- Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book Fear

Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book Fear




Discussions related to 12 Step Recovery and Treatment

Postby Dallas » Mon Mar 12, 2012 7:25 pm

I've always found that those who don't want to hear the page numbers is: because they don't know the page numbers. :lol:

That oldtimer is blessed -- that I'm not in the meeting. :lol:
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Postby MKL » Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:11 am

I love this topic. I've been working out of the BB 24 years and i still carry my BB to meetings. My late sponsor used to tell if it isn't in the first 164, it's bs. I too have had others get mad at me at meetings for sharing my experience working the 164. Those that don't work steps must attack those of us that do. I've been called -BB nazi, -BB thumper, you name it because i work out of the BB. Fear of BB is just insanity, thats all like any fear is. I travel alot at times due to the work i do and most towns i've worked at the people at meetings have a prejudice against BB workers so i'm used to it. When i was a kid in school i used to attach those who did their homework when i wasn't doing mine and so it is in AA,those who don't do the work attack those who do. Everybody i've seen condemn and attack BB workers has gone out-everyone. I love the 164 of the BB , it has saved my life. Great topic Dallas.
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Postby Dallas » Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:11 pm

I think they try to hammer down on someone that knows the book -- because they feel intimidated because of their fear of personal inadequacy. They can't talk about something that they don't know anything about -- because there is someone in the room that does know about it. We scare them. They feel threatened -- so the only thing they know to do is to either fight or flight. When they can drive us out of the rooms they can go back to being "King Stupid" or "Queen Stupid."

They get jealous -- and afraid that someone will want what we have -- instead of want what they have. They know that we don't want what they have -- so they don't like us.

Except.... a year or two down the road, you'll hear one of them saying "Those guys/girls with the book were driving me nuts -- and as a result, I picked up the book and read it. And, guess what? Nearly all the stuff that I had been hearing and saying was BS! So, I started studying the book, followed the instructions, got rocketed into the 4th dimension and I have no desire to go back to my old unrecovered ways! And, now -- I'm sponsoring others WITH AND THROUGH the book!" :lol:
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Re: Big Book Fear...

Postby dimples12562 » Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:38 am

The 1st thing I ever read in the BB was Bills Story. In my very 1st meeting I was given a BB & 12&12. I went right to Bills Story because I wanted to know what this Bozo knew that I didn't know lol Turns out he knew a LOT & I really could relate to a LOT (we are currently reading that chapter in my Mon night meeting). I later asked someone to Sponsor me and that person agreed to help me "Study" the BB. That was a Blessing and reading it for the 1st time through & through with another Alcoholic really opened my eyes!! That book is SAVING my life!!!
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Re: Big Book Fear...

Postby Jebtion12345 » Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:34 am

I am so happy I started reading and then studying the Book and then having a direct experience from the Book.
Now I understand take what you need leave the rest. :)
The Book is so powerful and optimistic and empowering. The only "thing" is now I am so much more tuned into when people re-write the text or put a totally different spin on the message.
My 6/7 activity yesterday was to see where people were right and not wrong. I went to a meeting that I avoid so I could practice doing what I dont want to do ... I was nice to two guys I resent and wow! I felt so great after the meeting. Action makes me feel better than sharing (although I do) and def. better than thinking about action :)
"We let Him demonstrate, through us, what He can do."
p.68
Peace
J
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Re: Big Book Fear...

Postby Dallas » Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:06 pm

I understand. :-)
If it wasn't for the book -- I wouldn't have a hope of being alive.
If it wasn't for do-ing what's in the book -- I wouldn't be alive.
And, without the book, and doing the book, I KNOW that I would not be happy and contented and have peace of mind while sober.

Not only do I clearly remember "what I was like" before -- when being sober but not doing it by the book -- I clearly realize daily -- what it gets me -- when I get away from doing what's in the book. :-)
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Re: Big Book Fear...

