Alcoholics Anonymous, Chapter 5 - How it works / pages 65-71 (2023)



Alcoholics Anonymous, Chapter 5 - How it works / pages 65-71


The first and second edition book "Alcoholics Anonymous" is in public domain in the United States. The Big Book has served as a lifeline to millions worldwide. First published in 1939.

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So we were sore, we were burned up on our grudge list.

We set opposite each name.

Our injuries was it our self-esteem, our security, our ambitions our personal or sex relations, which had been interfered with we were usually as definite as this example, I resentful at mr.

Brown because his attention to my wife affects my sex, relations, self-esteem fear.

The COS told my wife of my mistress affects my sex, relations, self-esteem, fear because Brown may get my job at the office affects my security, self-esteem, fear, I resentful of mrs.

Jones because she's a nut.

She snubbed me.

She committed her husband for drinking he's.

My friend she's a gossip affects my personal relationship, self-esteem fear, I'm resentful at my employer, the cause unreasonable unjust overbearing threatens to fire me for drinking and patting.

My expense account affects my self-esteem.

Fear, security, I'm resentful at my wife because misunderstands and nags likes Brown once housed put in her name affects my pride, personal sex.


Security, fear.

We went back through our lives, nothing counted, but thoroughness and honesty.

When we were finished, we considered it carefully.

The first thing apparent was that this world and his people were often quite wrong to conclude that others were wrong was as far as most of us ever got the usual outcome was that people continue to wronged us.

And we stayed sore sometimes it was remorse, and then we were sword ourselves.

But the more we fought and tried to have our own way.

The worst matters got as in war.

The victor only seemed to win our moments of triumph were short-lived.

It is plain that a life, which includes deep resentment leads only to futility and unhappiness to the precise extent that we permit these do we squander the hours that might have been worthwhile, but with the alcoholic whose hope is the maintenance and growth of a spiritual experience.

This business of resentment is infinitely grave.

We found that it is fatal for when harboring such feelings, we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the spirit, the insanity of alcohol returns.

And we drink again.

And with us to drink is to die.

If we were to live, we had to be free of anger, the grouch and the brainstorm were not for us.

They may be the dubious luxury of normal men.

But for alcoholics, these things are poison.

We turned back to the list for it held the key to the future.

We were prepared to look at it from an entirely different angle.

We began to see that the world and his people really dominated us in that state, the wrongdoing of others fancied or real had power to actually kill.

How could we escape? We saw that these resentments must be mastered, but how we could not wish them away any more than alcohol.

This was our course we realized that the people who wronged us were perhaps spiritually sick, but we did not like their symptoms.

And the way these disturbed us they like ourselves were sick too.

We asked God to help us, show them the same tolerance, pity and patience that we would cheerfully grant a sick friend when a person offended, we said to ourselves, this is a sick man, how can I be helpful to him? God saved me from being angry thy will be done.

We avoid retaliation or argument.

We wouldn't treat sick people that way if we do, we destroy our chance of being helpful, we cannot be helpful to all people, but at least God will show us how to take a kindly and tolerant view of each.

And every one referring to our list again, putting out of our minds the wrongs others had done.

We resolutely looked for our own mistakes.

Where had we been selfish dishonest self seeking and frightened though a situation had not been entirely our fault.

We tried to disregard the other person involved entirely.

Where were we to blame? The inventory was ours, not the other man's.

When we saw our faults, we listed them.

We placed them before us in black and white.

We admitted our wrongs honestly and were willing to set these matters straight.

Notice that the word fear is bracketed alongside the difficulties with mr.

brown mrs.

Jones, the employer and the wife, this short word, somehow touches about every aspect of our lives.

It was an evil and corroding thread.

The fabric of our existence was shot through with it.

It set in motion trains of circumstances, which brought us misfortune.

We felt we didn't deserve, but did not we ourselves set the ball rolling sometimes we think fear ought to be classed with stealing.

