12/26/08 BB A Vision for you pp 156-159 (a 3rd and 4th)

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

12/26/08 BB A Vision for you pp 156-159 (a 3rd and 4th)

Postby Karl R » Fri Dec 26, 2008 9:30 am

Good Day,

"God, I offer myself to Thee--to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life.

May I do Thy will always!"


Yesterday's reading spoke of the importance of seeking new fellows in AA to maintain our own release.

Today's reading tells the story of numbers 3 and 4. Like numbers 3 and 4 I remember from my very first moments here and my very first moments at F2F meetings my sense of identification with people's stories.

Anyone care to share of their ES and H concerning identification with our stories as part of finding new fellows in AA? or...anyone with their own stories of identification?

have a great day everyone,
Karl


But life was not easy for the two friends. Plenty of difficulties presented themselves. Both saw that they must keep spiritually active. One day they called up the head nurse of a local hospital. They explained their need and inquired if she had a first class alcoholic prospect.
She replied, "Yes, we've got a corker. He's just beaten up a couple of nurses. Goes off his head completely when he's drinking. But he's a grand chap when he's sober, though he's been in here eight times in the last six months. Understand he was once a well-known lawyer in town, but just now we've got him strapped down tight."
Here was a prospect all right but, by the description, none too promising. The use of spiritual principles in such cases was not so well understood as it is now. But one of the friends said," Put him in a private room. We'll be down."
Two days later, a future fellow of Alcoholics Anonymous stared glassily at the strangers beside his bed. "Who are you fellows, and why this private room? I was always in a ward before."
Said one of the visitors, "We're giving you a treatment for alcoholism."
Hopelessness was written large on the man's face as he replied, "Oh, but that's no use. Nothing would fix me. I'm a goner. The last three times, I got drunk on the way home from here. I'm afraid to go out the door. I can't understand it."
For an hour, the two friends told him about their drinking experiences. Over and over, he would say: "That's me. That's me. I drink like that."
The man in the bed was told of the acute poisoning from which he suffered, how it deteriorates the body of an alcoholic and warps his mind. There was much talk about the mental state preceding the first drink.
"Yes, that's me," said the sick man, "the very image. You fellows know your stuff all right, but I don't see what good it'll do. You fellows are somebody. I was once, but I'm a nobody now. From what you tell me, I know more than ever I can't stop." At this both the visitors burst into a laugh. Said the future Fellow Anonymous: "Damn little to laugh about that I can see."
The two friends spoke of their spiritual experience and told him about the course of action they carried out.
He interrupted: "I used to be strong for the church,
but that won't fix it. I've prayed to God on hangover mornings and sworn that I'd never touch another drop but by nine o'clock I'd be boiled as an owl."
Next day found the prospect more receptive. He had been thinking it over. "Maybe you're right," he said. "God ought to be able to do anything." Then he added, "He sure didn't do much for me when I was trying to fight this booze racket alone."
On the third day the lawyer gave his life to the care and direction of his Creator, and said he was perfectly willing to do anything necessary. His wife came, scarcely daring to be hopeful, though she thought she saw something different about her husband already. He had begun to have a spiritual experience.
That afternoon he put on his clothes and walked from the hospital a free man. He entered a political campaign, making speeches, frequenting men's gathering places of all sorts, often staying up all night. He lost the race by only a narrow margin. But he had found God - and in finding God had found himself.
That was in June, 1935. He never drank again. He too, has become a respected and useful member of his community. He has helped other men recover, and is a power in the church from which he was long absent.
So, you see, there were three alcoholics in that town, who now felt they had to give to others what they had found, or be sunk. After several failures to find others, a fourth turned up. He came through an acquaintance who had heard the good news. He proved to be a devil-may-care young fellow whose parents could not make out whether he wanted to stop drinking or not. They were deeply religious people, much shocked by their son's refusal to have anything to do with the church. He suffered horribly from his sprees, but it seemed as if nothing could be done for him. He consented, however, to go to the hospital, where he occupied the very room recently vacated by the lawyer.
He had three visitors. After a bit, he said, "The way you fellows put this spiritual stuff makes sense. I'm ready to do business. I guess the old folks were right after all." So one more was added to the Fellowship.
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Postby avaneesh912 » Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:57 am

