The Doctors Opinion Day Three

We will take a look at the next part of The Doctors Opinion page xxv. Starting with the 5th paragraph down. This section is the last of the Dr. letter and he flat out states that other methods do fail however, there is hope because the men who founded AA do have a remedy for others which were considered lost causes!!! A few definitions to know in reading this section…..

Epoch – age; era; a period of time made special by something or someone

Annals – historical records or accounts; archives; chronicles

” I personally know scores of cases who were of the type with whom other methods had failed completely.

These facts appear to be of extreme medical importance; because of the extraordinary possibilities of rapid growth inherent in this group they may mark a new epoch in the annals of alcoholism. These men may well have a remedy for thousands of such situations.

You may rely absolutely on anything they say about themselves.

Very truly yours,

William D. Silkworth, M.D.

 

Dr.’s Opinion day two

Do you think that alcoholics are only the homeless and bums on the side of inner city streets who seem to always be looking for a hand out? Well, Hear is something interesting the first man to ever recover from alcoholism and taught us how to do it as well, was a smart man who had the capacity to make money! He was well off so to speak. He was not the “normal” alcoholic as we may imagine one today. Alcohol and drugs are funny that way because they have no respector of gender, age, race, social status, or even religious background. So let read Dr. Silkworths take on the hopeless alcoholic!

This chapter can be found on page xxv in the 6th edition in the Big Book. In this section I am posting today we read Dr. Silkworths impression of Alcoholics Aninymous and we begin to hear the story of Bill W.

“We of Alcoholics Anonymous believe that the reader will be interested in the medical estimate of the plan of recovery described in this book. Convincing testimony must surely come from medical men who have had experience with the sufferings of our members and have witnessed our return to health. A well-known doctor, chief physician at a nationally prominent hospital specializing in alcoholic and drug addiction, gave Alcoholics Anonymous this letter:

To Whom It May Concern:

I have specialized in the treatment of Alcoholism for many years.

In late 1934 I attended a patient who, though he had been a competent businessman of good earning capacity, was an alcoholic of a type I had come to regard as hopeless.

In the course of his third treatment he aquired certain ideas concerning a possible means of recovery. As part of his rehabilitation he commenced to present his conceptions to other alcoholics, impressing upon them that they must do likewise with still others. This has become the basis of a rapidly growing fellowship of these men and their families. This man and over one hundred others appear to have recovered.

To Be Continued…

The Doctors Opinion day 1

This is the prelude on this chapter as found in the Big Book Study guide.

This “Doctor’s Opinion” was written by William D. Silkworth, M.D. To many recovered alcoholics, this section of the Big Book is considered to be the most important as it describes alcoholism inin terms that make sense to the real alcoholic. From the description, the alcoholic learns the exact nature of the disease of alcoholism and how hopeless this condition of mind and body seems to be. We are told why we are unable to control the amount we drink once we hae taken the first few drinks. But more important, we are told why it is that we cannont manage our decision to not take the first drink once we hae made a firm decision, pledge, vow, promise, etc. to never drink again.

He also expresses his beliefe, based on his obserations, in the effectiveness of the Program of Alcoholics Anonymous as a method of assuring the essential entire psychic change which he believed to be the only solution for the seemingly hopeless state of mind and body.

Dr. Silkworth was trained in Neurology and lost his practice as the result of the stock market “crash” of 1929. He met Charlie Townes who was in search of the physician to direct his hospital, Townes Hospital, which specialized in the treatment of alcoholics and drug addicts. Dr. Silkworth accepted the position for a stipend of $40.00 a week. His plans were to re-enter priate practice when he could afford to do so, but the time neer came. He deoted his entire career to a practice of helping alcoholics. Many thousands of alcoholics were directed to Alcoholics Anonymous because of his faith in our way of life.

Without Dr. Silkworth’s opinion of alcoholism, Alcoholics Anonymous would not hae happened. It is only when we clearly understand a problem that we may be able to find a solution. Bill W. understood the hopelessness of his alcoholism from Dr. Silkworth’s opinion. Dr. Bob understood the hopelessness of his alcoholism after Bill W. explained Dr. Silkworth’s opinion to him.

If an alcoholic really wants to stop drinking for good and all, he must fully concede to his innermost self that he has a hopeless condition of mind, body and spirit. This is the first step in recoery and the “Doctor’s Opinion” gives us the knowledge necessary to surrender to that truth.

ery simply, from this section of the Big Book, we learn why it is that the real alcoholic has a body that can neer get enough alcohol and a mind that will not let the alcoholic leave it alone.

 

Big Book contents

I am going to begin by this blog with an introduction as to how the Big Book is organized. From the preface of the book all the way to the end of chapter 3 the Big Book explains our problem with the disease of addiction. This section totals 66 pages. All of these pages talk about the first inital step in recovery. For the solution to our problem we find steps 2-12 from chapters 4-11. Which cover 120 pages. However, I must point out that of ALL THE STEP WORK STEP 12 is 41% of the whole basic text and this step is covered from chapters 7-11.

I personally Found it interesting that most people think or feel that the biggest part of sobriety comes from step one. However step one only makes up 34% of the basic text. I feel the reason that step 12 is so important is because we can only keep what we hae by giing it away. This statement has been proved from Bill W. on down to today! And do keep in mind that even though steps 2-11 seem like a lot of work and is very important by comparison these steps only take 25% of the basic text.

Who is an Addict?

