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May 03

what we have to offer

“On the third day the lawyer gave his life to the care and direction of his Creator, and said he was perfectly willing to do anything necessary.  His wife came, scarcely daring to be hopeful, though she thought she saw something different about her husband already.  He had begun to have a spiritual experience.

 

“That afternoon he put on his clothes and walked from the hospital a free man.  He entered a political campaign, making speeches, frequenting men’s gathering places of all sorts, often staying up all night.  He lost the race by only a narrow margin.  But he had found God–and in finding God had found himself.

 

“That was in June, 1935.  He never drank again.  He too, has become a respected and useful member of his community.  He has helped other men recover, and is a  power in the church from which he was long absent.”  AA BB  p. 158

 

we read this passage in the Big Book study tonight at the meeting…this part of ‘A Vision for You’ is describing the experience of AA #3, and is one of my favorite stories in the Big Book…it starts off with Bill Wilson in the Mayflower hotel lobby, between the bar full of ‘gay chatter’ and the phone booth, with the church directory…he chose the phone booth and dialed many numbers, before reaching a connection that lead him to that fateful meeting with Dr. Bob…after Bob sobered up, they went to a hospital together to find another drunk to accept their treatment, hence AA #3

 

hearing this story tonight, i realized how fortunate i am to be a recovered alcoholic/addict in AA in the year 2010…in the Thirties, many people died from our disease…those that were lucky, were admitted into hospitals and sanitariums…there were no drug treatment facilities back then…Doctor’s pretty much threw their hands up at people like us, and deemed us hopeless, or doomed…all they could do was treat us, detoxify our bodies, and strongly stress that we could no longer use alcohol and drugs safely…but, after being dicharged, mostly all returned to the booze and dope, only to end up back in the hospital or nut house, after a short time

 

when Bill Wilson began to apply the principles he learned from the Oxford Groups, and ultimately had his bright light, spiritual experience in Townes hospital, he knew he had to carry his experience as a message to other suffering drunks, if he were to stay alive himself…after some time trying this, he began to feel disheartened and discouraged…noone he approached wanted to hear his story…none he attempted to work with stayed sober…he began to feel his efforts were in vain…then, his wife Lois told him that he had in fact been successful…Bill W. had six months sober that historic night when he happened upon Dr. Bob…Bill knew that if he didn’t help someone else stay sober, he would be drunk himself…so he chose the telephone over the bar…the insane idea failed to win him over that night, thank God…for our fate as hopeless drunks and addicts hang in the balance right then…can you imagine what life would be like without this program?

 

that is how this thing works so well, i believe…the therapy, the indentification of one recovered drunk/addict working with another…plenty of people approached me before i came to the program…parents, teachers, even friends attempted to persuade me to stop using, or drink moderately…i always felt persecuted and threatened by their pleas…until a sober drunk sat me down and read descriptions of alcholism out of the Big Book, and described his own affliction to me…after telling him that i could relate, he recommended i attend some AA meetings…i have been coming back ever since…so it is true…once the seed has been planted…once a drugee/alkie has full knowledge of his condition, and where the solution lies, he will never be the same again…and that is the hope we hold when we share our ESH with another sufferer…that something will click…that we can reach them where others have failed…for once we have heard how others have discovered themselves, we have an oppurtunity to seek that power they have tapped into…and once we have relied upon God to keep us sober a day a time, we soon discover who we really are…and then we can share that with still others