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Friends Of Bill W., Please Come…..
Once you learn to walk, crawling is out of the question.
-James D. Davis
Sometime in the early 1990's I was treating a woman in an intensive outpatient chemical dependency group. Let's call her "Grace." Grace was a flight attendant and had been suspended from her job with a major airline due to her untreated alcoholism. She had been stealing the little miniature liquor bottles and drinking in airport bars in uniform, etc. Her employer, realizing she needed treatment sent her to us.
After the eight week program, I suggested to her it might be a good idea to solidify her foundation in recovery before returning to work as she would be working in a high-risk environment (serving alcohol, being out of town alone, etc.). Grace did, however, return to work shortly after completing outpatient treatment. One day while she was departing from a plane at the end of long day a major craving for alcohol overpowered her. There she was, in the Los Angeles International Airport pulling her roller-bag behind her when this massive craving to drink came over her. She tried to just "think through it," or "just forget about it," but it was way too powerful. It was so powerful, in fact, that she had resigned to herself that she would just go drink. Grace thought, Oh, heck with it, I'll get another job….or maybe no one will find out anyway. But deep down inside Grace did not want to drink. She truly had wanted to stay sober, but she was in trouble.
On her way to the bar in the airport, Grace had a moment of sanity. She stopped, picked up the airport paging phone andsaid, "Will you please page friends of Bill W., “ she paused, quickly looking around for an empty gate, “to come to Gate 12?"
Within minutes, over the paging system in the LA International Airport came, "Will friends of Bill W. please come to Gate 12. Will friends of Bill W. please come to Gate 12." Most people in recovery know that asking if you are a friend of Bill W. is an
anonymous way to identify yourself as a member of AA.
In less than five minutes there were about fifteen people at that gate from all over the world. That brought tears of amazement, relief and joy to Grace. They had a little meeting there in that empty gate, total strangers prior to that moment. Grace discovered that two of those people had gotten out of their boarding lines and missed their flights to answer that call for help. They had remembered what they had seen on many walls of meeting rooms: "When anyone, anywhere reaches out their hand for help, I want the hand of AA to be there and for that I am responsible."
Grace did not drink that day. I would venture to guess that none of the people who came to Gate 12 drank that day either. Instead Grace had a moment of sanity, realized she could not do it on her own, took the action of asking for help and received it immediately. This help is available to all of us if we want it and sincerely ask for it. It never fails.
Jim C., Jr.
Contributing author, Chicken Soup for the Recovering Soul
©2004. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Chicken Soup for the Recovering Soul® by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Robert Ackerman, Ph.D., Peter Vegso, Theresa Peluso and Gary Seidler. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442.
1 The Recovering Journey
An Angel Wore Fur John Crusey 2
The Empty Chair Jenni Schaefer 5
The Heap Joseph R Cruse, M.D 9
Touched by a Higher Power Godwin H. Barton 12
Silent Rage Kay Conner Pliszka 16
Summer Treasures Jane Middelton-Moz 17
The Skeleton in My Closet Elva Stoelers 21
How Dry I Am Julia Jergensen Edelman 24
A Little Band of Gold Carol J. Bonomo 28
How Long Will It Last This Time? Janell H. 32
The Codependent Diet Linda Day 34
A 4C Woman Deb Sellars Karpek 37
How Am I Going to Pay for All This? Anonymous as told to Earnie Larsen 41
The Letter Tracey W. Lee-Coen 42
2 Shoulders to Lean on
Friends of Bill W., Please Come to Gate… Jim C, Jr. 48
Around the Room Earnie Larsen 50
A Miracle in the Making Jann Mitchell 54
The 202 Club Lee R. McCormick 57
The Seat Andrea W., aka Sola Dayo Nowelile 61
Serendipity or Higher Power? John Bradshaw 64
The Enabling of the Disabled Jayne Thurber-Smith 67
A Promise of Spit and Dirt Cherie Ward 71
A Glimpse of Sanity Peter Wright 73
With a Little Help from My Friends Rev. Bob Lew 78
Dancing with the Elephant Patricia Holdsworth 82
Finding the Healing Moments Robert J. Ackerman, PhD 86
Charlie John C. Friel, Ph.D 89
3 A Sense of Spirituality
My Little Son Showed Me the Way Anonymous as told to Earnie Larsen 94
The Little Yellow Room My Higher Power Built Shannon 96
Hope Lisa J. Schlitt 100
Healing Tears Loretta McCann Bjorvik 102
Free Flight David Mead 105
Whispers of an Angel Julie Orlando 108
Looking for a Sign Jenna Cassell 113
Recovery: A Reason as Well as a Road Rev. Ed Donnally 116
The Richest Man in the World Earnie Larsen 121
