Design for Living That Works in Rough Going
Hello all. A few weeks ago, we were reading Bill’s Story from the Big Book in a meeting. Of course, the climax comes when an old drinking buddy (Ebby T) comes to visit and, to Bill’s surprise, Ebby is sober. During their talk, Ebby laid out the foundations of a new way of life – drastic and simple – that he had learned about and that was keeping him sober. After Bill accepts this process as a new way of life (the process became the 12 steps; what Bill did is found on pp. 12-15), Ebby made clear “… the absolute necessity of demonstrating these principles in all my affairs…. Faith without works was dead, he said. And how appallingly true for the alcoholic. 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.” (pp. 14-15), Then Bill went on to write briefly about some of the hard times he had after sobriety and how he wasn’t always well and how he was met with disbelief from many.
Bill then says “… I soon found that when all other measures failed, work with another alcoholic would save the day. Many times I have gone to my old hospital in despair. On talking to a man there, I would be amazingly lifted up and set on my feet. It is a design for living that works in rough going.” (p. 15)
“It is a design for living that works in rough going.” That sentence jumped off the page at me.
To not only find that the 12 steps could help me stay sober, day after day (one day at a time), and that if I continue, every day, to focus on my connection with a Higher Power of my understanding and to reach out to be with and help as I can other alcoholics – that I can stay sober – has been amazing.
Against all “logic” that I tried to use when I was drinking, this strange program of 12 steps and continuous service is “A design for living that works in rough going” – not just the bright and cheerful times, not just in the spring and summer – but in all times and in all circumstances and especially when I’m stuck in a morass of sorrow or other difficult circumstances.
I would love to hear how you find this a program, a “design for living that works in rough going” – or in anything else suggested by your current life circumstances or by Bill’s story.