Alcoholics Anonymous AA Big Book Study and Discussion.
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Postby PatchesPal » Wed Jan 09, 2008 3:15 am

First, Our friend Dr. Silkworth identified part of the problem. Once an alcoholic begins to drink a craving for more alcohol sets in that is more powerful than their will power. He wrote:

"The only relief we have to suggest is entire abstinence."

Herein lies the rub. On page 24 our main problem is summed up:

"The fact is that most alcoholics, for reasons yet obscure, have lost the power of choice in drink. Our so-called will power becomes practically non-existent. We are unable at certain times, to bring into our consciousness with sufficient force the memory of the suffering and humiliation of even a week or a month ago. We are without defense against the first drink."

This may be where our friend LittleMiss found herself. The memory of her last debauch was insufficient to deter her from heading for the liquor store. This is an example of the insidious insanity of the first drink.

Understanding what an alcoholic is -- someone who when they begin to drink experiences an overwhelming craving for more alcohol and who suffers a type of insanity that prevents them from maintaining abstinence, leads us to the first step. The directions are found on page 30:

"We learned that we had to fully concede to ourselves that we were alcoholic."

This is dead simple and once understood leaves nowhere to go but to Step Two.

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Postby Dallas » Wed Jan 09, 2008 7:54 pm

Thanks for your sharing, PatchesPal!

Glad to see you active on the site! :wink:

Welcome to you!


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Postby GeoffS » Sat Nov 08, 2008 6:45 am

The Doctor's opinion is incredibly important to me. It captures what is wrong with me perfectly. It suggests that there is a solution available to me. It describes things I used to do. It describes how I can be helped.

It shows how through turning these 'I' s and 'me' s into us and we, we begin to live in god's solution.

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Postby ROBERT » Sun Jul 26, 2009 5:11 pm

For me the part about being---RESTLESS-IRRITABLE-DISCONTENTED, holds a meaning and a message that for me is so important to my daily living--a lot of controversy over my will and Gods will has been a subject full of many a great words of wisdom from both ends of the spectrum- people with one day c/s to 10 yrs. All very different yet the same, as one side of a coin is so different from the other side yet, the same coin ! This is where I pull a lot of information out of this passage in the doctors opinion.. If I am restless irritable discontented now this is a flag telling me "Intuitivley"-- some thing is not right, and the problem probably isn't on the outside-- usually I am In/have been In,my will.This has been my experience on how I am able to discern my will from the will of God, IF I feel it's necessary to try and figure, usually however this has become a working part of my mind. My sponser keeps things simple--If your doing what your supposed to be doing peace and serenity, if your doing something your not supposed to be doing .......well you get the idea, a simple program for complicated thinkers.... :lol: :lol: :lol:-- God I love this program!!!

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Postby Dallas » Mon Jul 27, 2009 2:37 am

from the Dr.s Opinion above... wrote:Men and women drink essentially because they like the
effect produced by alcohol. The sensation is so elusive that,
while they admit it is injurious, they cannot after a time
differentiate the true from the false. To them, their alcoholic
life seems the only normal one. They are restless,
irritable and discontented, unless they can again experience
the sense of ease and comfort which comes at once by
taking a few drinks—drinks which they see others taking
with impunity. After they have succumbed to the desire
again, as so many do, and the phenomenon of craving
develops, they pass through the well-known stages of a
spree, emerging remorseful, with a firm resolution not to
drink again. This is repeated over and over, and unless
this person can experience an entire psychic change there
is very little hope of his recovery.

I identify with the part above about not being able to differentiate between the true and the false.

I got so confused trying to figure out what God's will was... that it made me restless, irritable and discontinted... and really really thirsty for a drink!

Everytime I thought I had God's will figured out -- it turned out to be my will. And then when I thought it was my will -- it turned out to be God's will after all.

I resigned from the debating factory.

I discovered in the Big Book precisely what God's will was for me... and I found part of it on page 133. God's will is what God wants. Right?

Well. I read that "God wants me to be happy, joyous and free." For me, that means God wants me to be happy and sober at the same time. And, for me -- that's all there is to it. That, simply, and clearly, and easy to understand for me, is God's will for me.

If I stay sober and have the personality change that's produced by the 12 Steps... I'll be happy and sober at the same time... And, for me... that's God's will for me.

I read a book once, but I can't remember if the guys name was Moore or Morton... but the deal in the book was, he went to a Monestary and stayed there for 30 years trying to figure out what "God's will" was. He summed it up at the end of the book by saying after 30 years of trying to figure out what God's will was... he didn't know any more about God's will then than when he started 30 years earlier.

I understood. I understand. And, I relate and identify with that guy.

Even today, right now, I can cause myself it get restless, irritable and discontented trying to figure out what God's will is. I would rather be at peace with God, and know God, in the Present, than try to figure out what His will is.

Have you ever been out on a date with a chick, and tried to read her mind... and figure out "what the heck does she want, anyway? I ask and ask and ask... and I get nothing clear from her in regards to an answer!"

That's the way it was with me and God. The more I ask Him... the less I got. So, I started to treat Him like I did the chick. I just went and had fun with Him and enjoyed hanging out and doing stuff with Him. We laughed, Joked and danced in the sand and in the water on the beach together. We ate together. We slept together. We laughed together. And, we cried together. We had a ball -- and we're still having one!