A Birthday to Remember Loretta McCann Bjorvik 123
Angels Dancing Anonymous 127
4 Families of Origin, Families of Choice
Panning for Gold Ted Klontz 132
Out of the Blue Miriam Hill 138
Perfect Grief Mark Sanders 141
To Do the Work of Angels Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D 145
Memory of Two Friends David R. Wilkins 150
The Grace of God Shows Stuart Brantley 152
A Light at the End of the Tunnel Debra Jay 156
Time and Recovery Robert J. Ackerman, Ph.D 161
What Was Left Unspoken Theresa Peluso 163
Tears Arianna Johnson 167
5 The Resilient Soul
Christmas Hope Raquel M. Strand 170
Amanda Stays Safe Jerry Moe 172
We Can Still Sing Jennifer M. Reinsch 176
Could You Be the One? Benneth Lee as told to Mark Sanders 179
Choices Tom Krause 183
Discards Peter Vegso 184
I Am the Story I Tell Myself Mary Ban 187
Take Care of Yourself Ann Best 190
You Become What You Want to Be Marilyn Joan 195
Carry On Tom Krause 198
My Mom's a Party Girl Carla Riehl 199
Twenty-Four Hours to Live Ted Klontz 203
6 Our Community and Diversity
Vita Elizabeth Batt 210
My Best Friend Jack George Roth 215
As My Life Turned Betty King 219
He Sat Alone Steven Manchester 222
Stress Management 101 Abraham J. Twerski, M.D 225
Build It and They Will Come Perry D. Litchfield 227
Black Is a Primary Color Christine Learmonth 232
And the Wisdom to Know the Difference Carol Davis Gustke 235
Not a "Piece of Cake" for Me Emily Schroder 240
The Indestructible Dignity of Humankind Abraham J. Twerski, M.D 243
Gratitude Lisa Kugler 246
By the Dawn's Early Light Terry P. 249
Wise Beyond His Years Sharon Wegscheider-Cruse 253
7 Recovering Joy
Bill Saves the Bill Tracey Lee-Coen 256
My Father's Eyes Erin Hagman 259
Legacy Letitia Trimmer Meeks 263
Bare Bottoms and Dancing Toes Cynthia Borris 268
"I Love My Body!" When Do You Ever Hear Women Say That?! Rachel Caplin 273
The Dead Zone Debbie Heaton 278
Late Night Movies Sallie A. Rodman 283
Recovery's Unlikely Destination Patricia O'Gorman, Ph.D 285
The Journey to Me Linda S. Day 290
From Victim to Victory Jaye Lewis 295
Miracle at Wal-Mart Sherry Diedrich as told to Ruth Coe Chambers 298
8 Fully Recovering, Fully Alive
The Red Peanut Tian Dayton, Ph.D., T.E.P. 304
The Faces of Heroes Todd Outcalt 308
The Dying Battery and the Recovering Codependent Thom Rutledge 311
Legacies Left Behind Claudia Black 314
A Light Touch Anonymous as told to Earnie Larsen 318
Fat, Stupid, Ugly Debrah Constance as told to J.I. Kleinberg 320
I Will Not Give Up Deirdre Mom's 323
Now I Am Whole Betty King 327
Out of the Mouths of Babes Jerry Moe 328
Through the Eyes of My Heart Barbara A Croce 330
Fully Alive Elizabeth Walton 333
Who Is Jack Canfield? 339
Who Is Mark Victor Hansen? 340
Who Is Robert J. Ackerman, PhD.? 341
Who Is Theresa Peluso? 341
Who Is Gary Seidler? 342
Who Is Peter Vegso? 342
I simply love the Chicken Soup series of books. They are worth every moment spent reading each page. I'd also recommend that you buy "When God Stopped Keeping Score," another great book, which takes an eye opening look at forgiveness. Given the chance, it will change your life. It did that for me.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I can't even begin to do the Chicken Soup For The Soul series justice by trying to write a simple review for any of the books in the series. I have read so many of these books that we'd be here all day for me just to give you the names of the ones that I have read. Furthermore, I have given countless others away as gifts to family and friends. All I can say is that each book is everything that I expected and more. I would definitely recommend any one of the books in this series for you and/or someone that you love.
For anyone who feels bound by their anger, guilt, hurt or pain, I also recommend "When God Stopped Keeping Score." I thought that "When God Stopped Keeping Score" was just about overcoming forgiveness, I soon learned, it was about so much more than that. The author actually pulls back the curtain to his own life, to offer an intimate look at the true power of forgiveness and reveals the emotional price that you must be willing to pay to live without it.
All of this, while still offering up interesting and often tear worthy stories that showed you just how you should deal with friends, family and more importantly, yourself when things do go wrong. The author more importantly reveals the key to keeping these relationships strong even in the face of adversity.
Having read it, I feel like a better person. Maybe that's because this book spoke to me and not down to me. I have read a lot of books that was written like I didn't know anything. What the author of "When God Stopped Keeping Score" does is talk to you like a friend. I needed that. You will understand why when you read it for yourself. It is on sale here on BN.com.
Posted November 10, 2009
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Posted June 16, 2010
No text was provided for this review.