Postby dimples12562 » Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:27 pm

Dallas wrote:And, without the book, and doing the book, I KNOW that I would not be happy and contented and have peace of mind while sober.
:-)

Thats the piece I am working on now and I won't stop workin on it til I draw my last breath!!! I want sobriety and MORE than that I want to be happy in sobriety!! I've tried it many different ways and this is the only path that has shown me any real happiness!!! I appreciate all that you do Dallas! There has been a time or two that I have reflected on something that you have shared that has given me the boost I needed to make it to the next moment...
MUCH L&R to you brother!!
~P
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Re: Big Book Fear...

Postby Jebtion12345 » Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:40 pm

I had an interesting "by the book" moment today . Was leaving a noon and walking with a buddy and a guy from meeting. My buddy asked the man with time why the reading in "Living Sober" used the term "recovered." I did not jump in but the "old timer" told him "around here we dont say recovered, we say recovering. maybe in other parts of the country. " I didnt speak up b/c I knew I would be met with opposition if I said it reads differently in the Book. He then gave us a warning that those who say they are recovered ALWAYS go back out.

I think I did the right thing- my buddy has 2 months clean and we walked on together and I told him I will tell him what the book says about the topic and if he cant reconcile anything I say with the book throw it out, its my opinion. I told him we are never cured, contingent upon our spiritual fitness, but the book does use the term recovered. On the second page even, after the title page!

I told him my recovery transformed after arming myself with the facts in the book.
I hope I didnt go too far but I told him some of what is said is sheepish mentality and it is wise to know the message in the text and then make a fair choice over what to believe. (?)

Anyway, it was kind of neat to share my love of the BB and maybe plant a seed for him to pick it up and read.
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Re: Big Book Fear...

Postby Dallas » Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:48 am

You're right on.

What I think sometimes causes the confusion is: Some of the Pioneers who were contributing w/ Bill in writing the book actually thought they were "cured." Bill had even referred to them as ex-alcoholics. And, Bill notoriously kept a bottle of whiskey on Dr. Bob's fireplace mantle to show "the power" of God and his "cured-ness." Anne, Bob's wife, finally convinced Bill to take the bottle down -- especially after one of the prospects who had gotten cured -- got drunk again, and chased some people around w/ a knife. LOL.

So, even in the beginning, there was a lot of misinformation about "recovered" -- and the misinformation continues to this day.

It has been my experience that every alcoholic I've known that proclaimed themselves "permanently recovered" and/or "cured" did go back to drinking. So, there is a long standing hesitancy in AA about using the word -- because most AA's do not understand what "recovered" means -- so they are always "recovering". And, they are wrong, too. LOL.

Initially, recovered was on the same level as "they are staying off the juice" -- they were physically sober -- and that was all that "recovered" actually meant.

I don't believe Bill even understood much of what he wrote in the Big Book. Which is why I personally believe in some sort of "Divine Guidance" that came to him to write the book, a book, and a program, that even he, did not fully comprehend.

We got to remember that Bill was only 3 1/2 years sober -- when he wrote the book. They had less than 100 recoveries (estimates are that there were actually between 60 and 70 staying sober) when the book was written.

I also believe that this is why Bill went through many of his major manic and chronic depression spells. They were related to emotional inebriation. The opposite of Emotional Sobriety.

This is a long story -- and I don't know if it's appropriate to write it all here in this post. LOL. It could take all night.

So, let's move up in time to now -- and look back on the history of Bill & the early AA's and what Bill wrote (that I'm not sure he fully comprehended at the time of writing the book).

Let's look at the 12 Steps.

Step 1 = On my own -- I'm screwed. (The problem centers in my mind -- alcoholic insanity = "someday I can drink again."
Step 2 = There is a solution. (Restored to sanity)
Step 3 = I have to make a decision to work the Solution, which will be Steps 4-10. I say 10, instead of 9, because in reading the book, it's clear that "after we are in the 9th Step" making amends = when we "enter the world of the spirit" pg 84 BB.