================================================
For an hour, the two friends told him about their drinking experiences. Over and over, he would say: "That's me. That's me. I drink like that."
The man in the bed was told of the acute poisoning from which he suffered, how it deteriorates the body of an alcoholic and warps his mind. There was much talk about the mental state preceding the first drink.
"Yes, that's me," said the sick man, "the very image. You fellows know your stuff all right, but I don't see what good it'll do. You fellows are somebody. I was once, but I'm a nobody now. From what you tell me, I know more than ever I can't stop." At this both the visitors burst into a laugh. Said the future Fellow Anonymous: "Damn little to laugh about that I can see."
The two friends spoke of their spiritual experience and told him about the course of action they carried out.
================================================

A great guidance from our Founders on how to work with the newbie. Telling the story so that we could show the hopelessness of our state of mind and body, helping the person to identify with the disease and finally the solution to recover from that state.

None of these modern day slogans: 1 day at a time, 90 and 90, Easy does it......

The guy took the 3rd step on the third day and went on to work the other steps....
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: 12/26/08 BB A Vision for you pp 156-159 (a 3rd and 4th)

Postby leejosepho » Sun Nov 01, 2015 12:33 am

Here was a prospect... "Put him in a private room. We'll be down."

Two days later... "Who are you fellows, and why this private room? I was always in a ward before."

Said one of the visitors, "We're giving you a treatment for alcoholism."

Their "treatment" had begun two days earlier when they had asked the nurse to put the prospect in a private room. The first time I read that, I thought the private room might be related to anonymity or privacy or something for the sake of their upcoming conversation, but it turned out that is was common in those days to move a dying alcoholic to a private room so the others in the ward would not have to watch him die. In this case, however, Bill and Bob had asked that the man be moved so he might hopefully at least *think* he might be dying and then be more inclined to listen to what they had to say:

"The more hopeless he feels, the better. He will be more likely to follow your suggestions." (page 94)

...the two friends told him about their drinking (beyond all control) experiences. Over and over, he would say: "That's me. That's me. I drink like that."

...There was much talk about the mental state preceding the first drink...

"... From what you tell me, I know more than ever I can't stop."...

The two friends spoke of their spiritual experience and told him about the course of action they carried out.

Step One plus Step Two equals 12th-Step work. Taking someone to a meeting for a "desire" chip and a pat on the back for not drinking for two days does not.

On the third day the lawyer gave his life to the care and direction of his Creator, and said he was perfectly willing to do anything necessary...

That afternoon he put on his clothes and walked from the hospital a free man.

Bill and Bob had no problem believing they knew exactly what the next man needed and what could-and-would actually work for him, and they were definitely *not* there to offer "support" while he tried some convoluted plan or "program" of his own. We might never again ever have their kind of exclusive access to recovery prospects beginning at the time of detox, but that does not have to stop us from still trying to do exactly as they had done.
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================
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Re: 12/26/08 BB A Vision for you pp 156-159 (a 3rd and 4th)

Postby avaneesh912 » Sun Nov 01, 2015 6:13 am

We might never again ever have their kind of exclusive access to recovery prospects beginning at the time of detox, but that does not have to stop us from still trying to do exactly as they had done.

Somewhere along the line, we got brain-washed into thinking recovery is not drinking one day at a time and also, it takes a long time to lift the obsession to drink.

In one of the meetings I was chairing, I brought about the story "He sold himself short" and how Dr. Bob would send in the recovered drunks in and give the prospect some hope and this would go on for couple of weeks and boom one day Dr. Bob would walk in and take the prospect through the steps in about 4-5 hours. This women couldn't agree with what I shared and went on to say how ALL she could do was go to a meeting a day and somehow managed not to pick up a drink for 2 years and her sponsor told her that she has not taken a drink that day, she had a successful day. And the meeting rallied around with such experiences. Bills story, Dr. Bobs story, the number 3 story and majority of the stories that appear "under the pioneer section" all point to this approach and yet today the fellowship thinks it takes a longtime to overcome the obsession problem.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: 12/26/08 BB A Vision for you pp 156-159 (a 3rd and 4th)

Postby avaneesh912 » Sun Nov 01, 2015 6:45 am

Also want to add an excerpt form a box459 article:

"The most frustrating thing about answering inter- group's phones," says Bob R., manager of the Intergroup Association in New York City, "is findtng an A.A. member willing to take a Twelfth Step call for some sick alcoholic who has phoned us for help. Sometimes it takes up to 20 caJJs to identifyjust one willing volunteer.

