People

Chapter 9: The Fellowships Afterward

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Sponsor’s Note: Chapters 8 and 9 in the Big Book spend considerable effort  selling the following idea: If Wives and Family Members would just understand that the alcoholic is a sick person, then everyone would be nicer to the alcoholic, and everything would be better all around. We can usefully see this as a first attempt to “carry this message to others”—in this case families, particularly wives. But what message? We are now fortunate to have Alanon, Adult Children of Alcoholics, and Alateen adopting the Twelve Steps for the afflicted family. These “others” now have their own message to carry, and no longer need Bill Wilson to speak for them. Now is the time for the alcoholic to listen to what the “others” have to say about us.

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Chapter 9

THE FELLOWSHIPS AFTERWARD

     During my early years in AA, I was asked to sponsor an Alateen group, which consisted of children of alcoholics who would meet on a weekly basis, under adult supervision, to support each other through their parents drinking. I was the adult. Having no real template to follow, I began with a standard round-the-table reading-discussion format. As we passed around and read from the Conference-Approved textbook, “Alateen: Hope for Children of Alcoholics,” we stumbled upon a seemingly innocent characterization:

“An alcoholic drinks because they think they have to.”

An inquistive 10 year-old daughter of a man I was sponsoring in AA stopped the reading and asked me: “Mr Mike, Why did YOU drink?”

I answered without much thought: “I drank to feel good.”

Clarice pondered quizzically, and with the precociousness of Fynn’s Anna, asked with thinly vield incredulity, “Mr Mike, Why do you think you need to feel good?”

…transcription to be continued…MVC

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THE FELLOWSHIPS AFTERWARD

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THE FELLOWSHIPS AFTERWARD

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