AA speaker Dr. Mike presents a Big Book study podcast and thoughts on recovery

Thoughts on Recovery – No. 72 – Step 1 – Fred – More About Alcoholism – Pages 39-42 – Part 1 – A Powerful Message for all Alcoholics No Matter How Long You are Sober!

The final example in the chapter More about Alcoholism is a man called Fred.  The authors want the reader to understand that their is no defense from the first drink based on human power. Fred is successful and appears to outsiders to be a stable well balanced individual . Yet he is alcoholic. They are making the point that it is how we feel inside that makes us an alcoholic. The spiritual malady is how we see the world not how the world sees us.

They met Fred in the hospital after a case of jitters. He would not admit he was an alcoholic. He made up his mind that he would quit. Since he wouldn’t admit he was an alcoholic he didn’t see any need for a spiritual solution. There is a powerful message here- he thought humiliation plus self knowledge would fix his alcoholism!

They next saw Fred in the hospital where he was flat on his back after drinking again. He tells them his story.

He relates how being successful in other areas of his life and having self confidence he would be able to exercise will power and keep on guard. With this frame of mind he took a trip to washington for business. He had been able to keep from drinking up to this point and he “began to THINK” if he was not making too hard work of a simple matter.

His trip was going well. He was having a PERFECT day. Not a cloud on the horizon. He goes to dinner.

As he crossed into the dining room his mind said have a couple of drinks with dinner. No resistance. He went on a spree and ended in the hospital suffering from unbearable mental and physical suffering.

”Not only had I been caught off guard. I had made no fight whatever against the first drink. This time I had not thought of the consequences at all.”

If that has ever been your experience you are powerless over alcohol…. Forever …No defense on human power…. No defense on will power.

The big book has 41 pages plus the Drs. Opinion to hammer home this point to the reader…. Why? Because if I cannot concede to my innermost self that I am an alcoholic and therefore admit I am powerless over alcohol I won’t become willing to seek a solution outside of myself.

In part 2 I will look at the rest of Fred’s story.


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