Both of the authors owe their recovery from alcoholism and, consequently, their lives to the Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous.
Paul H. searched for a solution to his alcoholism for many years—finding only frustration in the ideas he now understands to be human by nature and destined to fail. In the depths of his alcoholism, he followed some wonderful advice from a dedicated skid row detox attendant to “find himself in the Big Book.” He did, and in so doing discovered his real problem: lack of power over alcohol. He also found a solution to that problem: a power greater than himself. The Big Book taught him the “spiritual program of action” he needed to achieve recovery and grow in the solution. As part of that recovery, he began recording his understanding of the principles in the Big Book, so he could pass on those ideas in a simple, direct way to newcomers, sponsors, and others interested in the program. This small book is the culmination of refining those thoughts for many years.
Scott N. spent three months in treatment in half a year’s time. The solution to his problem still eluded him until he immersed himself in the Big Book, accepted the help of his sponsor—the co-author of this book—and used the predecessor to this book as his guide through the steps. He finds continued strength in supporting the efforts of his sponsor, including the publication of this book, and passing on what he has learned to those he sponsors.
Years of working together as sponsor-sponsee and group settings have allowed the authors to bring this book to its present, albeit imperfect, form. The process will continue as their understanding, spiritual experience, and recovery progresses. They welcome any suggestions, comments, and criticisms, with the warning that any information shared may become evident in future editions of this book.