12/8/08 BB The family afterwards pp 125-128 (giving)

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

12/8/08 BB The family afterwards pp 125-128 (giving)

Postby Karl R » Mon Dec 08, 2008 3:59 am

Good Day,

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace! That where there is hatred, I may bring love. That where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness. That where there is discord, I may bring harmony. That where there is error, I may bring truth. That where there is doubt, I may bring faith. That where there is despair, I may bring hope. That where there are shadows, I may bring light. That where there is sadness, I may bring joy. Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort, than to be comforted. To understand, than to be understood. To love, than to be loved. For it is by self-forgetting that one finds. It is by forgiving that one is forgiven. It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life.

Yesterday's reading gave us three cautions. We are cautioned to stick to our own story, cautioned against a loose tongue, and cautioned against being sensitive.

Today's reading (below in red) speaks of balance in our life during recovery. I once drank with no sense of porportion. This reading cautions me to remember my sense of proportion in my recovery life-especially in relation to family. The bit about crankiness is me. I can tell when my spiritual fitness is slipping slightly because I get cranky-if only in my mind. At that point it's time for a step 10 or to get in touch with a step 11. The bit about discussions is also about me. Lately in my family and extended family we've been having a lot of discussions about all manner of things. I'm blessed because they seem to be discussions taken on a spiritual basis and not the "workouts" that the chapter on "To wives" talks about.

Anyone care to share on the question of balance in their recovery life? Workouts or discussions in the family or with friends? Speaking with your children about alcohol?

have a safe and protected Monday everyone,


Many alcoholics are enthusiasts. They run to extremes. At the beginning of recovery a man will take, as a rule, one of two directions. He may either plunge into a frantic attempt to get on his feet in business, or he may be so enthralled by his new life that he talks or thinks of little else. In either case certain family problems will arise. With these we have had experience galore.
We think it dangerous if he rushes headlong at his economic problem. The family will be affected also, pleasantly at first, as they feel their money troubles are about to be solved, then not so pleasantly as they find themselves neglected. Dad may be tired at night and preoccupied by day. He may take small interest in the children and may show irritation when reproved for his delinquencies. If not irritable, he may seem dull and boring, not gay and affectionate as the family would like him to be. Mother may complain of inattention. They are all disappointed, and often let him feel it. Beginning with such complaints, a barrier arises. He is straining every nerve to make up for lost time. He is striving to recover fortune and reputation and feels he is doing very well.
Sometimes mother and children don't think so. Having been neglected and misused in the past, they think father owes them more than they are getting. They want him to make a fuss over them. They expect him to give them the nice times they used to have before he drank so much, and to show his contrition for what they suffered. But dad doesn't give freely of himself. Resentment grows. He becomes still less communicative. Sometimes he explodes over a trifle. The family is mystified. They criticize, pointing out how he is falling down on his spiritual program.
This sort of thing can be avoided. Both father and the family are mistaken, though each side may have some justification. It is of little use to argue and only makes the impasse worse. The family must realize that dad, though marvelously improved, is still convalescing. They should be thankful he is sober and able to be of this world once more. Let them praise his progress. Let them remember that his drinking wrought all kinds of damage that may take long to repair. If they sense these things, they will not take so seriously his periods of crankiness, depression, or apathy, which will disappear when there is tolerance, love, and spiritual understanding.
The head of the house ought to remember that he is mainly to blame for what befell his home. He can scarcely square the account in his lifetime. But he must see the danger of over-concentration on financial success. Although financial recovery is on the way for many of us, we found we could not place money first. For us, material well-being always followed spiritual progress; it never preceded.
Since the home has suffered more than anything else, it is well that a man exert himself there. He is not likely to get far in any direction if he fails to show unselfishness and love under his own roof. We know there are difficult wives and families, but the man who is getting over alcoholism must remember he did much to make them so.
As each member of a resentful family begins to see his shortcomings and admits them to the others, he lays a basis for helpful discussion. These family talks will be constructive if they can be carried on without heated argument, self-pity, self-justification or resentful criticism. Little by little, mother and children will see they ask too much, and father will see he gives too little. Giving, rather than getting, will become the guiding principle.
User avatar
Karl R
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 3701
Joined: Sat Jul 19, 2008 3:06 pm

Re: 12/8/08 BB The family afterwards pp 125-128 (giving)

Postby leejosepho » Mon Oct 19, 2015 12:55 am

Many alcoholics are enthusiasts...extremes...may be so enthralled by his new life that he talks or thinks of little else.

That was me, and might still be. But then when a couple of guys once asked whether I ever do anything else and suggested we all go fishing, I was the only one who showed up at the dock. Go figure!

We think it dangerous if he rushes headlong at his economic problem.

Some of us once tried to organize some balance by gathering together as a small company of A.A.s working as a handyman service. I no longer recall how that ended, but I do know we did not finish even the first job. In other places, however, I do know A.A.s have been successful in helping others see about securing jobs and learning how to keep the spiritual and the material in proper perspective together.

The head of the house ought to remember that he is mainly to blame for what befell his home. He can scarcely square the account in his lifetime...

...family talks will be constructive if they can be carried on without heated argument, self-pity, self-justification or resentful criticism... Giving, rather than getting, will become the guiding principle.

It is truly a blessing to see that principle at work within at least our immediate family today. I have something coming up in a few weeks that I cannot possibly do alone, and over these past few days my wife, my older daughter and I have each been "giving and accepting" in ways we have been learning and practicing both individually and together for quite a while now...and the neatest part is that even one of my granddaughters is involved and will be flying for her first time. Here is a snippet from some recent conversation:

Hi Dad.

So I saw your initial e-mail last night then got busy this morning with the first of two performances [two of the children] are in for "Fiddler on the Roof." They did so well, by the way!

My very first thought when seeing your e-mail was, "I will be going to Shreveport!" followed by a text message to [my husband] saying the same. Then I had some nagging doubts that you would not want me there for whatever reasons. So I was glad to see this [second] e-mail.

Here's what I see, and you can let me know if my own thoughts do not match yours/someone else's with regard to me coming:

1. I will be there before you "go under" and when you come out of surgery (and are still sedated).

2. I will stay until...

Hey again.

>> I had some nagging doubts...

We can grieve together that we each occasionally have those kinds of doubts and we can also rejoice together that any such doubts can easily be discharged. I had actually begun my first e-mail as the one intended to address the matter of the second, then realized that would have been inconsiderate of (someone else).

>> 1. I will be there...

I am certain that will be no problem for anyone.

>> 2. I will stay until...

I have been told...

When I first got sober and then ultimately moved back there after still bouncing around for a while, she had suggested I just stay on my side of town. Since then, the four of us (including her husband) have all sat together in many, many A.A. meetings while learning and growing together. This program truly works.
"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)
User avatar
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 1885
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 4:55 am
Location: 200 miles south of Little Rock

Return to Big Book Study

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests