serious!
I was wondering what peoples experience is for getting Grapevines, into Prisons.
Does our AA population in Prison find the Grapevine magazine and books useful?
Would people be willing to sponsor a Grapevine subscription if it was being sent into prisons?
"In keeping with AA's singleness of purpose, we confine discussion as it relates to alcoholism."
I've been an active, successful member of Alcoholics Anonymous for a number of years and I have never been exactly what this means. Say there is a meeting room full of alcoholics with no one wanting to talk about religion, politics, sports, drugs, gambling, overeating, over-sexing, codependency etc.
Is talk about problems with one's spouse, job, finances, car trouble and other living problems that they think are driving them to drink OK?
our traditions state we have no opinion on outside issues.We should not be talking about religion,politics,drugs,gambling,over eating,over sexing,or codependency at an a.a. meeting.Our primary purpose is to carry the message to the next alcoholic.What message?If you have been around a.a for a while you would know all of this is in our big book,it tells us what we talk about at meetings.We share our experience, strength and hope.So we talk about how it was,what happened,and what it is like now.
I understand Tradition one gives every A.A. member the right to talk in whatever manner they choose. At some of our meeting formats we include "please refrain from the use of profanity at the meeting", but if someone uses vulgar language we say nothing. I think the real problem (and
there is a problem), is asking if anyone has a burning
desire. All alcoholics have burning desires IMO. We are
at meetings to talk about drinking and how to stop
drinking, not to talk about the paintings on the wall.
We do use self-control and do not discuss politics or
religion, as they are too divisive. ANONYMOUS