PP 17-18 There is a Solution (Our common Peril)

The book Alcoholics Anonymous, aka The Big Book, is the basic text for the AA program of sobriety. "Alcoholics Anonymous" Copyright 2012 AAWS, Inc. All Rights, Reserved. Short excerpts used by permission of AAWS
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Karl R
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PP 17-18 There is a Solution (Our common Peril)

Post by Karl R » Fri Sep 12, 2008 4:39 am

Good Morning,

We've finished with Bill W. and his spiritual awakening through the step program for the time being and are now moving on to the chapter 'There is a solution'.

I've posted today's below.

This chapter's title contains within itself somewhat of a promise. If you are an alcoholic-there is a solution. There are also conditions to the solution which we will find later. But if you have reached a hopeless condition relying on your own self will-There is a solution to the drink problem.

The fact that we have shared the drink problem bonds those of us together who normally would not mix but it is the fact that we share a common solution to the drink problem that is the glue that sticks us together.

The part about 'annihilation of all worthwhile things in life' was certainly true when I was drinking. Despite the fact that I had a wonderful career, fine home, fine children and wife I had no joy in anything. The common solution is beginning to change that rapidly in my life.

in peace,
Karl

Chapter 2


THERE IS A SOLUTION


We, of ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, know thousands of men and women who were once just as hopeless as Bill. Nearly all have recovered. They have solved the drink problem.

We are average Americans. All sections of this country and many of its occupations are represented, as well as many political, economic, social, and religious backgrounds. We are people who normally would not mix. But there exists among us a fellowship, a friendliness, and an understanding which is indescribably wonderful. We are like the passengers of a great liner the moment after rescue from shipwreck when camaraderie, joyousness and democracy pervade the vessel from steerage to Captain's table. Unlike the feelings of the ship's passengers, however, our joy in escape from disaster does not subside as we go our individual ways. The feeling of having shared in a common peril is one element in the powerful cement which binds us. But that in itself would never have held us together as we are now joined.

The tremendous fact for every one of us is that we have discovered a common solution. We have a way out on which we can absolutely agree, and upon which we can join in brotherly and harmonious action. This is the great news this book carries to those who suffer from alcoholism.

An illness of this sort - and we have come to believe it an illness - involves those about us in a way no other human sickness can. If a person has cancer all are sorry for him and no one is angry or hurt. But not so with the alcoholic illness, for with it there goes annihilation of all the things worth while in life. It engulfs all whose lives touch the sufferer's. It brings misunderstanding, fierce resentment, financial insecurity, disgusted friends and employers, warped lives of blameless children, sad wives and parents - anyone can increase the list.

We hope this volume will inform and comfort those who are, or who may be affected. There are many.
Last edited by Karl R on Wed Jul 29, 2009 4:25 pm, edited 7 times in total.

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Re: September 12, 2008 BB There is a solution pp 17-18

Post by rick » Fri Sep 12, 2008 6:27 am

Karl R wrote:
Chapter 2


THERE IS A SOLUTION



An illness of this sort - and we have come to believe it an illness - involves those about us in a way no other human sickness can. If a person has cancer all are sorry for him and no one is angry or hurt. But not so with the alcoholic illness, for with it there goes annihilation of all the things worth while in life. It engulfs all whose lives touch the sufferer's. It brings misunderstanding, fierce resentment, financial insecurity, disgusted friends and employers, warped lives of blameless children, sad wives and parents - anyone can increase the list.

We hope this volume will inform and comfort those who are, or who may be affected. There are many.
My drinking problem engulfed the lives of my parents , who I often depended on financially. They also got me out of jail once after I crashed into 2 cars. I od'd on pills once when I was younger. When I was a teen, I was constantly being grounded. Despite that, I would sneak out by jumping out my bedroom window on the top floor so I could drink and get high. I put them through hell.

I was coming in late and working under capacity at my job(s).People who cared about me would try to help me. They found it so frustrating that each time I seemed to be getting it together I shoot myself in the foot.It's frustrating and heartbreaking to watch someone you love and care for do this over and over again.
The difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is how we use them.

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Post by bowlerdawg » Sat Sep 13, 2008 6:40 am

kinda like the jay-walker

however like the title says there is a soulution ( thank God ) and i dont have to be misreable unless i chose to be.

i am so lucky to have a program where recovery is possible
i need to cut more slack to earth people who have no such program.
First of all we had to quit playing God, it didn't work

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Post by Oliver » Sun Sep 14, 2008 2:45 pm

Things that stick out for me:

"We are like the passengers of a great liner the moment after rescue from shipwreck when camaraderie, joyousness and democracy pervade the vessel from steerage to Captain's table."

