Big Book is a basic text for “Alcoholics Anonymous.” The first edition appeared in April 1939, and in the following sixteen years, more than 300,000 copies went into circulation. The second edition, published in 1955, reached a total of more than 1,150,500 copies. The third edition, which came off press in 1976, achieved a circulation of approximately 19,550,000 in all formats.
Born Again is a phrase used to depict the state of spiritual conversion. In the context of recovery, it refers to a type of quantum change characterized by egocide (death of the old self), a new Christ-centered or God (as I understand him)-centered identity, deliverance from desire (craving) and entry into membership in a faith-based community (see Conversion and Redeemed).
Centering Rituals are regular, alone-time activities that help keep one recovery-focused. Praying, meditating, reading pro-recovery literature, journaling, setting daily goals and taking an end-of-day inventory, and carrying/wearing sacred objects/symbols are common centering rituals of people in recovery. Other such rituals within the history of recovery include fasting, sweating, seclusion, aerobic exercise (running, swimming), chanting, singing, dancing, artistic expression, and pilgrimages to sacred places.
Character Defects (Shortcomings; Wrongs)within Twelve Step recovery, are those “emotional deformities” that have harmed alcoholics and those close to them. These liabilities include pride, greed, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, and sloth (the “Seven Deadly Sins”). They include obsessions (“instincts gone astray”) with sex, power, money, and recognition, and also self-centeredness, selfpity, intolerance, jealousy, and resentment. The A.A. program suggests that if identified and disclosed via the Forth (“Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves”); Fifth (“Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs”); Sixth (“Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character”); and Seventh (“Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings”) Steps, these “ghosts of yesterday” could be replaced by a “healing tranquility” (Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, 1981, pp. 42-62).
Character Reconstruction is the process of bringing one’s personal character into congruence with the aspirational values imbedded within recovery frameworks, whether these be Twelve Step groups, secular support structures, religious organizations or cultural revitalization movements. Character reconstruction underscores that full recovery from severe alcohol and other drug problems entails more than the removal of alcohol and other drugs from an otherwise unchanged life. It entails instead the transformation of the whole person— creating a character and a lifestyle in which alcohol and other drugs have no place.