Stepping Stones Foundation

Man on the Bed Painting

This spare room had many uses during Bill and Lois Wilsons’ time living at Stepping Stones. Today it hosts historical artifacts including three letters written from Bill to Lois detailing Bill’s time in Akron, Ohio. Bill had a few months sober when he took that trip and ended up seeking out a fellow alcoholic to help. This led to Bill’s introduction to a local doctor named Robert Holbrook Smith (“Dr. Bob”) who had the concern of friends and family regarding his drinking.  Bill wrote: “Today, I met a man who has my problem.” Bob agreed to a short meeting. He had been inebriated the day before. The two men ended up speaking for hours. They reached out to help others at local hospitals and are the co-founders what would later be named “Alcoholics Anonymous.”

This room features the iconic, original painting known in 12-Step circles as as The Man on the Bed. It was originally dubbed Came to Believe by the anonymous artist who created it as a volunteer with the A.A. Grapevine magazine. It was first published in the 1950s in a holiday issue and the magazine continues to retain the publication rights to the work of art. The original painting was given to Bill Wilson by the artist and it remains at Stepping Stones. The painting depicts Bill W. and Dr. Bob carrying the message of recovery to “A.A. Number Three,” Bill D., at an Akron hospital.