The AA speaker featured in this talk is Marty Mann, one of the first women in Alcoholics Anonymous to achieve long-term sobriety. She penned the Big Book story “Women Suffer Too,” in which she described a childhood of material wealth and privilege, a descent into alcoholism so bad that she ended up in charity wards and sanitariums, only to recover using the plan of action outlined in the book.

Marty founded the National Committee for Education on Alcoholism in 1944, which became the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) in 1990, which today remains a leading advocacy group that raises public awareness about addiction and helps people recover.

In this talk, her last one, Marty discusses her spiritual malady and how at first, alcohol solved that void. It was “sheer magic—alcohol did solve my problems, whatever they were.” But as she says, she became “dependent on that magic, not just to solve my problems, but to solve just being alive.”

She found AA, of course, and got her hands on an as-yet unpublished copy of the Big Book. She discusses her dismay at finding out “there were capital letters all over every page, and those capital letters were all “G.” Listen to this AA talk and find out how she overcame her prejudice against God to find freedom.

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