Big Book Awakening
Big Book AwakeningDec 03, 2023
💙 Courage, Strength and Hope (Sal)
In episode #109, Sal shares how drinking got so bad that he was blacking out from chasing the bottom of the bottle. Then something happened, and Sal ended up in Alcoholics Anonymous. "The twelve steps is the way of freedom. A lot of it is soul searching."
💙 Big Book Awakening: The Doctor's Opinion (Arline)
In episode #108, Arline continues the Big Book Awakening series by reading the Doctor's Opinion. "After they have succumbed to the desire again, as so many do, and the phenomenon of craving develops, they pass through the well-known stages of a spree, emerging remorseful, with a firm resolution not to drink again. This is repeated over and over, and unless this person can experience an entire psychic change there is very little hope of his recovery." –Alcoholics Anonymous
Big Book Awakening: Foreword to Second Edition to Forward to Fourth Edition (Sal)
In episode #107, Sal continues with week #2 by reading from Forward to Second Edition through the Foreward to Fourth Edition. Throughout his reading, Sal shares his experience, strength, and hope with the A.A. recovery program in the Big Book.
💙 Big Book Awakening: Preface to First Forward (Luis)
In episode #106, Luis shares how, through prayer, he was inspired to kick off a new series for the Monday Night Big Book Awakening meeting. But then doubt came over him: Why change?
And then he was reminded that our meeting reaches people beyond the walls. So, this is an opportunity to gain a new experience through the Big Book.
💙 "It is a design for living that works in rough going." (Mary L.)
In episode 105, Mary L. shares how, when she arrived at Alcoholics Anonymous, she was spiritually broken and bankrupt. She spent her first year going from meeting to meeting. In recovery, she learned how to walk again—learning how to talk again–learning how to live without alcohol in her system. Today, Mary realizes that she gained her freedom by going through the twelve-step program of recovery.
Experience, Strength, and Hope (Vladimir)
In this episode, Vladimir shares his experience, strength, and hope on the night we honor all celebrating a milestone in their sobriety in September.
"Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now."
💙 The Turning Point (Bernie)
In episode #103, Bernie starts by sharing, "God has changed my life. Because I can't believe I have changed my ways." When Bernie was sixteen, he lost his chance to play professional soccer. On the day he was to meet with the scouts from the San Diego Sockers team, he was in court facing attempted murder.
💙 Breaking Free from Chronic Relapsing
In episode #102, Adam shares how he thinks he was an addict and alcoholic from the beginning. "All I cared about was drinking and using." Suffering from chronic relapsing, he would hit another bottom every five years and return to the program for help. This vicious cycle continued for twenty-five years until he experienced a breakthrough.
💙 Compassion from Realization (Oliver)
In episode #101, Oliver reads from the Big Book: "We began to see that the world and its people really dominated us. In that state, the wrong-doing of others, fancied or real, had power to actually kill. How could we escape? We saw that these resentments must be mastered, but how? We could not wish them away any more than alcohol."
💙 "There I humbly Offered Myself to God" (Vinny)
In episode #100, Vinny starts by reading from Bill's Story, where he is having a third-step experience, which is part of our reading of step one. "There I humbly offered myself to God, as I then understood Him, to do with me as He would. I placed myself unreservedly under His care and direction. I admitted for the first time that of myself I was nothing; that without Him I was lost. I ruthlessly faced my sins and became willing to have my newfound Friend take them away, root and branch. I have not had a drink since." –Alcoholics Anonymous (page 13.)
💙 A Revolutionary Change (Arline)
In episode #99, Arline shares how there has been a revolutionary change in her way of living and thinking. "Just that I can go to God instead of reacting in anger is a revolutionary change." The Big Book states: "Here are thousands of men and women, worldly indeed. They flatly declare that since they have come to believe in a Power greater than themselves, to take a certain attitude toward that Power, and to do certain simple things, there has been a revolutionary change in their way of living and thinking." – Alcoholics Anonymous (page 50)
💙 "We let God discipline us."
In episode #98, Luis L. shares how he was not the scheduled speaker. But over time he's learned that we must be ready to share our experience, strength, and hope. "We alcoholics are undisciplined. So we let God discipline us in the simple way we have just outlined." –Alcoholics Anonymous
💙 From Powerless to New Power and New Solution (Michael K.)
