Doctor's Opinion up to xxviii "...if they are to recreate their lives"
1. What other methods have I tried to stay sober (clean, abstinent, sane) that have failed?
Have any worked? Why did they ultimately fail?
2. Have I suffered alcoholic torture? What does it look like and feel like from my experience?
3. The doctor's theory is that alcoholics suffer from a phenomenon of craving once they take a drink.
Describe the phenomenon of craving from at least 3 specific experiences.
4. When drinking, how am I mentally defective? in full flight from reality? maladjusted to life?
5. Did I form the habit and find I couldn't break it?
Did I lose my self-confidence and reliance upon things human?
Did my problems pile up on me and become astonishingly difficult to solve?
6. Did frothy emotional appeal work to stop my drinking, either from myself or others?
7. Does the message that can interest and hold me have to have depth and weight, have to be grounded in a power greater than myself?
Doctor's Opinion from "If any feel that as psychiatrists"... to the end
8. Did I drink because I like the effect produced by alcohol?
9. Was the sensation so elusive that, while I can admit it was harmful, I could not after a time differentiate the true from the false? Did my alcoholic life seem the only normal one?
10. Am I restless, irritable, and discontented unless I can experience the sense of ease and comfort that comes at once by taking a few drinks?
11. Did I succumb to the desire (obsession) again? the craving develop, and pass through the well-known stages of a spree emerging remorseful? Did I make a firm resolution not to drink again?
12. Is there hope for me without a psychic change (spiritual experience)?
page xxix -xxx
13. What kinds of situations emerged out of the phenomenon of craving? Describe 3 specifically. What does "the supreme sacrifice" mean to me?
14. Which of the classifications of alcoholics do I relate to most? What do we have in common? Do you see these classifications in meetings?
1. Read through Bill's Story up to the top of page 10, "I was interested. I had to be, for I was hopeless" highlighting text that gives insight into how he drank, felt, and thought.
2. Look up words or events in the dictionary or on line to dig deeper into meaning..
3. Revisit what is highlighted and and ask myself, "Have I ever drank, felt or thought like that?"
4. Page 5: Did liquor cease to be a luxury and become a necessity?
5. Page 5: Did I still think I could control the situation?
5. Page 8: Can fear keep me sober for all and for good?
6. Page 9: Have I thought people offering "religion" were crackpots, crazy, or fake?
7. Page 10: Am I as hopeless as Bill?
1. Read through from "He talked for hours" to the end of the chapter highlighting what Bill felt, thought, believed, and did.
2. Page 11: Have I admitted complete defeat? How do I know?
3. Page 12: What prejudice still exists in me towards God?
4. Page 12: Am I willing to have "the icy intellectual mountain" melted?
5. Page 13: How have I been blind?
6. Pages 13-15: Am I willing to do what Bill did in order to have a spiritual experience?
7. Pages 10-15: Is there anything I am not willing to do?
There is a Solution: Conclusion to a Focus on the Phenomenon of Craving
1. Read through There is a Solution up to the top of page 23, "the experience of any alcoholic will abundantly confirm this. Highlight what resonates for you.
2. Page 18: Whose life has touched my alcoholic illness? How did it bring them fierce resentment? financial insecurity? warped lives? sadness?
3. Page 18: The italicized text is said to be the closest description of a sponsor there is in the book. What are the terms of that relationship in order for it to be effective?
4. Page 20: What are some of the things people have said to me or that I have said to myself that show my ignorance and misunderstanding of alcoholism?
5. Page 20-21: Am I moderate drinker, hard drinker, or real alcoholic? How do I know?
6: Page 22: How am I like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?
7. Page 23: Once I "take alcohol whatever into my system, something happens both in the bodily and mental sense which makes it virtually impossible for me to stop." We already reviewed the physical, the phenomenon of craving when looking at the Doctor's Opinion. Now let's look at what happens mentally once I start to drink. List some of the "reasons" I told myself to justify continuing to drink once I started.
There is a Solution : Focus on the Mental Obsession
1. Read through There is a Solution from "these observations would be academic and pointless if our friend never took the first drink..." to the end of "There is a Solution."
2. Page 23: List the excuses you made for taking the first drink from a sober state. Page 24: What are some other ways you have started to drink again?
3. Page 24: Have I lost the power of choice in drink? Is my will power practically nonexistent at times? Am I unable at certain times to bring into my consciousness with sufficient force the memory of the suffering and humiliation of even a week or a month ago? Am I without defense against the first drink?
4. Page 25: Am I beyond human aid? How do I know that?
5. Page 25: Are you willing to accept spiritual help?
6. If yes, turn to page 86. Are you willing to begin the spiritual practices for "when we retire at night" and "upon awakening? Start following those directions each morning and evening.
7. Page 30: Based on my willingness to do questions 5 and 6 (recovery), attend meetings (unity), and reach out in service to other alcoholics and other people (service), have I fully conceded to my innermost self that I am an alcoholic, like a woman who has lost her legs, she will never grow new ones?