So, Step 3, really is ONLY a decision. Nothing more -- even though some will say that they applied more meaning to it. Just because they applied more meaning to it -- does not change what the Step says... "we made a DECISION" :-) And, the decision is to take Steps 4 through 9 (completely) -- because "4 through 9" = How... we "turn our will and our lives over to the God of our understanding." We haven't actually turned it over yet -- until the end of Step 9.

So, IMMEDIATELY after our decision, we launch like a rocket into Step 4, and we don't hesitate one iota in getting through to Step 9.

Why? Our book tells us why. "Though our (Step 3)
decision was a vital and crucial step, it could have little
permanent effect unless at once
followed by a strenuous
effort to face, (Step 4) and to be rid of, (Steps 5-9) the things in ourselves
which had been blocking us." ~pg 64, BB.

So, I'll pause there and jump to Step 10... what happens as a result of 1 to 10? The book tells us "we are restored to sanity."

So... what does RECOVERED actually mean? "We are sober AND restored to sanity" as THE results of "TAKING" the Steps.

At Step 10 -- we "enter the world of the Spirit" -- which means we've had a vital, transformation in our thoughts and attitudes towards life, towards each other, towards God, and towards alcohol.

But, Bill reminds us "why we have to daily do 1- through 12" 12 is the Foundation of our recovery. (many think that Step 1 is the foundation -- but, that's NOT what the book says) "Helping others" is the foundation, and this is the principle of Step 12.

Yes. We start helping others on DAY ONE, and the first paragraph of Chapter 7 tells us -- "this is what KEEPS us sober." So, we start helping other alcoholics on day one -- IF we want to stay sober.

If we want to "be restored to sanity" (recovered) -- then we take ALL the Steps.

So, that's how we get from and to: physically, mentally, emotionally sober. The Steps (which REQUIRES working w/ others).

Step 12 talks about "the Awakening" that we've experienced as THE result of THESE (12) Steps.

Basically, this IS the message of AA, "the 12 Steps", which is THIS message that we carry.

However, the message has gotten lost in the Fellowship -- and now, the Fellowship is afraid -- "to recover." So, they go to meetings -- instead of "taking" the Steps -- with the HOPES that someday "they'll stay sober and get some of the promises." LOL.

It's entirely up to us -- what we do, what we get, and what we experience. That's the cool part of this deal. No one can keep it away from us. No one can take it away from us. Our sobriety is ours. Our peace, and comfort and serenity is: Ours. We worked for it -- using God's tools -- and that's how we got it. It wasn't just dished out to most of us by praying & meditation and making promises and pledges to God. :-)

btw: Thanks for letting me share!

Dallas
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Re: Big Book Fear...

Postby MKL » Wed Mar 21, 2012 6:54 am

Too many meetings i've been to push meetings but not working steps. The last kid i sponsored believed in meetings above doing the work consequently i am no longer working with him. I believe going to meetings without working steps is like going to a dr who prescribes medicine for an ailement you have but you decide just going to see the dr was enough but then you wonder why you still suffer. I know you need the whole package not just meetings. Those that just go to meetings go out. Here in Waynesburg, Pa, where i live the predominant bs is just go to meetings and you will be okay, i stress i have to work steps and that i have to go to meetings to give, not take, needless to say i'm not popular, newwcomers are told to stay away from me because i stress working steps out of the BB serving God and others , instead of living for yourself.

I'm a diabetic, if i don't take my insulin every day i will die, maybe not today, but my diabetes will kill me eventually, i'm an alkie, if i don't work steps as per the BB, my disease will kill me too. AA today to me , doesn't resemble AA, instead going to meetings is like going to the hospice, it's the last place alot of alkies will go before they die because they buy in to the bs that they don't need to work steps. I offer the message of the BB at meetings, whether or not they pick it up is up to them. As long as those of us who believe in working steps out of the BB carry the message there is hope that AA won't die out.
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