It seems to cause more trouble.

We reviewed our fears thoroughly.

We put them on paper, even though we had no resentment in connection with them.

We asked ourselves why we had them wasn't it because self-reliance failed us.

Self-Reliance was good as far as it went.

But it didn't go far enough.

Some of us once had great self-confidence, but it didn't fully solve the fear problem or any other when it made us cocky.

It was worse, perhaps there is a better way we think so for we are now on a different basis, the basis of trusting and relying upon god, we trust infinite God, rather than our finite selves.

We are in the world to play the role.

He assigns just to the extent that we do as we think he would have us and humbly rely on him does he enable us to match calamity with serenity? We never apologize to anyone for depending upon our Creator.

We can laugh at those who think spirituality the way of weakness.

Paradoxically, it is the way of strength.

The verdict of the ages is that faith means courage all men of faith have courage they trust their God.

We never apologize for God instead.

We let him demonstrate through us what he can do.

We ask him to remove our fear and direct our attention to what he would have us be at once we commence to outgrow fear.

Now about sex, many of us needed an overhauling there.

But above all, we tried to be sensible on this question, it's so easy to get way off the track here.

We find human opinions running to extremes, absurd extremes, perhaps one set of voices cried that sex is a lust of our lower nature, a base necessity of procreation.

Then we have the voices who cry for sex and more sex who bewail the institution of marriage who think that most of the troubles of the race are traceable sex causes.

They think we do not have enough of it or that it isn't the right kind, they say its significance everywhere, one school would allow man, no flavor for his fare.

And the other would have us all on a straight peppered diet.

We want to stay out of this controversy.

We do not want to be the arbiter of any one sex conduct.

We all have sex problems would hardly be human.

If we didn't, what can we do about them? We reviewed our own conduct over the years past, where had we been selfish dishonest or inconsiderate whom had we hurt? Did we unjustifiably aroused jealousy suspicion or bitterness? Where were we at fault? What should we have done? Instead? We got this all down on paper and looked at it in this way.

We tried to shape a sane and sound ideal for our future sex life.

We subjected each relation to this test was it selfish or not? We asked God to mold our ideals and help us to live up to them.

We remembered always that our sex powers were god-given and therefore good neither to be used likely or selfishly, nor to be despised and loathed, whatever, our ideal turns out to be, we must be willing to grow toward it.

We must be willing to make amends where we have done harm provided that we do not bring about still more harm.

And so doing.

In other words, we treat sex as we would any other problem in meditation.

We ask God what we should do about each specific matter.

The right answer will come if we want it God alone can judge our sex situation counsel with persons is often desirable.

But we let God be the final judge.

We realized that some people are as fanatical about sex as others or loose.

We avoid history thinking or advice.

Suppose we fall short of the chosen ideal and stumble does this mean we are going to get drunk some people tell us.

So, but this is only a half-truth.

It depends on us and on our motives, if we are sorry for what we have done and have the honest desire to let God take us to better things.

We believe we will be forgiven and we'll have learned our lesson if we are not sorry and our conduct continues to harm others.

We are quite sure to drink.

We are not theorizing.

These are effects out of our experience to sum up about sex.

We earnestly pray for the right ideal for guidance in each questionable situation for sanity.

And for the strength to do the right thing.

If sex is very troublesome.

We throw ourselves the harder into helping others.

We think of their needs and work for them.

This takes us out of ourselves.

It quiets, the imperious urge when to yield would mean heartache, if we have been thorough about our personal inventory, we have written down a lot.

We have listed and analyzed our resentments.

We have begun to comprehend their futility and their fatality.

We have commenced to see their terrible destructiveness.

We have begun to learn tolerance, patience and goodwill toward all men, even our enemies for we look on them as sick people.

We have listed the people we have hurt by our conduct and are willing to straighten out the past.

If we can in this book you read again, and again, that faith did for us what we could not do for ourselves.

We hope you are convinced now that God can remove whatever self will has blocked you off from him.

