Friday, 24 August 2012

Some history.

I find this sort of stuff strangely interesting. The people who came before us, the history we have is a mighty fine thing. Maybe we can learn from it.

Big Book Name and Date References
(Compiled by Tony C. and Barefoot Bill)

Pg/Ch.            Name                    Description
-----       ----                          -----------
xi          written by Dr. Silkworth      The Doctor's Opinion

Preface 2Ed                        
xv          Bill Wilson & Dr. Bob         during a talk between a NY stockbroker & Akron physician (they first met on 5/12/35)
xvi         Ebby Thacher                  alcoholic friend in contact with Oxford Group
xvi         Dr. Silkworth                 (named) NY specialist in alcoholism
xvi         Bill Wilson                   The broker
xvi         Dr. Bob                       the Akron physician
xvii        Bill Dotson                   AA#3 (sober date was 6/26/35, Bill Wilson & Dr. Bob first visited him on 6/28/35)
xvii-iii    Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick     (named) noted clergyman
xviii       Fulton Oursler                (named) editor of Liberty
xviii       John Rockefeller Jr           (named) gave dinner
xviii       Jack Alexander                (named) wrote Saturday Evening Post article
xix         Traditions                    all Twelve Traditions mentioned
xx          recovery rate from 1939-1955  Of alcoholics who came to AA & really tried, 50% got sober at once & remained that way; 25% sobered up after some relapses, and among the remainder, those who stayed on with AA showed improvement

Doctor's Opinion (was page 1 in the first edition of the Big Book)
xxv-xxxii   Dr. William D. Silkworth      well known doctor (worked at Towns Hospital, N.Y.C.)
xxv         Bill Wilson                   patient he regarded as hopeless
xxvii       9 years experience            Dr. Silkworth had 9 years of experience with alcoholics & drug addicts when he wrote this
xxvii       Bill Wilson                   one of the leading contributors of this book
xxxi        Hank Parkhurst                man brought in to be treated for chronic alcoholism
xxxi        Fitz Mayo                     another case, had hid in a barn

