Beginning at the title page of “Alcoholics Anonymous” and continuing on through “We Agnostics” (Chapter Four), and with a focus placed specifically upon 12th-Step Work (trying to help others with Steps One and Two), here are some of our autonomous A.A. fellowship’s meetings we taped in 1997. Some of what you might hear in these recordings are things some of us first heard from Charlie P. and Joe McQ. during their time of “Charlie P. and Joe McQ.” seminars in the 1980s, and we hope you will be just as blessed by our own continued, in-depth study of “the Basic Text for Alcoholics Anonymous” (dust jacket), our A.A. “Big Book”.
“…thousands of men and women who were once just as hopeless as Bill.”
“Don’t drink one-day-at-a-time?”
“…a common solution…a way out on which we can absolutely agree…brotherly and harmonious action…the great news this book carries…”
“To show other alcoholics precisely how we have recovered is the main purpose of this book.”
Foreword to Second Edition
note: More to be added here as we continue copying our recordings into digital format.
I had been going to as many as fifteen meetings per week for several months during my first “sufferingly-sober” year in A.A. and while looking for someone who could help me understand and actually do the things shared in our Basic Text so I could recover from chronic alcoholism and never again end up drinking again…and then a friend who had been to a Charlie-and-Joe “Big Book Seminar” in an O.A. setting came to me with three tapes from that seminar and I spent the next three days in “tears of joy” — tears always come from something having been frustrated for a period of time, you know — while listening to those tapes over and over again as those two men explained things in ways I could never have figured out on my own. If you want to know what our Father in the Heavens got started in the 1930s for people like us, these tapes are for you!
Many people perceive sobriety as evidence of something good at work in one’s life, and now “Don’t drink!” has essentially replaced an admission of no defense against the first drink (Part Two of Step One) within much of today’s AA. Hence, many people today are really but “sufferingly sober” while still stuck in the alcoholic’s natural, “restless, irritable and discontented” state (Dr. Silkworth’s description excerpted from “The Doctor’s Opinion”) that typically precedes eventually again turning to alcohol for relief.
“If that is true”, you might ask, “then why or how are those people able to maintain sobriety?”
First, “‘God’ as you understand (or even might misunderstand) ‘God'” (page 164) does not cause people to drink again just because they have yet to do what is required for permanent recovery. If someone wishes (or knows nothing better than to) spend the remainder of his or her days trying to prove an ability to “Don’t drink, one-day-at-a-time”, that is his or her own affair. And as to the “How?” of that: Today’s AA offers both the peer pressure and the cheerleading “support” many people seem to find sufficient for keeping them going without actually drinking. As one ugly example of that, some of us once heard a man speak of having come home from work quite frustrated and angry at the end of a challenging day and then shouting at his family and even kicking the dog…and then everyone other than a few of us at that meeting began agreeing — some folks were quite solemn and others chuckled — when the man next suggested he was still a “winner” simply because he had not taken a drink that day. In the earliest days of A.A., no such “support” for that kind of wrong action and sick thinking existed for anyone anywhere.
I think yelling at your family and kicking the dog is totally unacceptable. Sober or not!
Yes, and that is why actual recovery is so much more important than mere sobriety.
I understand that now.
thanks for posting recorded meetings! Im trying to find the hang of finding meetings online!