It is so easy for me to forget how lucky I am. The steps of Alcoholics Anonymous are leading me into a better relationship with my creator who is doing for me what I could never do for myself - keeping me sober, thus allowing me to deal with life and helping me to be useful to somebody else.

"The feeling of having shared in a common peril is one element in the powerful cement which binds us. But that in itself would never have held us together as we are now joined."

When people in my home group share they follow the "What I was like; What happened and What I am like now" pattern. Very often I find the majority of their shares are description of what they were like. I don't want to come across critical - that approach is keeping them sober, but the identification of a common condition is not all Alcoholics Anonymous is about for me.

"We have a way out on which we can absolutely agree, and upon which we can join in brotherly and harmonious action."

We share both a common problem and also a common solution. It is the solution that unites us as well as the fact we are Alcoholics. I suppose if we hadn't found a solution, we wouldn't be joyful. The word action is very important for me there - it reminds me that I have to live the programme and not just talk about it or compatamentalise it away. The AA programme is a way of life and not just a philosophy. I have to walk the walk away from the meetings and put my side of the street into order. To be honest, when everything is going well in my life, it's easy not to take my steps and to forget to give thanks to God for a sober day... I have to get into action today. This is one of the reasons I am glad to be able to post the daily readings on this board - it grounds me straight away, first thing in my day, in the realisation and the acceptance that I am an Alcoholics and I need to work the steps - it is, if you like my daily Step 1.
Oliver
"In exchange for bottle and hangover, I have been given the keys to the kingdom."

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Post by rick » Sun Sep 14, 2008 3:38 pm

Thanks for sharing this Oliver. A lot of people get the fellowship and the program mixed up. The fellowship was originally designed to bring together folks with this common problem. The 12 Steps are the program - the common solution for those in the fellowship who share this common problem. It was not a place to come in and whine. Many speakers tell a hell of a drunkalogue (the identification part of it) and that's as far as they go. They stay stuck in the problem instead of focusing on the solution. The solution is the AA program, which, when broken down into Steps = 12. What was I like? What happened? What am I like now as a result of working the program of action that will help me arrive at the solution to this problem?

Thanks for letting me share.

Peace,
Rick M
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Post by avaneesh912 » Thu Sep 18, 2008 7:06 am

The tremendous fact for every one of us is that we have discovered a common solution. We have a way out on which we can absolutely agree, and upon which we can join in brotherly and harmonious action. This is the great news this book carries to those who suffer from alcoholism.

I hear BB was 12 step call in print and it was published to carry the news of a common solution namely the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and not the news of the Fellowship.

When I see a new-comer, i ensure that he/she has a big-book and tell them that there are 2 powers. The power of the fellowship and the power of the spiritual awakening. We need both to have a peaceful life.
Show him the mental twist which leads to the first drink of a spree. We suggest you do this as we have done it in the chapter on alcoholism.(Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

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Post by jujub » Sat Oct 25, 2008 2:01 pm

evening all,

my sponsor has reminded me that my assignment is to read and contribute to the bb forum. my assignment is not to impress anyone with my vast stores of knowledge. i've been feeling lately that i have nothing insightful to write. you guys are all light years ahead of me. wah, wah, wah...so instead, i'd like to thank all of you for your experience, strength and hope. it has meant much to my perspective on recovery.

i know i'm a drunk like you guys. i believe pretty end stage alcoholic as a matter of fact. i remember my very first meeting many years ago, and reading the bb for the first time. it was me in print and my story was your story. i knew i was one of you. i wanted what you had.

but my way out of that peril didn't include doing what you all have done. thanks for the camaraderie, but don't ask me to do anything too difficult. i'll politely nod and agree with you, but that is as far as i went. somehow i'll figure out the proverbial easier, softer way. no need to tell you where that has gotten me over the last 19 years.

as oliver noted, action is the key. the steps are my answer. and developing a relationship with a greater power will solve my alcohol problem. i've wanted my problem solved through human hands. somebody to fix me and take care of me. today i know that is not possible. but it is possible through a higher power. at least that's what i feel today. tomorrow i may be throwing another temper tantrum about why i have to do all this crap!!! but it's okay, as long as i keep following direction and taking action.

judi, alcoholic

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Post by martin08 » Sat Oct 25, 2008 4:28 pm

jujub wrote:
you guys are all light years ahead of me

What was that flash? Oh... er... wasn't that someone who posted a "2 days sober" plea last July?

