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Have you read the AA BIG BOOK?

Old 11-14-2010, 09:31 AM
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Question Have you read the AA BIG BOOK?

I am starting to read it...been putting it off....my highlighter is getting a work out....

do you have a favorite page or quote to share?
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Old 11-14-2010, 10:01 AM
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I have read the entire book, but the chapter entitled " To Wives" was very insightful.
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Old 11-14-2010, 10:21 AM
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I found To Wives incredibly insightful too, but probably in the opposite way. Bearing mind that it was not written by Lois as is implied but was instead written by her husband. The man who used her and humiliated her long, long after he stopped drinking, by cheating on her very publicly throughout their marriage and eventually leaving a portion of his estate to his favourite mistress.

I found it a very insightful look into the decades of manipulation and psychological abuse that man put her subjected her to. I would love to know what it was she was intending to write in that chapter that Bill hated so much he refused her permission.
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Old 11-14-2010, 10:39 AM
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yes, i have read the big book....many times over. i think it is outdated and i did not like the chapter for the wives. i felt like it made the female spouse take the role of the martyr.

jmho
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Old 11-14-2010, 10:42 AM
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interesting...outdated? now that brings up a good one...but still, i think its an honest out look....on what alcoholism does....or is....
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Old 11-14-2010, 10:42 AM
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The AA Big Book was written and edited by 100 alkies. The most continuous sobriety any one of them had was 3 years. The intent was to have _something_ to hand out to a potential member of AA when they went to visit them in a jail or hospital. This was back in the 1930's, which is a whole universe away from the world we live in today.

Bear in mind that the "program" of AA is contained in the "12 steps". Everything else in that book is commentary and examples on how those folks went about implementing those steps in their lives.

It's not that different from reading the original Shakespeare. You _really_ have to understand the world they lived in to be able to make any sense of what they're talking about.

As a historical reference, I think it's great. As a handbook into the disease and how to deal with it, there's been _tons_ new research and books written since then.

Mike
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Old 11-14-2010, 10:46 AM
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Yes. "Acceptance Was The Answer" is likely my favorite of all the stories. It really opened my eyes to how this is truly an insidious disease, over which we have no power. It's page 407 in the 4th edition.
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Old 11-14-2010, 10:46 AM
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I agree with Embraced. I think the book is outdated and very heavy on what we unfortunately see here sometimes: poor, poor alkie who needs everyone to understand him and focus on his recovery; and the non-alkie needs to sweep all the misbehavior under the rug and be 'understanding' and put the alkie's feelings first by ignoring ones own feelings of anger, contempt, outrage, sense of fairness, etc... so as the poor alkie isn't burdened by the non-alkie's problems too.

I suppose Bill thought he was right in his 'To the Wives' section, but it really is horrible advice, very very self serving. I suppose he was a product of his times and culture as much as anything else, but he really was a horrible husband and made that woman's life miserable and has no business advising any woman on how to deal with an alkie husband.
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Old 11-14-2010, 10:48 AM
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@LIVE...thank you...this is what i want to see....page # and well, what you got out of it...

@Desert...interesting in the making of the BOOK...LOVE IT!
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Old 11-14-2010, 10:51 AM
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I agree it is generally outdated but I felt that the individual stories are insightful and really helped me see the "human" side of alcoholism (and addiction in general). I know this sounds strange because you'd think it'd be the opposite but reading these stories helped me detach from the alcoholics and addicts in my life.
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Old 11-14-2010, 10:56 AM
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"poor, poor alkie who needs everyone to understand him and focus on his recovery; and the non-alkie needs to sweep all the misbehavior under the rug and be 'understanding' and put the alkie's feelings first by ignoring ones own feelings of anger, contempt, outrage, sense of fairness, etc... so as the poor alkie isn't burdened by the non-alkie's problems too."

I did not get this from reading the big book at all. I guess it's an individual thing. I think it's great you're reading it FourMaggie. What a positive way you are working and moving forward with your life. Good for you!!!
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Old 11-14-2010, 10:57 AM
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page 66-67, I highlighted it...We realized that the people who wronged us were perhaps spiritually sick. Though we did not like their symptoms and the way these distrubed us, they, like OURSELVES, were sick too

for me this stood out....

page 88, ..."humbly saying to ourselves many times each day "THY WILL BE DONE." We are then in much less danger of excitement, fear, anger, worry, self-pity, or foolish decisions. We become much more efficient." "Faith without works is dead"

sometimes i find simple words help me along the way...and sometimes the big book has those words....
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Old 11-14-2010, 11:02 AM
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There are a few I would like to share fourmaggie but I didn't highlight them and cannot find them: it's such a big book!! LOL. I will try to find them tonight and come back and post
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Old 11-14-2010, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Learn2Live View Post
I did not get this from reading the big book at all.
i did not get this either...but i have compassion for the suffering and disease of all kinds...


