Sep 21, 2016
If you go to enough meetings, you'll hear it said that in AA,
"there are no MUSTs in the program, only suggestions". Well, like
most half-truths in A.A., if you hear them long enough you begin to
But what does the Program have to say about this? It says in the
Big Book on page 19, "We have concluded to publish an anonymous
volume setting forth the problem as we see it. We shall bring to
task our combined experience and knowledge. This should suggest a
useful program for anyone concerned with a drinking problem." Then,
in "How It Works" it says, "Here are the steps we took, which are
suggested as a Program of Recovery."
So, it's the WHOLE Program that is suggested. In other words,
this is a suggested program, not a program of suggestions.
Therefore, if we want to work the suggested program, then there are
some things that we must do. The Big Book says so.
There may be another method you might use that you think brings
about recovery from alcoholism, and if you so choose, have at it.
The program in the book is not the only way.
You don't have to take the A.A. Program,
But "if you want what we have AND are willing to go to any
length to get it." And if you DO want what we have, the Big Book is
very clear that the Program has some very definite requirements. It
says, "To show other alcoholics PRECISELY HOW WE HAVE RECOVERED is
the main purpose of this book" (page xiii),
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What you first learned of the topic, what was your first
What are your initial thoughts?
What must you do to stay sober?
Let’s talk about some of the MUSTs of the program outlined in the
Do we have to believe in the disease concept? What about
6. ...we who have suffered alcoholic torture MUST believe that the
body of the alcoholic is quite as abnormal as his mind. (xxiv)
17. We learned that we had to FULLY CONCEDE to our innermost selves
that we were alcoholics. This is the first step in recovery. The
delusion that we are like other people, or presently may be, HAS TO
BE smashed. (30)
18. If we are planning to stop drinking, there MUST be no
reservation of any kind, nor any lurking notion that someday we
will be immune to alcohol. (33)
The book is emphatic that higher power is required, what about
8. The message which can interest and hold these alcoholic people
MUST have depth and weight. In nearly all cases, their ideals MUST
be grounded in a power greater than themselves if they are to
re-create their lives. (xxvi)
9. I SIMPLY HAD TO believe in a Spirit of the Universe, who knew
neither time nor limitation (10)
10. I MUST turn in all things to the Father of Light who presides
over us all.(14)
The book requires service work, what is your experience?
11. Particularly was it IMPERATIVE to work with others.(14)
13. Our very lives, as ex-problem drinkers, DEPEND upon our
constant thought of others and how we may help meet their needs.
14. Almost none of us liked the self-searching, the leveling of our
pride, the confession of shortcomings which the process REQUIRES
for its successful consummation.(25)
37. The rule is we MUST be hard on ourself, but always considerate
of others. (74)
The book talk alot about facing our character defects.
27. The first requirement is that we BE CONVINCED that any life run
on self-will can hardly be a success. (60)
28. Above everything, we alcoholics MUST be rid of this
selfishness. We MUST, or it kills us! (62)
32. If we were to live, we HAD TO be free of anger. (66)
33. We saw that these resentments MUST be mastered. (66)
34. Whatever our ideal turns out to be, we MUST be willing to grow
toward it. We MUST be willing to make amends where we have done
harm, provided that we do not bring about still more harm in so
35. We MUST be entirely honest with somebody if we expect to live
long or happily in this world. (73)
We Have Calls
What would you say to the new guy?