If you have already made a decision at an inventory of your grocer handicaps, you have made a good beginning that being.

So you have swallowed and digested.

Some big chunks of truth about yourself.


What is the answer to the Alcoholics Anonymous acceptance? ›

Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation—some fact of my life—unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.

How to do the 5th step in AA? ›

How Do You Complete Alcoholics Anonymous Step 5?
  1. Admit the nature of your wrongs to another trusted person. Often, this person is your sponsor.
  2. Be as honest as possible with that person and look at who you are and who you would like to become.
  3. Be vulnerable and don't hold back.
Sep 19, 2022

How It Works from Chapter five of the AA? ›

RARELY HAVE we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves.

What page is how it works in the Big Book of AA? ›

P-10 How It Works

An excerpt in large type from Chapter 5 of the Big Book. This page, which includes the Twelve Steps, is often read at the start of meetings.

What page is acceptance is the answer on? ›

We routinely read the Acceptance passage from page 417 of the personal story section of the Big Book at my home group meeting: “And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. As being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God's world by mistake.

What is the acceptance prayer? ›

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can, And the wisdom to know the difference.

What are the questions on the AA Step 5? ›

How long have I been living alone with my secrets and “wrongs”? How do I feel about admitting my wrongs (my secrets) to another? Am I ready to share and let go of anything that hinders my recovery? What reservations do I have about working my fifth step?

What is the fifth step resentment prayer? ›

Fifth Step Prayer

In admitting my wrongs to another person & to You. Assure me, & be with me, in this Step, For without this Step I cannot progress in my recovery. With Your help, I can do this, & I do it.

What are the 5th step promises? ›

Step Five Promises

We can be alone at perfect peace and ease. Our fears fall from us. We begin to feel the nearness of our Creator. We may have had certain spiritual beliefs, but now we begin to have a spiritual experience.

What is page 68 and 69 in Big Book AA? ›

68 FEAR – “We ask Him to remove our fear and direct our attention to what He would have us be.” Pg. 69 SEX – “We asked God to mold our ideals and help us live up to them.” Pg.

What is the 7th step prayer? ›

Seventh Step Prayer

My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. Which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here to do your bidding.

What are the steps 4 and 5 of AA? ›

Step 4: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. Step 5: Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. Step 6: Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. Step 7: Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

What is chapter Five all about? ›

This chapter summarises the research findings, discusses the limitations, and reflect the recommendations of the study. In writing chapter five of your final year research project.

What happens in chapter 5 in life as we knew it? ›

Miranda knows she shouldn't complain, since due to her mother's pantry stockpiles she's eating better than most. She sits with Sammi, Megan, Dave, Brian, and Jenna. Everyone but Megan eats their sandwich quickly, but Megan nibbles at one half and then asks who wants the other. She selects Dave and gives it to him.

What happened in chapter 5 of the best we could do? ›

Chapter 5. Bui explores her mothers life and we learn that Má's early life was nearly opposite in nature to Bố's. Má's father was a prominent engineer in the French colonial government, she grew up in Cambodia and Nha Trang in comfort and far from the fighting though she was afraid of her own mother (138, 142).

What is the Big Book page 417 acceptance prayer? ›

Page 417 – 418

Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life's terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and my attitudes.

What is the acceptance paragraph in the Big Book? ›

Acceptance is the key to my relationship with God today. I never just sit and do nothing while waiting for Him to tell me what to do. Rather, I do whatever is in front of me to be done, and I leave the results up to Him; however it turns out, that's God's will for me.

Who wrote acceptance was the answer in AA Big book? ›

Dr. Paul is the author of the Big Book story “Doctor, Alcoholic, Addict,” [Now “Acceptance Was the Answer”] which contains that famous passage on acceptance on page 449 [Now 417].

What are the 3 answers to prayer? ›

Yes, No, and Wait! Those are the three possible answers to your prayers, so says conventional wisdom. I have thought a lot about the three-compartment answer‑‑ yes, no, and wait.