I guess it's an individual thing.
I agree with this statement


I think it's great you're reading it FourMaggie. What a positive way you are working and moving forward with your life. Good for you!!!
thank you very much...
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Old 11-14-2010, 11:13 AM
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I've read the big book only 4 times, but then again I only have 10 months of recovery. I'll tell you what though, everytime I've read it something new jumps out at me. I personally like "the promises" found on pages 63-64, I say this because even with my short length of recovery I can already see them coming true in my life. Personally the only things I feel is outdated in the book are the stories after page 164 and the language. Not many people speak in the same vocabulary as they did in the 30's. But I've heard that it was once broughtbup in the international convention that perhaps that it should be revised, it was put to a vote and the majority favored it not be changed. I have to sort of agree with the decision. I tend to live in the philosophy of "if it ain't broke, then don't fix it". Then again that is just my personal opinion.
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Old 11-14-2010, 11:38 AM
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10 months JohnDelko that is awesome!! Keep going back
I liked how the stories each had their own flavor so I totally agree with the decision not to revise them.
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Old 11-14-2010, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Bucyn View Post
.... I think the book is outdated and very heavy on what we unfortunately see here sometimes: poor, poor alkie who needs everyone to understand him and focus on his recovery .....
That's a popular misconception.

The book was written for the kind of alkie we very rarely see here. Perhaps never have. The alkie who's lying in a hospital bed, or locked up in jail, and has realized they _want_ to quit drinking but don't know how. You will never see such an alkie on SR because they are too sick and have no access to a computer. The _purpose_ of the book is to give that low-bottom drunk a sense of _hope_, that there is the possibility of turning their life around.

Once that alkie has gotten thru the weeks of detox, couple months of wet-brain, and starts to string more than a couple words together in a sensible manner is when you start to tighten the screws and shine a little responsibility on them. Such an alkie has never graced SR because they can't _write_. Their brains are too scrambled.

That's the difference between amateurs who think they know all about this disease and professionals who have been educated in the different stages of recovery and how to bait, cajole, feed, shove and rejoice with an alkie who actually becomes a healthy, productive person. If you do things in the wrong order, you'll just loose the alkie and they'll end up dead.

Not that different from working with an abused woman. They go thru their own stages as well, and if you use the wrong approach at the wrong time she'll end up just as dead as the alkie.

When you see the Moderators here at SR removing posts and locking threads that's the reason why. Some amateur has gotten a big head and is interfering in the work that is being done by people who actually know what they are doing.

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Old 11-14-2010, 12:34 PM
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Desert,
Thanks for the knowledge. I sort of hypothesized that that is indeed who the book was written for. Of course when the book was written the fellowships were not as extensive as they are today. I think they had only 3 in the country at the time (Akron, Cleveland and I think New York). I kind of figured that it was also written as a way to deliver the program to those who lived far away from the first fellowships. Now these are just my hypotheses, I don't proclaim to back them with any concrete evidence or such. I do sincerely appreciate you dropping this knowledge. I love to learn about this program that I've come to love so much. Without it I'd still be lost in a world of hopeless despair that was of my own creation. Thanks.
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Old 11-14-2010, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by DesertEyes View Post
That's a popular misconception.

The book was written for the kind of alkie we very rarely see here. Perhaps never have. The alkie who's lying in a hospital bed, or locked up in jail, and has realized they _want_ to quit drinking but don't know how. You will never see such an alkie on SR because they are too sick and have no access to a computer. The _purpose_ of the book is to give that low-bottom drunk a sense of _hope_, that there is the possibility of turning their life around.

Once that alkie has gotten thru the weeks of detox, couple months of wet-brain, and starts to string more than a couple words together in a sensible manner is when you start to tighten the screws and shine a little responsibility on them. Such an alkie has never graced SR because they can't _write_. Their brains are too scrambled.
Thank you Mike. Such a wealth of knowledge, perspective and understanding. It really hits home because I am very afraid of how my Dad will wind up, like so many people who have gone past that point of no return, who have died alone, and not found for weeks. Ugh.
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Old 11-14-2010, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by johndelko408 View Post
I've read the big book only 4 times, but then again I only have 10 months of recovery. I'll tell you what though, everytime I've read it something new jumps out at me.
My sponsor has 29 years sober now, and still takes time every day to read out of the Big Book.

I was given a 3rd edition when I was in rehab. It's so raggedy now that a section of it falls out if I'm not careful. My sponsor says it's no coincidence that part of the section is on sex and inventory.

Something new always jumps out at me too, John.
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