I think I've just witnessed a person travelling at Warp Speed!

Thanks for letting US tag along, Judi. I'm ehausted trying to keep up. 8)

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Post by Karl R » Sat Oct 25, 2008 4:59 pm

Traveling to the 4th dimension perhaps Judi? Thanks for being with us.


I was soon to be catapulted into what I like to call the fourth dimension of existence. I was to know happiness, peace, and usefulness, in a way of life that is incredibly more wonderful as time passes. (P. 8 bill's story).

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Post by jujub » Sat Oct 25, 2008 7:36 pm

hey guys,

martin--you have too good of a memory!!! :lol: i don't have much more than 2 days right now (actually about a week), but i know i've got both feet in this thing today. the fight against good orderly direction and the steps of our program is so much less than it was back in july. i dare say it wasn't present at all today. yesterday was a tantrum day, but i didn't drink. tomorrow--who knows? but i do know when i wake up i'm going to ask for help and make a decision to keep my feet moving. god, i'm a lucky woman. blessed, if you will. little ole me.

thanks karl for all you do here. i don't know about the 4th dimension. maybe 3 1/4? but compared to where i was, it's heaven on earth.

thank you guys, you've meant a lot to me, i can only hope to give back a portion of what all of you have given to me.

judi, alcoholic

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Post by ann2 » Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:43 am

Dear Judi,

What you impress me with is you, your courage.

I truly believe that the newcomer is the hero of the group. I remember the enormous amount of energy it took and I know that I had access to power greater than myself and I was quite willing to use it. That's what I want to remember today, when all the effort is so far behind me. I want to remember that those resources are available to me anytime and that I need them always.

Because of the newcomer, I get that reminder. Because of your being here, Judi, and sharing your experience with the hardest thing I ever had to do. I did it, thanks to the solution in the BB.

A study guide I like to use points out that these paragraphs talk about the kind of people I might meet in a meeting. We are saved, we are working together on a common purpose, and we have a similar history of damage in our lives, despite our being from "All sections of this country [world]" representing "many [if not all] of its occupations . . .as well as many [all?] political, economic, social, and religious backgrounds". What we have is there for anyone who wants it, no exclusions.

What worked for me was following the directions in the BB, and it didn't matter if I believed they would work or not, as someone else pointed out in these forums recently. I had no idea what the 4th dimension would be, so I had no idea what it would mean that they would "work" anyway :-) Today I get it.

Ann
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Post by martin08 » Sun Oct 26, 2008 6:12 pm

jujub wrote: martin--you have too good of a memory!!! :lol: i don't have much more than 2 days right now (actually about a week), but i know i've got both feet in this thing today. the fight against good orderly direction and the steps of our program is so much less than it was back in july. i dare say it wasn't present at all today.
It's one thing to make a post or two on this forum, dump off a load of grief, and then disappear.

It's quite another thing to stick around, through thick and thin, and keep giving sobriety a chance.

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Post by jujub » Mon Oct 27, 2008 4:18 am

hey martin,

my pride winced a bit when i read your post referencing where i was 3 months ago--knowing i hadn't stayed sober through that time. but i pray i am here for the long haul. willing to give this thing a chance, since aa and hp have given me so many.

thanks for all you do here.

judi

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Re: PP 17-18 There is a Solution (Our common Peril)

Post by avaneesh912 » Wed May 26, 2010 7:10 pm

The tremendous fact for every one of us is that we have discovered a common solution. We have a way out on which we can absolutely agree, and upon which we can join in brotherly and harmonious action. This is the great news this book carries to those who suffer from alcoholism.
Do we carry the common solution the big book talks about?

What is it? Fellowship? Meetings?
Show him the mental twist which leads to the first drink of a spree. We suggest you do this as we have done it in the chapter on alcoholism.(Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

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Re: PP 17-18 There is a Solution (Our common Peril)

Post by Marc L » Thu May 27, 2010 6:16 pm

Yes those who have worked the steps carry the solution. It has become a part of them and it is this which gets passed on to the still suffering alcoholic. Our Preamble defines what we are and what we do. I don't know why it isn't included in the Big Book but it is in the AA literature somewhere. Here it is:

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.

The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.

There are no dues or fees for AA membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. AA is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization, or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy, neither endorses nor opposes any other causes.

Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.

Hope this answers the question.
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