M(3), 1/26/15: From Hell to the Mountaintop

Driving to today’s meeting, I would have guessed a meeting attendance of two people, and that would have been the high end.  And the big storm hasn’t even arrived yet… yikes!

So the fun surprise was winding up with six attendees.  Not bad in the midst of what is predicted to be record snow fall!  Today’s reading came from the book ‘Pass It On:’  The story of Bill Wilson and how the A.A. message reached the world.  Its purpose is self-evident in the title:  it is a biography of Bill Wilson’s life and how he came to found the organization Alcoholics Anonymous.  The book is a fascinating read for both members and non-members of a 12-step program.

When I first started reading, I thought it might be redundant, as I thought I knew Bill W.’s story from start to finish.  But this book gives details and background that were brand new to me, and put his story in a context that made his climb out of the depths of alcoholic despair even more amazing.  Fans of the book Alcoholics Anonymous (The Big Book) will find Pass It On enlightening.

This morning we read chapter five, which details Bill W.’s last days of active addiction, followed by a personal account of his “spiritual awakening.”  Many elements of the chapter stood out for me, but I think what stuck with me most was how much I could relate to his story.  This person could not have lived a more opposite life than me, and yet I can relate to the feelings he described:

“For long hours, I thought over my past life.  How and why could I have come to this?  Save for my drinking, Lois and I had had a wonderful life together.  My whole career had teemed with excitement and interest.  And yet here I was, bedeviled with an obsession that condemned me to drink against my will and a bodily sensitivity that guaranteed early insanity at best.” -pg. 109, Pass It On

Another stand-out for me as I read his numerous attempts to recover from alcoholism:  his so-called failures, when viewed in light of his whole story, are clearly stepping-stones that led to his ultimate success.  Each time he failed, he learned a bit about what works and what doesn’t, and over time he was able to use those lessons like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle that ultimately formed the picture of recovery from a seemingly hopeless state of body and mind.

Inspiring stuff for a snowy Monday morning, let me tell you!  The rest of the group focused on his amazing journey from agnostic to believer, a compelling story to be sure.  Some admitted to a bit of envy for the rather dramatic circumstances surrounding his “conversion,” and several in the group shared the evolution of their relationship with their Higher Power.

A final thought this morning:  one gentleman shared that learning Bill’s story, and realizing how he recovered from such a low bottom, gave him the inspiration and confidence that he could recover as well.  If a man like Bill Wilson can achieve sobriety, there is hope for us all.

To anyone reading that lives in the Northeastern US:  stay warm and stay safe!

Today’s Miracle: 

As of this writing, we are in the lull of the storm.  I keep anxiously going over places I might need to get to before the rest of the storm hits, and each time, I realize I’m covered and don’t need to go out.  This level of preparation, my friends, is a miracle!

Posted on January 26, 2015, in Monday Meeting Miracles, Recovery and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. 🙂 Yes, there is hope for all of us.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t heard of “Pass it On” before 🙂 it will be next on my reading list. 48 degrees in SE North Carolina tonight…stay safe and warm! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I havent read Pass it On yet but I am
    sure I will. I agree with you that Bill’s several attempts to get sober were all pieces of the puzzle that ultimately fit- and he could finally be in recovery. I think too I had to go thru or try several different things to get me where I am today, a place I didn’t want to be and was so scared of~ recovery. I am so grateful for the 12 steps rooms and know I wouldn’t be 10+ months sober without their support!!!

    Stay warm- I just looked out and still no snow~ I’m thinking this maybe a bust~ but our fav weatherman Kees saying it’s coming!


    Liked by 1 person

  4. I was just rewatching the Bill W. documentary the other day, and boy do I ever tear up every time I watch it. I have a biography or two of his as well. He was an interesting dude, but still just a dude. Struggled later with the womanizing, depression, etc. He was just a person like us all. The whole story of how AA got started, going way before Bill W. and Dr. Bob met is just goosebump inducing. God was present in the whole thing and the way it all came together…amazing. Bill W. was certainly the conduit and then passed it on.

    Anyway, glad you got some more people there today, considering the craziness that is happening out there. Funny enough, we up here in Canada (or specifically Toronto) got zilch from that storm. Gratitude for sure. Hope you are staying safe and warm Josie and thank you for sharing this!!


    Liked by 1 person

    • As it turns out, it was a bunch of nonsense, we should have a foot of snow by now, and we don’t even have 3 inches! And now everyone is running around at loose ends, and it’s only 10:36 am!!! Oh well, at least I’m sober, right 😉

      Thanks for the comment, Paul!


  5. Thanks Josie! I thought I had read all there was to read about Bill Wilson, but I haven’t read this book. I’m gonna check it out!


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