What is the AA prayer for anxiety? ›

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Not many people have heard the AA Serenity Prayer before they first attend an AA meeting…but once it's in your life, it never leaves.

What are the three types of answers to prayers? ›

Three Main Answers

The truth is, God says “yes” to all our prayers. He says “Yes, I'll grant this now”; “Yes, at the right time”; or “Yes, with the best and right answer.”

What are the three questions in AA? ›

Step Three Of AA Questions

How has acting on my own self-will affected my life? How has it affected others? How can I take action to turn it over? What is the difference between my will and God's will?

What are the four absolutes of AA questions? ›

What are the four absolutes? The “Four Absolutes” of Alcoholics Anonymous were considered “yardsticks” in the earliest days of the recovery program —standards for determining appropriate behavior as measured through God's eyes. The Four Absolutes are Honesty, Purity, Unselfishness, and Love.

What does exact nature of my wrongs mean? ›

Psalm 3:2-4 NIV) The exact nature of our wrongs is rooted in the lie that our problems are caused by what is around us rather than what is within us. It's time that we admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being that our way of dealing with problems did not solve them.

How do you let go of resentments in recovery? ›

6 Tips For Dealing with Resentment in Recovery
  1. Be Honest With Yourself. ...
  2. Reflect On Your Actions and Reactions. ...
  3. Identify the “Symptoms” of Resentment You're Experiencing. ...
  4. Write a “Letter to God” (or Whatever Higher Power You Accept) ...
  5. Get Together With a Supportive Person in Your Recovery Network.
Dec 12, 2022

What is the antidote to resentment? ›

Empathy as an antidote to resentment:

When we don't experience empathy, we often feel our experience isn't seen or understood. So if the same hurt happens again, it can help build resentment that our partner didn't learn our hurts last time or try to protect us from getting hurt again in the same way.

What is the AA prayer of forgiveness? ›

Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted—to understand, than to be understood—to love, than to be loved. For it is by self-forgetting that one finds. It is by forgiving that one is forgiven. It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life.

What is the purpose of the 5th step? ›

The fifth step of the 12 step recovery program states that we, “Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.” This vital exercise begins to provide emotional, mental and spiritual relief.

What are the 3 promises? ›

3 Promises That Are Essential to Christianity
  • The promise of the resurrection. “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” (14:18).
  • The promise of the Holy Spirit. “He lives with you and will be in you” (14:17).
  • The promise of Christ's return.

What is the 5th step spiritual principle? ›

Step 5: Admit to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. What an order! Admitting wrongs to God and to ourselves is one thing. To actually tell someone else the exact nature of our wrongs can be a frightening task indeed.

What is Rule 62 AA Big Book Page? ›

In the book, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions in Alcoholics Anonymous, on page 149, Rule 62 is described as, “Don't take yourself too seriously.” This passage is more about clearing up any wrongdoings with humility by moving on and getting into the solution.

What is character defects? ›

A character flaw, or character defect, is any type of imperfection in the way a person thinks or behaves. Some “flaws,” like sleeping in a little bit past your alarm every morning or taking showers that could be considered “too long” by normal standards, are not negatively impacting anyone.

What is the sixth step prayer? ›

Sixth Step Prayer

Dear God, I am ready for Your help In removing from me the defects of character Which I now realize are an obstacle to my recovery. Help me to continue being honest with myself and Guide me toward spiritual and mental health.

What is step 6 and 7 in AA? ›

AA's Step 6: Were entirely ready to have God remove all our defects of character. AA's Step 7: Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings. But Steps Six and Seven are only briefly discussed in the book Alcoholics Anonymous—commonly called the Big Book.

What is the humility step 7? ›

Step 7 asks people to humble themselves and acknowledge that they are not perfect. This is accomplished by asking a higher power to help remove these shortcomings. It is important to remember that for some people, this may involve asking God, as they understand Him, for help.

