Thoughts by Peter Marinelli
Sometimes I wonder if members of the AA fellowship truly understand what is that they belong to, and the miracle they are a part of. The Sacred place called Alcoholics Anonymous. Lately I see more and more folk’s texting during meetings and are preoccupied with outside “stuff” that is more important to them, than what is at stake, and the meeting itself.
The following is part of story of Alcoholics Anonymous from 1942 (and there are hundreds like it) from the humble beginnings and the sense of urgency to treat this fatal illness.
Alcoholics Anonymous- Band of “Hopeless Drunks”
“The story of how a group of” hopeless drunks” banded to rehabilitate themselves after medical and social science failed, the story of Alcoholics Anonymous.
About 18 months ago a notable drunk who had been given up by doctors, institutions, friends, parents and wife was sent to an Akron City hospital because there wasn’t much else to do with him.
He was guarded against suicide and kept alive for no special reason except that it seemed the humane thing to do, and that perhaps deep down in their hearts his family felt that some miracle might happen and he would be restored to them, the clean capable young and he once was.
In Akron a physician, particularly adept in the art, managed to defog his brain and quiet his nerves, and there was our friend, cold sober and ready to be institutionalized for the 17th time.
This it was different. He had his last chance and was licked. Al his good intentions, his will power, had gone for naught.
Everyone had given him up, and for the first time in his life he was faced with the realization that he was no good, that nobody wanted him, and that probably he would spend the rest of his life in an asylum.
It seemed however, that five years previously a New York broker, who had missed his 20th or 30th large deal because he was too drunk to close it, and who as a result also lost his business, had wandered into Akron.
It was a mystery to the broker why some men could either drink or not as they pleased while others, himself for example, were unable to resist.
After doing a lot of objective thinking about himself he called a man who had been recommended to him as Akron’s worst drunk.
The two discussed their problems and found a great may similarities. From the discussion evolved a program by which alcoholics could stop drinking and the organization, Alcoholics Anonymous.”
After being brought to Alcoholics Anonymous this alcoholic obtained employment and a promising future. He made up for a great deal of misery he caused his family.
“An alcoholic isn’t ready to join a group until he accepts two axioms:
- An alcoholic dis unable to stop drinking with a single “shot”. One drink leads to another and another.
- An alcoholic does not have the will power to resist drinking for long periods, but there is a power far greater than the human will and if faith in this power is maintained an alcoholic may be restored to normal living.
This power which is to help the alcoholic keep away from the first drink may be visualized as any type of deity. A firm belief in spiritual aid is said by ex-drunks to be necessary assistance in regaining confidence in themselves and in their ability to resist drinking.
Although there are no statistics available, success in the organization are well above 90 percent.”
-Toledo Blade 1942-
Chop wood, carry water