Posted in Sharing

12 Steps in 30 Minutes

AAs are always asking: “Where did the Twelve Steps come from?” In the last analysis, perhaps nobody knows. Yet some of the events which led to their formulation are as clear to me as though they took place yesterday.

So far as people were concerned, the main channels of inspiration for our Steps were three in number–the Oxford Groups, Dr. William D. Silkworth of Towns Hospital and the famed psychologist, William James, called by some the father of modern psychology. The story of how these streams of influence were brought together and how they led to the writing of our Twelve Steps is exciting and in spots downright incredible.

Many of us will remember the Oxford Groups as a modern evangelical movement which flourished in the 1920’s and early 30’s, led by a one-time Lutheran minister, Dr. Frank Buchman. The Oxford Groups of that day threw heavy emphasis on personal work, one member with another. AA’s Twelfth Step had its origin in that vital practice. The moral backbone of the “O.G.” was absolute honesty, absolute purity, absolute unselfishness and absolute love. They also practiced a type of confession, which they called “sharing”; the making of amends for harms done they called “restitution.” They believed deeply in their “quiet time,” a meditation practiced by groups and individuals alike, in which the guidance of God was sought for every detail of living, great or small.

These basic ideas were not new; they could have been found elsewhere. But the saving thing for us first alcoholics who contacted the Oxford Groupers was that they laid great stress on these particular principles. And fortunate for us was the fact that the Groupers took special pains not to interfere with one’s personal religious views. Their society, like ours later on, saw the need to be strictly non-denominational.

In the late summer of 1934, my well-loved alcoholic friend and schoolmate “Ebbie” had fallen in with these good folks and had promptly sobered up. Being an alcoholic, and rather on the obstinate side, he hadn’t been able to “buy” all the Oxford Group ideas and attitudes. Nevertheless, he was moved by their deep sincerity and felt mighty grateful for the fact that their ministrations had, for the time being, lifted his obsession to drink.

When he arrived in New York in the late fall of 1934, Ebbie thought at once of me. On a bleak November day he rang up. Soon he was looking at me across our kitchen table at 182 Clinton Street, Brooklyn, New York. As I remember that conversation, he constantly used phrases like these: “I found I couldn’t run my own life;” “I had to get honest with myself and somebody else;” “I had to make restitution for the damage I had done;” “I had to pray to God for guidance and strength, even though I wasn’t sure there was any God;” “And after I’d tried hard to do these things I found that my craving for alcohol left.” Then over and over Ebbie would say something like this: “Bill, it isn’t a bit like being on the water-wagon. You don’t fight the desire to drink–you get released from it. I never had such a feeling before.”

Such was the sum of what Ebbie had extracted from his Oxford Group friends and had transmitted to me that day. While these simple ideas were not new, they certainly hit me like tons of brick. Today we understand just why that was. . .one alcoholic was talking to another as no one else can.

Two or three weeks later, December 11th to be exact, I staggered into the Charles B. Towns Hospital, that famous drying-out emporium on Central Park West, New York City. I’d been there before, so I knew and already loved the doctor in charge–Dr. Silkworth. It was he who was soon to contribute a very great idea without which AA could never have succeeded. For years he had been proclaiming alcoholism an illness, an obsession of the mind coupled with an allergy of the body. By now I knew this meant me. I also understood what a fatal combination these twin ogres could be. Of course, I’d once hoped to be among the small percentage of victims who now and then escape their vengeance. But this outside hope was now gone. I was about to hit bottom. That verdict of science–the obsession that condemned me to drink and the allergy that condemned me to die–was about to do the trick. That’s where medical science, personified by this benign little doctor, began to fit in. Held in the hands of one alcoholic talking to the next, this double-edged truth was a sledgehammer which could shatter the tough alcoholic’s ego at depth and lay him wide open to the grace of God.

In my case it was of course Dr. Silkworth who swung the sledge while my friend Ebbie carried to me the spiritual principles and the grace which brought on my sudden spiritual awakening at the hospital three days later. I immediately knew that I was a free man. And with this astonishing experience came a feeling of wonderful certainty that great numbers of alcoholics might one day enjoy the priceless gift which had been bestowed upon me.

