MARCH 4 is a special day to millions of people in 12-Step programs. It is the birthday of Lois Wilson, who might, with great affection, be called the most famous co-dependent. She was the wife of Bill Wilson, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. Their story is chronicled in AA history books.
It was Ebby Thacher, son of a prominent Albany family, who first “carried the message” to a very deteriorated Bill Wilson. The message Ebby brought to Bill and Lois was that he had gotten sober through the help of the Oxford Group, an evangelical Christian movement. The six steps of reformation in the Oxford Group were the forerunner of today’s 12 steps.
At Ebby’s urging Lois and Bill began to attend Oxford Group meetings and a few months later, on a trip to Akron, Ohio, Bill reached out to members there and met Dr. Bob Smith. From the date of their first meeting, in 1935 — one drinker helping another — we date the birth of Alcoholics Anonymous.
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