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Big Book Study - Post #35

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  • Jim
    Good Morning everyone! We re at page 128 of Chapter 9 - The Family Afterward. The reading from here through the bottom of page 130 centers on, for lack of a
    Message 1 of 84 , Dec 1, 2011
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      Good Morning everyone!

      We're at page 128 of Chapter 9 - "The Family Afterward." The reading
      from here through the bottom of page 130 centers on, for lack of a
      better term, spiritual infancy. It's that period of time that many
      of us experience where we believe that we have found an oasis in the
      desert of an alcoholic life. It's roots may be in the spiritual
      experience, or simple and overwhelming gratitude. What this reading
      reveals is that, no matter what the circumstance, imbalance in life
      is not sustainable. Although the pendulum has swung from active
      alcoholism to over-zealousness in the spiritual realm what will
      happen, given time, is that we will become centered. Here our
      families are asked to allow us that period of time to become
      centered, to put our AA service work and spiritual lives into proper
      perspective with all of the other segments of our lives: work,
      family, home, service, etc. Step 10 is the primary tool to
      accomplish this desired result.

      Beginning at the bottom of page 130 and reading through to the top
      of page 133 the text discusses family life, taking inventory within
      our families and developing a new attitude toward the alcoholic
      member. This is rooted in our new attitude as recovered alcoholics.
      Paragraph 2 on page 132: "Outsiders are sometimes shocked when we
      burst into merriment over seemingly tragic experience out of the
      past. But why shouldn't we laugh? We have recovered, and have been
      given the power to help others." Continuing on to the following
      paragraph - "So let each family play together or separately, as much
      as their circumstances warrant. We are sure God wants us to be
      Happy, Joyous, and Free." Sounds like we get a glimpse of what God's
      will is for us. If we are careful when reading the Big Book we will
      find that much of God's will is revealed to us. It may be general in
      nature but it is there. If we're not "Happy, Joyous, and Free" we
      may be missing something in our spiritual lives.

      The remainder of this chapter deals with the relationship of the
      alcoholic to his family, his health and sex relations. It tells us
      not to be shy about consulting physicians for they are here to help.
      On page 135 there is a telling sentence - paragraph 1: "Seeing is
      believing to most families who have lived with a drinker." Our
      actions are far more revealing than our words, especially at home.

      And, of course, the first three slogans:

      First Things First
      Live and Let Live
      Easy Does It

      Have a great day everyone!


      Weekend Big Book Studies with Jim & Dave - visit:
    • Jim K
      Good Morning all! Today we will begin on page 122 - The Family Afterward. The dynamics of a family that has endured alcoholism are skewed to the point where
      Message 84 of 84 , Feb 10 5:10 AM
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        Good Morning all!

        Today we will begin on page 122 - "The Family Afterward." The dynamics of a family that has endured alcoholism are skewed to the point where living together has become difficult, sometimes almost impossible. Written many years before Alanon and Alateen were formed, this and the preceding chapter attempt to steer us all--alcoholic or not--down the spiritual path.

        Paragraph 3 on page 122 is a theme that is oft repeated throughout the book: "Cessation of drinking is but the first step away from a highly strained, abnormal condition."
        AA isn't a "not drinking club". Reading to page 127 the advice is offered to all--alcoholic or not--that patient striving is required to become free of the past and to grow into something better. Although we want results now, we must realize that it will take time to recover on all different levels.

        On page 127, the first paragraph reminds us to be cautious about focusing on a single aspect of our recovery.
        "The head of the house ought to remember that he is mainly to blame for what befell his home. He can scarcely square the account in his lifetime. But he must see the danger of over-concentration on financial success. Although financial recovery is on the way for many of us, we found we could not place money first. For us, material well-being always followed spiritual progress; it never preceded." If we concentrate on our spiritual condition we will mend financially.

        The following paragraph directs us to make our efforts under our own roofs.
        "Since the home has suffered more than anything else, it is well that a man exert himself there. He is not likely to get far in any direction if he fails to show unselfishness and love under his own roof. We know there are difficult wives and families, but the man who is getting over alcoholism must remember he did much to make them so."

        The underlying message here is about balance. An overemphasis on any single area creates imbalance. Those areas that are neglected suffer. Balance is something to be sought after. Over-concentration on finances, spirituality, meeting attendance, relationships, etc.,
        at the expense of those other things that comprise this life will lead us to more difficulty. Remembering that life is lived outside of the rooms of AA is important.

        With our next post we will start on page 128. The discussion will start with how the family reacts to a
        "stirring spiritual experience."

        Thanks for participating!

        Jim - The Into Action Group of Manhattan

        Weekend Studies of "The Sermon on the Mount" by Emmet Fox with Jim - visit:


        It is better to be loved for what you have given
        than to be admired for what you have gained
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