Bill's Story (Bill Wilson)                           
1           Winchester Cathedral          Bill Wilson has a spiritual experience ("Here I stood on the edge of the abyss into which thousands were falling that very day.  A feeling of despair settled down on me - where was He - why did He not come - and suddenly in that moment of darkness, He was there.  I felt an all enveloping, comforting, powerful presence.  Tears stood in my eyes, and as I looked about, I saw on the faces of others nearby, that they too had glimpsed the great reality.")
1           Thomas Thetcher               an old tombstone (the name of the Hampshire Grenadier)
1           a special token               Upon leaving France the men of his [Bill Wilson's] battery paid him special honor.  His letter of January 3, 1919, read: "Quite a touching thing happened yesterday.  The men presented Captain Sackville and me each with a watch, chain and ring.  The whole battery was lined up, and I tell you it was equal to promotion and decoration by J. J. Pershing himself!  Coming as it did from a clear sky, it was quite overwhelming.  Wouldn't have changed insignia with a brigadier general.  It means so much more than promotion.  Insofar as I know, we are the only people in the reigment who have been so honored.  I'm sure you will be as happy and proud as I am."
2           1920's                        certain securities then cheap & rather unpopular
2           April, 1925                   off we roared on a (Harley Davidson) motorcycle
3           Ella Goldfoot's               worked on farm for a month
3           ?                             remonstrances of friends, became lone wolf
3           ?                             Spring 1929 contracted golf fever, went to country
4           Ekwanok Country Club          the exclusive (golf) course which had inspired such awe in me as a lad
4           Penick & Ford                 XYZ-32 (stock) (Penick & Ford is a corn products company, it went from 52 to 32 in 1 day)
4           Dick Johnson                  friend in Montreal (worked at Greenshields & Co., a brokerage house)
4           1930                          By the following spring
4           Macy's                        wife (Lois) work in dept. store
5           A. Wheeler & F. Winans        1932 formed group to buy - bender - chance vanished
5           written sweet promises        Promise followed empty promise.  On October 20, 1928, Bill wrote in the family Bible, the most sacred place he knew: 'To my beloved wife that has endured so much, let this stand as evidence of my pledge to you that I have finished with drink forever.'  By Thanksgiving Day of that year he had written, 'My strength is renewed a thousandfold in my love for you,'  In January 1929, he added, 'To tell you once more that I am finished with it.  I love you.'
None of those promises, however, carried the anguish Bill expressed in an undated letter to Lois: 'I have failed again this day.  That I should continue to even try to do right in the grand manner is perhaps a great foolishness.  Righteousness simply does not seem to be in me.  Nobody wishes it more than I.  Yet no one flouts it more often.'
Again, he wrote a promise to his wife in the family Bible: 'Finally and for a lifetime, thank God for your love.'  The promise was dated September 3, 1930.  Like those that had preceded it, it was not kept.  That was the last of the Bible promises.
6           ?                             doctor came with sedative, next day drinking gin & sedative
7           early spring 1934             I was forty pounds under weight
7           Dr.L.Strong & Dr.Emily        brother in-law (husband of sister Dorothy) & mother put him in Towns Hospital
7           Dr. Silkworth                 met kind doctor explained ill, body & mind
7           Summer, 1934                  After a time I returned to the hospital
8           11/11/34                      Armistice Day 1934
8-12        Ebby Thacher                  old school friend
9           Shep C,Rowland H,Cebra G      two? (three) men appeared in court (Shep Cornell, Rowland Hazzard & Cebra Graves) August 1934
9           chartered an airplane         January 1929, from Albany N.Y. to newly opened Manchester Vt.
10          Fayette Griffith              (Bill's) grandfather
10          Winchester Cathedral          (see page 1)
12          the Cathedral                 Winchester Cathedral (see page 1)
13          12/11/34                      At the hospital I was separated from alcohol for the last time (Bill was admitted to the hospital at 2:38PM and he is 39 years old)
13          Ebby & Shep Cornell           schoolmate visited at hosp with friend
14          Dr. Silkworth                 friend, the doctor
14          12/14/34                      God's impact on Bill is sudden & profound, he calls Silky & describes what just happened, this spiritual experience as THE result of the work he did on pages 13 & 14 were all done when Bill had 3 days of sobriety or less!
14          Ebby                          friend emphasized
16          Bill C.                       committed suicide in Bill & Lois’s home after having stolen & sold about $700 worth of their clothes and luggage (a lawyer, stayed with them almost a year, died 1936)
16          36 years sober, age 75        Bill W., co-founder of AA, died January 24,1971

There Is A Solution
21          mostly from Bill's story      Here is the fellow who has been puzzling you...
26          Rowland Hazard                certain American Business man - treated by Dr. Carl Jung (1931) & joined the Oxford Group in February 1934
26          Freud & Adler                 consulted best known American psychiatrists (Freud was sick & Adler was booked up so Rowland ended up working with Jung)
26          Dr. Carl Jung                 (named) European psychiatrist
28          William James                 (named)American psychologist who wrote “Varieties of Religious Experience”

More About Alcoholism
32          ?                             A man of thirty (On page 123 of Richard Peabody’s 1931 book “The Common Sense of Drinking”, Peabody briefly mentions an unknown man who gave up drinking until he had made his fortune five years later.  Resuming "moderate" drinking, he was soon back in his alcoholic difficulties, losing his money in two or three years and dying of alcoholism a few years after that.  This anecdotal account was probably the germ idea for this story)
35-7        Ralph Furlong                 a friend we shall call Jim (Ralph is the author of the story "Another Prodigal Son" which only appeared in the first edition of the Big Book)
37-8        ?                             jay walker story
39-43       Harry Brick                   Fred
43          Dr. Percy Polick              staff member world-renowned hospital (Bellevue Hospital, N.Y.)

