adaptation of Big Book

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adaptation of Big Book

Post by Scott »

The Big Book of AA
Heavily adapted to fit recovery from video gaming addiction, the experience of CGAA members, and the variety of our international fellowship

The book Alcoholics Anonymous (aka the Big Book of AA) was written by Bill Wilson, a co-founder of AA, in 1939 when AA was four years old. It describes his experiences from the first few years of trying to help other alcoholics stop drinking and recover by applying spiritual solutions. He learned his spiritual approach from a fundamentalist Christian movement called the Oxford Group.

The group of recovering drunks gradually grew as they relied on several approaches to sobriety and recovery. They met frequently, were accountable to each other, tried to reach and help still-suffering alcoholics, told their stories of active alcoholism and recovery, strove for complete honesty, gave of themselves selflessly in service to others, kept it simple with a one-day-at-a-time approach, and applied Christian practices such as confession, restitution, reliance on God, and seeking of spiritual power through prayer and meditation.

Many of their members underwent dramatic changes in attitude and behavior. Bill Wilson might have credited all of the above actions and approaches, or any combination of them, for his sobriety and awakening into a new life, but he gave all of the credit to God. He assumed that his monotheistic beliefs and practices were the only workable solution.

In the many years since, people of all beliefs, backgrounds, philosophies, spirituality, religions, and lack of religion have used mutual support groups and the basic AA approach to abstain from addictive behavior and recover. As long as people apply empowering principles and seek additional strength and guidance from outside themselves, they have been able to fully work the program of recovery and enjoy its benefits. Bill Wilson was mistaken in thinking that specific religious beliefs were necessary.

This booklet is an adaptation of his writings in the Big Book. Certain sections have been not been included, such as personal stories about alcoholism, chapters to spouses and employers, and a section on family dynamics. The rest has been heavily edited to apply to video gaming addiction, although it largely remains in its original wording. Religious language was changed to general spiritual language. The word “men” has been changed to “people” and “wife” to “spouse,” but most of the male-oriented language remains even though it applies to all. Some of the language has outdated references and words and can be difficult to understand.

The book also contains many treasured passages and nuggets of wisdom. While it does not capture much of our experience in CGAA or that of other recovery fellowships since 1939, we find this work to be of use in understanding the ideas that helped the earliest mutual support groups grow and thrive.
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