In episode #97, Michael shares how dry sobriety with no solution and no real hope worsens over time. "And then I get to a place where my life becomes so unmanageable, so hopeless and dark inside that I can not see how taking a drink or drug will make it any worse. And so I return to that very thing I thought I would never do again. And it repeats over and over again. The only way I found any solution to this condition has been through the twelve steps, a relationship with a loving creator, and a fellowship around me that can support me.
You are God's Idea (Jose G.)
In episode #96, Jose G. starts by reviewing the three pertinent ideas discussed in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymus. And then boldly declares: "You are God's idea. The way you look, the way you think, the way you act. All God's design is on purpose for a purpose." His main point is that our past does not disqualify us from the future God has planned for us. "There is a calling on your life. The calling is to help God change this world one person at a time; one day at a time."
💙 Step 12: Working with Others (Pat B.)
In episode #95, Pat B. shares how his story begins with the twelfth step when he was fifteen. "More than most people, the alcoholic leads a double life." Pat believed as long as he stayed away from "Meth," he would be ok. He didn't get sober until he was thirty-five years old.
💙 Helping Others (Octavio)
In episode #94, Octavio shares how when he came to Alcoholics Anonymous, he had a lot of baggage and trust issues. His temporary sponsor helped get him through the hump until he could find his sponsor. "When I start working harder than others, and they are not responding, I learned to let go. And that's one of the things I had the hardest trouble with because letting go for me was almost like giving up."
Step Eleven Suggests Prayer and Meditation (Luis L.)
In episode #93, Luis L. shares how his prayer and meditation practice reflects his child-like faith in our Creator. "The central fact of our lives today is the absolute certainty that our Creator has entered into our hearts and lives in a way which is indeed miraculous. He has commenced to accomplish those things for us which we could never do by ourselves."
💙 Experience, Strength, and Hope (Bernie)
In episode #92, Bernie shares that he was always in church as a kid. By age fourteen, he stopped believing. "I lost my faith." His father was an alcoholic. "I didn't want to be like him. But I ended up like him."
💙 This thought brings us to Step Ten (Pat B.)
In episode #91, Pat B. shares how: "This is the only thing, ever, in my life that I have stuck with. No matter how badly I failed at it. No matter how badly things are not going right. I still come back to it. I come back to following the instructions." In this episode, Pat reads from the Big Book, pages 84-85, and shares experience, strength, and hope with practicing this way of life, including Step Ten.
Let’s look at Steps Eight and Nine (Keith)
In episode #90, Keith starts by reading from page 76 in the Big Book: "Now we need more action, without which we find that “Faith without works is dead.” Let’s look at Steps Eight and Nine. We have a list of all persons we have harmed and to whom we are willing to make amends. We made it when we took inventory. We subjected ourselves to a drastic self-appraisal. Now we go out to our fellows and repair the damage done in the past. We attempt to sweep away the debris which has accumulated out of our effort to live on self-will and run the show ourselves. If we haven’t the will to do this, we ask until it comes. Remember it was agreed at the beginning we would go to any lengths for victory over alcohol." –Alcoholics Anonymous (p. 76)
Steps Six and Seven: Let go and Let God (Luis L.)
In episode #89, Luis shares his experience of going through steps one through seven, emphasizing steps six and seven. "The way we practice this is to make an appointment to be one-on-one with God... for at least an hour."
Fifth Step (Vinny)
In episode #88: Vinny shares his experience with the fifth step from the perspective of being a sponsor or being in a workshop as a guide for people. His experience with the fifth step has been "wide, bumpy, not a straight line, and it's also been exciting."
💙 A New Freedom after the Fifth Step (David M)
In episode #87 - David M. shares how there is no doubt in his mind that his problems began when he was a child. "I grew up with a powerful, abusive father." After David admitted to God, to himself, and to his sponsor the exact nature of our wrongs, he broke free from the heavy load he was carrying his entire life.
Step Four: Sex Inventory + Sex Ideal (Arline)
In episode #86, Arline discovered how selfish she was in her last relationship after writing her sex inventory during the Big Book Awakening workshop. After a year in recovery, her "Sex Ideal" just came, and she was able to write it down.
