Not Just The Washingtonians Part II

Throughout pre-AA history, the unique power of one alcoholic helping another has been repeatedly demonstrated, as drunks have gathered together for mutual support in the effort to stay sober. Some of these groups have been religious or spiritual, others, not. In all cases, the ongoing interaction with other alcoholics was a critical ingredient in ensuring sustained sobriety, perhaps THE essential factor. Of all the various groups and movements, the Jacoby Club of Boston seems to have been the one most resembling Alcoholics Anonymous. In fact, AA's secretary, Ruth Hock, referred early inquiries from Boston to the Jacobies.

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Trolls, Bergens and Cravings

I ended up at the cinema the other day. My wife and I went with our two sons of four and five, and watched Trolls. Those without young children would have had no reason to watch such a film, so I'll provide an overview of the story. The trolls are little creatures who are loving and kind, and spend their days dancing and singing and hugging, just generally being happy. The other breed of creatures in the tale, the Bergens, are not like the Trolls. They are bigger (big enough to pick up the Trolls and eat them), and they are miserable. They don’t dance, sing, or hug. They are NOT happy. They are just miserable.

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Many of us are familiar with the events that brought AA’s two founders together for the first time. On May 11th of 1935 Bill found himself pacing back and forth in the lobby of the Mayflower Hotel in Akron, OH. At one end of the lobby was a bar and at the other a public phone. He had gone to Akron to pursue a business deal. The deal had fallen through and Bill, several months sober, wanted to drink.

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Don’t Fix It If It Ain’t Broke

I agree, it ain’t broke. What I think instead is that it was never whole in the first place. So can we please fix it now? I’m just going to look at one issue. There’s too much to try and tackle it all at once. Let’s start by presenting an argument by Jeannie Young which I came across at She writes about women but most of it, and certainly the whole principle of her argument, applies to me as well (she is associated with another program, Women for Sobriety, but for now we just want to look at her argument as it pertains to AA, not at her program):

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Consigned To A Life Unexpected

I'd taken my last drink January 30, 1989, and had just been released from a detox stint at a local hospital. This wasn't my first visit to AA; I'd made several other starts without much success, but it was the only place I found people like me that were contentedly sober. Yeah, I thought you were stupid, boring, and (maybe not so) glum. After all, I had a brother with three years’ sobriety under his belt and a brother-in-law with nearly ten, and they weren't at all like that. So here I was once again. The arrogance, pride, and hip-slick-cool attitude was finally beaten out of me. Forty-five years old, and no coping skills or very many healthy brain cells left, sitting on my hands staring at the table top and wondering if it was going to work for me this time. I hoped so, but kind of doubted it.

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