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West Village, New York City

West Village, New York City

83 Christopher St.
West Village, New York City, NY 10014

Click Here To See It On A Map

Tuesday and Thursday: 7:30am

Monday-Friday: 5:30pm

Saturday-Sunday: 8:30am & 5:30pm

Buzz “Meeting Room” from the directory located on the red brick building to the left of the white church structure.

Contact: Mike (424) 333-1075

How It Works – Big Book Study Introduction

This may be downloaded as an individual document HERE

INTRODUCTION:

This is the introduction to the HOW IT WORKS program of recovery. The Big Book Study is a simple study, not an easy one.

If you have the disease called alcoholism, it demands to be treated daily. Treating alcoholism with resentment and addictions has increasingly harmful and even fatal side effects. Treating alcoholism with a spiritual answer has only positive and healthy side effects.

The How It Works Group interprets the Big Book through the Group Conscience.

Read STEP ONE (p. 263). The Oxford Group had a 75% recovery rate; this is the result of the deflation of ego!!

Ego is the last thing to go and the very first thing to come back.

Page xx in the Forward to the Second Edition states that 50% who really tried stayed recovered, 25% went out, came back and stayed recovered. This is the Oxford Group’s 75% recovery rate.

How It Works believes that if this program is followed the way it is designed, there will be a 100% recovery rate!

Read p. 563 (tradition 3 long form). All are welcome that are affected by alcoholism; that is everyone! Let everyone decide for him or herself if they want to be here.

  • STEP 5 will be completed with a qualified person. We recommend a priest, minister or rabbi.
  • Our experienced group members will assist you with STEP 9.

As we pass out Steps 10, 11 and 12, please note we will do these every day. These steps are daily steps. This process is to be continued. The treatment for the disease will never be completed!

STEP 10 – When we are wrong, promptly admitted it and straightened it out. This is an attempt to avoid creating “another past.”

You will begin to see it is a hopeless state of mind and body. This is our problem!

Play dead!! You do not take things personally if you are dead. So, PLAY DEAD and see how your Higher Power handles things better than you are. No directing, just help. Stop to take a spot check inventory every hour to see how you’re doing.

STEP 11 – Do the night reading on p. 86 (Step 11 handout), get things straightened out prior to ending your day. Again, we are trying to prevent another past from being created and start a new day with a clean slate!

Upon awakening, read p. 86 and DO IT!! This is an Action Step so take action!

STEP 12 – We help others WITHOUT hurting them or ourselves. This is a lifetime learning experience.

WE BELIEVE YOU ARE BORN WITH THIS DISEASE, WHICH IS NOT YOUR FAULT. HOWEVER, YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE TREATMENT OF THIS DISEASE!

Addictions – Step 12

STEP 12

 

“HAVING HAD A SPIRITUAL AWAKENING AS THE RESULT OF THESE STEPS, WE TRIED TO CARRY THIS MESSAGE TO ALCOHOLICS, AND TO PRACTICE THESE PRINCIPLES IN ALL OUR AFFAIRS.”

 

  1. Practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from addictions as intensive work with other alcoholics. It works when other activities fail.  This is our twelfth suggestion:  Carry this message to other alcoholics!  You can help when no one else can.  You can secure their confidence when others fail.  Remember they are very ill (Page 89).

 

  1. Life will take on new meaning. To watch people recover, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up about you, to have a host of friends-this is an experience you must not miss.  We know you will not want to miss it.  Frequent contact with newcomers and with each other is the bright spot of our lives (Page 89).

 

  1. You will be most successful with alcoholics if you do not exhibit any passion for crusade or reform. Never talk down to an alcoholic from any moral or spiritual hilltop; simply lay out the kit of spiritual tools for his inspection.  Show him how they worked with you.  Offer him friendship and fellowship.  Tell him that if he wants to get well you will do anything to help (Page 95).

 

  1. He may be broke and homeless. If he is, you might try to help him about getting a job, or give him a little financial assistance.  But you should not deprive your family or creditors of money they should have.   Perhaps you will want to take the man into your home for a few days.  But be sure you use discretion.  Be certain he will be welcomed by your family, and that he is not trying to impose upon you   for money, connections, or shelter.  Permit that and you only harm him.  You will be making it possible for him to be insincere.  You may be aiding in his destruction rather than his recovery (Page 96-97).

 

  1. Helping others is the foundation stone of your recovery. A kindly act once in a while isn’t enough.  You have to act the Good Samaritan every day, if need be (Page 97).

 

  1. It is not the matter of giving that is in question, but when and how to give. That often makes the difference between failure and success.  The minute we put our work on a service plane, the alcoholic commences to rely upon our assistance rather than upon God (Page 98).

