Thursday, September 30, 2010

No such thing as "Recovering" alcoholic

I've had the opportunity to see some of my colleagues expressing this fact lately.

Danny Boy calls it a misused word.  The proper word is "Unrecovered" evidently.

My mentor... sponsor's sponsor, if you want to get technical... said it this way; "Those who say they are recovering are not."  RIP Frank McKibbon.

I was at a meeting yesterday and a gal said she was still a newcomer... at two and a half years of sobriety.  Puke.  I like this gal too.  I just question her thought process.  It was a "newcomer" meeting because the chairperson had nothing... and used the Daily Reflection of the day as a topic.  There were other disgusting violations of tradition and steps in that meeting.  But I endured.  I even enjoyed the meeting once the a-hole "elderstatesmen" said their piece and shut the fuck up.

I spoke.  I said I am not a newcomer.  I did steps and can show the newcomer how to do steps.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

What are meetings like in Pueblo Colorado?

A repost of this one dated Wednesday, June 24, 2009

What are meetings like in Pueblo Colorado?

I know of only one other meeting in town that's anything like my homegroup's closed A.A. meeting.

Most other meetings have a "chip chick" or a "chip chico" who gives the new 24 hour people a Keep Coming Back chip, they give a red chip for 30 days, a gold chip for 60 days, a green chip for 90 days, a blue chip for 6 months, a purple chip for 9 months, and a metal medallion for 1 year, 18 months, 2 years, etc.

Oh, and a hug.

These meetings are geared towards the Newcomer.

The new people get to share 1st, but are asked to not talk about their drug of choice or how much they used because we've all used to excess... That's exactly what they say and how they say it. Then the 30 day people get to share, then 60, 90, 6 month, 9 month, 1 year, 18 month, etc. Then they say "Just for today!" Then more ((((((((hugs))))))))) and claps and cheers. (the hugs only appear to be uneven. One-armed-Louie had an incident to his left arm at a bar one night... bars are rough down here in Southern Colorado)

Then ... did I say they read the Daily reflections and Courage to Change? Then the chairperson says, "Does anyone have a topic?"

Then I whisper, "Chair the fucking meeting."

Then it's 6:35 pm.

Then they pass the basket, and the meeting goes on till 6:55 and they have someone read the promises and we close with the Lord's Prayer and at the end, they all say, "Work work work."

So, that's good for the newcomer how?

Posted by McGowdog at 1:35 PM


So, besides my home group on Monday nights, a Thursday night meeting that broke away from our group, that's been Pueblo A.A.  But now two groups have splintered off of the Thursday night group and we now have two awesome "Young Peoples'" meetings at 5:30 pm on Friday and Sunday.

So 4 good meetings in a town that size (100,000+) is a pretty good deal I think.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Alcoholism... Disease or Behavioral Habit?

The more I listen to what the DC (Disease Concept) people have to say about the issue, the more I agree with them.

The more I listen to the DC critics, the more I think they're just a bunch of h8ers... aka anti/XAers.

I disagree with some of the precepts of the DC and how they are presented. Bill Wilson, would be a critic of the disease concept, but wouldn't go so far as to make these claims made by DC critics;

  • Drinking for the alcoholic is a choice
  • The term "alcoholic" is bullshit to begin with
  • Anybody can quit drinking by just stopping and it's safer to moderate for most drinkers
  • A.A. is a religious cult and is scientifically indefensible
  • DC advocates strip the alcohol abuser of responsibility and freedom
  • The DC model does not work and is harmful for hard drinkers and communities
  • DC misappropriates public resources in the area of research
  • There is no physical component to chronic drinking but is rather a symptom of an underlying emotional disorder or a failed attempt at self-cure of that disorder.
  • Alcoholism and addiction do not exist but are empty words used by well-intentioned but misguided people to medicalize socially deviant behavior.
  • The behavior of excessive drinking can, over time, become a deeply engrained habit, like smoking. But like smoking, one can just quit. Most problem drinkers "mature out" and quit on their own.
  • The focus should be on finding a way to alter the drinking behavior that becomes socially harmful.
  • The concepts of craving and loss of control of drinking lack scientific credence, so they are also empy words. Craving is merely memory and loss of control is learned and can merely be discarded. Moderated patterns of use can be relearned.
  • Treatment is a failed social experiment that has turned into a multibillion dollar fraud. "Most alcoholics recover because they heal themselves."
  • 12 Step groups are little more than religious cults. Coercing someone to A.A. is a violation of human rights and professional ethics.
  • The disease concept has taken freedom and responsibility from the individual and replaced it with professional power and governmental coercion.
  • The stigma of alcoholism needs to be increased and any effort to reduce it does a disservice to the alcoholic *(even though there is no such word) by reducing pressures to moderate consumption and could have the additional unintended effect of increasing the prevalence of addiction.

I, like Bill W., don't like the word disease as it relates to the behaviors of the alcoholic. But some of the claims by the DC critics sound like they are coming up against the Alcoholism Industry... rather than the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. But some of these claims are in direct opposition to what Alcholics Anonymous proclaims.

