Big Book Panel Discussions 2012-2013 (Audio)

Abstinence Panel — THE DOCTOR’S OPINION

Abstinence Panel — The Doctor’s Opinion [part 1]   (Kim G, Helena, Bob L)  download
Abstinence Panel — The Doctor’s Opinion [part 2] (Kim G, Helena, Bob L)  download

“Men and women drink essentially because they like the effect produced by alcohol. The sensation is so elusive that, while they admit it is injurious, they cannot after a time differentiate the true from the false. To them, their alcoholic life seems the only normal one. They are restless, irritable and discontented, unless they can again experience the sense of ease and comfort which comes at once by taking a few drinks–drinks which they see others taking with impunity. After they have succumbed to the desire again, as so many do, and the phenomenon of craving develops, they pass through the well-known stages of a spree, emerging remorseful, with a firm resolution not to drink again. This is repeated over and over, and unless this person can experience an entire psychic change there is very little hope of his recovery.

On the other hand–and strange as this may seem to those who do not understand–once a psychic change has occurred, the very same person who seemed doomed, who had so many problems he despaired of ever solving them, suddenly finds himself easily able to control his desire for alcohol, the only effort necessary being that required to follow a few simple rules.”

Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book, THE DOCTOR’S OPINION, pgs. xxviii-xxix

 

BILL’S STORY

 Bill’s Story [part 1]   (Andrea, Kim G, Margaret K)  download

 Play Audio:  Bill’s Story [part 2]   (Andrea, Kim G, Margaret K)   download

“I saw that my friend was much more than inwardly reorganized. He was on a different footing. His roots grasped a new soil…

…My friend suggested what then seemed a novel idea. He said, “Why don’t you choose your own conception of God?”

That statement hit me hard. It melted the icy intellectual mountain in whose shadow I had lived and shivered many years. I stood in the sunlight at last.

It was only a matter of being willing to believe in a Power greater than myself. Nothing more was required of me to make my beginning. I saw that growth could start  from that point. Upon a foundation of complete willingness I might build what I saw in my friend. Would I have it? Of course I would!”

Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book, BILL’S STORY, pgs. 11-12

 

MORE ABOUT ALCOHOLISM

 More About Alcoholism [part 1]   (Kim G, Janet H, Jill F)   download

 More About Alcoholism [part 2]   (Kim G, Janet H, Jill F)   download

“We learned that we had to fully concede to our innermost selves that we were alcoholics. This is the first step in recovery. The delusion that we are like other people, or presently may be, has to be smashed.

We alcoholics are men and women who have lost the ability to control our drinking. We know that no real alcoholic ever recovers control. All of us felt at times that we were regaining control, but such intervals–usually brief–were inevitably followed by still less control, which led in time to pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization. We are convinced to a man that alcoholics of our type are in the grip of a progressive illness. Over any considerable period we get worse, never better…

Despite all we can say, many who are real alcoholics are not going to believe they are in that class. By every form of self-deception and experimentation, they will try to prove themselves exceptions to the rule, therefore nonalcoholic…

…Then he fell victim to a belief which practically every alcoholic has–that his long period of sobriety and self-discipline had qualified him to drink as other men…”

“Our sound reasoning failed to hold us in check. The insane idea won out. Next day we would ask ourselves, in all earnestness and sincerity, how it could have happened.”

… “Not only had I been off guard, I had made no fight whatever against the first drink. This time I had not thought of the consequences at all. I had commenced to drink as carelessly as though the cocktails were ginger ale. I now remembered what my alcoholic friends had told me, how they prophesied that if I had an alcoholic mind, the time and place would come–I would drink again. They had said that thought I did raise a defense t would one day give way before some trivial reason for having a drink. Well, just that did happen and more, for what I had learned of alcoholism did not occur to me at all. I knew from that moment that I had an alcoholic mind. I saw that will power an self-knowledge would not help in those strange mental blank spots. I had never been able to understand people who said that a problem had them hopelessly defeated. I knew then. It was a crushing blow.”

Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book, MORE ABOUT ALCOHOLISM, pgs. 30-32, 37, 41-42

 

 

THERE IS A SOLUTION

 THERE IS A SOLUTION [part 1]   (Lesley M, Kim G, Mary L)   download

 THERE IS A SOLUTION [part 2]   (Lesley M, Kim G, Mary L)   download

“Of course an alcoholic ought to be freed from his physical craving for liquor, and this often requires a definite hospital procedure, before psychological measures can be of maximum benefit.

We believe, and so suggested a few years ago, that the action of alcohol on these chronic alcoholics is a manifestation of an allergy; that the phenomenon of craving is limited to this class and never occurs in the average temperate drinker. These allergic types can never safely use alcohol in any form at all; and once having formed the habit and found they cannot break it, once having lost their self-confidence, their reliance upon things human, their problems pile up on them and become astonishingly difficult to solve.

Frothy emotional appeal seldom suffices. The message which can interest and hold these alcoholic people must have depth and weight. In nearly all cases, their ideals must be grounded in a power greater than themselves, if they are to re-create their lives.”

Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book, DOCTOR’S OPINION, pgs. xxvii-xxviii

 

 

WE AGNOSTICS

WE AGNOSTICS [part 1]   (Kim G, Margaret K, Helena)   download

Play Audio:  WE AGNOSTICS [part 2]   (Kim G, Margaret K, Helena)   download

“…If, when you honestly want to, you find you cannot quit entirely, or if when drinking, you have little control over the amount you take, you are probably alcoholic. If that be the case, you may be suffering from an illness which only a spiritual experience will conquer.

If a mere code of morals or a better philosophy of life were sufficient to overcome alcoholism, many of us would have recovered long ago…Our human resources, as marshaled by the will, were not sufficient; they failed utterly.

Lack of power, that was our dilemma. We had to find a power by which we could live, and it had to be a Power greater than ourselves…

We needed to ask ourselves but one short question. “Do I now believe, or am I even willing to believe, that there is a Power greater than myself?” As soon as a man can say that he does believe, or is willing to believe, we emphatically assure him that he is on his way.

…In the face of collapse and despair, in the face of the total failure of their human resources, they found that a new power, peace, happiness, and sense of direction flowed into them. This happened soon after they whole-heartedly met a few simple requirements.”

Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book, WE AGNOSTICS, pgs. 44-47, 50