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Post Info TOPIC: Was Bill W constantly relapsing?


Veteran Member

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Was Bill W constantly relapsing?
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Old timer in a meeting the other night was talking about how Bill could not stay sober, even to the end of his life.

About all i've found is that he did use LSD often, i haven't found any documents saying he was drinking.

 

I know he suffered severely from depression, which I have found to be common among us all even today, I fight it myself.

 

Enlighten me, thanks.



-- Edited by bigv on Friday 16th of September 2011 02:50:07 PM

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MIP Old Timer

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Nothing in my research, which was extensive leads me to believe he ever took another drink after his sobriety date, although there are rumors he called out for booze on his deathbed, which frankly I am pretty comfortable with, hell if I am calling for a bottle of bourbon on my death bed someone better bring me one or I'll take some o' them mamby's pamby's with me on my way out lol

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none of the books ive read said he ever drank again..the LSD was part of his spiritual journey along the lines of vision seeking as far as i understand it. Dont foget to put it into the context of the time period he was in..grins

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Does it matter? AA works for me and I'm selfish enough to believe that this is what's important to me. I've heard that he was a pill popper - maybe prescribed, I've heard that he called for a drink on his death bed too - I don't care whether he relapsed and in what way or not. he was a guy who put his keks on one leg at a time, same as me, not a guru, not a superhero, but a guy who found a solution to the alcohol problem and shared it with others.

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Nope it doesnt matter , what they came up with has saved millions of lives and millions I imagine have died sober. Its given many a new way to live, good orderly direction that many of us didnt have before AA.

 

I remember some where, maybe the 12x12 ? where its states the first 10 members died sober ?

 

Anyhow i'll tell yuh, these old timers really make me practice tolerance sometimes, hell the one I mentioned who was spouting off this stuff had a resentment against me for the last year, I confronted him on it because i noticed his attitude towards me had change, he admitted to me to having the resentment, so no matter how much time someones got dont EXPECT them to work it perfect, there are definetly no saints in AA, no gurus, no ones perfect.. I really have to practice the principles especially in the rooms, most of us are still pretty quirky nuts hopefully outta our shells and in a place of acceptance amongst brothers an sisters.

Thanks for the shares so far I wasn't trying to start any rumors or get this quiet house worked up or anything like that biggrin



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According to a friend, who has read and re-read everything about Bill W. and Dr. Bob and who hs been sober for 40 years told me that Bill W. was sober and stayed sober but yes he did beg for a bottle on his death bed. Personally I would have given it to him.
There are a few people in the program I really respect because they taught me alot and made me laugh alot but they are not perfect and I dont expect them to be. Be careful who you idolize, as more than likley you will be very disappointed

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LSD was at one time a treatment for alcoholism and I met the last surviving participant in the USAF LSD/Alcoholism program in AA.  He was sober and had been for years and said it was LSD that killed the other 25 guys.   Bills journey toward hard abstinence did have a few drinking events...each worse than the one before it and therefore a lesson on the progressiveness of the disease even after periods of sobriety.  Like others around him he tried and then tried again.  The part of his journey that I hang on to was his decision to "turn right" toward the bank of telephones to call a hospital to work with a drunk than to go left into the bar.  That one does it for me and is the one I practice today in my sobriety.  Work with others and watch it work in them too.  ((((hugs)))) smile



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MIP Old Timer

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I have heard that Bill W. was a 'golden slipper' .... and that info is pretty much so invaluable to me.

I would never give an alcoholic a drink on their death bed. I would never want to be responsible for a move like that.

I hope and pray to die sober, and I have no intention of taking a drink on my death bed. Just because Id be dying I really doubt that the desire to drinki is gonna magically return, lol.

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bigv wrote:

Old timer in a meeting the other night was talking about how Bill could not stay sober, even to the end of his life.




Bill has been gone almost as long as John F. Kennedy, and it seems that the legends just keep on growing.  The more time goes by, the more the unprovable/undisprovable stories emerge. 

