Reading Guide for ‘We Agnostics’

The target audience for “We Agnostics” is relatively easy to define. (aga7ta/Shutterstock) Groups such as AA and NA have many detractors, people who believe that they are religious organizations or even cults. This misconception extends to 12-based treatment centers, who are accused of brainwashing their patients rather than treating a disease. Those who make such…

Reading Guide for ‘More About Alcoholism’

The second chapter of Alcoholics Anonymous (commonly known as the Big Book) is titled “There Is a Solution” yet talks a lot about the nature of alcoholism itself. Even so, AA founder Bill Wilson could not have covered everything there is to say about the alcoholic’s condition within a single chapter. This is perhaps why…

Reading Guide for “A Vision for You”

Recovering addicts and alcoholics can learn a lot from reading Alcoholics Anonymous, also known as the Big Book. Chock full of stories related to recovery, this book offers lessons to which addicts and alcoholics from all walks of life can relate. But while the stories in the back of the book may be fascinating, addicts…

Fulfilling the Twelve Promises: Part 12

The Twelve Promises offer us something that the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions do not. By reading the Twelve Steps, we learn that there is a solution to alcoholism and addiction. When we read the Twelve Traditions, we learn how to function as part of an AA or NA group. But when we look at…

Reading Guide for “The Family Afterward”

The family members of addicts and alcoholics often suffer terribly until the afflicted individual finally agrees to seek help. Parents, children, spouses, siblings and others all suffer their own pain as they watch a loved one struggle. When the addict or alcoholic enters treatment, the family usually feels some relief. But the family dynamic will…

Fulfilling the Twelve Promises: Part 9

For some time now, we’ve been elaborating on the Twelve Promises listed on pages 83-84 of Alcoholics Anonymous. These pages, included in Chapter 5 (“How It Works”) discuss the benefits of working Step Nine of the AA program. But as we say in many other articles in this series, many of us begin to see…

Reading Guide for “To Wives”

Aside from addicts and alcoholics themselves, nobody suffers more than those forced to watch a loved one suffer. They sometimes blame themselves for their loved one’s disease, especially if they can identify past enabling behaviors. Such people experience constant fear, depression, self-pity, and quite often resentments. They lie on behalf of their beloved addict or…

Fulfilling the Twelve Promises: Part 8

Our series on the Twelve Promises offers something interesting that you won’t get from our series on the Twelve Steps or the Twelve Traditions. While each of those other series focuses on things you must do in order to maintain a principled way of life, this series focuses on the benefits of living in such…

Reading Guide for “Into Action”

In its fifth chapter (“How It Works”), Alcoholics Anonymous begins explaining the Twelve Steps in a fair amount of detail. Continuing this discussion, “Into Action” covers all of the remaining steps except for Step Twelve. You’ll want to read it in full, as there’s a lot of great information in here. But for those who’d…

Reading Guide for ‘Working With Others’

While Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions (the 12&12) covers each of the Twelve Steps in separate chapters, Alcoholics Anonymous (the Big Book) preceded this book by nearly thirty years. As such, it should come as no great surprise that the Twelve Steps receive a fair amount of focus here as well. Each of the first…