Big Book Study - Post #35
- 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:
- 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 giventhan to be admired for what you have gained