I don't know what happened with the chick. We parted ways and she's probably settled down or partying with someone somewhere. But, I do know what happend to God. God's still hanging around with me and we're still partying together! And, you know what? I don't know any more about what His will is now than what I discovered int he Big Book, about 22 years ago. God likes to have fun and be happy... and that's what He wants for me, too. Except, He wants me to stay sober, too! He can drink because He's not alcoholic.

I am amazed and happy for others, though, that figure out what God's will is for them. When they tell me about it... I think of how fast it would give me a headache if I had to figure out what they figured out! :wink:

Happy, joyous and free.


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Postby ROBERT » Mon Jul 27, 2009 9:14 am

I feel the same way Dallas the beginning I was so sick that I had a need to want to know answers to alot of this A.A. stuff, and I see others coming in w/alot of the same fears--needing to know stuff, which as we know NOW isn't important so when a newcomer asks about Gods will vs our will, I feel empathetic towards them--and for THEM it's a valid question, so my attitude is I really don't have a clue what God wants, to FAR out of my scope of understanding, love ones dying suddenly? There's things going on I couldn't possibly fathom---so I point out the proper use of our will in the book, the part you shared- God want us H-J-F, do whats in front of us, work the program and MORE WILL BE REVEALED...GREAT TOPIC

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Postby Dallas » Mon Jul 27, 2009 2:47 pm

I understand, Robert.

I spent most of my life with these huge God-conflicts inside me... because I felt different than what others told me they felt and knew.

I used to plead with God "Why won't you let me know about you and your will -- is it because you don't like me? Do you hate me? Why is it that others can know you so well and know so much about you and know your will -- and all I get is a blank page?"

It made me so miserable that I'd often drink to try to soften the conflicts.

Then, when I got sober, I couldn't drink to soften the conflicts.... they just grew and grew and grew to the point that I was nuts. I wanted to know. I had a sincere desire to know... and I'd get back that blank page.

I often hear people talking about God talking to them. And, I would feel less-than, when I hear it. "Why is it God... that you talk to them and they can hear you, but you won't do it with me?"

It got to the point where I was starting (well didn't start, I was already there)... to hate God, because He treated me so cold and different, in comparison to how others talked about Him treating them. So, I didn't want anything to do with God.

Who likes Rejection? And, that's what I felt.

This is where AA came to my rescue. So, now I believe God spoke to me through AA, and the Big Book, and my sponsor and AA friends.

They told me "Let go absolutely of all your old ideas about God, and start over fresh, with that blank page of yours. Start writing down what you believe God would be like -- if there is a God."

And, I did that. First, all I had was: God is Good, Love, and Life.

When I had trouble believing in God, I chose to believe in the Power of Good, and the Power of Love and Life.

That opened the door for me. Now, I feel at peace with God.

I believe that He treated me the way He did -- because He didn't want me to know about Him -- He wanted me to know Him.

Then, I understood that it's kind of the same way about people, too. The more I know about them the less likely I am to know them.

That's because my perceptions will filter to me who they really are... and rather than to know them as they really are... I'll only know my perceptions.

Great topic Robert! You're always helping me even when you're probably not even thinking about me! :lol:

Imagine that! :wink:

God working through you!


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Postby ROBERT » Mon Jul 27, 2009 9:47 pm


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An allergy to alcohol explains many things

Postby Dallas » Sun Dec 20, 2009 7:06 pm

"The doctor's theory that we have an allergy to alcohol interests us. As laymen, our opinion as to its soundness may, of course, mean little. But as ex-problem drinkers, we can say that his explanation makes good sense. It explains many things for which we cannot otherwise account."

The Doctor's Opinion, pg. xxvi
~ Alcoholics Anonymous

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Postby MichalF » Mon Jan 11, 2010 12:32 pm

Regarding to classification of an alcoholic I can say that in my an own diagnose I fit in:
3) There is the type who always believes that after being entirely free from alcohol for a period of time he can take a drink without danger.

From my first contact with alcohol on my 7 yrs when I first got drunk to lose consciousness it became my IDEE FIXE.
Because I fallen love at first...swallow :? and at once I paid high price!
Did it worth! Of course DID! :wink:
I need only find way to settle some affairs, learn myself social drinking.
I can take the time and effort to better understand it and try to become more consciously drinker 8)
I need for that free from alcohol period of time.
These days only scars on my a..(Disulfiram) remind me those brave battles of social drinking. :lol:
4) There is the manic-depressive type, who is, per-
haps, the least understood by his friends, and about whom
a whole chapter could be written.

Chapter could be written- quite so!

Quite sufficient for me is definition of alcoholics
All these, and many others, have one symptom in com-
mon: they cannot start drinking without developing the
phenomenon of craving

That it! When I reached this point I give up learning about alcoholism as a scientyfic sens.
at my early recovery I attended to professional therapy I could say I was a favorit patient- top student.
:D but suddenly i had "moment of clarity" I asked myself Why do you so strive to get knowledge about alcoholism and self-knowledge ?
just from this moment another 18 years I only concentrate my attention to 12 Steps program.

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