Probably one of the most common struggles of people who attempt to read and comprehend Alcoholics Anonymous is how dated Bill Wilson’s story appears. After all, Bill is a white, middle-aged, married stock-broker-turned-golf-enthusiast living in New York during the 1920’s. Many people have questioned whether he’s outdated or even irrelevant. Myself included.
If you’re already familiar with my story, you know I got sober at the age of 20. I found very little in Bill’s Story which resonated with me. It wasn’t until someone taught me how to look, that I was able to appreciate two aspects of Bill’s Story which I believe make him relevant to EVERY alcoholic regardless of age, race, creed, etc…
I’ll touch on that in a moment, but first I’d like to share something else that’s personal with you.
I’ve always had above average intelligence. I’ve been I.Q. tested twice with a score in the upper 140’s (that’s near genius according to some people). As such, reading comprehension as never been a problem for me. I read at a six grade level while only in third grade, I’ve been known to read dictionaries for fun, and, to this day, I still enjoy diagramming sentences. Nerdy, I know…. and not even in a cool way.
Now, I don’t share any of this to impress you, but simply to impress upon you the significance of what I’m about to say:
THE BIG BOOK KICKED MY ASS
That’s right. I couldn’t make heads or tails of it. That’s because the Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism is ultimately a text book (it’s preface tells us so), and, like any text book worth it’s salt, it is nearly impossible to make much use of it without a teacher.
Which is one of the reasons I created Big Book Wizard and, more specifically, the new online big book study Monday Morning Magic.
( By the way, if you’re interested in joining us and/or receiving the study notes CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE GUEST LIST )
…But I digress.
Last week we started Bill’s Story and, as part of the aforementioned study notes, I sent the following pointers to my Guest List members. I found them critically useful in helping myself and others relate to Bill Wilson. These are:
The Two Ways Every Alcoholic Relates to Bill Wilson
Even at the age of 20, I could identify these two patterns. The details may have differed, but I could see these two similarities — the similarities which matter most.
I’ve developed a printable checklist to help you stay mindful of your efforts.