Sobriety as Shown by That Big, Blue Book

Nicknamed “Silky,” William Silkworth (1873-1951) was an American medical doctor and specialist in the treatment of alcoholism. In the Big Book, we find his words in, “The Doctor’s Opinion,” pages xxviii –xxix.

“…Men and women drink essentially because they like the effect produced by alcohol. The sensation is so elusive that, while they admit it is injurious, they cannot after a time differentiate the true from the false. To them, their alcoholic life seems the only normal one.….” –William Duncan Silkworth, M.D.

To Find Sobriety

What is it that we alcoholics need to change to find sobriety in our lives? In my humble opinion, having attended AA meetings for 17 years, I believe that we can find answers both simple and complex.

Simply, we must not put the bottle to our lips. Period. No excuses. No exceptions.

The complex answer is obtained gradually and may be found in the fellowship of AA and in AA literature- beginning with the BIG BOOK.

This manual takes us through the process of recovery in some 400 plus pages. We read, “Bill’s Story,” and “Dr. Bob’s Nightmare.” These co-founders of AA tell us of their experience, strength and hope and how our fellowship came to be.

We follow solutions to our alcoholism, including the Twelve Steps. These crucial suggestions are written in anecdotal/example form. We will read about the details of recovery in 10 chapters beginning with, “There is a Solution,” and ending with, “A Vision for You.”

It Works When I Work It

Encouraged by my chair people to highlight sections of this BIG blue BOOK that are meaningful, I have, over the years, highlighted nearly the entire book!

Studying the Big Book, I have found a need to recognize a power greater than myself and to come to terms with the facets of alcoholism. I have ‘worked’ the twelve steps and find that they often pertain to my life in numerous ways.

So, while not quite as simple, I believe that sobriety means a way of life, not just the cessation of the drink. Listen again to the words of the book:
“The tremendous fact for every one of is that we have discovered a common solution. We have a way out on which we can absolutely agree, and upon which we can join in brotherly and harmonious action.” –Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book, page 17
William Griffith Wilson (November 26, 1895–January 24, 1971), also known as Bill Wilson or Bill W. was the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Robert Holbrook Smith (August 8, 1879–November 16, 1950), also known as Dr. Bob, was an American physician and surgeon who co-founded AA with Bill Wilson.

Author: Katie H. is a writer, recovering addict, and mother based in Connecticut.