1938 Original Manuscript for 1939 1st Edition BigBook Searchable 1976 3rd Edition BigBook On-Line
The Prescription
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On Steps 1, 2 and 3

You have asked for help to get and STAY SOBER. You have come to that point in life where BOOZE (and maybe other things as well) have whipped you to a fair frazzle, you can't live with booze, and you can't live without it. You have reached the jumping off place. And your constant (and perhaps only) companions are the hideous Four Horsemen of the drunk, Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration and Despair. You have declared that you are willing to go to any length to get over drinking, to do anything at all necessary to get and STAY SOBER.

Well, are you willing to give up booze (and the other things as well) for good and for all to get sober and stay that way? If Yes, then we have the way to do it.

Open your Big Book to page 59. There listed are the 12 things you WILL DO on a daily basis to the very best of your ability, one day at a time, sometimes one heartbeat at a time, to get and stay sober. We call them the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. They are our lifeline to Sobriety. Without them in their entirety and each other's help, we can not get or stay sober.

The one thing to NOT DO you have already agreed to, to Not drink alcohol in any form whatever, no matter what!! To give up booze (and the other things as well) as a solution to ANY of life's problems that you may encounter. From here on out you will use the 12 Steps to solve and resolve ALL those problems.

Now turn to page 60 .... there are three pertinent ideas there, (a), (b), (c). ... Study them thoroughly ... Consider them carefully ...

What does it say immediately thereafter????

    "Being convinced, we were at Step Three, . . . "

If we are convinced of those three vital issues , AND have admitted to our innermost self that we are (and always will be) an alcoholic, as stated in Chapter Three, MORE ABOUT ALCOHOLISM, on page 30, then we have completed Steps 1 and 2. We are convinced of the INTERNAL UNMANAGEABILITY of our emotions, mentality, and beliefs, our restlessness, irritability, and discontent, as they have manifested in our lives as alcoholicly insane boozers and users, (not the external unmanageability of things that happened as a consequence of our insane boozing and using), and we are AT Step Three.

If we are not convinced, then we will probably drink again, in search of the CONVINCER.

As Bill W. originally wrote that little paragraph, in the original manuscript:

    "If you are not convinced on these vital issues, you ought to re-read the book to this point or else throw it away!

    "If you are convinced, you are now at step three, which is that you make a decision to turn your will and your life over to God as you understand Him. Just what do we mean by that, and just what do we do?

    "The first requirement is that you see that any life run on self-will can hardly be a success. . . ."

And it goes on from there as printed in your Big Book...

(Step 3 was probably the most difficult for me. I am supposed to make a DECISION to turn my will and my life over to the care and protection of . . . "WHAT??? No livin' way!") ...Yes, way!!!

All we are doing here is making a decision, and introducing ourselves to a God we don't understand, for maybe the first time in our lives, by the simple expediency of a prayer asking Him to take ALL of it over, the good, the bad, the indifferent.

I did it (and still do it) with this simple prayer:

    God, help me to not put anything into my MIND or BODY that you would not have there. Take ALL my relationships in life and make of them what you will. Thy will ONLY be done in their lives as well as in MINE. And let me know the Truth. Amen.

It may be that Step 3 is easier for those who have not had a religion/religious upbringing, more easily accepting a Higher Power for themselves as expressed in Tradition 2, Page 564, "A loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience."

Having made the decision and asked Him to take over with the prayer, we have completed Step 3.

Well, OK, so we have completed the first three steps, so now what??. We continue on immediately to Steps 4, 5, 6, and 7 DOING our part in the process of recovery from our seeming hopeless state of mind and body, so that God can DO His part to relieve our alcoholism. God only helps those who help themselves. "Faith without works is dead." [BB pages 14, 76, 88]

On the ABC Page 60 linked below I have many pages of "Tips for Newcomers" on "Working the Steps" that are born out of the experience of many people down through the years who achieved a lifetime of Sobriety, Happy, Joyous and Free.

One, Fritz, a Sioux from the Indian reservations in South Dakota, who was never supposed to get sober, just celebrated 51 years last week at the 2002 Wyoming conference in Casper where I was a speaker. That still leaves me in awe.. 51 years .... 18627 days On Day At A Time. The Program of Alcoholics Anonymous works for a lifetime, It Really Does!!!

Love and Peace, Barefoot



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Three mighty important things, Pardn'r, LOVE And PEACE and SOBRIETY