💙 "Fear, Selfishness, and Self-Centeredness" (Oliver)
In episode #85, Oliver shares how Alcoholics Anonymous was the end of the line for him. He was desperate. He needed a solution. "I was afraid of everything. I was so anxious. Fear is what drove my life. The frustrating thing was that "I did not know what I was afraid of until" Oliver went through the twelve-step program, the Big Book Awakening Way.
💙 Experience, Strength, and Hope (Christine)
In episode #84, Christine shares for the first time the truth about her addiction to other things besides alcohol. "I was that girl always on the outside looking in. I never, ever, ever fit it. I never belonged."
💙 Step Four: Resentment Inventory - Columns 3-4 (Mary L.)
In episode #83, Mary L. shares her breakdown of how she goes through a Step Four Resentment Inventory Worksheet. She starts the process by writing on paper: "I'm resentful at? Why am I angry?" Mary writes it all down and keeps writing until she's done. When you are doing your inventory, it is a constructive exercise. You want to be good to yourself.
💙 Step Four: Resentment Inventory - Columns 1-2 (Michael K.)
In episode #82, Michael K. shares how the resentments (grudge list)we hold on to destroy us more than anything else. From these resentments stem all forms of spiritual disease. Many of our mental health issues and physical ailments can get sorted out with help from a doctor and twelve steps work.
💙 Step 4: Columns 1-2 (Krista)
In episode #81, Krista shares how resentment is reliving a feeling (experience) over and over and allowing this person, place, or thing to live in her head rent-free. Step four is where we get access to God. This is the actual change of our minds. "I am breaking my heart open to allow love and forgiveness into it."
💙 Experience, Strength and Hope (Bill R.)
In episode #80, Bill R. shares how his father started drinking hard when he was nine. During his alcoholic rage, his father took it out on him. That's when fear reared its ugly head in his life, and Bill lived in fear for a long time. Drugs and alcohol distracted him from the fear. "If I was enjoying my drinking, I was not controlling it. And I was out of control for many years."
💙 Step 3: We had to quit playing God (Pat A.)
In episode #79, Pat A. shares how he had a problem with God in the past. "It's not that way today. And that's a message of joy and hope." So what's playing God? If I am going to tell you how it is, I am playing God because I am not satisfied with what is here. If I am afraid of God? I am living my life based on a thought.
💙 Step Three: The Care of God (Keith)
In episode #78, Keith shares how he stepped in the door for twelve years and right into step four, skipping one, two, and three. Keith shares how one of his sponsees did not believe in anything. One day the sponsee said: "I just wish my grandmother was here." So Keith suggested why don't you make your Grandma your higher power? The sponsee has ten years sober today just because he did not want to let his grandma down.
💙 Step Three: Rigorous Honesty (Jason)
In Episode #77, Jason confesses, "I have never been able to be honest with people. I've always been concerned about what you thought about me." He continues: "Through reliance on God and the steps in this program, I've come to this place where I can honestly say I am grasping and developing a manner of living. And it's painful at a time."
💙 Recovery and Serenity (Andrew)
In episode #76, Andrew shares how he always struggled with self-esteem and confidence. King Alcohol was his buddy. Today, God has a more central place in his life.
💙 Step 2 - The Great Reality (Oliver)
In episode #75, Oliver shares how he came to Alcoholics Anonymous because he was beaten down by life. "I was really arrogant and really high. Until I lost everything. Drugs didn't work anymore." Oliver was hopeless. "Finding God has been the hardest battle of my life."
💙 Step 2 - The Question of Faith (Arline)
In episode #74, Arline L. shares that in the middle of darkness, she heard "Start with you." What does that even mean? Soon after, she attended her first Big Book Awakening meeting in March 2022. Arline was resistant to faith until she believed everything would be turned around. "I really have to believe to see it later."
💙 Step 2 - A Revolutionary Change in the Way of Living and Thinking (David M.)
In episode #73, David M. Shares how the first Big Book he got was in 1987, but he never read it. David hit bottom in September 2017 after smashing into two cars on his way home. The driver of the second car asked him if he was drunk. He said yes. She said to go straight home and get sober.