We Agnostics
50          Alfred E. Smith               "celebrated American statesman" (four time governor of New York and unsuccessful first Roman Catholic presidential candidate.)
51          Wright brothers               (named) first successful flight 1903
51          Professor Langley             Samuel P. Langley, flying machine landed in Potomac - 1903 project for War Dept.
52          Wright brothers               (named) built a machine that could fly
55          ?                             people who proved that man could never fly
56          Fitz Mayo                     the minister's son
56          Bill Wilson                   approached by an alcoholic

How It Works

Into Action
76          Book of James 2:20,26         Faith without works is dead
79          ?                             man we know was remarried
80          Oxford Group member           he accepted sum of money from business rival - explained in church

Working With Others
101         Eskimo                       running away from drinking to Greenland Ice cap

To Wives

Family Afterward
124         Henry Ford                    (named)
133         ?                             one of the many doctors
135         Earl Treat                    one of our friends is a heavy smoker and coffee drinker

To Employers (chapter was written by Hank Parkhurst)
136         Hank Parkhurst                member who spent life in world of big business
136         ?                             Mr B.
137         ?                             one of the best salesmen
137         ?                             man who hung himself
138         Frank Winans?                 officer of one of largest banks in America
138         Bob E. or Rowland H.?         an executive of the same bank
140         Dr.Edward Cowles?             Chicago doctor with spinal fluid theory of alcoholics (see
141         Standard Oil New Jersey       "if my company" (that Hank Parkhurst worked for)
148         ?                             vice president of large industrial concern
149         Honor Dealers Co.             I own a little company (an automobile polish distributorship (see page 246 & 248)
149-50      Bill Wilson & Jim Burwell     two alcoholic employees

Vision For You
151         Bill's former Higher Power    King Alcohol
151         Four Horsemen                 (named) Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration, Despair - Revelations 6:2-8 war, famine, pestilence, and death personified the four plagues of mankind
153         Bill Wilson                   one of our number made a journey
153         Akron, OH.                    a certain western city
153         National Rubber Machinery     business (of that trip) involved in proxy fight
154         Akron, Ohio                   in a strange place (had to have that one)
154         The Merry Man Tavern          an attractive bar
154         Mayflower Hotel               paced a hotel lobby
154         Reverend Walter Tunks         clergyman he phoned (Rector of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Akron)
155         "the old Episcopal Church"    church selected at random
155         Dr. Bob                       resident near nadir of alcoholic despair
155         AMA convention                went on a roaring bender (Traymore Hotel in Atlantic City, NJ)
156         around 6/17/35                He (Dr. Bob) has not had a drink since.  (It is generally stated that Dr. Bob's sobriety date and the founding date of AA is 6/10/35, but recent facts around Dr. Bob's last drink indicate that this date is closer to a week or so later.)
156         Mrs. Hall/Akron City Hosp     head nurse of local hospital
156-8       Bill Dotson                   real corker, none too promising, future AA, lawyer
158         6/26/35                       He (Bill Dotson) never drank again.
158         Ernie Galbraith - Akron       devil may care young fellow
159         Bill Wilson                   our friend of the hotel lobby incident
159         Dr.Bob,Bill D,Ernie G         leaving behind his first acquaintance, the lawyer and the devil-may-care chap
159         ? - Archie T, Bill/Bob G (Salesman), Bill Van H, Dr. Bob, Charlie S, Dick S (AA#7), Ernie G, Harry Z, Jim S (Writer), Joe D (AA #5), Marie B, May B & Tom L/Jim L, Paul S, Ralph F, Wally G, Walter B -all 17 have stories in 1st edition. Additionally, Phil S (AA#5), Bill V, J.D.H., Bob E, Ken A were sober by 1937. Some may go with p.161. A year and 6 mo.s later these 3 succeeded with 7 more (puts this early 1937)
160         T.Henry & Clarace Williams    One man and his wife
161         Cleveland, OH.                community 30 miles away
161         Lloyd T,Clarence S,?Charlie J.      (see names from pg.159) has 15 fellows of AA
161         New York                      eastern city
162         Towns Hospital, NYC           well known hospital for treatment of alcohol & drugs
162         Bill Wilson                   member there 6 years ago
162         Dr. Silkworth                 doctor in attendance
162         eastern city                  NYC
162         western friends               Ohio
162         New York, Akron/Cleveland     our two large centers
163         Hank Parkhurst                AA member living in a large community (Montclair, NJ)
163         Dr. Howard                    prominent psychiatrist (of Montclair, NJ/Chief Psychiatrist for the State of NJ)
163         Dr. Russell Blaisdell         chief psychiatrist of a large public hospital (Rockland State NY)

The easer softer option.