THIRD INFLUENCE
At this point a third stream of influence entered my life through the pages of William James’ book, “Varieties of Religious Experience.” Somebody had brought it to my hospital room. Following my sudden experience, Dr. Silkworth had taken great pains to convince me that I was not hallucinated. But William James did even more. Not only, he said, could spiritual experiences make people saner, they could transform men and women so that they could do, feel and believe what had hitherto been impossible to them. It mattered little whether these awakenings were sudden or gradual, their variety could be almost infinite. But the biggest payoff of that noted book was this: in most of the cases described, those who had been transformed were hopeless people. In some controlling area of their lives they bad met absolute defeat. Well, that was me all right. In complete defeat, with no hope or faith whatever, I had made an appeal to a higher Power. I had taken Step One of today’s AA program–“admitted we were powerless over alcohol, that our lives had become unmanageable,” I’d also taken Step Three–“made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to God as we understood him.” Thus was I set free. It was just as simple, yet just is mysterious, as that.

These realizations were so exciting that I instantly joined up with the Oxford Groups. But to their consternation I insisted on devoting myself exclusively to drunks. This was disturbing to the O.G.’s on two counts. Firstly, they wanted to help save the whole world. Secondly, their luck with drunks had been poor. Just as I joined they had been working over a batch of alcoholics who had proved disappointing indeed. One of them, it was rumored, had flippantly cast his shoe through a valuable stained glass window of an Episcopal church across the alley from O.G. headquarters. Neither did they take kindly to my repeated declaration that it shouldn’t; take long to sober up all the drunks in the world. They rightly declared that my conceit was still immense.

SOMETHING MISSING
After some six months of violent exertion with scores of alcoholics which I found at a nearby mission and Towns Hospital, it began to look like the Groupers were right. I hadn’t sobered up anybody. In Brooklyn we always had a houseful of drinkers living with us, sometimes as many as five. My valiant wife, Lois, once arrived home from work to find three of them fairly tight. The remaining two were worse. They were whaling each other with two-by-fours. Though events like these slowed me down somewhat, the persistent conviction that a way to sobriety could be found never seemed to leave me. There was, though, one bright spot. My sponsor, Ebbie, still clung precariously to his new-found sobriety.

What was the reason for all these fiascoes? If Ebbie and I could achieve sobriety, why couldn’t all the rest find it too? Some of those we’d worked on certainly wanted to get well. We speculated day and night why nothing much had happened to them. Maybe they couldn’t stand the spiritual pace of the Oxford Group’s four absolutes of honesty, purity, unselfishness and love. In fact some of the alcoholics declared that this was the trouble. The aggressive pressure upon them to get good overnight would make them fly high as geese for a, few weeks and then flop dismally. They complained, too, about another form of coercion–something the Oxford Groupers called “guidance for others.” A “team” composed of non-alcoholic Groupers would sit down with an alcoholic and after a “quiet time” would come up with precise instructions as to how the alcoholic should run his own life. As grateful as we were to our O.G. friends, this was sometimes tough to take. It obviously had something to do with the wholesale skidding that went on.

But this wasn’t the entire reason for failure. After months I saw the trouble was mainly in me. I had become very aggressive, very cocksure. I talked a lot about my sudden spiritual experience, as though it was something very special. I had been playing the double role of teacher and preacher. In my exhortations I’d forgotten all about the medical side of our malady, and that need for deflation at depth so emphasized by William James had been neglected. We weren’t using that medical sledgehammer that Dr. Silkworth had so providentially given us.

Finally, one day, Dr. Silkworth took me back down to my right size. Said he, “Bill, why don’t you quit talking so much about that bright light experience of yours, it sounds too crazy. Though I’m convinced that nothing but better morals will make alcoholics really well, I do think you have got the cart before the horse. The point is that alcoholics won’t buy all this moral exhortation until they convince themselves that they must. If I were you I’d go after them on the medical basis first. While it has never done any good for me to tell them how fatal their malady is, it might be a very different story if you, a formerly hopeless alcoholic, gave them the bad news. Because of the identification you naturally have with alcoholics, you might be able to penetrate where I can’t. Give them the medical business first, and give it to them hard. This might soften them up so they will accept the principles that will really get them well.”

