Monday, April 5, 2010

Your thoughts on A.A.?

So, do you think A.A. is religious? Do you think alcoholism is a disease? Do you think that alcoholics are powerless over booze?

Here's my take on these 3 points above;

1) A.A. is not a religion any way nor any how. The only morality that I work with/experience is this... "Does it work?" If it works, then it's moral. If it doesn't work then it's immoral. I've seen atheist get this deal. I've seen atheists not get it. I've seen religious zealots get this deal. I've seen religious zealots get dead. I'd sit here and defend that A.A. is not secular and inclusive of Muslims and Jews, but to be honest, I didn't think that many Jewish alcoholics existed. Do you know any Jewish alcoholics? I certainly don't know of any Muslim alcoholics. I know of a Japanese guy who is recovered alcoholic. Now this is weird, because I thought the Karate Kid's instuctor was the only drunk. I thought Japanese people were too disciplined to be alcoholic. Mr. Miyagi showed signs of extreme drunkenness... but only to mourn the anniversary death of his family... so he was probably just a potential hard drinker/situational drinker. So my Japanese friend... how can he be alcoholic? Either that discipline thing is a myth or maybe he has Mexican blood mixed in. Maybe he's real alky. So maybe there ARE some Muslims and Jews mixed in with us... but SINCE A.A. ISN'T A FUCKING RELIGION, I WOULDN'T FUCKING KNOW! What a stupid fucking claim! I'm sorry, but I respectfully disagree.

2)Alcoholism is not a disease... to my knowledge. Show me where brother Bill said it was a disease and we'll rap about it. Wait a minute... how can one claim that it's a religion, then in the same breath claim that we claim it's a disease too. Is AIDS a religion? How about Herpes? Syphilus? Gonorrhea? Cancer? So, CHAGS, basically? Are these religions? Well I think not... honestly. But, the pizza and pancake diet would be in order. A cure? No... but it's something you can slide under the door! Ha ha bad joke. Spiritual disease? Go tell your doctor that you have a spiritual disease and ask him/her how much they charge for a spiritual experience. So personally, I don't think alcoholism is a disease. Been a while since I've been drunk. On my last occasion, I can recall being told my "behavior" was socially unacceptable. So... it involves a behavior situation as well. In A.A., I do know this; we do not treat the body. The problem is said to "center in our mind." So... we go to our thoughts for recovery? No... not that either. We inventory our resentments, our fears, our harms done others... share that, find our part, ask God to take the good and bad and remove from us what He sees fit... what He feels is standing in the way of our usefulness to others. Does that sound like a physical illness? Not to me either. It sounds... for lack of a better word, spiritual.

3)Powerlessness. Such a dirty word. There is Power. Power exists. Fo sho. But am I the source of that power? I think not. I, being a spiritual person, believe that Power comes from God. Power gives. Force takes. In the realm of form, no being on the earth can create itself. No rock can will itself into existence. Beyond the realm of form is a level of awareness which is perfect, always was, and always will be. But back down here on planet earth, how is it with you and booze? Can you handle your booze? Drink like a gentleman? Drink like a proper lady? Can you drink two and stop? Can you do this over and over in succession? Two a night, no more, no less, for 30 days straight? I cannot. I never have been able to do that that I can recall... since I was 10 years old. You can. So are you powerless over alcohol? No, you're not. I am. That's my experience. Now, I can "just not drink." But I don't need to "just not drink". Just not drink implies that I have "Power" over booze. I never had power over booze. But I do honestly believe that God endows me a position of "neutrality, safe and protected."

I don't want to drink booze. Booze is said to be "cunning, baffling, powerful." Booze did something for me. You? Maybe not. But it did something for me and I've found a sufficient substitute. Have you? Is A.A. this power? Do I need to go to A.A. and bring in all the recruits I can grab? Do I need A.A. to grow and grow and grow? Is it a numbers game? Well in my hometown, a few meetings I sometimes go to are growing and growing! It must be like the best show in town for a buck! There are more meetings than a town could need, too. I shit you not. I'm telling you the fucking truth. The noon meeting I go to from time to time has 30 people minimum, sometimes, it's hard to find parking. 40 people is not unusual, and that's Monday through Saturday. And there are two other noon meetings in my town of 100,000 people. Then there are 6:30 am meetings, 7:00 am meetings, 6:00 pm meetings, 8:00 pm meetings, 10:00 pm candlelight meetings. There must be 1,000 regulars in this town. Growing fellowship? Not really. Some come and go. A.A. is not growing exponentially from what I can tell.

When you're new, you're welcomed right in. But after a while, you have to elbow your way in to get this deal. That's the way I honestly see it anyway. Fact, A.A. has survived its founding generation and several since. It's here to stay, deal with it. I think most meetings are too big. Too many people with no direction. No power behind the numbers. In my group, 4 to 8 people on the average and it's got more power to it than most groups of 30 or more. Power can be felt and it's usually a result of a group of people with a common problem seeking a common solution... that and a little tiny bit of discipline and direction and Power just shows up. It can be felt and used. We insist on nothing less. Now... you get a group like ours that's 40 to 60 people, and you've got one hell of an A.A. group. It's so powerful there, I have a hard time announcing my name. But individually, we're just ordinary folks. So... Power comes from God.

Comments on an antiAA blog;

****** says ****’s post is a good one. I agree with much of it. I see AA participation as pretty flat. I think that AA will go along as it is for years.

The article found by *** is excellent; there is a lot in it that merits thought

My retort; I thought the post was shitty, the article long-winded and whiney, and I agree with only one thing... the fact that A.A. is here to stay. Good A.A., bad A.A., don't matter. Don't get drunk and stupid, break the law, and get your right to drink booze taken from you in the first place. If you can handle your booze and drink responsibly, what's your thoughts about A.A.? Nothing. Only A.A.s and antiA.A. give a shit.

Next comment:

For me the most toxic element is the assurance that if you leave you will inevitably be screwed one way or the other.
The more I think about it the more reprehensible I find this statement especially considering the vulnerable condition of people when they first came through the doors myself included.

Same commenter;

I agree I often questioned why in the 3 1/2 years I was there why attendence never seemed to go up. The usual response was “most people cant get honest” or “we are the lucky ones”

My retort;

I pity you. So, you had to suffer A.A. for 3.5 long years... you should now be celebrating your time away from A.A. and time now usefully spent in antiA.A.

THAT'S IT! GIVE US YOUR ANTI-A.A. BIRTHDAY! How long has your worthless ass been resenting A.A.? You've got 5 years now! Great! Keep not coming back!

Next commenter;

There is also the complication of these individuals claiming to be authorities and claim their program is remarkably successful.

There is a common notion that judges, psychologists, etc are frequently members of the AA faith. I do not necessarily consider that to be as prevalent as social services not knowing what else to do with people that chronically abuse substances.

There are many drawbacks to putting this religion in charge of an alleged disease.

My retort:

Hmmm... putting a religion in charge of an alleged disease? Now there's a thought stopper!

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