I saw this in the GrapeVine. No wonder they call it our meeting in print. It is pretty reflective of what you hear in contemporary meetings.
The article was submitted by a member and pertains to questions asked when they were answering phones at the local intergroup. Here is one of the questions and the answer given:
"My mother is a hopeless drunk-she's seventy years old-I want to put her away!" The answer: "I responded that A.A. does not use the word hopeless...."
I guess contemporary A.A. doesn't use the word hopeless. I've sat in enough of the MOTR A.A.-lite meetings to know that. Instead we sell false hope of not drinking one day at a time and things will get better. That is if the things are external. I have been down that road a time or two myself. Get sober, stay sober long enough to start feeling better, and then dash my hopes and everyone else's hopes by drinking again. I think the saddest thing I see in A.A. is an alcoholic that doesn't know that he or she is hopeless. Because it only when I get to a place of true hopelessness that I can see any real hope.
Let me see how many times the book says anything about being hopeless.
Forward To The First Edition:
"We of Alcoholics Anonymous are more than a hundred men and women who have recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body."
Until my situation seemed to be truly hopeless, I was not interested in taking any kind of spiritual action to find an answer. As long as the answer lay in another job, getting my life back together, or any external circumstance changing, I could not see the hopelessness of my condition.
From The Forward To The Second Edition, in regards to Bill 12th-Stepping Dr. Bob:
"This physician had repeatedly tried spiritual means to resolve his alcoholic dilemma but had failed. But when the broker gave him Dr. Silkworth's description of alcoholism and its hopelessness, the physician began to pursue the spiritual remedy for his malady with a willingness he never before been able to muster."
Sounds like Dr. Bob was a lot like me.
Dr. Silkworth regards Bill Wilson as an alcoholic of a type that he had come to regard as hopeless. He goes on to say that alcoholism seems to be outside the scope of medical science and that frothy emotional appeal seldom suffices to be a real answer for a real alcoholic and that unless a deep inward change occurs, there is very little hope of an alcoholic recovering. When he relates his experiences with two alcoholics, the common theme of both men's stories are that had to become hopeless to see hope.
Bill says in his story that the reason he listened to Ebby was that he was hopeless. Chapter Three spends about all the space given it talking about how the alcoholic mind is hopeless and will always drink. In Chapter Seven, it talks about dwelling on the hopeless feature of the malady and that the more hopeless an alcoholic feels, the better. I'm not in the business of selling false hope and I think that if when I work with an alcoholic and he doesn't have a true First Step Experience and leaves my house feeling more hopeless than when he got there, I haven't done my job.
Maybe the author of that article ought to read the book. Or better yet, do what's in it.
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