 

 

  1. Job or no job- wife or no wife- we simply do not stop using our addictions so long as we place dependence upon other people ahead of dependence on God. Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone.  The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house (Page 98).

 

  1. Let no alcoholic say he cannot recover unless he has his family back. This just isn’t so.  In some cases the wife will never come back for one reason or another.  Remind the prospect that his recovery is not dependent upon people.  It is dependent upon his relationship with God (Page 99-100).

 

  1. So our rule is not to avoid a place where there is drinking or addictions, if we have a legitimate reason for being there (Page 101).

 

  1. Your job now is to be at the place where you may be of maximum helpfulness to others, so never hesitate to go anywhere if you can be helpful. You should not hesitate to visit the most sordid spot on earth on such an errand.  Keep on the firing line of life with these motives and God will keep you unharmed (Page 102).

 

  1. After all, our problems were of our own making. Our addictions were only a symbol.  Besides, we have stopped fighting anybody or anything.  We have to (Page 103)!

 

 

 

NOTES:

Addictions – Step 11

STEP 11

 

“SOUGHT THROUGH PRAYER AND MEDITATION TO IMPROVE OUR CONSCIENCE CONTACT WITH GOD, AS WE UNDERSTOOD HIM, PRAYING ONLY FOR KNOWLEDGE OF HIS WILL FOR US AND THE POWER TO CARRY THAT OUT.”

 

Step Eleven suggests prayer and meditation.  We shouldn’t be shy on this matter of prayer. Better men then we are using it constantly.  It works, if we have the proper attitude and work at it.

 

“When we retire at night, we constructively review our day” (Page 86).

Remember – we read this every night!

 

  1. Was I angry or resentful today? YES___ NO ___

 

  1. Was I selfish today? YES___ NO___

 

  1. Was I dishonest today? YES___ NO___

 

  1. Was I afraid today? YES___ NO___

 

  1. Do I owe an apology today? YES___ NO___

 

  1. Was I kind and loving toward all today? YES___ NO___

 

  1. Have I kept something to myself that should be discussed with another person at once? YES___ NO___

 

  1. Was I thinking of myself most of the time, or was I thinking of what I could do for others, of what I can pack into the stream of life today? YES___ NO___

 

  1. Did I drift into worry, remorse, or morbid reflections of the past today?

YES___ NO___

 

  1. After making our review, we ask God’s forgiveness? YES___ NO___

 

  1. Have I inquired what corrective measures should be taken? YES___ NO___

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“On awakening, let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead.  We consider our plans for the day” (Page 86-88).  Remember – we read this every morning!

 

  1. We ask God to direct my thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives?

 

  1. Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision. We relax and take it easy. We don’t struggle.

 

  1. We usually conclude the period of meditation with a prayer that we be shown all through the day what our next step is to be, that we be given whatever we need to take care of such problems. We ask especially for freedom from self-will, and are careful to make no request for ourselves only.  We are careful never to pray for our own selfish ends.

 

  1. As we go through the day we pause, when agitated or doubtful, and ask for the right thought or action. We constantly remind ourselves we are no longer running the show, humbly saying to ourselves many times each day “Thy will be done.”

 

IT WORKS, IT REALLY DOES.

 

We alcoholics are undisciplined.  So we let God discipline us in the simple way we have just outlined.

 

But this is not all.  There is action and more action.  “Faith without works is dead.”  The next chapter (Chapter 7, Working With Others, Pages 89-103) is entirely devoted to Step Twelve.

 

 

 

 

NOTES:

Addictions – Step 10

STEP 10

 

“CONTINUE TO TAKE PERSONAL INVENTORY AND WHEN WE WERE WRONG PROMPTLY ADMITTED IT.”

 

 

 

  1. We have entered the world of the Spirit. Our next function is to grow in understanding and effectiveness.  This is not an overnight matter.  It should continue for a lifetime.

 

  1. Continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear. When these crop up, we ask God at once to remove them.  We discuss them with someone immediately and make amends quickly if we have harmed anyone.   Then we resolutely turn our thoughts to someone we can help.  Love and tolerance of others is our code.

 

  1. We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition.  Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God’s will into all of our activities.  “How can I best serve Thee-Thy will (not mine) be done.”  These are thoughts which must go with us constantly.  We can exercise our will power along this line all we wish.  It is the proper use of the will.

 

  1. If we have carefully followed directions, we have begun to sense the flow of His Spirit in to us. To some extent we have become God-conscious.  We have begun to develop this vital sixth sense.  But we must go further and that means more action.

 

 

CONTINUE TO TAKE PERSONAL INVENTORY MANY TIMES EACH DAY AND TO SET RIGHT ANY NEW MISTAKES AS WE GO ALONG (Pages 84-85).

