12/11/08 BB The Family After, pp 130-132 (profound changes)

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

12/11/08 BB The Family After, pp 130-132 (profound changes)

Postby Karl R » Thu Dec 11, 2008 7:12 am

Good Day,

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Amen.

--Reinhold Niebuhr

Tuesday's reading spoke of balance in our spiritual life and that our program of recovery is a thing which can be undertaken by all of those around us.

Today's reading speaks of possibility to me-the possibility of profound changes. Whatever form they take; profound changes will occur in us and those around us. In my own life and my family's life we each have interest in new things now that alcohol and a dead spirit no longer consume me. This is great but again, I have to maintain balance in my life. Tolerance, yielding to other's needs is the way to go.

Anyone care to comment of their ES and H concerning "profound changes" in their life and the life of those around them?

thanks for being here everyone,
Karl




There will be other profound changes in the household. Liquor incapacitated father for so many years that mother became head of the house. She met these responsibilities gallantly. By force of circumstances, she was often obliged to treat father as a sick or wayward child. Even when he wanted to assert himself he could not, for his drinking placed him constantly in the wrong. Mother made all the plans and gave the directions. When sober, father usually obeyed. Thus mother, through no fault of her own, became accustomed to wearing the family trousers. Father, coming suddenly to life again, often begins to assert himself. This means trouble, unless the family watches for these tendencies in each other and comes to a friendly agreement about them.
Drinking isolates most homes from the outside world. Father may have laid aside for years all normal activities - clubs, civic duties, sports. When he renews interest in such things, a feeling of jealousy may arise. The family may feel they hold a mortgage on dad, so big that no equity should be left for outsiders. Instead of developing new channels of activity for themselves, mother and children demand that he stay home and make up the deficiency.
At the very beginning, the couple ought to frankly face the fact that each will have to yield here and there if the family is going to play an effective part in the new life. Father will necessarily spend much time with other alcoholics, but this activity should be balanced. New acquaintances who know nothing of alcoholism might be made and thoughtful consideration given their needs. The problems of the community might engage attention. Though the family has no religious connections, they may wish to make contact with or take membership in a religious body.
Alcoholics who have derided religious people will be helped by such contacts. Being possessed of a spiritual experience, the alcoholic will find he has much in common with these people, though he may differ with them on many matters. If he does not argue about religion, he will make new friends and is sure to find new avenues of usefulness and pleasure. He and his family can be a bright spot in such congregations. He may bring new hope and new courage to many a priest, minister, or rabbi, who gives his all to minister to our troubled world. We intend the foregoing as a helpful suggestion only. So far as we are concerned, there is nothing obligatory about it. As non-denominational people, we cannot make up others' minds for them. Each individual should consult his own conscience.
Last edited by Karl R on Fri Dec 12, 2008 5:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Blue Moon » Thu Dec 11, 2008 7:52 am

Very 1930s! Many households today still have "mother" wearing, or trying to wear, the trousers - even where no alcohol or drugs are involved at all.
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Postby Karl R » Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:30 am

An example of where the language of the big book may or may not translate well in today's society. I've found a lot of those in "to wives" and "the family afterwards".

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Re: 12/11/08 BB The Family After, pp 130-132 (profound chang

Postby leejosepho » Wed Oct 21, 2015 3:36 am

Karl R wrote:...we each have interest in new things now that alcohol and a dead spirit no longer consume me... Tolerance, yielding to others' needs is the way to go.

What I see there from my own experience is the same: My drinking and (or maybe was) "a dead spirit" or "spirit of death" in a bottle consuming the energies of us all...

"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." (page 18)

...and it was once suggested to me that maybe our recoveries have been provided for the sake of others and we just get to enjoy them also.

What a way to get meself out of the center, eh?!

...incapacitated father...mother became head of the house...often obliged to treat father as a sick or wayward child...drinking placed him constantly in the wrong..Spammer suddenly to life again, often begins to assert...trouble...

Drunk or sober, I was a mess and caused trouble for just as long as I thought I either was or even should be in charge.

...may have laid aside for years all normal activities - clubs, civic duties, sports...renews interest... Instead of developing new channels of activity for themselves, mother and children demand that he stay home...

It would certainly not have been helpful to anyone if my family had strapped me to a chair, but I do take issue with the idea that my involvement or re-involvement in "clubs, civic duties, sports" would do much at all for my family thereby left sitting in theirs. So, here is where I believe it is wrong to suggest our families should be "developing new channels for themselves" just because we are now sober and returning to some previous ones for our own selfs. Each member of the family is certainly free to do as he or she pleases, of course, but let us remember the above was written by a man who never did all that well in the family department.

Father will necessarily spend much time with other alcoholics, but...


The word "but" always indicates a complete change of thought:

New acquaintances who know nothing of alcoholism might be made and thoughtful consideration given their needs...problems of the community might engage attention...may wish to make contact with or take membership in a religious body.

What might be good for the gander can be just as good for the goose.
=======================
"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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