If drugs and alcohol are your problem, you will probably be ok.
If drugs and alcohol are your solution, you are probably fucked.

It took me a while to get my head round that one. For such a long time I truly believed it was all down to the booze, the gear, the speed etc, etc. I really thought if only I could stay clean, things would be fine. Then I did, and they most surely were not.......

Years latter when I was introduced to the Twelve Steps I was to discover that the problem was me, not drugs, not alcohol, just little old me. Once I was able to understand this I had a chance to do something about it, about me. The rest was fairly straight forward. The only thing now is to keep going, keep doing the things I was shown by the people who went before me.

Turns out working the steps really is the easer, softer option. 

Friday, 20 July 2012

Dr. Bob's Farewell Talk

I simply Love this

Dr. Bob's Farewell Talk

My good friends in A.A. and of A.A.,

     … I get a big thrill out of looking over a vast sea of faces like this with a feeling that possibly some small thing I did a number of years ago played an infinitely small part in making this meeting possible. I also get quite a thrill when I think that we all had the same problem. We all did the same things. We all get the same results in proportion to our zeal and enthusiasm and stick-to-itiveness. If you will pardon the injection of a personal note at this time, let me say that I have been in bed five of the last seven months and my strength hasn't returned as I would like, so my remarks of necessity will be very brief.

      There are two or three things that flashed into my mind on which it would be fitting to lay a little emphasis.  One is the simplicity of our program. Let's not louse it all up with Freudian complexes and things that are interesting to the scientific mind, but have very little to do with our actual A.A. work. Our Twelve Steps, when simmered down to the last, resolve themselves into the words “love” and “service.” We understand what love is, and we understand what service is. So let's bear those two things in mind.

      Let us also remember to guard that erring member the tongue, and if we must use it, let's use it with kindness and consideration and tolerance.

      And one more thing: None of us would be here today if somebody hadn't taken time to explain things to us, to give us a little pat on the back, to take us to a meeting or two, to do numerous little kind and thoughtful acts in our behalf. So let us never get such a degree of smug complacency that we're not willing to extend, or attempt to extend, to our less fortunate brothers that help which has been so beneficial to us.
                                               Thank you very much.

* From Dr. Bob's brief remarks on Sunday, July 3, 1950, at the First International A.A.
Convention in Cleveland, Ohio.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Bob Bacons talk.


Are we, in the content of our A.A. meetings, getting away from basics? Are we talking about our own recovery from alcoholism, the Big Book, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions?

(Bob Bacon - Delegate, Northeast Ohio) (Excerpts from his talk)

My name is Bob Bacon. I am powerless over alcohol and very grateful to be alive and a part of this conference. Are we, in the content of our A.A. meetings, getting away from A.A. basics? I believe we are. Alcoholics Anonymous is growing at a faster rate than at any time since the ‘40’s, and I suspect we were not ready for such growth. Have we gotten a little complacent and smug in our well-being?

People today are coming to Alcoholics Anonymous in far better shape physically and mentally than most of us here did. We need to show them how we learned to stay sober. If our meetings consist mostly of drinking experiences, our ideas and opinions, we are not doing our jobs.

Dr. Bob said our program when boiled down, is love and service. We need to show all the newcomers that we love them as we were loved and we have a way of life we wish to share. If our meetings are nothing but drunk-a-logs and meaningless chatter, we are not showing them “How It Works”.

In A.A. meetings, we reach out with love and told people, “These are the Steps we took” and “We had to go to any lengths”. Is that what the newcomer is hearing in our meetings today? When a person comes to us after 30 days in a rehabilitation center, he or she is already dry and needs to know how we are staying sober. I believe our meetings are not really covering this heavy responsibility as effectively as we should and could.

We do have some good news, such as Big Book Study Meetings. More and more in my area, we are going to discussion meetings. This new idea is from the Grapevine. To me, it is vital to the survival of our Fellowship that we make certain the people coming to us for help are made aware of the Big Book, the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions as possibly their only hope for survival from alcoholism. If we fail to guide them to our program of recovery, our Fellowship will not survive.

