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Good morning I’m Derek Stone with BigBookWizard.net. We’ve got a great and exciting Big Book study for you today. We’re gonna announce the winner of the study edition Big Book giveaway contest and that’s gonna be at the end so stick around for that. Before we get started with the review of last week just a quick disclaimer. Derek Stone, that’s me, is a life coach interventionist speaker and man in recovery. He does not claim membership in, filiation with, or representation of any organization, facility or group (12-step or otherwise). All references to Alcoholics Anonymous are made in reference to the book which shares that title. My videos, live big book studies and online meetings are for educational purposes only and are not to be construed as professional advice nor are they presented or to be construed as an adequate replacement for other recovery efforts which may prove necessary including medical, detox, professional treatment, rehab, IOP, counseling, therapy, medication, needing attended, sponsorship and/or 12-step work.
So last week we were studying the doctors’ opinion and we saw a couple of things in the two or three paragraphs that we went over. The first that a psychic change is necessary in order to recover and that is coming from Dr. Silkworth. He’s not a member of any organization affiliated with this book. He’s not a 12-step fellowship member. He’s not a man of religion, he’s a man of science. He is saying as a medical man and his expert opinion, psychic change is necessary in order to recover. We covered last week a whole list of every instance of spiritual awakening that’s used throughout the book. Spiritual experience I should say which is the non-medical way to reference a psychic change. Dr. Silkworth goes on to say that human power cannot produce a psychic change. If you can produce it through human power it’s not a psychic change. By definition psychic change is that part of me that remains unchanged despite any changes that I make. That’s the core part of me that remains unchanged, despite any changes that I make. In other words I can change what I listen to music wise. I can change what television shows I watch, what I read, who I hang out with, what foods I eat, what language I use, how I dress, my hairstyle or lack of hairstyle. I can change all that stuff. But then there’s a core part of me that remains the same person despite all those changes that I’ve made and that’s the part that needs to change. That’s the psychic change that occurs as a result of that.
So if that sounds pretty hopeless but the part of me that needs to change is the part of me that I can’t change welcome to step one because that is the admission that we’re making. But the part of me that needs to change is the part of me that can’t change. Doctor goes on to say that medical and psychiatric efforts have historically helped some people who struggle with excessive drinking. But they’ve done little for the problem of alcoholism as whole. We’re defining that there’s a class of people known as a real alcoholic. Which brings me to the next point that there is a class of problem drinker also known as the real alcoholic who will not respond to the typical medical psychological approach to recovery. It astounds me how we in the medical profession aka treatment centers as they be known today and we have the private sector if you will the 12-step fellowship. Both sides seem to not realize that they are uniquely qualified to help a distinct group of people that have having difficulty with substance abuse. You have the class of people that respond to cognitive behavioral therapy and coping mechanisms and goal-setting and acupuncture and equine therapy and all the other stuff that medical and psychological people come up with to treat alcoholism. There’s a class of people that will respond to that stuff, but then there’s also this class of people that does not respond to that and they’re going to need a 12-step program.
Each group of people in the medical community and the treatment community and the 12-step community are uniquely qualified to help their people. We are going to be in the doctor’s opinion. In the book well in the fourth edition if you’re using that it is going to be page XXIX. We are looking for the paragraph at the bottom of the page that says ‘I do not hold with those who believe that alcoholism is entirely a problem of mental control’. So while you are finding that page I’m going to give a quick shout out to my supporters on Patreon. This is all the people that signed up to support me last month. There’s new names being added to the list next month. If you see your name up here you are near and dear to my heart, you mean an awful lot to me. I could not be continuing this channel without you. On the doctor’s opinion at the bottom of the page I do not hold what those who believe that alcoholism is entirely a problem of mental control. I’ve had many men who’ve had for example worked a period of months on some problem or business deal which was resettled on a certain date favorable to them. They took a drink a day or so prior to the date and then the phenomenon of craving at once became paramount to all other interests so that the important appointment was not met. These men were not thinking to escape; they were drinking to overcome a craving beyond good mental control’.
