Page 42 & 43 In The BB

Topics related to AA Meetings - and alcohol addiction recovery
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Page 42 & 43 In The BB

Postby DebbieV » Tue Oct 09, 2007 8:10 am

I was at a Big Book study last night and we read pages 42 and 43.
When I came to me I made the comment that it seemed to me that what it was saying is, That they came to see poor ole' Fred in the hospital, after it was believed he was hopeless, and they outlined the spiritual answer and program of action which a hundred of them had followed successfully.
And at the moment he made up his mind to go through with the process, he had the curious feeling that his alcoholic condition was relieved, as in fact it proved to be to him.
I felt it was saying that he took the steps (as the steps were presented at that time).
He didnt wait untill he was out of the hospital.
Or wait and take a step a month.
Or wait and read this and that, then do the steps.
Or wait a year to finish them.
It seems to me, they told him precisely how to recover from alcohol, and that was doing the step right then. And, have a spiritual awakening as a result.

Kind of cool how it worked back then. :wink:


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Postby Dallas » Tue Oct 09, 2007 12:14 pm

Hey Debbie,

Thanks for sharing that! The Big Book has other examples of how newcomers took the Steps as soon as the alcohol fog cleared out of their brain -- usually, no longer than two weeks after leaving a hospital, and sometimes while they were in the hospital. That's precisely how Dr. Bob and Bill W., were doing it in Akron, when A.A. first began.

Then, Dr. Bob, sponsored another guy from Cleveland, named Clarence S.
His story may still be in the book, if they haven't taken it out -- he was the "Home Brewmeister" -- Dr. Bob led him through the Steps, and Clarence founded A.A. in Cleveland. It is said that Clarence, then led hundreds -- and even thousands of alcoholics through the Steps, in one or two days, when they were new... just like Dr. Bob took him through the Steps.

Bill D., who was AA #3, last time I looked his story is still in the book, took his Steps while he was still in the hospital.

Then, we have Earl T., "He Sold Himself Short" -2nd and 3rd and 4th Big Book editions, story in Pioneer's section in back of Big Book)

For a quick reference - check it out ... it is a prime example of how Dr. Bob, led his Sponsees through the Steps. He did it in one afternoon, within a couple of weeks from the day that the guy was released from the hospital.

The next day, it was decided by Dr. Bob and Earl T., that Earl was to go to Chicago -- and start AA there!

Here, we have a newcomer, sober two weeks, gets out of the hospital, and Dr. Bob took him through the Steps on Wednesday afternoon.

Dr. Bob, DID NOT say "Earl! Don't you make any major decisions for the first year!

Dr. Bob, told him "Earl, you leave tomorrow morning and go start A.A. in Chicago! And, since you'll be alone, no sponsors, no fellowship, no meeting, AND NO BIG BOOK! ... you come back to Akron every two months to catch a meeting with us! (So much for 90 meetings in 90 days? :lol: Get a Sponsor? :lol: Read the book? :lol: Go to meetings? :lol: Hang out with the winners? :lol: :lol: )

I could cite a number of examples of this, in the AA book, and through our other history books, and through speaker tapes of the old-timers "Pioneers of AA" who said the same thing!

In AA Comes of Age, and Dr. Bob & the Good Old-timers, (official AAWS books)... it indicates that in the early days in Akron ... that a new guy couldn't attend a meeting... until his "Sponsor" vouched that the guy had "made the surrender." (That's where the word and term sponsor originated in AA, it was the guy who "witnessed that you had made your surrender." ) We surrender....... by taking the 12 Steps.

How long did it take Bill W. to do his Steps? One day. Read his story, it's Chapter 1, in the Big Book. How long for Dr. Bob? One day. (Dr. Bob was out making his amends... and Bill and Dr. Bob's wife, Anne, thought that Dr. Bob was out drinking! They later found out he was out and came in late because he was out making his amends! )

Have you ever noticed how many in the AA Fellowship relapse either right after Step 3, or while working on starting Step 4? I've never known ONE AA relapse, who had taken the 12 Steps, continued to practice the 12 Steps daily... (which includes helping another alcoholic).

Can an AA relapse after taking the 12 Steps? I know of one. That AA refused to work with other alcoholics.

When AA finally got some good publicity around 1941, newcomers were coming in to Cleveland AA by the droves. They didn't have enough old-timers to work with the newcomers, so Clarence was the first to start having "AA Classes" -- they were like a workshop type meeting, where there were a very few old-timers and a whole bunch of newcomers -- and Clarence would lead them all in taking the Steps together in the meetings!

Have you ever watched the whole meeting getting down on their knees and taking the 3rd Step together? It's an awesome thing to see and to participate in! (I've experienced it a few times -- and if you're ever Chairing AA meetings -- it's an experience that you'll not want to miss! ).

Anyhoot... that's what I've got to say about "Fred, pages 42 and 43, and taking the Steps -- ALL OF THEM -- RIGHT NOW!" :lol:

Another cool experience -- is taking a newcomer through the 12 Steps, that is sponsored by someone else.... I've had them go back to their Sponsor and lead their Sponsor through the Steps! Go figure! :lol:

Of course... I've had one guy, too -- his sponsor said "Sure it's a good idea if Dallas takes you through the Steps this weekend. I give you my blessings and I approve."