 

 

 

 

NOTES:

Addictions – Step 9

STEP 9

 

“MADE DIRECT AMENDS TO SUCH PEOPLE WHEREVER POSSIBLE, EXCEPT WHEN TO DO SO WOULD INJURE THEM OR OTHERS.”

 

 

Now we go out to our fellows and repair the damage done in the past.  We attempt to sweep away the debris which has accumulated out of our effort to live on self-will and run the show ourselves.  If we haven’t the will to do this, we ask until it comes.  Remember it was agreed at the beginning, we would go to any lengths for victory over alcoholism (Page 76).

 

Consult with a member of your group.

 

  1. a) The chances are that we have domestic troubles.
  2. b) Most alcoholics owe money.
  3. c) Perhaps we have committed a criminal offence.
  4. d) Employer/business problems.
  5. e) Character assassination.
  6. f) Family

 

If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through.

 

  1. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.
  2. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.
  3. We will comprehend the word serenity.
  4. We will know peace.
  5. We will see how our experience can benefit others.
  6. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.
  7. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.
  8. Self-seeking will slip away.
  9. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.
  10. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.
  11. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.
  12. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.

 

Are these extravagant promises?  We think not.  They are being fulfilled among us-sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly.  They will always materialize if we work for them  (Page 76-84).

Addictions – Step 8

STEP 8

 

“MADE A LIST OF ALL PERSONS WE HAD HARMED, AND BECAME WILLING TO MAKE AMENDS TO THEM ALL.”

 

 

We have a list of all persons we have harmed and to whom we are willing to make amends.  We made it when we took inventory.

 

List from Step 4.  Add names if any have been missed in Step 4.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

 

 

NOTES:

 

Addictions – Step 6 and 7

STEP 6

 

“WERE ENTIRELY READY TO HAVE GOD REMOVE ALL

THESE DEFECTS OF CHARACTER.”

 

 

We have emphasized willingness as being indispensable.

 

  1. a) Are we now ready to let God remove from us all the things which we have admitted are objectionable? YES___ NO___

 

  1. b) Can He now take them all – every one? YES___ NO___

 

  1. c) If we still cling to something we will not let go, we ask God to help us be YES___ NO___

 

 

 

NOTES:

 

 

 

 

 

 

STEP 7

 

“HUMBLY ASKED HIM TO REMOVE OUR SHORTCOMINGS”

 

When ready, we say something like this:

 

“My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad.  I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character 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.  Amen.”

 

We have then completed Step Seven.

 

Now we need more action, without which we find that “Faith without works is dead.”  Let’s look at Steps Eight and Nine (Page 76).

 

 

 

NOTES:

 

Addictions – Step 5

STEP 5

 

“ADMITTED TO GOD, TO OURSELVES, AND TO ANOTHER HUMAN BEING THE EXACT NATURE OF OUR WRONGS.”

 

WHY WE TAKE THIS STEP:

If we skip this vital step – we may not overcome our addictions.  We must be entirely honest with somebody if we expect to live long or happily in this world (Page 72).

 

WHO WE TAKE THIS STEP WITH:

Though we have no religious connection, we may still do well to talk with someone ordained by an established religion.  We often find such a person quick to see and understand our problem.  Here everyone is welcome, is free to speak in absolute confidentiality, and is again unified by doing this step, as all the others, in the same manner as the rest of the group.

 

JOG YOUR MEMORY:

1) Write down the important things that you are not proud of that you cannot discuss with somebody else.

2) Ask God to help you remember and be willing to be honest.

3) Trying to avoid this humbling experience, they have turned to easier methods.  Almost invariably they returned to their addictions. (Page 72-73 “almost invariably they got drunk”)

4) Begin your step by saying “my name is x, and I don’t react well to fear, resentments, or sex problems because of my selfishness and self-centeredness (the root of my troubles).”

 

UPON COMPLETION:

Returning home we find a place where we can be quiet for an hour, carefully reviewing what we have done.  We thank God from the bottom of our heart that we know Him better.  Taking this book down from our shelf we turn to the page which contains the twelve steps

(Page 59).

Carefully reading the first five proposals we ask if we have omitted anything, for we are building an arch through which we shall walk a free man at last (Pages 75-76).

 

  1. a) Is our work solid so far? Yes___ No___

 

  1. b) Are the stones properly in place? Yes___ No___

 

  1. c) Have we skimped on the cement put into the foundation?

Yes___ No___

 

  1. d) Have we tried to make mortar without sand?

Yes___ No___

 

If we can answer to our satisfaction, we then look at Steps Six and Seven.

 

NOTES:

My name is                                                      and I don’t respond well to fear, resentments of sex problems because of my selfishness and self-centeredness (the root of my troubles).