the doctor’s opinion

with 4 comments

I re-read “the Dr’s opinion” just now per sponsor S directions. The passage that always blows my mind was still there, of course (“They are restless, irritable, and discontent….and unless [they] can experience an entire psychic change there is little hope of recovery”). What I took special notice of for the first time was where Dr. Silkworth first mentions Bill, “a hopeless patient,” who “acquired certain ideas regarding” his recovery, and “as part of his rehabilitation he comnmenced to present his conceptions to other alcoholics, impressing upon them that they must do likewise with other alcoholics. This has become the basis of a rapidly growing fellowship….”

My thinking fell to the bible-study tactic, also used fairly often in 12 step land: “it does NOT say he filled notebooks with his resentments and fears and self-beratement for months on end….” “it does NOT say he went to 90 meetings in 90 days not speaking or was shunned….” and “it does NOT say he waited a year or two before he asked permission to be able to help others…”

(Yeah, I get on my own nerves sometimes.) I also exaggerate and love to push boundaries playing devil’s advocate….. I think I may have irked sponsor S yesterday as a discussion led to to the order in which Big Book Step Study procedure, well, proceeds, which, as the steps do, leads up to and end with step 12. “Because that comes after all the other stuff, right?” Well, yes and no. Bill didn’t do that; I think any old old-timers would shake their heads at sobriety requirements for taking meetings to detoxes or even making coffee, and protracted step-a-year methods. Her point was that one must have something to share something; Granted, but how much something? Mustard seed? Sweet little residential organic garden with cute koi pond? Redwood forest?

I get a lot more out of the detox meeting where i was once a client than analyzing and rehashing my relationships and history over and over. And I am certain my presence and words are far more relevant there than in yet another notebook. Just sayin’.


Written by xty

April 19, 2010 at 19:27

Posted in the big book

4 Responses

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  1. Understand your post, but remember there’s a time-line that runs along with much of the BB…By definition, most of what was written for the BB was written before it was published…The value the tales which are shared are to idemnify the commonality amongst alcoholics from every walk of life…Things like the 90-in-90 came later, much later in some instances, based upon what I assume were observations such as “Hey, it seems like people who go to 90 meetings in 90 days have a better shot at staying sober. Let’s suggest everyone do that.”…
    The program that we know today is quite different from what was transpiring in NYC in the 1930s…There’s a rather good story in the BB that refers to the early meetings in AA NYC, and was seemingly written by the founder who insisted “as we understand him” be included in all references to God…It ties in with your comments and sheds some light on how the program has changed over time…Give it a shot…It’s named “The Vicious Cycle”…
    This may also be the story where the phrase “easy does it” is mentioned as something the first group in. I think. Arizona, picked up as their slogan, which eventually went “universal”…
    Now, take this in the sense it is intended (and you know what that is), but if I understand your post, your thinking is fallicious…The BB doesn’t say Bill W. attended 90 meetings in 90 days because there weren’t 90 meetings in existance at that time…And as illustrated by the story mentioned above, and in various others, there was no waiting period for seeking out other drunks to help…In some cited instances, it appears they stopped drinking one day and started looking for drunks the next…Remember, these guys were screwed up drunks just like the rest of us, they did not radiate an aura…Actually, considering when some of the material was written, meaning they could not have had too many years of sobriety under their belts, some of them may have been sicker than those of us in the present…Nevertheless, I have to give these guys credit because under similar circumstances, I could not have done as good a job at understanding the fundamentals of alcoholism and putting together a rather rational – and successful – program, which has been necessarily enhanced over time…
    Finally, the 12th step is last because if you spend all of your time running after other drunks to save as soon as you have your last drink, there will not be much time for YOU to work YOUR steps, which we have to agree is vital to one’s survival…
    I appreciate the “pushing boundraries” and “devil’s advocate” approach, but this post seems a little snide…If we’re having attitude issues, we need to talk…Otherwise, just take what you want and leave the rest…


    April 21, 2010 at 09:42

  2. I am getting better @ doing that. (the taking/leaving business. ) Thanks for the reading sugggestion.
    I gotta say in self-defensiveness that my remarks regarding Bill & 90 in 90 etc. is to remind me that It Can Work in More Ways Than One. That it is POSSIBLE to be awesomely sober without a lot of paperwork. Remember, I have gobs of experience failing to stay sober. if self-centeredness is the root of it all, I may need to overcompensate. Maybe……hell, I’ve already thought about this more than it warrants….


    April 21, 2010 at 11:53

  3. Is “self-defensiveness” actually a word???


    April 22, 2010 at 16:36

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