Guess what happened? Two weeks after the guy took his Steps with me, (that his sponsor approved of -- and blessed, because he didn't have the time or experience to do it ) his sponsor FIRED the sponsee... and told him "I don't think I can help you now, because I've never heard of anyone going through the Steps in a couple of days!"

This sure threw the new guy for a loop -- but, he stayed sober and found another sponsor. I'm not sure how his old sponsor is doing.


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Postby littlemiss » Tue Oct 09, 2007 5:35 pm

Ah...I was curious about this topic, in general. Can ya just start working the steps on your own before you get a sponsor? I bought myself a 12 step workbook w/ a really good/thorough/tough ?'s to answer...& even as I look through the ?'s of all the steps, I can already SEE how much they'll uncover...
I bought this one for A.A. Recovery even though I am also on Step 2 in my 12 steps in A-Non...

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Postby DebbieV » Wed Oct 10, 2007 11:25 am

Hey littlemiss,

I am going to go out on a limb here and share MY experience, strength and hope. The way that it worked for me to get sober and the way it is working for me today to stay sober.

1. I had to go to a meeting even if I didnt know if I wanted to stop drinking or not.

2. I had to start to get serious and realize if I didnt stop drinking I was going to die.

3. I had to have help doing the second one, and that was by getting a sponsor, someone I trusted, so I would somewhat follow directions.

4. I had to take the step with my sponsor, because the alcoholic that I am, doesn't follow directions well, and I didnt understand half the stuff I was reading (I was also told to just read the first 164 pages of the Big Book nothing else, so my mind could keep up) so I need to be taken through the steps with a understanding sponsor who explained as we went along. I also am grateful that my sponsor did what the book says and I had my steps done in two days. I was dying and I needed to be shown how to live and to live sober, or I would have died an alcoholic death.

5. I have to continue to work the steps and talk to my sponsor, because I still dont understand some things.

That is a short version of how I did it, and doing it today....there are other things involved.....but, for me, taking the steps is what got me doing the 'other things involved'.

I hope that helps and answers you question, at least somewhat.


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Postby littlemiss » Wed Oct 10, 2007 12:25 pm

Thanks, Debbie...& yes, that helps me A LOT...

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Postby garden variety » Wed Oct 10, 2007 12:31 pm

Hi Anne Marie,

Let me pass on this jewel of knowledge that people with quality sobriety passed on to me:

"If you don't get a sponsor, you'll be listening to the same dummy who got you into these rooms." :twisted:

It was true for me. :roll:

Another more "polite" way of looking at this is the reason A.A. works. ACCOUNTABILITY. Accountability to another human being is part of the backbone of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Find a lady that has the "quality" of sobriety that you want. Someone who's "demeanor is attractive to you. Then it gets real simple after that.

"Monkey see - monkey do!"

Around here they don't mince words. I have been called "Grandma Monkey" once or twice. That's because I act like a concerned "Grandma" to a couple protege's, and I look like a monkey. A very big monkey.

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Postby carol1017 » Wed Oct 10, 2007 1:01 pm

garden variety wrote:
"If you don't get a sponsor, you'll be listening to the same dummy who got you into these rooms." :twisted:


I love that!!! It is so true in my case as well! I really can't imagine the ways I could have lied to myself and fooled myself into thinking I was actually working a step without having a sponsor to call me on it.

Well said -- thanks!

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Postby littlemiss » Wed Oct 10, 2007 1:40 pm

I WANT a sponsor...think / know that is EXACTLY what the hell I need!!!!!
I just don't want to ask someone too soon...cuz I just started going to meetings ...what if you're desperate...can ya just ask someone temporarily? Do you announce this at a meeting--WHAT?
I'm going to a new meeting tomorrow morning...

Ann Marie

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Postby anniemac » Wed Oct 10, 2007 2:16 pm

Hi Ann Marie,

Different groups do things slightly differently. Around here, yes, one can get a temporary sponsor.

At some groups, they announce at the start of the meeting that if anyone is looking for a temporary sponsor to see them after the meeting, and they usually have a list of women who are willing to do so.

However, when groups don't announce that, it's up to us to approach a woman and ask her if she would be our temporary sponsor. Usually (around here at least) when someone announces during their share that they need a sponsor, no one is going to go up to them after to offer, because it's believed that part of the recovery process is to "chase your recovery", i.e., to take the steps yourself, by initiating the conversation with a woman one on one.

But, I don't know what's the norm by you. Perhaps at the meeting tomorrow, before it starts, you can pull a woman aside as ask how one gets a sponsor, and she'll let you know how it's done there.

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Postby Dallas » Wed Oct 10, 2007 2:52 pm

Paul wrote:"If you don't get a sponsor, you'll be listening to the same dummy who got you into these rooms."

It was true for me.

:lol: :lol: Paul, if you don't get that posted in the "Heard in meeting" or "quotes" or "humor" section -- I'll do it and take credit for it! :lol: :lol:

That fit me so perfect!!!

LittleMiss: I've got a possible solution for your problem.... Why not hook up with Carol, (here online) and ask if she'll at least temporarily sponsor you -- and see how that works out? (She was asking a question in regards to "Online Sponsoring" over in the Sponsor's forum... maybe she'll say yes... but, you won't know unless you ask her). She's sober. She's a good AA. She knows the book and the Steps. She's active in AA. She seems to have pretty high quality sobriety to me. I'll bet she could help you, and that she might do it. It wouldn't hurt anything to ask. If she rejects you.... well, we all got to get rejected once in a while! Get used to it! :lol: :lol:


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