I will try to respond to some of these claims with my personal experience and interpretation of my own... personal experiences in the utilization of Alcoholics Anonymous as an alcohol abstinence and spiritual program and recovery method;

  • Drinking booze for me is not a choice. That is a fact for me and one that pisses off not-like-minded- nor like-experienced people for some reason. Here are some other terms that get their goat for some reason; real alcoholic, recovered alcoholic.
  • Alcoholic very well describes me. You could say that I drank with little regard for myself and others from the get-go, despite consequences of my personal health, freedoms, success in life, ability to socialize and fit in to society in the short and long term, etc. This is totally inconsistent with my behavior in most all other matters. I didn't want to be a pubic failure nor a risk to my personal well being and standing in the community, much less a risk to those around me... until I started to drink.
  • Anybody can quit drinking and it's safer to moderate? Speak for your damned self. Why don't they offer Schlitz Malt Liquor in prison btw? Another yummy topic for another day. Go to bed with a Schlitz, wake up with the Schitz.
  • A.A. is a religious cult blahblahblah? Not so fast, skippy. I didn't go to a meeting today and nobody missed me. I sort of wanted to go, but have work to do. I cannot afford the luxury to go just for the heck of it. I'd like to have gone for mere social reasons, but don't need a meeting today. I do have a report to get done and I'll finish it today on time... while writing this piece as well. So take your "cult" claim back to your own cult-ridden den and observe your own anti/XAer tendencies. What are you thinking about today besides how much you hate A.A. and proAAers? See, dickhead? Who's the victim of the cult now?
  • Some of the most extreme DC advocates may want to show a bit of compassion for us, but how can somebody strip me of responsibility and freedom? How exactly? I've been sober 6.5+ years and am now going through my 7th set of steps sober. How exactly does the belief in a disease concept strip me of responsibility? Do people from Disease Concept Central call me daily and guilt me into going to a meeting? Do they get their frothy emotional appeal on my collar? Do they pat me on the back and say, "There there McGowdoggie... it's gonna be ok. You just sit down and have a nice banana split. DCC is gonna take care of you today. You just go to meetings and call us when you get out." You dickheads wouldn't know a 3rd Step if it slapped you in the puss. We DO appeal to God to take away our difficulties. We DO appeal to God to guide our lives. But that doesn't mean that we are not responsible for doing steps and fitting ourselves to be useful and whole in the society about us... in more ways than you would ever give us credit. This is an obvious knock to the A.A. program and a poorly conceived one at that.
  • You take care of the hard drinkers and give A.A. a shot at the alcoholic. If those who are lead to A.A. are given the dignity to find out for themselves whether they belong or not and if they're willing to do the 12 proposals in their entirety, we can approach and surpass the 36% recovery rate that A.A. enjoys. That's right. Loran Archer cancels out Agent Orange and all you anti/XAer dorks with your spontaneous remission bullshit. The 64% of failures must be non-alcoholics or alcoholics who aren't done drinking yet.*
  • Misappropriations of public resources may be something the DC community is guilty of, but not near as guilty as you anti/XA hacks. A.A. is exempt from this discussion due to its own traditions and non-control of the treatment community. That's right. If A.A. had control of the treatment facilities, it would look something like the program of recovery as outlined in the A.A. book and it's no where near that. A.A. oriented treatment is what you would call "empty words". If treatment did their job, they'd release the problem drinkers after they detoxed and sent them on their way to the recovery of their choice, be it A.A., RR, LF, SMART, MM, or whatever recovery they want. I'm getting off topic to the mention of treatment methods here, but there's plenty of DC advocates that have done wonderful research and you anti/XAers would just dispell it as bunk out of one side of your mealy-mouths, while blathering on and on about how nobody in the A.A. cult will hear your loud and inane claims for your treatment method, "Not-A.A.". Meanwhile, those DC Advocates merely verify what they have been saying in the 164 of the A.A. book since 1939.
  • No physical component? My own experience debunks that myth. How about yours? Tell me about YOUR drinking for a minute. And yes, I will by using MY definition of alcoholic, thankyouverymuch. Since I am one, I'm fucking qualified. Fuckin' A right.
  • Medicalize socially deviant behavior? Well whatever works for you... do it. I'll do it my way. You take the high road and I'll take the low road. I've solved the drink problem and the "socially deviant behavior" problem... and the "Disease Concept" pro nor con didn't weigh in the method that got me there. If you want to argue for the sake of argument, call it what ever the hell you want to. Get back to me when you've tried to help a drunk by merely showing them what you yourself do.
  • Alcoholism is like smoking? Stick your cigarette up your ass. The grown-ups are talking about booze now. Here's a penny. Now go pound it into a dollar and go play on the freeway.
  • You want to alter drinking behavior? Good luck with that. How's Audrey Kishline doin' these days? How'd that work for her? Oh, that's right. Blame her behavior on A.A., when it suits your claim. She had no illusions whatsoever that she could ever moderate and control her drinking, and she can drive well at 0.26. She was never a member, much less a founder, of a program that condones "Moderation Management", aka MM, A.A. forces you to drive to meetings when you're drunk. A woman can do most anything at 0.26. That's not even a buzz for a battleaxe like her, right? Being over 3 times the state limit for DUI is not her decision because A.A., er... Bill W... er... somebody who advocates A.A. said it's a disease and she's neither responsible nor does she have the freedom to choose whether to drive or not. BTW, was she headed to an A.A. meeting when she killed that poor guy and his 12 year old daughter? What does Stanton Peele say about this? He never advocated moderation for those in alcoholism recovery, right? Anything, so long as it's not A.A. That A.A. will make your drinking worse.*
  • Concept of craving lacks scientific credence. What does Wiki say about the Disease theory of alcoholism these days? What does Wiki say about A.A. these days? Hmmm... it's good to hear both sides of the issue once in a while. My experience says that once I start, I cannot predict the outcome, unless I planned on getting trashed and destructive on the front end. I do that sometimes. I like to get drunk and fuck things up... sometimes. Not always. I'm very good at it, btw. Tell me about your experience with cravings now. I'm listening...
  • Treatment is a failed social experiment. Amen to that, brotha. Most alcoholics recover because they heal themselves? Hmmm... I have an opinion about that one.
  • 12 Steps are cults? Hmmm... maybe some of them. The ones you go to. Not the ones I go to. Bitch. Coercing someone to A.A. is a violation of their human rights and professional ethics. Amen to that, brotha. I went to A.A. because I thought it was a good idea. It was my goal coming out of high school and college. I graduated 3rd in my hs class. Had I graduated 2nd or 1st, I'd have included it into my Valedictorian or Salutatorian Speech; I want to become a member of Alcoholics Anonymous and I'm well on my way... just 7 more months and my goal will become complete! Yay to me! Fuck you all and die! Stupid dickheads. I didn't want to go to A.A. nor do A.A. But I did it and I stopped getting harassed by the professional community and the court systems. I don't even see Probation Officers anymore... for the purpose of fullfilling my legal obligations... er Violations of my Human fucking Rights! Professional ethics! You punished those poor alcoholics to seek help! You should be ashamed and disbarred!
  • Disease concept = government coersion! Oh, the government that you voted into office? Go have a fucking drink. Have a martini and a Red Bull.
  • The alcoholic, of which there's no such word, needs more stigma. Engrave the A letter to their forehead! A for AAnarcy, AAsshole, AAssoholic, AAssinine, AAntimony, etc.