THEN CAME AKRON
Shortly after this history-making conversation, I found myself in Akron, Ohio, on a business venture which promptly collapsed. Alone in the town, I was scared to death of getting drunk. I was no longer a teacher or a preacher, I was an alcoholic who knew that he needed another alcoholic, as much as that one could possibly need me. Driven by that urge, I was soon face to face with Dr. Bob. It was at once evident that Dr. Bob knew more of spiritual things than I did. He also had been in touch with the Oxford Groupers at Akron, But somehow he simply couldn’t get sober. Following Dr. Silkworth’s advice, I used the medical sledgehammer. I told him what alcoholism was and just how fatal it could be. Apparently this did something to Dr. Bob, On June 10, 1935, he sobered up, never to drink again. When, in 1939, Dr. Bob’s story first appeared in the book, Alcoholic Anonymous, he put one paragraph of it in italics. Speaking of me, he said: “Of far more importance was the fact that he was the first living human with whom I had ever talked, who knew what be was talking about in regard to alcoholism from actual experience”.

THE MISSING LINK
Dr. Silkworth had indeed supplied us the missing link without which the chain of principles now forged into our Twelve Steps could never have been complete. Then and there, the spark that was to become Alcoholics Anonymous had been struck.

During the next three years after Dr. Bob’s recovery our growing groups at Akron, New York and Cleveland evolved the so-called word-of-mouth program of our pioneering time. As we commenced to form a society separate from the Oxford Group, we began to state our principles something like this:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol
  2. We got honest with ourselves
  3. We got honest with another person, in confidence
  4. We made amends for harms done others
  5. We worked with other alcoholics without demand for prestige or money
  6. We prayed to God to help us to do these things as best we could

Though these principles were advocated according to the whim or liking of each of us, and though in Akron and Cleveland they still stuck by the O.G. absolutes of honesty, purity, unselfishness and love, this was the gist of our message to incoming alcoholics up to 1939, when our present Twelve Steps were put to paper.

I well remember the evening on which the Twelve Steps were written. I was lying in bed quite dejected and suffering from one of my imaginary ulcer attacks. Four chapters of the book. Alcoholics Anonymous, had been roughed out and read in meetings at Akron and New York. We quickly found that everybody wanted to be an author. The hassles as to what should go into our new book were terrific. For example, some wanted a purely psychological book which would draw in alcoholics without scaring them. We could tell them about the “God business” afterwards. A few, led by our wonderful southern friend, Fitz M., wanted a fairly religious book infused with some of the dogma we had picked up from the churches and missions which had tried to help us. The louder these arguments, the more I felt in the middle. It appeared that I wasn’t going to be the author at all. I was only going to be an umpire who would decide the contents of the book. This didn’t mean, though, that there wasn’t terrific enthusiasm for the undertaking. Every one of us was wildly excited at the possibility of getting our message before all those countless alcoholics who still didn’t know.

Having arrived at Chapter Five, it seemed high time to state what our program really was I remember running over in my mind the word-of-mouth phrases then in current use. Jotting these down, they added up to the six named above. Then came the idea that our program ought to be more accurately and clearly stated. Distant readers would have to have a precise set of principles. Knowing the alcoholic’s ability to rationalize, something airtight would have to be written. We couldn’t let the reader wiggle our anywhere. Besides, a more complete statement would help in the chapters to come where we would need to show exactly how the recovery program ought to be worked.

12 STEPS IN 30 MINUTES
At length I began to write on a cheap yellow tablet. I split the word-of-mouth program up into smaller pieces, meanwhile enlarging its scope considerably. Uninspired as I felt, I was surprised that in a short time, perhaps half an hour, I had set down certain principles which, on being counted, turned out to be twelve in number. And for some unaccountable reason, I had moved the idea of God into the Second Step, right up front. Besides, I had named God very liberally throughout the other steps. In one of the steps I had even suggested that the newcomer get down on his knees

When this document was shown to our New York meeting the protests were many and loud. Our agnostic friends didn’t go at all for the idea of kneeling. Others said we were talking altogether too much about God. And anyhow, why should there be twelve steps when we had done fine on six? Let’s keep it simple, they said.

This sort of heated discussion went on for days and nights. But out of it all there came a ten-strike for Alcoholics Anonymous. Our agnostic contingent, speared by Hank P. and Jim B., finally convinced us that we must make it easier for people like themselves by using such terms as “a Higher Power” or “God as we understand Him!” Those expressions, as we so well know today, have proved lifesavers for many an alcoholic. They have enabled thousands of us to make a beginning where none could have been made had we left the steps just as I originally wrote them. Happily for us there were no other changes in the original draft and the number of steps still stood at twelve. Little did we then guess that our Twelve Steps would soon be widely approved by clergymen of all denominations and even by our latter-day friends, the psychiatrists.