Some of the responses we hear when a live member actually does answer the phone: '
What's a Twelfth Step call?'... 'How did you get my phone number?'...'Do you mean you actually want me to talk to someone who's still drinking?' The saddest response came from a member who exclaimed, 'No, l can't do it. I'm busy all day. Today is my sobriety anniversary.' Other negative answers we get include: 'The number has been disconnected'...'I'm no longer a member of that group'... 'I don't attend meetmgs anymore.'

"But occasionally," Bob adds, "something wonderful happens, as when we called upon an A.A. who answered our request for help by saymg, 'Thanks for calling me-l was really feeling down and sorry for myself. I'll make the [Twelfth Step] call immediately.' One response like that offsets 500 of the negative kind and helps to keep us going.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: 12/26/08 BB A Vision for you pp 156-159 (a 3rd and 4th)

Postby leejosepho » Sun Nov 01, 2015 6:50 am

avaneesh912 wrote:This women couldn't agree with what I shared and went on to say how ALL she could do was go to a meeting a day and somehow managed not to pick up a drink for 2 years and her sponsor told her that she has not taken a drink that day, she had a successful day.

Although that is certainly not "the A.A. way", there is actually nothing wrong with what her non-sponsor had said. Consider:

"[Doing things 'the A.A. way'] He finally realizes that he has undergone a profound alteration in his reaction to life; that such a change could hardly have been brought about by himself alone. What often takes place in a few months could seldom have been accomplished by years of self discipline." (Appendix II)

Some people actually can do that on their own (self-discipline) in spite of the misery of doing so.

avaneesh912 wrote:And the meeting rallied around with such experiences...today the fellowship thinks it takes a longtime to overcome the obsession problem.

Many people in today's AA have yet to even hear of an actual solution.
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================
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Re: 12/26/08 BB A Vision for you pp 156-159 (a 3rd and 4th)

Postby avaneesh912 » Sun Nov 01, 2015 9:56 am

Many people in today's AA have yet to even hear of an actual solution.


I know some old-timers get offended and take a stab at the speaker tapes, I am so glad that those are here and I sobered up during this era because for me that message came from a web-site that had few speakers and one of them was Chris R. It was on a dark december evening when my wife didn't want me to go to a meeting that evening. Thank God for internet, I don't know what I would have done that day. But it turned out to be a day of awakening.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: 12/26/08 BB A Vision for you pp 156-159 (a 3rd and 4th)

Postby D'oh » Sun Nov 01, 2015 12:02 pm

avaneesh912 wrote:
Many people in today's AA have yet to even hear of an actual solution.


I know some old-timers get offended and take a stab at the speaker tapes, I am so glad that those are here and I sobered up during this era because for me that message came from a web-site that had few speakers and one of them was Chris R. It was on a dark december evening when my wife didn't want me to go to a meeting that evening. Thank God for internet, I don't know what I would have done that day. But it turned out to be a day of awakening.

And how long were you sober/dry before that evening? Nothing against Tapes or Meetings.

I mean the READING (not saying) "Who cares to admit Complete Defeat?" "Practically no one of course." "Many less desperate ALCOHOLICS tried AA but were unsuccessful. Because they could not admit HOPELESSNESS.

That is the difference, Bill and Bob were dealing with people who's only hope seemed to be a noose or drinking to death. Today there are so many, that again quoted "Have been spared the 10-20 years of hell the rest of us have went through."

So I see no problem with people taking time to get a "Spiritual Awakening" as long as they are practicing the HOW of the program. I was in the program for a month before I realized that I did the 1st 2 steps walking through the doors.

And May I never take any day of sobriety for granted. They are all a gift granted to me by following this simple program.
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Re: 12/26/08 BB A Vision for you pp 156-159 (a 3rd and 4th)

Postby avaneesh912 » Sun Nov 01, 2015 3:12 pm

So I see no problem with people taking time to get a "Spiritual Awakening" as long as they are practicing the HOW of the program.


