- The first 164 pages used to be the first 172 pages.

The first 164 pages used to be the first 172 pages.

Alcoholics Anonymous AA Big Book Study and Discussion.

The first 164 pages used to be the first 172 pages.

Postby Dallas » Wed Apr 06, 2011 3:27 pm

The first 164 pages used to be the first 172 pages.

In the First Edition of the Big Book, published in 1939 -- the Dr.'s Opinion started on Page 1.

Later editions of the book changed this. Now, if someone follows the instructions to "study the first 164 pages" of the book -- they entirely miss out on The Dr.'s Opinion.

The Dr.'s Opinion - is Step 1. Without it, a thorough Step 1 can not be taken.

Perhaps... this could be a reason for numerous relapsing for some AA's. They didn't take a thorough Step 1, because they skipped the info for it.

This is also one of the dangers in starting the Steps on pg 58... how it works. Pg 58 begins with the Third Step... bypassing Steps 1 & 2, in the big book.

Dallas B.
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Postby Pebbles » Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:26 pm

Thank you for posting this Dallas. The first sponsor I had told me to read the first 164 pages and then get back to her so we could talk about the 1st step. I did read, but none of it stuck with me. I never did any work with her, and so I found another sponsor who told me to read Bills Story and the Dr's Opinion-basically read through pg. 45 and then highlighted in the book what stuck out to me. After doing this, I got with her and discussed what was read-doing that helped me to "get" what I was reading, besides the fact that I was more than willing to do the work, helped very much!!
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Postby junebug » Thu Apr 07, 2011 6:49 am

The Dr.'s opinion is what sealed it for me-and I continue to read it all the time. !
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Postby Dallas » Thu Apr 07, 2011 2:16 pm

Me too! There is such depth & weight to it -- as I learn more I understand more. Also, it's interesting when I hear some "new scientific info" that get's published about alcoholism. The stuff that sticks around seems to fit right in with Dr. Silkworth's writing -- and the stuff that doesn't -- seems to continually change.

Thanks for your comments on it! I appreciate you!

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Postby tim-one » Tue May 24, 2011 4:44 am

My first sponsor began our reading at the first page of the book, not at page one. We read the copyrite, fer cryin out loud ... together.

It put an appreciation in me for all of the hard work, deep thought, and tweeking of the book as they so perfectly formulated it for ME.

"The Doctor's Opinion" was a very important prelude to the beginning of the book for me. It expressed so well the futility of not only battling this disease alone but how little medicine can do. I had to be thoroughly convinced that there was no other help. "The delusion that [I] will ever be able to drink like normal men has to be SMASHED"! And "that probably no human power could have relieved [my] alcoholism" had to be driven home like a deck screw. Let's just pull THAT rug out from under me right NOW.

Later, after page 1, it struck me that what the doctor called a "complete psychic change", the AA program calls a "spiritual change" and a "spiritual awakenning".

AHA ! says I.

The medical commumity has no authority to talk of spirit. It's not in Gray's Anatomy as a treatable organ. Psychology can allude to it as a part of the psyche if it's assumed it's part of the brain.

In a treatment facility, they did a GREAT job explaining the physics and psychology of addiction. They made mework through steps 1, 2, &, 3 (kinda) on a psychological basis. they did a great job convincing me of the disease aspect of alcoholism. I'm thoroughly convinced. But I knew that info wasn't going to keep me sober.

BUT it was a perfect primer to slide me into AA which WOULD keep me sober for the long haul. Adding the spiritual aspect, the third leg on the human-being stool (to me), is what would treat the whole me.

"Going away" to treatment was necessary for me. I just could not stop drinking. I had no one to sit with me (or ON me) all day. I like to say that treatment broke the chain that was holding me unde water. But I was still way out to sea. AA is teaching me to swim.

DO NOT neglect the reading and study of the Doctor's Opinion. Yes, it begins Step One and is a perfect prelude to Page One. From helpless to hopeful.

From there, it's also important to remember that we don't compete with, replace, or "poo-poo" medical help. We work together. (uh ... that's not an exact quote) The whole man is sick. The whole man needs treatment.

I poo-poo AAs who advise against going to doctors. I applaud the ones who say to be absolutely honest with them about your drinking.

But that's just Tim-the-alcoholic's opinion. What do I know? :wink:
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Postby Dallas » Tue May 24, 2011 5:30 am

I was always kind of envious and jealous of the guys that got to go to treatment! My first time in to AA, someone told me about a drying out place -- but there was a two year waiting list! :lol: I couldn't wait that long!

My head went to work on it -- and I remember thinking "Well. I could go throw a brick through the Police Station window -- and they'd keep me long enough to dry out! But, then I remembered -- how long I had to stay the last time they had me! :lol: :lol: I couldn't wait that long either! :lol:
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Postby tim-one » Wed May 25, 2011 5:52 am

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Now THERE'S a plan !

Got a guy in my group the judge is just giving HELL! He's a good sober brother. Doing AA-well without a driver's license, has an ankle bracelet that measures alcohol in his sweat, been sponsoring for months. He was just now allowed, after 18 months, to drive to work and AA meetings - that's it. The judge just ain't buyin' his "sober ruse".

He told me, "Shoot, if I'd known this, I woulda just gone to jail for a year and be done."

Treatment actually convinced me of the disease aspect. I said, "Insurance companies just don't shell out $30,000 for something you can get over with an aspirin and an ice-pack. This is SURGERY."
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Postby djserenity » Wed May 25, 2011 6:39 pm

8) Thanks Dallas
My sponsor started me on the cover and every page there after. I love the Doctors opinion. Many people skip the section but I believe it is very important for an understanding
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Postby tim-one » Thu May 26, 2011 5:41 am

You betcha, brother.

I go back to it all the time. I often find some little thing in the rest of the book I'd blown by many times before that's a solution to a dilema the doctor mentions as a hopeless condition. There IS a solution!

It was the single most poignant passage in my step 1 and 2 - from a medical practitioner AND a world renowned psychiatrist both highly experienced in the enigmatic futility of addictions.

I was without help or hope. No, I couldn't and can't do it alone. And no other human power or knowledge could do it for me.

It's not that they did no good at all, though. Just so far they could go with body and mind. Puny humans.

Hahahahah .... I was just going to blurt a brief blurb here. I'm thinking if I drop in and write more I wouldn't be so verbose. NAH! Can't do it. I LOVE this program. And my life TODAY. It made my worthless life ... well ... worthful. :P
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Postby DiggerinVA » Fri Aug 05, 2011 6:51 pm

I get a kick out of the page differences. When I bought a 4th edition to read the new stories. I was told that the 1st 164 pages were the same. Well Page 164 was the last page in the chapter "To Employers". It told me tha most people in AA don't really know the history all that well.

The best way to tell some one how to read the Big Book would be from the 1st blank page to the end of the text. That way nothing is missed.

Oh about a year ago I finally began to think in terms of the modern text as far as page numbers. Some friends of mine got a big kick out of that.
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12 Step Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery | - The first 164 pages used to be the first 172 pages.