Only Bill knew the truth, and he took it to his grave with him 40 years ago.  We all are taken at our word when it comes to our sobriety.  Nobody follows me around 24/7 to make sure I don't drink.  My gut feeling is, if I were to take a drink sooner or later I would be back to where I was and there would be no way to hide that.  Most of the people I know with long term sobriety are pretty consistent, and they'd probably say the same thing about me.  There's a certain pleasure in consistency, even though I used to consider it boring. 

AA is made up of human beings and was founded by human beings.  I believe long term sobriety is possible, because I am my own living proof.  Doesn't matter if anybody believes me or not, I know it.  Just as I'd know it if I were to take a drink, even if I never told a soul.

As to calling for booze on my deathbed, well - one day at a time.  I look forward to many, many thousands of sober days before that moment comes.

Barisax



-- Edited by barisax on Friday 16th of September 2011 11:25:00 PM

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MIP Old Timer

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Never heard this before. Heard about the LSD and that surprised me, but I guess it was an alternative to shock treatment, which is still being performed. I don't want a drink on my death bed, but I have thought about puffing on a fat fruity smelling spliiff. But probably would rather have all of my faculties (or what's left of them) to say my goodbyes and make the transition. That "white tunnel" thing has got me intriqued.  biggrin



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MIP Old Timer

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I thought the LSD was a part of experiments with someone fairly well-known today, before it was used widely as a recreational drug, and connected to search for spirituality.  I have heard Bill W. described as a "seeker".  I do remember coming across it in a historical text, but can't remember where.  This is the first I've heard of the asking for a drink on the deathbed.  That seems more shocking to me than the LSD in some ways.   You'd think that since other early AA  talk about using pills and such that a hallucinogen might be an obvious "no-no" for sobriety.  In the context of the reading and considering the time frame, it didn't seem like something I'd call a relapse.  As someone pointed out I suppose sobriety is between myself and my HP.  I see Bill W. as just another human being who thankfully helped formulate and wrote down some amazing and effective material.  I admire his life-long dedication to AA.  I don't know if I'd be sitting here today if he personally had not.   Of course there are many other unkown soldiers of AA who we don't know about cause of anonymity or history being lost.   Most often I hear about Bill W. being a flirt or unfaithful in his marriage.  This does bother me some, but I go back to the same things, I don't acctually know if it's true,  Does that matter for me and how I view the program true or not true?  Can I accept my own humanity and infallibility and still believe in the value and good of striving to live by program principles?  YES, always, yes.  



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MIP Old Timer

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Great thread. it seems that I needed the reminder that AA was founded by human beings and is populated by human beings and all human beings are fallible. I read the gainsayers telling that because Bill W called for a bottle on his death bed, then AA don't work. Also that because we practice sobriety and abstinence, then AA is a failure. My first, second and third thought on this is Bollocks. It's not a competitive sport and You're entitled to your opinion, which is worth exactly what i paid for it.

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the context things are viewed in depends on the time, I read he did try the LSD to try to recreate the "white light" experience he had, much like the Native Americans would eat Peyote on their spiritual journey, he didn't "do" the acid as a recreational drug, he did it to try to talk to God, he also did seances and used to "channel" a 5th century Christian Monk while he was writing, he really was a spiritual seeker and looked in a lot of places, depending on your belief system some of the places he looked were ludicrous, some were "acceptable", The Oxford Group were 1st Century Christians who some people felt were ..... "splinter" lets say, they disapproved of his seances to say the least, the 30's were an interesting time, technology had opened up the idea that -anything- was possible, you have to remember 30 years before people still rode horses, all the sudden they are talking about moon landings, men flying, automobiles had become commonplace, it was a time of great change and great upheaval, with World War I bringing technology to the world, well....as an extension of The American Civil War actually in a way, but the ideas they were playing with were all new, Eugenics, Darwinism, spirituality and technology, as he wrote in the Big Book, being newly established with a conscious contact with God, we are bound to make some pretty ludicrous mistakes, he was speaking from experience for both himself and mankind

