1938 Original Manuscript for 1939 1st Edition BigBook Searchable 1976 3rd Edition BigBook On-Line
The Prescription
Click The Images To Go To Page Indicated

Learning My ABC's

June 26, 1996
I was up on the WWWeb browsing around, popped on the "
Friends In Recovery" [editorial note: the afore mentioned group no longer exists, the link ahs been removed] page, at URL http://www.friendsinrecovery.org, scanned through the comments, where I noted that some of the correspondents were having trouble with the simplicity and gentleness of the program and some were still cowering in fear. So I put the following comments on the board.

"I was just kind of thumbing through the comments of the last couple of days, and thought I might write to you all on the Promises of Recovery.

You know, if you are an alky like me, there is no point getting started doing anything unless there is some indication of how it is going to turn out in the end. That's why so many things were (are) unfinished in my life. I generally had no idea where I was headed, what I was doing, winging it all the way. A minor change would occur, I would get frustrated, angry, hurt, drunk. And so much for that project. Off on a new tangent, ricocheting around like a flea in a bucket. Drunk, drunk, drunker, in the tank, sobered up, full of guilt, remorse and shame, drunk, drunk, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ad Infinitum.

When I got to AA, I was not so much interested in what they had, but I damn sure didn't want what I had. Tex, Cliff, Chuck, Jimmy, Wino and Joe got my attention with (although each stated it differently)

"We guarantee that you will have everything you ever hoped for, dreamed of, or wanted, (but you don't know what that is yet), provided you do what we tell you to do the way we tell you to do it."

I had the usual "yeah but" syndrome, so they led me by the hand through the promises. Now we have all heard the 12 promises in Step Nine on pages 83 and 84, but those were nothing new to me. Hell, I could get so serene behind a gallon of Red Mountain, financial insecurity was not of importance, and I had a new freedom and happiness. Naturally I was thinking of others, and my whole outlook and attitude on life would change. And I was afraid of nothing. I could handle any situation that confronted me, and tell you specifically how to handle it. Nothing new there.

But the promises that made the difference for me are in Step 10. Tex pointed out 21 of them to me, and I found 5 more. But the most important was on lines 8 and 9 on page 85. To me this promise made it worthwhile to surrender completely to the program and follow directions for the first time in my life. Steps 9 and 10 tell me how I will be if I do my work well. And it is so. Of course I still don't know what it was I hoped for, dreamed of or wanted, but what I have received over the years has been beyond my wildest expectations, because all I wanted at the time was to just be able to get past the craving and not ever have to go through the degradation and demoralization of drunkeness again.

I know that some of the "Yets" are still out there for me if I were to want them, but it is not the "Yets" that keep me coming back. It is the "Agains". If I were to pick up the first drink I would have to pick up the second, and I would be a lead pipe cinch to get the "Agains".

It has all been so simple, almost too simple, that I sometimes confuse myself trying to complicate it.

Continual practice of the steps to the best of my ability has allowed me to simplify my life and my program, and to firmly establish the basic rule for me, "I don't drink while I'm Sober". With that all fear is gone and all the Promises have come true. Beyond My Wildest Dreams, everything I ever wished for, hoped for, dreamed of or wanted, and there is more to come as Life isn't over.

I am so grateful that I have learned my ABCs.

....our personal adventures before and after make clear three pertinent facts:
(a) That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives.
(b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.
(c) That God could and would if He were sought.

ABC Page 60 from the Big Book of AA

Love and Peace, Barefoot

Click for my wish for you this day
Click for a Message From Barefoot

Barefoot's World
Email Barefoot
Created June 27, 1996 in the Spirit of Cooperation

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