What is the Bill W. Plant?
When I first started going to AA meetings, I kept hearing about the “Bill W. Plant.” People were talking about their Bill W. Plants; how the plant was doing, what it meant to them, or that they finally were given one. Being the curious, often just nosey, person that I am, I began to ask about this mysterious Bill W. Plant. I heard and read a variety of stories about this little piece of greenery, but the gist was this:
“Bill W. had a Swedish ivy plant which Lois kept when he died. She eventually gave it to someone, who then gave it to someone in recovery who started sharing clippings from the Bill W. Plant. Much like recovery, the Swedish Ivy does best when shared; when clippings are taken from it, it prospers. Those clippings quickly and easily become new plants. And thus, this single Swedish ivy, dubbed ‘The Bill W. Plant,’ has spread its joy across the recovery kingdom, much like AA has spread recovery.”
Spreading the Joy of Recovery
I was finally given a clipping from a Bill W. Plant, which I accidently left outside, and it froze to death. However, I was again entrusted with a clipping from a Bill W. Plant, which I have now turned into many Bill W. Plants. In fact, inspired by the fellow LMRC extraordinaire who gave me said Bill W. Plant, I began taking clippings from my Bill W. Plant each time someone joined my IOP group, as she did for her group members. When the time is right, the clipping gets transplanted, and eventually is given to them during their coin-out ceremony. This clipping, rooting, and planting has grown into a wee bit of a Bill W. Plant nursery right here in my office. Over time, some of the clippings have grown significantly and have become the source for more clippings… and so on, and so on.
While I have only been at this Bill W. Plant harvesting for about a year, I can say this much: The clients who have been given a plant upon completion, and learn the story, seem to genuinely cherish the plant, much like we hope they cherish their recovery.
– Kathi Wire
PS: The funniest part of my Bill W. Plant nursery is this: I hate plants and normally do not keep any of them alive.
Spreading the Message and Mission of Bill W.
We continue to treasure the contributions made by Bill W. and other early members of Alcoholics Anonymous. Today, our practice relies heavily on 12-Step principles in combination with evidence-based therapies. Ready to find happiness without drugs or alcohol? Contact Lakeside-Milam to begin your recovery journey.