Our future is dependent upon a continuing stream of recovered alcoholics. In today’s frustrating world, our Program works better than ever. Are we doing a good enough job sharing this with the thousands of people coming to us now? Shouldn’t we be giving these people all Three Legacies of Recovery, Unity and Service? We have to tell them more than, “Don’t drink and go to meetings”. If all we talk about is our drinking, our ideas, our opinions, my day or the way I do it, we are not carrying the message--we are carrying the illness. We should be talking about recovery. I don’t believe we are. Are we stressing the real value of the Big Book? You can go to meetings in my area where you can’t find a Big Book. Lately, when I am asked to lead a meeting, I have to take my Big Book with me. I don’t want to lead a meeting that doesn’t have a Big Book. We hear many people lead meetings and never mention the Steps or the Big Book. Is it because nobody told them how very important the Big Book is?

Do we forget to tell the newcomer that what is in the Big Book can save his or her life? Our total Program is in the Big Book and only in the Big Book. Shouldn’t we be telling people that? We hear a lot of ridiculous things like, “There are no musts in A.A.” My Big Book read different. People say that it is an individual program, that we can take the Steps any way we want to.

Dr. Bob said, and I quote, “There is no such thing as an individual interpretation of the Twelve Steps.” If we are not honest with the new people and tell them how important each Step is, who will tell them? Some people seem to think the Steps are a necessary evil instead of a lifesaving prescription for happiness.

We rarely hear about the Traditions. The fact that these came about because of our mistakes and failures is almost a secret. The Traditions are the lifesaving guide lines for each group and for our Fellowship as a whole and each of us should be responsible to honor them. When I first wanted to get a copy of the “Twelve and Twelve”, a G.S.R. told me the Tradition pamphlet had all I needed. Thank God, I didn’t listen to him. In 1965 at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, most of us stood with Bill and said, “I am responsible. When anyone, anywhere reaches out for help, I want the hand of A.A. always to be there and for that I am responsible.” Being at that Convention is the reason I am standing here now.

We are the guardians of this Fellowship, and maybe we need to do a better job of sharing what it is all doubt. Are we still responsible?

Posted from Blogium for iPhone

In the post.

"By nature touchy and suspicious, the alcoholic likes to be left alone to work out his puzzle, and he has a convenient way of ignoring the tragedy which he inflicts meanwhile upon those who are close to him.

He holds desperately to a conviction that, although he has not been able to handle alcohol in the past, he will ultimately succeed in becoming a controlled drinker. One of medicine's queerest animals, he is, as often as not, an acutely intelligent person.

He fences with professional men and relatives who attempt to aid him and he gets a perverse satisfaction out of tripping them up in argument."

The Jack Alexander Article From the March 1941 issue of The Saturday Evening Post

Posted from Blogium for iPhone

Friday, 15 June 2012

The cheese slipped off my cracker

The cheese slipped off my cracker and everyone had to die.

Some would say this response is a little on the extreme side, but not me, oh no, not me. You see the big stuff is never going to be the problem, if I can see it coming, chances are I'm gona have at least half a chance to deal with it. And deal with it I normal do.

But when the curve balls of life come along, well, that's when I really have to dig my heals in and give it my best. To be honest I normal pull it off and things are most often OK. But once in a great while something so unexpected comes along I don't have a chance. Once in a while the cheese slips of my cracker and everyone must die.

Thankfully not to often. 

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Dam Change

So it's been a few days since I wrote anything and I'll be buggered, they've gone and changed everything. I'd like to say I've no issue with this, but in truth I really have. For you see, I simple do not like change. I can get all sorts of analytical about the whys and why nots around this, but the truth is I simply don't like change. So with that in mind I plan to fight and reject the recent changes to blogger with all my might. I will email them, write to them and rally each and every person I know to put a stop to this dam change.

Or possibly I'll do nothing and put up with it.

Friday, 20 April 2012

3.26 on the 19th

Yesterday my Dad was cremated and the day ended up being absolutely nothing like I expected it to be. I didn't really think that many people would turn up, but turn up they did. And with the greatest respect in the world, what a motley crew they were. In fact it all held a striking resemblance to an episode of only fools and horses.