There are examples. What he’s talking about here is that yes we are maladjusted to life. In the narration between these two letters the Big Book authors state that it’s not enough for us to be told that we were maladjusted to life. But that is certainly true for a lot of us. There are certain things we have exaggerated emotional reactions to our world. So if you can relate to that a lot of people typically call that or refer to that as the spiritual malady, these exaggerated emotional reactions. If you can relate to that you might be alcoholic, but that’s not the defining characteristic. We believe that any picture of the alcoholic that leaves out this physical factor is incomplete. There’s a mental component as well. But it’s not enough to just say that it’s entirely a problem of mental control. It’s not enough to say that I can’t determine when the first drink is going to occur. But I can’t guarantee you I won’t go a week without drinking. Yeah that’s problematic but without this physical component, without this phenomenon of craving that is not unmanageable. The fact that I can’t control when the first drink occurs is thoroughly manageable if I can control when the last drink occurs. But the phenomenon of craving here guarantees that I can’t. So this example that it gives someone that’s got a problem or a business deal that’s going to end favorably for them.
Imagine having to be someplace at 9:00 tomorrow morning and literally all you have to do is show up there sign the paperwork and you get a fat paycheck. It’s gonna be really good. You don’t have to pitch anybody anything. You don’t have to sell anybody anything. That deal is done, it just needs your signature. It’s gonna be yours. There’s nothing stressful about that. There’s nothing to be maladjusted to. This isn’t a terrible thing that we’re trying to escape, none of that stuff. This is a wonderful day we should feel like a kid on Christmas Eve. Let’s say about 10:00pm we decide you know what I’ve earned it, let me just have a shot of whiskey before I go to bed calm my nerves and drift off into dreamland. That’s it just a shot to unwind, it’ll be nice. That’s all the person wants to do and in fact they need to get to bed on time so they can show up to the thing at 9:00am So they take a shot of whiskey. Well then this thing that we called a phenomenon of craving takes over. This person continues to drink well past 11:00, well past midnight, 2am, 4am. Next thing you know it’s 6:30am and they still haven’t been to bed yet and they are three sheets to the wind and there’s no way they’re making it to the 9:00 appointment. They’re not getting that paycheck. They’re natural circumstances.
Maybe it wasn’t a business deal, maybe it was a PTA meeting maybe it was an appointment with a doctor. Maybe it was dinner date with your significant other. Maybe it was a kid’s soccer practice. Whatever the case may be you had every intention of showing up to this thing and it wasn’t that stressful of a thing. The important thing that we have to realize is that I miss events and appointments that I would want to participate simply because I am too busy drinking to satisfy a craving beyond my mental control. Meaning that once the substance hits my system, once the alcohol or the drugs are in my system I cannot end that ride whenever I want. I am taking it to the duration because of this phenomenon of craving that takes over. The mind wants to drink one or two to satisfy whatever’s going on up there and sometimes it’s just to unwind. We’re not even facing stressors. But once the mind hands over the baton to the body, once we take that drink and alcohol gets in her system, the mind has handed the baton the body and the body begins to run with it. That’s the thing that’s the point the doctor wants to make, I’m not going to make this thing just about I’m drinking because I’m stressed or I’m drinking because I’m hungry, angry, lonely, tired. That might be why we take the first drink but it doesn’t account for why we take the fifth or tenth or fifteenth or twenty seventh drink.
Does that make sense? I hope so. It’s going to be a shorter… But I do want to cover the next paragraph. The doctor there are many situations which arise out of a phenomenon of craving which cause men to make the supreme sacrifice rather than continue to fight. It’s just one sentence but it’s really powerful. Someone once asked me Derek do you think this sentence is talking about suicide? I absolutely do think that the sentence is talking about suicide. There is a line from Bill’s story where Bill writes about a man who kills himself. In fact I can turn to the end of that and we’ll get to this when we read Bill story. But on page 16 of Bill’s story an alcohol in his cusp is an unlovely creature and struggles with them are variously strenuous comic and tragic. One poor chap committed suicide in my home. He could not or would not see our way of life. Bill arguably is really repetitive, he likes to make the same point over and over again. But really just drive that point home with a hammer, beats a dead horse whatever expression you want to use. Wordy, repetitive bill has only one commentary to make about a man who kills himself in his home. That that man could not or would not see our way of life
I don’t know about you I’ve never found a dead body, let alone found a dead body in my home. But I imagine I would have a lot to say about it. But wordy repetitive Bill simply says he could not or would not see our way of life. When this book is written there isn’t a solution readily available to people. So today there might not be as many, this sentence right here might not be as true. But when the doctor is writing this he is talking about there are many situations which arise out of a phenomenon of craving. So referencing back the paragraph that we just read. I miss an important appointment, I miss a certain conclusion of a business deal, I miss a kid’s soccer meeting. These situations as the phenomenon of craving is taking over and I find myself missing things that are normally wouldn’t or engaging in things that I normally would. That cycle of spree and remorse where I emerge horrified by the events that occurred while I was drinking, things that I swore I’d never deal. Those situations arising that phenomenon of craving pile up on us.