This little fragment of history ought to convince the most skeptical that nobody invented Alcoholics Anonymous.

It just grew. . .by the grace of God.

Bill W.
The Grapevine July 1953
Vol. 10 No. 2

Posted in Sharing

If They Have the Capacity To Be Honest…

“We buried him yesterday. The County Coroner had published the required notices for next of kin and nobody had claimed the body. It was just myself and his sponsor, no preacher even, the county doesn’t pay for those.

Not much of a send-off, and not the one David had asked for. A cheap coffin, a backhoe dug a hole, and that was it – another old AA has gone.

He had been sober for over 20 years and in AA over 30, a stern and rigid man who tried to soften his edges and never could.

He was a loner, a fringe-er, an isolated man at the edge of life’s good things. He hung in there… and in the end, hung himself. I don’t know why; I can’t know.
I know there had been a diagnosis of senile dementia, and I know that the doctor had added cancer to the list. But, I’ve seen AAs deal with such things before…I don’t know why David decided he couldn’t.

It isn’t the first time I’ve been through this in Alcoholics Anonymous. I’ve known several over the years who just up and walked out life’s door one day. Sober, but not happy. Sober, but not at peace. Sober, but they died of alcoholism.
Our disease doesn’t need us to drink in order to kill us. I wish more folks knew that and appreciated it.

Alcoholism is the only disease that is entirely capable of fighting back, of taking care of itself, and of emerging in new places and new forms when it isn’t properly treated. That’s because of the spiritual malady.

Most people think that has something to do with prayer or with God. It doesn’t. It has to do with ‘our spirit – that force which animates, motivates, and propels us.
As an alcoholic, my spirit is ill. It is flawed. My character, or basic nature, doesn’t work right. At its root, it is fundamental and unresolvable insecurity – a hole that can’t ever be filled.

It is an instinct run rampant, a desperate need for acceptance and love that cannot be met. It hurts. It fills one with fear. The selfishness and self-centeredness of the alcoholic lie here – we are totally preoccupied with what is going on with ourselves on the inside.

The slings and arrows of experience warped by this need to drive us to the fringe, and the voices of the committee in our head keep us there.

We are obsessed with ourselves, and from this condition of mind…. the insanity of feelings gone haywire, we become self-medicators eventually.

We discover alcohol or something else… and the stuff quiets the voices, provides the relief we’ve never been able to find in any other way. It isn’t any wonder we drink, or drug the way we do.

And some of us don’t develop an addiction… in attempting to meet these crying demands of our spirit become ill, we develop other malformations of behavior, and suffer in a hundred different ways.

God broke David’s obsession to drink. But, I don’t think David ever truly understood his disease. I say that because I watched him struggle with those old unresolved issues of his heart for years. His rigidity, coldness, aloofness, isolation, and difficulty with other people were a reflection of the pain in his heart…. of the disease of alcoholism gone deep inside, and still active.

Alcoholism didn’t need David to drink in order to continue trying to kill him, and in the end… it succeeded. In the end, instead of self-abandonment… David abandoned hope.. and discovered a bitter end.

Our recovery from alcoholism through the Steps must be a three-fold process. It is not one-dimensional. When we say in AA, that we have a triangle… recovery, unity, service… we mean it.

In working the Steps, I clear a pathway for two purposes… first, to come into a group of human people and away from the fringe of society where I have spent most of my emotional life.

Secondly, to discover ‘belonging’ through service to the people within that group. It is only this entire, threefold process that heals. It is especially true for those of us who suffer from the spiritual malady to a great degree.

Perhaps the 12th Step says it best: “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps (recovery), we tried to carry this message to other alcoholics (service) and practice these principles in all our affairs (unity).

You see… I cannot hold back. I must not continue to suffer that shyness, aloneness, that overwhelming sense of self in my affairs. I must get involved in a group of people to practice these principles in all my affairs.

Only the total approach is healing. Anything less is little more than driving my disease deep, and, if I do that, it will continue to eat away, trying to destroy me.
It destroyed David. This is a memorial to an old AA who gave his best shot, and I think David ended up on the plus side. It wasn’t his fault; he seemed to have been born that way.

