[Extracted from the monthly ECO NEWS - August 2018]
Why I Love the Big Book
It recently came to my attention that I rely on words from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous to communicate….more each year in fact. And that feels worthy of a few more words, in my humble opinion.
I could probably write two more articles on this topic, but I will be brief. The top 6 page references that first come to mind are enough for now: Pages 38, 417, 129, 83-86, 552, 568. These pages are from the 4th Edition of Alcoholics Anonymous.
When I first came into AA meetings, I remember one fellow who was constantly quoting pages. He would talk briefly, then always end with prescribing that I “read page such-n-such”. I would go home and read that page…he got my curiosity up. I later learned that he just pulled a number from out of his head for no particular reason: it got people reading the Big Book! I had to laugh at myself…because it worked.
- The very first time I read anything that got my attention was the story about the jaywalker. That “foolish chap having queer ideas about fun” actually described my insane desire to continue to drink, despite the progressively horrific consequences. That’s on page 38
- Again, my first reading of page 417 about acceptance has been the most meaningful paragraph of my sobriety. I quote it more often than any other. It explains the best way I know of achieving any kind of peace of mind and contentment: by staying focused on ‘the log in my eye and not the splinter in yours’ as one friend described it. “Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today…..Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God’s world by mistake” This also helps me to let go
- Then there is the true essence of how Alcoholics Anonymous works for me, described on page129, by that old goldminer. He suddenly realizes that his pick has struck an endless supply of gold but it’s only available to him if he “mines it for the rest of his life and insists on giving away the entire product.” I can’t give away what I don’t have. That’s another way of saying that I cannot stay still in AA, I must keep moving forward or pay the price of not doing so. One more 2x4 between my eyes, and one more lesson
- Discussing favorite passages in the Big Book wouldn’t be complete without reference to the Promises on pages 83-86. I’ve heard sponsors tell sponsees to read those 3 pages every single day, to good effect. Reading to page 88 is also recommended
- The Chapter called Freedom From Bondage worked wonders for me on a trip with my husband a few years back. I had just heard at a meeting that someone read that chapter every single week of his sobriety; that impressed me. During our 12 hour drive across Canada something happened to create such irritability in my mind, that by the time we reached the hotel I was furious. I recalled that chapter, so I immediately locked myself in the bathroom to read Freedom From Bondage. By the time I opened the door, I couldn’t remember why I was so angry. It was miraculous
- And finally, I am so fond of Herbert Spencer’s quote on page 568. I will end this by encouraging you all to “read page 568” and see what you think. This helps me to overcome fear
Thank you for your time and thank you always, for my sobriety.
Becky P, Area 78 Delegate