Thursday, August 20, 2009

Response to the blatherings of missinformed message board posters with regards to Alcoholism

Here's my Frank-induced rant in response to a bunch of MOTR's with regards to recovery. A.A. came up and I heard a bunch of garbage of what A.A. is and what it's not. Here's what my lineage and positive recovery experience has to say about the Program;

If you can get and stay sober on rational thought, do it.

If you can get and stay sober on pleasant thoughts, do it.

If you can get and stay sober on Love Thy Neighbor, by all means, do it.

If you can get and stay sober by letting your favorite guru sprinkle magic dust on you, do it.

But if that stuff doesn't work for you, you might give A.A. a try. The real A.A. is the title of a book. This is the program of action that leads you to an experience and/or personal relationship with God. The places where people meet is called an A.A. meeting or group. This is the fellowship and there's no telling what's going on at any given one across this planet.

There's a myth in A.A. that alcoholics can go to A.A. and get and stay sober. This simply is not true. Most alcoholics in A.A. do not do the work (all 12 steps), they go back out and drink, and they die.

But I have a book that says I can submit my will to God, do a few simple things, take a certain attitude (sweep away prejudice, get honest, and search dilligently within myself), and God will do for me what I cannot do for myself. God will change my mind to where I will not want to drink. The drink problem, aka booze, will no longer be my problem. But I'm asked to give away what was freely given to me and to maintain my spiritual fitness. There are suggestions to prayer and meditation in there. Real sandbox kindergarden stuff. I'm also encouraged to go back to any religions convictions that I may have had prior. "Being quick to see where religious people are right" is encouraged. Dr Bob talks about his opinion on the need for God... not HP!

A.A. is not a philosophy. It's not a dogma. It's not a cult. It's not a theology. A.A. is a set of instuctions. You attach Part A to Part B...etc. It's like a set of swingset instructions. You do certain things, you'll get a certain result. A.A. works. It works every time. But you have to do something. Most people think spirituality is like rain and it will just fall on you. "The spiritual life is not a theory." It's not to be studied or brainstormed. It's like any skill. You don't just become a doctor or a welder. You've got to practice your trade. Spirituality is like a shovel. It takes sweat and callouses and practice.

You can go to a rehab or to a doctor if you're coming down off of booze... if you're "befogged" or "jittery". Then you can commence some recovery program.

You can also go to a treatment center. Go spend $15,000 for 14 day inpatient to have a bunch of "professional" counselors tell you to go to A.A.

But A.A. can ask no money for 12 Step work. Why? Because A.A. is a spiritual program. "...money and spirituality don't mix." pg 166 12x12.

"Almost no recovery from alcoholism has ever been brought about by the world's best professionals, whether medical or religious."

But hey, it's your money.

My group meets once a week. It's closed to alcoholics. That's it. Only alcoholics. We're not interested in drugs at all. We don't have a disease and we're not addicted to alcohol. Addiction is another thing. We don't believe in dual problems either. Why? Because when the heat gets too great, they can just jump to the other problem. Either you're an alcoholic or you're not. We do NOT call alcoholism a disease. One meeting a week and lunch on Friday and anything after that is icing on the cake. We don't give out chips, hugs, read from anything but the 164 of the Big Book and the 12 Traditions Long Form. We don't read A.A. pamphlets, the Grapevine, the 12 and 12, as Bill Sees It, the Daily Reflections, nor the stories in the back except for Dr Bob's Nightmare. We have our own preamble. It's just orthodox and fundamental A.A. Drinking is NOT acceptable in our group. If you're not willing to do steps yearly and quit booze for good and all... we say go back and drink somewhere else... or go to one of those more merciful groups. There's no chanting in our group. No slogans, no chip chick and no chip chico. If you have a yearly birthday, you get cake and you get to chair the meeting. You'd better bring a real A.A. topic about the steps too, because we ain't going to talk about how wonderful you are. If you drink in our group, we don't say, "Welcome back! Keep coming back!" We say, sit down, tell us what happened and let's see what you missed. If you drink, you willfully drink. If you're sick, you're willfully sick. It's not a mystery.

I could give two fiddlers farts about AAWS. It can go broke for all I care. The Presidents of A.A. are each individual in each group. It's an upside down fellowship and because it's free, y'all can't tell us to do Jack!


  1. I'm also not a fan of AAWS for any number of reasons that I choose not to list here.
    However, in speaking to another I was asked how I can abide by tradition one with this line of thinking. "Personal Recovery depends upon AA unity" and my attitude towards AAWS is not conducive to "AA unity".
    I'm stumped and thinking. What are your thoughts about this?

  2. From what I can tell, the Ultimate Authority is and always will be God. Next, is you and me. If you and me disagree, nothing changes from what is. So the way I see it, we cannot screw "it" up.

    About all you and I can do is get sober or get drunk. If we get and stay sober, we might have a little more credibility helping out the next drunk.

    I think that's where unity starts... one drunk helping out another drunk. No matter what, that cannot be taken away from us, cannot be criminalized and cannot be taxed. What those yoyo's do with the money we send up, who the Foughk knows.

    I'm sure there's a bunch of experts way more educated than me and way more interested than me as to what they do with that money... I don't care. I've got all the big books I need right now. There's way more many meetings that we need in my little town. What am I supposed to be afraid of? That A.A. is going to dry up? That there'll be no attendance when things get bad? On the contrary. Business is booming, right? All kinds of people out there needing hope. All kinds of situational drinkers coming in now.

    Let's say that A.A. did go the way of the Washingtonians. I don't give a bleep. I can go and start a meeting right now... in my own basement. We don't even have to pass a basket. You bring the damn coffee filters, I'll supply the coffee and Joe Shmoe can bring the cookies and Julie can bring the Green Tea. Let's have a meeting every Sunday Night.

    To them, personal recovery is a close second. To me, it's JOB 1. Remember that line? We cannot transmit what we don't got.

    Well I say get it, then give it away. Why the hell do we need to carry the message to the rest of the world now? Why not let them get their own? We don't need to shove the Big Book up their bum, do we? I hear that don't work too good anyway. If we can form our own A.A. on this side of the pond, what more do they need from us? I can get a copy of the big book online now.

    What exactly does AAWS need money for now? Is it time for a damn audit?

    Quit pushing middle of the Goddamn road and printing bullshit ass-wipe material and maybe some of us will give another shit.

    That's what I think.

  3. One question, if you don't read the 12 & 12, why are you quoting it?

  4. Ha! Good catch. Thx 4 comin' in. It's lonely in here.

    I guess you're right. In my orthodox traditional closed A.A. meeting, we only use the Big Book's first 164 and the 12 tradtions long form for topics.

    I do own a 12 and 12 though. I've read it before and go to other meeting that use it a bit.

    That particular line you caught me on just so happens to be one of the better lines in that whole book. Bill Wilson must have been inspired by or thinking of Dr Bob when he wrote that.

    Good catch. Hats off to ya.