There were a lot of old ideas about self that David could never muster the willingness to let go of. He is at rest now.

But it says somewhere that “no matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others.”

David cannot speak to his experience any longer; I am speaking in his memory. And I think that if David could talk to us today, he’d say “Understand your disease thoroughly, and work the complete program of recovery!”

God bless you as you Trudge The Road!

Ted R. of Gainesville, FL

Posted in Sharing

My 1st Year of Sobriety

My first year of Sobriety was the hardest yet best year of my life. I started the year in a mentally defeated position. I hated you, I hated everything around me and most of all I hated myself. I couldn’t look in the mirror and not think about what a piece of trash I was. I thought I wasn’t worthy of anything I had accomplished. I got advanced in the military; there must have been a clerical mistake. I got a degree; but it took me 14 years and at the end of the day, felt no smarter. The only time I could bear to look at myself and not think terrible thoughts was when I was drunk.

Towards the end I was getting out of hand. I was blacking out every night with vodka or whiskey. My wife would make promise I would “only have 2-3 glasses” tonight. So I would find the biggest mug and fill it to the brim with vodka and add a few splashes of Mountain Dew for flavor. I mean, I did what she said, I only had 2-3 drinks (until she would go to bed before because I wasn’t done and would make one or two more), but I still continued to black out nightly. I thought to myself “ You should just switch to beer so you don’t keep blacking out and have terrible hangovers”.

So beer had now became my drink of choice and for a few weeks that was fine. I started with some domestic brews but I had to drink so damn much to get that buzz and that feeling where I could tolerate who I was. I thought of a new solution, “I will start drinking IPAs” because you can only drink a six pack and still get that amazing buzz I had been missing. Before long, I was headed to the liquor store and shopping up and down each aisle, only looking for the strongest of beers. I found an IPA that was 13%. “That will do the trick”, so I thought. Before long I would drink that in 2-3 hours and ask the wife to take me to a gas station so could have a few tallboys to finish off the night. I was waking up with splitting headaches and would be sick and grumpy all day. Each time I would swear, “Im never dinking again”, only to do the exact same thing a few hours later that same day.

Eventually the booze were not enough to keep me from looking in the mirror and hating what I saw. I had gotten to the point where I didn’t expect or even care if I lived but maybe a few more years. I thought it would better for my family. Life would be better and easier for them.

I woke up on April 28, 2020 and new it had to stop. I had tried quitting so many times and couldn’t make it past 3 days. But, I knew if I didn’t quit, I would die. My kids and wife deserved to have a Dad around. Not only physically, but emotionally.

I reached out to an old shipmate of mine who I knew had gotten sober and he pointed me in the direction of AA. I didn’t care what it was, but I was willing to do whatever it took to get my life together. I went to an AA meeting later that day. Then I went again the next day. This was at the beginning of global pandemic and the brick and mortar rooms were still open. It was great. I went to a meeting, and continued to make it through the next day for my next meeting. The people in the rooms were so full of joy. So kind and caring. I couldn’t understand how they were so happy. I made it to 30 days sober for the first time in 15 years. However, I was miserable. I was looking at myself for the first time without that crutch of alcohol and it was not a pretty sight. The rooms were shut down due to COVID

I knew I had to get into meetings or I wouldn’t make it any further. I was looking online and stumbled across a local room called Early Sobriety Group. I knew this was the perfect meeting for me. It was an amazing meeting and I learned so much. The host of the meeting was a man named Christopher G.. He was someone I could tell right away was by the Big Book. I went to other online meetings all week and was excited to go back to the Early Sobriety Group the following week. Chris G. was speaking again and I stayed after the meeting to talk. I liked the way he hosted and he had a lot of Sobriety so I knew he would probably be a good fit as a sponsor. I asked him to be my sponsor and after a few questions, he said yes.

I spent the next 90 days reading from the Big Book and the Twelve and Twelve for a couple hours a day, with my sponsor. We started to work the steps together. I was finally starting to get that relief that I so desperately wanted. I started my fourth step. It was the first time I had ever taken a true look at my life. It was my first moral inventory. I had 2 weeks to complete the assignment as thoroughly and brutally honest as possible. I did. Then my fifth step came. I had to share my fourth step with another person.

