Reading in Early Recovery

New to AA? Got questions? Here's the place to ask. Note that no one person speaks "officially" for AA. AA meetings in your local area are always the best source of information. Note that anyone may post and reply to messages in this forum.
Post Reply
Blessed
Forums Newcomer
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:48 pm

Reading in Early Recovery

Post by Blessed » Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:23 pm

I’m a few days past 2 months sober. Yay!! Im curious, should I only be reading/studying the Big Book at this time rather than reading different types of recovery/psychology books? And, I have a few daily meditation books. Should I only pick one to focus on? I feel overwhelmed at times. Sometimes I wonder if I’m spreading myself thin, and not really absorbing much.

User avatar
positrac
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 1322
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:03 am

Re: Reading in Early Recovery

Post by positrac » Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:10 am

Welcome Blessed and great news on two months clean and sober. I have ask if you are attending meetings in person? if you are then have you reached out to a person and hopefully the same sex as you as someone who has what you want and see if they could sponsor you? Having a face 2 face person can help you gauge what reading materials are best suited for you now. I believe the Big Book is a wealth of knowledge and it is a book that reveals more in time. I hope you are learning how to manage your time. I use this acronym HALT because early in sobriety life on life's terms can get pretty difficult to navigate.
H: Hungry
A: Angry
L: Lonely
T: Tired


If you get into one of these situations then urges can hit you when you least expect and or your current feelings of how do I feel might cave for that drink.
Work hard, stay positive, and get up early. It's the best part of the day.
George Allen, Sr.

User avatar
avaneesh912
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 5169
Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 12:22 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: Reading in Early Recovery

Post by avaneesh912 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 3:53 am

I would suggest sticking with the Big book. See if you can relate to the stories especially the short stories in the chapter more about alcoholism. They illustrate how the alcoholic mind operates after a period of sobriety, if they dont get connected and stay connected. You can see the progression, the peculiar mental twist/blank spot, spiritual malady, the craving part (after we put a drink in our body). Jim was irritated because he had to work for the dealership he once owned, Fred drank because he was the most successful day of his life.

And in the opening paragraph of Bills story he shows how alcoholics drink good time and bad times. See how bill struggles with the god concepts and what does his friend suggests and what does he do to recover.
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)

MikeL
Forums Newcomer
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:14 pm

Re: Reading in Early Recovery

Post by MikeL » Thu Jul 19, 2018 4:45 am

Great job on 2 months sober!!! As others have stated reading the Big Book is definitely recommended. My sponsor has suggested I start reading pages 86 and 87 again every morning and every night. It is also suggested that you find a sponsor (if you don’t alread have one) to go through and do the work in the book with. Someone who has done the work has a different perspective of what certain things in the book mean greatly opens horizons. Hearing them and being led through the twelve suggestions in the book gave me long term sobriety. That is until I started “sponsoring” myself and got away from the suggestions in the book. Therefore I can tell you that sponsoring oneself doesn’t work.

As far as reading daily meditation books, do what you feel is best for you. If you feel overwhelmed, maybe just stick with one.

User avatar
PaigeB
Trusted Servant
Posts: 8341
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:28 pm
Location: Iowa USA

Re: Reading in Early Recovery

Post by PaigeB » Thu Jul 19, 2018 5:48 am

Do not neglect to read the prefix - the Doctor's Opinion. It talks about the disease & the "phenomena of craving". :shock:

But perhaps the most important part of the book for me was 2 short pages: BB pg 567-568... It is the Appendix 2: Spiritual Experience. You want to know what you are getting into. :wink:
Step 6 is "AA's way of stating, the best possible attitude one can take in order to make a beginning on this lifetime job... with most of them we shall have to be content with patient improvement." 12&12 Step Six, p.65

tomsteve
Forums Contributor
Posts: 450
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:25 am

Re: Reading in Early Recovery

Post by tomsteve » Thu Jul 19, 2018 5:55 am

Blessed wrote:I’m a few days past 2 months sober. Yay!! Im curious, should I only be reading/studying the Big Book at this time rather than reading different types of recovery/psychology books? And, I have a few daily meditation books. Should I only pick one to focus on? I feel overwhelmed at times. Sometimes I wonder if I’m spreading myself thin, and not really absorbing much.
welcome,blessed.
i think you answered for yourself:
I feel overwhelmed at times. Sometimes I wonder if I’m spreading myself thin, and not really absorbing much.

there is a LOT in the big book alone to absorb.
personally i read the BB and daily reflection for quite a few months.

this reminds me of something from dr Bobs farewell talk

There are two or three things that flashed into my mind on which it would be fitting to lay a little emphasis. One is the simplicity of our program. Let's not louse it all up with Freudian complexes and things that are interesting to the scientific mind, but have very little to do with our actual A.A. work.

