Big Book’s Answer to Relapse Prevention

Big Book’s Answer to Relapse Prevention from Big Book Sponsorship

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If this selfishness-self-centeredness continues to manifest in an alcoholic’s life — EVEN IN SOMEONE WHO IS NOT DRINKING AND CONTINUES TO ATTEND MEETINGS – and the ego is not smashed and re-smashed by continuous application of all twelve steps, the sober (or “just not drinking”) alcoholic is sure to drink again eventually… or even worse, continue to live miserably being “undrunk” (better known as a “dry drunk”). This is why we see people with 10 years in AA wind up in mental institutions — AND THEY HAVEN’T HAD A DROP TO DRINK!

If you are suffering from symptoms of the spiritual malady, use these clarifying questions to ascertain where the problem lies.

  • Has it been a while since you’ve taken another alcoholic through the Steps? How long?
  • Has it been a while since you have gone through the steps? How long?
  • Have you ever taken all of AA’s Twelve Steps?
  • Have you done more than one 4th Step inventory? Have you omitted anything?
  • Have you completed all your 9th Step amends wherever possible? What remains to be done?
  • Is there something wrong in your life that you will not face and make right? What is it?
  • Is there a habit or indulgence you will not give up? What is it?
  • Is there a person you will not forgive? Who is it?
  • Is there a wrong relationship in your life you will not give up? What or Who is it?
  • Is there a restitution you will not make?
  • Is there something God has already told you to do that you will not obey? What is it?
  • Are you working with the disciplines and practices of steps Ten and Eleven (self-examination, meditation and prayer)… consistently… EVERY DAY?

On pages 14 and 15 of the Big Book of A.A., Bill W. writes, “For if an alcoholic failed to perfect and enlarge his spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others, he could not survive the certain trials and low spots ahead. If he did not work, he would surely drink again, and if he drank, he would surely die. Then faith would be dead indeed. With us it is just like that.”

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