What are the five keys to prayer? ›

Call to Me…
  • Pray rightly. You desire and do not have, so you murder. ...
  • Pray with confidence. Do you pray confidently? ...
  • Pray continuously. I often pray for people and their circumstances until they are resolved. ...
  • God answers in his time. ...
  • God answers for his glory.
Feb 1, 2016

How long should a 5th step take? ›

Process: What do you take to be the instructions for the Step 5 itself? Step 5 should last 2-3 hours: it is about the exact nature of our wrongs, not a catalogue either of the wrongs done to us or the wrongs we have done to others.

What is the 5th step 12 steps? ›

Step 5 of the 12-Step Program is: “Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.”

How to do a personal inventory? ›

Self-Inventory Questions:
  1. What values are most important to you? ...
  2. What are your strengths and weaknesses? ...
  3. What kinds of things to you enjoy doing? ...
  4. When have you felt most successful? ...
  5. What did you enjoy the most about your favorite class? ...
  6. What has been your best learning experience? ...
  7. Do you work best along, or with others?

Who wrote acceptance was the answer in the AA Big Book? ›

Dr. Paul is the author of the Big Book story “Doctor, Alcoholic, Addict,” [Now “Acceptance Was the Answer”] which contains that famous passage on acceptance on page 449 [Now 417].

What is the resentment prayer in Alcoholics Anonymous? ›

“God, Please help me to be free of anger and to see that the world and its people have dominated me. Show me that the wrong-doing of others, fancied or real, has the power to actually kill me. Help me to master my resentments by understanding that the people who wrong me were perhaps spiritually sick.

What page is the acceptance prayer on in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous? ›

In the book, Alcoholics Anonymous, page 449, there is a “prayer” in the middle of the page, first new paragraph. It reads: “… And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today.

Who wrote acceptance is the answer to all my problems today? ›

Dr. Paul O., who penned one of the most famous verses in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous on page 417, shares his story of recovery from the podium. In meetings all over the world, Dr.

How do you practice Acceptance in recovery? ›

Practicing Radical Acceptance in Recovery
  1. Accept your life and what it is.
  2. Acknowledge that some aspects of your life—such as how others treat you—are beyond your control.
  3. Look at your situation without judgment.
  4. Avoid placing blame on yourself or others for what has happened in the past.
Jul 22, 2020

What blocks Acceptance? ›

Fear and self-pity are two other emotions that prevent acceptance and peace of mind.

Who wrote the AA Acceptance prayer? ›

There it was credited to American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971). The Serenity Prayer spread both through Niebuhr's sermons and church groups in the 1930s and 1940s, and was later adopted and popularized by Alcoholics Anonymous and other Twelve Step programs.

What is the best prayer for sobriety? ›

The Recovery Prayer

Today, I heal my body, my mind, my spirit, my life. Drugs are a part of my past; they are not part of my now, they are not part of my future. Today, I am clean. Today, I am clean and free.

What is the healing prayer for alcoholics? ›

Jude, most holy Apostle, in my need I reach out to you. I beg you to intercede for me that I may find strength to overcome my illness. Bless all those who struggle with addiction. Touch them, heal them, reassure them of the Father's constant love.

What is the 3rd step prayer? ›

God, I offer myself to Thee – To build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of Life.”

What is acceptance the first step of? ›

Acceptance is the willingness to take the first step and to see things as they are, and to let go of the struggle of trying to push them away. Acceptance is genuinely an important first step in getting past uncomfortable thoughts, feelings, and situations in life.

What is the answer to all my problems? ›

Quote by Alcoholics Anonymous: “And acceptance is the answer to all my problems...”

Why acceptance is not the answer? ›

“Acceptance” in that form discourages action rather than inspiring change, leading to stagnation and a victim mindset. Depending on the circumstances, acceptance alone offers no solution, only more pain in the form of: Self-loathing. Self-pity.

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