Sunday, 23 October 2016


Read the chapter once through then read it more carefully once again, answering the following questions.
Reference or answer
Should an alcoholic get special treatment just because they are in recovery?
Page 122:1.[1]
No. Just because a person is in recovery, they don’t get free passes or special treatment. We have God behind us. We don’t need free passes or special treatment. In fact, with God behind us, and the programme ahead of us, we have greater responsibilities than those without the programme and structure of AA.
What is the common ground of a relationship?
Page 122:1.
The common ground of tolerance, understanding, and love. That means there is no room for criticism, intolerance, or impatience. Instead: try to understand where people are coming from and why they are doing what they are doing, and above all accept things as they are. Love means doing things for fun and for free expecting nothing in return.
The concept of common ground means that we each have our own private ground and individual lives, to which we are entitled privacy.
Where do problems in families or other groups come from?
Page 122.
·         Having fixed ideas about the family’s attitude towards you.
·         Being interested in having your wishes respected.
·         Demanding others concede.
·         Playing the lead.
·         Trying to arrange the family show to your liking.
·         Trying to see what you can take from family life rather than give.
NB this applies to any group dynamic.
What mistakes do the family of someone in recovery make?
Page 123:1 onwards.
·         Remembering good times in the past and comparing today’s life unfavourably against them.
·         Demanding that the good times be brought back instantly.
·         Believing God owes them something.
·         Not realising that an even better life lies ahead but that it takes years.
·         Reproaching the recovering person.
·         Burying the skeletons of the past in a dark closet and padlocking the door.
·         Believing that happiness requires forgetfulness.
·         Digging up past misdeeds so they become a blight.
·         Unearthing old affairs and angrily casting their ashes around.
·         Criticising or laughing at other people.
Page 131:0 onwards.
·         In families where the non-alcoholic assumed all responsibilities, not adjusting when the alcoholic is once more able to take their rightful place.
·         Demanding that the alcoholic give them all their attention and stay at home.
What should the family of someone in recovery do instead?
Page 123:1 onwards.
·         Admire them for what they are trying to be rather than what they are trying to get.
·         Be willing to turn the past to good account.
·         Face and rectify errors and convert them into assets.
·         When the occasion requires, bring even grievous former mistakes out of their hiding places to show others how we were given help—but do not discuss past occurrences unless some good and useful purpose is to be served.
·         Temper talk of each other by a spirit of love and tolerance.
·         Do not relate intimate experiences of another person unless we are sure they would approve.
·         Stick to our own stories.
Page 127:1 onwards.
·         See own shortcomings and admit them to others.
·         Avoid heated argument, self-pity, self-justification, or resentful criticism.
·         Ask less and give more: giving rather than getting is the guiding principle.
Page 130:2 onwards.
·         Apply spiritual principles yourself.
·         Adopt a sane spiritual programme and make good practical use of it.
·         Yield.
What are the pitfalls for the alcoholic in recovery in relation to family life? How should the family respond to each? How should the alcoholic respond?
Page 125:3 onwards.
Plunging into a frantic attempt to get on their feet in business (symptoms on page 126:1–2).
Response by the family:
·         Don’t criticise—it makes the impasse worse.
·         Recognise the alcoholic is still convalescing.
·         Be grateful for their sobriety and ability to ‘be of this world’ once more.
·         Praise progress.
·         Remember how long it takes to repair damage.
·         Pursue tolerance, love, and spiritual understanding.
Response by the alcoholic:
·         Don’t place money first.
·         Remember that material wellbeing follows spiritual progress.
·         Exert oneself in the home.
·         Show unselfishness and love.
Talking or thinking of little other than their new life (symptoms on page 128:1–2).
Response by the family:
·         Appreciate that this is but a phase.
·         Do not criticise.
·         Do not try to change them.
·         Let them go as far as they like in helping other alcoholics.
Response by the alcoholic:
·         Recognise that there is a distortion of values—a spiritual life which does not include his family obligations is imperfect.
Are there obligations outside recovery and the home?
Page 131:2 onwards.
Make new acquaintances who know nothing of alcoholism and give thoughtful consideration to their needs.
Give attention to the problems of the community.
(Optionally) make contact with or take membership in a religious body, avoiding argument, instead making new friends and finding new avenues of usefulness and pleasure.
Is there room for fun in recovery?
We absolutely insist on enjoying life.
How should we respond to politics?
We try not to indulge in cynicism over the state of the nations, nor do we carry the world's troubles on our shoulders.
What do we do when we see anyone in need? And what is the boundary of this?
When we see a man sinking into the mire that is alcoholism, we give him first aid and place what we have at his disposal. For his sake, we do recount and almost relive the horrors of our past.
But those of us who have tried to shoulder the entire burden and trouble of others find we are soon overcome by them.
Whose fault is unhappiness, and how should we deal with adversity?
We are sure God wants us to be happy, joyous, and free. We cannot subscribe to the belief that this life is a vale of tears, though it once was just that for many of us. But it is clear that we made our own misery. God didn't do it. Avoid then, the deliberate manufacture of misery, but if trouble comes, cheerfully capitalize it as an opportunity to demonstrate His omnipotence.
What advice is given on health matters?
But this does not mean that we disregard human health measures. God has abundantly supplied this world with fine doctors, psychologists, and practitioners of various kinds. Do not hesitate to take your health problems to such persons. … Try to remember that though God has wrought miracles among us, we should never belittle a good doctor or psychiatrist. Their services are often indispensable in treating a newcomer and in following his case afterward.
What advice is given on sex?
Page 134:1.
What advice is given on how to get on with the children of the family?
Page 134:2–3.
What are the promises of this chapter?
Old buildings will eventually be replaced by finer ones.
The alcoholic’s past becomes the principal asset of the family and frequently the only one.
Your dark past is the greatest possession you have—the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them.
You have barely scratched a limitless lode which will pay dividends only if you mine it for the rest of your life and insist on giving away the entire product.
Those of us who have spent much time in the world of spiritual make-believe have eventually seen the childishness of it. This dream world has been replaced by a great sense of purpose, accompanied by a growing consciousness of the power of God in our lives. We have come to believe He would like us to keep our heads in the clouds with Him, but that our feet ought to be firmly planted on earth. That is where our fellow travellers are, and that is where our work must be done. These are the realities for us. We have found nothing incompatible between a powerful spiritual experience and a life of sane and happy usefulness.
He and his family can be a bright spot in such congregations. He may bring hope and new courage to many a priest, minister, or rabbi, who gives his all to minister to our troubled world.
We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others.
We are convinced that a spiritual mode of living is a most powerful health restorative. We, who have recovered from serious drinking, are miracles of mental health. But we have seen remarkable transformations in our bodies. Hardly one of our crowd now shows any mark of dissipation.
What are the three slogans of this chapter?
First Things First
Live and Let Live
Easy Does It.

[1] The page numbers denote pages in the book Alcoholics Anonymous. The numbers after the colon indicate the paragraph of the page in question. ‘1’ means the first full paragraph. ‘0’ means any run-on paragraph at the top of the page, which actually started on the previous page.

1 comment:

Kesavan Chakravarthy said...