|August Grapevine Articles
Therapy for Drunks With a Follow-up Volume 3 Issue 3
The manager of a certain midwestern home for alcoholics, himself a "practicing
A.A." asked a newspaperman friend to dream up an advertisement of his
institution to be used in a medical journal and a circular letter describing the
facilities, therapy, etc., to be sent to doctors throughout the state.
The newspaperman suggested the following caption for the ad, which seemed,
under the circumstances, the most logical in the world:
"AT LAST --A THERAPY FOR ALCOHOLICS --WITH A
"You see, Mac," said the newspaperman, "that is what your Home has, which
distinguishes it from the many "cure" and drying out places around the country
--the "follow-up." The physically rehabilitated alcoholic is not pushed out your
front door defenseless, to fend for himself in a still drinking world. He has
developed connections terribly important to him, if, during the period of his
physical purge, he has chosen to accept the help of the most successful
movement of its kind. Yes sir, the thing you have to offer here is that condition
--the place is infested with A.A.!"
Indianapolis, Ind., Star: "There isn't a member of Alcoholics Anonymous in
Indiana or anywhere else in America who at one time or another hasn't lost
almost complete control of his life. But there are thousands who have regained
their self-control, self-respect and the respect of their families and communities
merely by applying A.A.'s simple form of psychology. Indiana A.A.s operate on
the theory that once a person realizes that he has a number of friends pulling
for him and giving him the courage he needs to throw off chronic alcoholism, he
will think twice before letting them down."
Three A.A.'s from Chicago and one from South Bend attended a meeting of
A.A.'s in the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City.
|Lest We Forget Aug. 1953
FIVE years of happy sobriety, in AA have brought to me, as to many others, ever
increasing respect for the Program. I do not want my course to become
complicated, nor cause such a development for others, but would like to pass on a
few of the admonitions which line my way of life.
First, let's remain convinced that once one is an alcoholic, he will ever be so.
Let's ever strive to be humble, to think of other fellows instead of ourselves.
Let's practice more honesty in our day to day living.
Let's keep on taking inventories of ourselves--and not of others.
Let's remain convinced that God can and will remove our defects of character.
Let's shy away from the idea we are doing this thing ourselves.
Let's always remember the power of group psychology and never undervalue the
importance of attendance at AA meetings.
Let's never be critical of speakers. The person one hears next may be making the
effort of his life. Congratulate him (or her).
Let's make talks as brief as possible and keep simple the things we say. Let's stop
when we have said what we have to say.
Let's learn to listen--one constructive thought absorbed each week means 52 in the
back of one's mind at the end of a year.
Let's end meetings when interest lags--there's no rule governing length of any of
Let's never blame a slip on inability to grasp the spiritual part of the Program. Keep
practicing the 12 Steps and spirituality will come. In some form or other.
Let's admit it as quickly as possible when we find ourselves wrong--a warm feeling
always follows a sincere apology. Amends to those we may have harmed is an
important part of AA living.
Let's always be willing to say "yes" when called upon, whether it be for a talk, a
committee meeting, a call, doughnuts or coffee.
Let's not become smug in our sobriety.
Let's never fail him not her whose cry for help we feel we can answer.
Let's not be too hasty to stop what we may feel to be "wet nursing."
Let's not expect too early return of the money we may loan to fellow
sufferers--some of it is bound to remain in the gift classification.
Let's not cry about the past, nor waste time seeking a cause for our drinking. Let's
accept the things we cannot change and change those we can.
Let's all do some of the many forms of 12th Step work. Every AA is afforded many
And let us never forget the tie which binds our procedure to the Divine Being,
asking for His aid when needed and always extending thanks to the one above for
the better things of life which come our way. Our lives and our wills are always
safe in the hands of God, as we understand him.
D. L. B.
|The Three Little Pigs and Alcoholism AUG. 1993
You will recall the story of the three little pigs. Of course, they were not alcoholics,
but two of them did have something in common with many recovering drunks.
These pigs were having trouble with a big bad wolf who kept blowing their houses
down. One little pig built a new house of straw. Straw isn't very heavy and it didn't
make a sturdy or secure structure. So when the wolf came around, he blew the
house down with little effort.
The second little pig was smarter than the first one, and he built his house with a
better material - sticks. But again the house was built without planning. There was
no foundation to provide a solid basis; there was no framework to hold the house
together; there were no blueprints. The components of the house didn't join together
to form a solid unit. The results were the same: The wolf blew the house down.
The third little pig was the best builder of them all. He made his house of bricks. In
order to succeed it had to be built with a plan and blueprints; it needed a foundation.
This was a solid and functional house; all parts were where they were supposed to
be. The chimney was over the fireplace and the water faucets were over the sink.
The wolf didn't have a chance. He came around and blew, and blew, and blew. But
the well-built house stood.
Some individual alcoholic recovery programs are much like the houses of the first
two little pigs. They're put together with bits and pieces of information heard at
meetings or haphazardly obtained from AA literature. The information is good and
the program looks good, but it doesn't have the planning or blueprints needed to
form a strong structure. The individual pieces don't support each other and they
aren't set on a solid foundation. When disaster comes, they can be blown away, just
like the little pigs' houses.
Of course, this problem can be corrected. Every AA member is given the foundation
and the blueprints for a solid recovery program - Alcoholics Anonymous's Twelve
Steps. When recovery is based on these Steps, all the pieces fit and nothing is left
out. The knowledge obtained from meetings and conversations can be fitted into the
overall structure to strengthen the entire program. The Twelve Steps are the
blueprint for a solid house of recovery.
If you want protection from the big bad wolf or other disasters, follow the example
of the third little pig and build a solid structure by using a tried-and-true blueprint of