12/25/08 BB A vis. for you pp 153-156 (future fellows of AA)

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

12/25/08 BB A vis. for you pp 153-156 (future fellows of AA)

Postby Karl R » Thu Dec 25, 2008 10:06 am

Good Morning,

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

Thanks Jim for focusing yesterday's reading to the idea that the fellowship in AA is but a part of the larger movement of AA and bringing us your experience of the other parts. Also thanks for pointing the way toward today's reading (below in red).

In today's reading we are told (as Jim pointed out) to seek the fellowship of new members for our own release. This is described in this story of two men who found it was vital to stay spiritually active to cement their own release.

Anyone care to share of their ES and H concerning the building of the fellowship in AA. Or..history of the story of these two men?

have a great day everyone,
Karl


It may seem incredible that these men are to become happy, respected, and useful once more. How can they rise out of such misery, bad repute and hopelessness? The practical answer is that since these things have happened among us, they can happen with you. Should you wish them above all else, and be willing to make use of our experience, we are sure they will come. The age of miracles is still with us. Our own recovery proves that!
Our hope is that when this chip of a book is launched on the world tide of alcoholism, defeated drinkers will seize upon it, to follow its suggestions. Many, we are sure, will rise to their feet and march on. They will approach still other sick ones and fellowships of Alcoholics Anonymous may spring up in each city and hamlet, havens for those who must find a way out.
In the chapter "Working With Others" you gathered an idea of how we approach and aid others to health. Suppose now that through you several families have adopted this way of life. You will want to know more of how to proceed from that point. Perhaps the best way of treating you to a glimpse of your future will be to describe the growth of the fellowship among us. Here is a brief account:
Years ago, in 1935, one of our number made a journey to a certain western city. From a business standpoint, his trip came off badly. Had he been successful in his enterprise, he would have been set on his feet financially which, at the time, seemed vitally important. But his venture wound up in a law suit and bogged down completely. The proceeding was shot through with much hard feeling and controversy.
Bitterly discouraged, he found himself in a strange place, discredited and almost broke. Still physically weak, and sober but a few months, he saw that his predicament was dangerous. He wanted so much to talk with someone, but whom?
One dismal afternoon he paced a hotel lobby wondering how his bill was to be paid. At one end of the room stood a glass covered directory of local churches. Down the lobby a door opened into an attractive bar. He could see the gay crowd inside. In there he would find companionship and release. Unless he took some drinks, he might not have the courage to scrape an acquaintance and would have a lonely week-end.
Of course he couldn't drink, but why not sit hopefully at a table, a bottle of ginger ale before him? After all, had he not been sober six months now? Perhaps he could handle, say, three drinks - no more! Fear gripped him. He was on thin ice. Again it was the old, insidious insanity - that first drink. With a shiver, he turned away and walked down the lobby to the church directory. Music and gay chatter still floated to him from the bar.
But what about his responsibilities - his family and the men who would die because they would not know how to get well, ah - yes, those other alcoholics? There must be many such in this town. He would phone a clergyman. His sanity returned and he thanked God. Selecting a church at random from the directory, he stepped into a booth and lifted the receiver.
His call to the clergyman led him presently to a certain resident of the town, who, though formerly able and respected, was then nearing the nadir of alcoholic despair. It was the usual situation: home in jeopardy, wife ill, children distracted, bills in arrears and standing damaged. He had a desperate desire to stop, but saw no way out, for he had earnestly tried many avenues of escape. Painfully aware of being somehow abnormal, the man did not fully realize what it meant to be alcoholic.
When our friend related his experience, the man agreed that no amount of will power he might muster could stop his drinking for long. A spiritual experience, he conceded, was absolutely necessary, but the price seemed high upon the basis suggested. He told how he lived in constant worry about those who might find out about his alcoholism. He had, of course, the familiar alcoholic obsession that few knew of his drinking. Why, he argued, should he lose the remainder of his business, only to bring still more suffering to his family by foolishly admitting his plight to people from whom he made his livelihood? He would do anything, he said, but that.
Being intrigued, however, he invited our friend to his home. Some time later, and just as he thought he was getting control of his liquor situation, he went on a roaring bender. For him, this was the spree that ended all sprees. He saw that he would have to face his problems squarely that God might give him mastery.
One morning he took the bull by the horns and set out to tell those he feared what his trouble had been. He found himself surprisingly well received, and learned that many knew of his drinking. Stepping into his car, he made the rounds of people he had hurt. He trembled as he went about, for this might mean ruin, particularly to a person in his line of business.
At midnight he came home exhausted, but very happy. He has not had a drink since. As we shall see, he now means a great deal to his community, and the major liabilities of thirty years of hard drinking have been repaired in four.
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Postby avaneesh912 » Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:49 am

Painfully aware of being somehow abnormal, the man did not fully realize what it meant to be alcoholic. When our friend related his experience, the man agreed that no amount of will power he might muster could stop his drinking for long. A spiritual experience, he conceded, was absolutely necessary, but the price seemed high upon the basis suggested. He told how he lived in constant worry about those who might find out about his alcoholism
.

The main reason why this fellowship was created was for people (Like Dr. Bob) who could not stay stopped. Un-fortunately today we have many members who don't think its necessary to work the 12 steps of alcoholism, just talking about their issues will solve their alcoholism.

As a recovered Real-Alcoholic, we should watch for the "real ones" walking into our fellowship, tell them about the fatal disease and the solution to alcoholism and that its a daily reprieve contingent upon maintaining a fit spiritual condition.
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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Postby Blue Moon » Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:16 am

As one circuit speaker aptly describes, there are really 2 fellowships in AA - "step-workers hang out with step-workers, and BS-merchants hang out with BS-merchants".

The fellowship the book talks about is a fellowship that comes from having done the work - taken the Steps and escaped the sinking cruise-liner of alcoholism.

In AA's pioneer days, you wouldn't get anywhere near an AA meeting until after taking the equivalent of at least the first 3 steps, often the first 8.

But the flip side is that you'd also have been adequately 12th-Stepped in the process, not expected to get to a meeting and figure it all out for yourself.
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Re: 12/25/08 BB A vis. for you pp 153-156 (future fellows of

Postby leejosepho » Sat Oct 31, 2015 1:22 am

Blue Moon wrote:The fellowship the book talks about is a fellowship that comes from having done the work - taken the Steps and escaped the sinking cruise-liner of alcoholism.

In AA's pioneer days, you wouldn't get anywhere near an AA meeting until after taking the equivalent of at least the first 3 steps, often the first 8.

But the flip side is that you'd also have been adequately 12th-Stepped in the process, not expected to get to a meeting and figure it all out for yourself.

Exactly, and that is the idea of this chapter. We look for people in need of help and then begin and build yet another autonomous A.A. fellowship of our own by sponsoring them into "the Fellowship of the Spirit" (page 164).

Our hope is that when this chip of a book is launched on the world tide of alcoholism, defeated drinkers will seize upon it, to follow its suggestions...rise to their feet and march on...approach still other sick ones and fellowships of Alcoholics Anonymous may spring up in each city and hamlet, havens for those who must find a way out.

The above held great promise for me after I got to A.A. and I had become geographically separated from the people who first helped me. Meetings were plentiful wherever I went, but I could not find an actual, autonomous, original-A.A.-style fellowship group anywhere. My wife and I kept looking and trying, however, and now today we are part of one that is exactly like described here in our book.
=======================
"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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