1. Insanity


1. INSANITY Page 37 of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous talks about a type of insanity that is unique to alcoholics and addicts. The writer, Bill Wilson, openly admits that he did not take the definition out of a medical or psychological diagnostics manual. If he had, it might have sounded like the dictionary…

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2. Proportion


2. PROPORTION This drawing shows two boys eating breakfast in a restaurant. Both paid a nickel for their order. One  kid seems satisfied and ready to eat what he ordered. The other kid appears to be in the middle of complaining about what he received, how it was cooked, or the amount he was given.…

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3. Straight


3. STRAIGHT When addicts refer to non-addicts, they sometimes say he or she has “straightened their life out”. I think that choice of words is revealing. As an addict, I was forever changing something about myself. I was telling the truth or lying, depending on the situation. I revealed or concealed my need for a…

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4. Reflected


4. REFLECTED In the Big Book, there is a brief story about a car salesman named Jim. I did not make this drawing about Jim. Instead, it is a contemplation on reflections and decisions. In it, a man is standing at the edge of a deep well. Far below, he can see his reflection. What…

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5. Consequences


  5. CONSEQUENCES Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone. I’m not willing to debate that point here. Having said that, I believe addicts make a very special kind of mistake. I’m not referring to picking up the first drink or whatever their drug may be. I am referring to something they do before that temptation ever enters…

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6. Reasoning


  6. REASONING There are many times that reason told me to do one thing and my worst impulses urged me to do another. Had I listened to my reason, I would never have needed to work the Twelve Steps and you would not be reading this now. Bill Wilson explained that in alcoholic insanity,…

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7. Excuse


7. EXCUSE I wanted to stop. Everyone who was dying of substance abused wanted to stop. But they “couldn’t”. That’s what I and everyone else would say. “I can’t stop!” And everyone else in the world would loudly reply, “Why on Earth can’t you stop?” Because our minds had become our worst enemy. I would…

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8. Deliberately


8. DELIBERATELY I believe that the Big Book is meant to be used like a textbook with the help of someone who has already read and applied its contents (this person would be a “sponsor” in AA).* Having said that, no sponsor ever pointed out to me what is written on page 37. It references…

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10. Casually


10. CASUALLY When I hear the word “casual”, I think of being relaxed or easygoing. I was surprised to see the word used in the Big Book at a very important moment. The author has been describing the baffling and often self-destructive decisions that alcoholics make. If you have been to many recovery meetings, you…

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