I left my wife and kids at home and drove to his house. I was so nervous and couldn’t believe I was about to tell someone the darkest parts of my life. I had started feeling the relief and joy that the Big Book promises so I knew I had to do it. I told him everything. I cried more than I have ever cried. As I said those things out loud, they lost power over my life. In fact, some of them sounded silly say them out loud. It was hard to imagine I held all that hate and resentment in for so long. I left his house after about 5 hours and headed home. I had a headache and was emotionally exhausted. My wife and kids saw me and said I looked ten pounds lighter. Like the weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulders. The lines and stress on my face had lessened. I felt elated.

We continued to work the steps. I thought it couldn’t be any better after I worked my 5th step. I was wrong and the promises continued to come true as I worked the steps and the program. Steps 6 and 7 had me looking at all my character defects. I took a drop the rock workshop and realized that yes, I had many defects; I also had many great qualities. My life had begun to have real value again.

Now it was time for another list. I had to list anyone I had harmed. That list was long but the most awesome thing was that I would get to start making amends for those wrongs. The feeling of freedom after an amend is something I could never have expected. I still have some amends to make but I am well on the way of shortening that list. I am actively practicing steps 10, 11, and 12 everyday. I am able to do so much more with my life now. I know my life has value. I know I can deal with life as life happens. I don’t have to do it on my own anymore, because I literally can’t. I’ve already proven that. However with the rooms, my sponsor and God (My Higher Power), I can do anything.

I sit here, one year later in my hammock rocking back and forth from the motion of the seas. My daughter turned 14 years old today and I couldn’t be there to celebrate. I wish I was there but there is nothing I can do about that. I could be sad and upset, but instead I sit here grateful. I am grateful to be alive. I am grateful my family never gave up on me and I am grateful to my sponsor and God. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for all of them and the rooms. I end my first year of Sobriety happier than I have ever been. The promises of the Big Book absolutely come true if you are willing to put in the work. I will be gone a lot for the year with deployment looming but I can truly say I look forward to this next year of life, in Sobriety.

Dustin S. April 27, 2020.

Posted in Sharing

12 Steps In Reverse – Road to Relapse

12= Having detached ourselves spiritually as a result of ignoring these Steps, we let our fellow alcoholics fend for themselves and practiced these principles sporadically.
11= Let our conscious contact with G-d as we understood Him lapse by praying only in emergencies for our will to be carried out.
10= Slacked off on personal inventory and when we were wrong, denied or hid it.
9= Reasoned that no one had been hurt by us more than we had been hurt by them and called it even.
8= Made a game of rationalizing the harm we had done others.
7= Sang “I’ve Gotta Be Me”.
6= Decided that our defects of character were too much fun to give up.
5= Denied to ourselves, to G-d and to everybody else that we had ever done anything harmful.
4= Quickly cast a weak flashlight over our moral inventory and decided it was more fun to take yours.
3= Made a decision to keep our will and our lives totally in our own control.
2= Came to believe that since our troubles were of our own making, we would have to solve them without outside help.
1= We decided that we could control alcohol, that our lives were manageable after all.


Anonymous

Posted in Sharing

12 Steps in Reverse

Everyone is always talking about the 12 Steps in A. A. Another way of thinking about it are the 12 Mis-Steps of A. A. Here they are:

  1. Start missing meetings for any reason, real or imaginary.
  2. Become critical of the methods used by other members who may not agree with you in everything.
  3. Nurse the idea that someday, somehow, you can drink again and become a controlled drinker.
  4. Let the other fellow do the 12th Step work in your group. You are too busy.
  5. Become conscious of your A. A. seniority and view every new member with a skeptical, jaundiced eye.
  6. Become so pleased with your own views of the program that you consider yourself an “elder statesman.”
  7. Start a small clique within your own group, composed only of a few members who see eye-to-eye with you.
  8. Tell the new member in confidence that you yourself do not take certain of the 12 Steps seriously.
  9. Let your mind dwell more and more on how much you are helping others rather than on how much the A. A. program is helping you.
  10. If an unfortunate member has a slip, drop him at once.
  11. Cultivate the habit of borrowing money from other members; then stay away from meetings to avoid embarrassment.
  12. Look upon the 24-hour plan as vital to new members, but not for yourself. YOU have outgrown the need of that long, long ago.

C. L.
Chicago, Illinois
The Grapevine March 1947
Vol. 3 No. 10