Big Book Podcast


Welcome back my friends to the big book podcast. My name is Howard and I'm an alcoholic sober since January. Nineteen Eighty eight one day at a time in this episode the twenty-fifth Twenty Six and twenty seventh stories from the personal stories section of the first edition of alcoholics anonymous published in nineteen thirty nine. These stories were printed only in the first edition of the Big Book and are entitled on His way an Alcoholic wife and an artist's concept of particular note and alcoholics wipe is the only story in the first edition written by the Non Alcoholic spouse of a man who got sober through the help of a and along with chapter eight two wives and chapter nine the family afterward may have helped cultivate the later establishment of Alanon also. The author of the chapter and artists concept prefaced his story with a quote attributed to the nineteenth century British philosopher. Herbert Spencer about contempt prior to investigation. It's interesting that although the story never made it past the first edition of the big book the Spencer quote became a permanent part of the second appendix entitled Spiritual Experience That appears in the second third and fourth editions of alcoholics anonymous and now the original stories on his way an alcoholic wife and an artist concept on his way in early youth. I believe I had some of the tendencies which lead to alcoholism. I refer to attempted escape from reality at fifteen and sixteen. Although free at home to drink small amounts of beer and wine I drank considerable quantities of stronger liquors at school and other places. Not Enough to cause serious worry but enough apparently to give me occasionally what I thought. I wanted escape a feeling of superiority. I don't know I then decided that I'd had enough of school. Which decision was probably shared by the schools? The next few years were spent in civil engineering work travel sports and a little idleness and I seem to have avoided alcoholic difficulties of the more pronounced kind immediately before marriage and in the short time before sailing for France alcohol began to take a real part in my life a year and a half in wartime France postponed the inevitable and the postwar period of hopes and plans brought me nearer and nearer to the point where eventually found myself to be an alcoholic. Not that I would have admitted it then. Having the Alcoholics Usual Facility for deception both to self and others divorced sometime suspecting that drinking was the basis for most of my troubles but never admitting it I had enough left in health interests of various kinds and luck to carry on with considerable success. About this time I stopped all social drinking. I became a periodical drunkard the sprees lasting from three days to three weeks and the dry intervals lasting from three weeks to four months during the best years. I made a happy marriage and the age of thirty five found me with the following. A beautiful little home presided over by kind understanding and lovely wife a partnership in a firm. I had helped to found years before more than a comfortable income many luxuries and many friends opportunity to follow my interests and hobbies. A love of my work pride in my success. Great Health Optimism and hope on the credit side. On the other hand I had a growing GNAWING fear of my recurring trouble. I slipped by far too easy stages to the bottom in less than eight years. Not a pleasant place the bottom sometimes. I slept in a cheap hotel or rooming house. Sometimes a flop house sometimes the back room of a police station and once in a doorway many times in the alcoholic ward at a hospital and once in a subway toilet sometimes decently fed clothed and housed. I worked at my business on commission with a large firm. Sometimes I dared not appear. There are cold hungry with torn clothes. Shaking Body and muddled brain had become helpless hopeless bitter. Sometimes I was apparently on the way back and sometimes riding in bed for days at a time terrorized by the fear of insanity and by the spectres of people without faces people with horrible faces people grimacing and laughing at me and my misery tortured by dreams from which I would awake with a scream of agony and bathed in cold sweat tortured by daydreams of what might have been dreams of kindness faith and love that had been heaped upon me due to this last however and to what little remained of my former self and perhaps to some lingering power of spiritual faith. I became somewhat better. Not Well but better. This helped me to take stock and to try and do some clear thinking I found my inventory somewhat mixed but as my thoughts became clearer. I grew much better and at last arrived at the point. Where for the first time in several years I could see some light and hope ahead of me. Through a haze of doubt and skepticism. I began to realize partly at least many things in myself which had grease the path I had pursued and some vague thoughts and ideas came to me that are now crystallizing with the help of the man. I have been happy to join.

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