This month I am bringing to the fore an oldie but goodie from the resource bin for those struggling with addiction, as well as partners and family members. Two stalwarts of the AA recovery community, Joe McQuany and Charlie Parmley have been beloved and trusted speakers on the AA circuit throughout the last several decades.
Although now deceased, Joe & Charlie talks have permeated the recovery community as they expound on the concepts of The Big Book of Alcoholic Anonymous.
They address their topic in a friendly, even folksy manner as they smoothly tag team their presentation with conviction and humor. Becoming friends in the 70s out of their common love and studious approach to the Big Book, Joe and Charlie brought their talks to meetings in churches, home groups, and hotel rooms. Their tapes spread throughout AA meetings and their popularity grew in the succeeding decades as they began speaking in bigger convention and conference venues throughout the US and in several other countries.
Hundreds of thousands of people have benefitted from the Joe & Charlie Big Book studies proliferated on CDs and now in downloadable formats on-line.
Don’t let the fact that Joe & Charlie talk about alcoholism rather than sex addiction keep you from tuning in. Their stories and messages are pertinent to anyone walking the recovery journey. An article in a leading addiction and recovery website forum, The Fix, describe Joe and Charlie as “the men who brought the Big Book to life.” Universal themes of surrender, the role of spirituality in recovery, and great talks on putting into practice each of the 12 steps are relevant and applicable to an addict of any substance or process.
Many of my clients listen to them and have told me they are funny, enlightening, and informative. SA and SAA sponsors often recommend their sponsees get ahold of Joe & Charlie’s Big Book study and make their talks a part of their regular diet of recovery information input.
The Joe & Charlie Big Book Study is public domain and can be found on many websites for free. Here is a good location to download them on AAWiki.org. Another good source to locate them is at Silkwood.net. In iTunes you’ll find apps with easy access to their messages. Take a listen, soak in the stories, and let the Big Book wisdom and meaning come alive with pearls of truth for your own life.
Written by Cheryl Schenck LPC, CSAT