When the vicar didn't show up. I asked the hearse driver if this happened very often and he told me me had never know it before. He then went on to pull a book from his inside pocket and proudly announced he would be happy to have a go. At one point he came running out with the news the vicar had turned up but alas this proved to be a false alarm.

As the service got under way I couldn't help thinking my old man would have been laughing his head off and that made me smile, it made me smile a lot and I found myself feeling great full for the chance to laugh at myself. The whole thing went off really well and the old boy got a really cool send off.

With that and all the various good-bys done we headed off home stopping off at the old folks home to pick up the last of his things. He had very little there but when I opened a bed side draw and noticed his watch, I thought that'll be nice to keep. Picking it up I notice the second hand was not going round. I checked my watch and the time was 3.26, the same time as my Dads watch. 3.26 on the 19th. My watch ticked on but his had stopped fast at 3.26. At the time I didn't think that much about it but latter when I told Michelle she said maybe he was waiting for you. I like that and maybe, just maybe, he was.  

Thursday, 5 April 2012

R.I.P Dad.

When the phone rings at 2.30am you can be fairly sure it's not gona be great news and this was for sure the case this morning. With a freshly stubbed toe I called the number back to be told my Dad had died an hour earlier. As things stand I'm not even really sure how I feel about the whole thing, or even if it matters how I feel right now.

What I do believe to be a fact is that my dear old Dad was well and truly done. For him a pint and a cigarette were just about all he asked from life and he couldn't have either any more.  From my point of view I find myself so very thankful to have a wife who pestered me into tracking him down a few years ago. Because of this he got to meet his third grand son Jack, and I got to have a few years I never thought I'd have with my Dad. In truth, it's been a pretty cool deal and it turned out he was a pretty cool Dad.

Monday, 2 April 2012

12 Step Prayers

God, Creative Intelligence, Universal Mind, Spirit of Nature or Spirit of the Universe my name is ______, and I'm a real alcoholic ... and I need your help today. (p. 10 BB)

2nd STEP
God, I'm standing at the turning point right now. Give me your protection and care as I abandon myself to you and give up my old ways and my old ideas just for today. AMEN (p. 59 BB)

3rd STEP
"God, I offer myself to Thee-to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always!" (p. 63 BB)

4th STEP
"I was to sit quietly when in doubt, asking only for direction and strength to meet my problems as He would have me. Never was I to pray for myself, except as my requests bore on my usefulness to others. Then only might I expect to receive. But that would be in great measure." (p.13)

"This is a sick man. How can I be helpful to him? God save me from being angry. Thy will be done." (p. 67 BB)

5th STEP
God I thank you from the bottom of my heart that I know you better. Help me become aware of anything I have omitted discussing with another person. Help me to do what is necessary to walk a free man at last. AMEN (p. 75 BB)

6th STEP
God help me become willing to let go of all the things to which I still cling. Help me to be ready to let You remove all of these defects, that Your will and purpose may take their place. AMEN (p. 76 BB)

7th STEP
"My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding. Amen." (p. 76 BB)

8th STEP
"We attempt to sweep away the debris which has accumulated out of our effort to live on self-will and run the show ourselves. If we haven't the will to do this, we ask until it comes." (p. 76 BB)

9th STEP
God give me the strength and direction to do the right thing no matter what the consequences may be. Help me to consider others and not harm them in any way. Help me to consult with others before I take any actions that would cause me to be sorry. Help me to not repeat such behaviors. Show me the way of Patience, Tolerance, Kindliness, and Love and help me live the spiritual life. AMEN
(p. 78-80 BB)

10th STEP
God remove the Selfishness, dishonesty, resentment and fear that has cropped up in my life right now. Help me to discuss this with someone immediately and make amends quickly if I have harmed anyone. Help me to cease fight anything and anyone. Show me where I may be helpful to someone else. Help me react sanely; not cocky or afraid. How can I best serve You - Your will, not mine be done. AMEN (p. 84-5 BB)

11th STEP
"As we go through the day we pause, when agitated or doubtful, and ask for the right thought or action. We constantly remind ourselves we are no longer running the show, humbly saying to ourselves many times each day 'Thy will be done.' “(p. 87-8 BB)