What he did was nothing less then remarkable, some might say Divine, the first step from Dr Silkworth, the second step from Carl Jung, and the remaining steps from The Oxford Group, right there is a mix of Science and spirituality that kind of sums up his whole journey, Dr Silkworth knew what the problem was, but had no answers, Carl Jung knew the answer but was unable to get Roland Hazzard to have a spiritual experience, The Oxford group (Which Dr Bob and Bill were both members before they met) had a way in which to have a spiritual experience, but without the first step Dr Bob kept getting drunk, it took the mix of both in order to work, truthfully, you read some books about Bill, and he comes across as a complete nutjob, initially this kind of rocked my whole foundation, subsequently it made my sobriety stronger, this program works not because the founders were these incredibly evolved human beings, but incredibly flawed human beings, that's what makes this program so special, is it works for everyone

One "sponsor family" I was in, my great grandsponsor was a speaker at one of those big meetings, and he talked about moving to Thailand and living and building a home in a "clothes free" environment, since he and his wife decided that clothes were a block to having a spiritual experience, they smoked a lot of pot in Thailand (this was in the 50's) and spoke of getting arrested for smoking a joint and being in Jail in Japan on his tenth sobriety birthday, they didn't "count" trying different drugs if it was to have a spiritual experience as a relapse then, it wasn't until that cross addiction reared it's ugly head that sobriety meant any mind or mood altering drug taken recreationally was a relapse

Truth is, it's a fascinating story, this whole AA thing of ours

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bikerbill wrote:

Does it matter? AA works for me and I'm selfish enough to believe that this is what's important to me. I've heard that he was a pill popper - maybe prescribed, I've heard that he called for a drink on his death bed too - I don't care whether he relapsed and in what way or not. he was a guy who put his keks on one leg at a time, same as me, not a guru, not a superhero, but a guy who found a solution to the alcohol problem and shared it with others.


           Amen...bill. Ditto for me.



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Mr.David


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LinBaba wrote:

the context things are viewed in depends on the time, I read he did try the
What he did was nothing less then remarkable, some might say Divine, the first step from Dr Silkworth, the second step from Carl Jung, and the remaining steps from The Oxford Group, right there is a mix of Science and spirituality that kind of sums up his whole journey, Dr Silkworth knew what the problem was, but had no answers, Carl Jung knew the answer but was unable to get Roland Hazzard to have a spiritual experience, The Oxford group (Which Dr Bob and Bill were both members before they met) had a way in which to have a spiritual experience, but without the first step Dr Bob kept getting drunk, it took the mix of both in order to work, truthfully, you read some books about Bill, and he comes across as a complete nutjob, initially this kind of rocked my whole foundation, subsequently it made my sobriety stronger, this program works not because the founders were these incredibly evolved human beings, but incredibly flawed human beings, that's what makes this program so special, is it works for everyone


Truth is, it's a fascinating story, this whole AA thing of ours


LIn,

 Good job of putting some of the pieces together in a orderly context, some great ideas for a new book!

I heard about Bill using the LSD to help fight the depression,  Dr Bob did have one slip after the intial meeting with Bill during a trip to NJ (does it count if I'm out of town?)

Please pull the plug if I ask for a drink on my death bed,  I ain't drinking now and not f#$%ing drinking then.

IDK, I learned a lot from some great people I idolized in the rooms early on,  many had great shares and knew the program back and forth.  I later was dispointed to learn some of them could never put a year together.

The truth from God is still the truth,  even if we hear it via the words of a liar, bullshiter or relapser.

But for the grace of God,  there go I.

 

 



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"There ain't no Coupe DeVille hiding in the bottom of a Cracker Jack Box."



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The LSD story is in PASS IT ON. I did LSD 9 years sober. I'd say it could really fug up a person's mind if they had a lot of psychic garbage still. If you're gonna do that, work the steps first. BUT...

When Ram Dass gave LSD-25 to eastern yogis their response was, "It's good, but not as good as meditation."

I would say that meditation is a better path also, though a more difficult and long term way to do what they were TRYING to do with LSD.

I started with TM. I talked to a guy who had taken the "official" class back in the 70's and he said that the technique was published by a doctor from Harvard, Herbert Benson in the book THE RELAXATION RESPONSE. The official TM mantras were published in the January 1984 issue of OMNI Magazine in the "Continuum" column.

After a few years of that I moved on to zazen, the technique is described in Brad Warner's book HARDCORE ZEN which also has a lot to say (negative) about the use of drugs to raise consciousness.

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