💙 "The Fundamental idea of God." (Jose G.)
In episode #72, Jose G. shares how for the first five years of sobriety, his higher power was a door knob, and he was like a dry drunk. Then one day, a man at a twelve-step meeting invited Jose to Church. So Jose and his wife went to church. After three visits to Vineyard Church, he met with Pastor Charlie Brown and shared his story. After that meeting, his life was never the same because he gave his life to God. His life was transformed. And three months later, his wife decided to be with someone else.
💙 "Step 1: The Spiritual Malady" (Tom B.)
In episode #71, Tom B. shares how a cat named Delilah got him sober. It was his wife's beautiful cat. One evening he got so drunk that he told his wife: "I am going to get my .22 and send that cat to God. I hear God calling you too." Next thing he members were three angles dressed in blue uniforms pulling him out of his bed and taking him down to jail.
💙 "Step 1: The Mental Obsession" (Isaac)
In episode #70, Isaac shares how he was not a daily drinker like his sponsor. "I loved to binge on the weekend," Isaac questioned if he was an alcoholic because he didn't have the same story as others. Isaac believed he could set the drinking down after meeting his wife. Unfortunately, it didn't work like that. After a series of consequences from drinking, Isaac started asking himself: Why do I drink like this? Why do I do this? Why can't I drink like other people?
💙 "Step 1: The Physical Craving" (Michael)
In episode 69, Michael shares Step 1: The Physical Craving. "What happens after I put a drink or drug into my body. Nothing to do with the 'Mental Obsession'. The physical craving, or 'the allergy' after I start drinking or using."
💙 "Desperation of Drowning Men" (Vinny)
In episode #68, Vinny shares how not everyone is desperate. But in his own personal experience: "I can only help people that are desperate." Not everyone is willing to do what it takes to get sober, and stay sober forever.
💙 Experience, Strength, and Hope (Jose)
In episode #67, Jose shares how drugs and alcohol took away his fears until he lost all hope. Then one day he asked for help and found refuge at the Salvation Army.
💙 Surrender (Nancy H.)
In episode #66, Nancy H. shares how she had late-onset alcoholism. "It took me a full year to concede to my innermost self that I am an alcoholic." As soon as she quit drinking an eating disorder took off. The surrender to give up sugar was so much harder. "I see the evidence of my God working in my life."
💙 The Minister's Son (Pat T.)
In episode #65, Pat T. shares how sooner or later his sponsees ask...How do you get an intimate relationship with God? "I find that when you don't make God strange and you make him familiar like he were a best friend...people start warming up to the idea that they too can have a relationship with Him."
💙 Working with Others (Brian S.)
In episode #64, Brian S. shares how working with others requires meditation. Meditation in step 11 is a vital part of his life today. "Through the steps is how I gained access to a power greater than myself. It's kept me alive, sober, and restored me to sanity." In 2009, Brian was introduced to the Big Book Awakening, which opened up a new world for him after ten years in AA.
💙 "Happy, Joyous, and Free" (Jose G.)
In episode #63, Jose G. shares how for many years he's always what's the difference between being happy and being joyful. And he never really got an answer until he began to experience what the difference is. Jose shares how freedom comes when we show up. "The freedom comes from coming here."
Prayer and Faith (Luis L.)
In episode #62, Luis shares how he hit bottom after he lost faith in his ability to fix his life and solve his drinking problem. "I reached the end of myself and realized I cannot do it by myself. Today, my faith is rooted in God's promises and what He has done in my life."
Willingness (David M.)
In episode #61, David M. shares how without Big Book Awakening "I never thought I would give up alcohol. Something in my mind was telling me you can't give up alcohol." In Step Six, David found the willingness to give up all his difficulties, resentments, and nightmares to God because he was a changed man.
The Relief Obsession (Keith)
In episode #60, Keith shares how he was taught by his dad that you drink when you celebrate; you drink when you are down; you drink when it's Christmas; no matter what it was that is what you did. "There are a lot of people in this that crave alcohol. And there are a lot of us that crave relief. I wanted to get relief from the stress of being an eighteen-year-old running the household."