Hello fellow Alanoclub readers! After those lazy hazy days of summer, we’re getting back into the swing of things at our office here. The end of summer is nigh and we can all feel the crisp beginnings of fall in the air. Whether you’re helping loved ones prepare for the beginnings of school or you’re determined to enjoy every drop of the summer heat, make sure to remember you gratitude attitude and take time for yourself. May the last of these summer days treat you well and remember: take it one day at a time!
The Laughter and Learning Corner
One night a slightly inebriated lady stumbles into a police station with a black-eye. She tells the sergeant that she heard a noise in her backyard and went to investigate. The next thing she knew she was hit in the eye and knocked out cold.
An officer was sent to her house to investigate and returned some time later with a black-eye.
“Did you get hit by the same person?” his sergeant asked.
“No” the officer replied …….. “I stepped on the same rake”
Did You Know: The Origin Of The “I am an alcoholic”
Introduction AA History Trivia presented by Alanoclubs.com
As with the origins of other customs in A.A., this is something of a mystery. However, there is a Box 4-5-9 article on the subject in the April-May 1987 issue:
“Who was the first to start a meeting or a qualification with the statement, ‘I am an alcoholic’? How did the worldwide custom begin? As late co-founder Bill W. used to observe, “Nobody invented A.A., it just grew.”
And so probably did its classic introduction at meetings.
‘Many members ask us these questions,’ says G.S.O. archivist Frank M.
‘Unfortunately, only a few of the early-timers are left, and not many of them are able to provide plausible theories. So we can only speculate.’
According to an early friend of A.A., the late Henrietta Seiberling, the expression dates back to meetings of A.A.’s forerunner, the Oxford Group Movement, which had its heyday in the early 1930s. Mrs. Seiberling, a nonalcoholic who had sought spiritual help in the Oxford Group meetings, introduced Bill to A.A.’s other founder, Dr. Bob, then struggling to get sober in the Oxford Group.
At small meetings, the members knew one another and didn’t need to identify themselves. But in the large, public meetings, where there was ‘witnessing’ along the lines of an A.A. talk today, personal identification became necessary. Chances are that someone at some time said, ‘I am an alcoholic,’ but Mrs. Seiberling wasn’t sure. Nor did she remember that the phrase was used at early A.A. meetings in Akron before publication of the Big Book. In fact, she said, the word ‘alcoholic’ was rarely uttered, at least in Akron. People referred to themselves as ‘drunks’ or ‘rum hounds’ or ‘boozers’ or other choice epithets reminiscent of the Temperance Movement that gained adherents during Prohibition.
An early New York A.A. first heard the expression as ‘I am an alcoholic and my name is…’ According to his recollection, that was after World War II, in 1945 or 1946. And it is a matter of record that, in 1947, a documentary film entitled, “I Am an Alcoholic,” was produced by RKO Pathé.
From then on, as Bill would say, the custom just grew.