In fact the doctor talks about that on a paragraph and we’ve covered previously. Where he talks about once having lost their self-confidence to rely on something’s human the problems pile up [inaudible 13:50] the phenomenon of craving and readily available. Can’t or won’t see it, can’t or won’t wrap their mind around it. In the absence of a solution for the astonishing difficult problems that arise out of the phenomenon of craving, in the absence of a solution with that many people end up taking the easy way out. The supreme sacrifice they call it and that I believe is suicide. There’s stories in the back of the book about people who lock themselves up in a bar and are just ready to die and end it all. Sometimes that feels like the only way out. In fact the original title of this book or one of them that was kicked around was A Way Out, that’s what they would consider in calling it. They just discovered that there were way too many other books already named A Way Out and so we have the title Alcoholics Anonymous that we have today.
That’s about it. If you’ve got some experience with this, I’ve known several suicides in in recovery guys that I’ve sponsored, guys that I’ve tried to sponsor, guys that I’ve known in the fellowship. This is a very real phenomenon. If you know that and want to share some experience strength and hope around it I’d love to see your comments in the comment section, wherever you’re watching this video. Without further ado we have the study edition of Big Book. If you’re entering the contest right now as I’m recording this you’re not going to be in the drawing because there’s all the names that are in there are in there. Actually there’s not a lot of people. Your chances are pretty good when you enter this thing. There’s 26 people in there currently, that’s it. I’m drawing 1 out of 26 and your name stays in until you win. So some of the people in the drawing right now that I’m drawing names from didn’t win last month’s drawing. That book went to Gabby Cooney. This book this one that I’m holding in my hand it’s wrapped in plastic. This one is gonna go to someone new this month. I pay the shipping, it’s free. I’ve got a random name generator and I’m not sure, I don’t think I can do screen capture with this so bear with me. You’re gonna watch me I guess but I’m got all the names in this random name picker here. I’m gonna pick random name. Ira Harrison, congratulations Ira. You have won the study edition Big Book and so I’m gonna contact you by email to get your address and congratulate you. I will ship this out to you as soon as I get that address.
Like I said if your name is in the contest and you’re not Ira Harrison don’t worry you’re automatically re-entered next month. If you’d like to enter that contest the link is in the description below. Also if you’d like a free tool that I created the robust recovery checklist it’s a simple checklist a simple document with about 10 or 12 items on there that you can kind of check to take the pulse of your recovery. Some people have found that really helpful. If you decide to support me on Patreon this month for just $5 I’m going to send you a copy of this promises bookmark. It’s got all the promises on the front for the 9 step promises and then on the back it’s got all the other steps that have promises associated with them and corresponding page numbers. So it’s cool. It’s a little glossy bookmark just something that makes a nice gift. If you or someone you know needs help feel free to check out my resource finder BigBookWizard.net/help. There’s no need to struggle I know a lot of people in the professional community we can get you the help that you need.
Also if you want to reach out on social media that’s me. That’s really about it that we have this week. I just like to say thanks for participating. Thanks for your patience with the late start this morning to. I just switched over to my MacBook, this is the first online book study that we’re doing from my MacBook. As opposed to my other laptop and that’s why some of the fonts and stuff up here are a little jacked up because the font that I was using didn’t translate from one operating system. Calling glaring attention to that misprint there. But I’m gonna do my best to rectify that for next week. I look forward to seeing you here next week. If no one’s told you they love you today please let me be the first. I’m glad you’re here. Be well and God bless