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Old 09-18-2013, 09:21 AM   #40
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 31,006

Big Book Study - Post #40

Good Morning, everyone!

Dr. Bob's Nightmare is the first of the personal stories on page 171.

Page 165 is interesting however. This is the Section heading "Personal Stories -
How Forty-Three Alcoholics Recovered
From Their Malady" (Emphasis is mine). Not a typo.

Page 172 - Paragraph 1 - Bob attributes "selfishness" as playing an
important part in "bringing on my alcoholism". In the next paragraph
we can see his antipathy towards the church. Reading through page
173, we see that he is in trouble early on with drinking. Change of
scenery didn't help. At the bottom of page 174, he began to go to
sanitariums voluntarily to dry out. This was before Prohibition
(1920), and he still had many more years of drinking ahead of him.

On pages 176 and 177, his drinking was out of control and all of the
classic symptoms were there: hiding bottles, others recognizing his
drinking as a problem, hoarding alcohol, social life deteriorating,
switching drinks (the Beer Experiment), etc. On page 178, he falls
in with "...a crowd of people who attracted me because of their
seeming poise, health and happiness." (About 1933) That crowd was
The Oxford Group, although Dr. Bob had not connected this group of
people with any solution of his drinking problem. He drank and spent
time with the Oxford Groups for the next two and a half years.

In paragraph 1, the lady who called Bob was Henrietta Sieberling (of
the rubber tire manufacturing empire) and the friend was Bill
Wilson. The first meeting between Bill and Bob was about 6 hours
longer than the fifteen minutes Bob was initially willing to give to

Bob did get drunk again 3 weeks later at the AMA convention. Bill
worked with him again and the founding of our society dates from
June 10, 1935* the date of Dr. Bob's last drink.

The end of paragraph two says alot of the power of one alcoholic
talking with another - "Of far more importance was the fact that he
was the first living human with whom I had ever talked, who knew
what he was talking about in regard to alcoholism from actual
experience. In other words, be talked my language. He knew all the
answers, and certainly not because he had picked them up in his
reading." The barrier had been breached!

"Passing it on" was important to Bob - the last paragraph on page
180 and continuing on to the top of the following page. "I spend a
great deal of time passing on what I learned to others who want and
need it badly. I do it for four reasons:

1. Sense of duty.
2. It is a pleasure.
3. Because in so doing I am paying my debt to the man who took time
to pass it on to me.
4. Because every time I do it I take out a little more insurance for
myself against a possible slip."

The ending of his story boils down to the essence of how important
an open mind is in order to accept what we have to offer. The
assumption is that the motivation to seek sobriety is in place, that
we are ready to listen to conviction as only the dying can be:

"If you think you are an atheist, an agnostic, a skeptic, or have
any other form of intellectual pride which keeps you from accepting
what is in this book, I feel sorry for you. If you still think you
are strong enough to beat the game alone, that is your affair. But
if you really and truly want to quit drinking liquor for good and
all, and sincerely feel that you must have some help, we know that
we have an answer for you. It never fails if you go about it with one
half the zeal you have been in the habit of showing when getting
another drink.

"Your Heavenly Father will never let you down!"

* - An interesting historical note: Because the AMA Convention in
Atlantic City began on June 10, 1935 there is the real possibility,
according to some researchers, that Dr. Bob got sober on June 17,
1935. Not that it really matters all that much...

We'll begin again with the guidelines and follow with the first post
of the new cycle with our next post.

Thanks to everyone who has participated in this cycle. Pass on the
link to this group:

so that your other friends may share in what you have found.

"No matter what you have done up to this moment, you get 24 brand-new hours to spend every single day." --Brian Tracy
AA gives us an opportunity to recreate ourselves, with God's help, one day at a time. --Rufus K.
When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. --Franklin D. Roosevelt
We stay sober and clean together - one day at a time!
God says that each of us is worth loving.
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