I know. But I have already shared this before, the issue comes when this person doesn't realize that some other person may need to get a relief quicker than his/hers. Thats the mixup that is causing lot of churn in the fellowship today.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: 12/26/08 BB A Vision for you pp 156-159 (a 3rd and 4th)

Postby D'oh » Sun Nov 01, 2015 3:28 pm

avaneesh912 wrote:
So I see no problem with people taking time to get a "Spiritual Awakening" as long as they are practicing the HOW of the program.


I know. But I have already shared this before, the issue comes when this person doesn't realize that some other person may need to get a relief quicker than his/hers. Thats the mixup that is causing lot of churn in the fellowship today.

I can see that, but if they are humbly thinking "But for the grace of God, there goes I" I am sure the patients will be acquired, and maybe even some help.

I remember finding it the first time, it came when I wasn't fighting to get it. The second time, it just came, quickly also. My life was in total shambles, I just thought "I am sober, what ever happens from here on is in God's hands. He has a plan, he has brought me this far. All I have to do is follow this Simply Program.
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Re: 12/26/08 BB A Vision for you pp 156-159 (a 3rd and 4th)

Postby leejosepho » Sun Nov 01, 2015 4:31 pm

One member of our group had been coming for quite a while and was good at sharing things he had learned while being 12th-Stepped and participating in many meetings, but he kept ending up drunk because he had yet to actually internalize those things in relation to himself. As "hard-nose A.A." as I can be at needed times, I was shocked one evening when someone else in our group jumped all over him verbally and brought the entire room to dead silence as that man sat there shocked himself and without being able to even squirm. Today he shares all of that in this way:

A man in our group asked me what I was doing there.
I said "What? Are not I welcome here?"
He said of course you are but you are DYING and just f------- around!
No one in the group said a word.
It was silent.
I had the thought that if he was right I'm in trouble.
I didn't even know I was dying but was willing to believe he was right.
I said to him... "You are right."
"In light of me dying I am just f------ around."
That was the 1st time I had ever had any amount of humility.
Humility before my fellow man.
If anyone in that group would have told that man to take it easy on me I would have probably died.
I would have continued to fight everything and everyone.
But instead I had the opportunity to admit that he was right.
That was the turning point,
And I was ready for it.
The teacher appeared when I was ready.

That is when he finally stopped trying to stop drinking and began putting all his energies into nothing other than taking the Steps.
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================
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Re: 12/26/08 BB A Vision for you pp 156-159 (a 3rd and 4th)

Postby D'oh » Sun Nov 01, 2015 6:31 pm

A good share Lee. I have seen similar things a couple of times in meetings.

One time it was in a "Young Peoples Group" mostly Newcomers, in and out some stayed and got deep into Service. I liked it because I was rather Young when I came in and enjoyed the meeting.

This 1 Young New Comer, was struggling for quite a while. One meeting an well respected Old Timer showed up at the meeting. Well the new comer went on with their spiel about how nothing is working in their life.

The Old Timer layed it to them that they had to own their problem, it was nobody else's fault or problem, but we are all here to help if they wanted it.

The meeting broke up, with the New Comer leaving, crying, followed by every Newbie in the meeting. Myself and another Young Old Timer stuck there with the Old Timer. Tring to comfort him, it was something that needed to be said, and heard.

The Unconditional Love that it took to say something to someone hurting. The good news is they are both still sober today.
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Re: 12/26/08 BB A Vision for you pp 156-159 (a 3rd and 4th)

Postby leejosepho » Sun Nov 01, 2015 7:11 pm

Yes, some of those situations can be tough all around, but we must deal with them.

One man had been in a few meetings while saying very little, then one evening he said he wanted to know what this "If you want what we have" actually is. One person spoke up and suggested he just keep coming back to find out, and I told him we have a spiritual manner of living that guarantees recovery. The man then frowned a bit at each of us and got up and left while saying he was not interested.

In another meeting in that same room, a 40-year man was hurting badly over his new bride having just left him. A female long-timer who is the most solid and kind individual I have ever met anywhere reached her hand halfway across the circle and asked him to please let us help him. But, he would not budge. He was certain there was nothing wrong with "his program" -- I hate that expression -- and was not about to change anything.
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================
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Re: 12/26/08 BB A Vision for you pp 156-159 (a 3rd and 4th)

Postby D'oh » Sun Nov 01, 2015 9:58 pm

Yes I hate that expression. There is no I's or My's or Myself, mentioned in any of the step. It is all Plurals.
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