“Most of us do not have to think twice about this question. WE KNOW! Our whole life and thinking was centered in drugs in one form or another-the getting and using and finding ways and means to get more. We lived to use and used to live. Very simply, an addict is a man or women whose life is controlled by drugs. We are people in the grip of a continuing and progressive illness whose ends are always the same: jails, institutions and death.” (Narcotics Anonymous sixth edition).

The only way to keep from returning to actie addiction is not to take that first drug.

If you are like us you know that one is to many and a thousand is neer enough.

We put great emphasis on this, for we know that when we use drugs in any form, or substitute one for another we release our addiction all over again.

Thinking of alcohol as different from other drugs has caused a great many addicts to relapse.

Before we came to NA, many of us viewed alcohol separately, but we cannot afford to be confused about this.

Alcohol is a drug.

We are people with the disease of addiction who must abstain from all drugs in order to recover. (Narcotics Anonymous sixth edition).

 

Original Manuscript of Alcoholics Anonymous

The Original Manuscript of

ALCOHOLICS

ANONYMOUS

This is a reproduction of the 1938 Original Manuscript of Alcoholics Anonymous. This was the version of The Big Book distributed to friends and colleagues of AA’s founders before the First Edition was printed.

The text of this document, “Original Manuscript,” was left just as it originally appeared in 1938.

Chapter Five

HOW IT WORKS

Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our directions. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a way of life which demands rigorous honesty. Their chances are less than average. There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest.

Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now. If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it –then you are ready to follow direction.

At some of these you may balk. You may think you can find an easier, softer way. We doubt if you can. With all the earnestness at our command, we beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the very start. Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely.

Remember that you are dealing with alcohol – cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for you. But there is One who has all power – That One is God.  You must find Him now!

Half measures will avail you nothing. You stand at the turning point. Throw yourself under His protection and care with complete abandon.

Now we think you can take it!

Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as your Program of Recovery:

1.     Admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lies had become unmanageable.

2.     Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3.     Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care and direction of God as we understood Him.

4.     Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5.     Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6.     Were entirely willing that God remove all these defects of character.

7.     Humbly, on our knees, asked Him to remove our shortcomings – holding nothing back

8.     Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make complete amends to them all.

9.     Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10.  Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11.  Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our contact with God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

12.  Having had a spiritual experience as the result of this course of action, we tried to carry this message to others, especially alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

You may exclaim, “What an order! I can’t go through with it.” Do not be discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles. We are not saints. The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.

Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter to the agnostic, and our personal adventures before and after, have been designed to sell you three pertinent ideas:

(a)   That you are alcoholic and cannot manage your own life.

(b)   That probably no human power can relieve your alcoholism.

(c)   That God can and will.

If you are not convinced on these vital issues, you ought to re-read the book to this point or else throw it away!

SERINITY PRAYER

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change.

Courage to change the things I can, and Wisdom to know the difference”

If you have set foot in any recovery meeting I am sure you have heard this prayer, maybe you even say it on a regular basis. Have you ever stopped to think about this prayer? In this post I am going to explain exactly what this prayer means to me.

“God”….the very first word speaks volumes. There is a GOD this prayer does not say higher power it says GOD! So all in all God must be the one and only Higher Power. The next part states “grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change.” The merriam-webster dictionary defines grant very well….

1
a : to consent to carry out for a person : allow fulfillment of <grant a request>
 

b : to permit as a right, privilege, or favor 

: to bestow or transfer formally.
 
Now we must also define serenity. According to the merriam-webster dictionary it means the quality or state of being serene. Now, you may ask what is serene well once again we look at the merriam-webster dictionary. This definition is marked by or suggestive of utter calm and unruffled repose or quietude. 
So here we are asking GOD to permit us to be utterly calm in situations that we can not change!!! I will admit that is a lot of things for me!
 
Moving on is “Courage to change the things I can”. Have you ever been in situations where you know you could have done one thing different and it would have changed the whole thing? I have learned that courage to change the things I can is just that Courage to change myself, no one else. After all, if you try to change someone chances are it will not work. So here we also are asking GOD to permit ourselves to have the courage we need to change what we need to change in ourselves.
 
“And wisdom to know the difference.” Well, I have basically explained the difference but there are times when all you think is well, if he/she hadn’t done_____I wouldn’t have ____. We are not perfect, but the more we are in this program the better we get! We are a program of progress not perfection. This is where wisdom comes in because there are times we can’t tell if the situation calls for utter calm or the courage we need to change!

Welcome to recovery!!

I am very excited to begin this blog to help those who suffer with addictions, alcoholism, or anything else that is holding you back in life. In this blog you will read how many others have gotten through things like alcohol, drugs, porn, gambling..and the list can go on forever. There will be references to the Big Book (Alcoholics Anonymous), The NA book, and the Life Recovery Bible and other literature. I hope to also include real life testimonies from people in the groups here in East Texas.

First to begin with I must introduce you to the definition of addiction. Addiction according to Dictionary.com is a noun. It means the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming as narcotics, to such an extent its cessation causes severe trauma. An addiction is more then a habit or a hangup it is a monster that can and will find a way to kill you. So ok, we are enslaved to something that if we stop it will cause harm in some way, but isn’t it already causing harm? Take a look at your home life. Is there fighting? Maybe a separation from your family? Have you been in trouble with the law? Do you want true peace? Well, I am here to offer you hope on this journey that no matter the situation you are in today there is a way out. A road map is here for you to use starting today. All you have to do is be brave enough to take one small step at a time and allow the program to work and you to work the program. If you want true happiness and a new freedom I highly suggest you follow this road map!

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