User avatar
Brock
Trusted Servant
Posts: 3962
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:45 pm

Re: Reading in Early Recovery

Post by Brock » Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:00 am

Welcome here and thanks for an interesting question.

I agree that at first we don’t want to overwhelm ourselves reading all sorts of things, the big book is not the easiest of things to read, it’s an instruction book more than anything else, but it’s designed to open a new world with a spiritual experience, and end any urges to drink.

We then can choose from very many books and spiritually based material of all kinds, the same Dr. Bob mentioned above, ended up with a library of over 200 such books. But I find it important to choose what we like, and not struggle to read something we don’t, so if someone says this or that will help you, it’s still your choice, it helped them perhaps, but that doesn't mean we all will like it.

It’s not reading, but many newcomers, myself included, found listening to AA speakers very useful. The easiest source is you tube, and just type in AA speakers, you can go for ‘most popular’ or add the word ‘spiritual,’ if you are in the mood for that sort of thing, they also have good ‘big book studies,’ just type in those words.

Please ask any further questions or make any comments here, we enjoy discussions like these, and they help others who may be looking for information.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

Blessed
Forums Newcomer
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:48 pm

Re: Reading in Early Recovery

Post by Blessed » Fri Jul 20, 2018 2:27 pm

Thank you all so much for your help! And tips. I seem to have over complicated matters. But, I’m back on track, and will focus on studying the Big Book. I also bought Daily Reflections, which I really appreciate. I was concerned I was doing enough. And, I wanted to solve all my problems as quickly as possible. I needed to remember this is a journey that lasts a lifetime. This is just the beginning. :)

User avatar
avaneesh912
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 5169
Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 12:22 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: Reading in Early Recovery

Post by avaneesh912 » Fri Jul 20, 2018 2:45 pm

I think the most important thing I did during the first few months of recovery was I had that insatiable desire to absorb the concepts laid out in the big book. I was so lucky that i sobered up in this age of internet. There are so many great workshops freely available on the internet/youtube that one can draw so much of ideas from various old-timers that sobered up using the big book. I went back and to "Working with others" and tried to understand what Bill and those first few wanted us to do with the new comers. Right there on page 92 it talks about going through chapter "more about alcoholism". They have those 4 stories to illustrate the progression of the disease, the peculiar mental twist. If you are alcoholic, you could relate to those stories.
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)

User avatar
Peter.H.
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 146
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 4:18 am

Re: Reading in Early Recovery

Post by Peter.H. » Fri Jul 20, 2018 3:52 pm

Blessed wrote:I’m a few days past 2 months sober. Yay!! Im curious, should I only be reading/studying the Big Book at this time rather than reading different types of recovery/psychology books? And, I have a few daily meditation books. Should I only pick one to focus on? I feel overwhelmed at times. Sometimes I wonder if I’m spreading myself thin, and not really absorbing much.
Congrats on your early recovery.
One thing I learnt about my early recovery is that I was still very much into selective reading, though at the time I did not think so. What I mean about selective, is that I absorbed only what I could handle at the time, even from only reading the Big Book. Big Book study groups made me realize that others were seeing things differently from the same reading. Some were quite deep and meaningful, but I did not see it when I read it.

Step 11, over a long time, has helped me to slow down a bit so I had time to consider what it is I am reading. I would read a sentence or two and purposely chew on it for a long time. Same with daily readings. I only read from one book per day, and reflect on that during the day. This type of meditation (concentration) would dig deeper and deeper into areas that I have never considered before. The deeper one can go, the more truth of the fact, or reading, presents itself. Wisdom is retained more so from self discovery rather than from fleeting from one reading to the next.

It is very good to learn as much as possible, but the richness of understanding comes from chewing and tasting each morsel at a time. IMHO
"...unless this person can experience an entire psyche change there is very little hope of his recovery" - Dr. Silkworth. [Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Ed, p xxix.]

Post Reply