*You anti/XAer dickheads. The alcoholics' prognosis gets better, not worse (see his August 30, 2010 article), when they drink more and crash harder. You got it ass-fucking-backwards. Moderate your drinking though. Get down. I support you on your drinking. Drink away. Drink em if you got em. I'll buy you your first one. But if you don't drink it, I'll make sure you at least wear it.

Friday, September 3, 2010

MA from Stinkin' Thinkin' has managed to scapegoat A.A. and the religions of the world with attempted murder

MA says, "Frank Buchman and Bill Wilson, like every cult leader, understood this. Even most AAs understand this, at least intuitively – which is why new sheep are told to “quit thinking” and “fake it ’til you make it” when they enter the program. Until a person is fully indoctrinated into any religion, the lunacy of it sticks out like a sore thumb. Once we are in it, normalcy is turned on its head, and we don’t realize this fact. It is simple to see simply by looking at other religions. Mormons believe that God is in the form of of a man, who resides on another planet with his many wives. They believe that native Americans are the lost tribe of Israel, and that they have magic underwear which will protect them from harm. Most of us (I’m assuming the ex-drinkers who read this blog are not Mormon) can see the absurdity of this, and we can even get a chuckle out of the whole thing. My sister even shook her head in disbelief when telling me how “Mormons think they can baptize dead people!” Of course, she never thinks to consider the idea of talking snakes and burning bushes and virgin births, to be odd, because she it happens to be her religion. Likewise, AAs do not, cannot, see the crazy in their scripture of white light experiences and spiritual faith healing."

You know, MA? I'm really impressed that you watched Bill Maher's movie Religious and enjoyed it. I enjoyed it too.

But to make the link between an attempted murderer and pedophiles and people of the Mormon religion... is fucking wacko. And to pass this story off as your conclusions and your sister miraculously filled in the "Religious" story line word for word, bullshit! That's verbal plagerism. I cut and paste, but I don't make it part of my fucking drunkalogue. Get a new fucking story. Ummm... how about start with the fucking Truth? Here's MAs drunkalogue; he bought one, spilled one, and gave one away.

I start reading about how an A.A. hero tries to kill some damned pedophile, and I get this story about a guy who committed murder and testimony of those in A.A. who had heard him fess up to it couldn't be used... just like some kind of clergy/penitent privilege or some shit.

From the New York Times, "The case went unsolved for four years, until members of Mr. Cox's A.A. group -- which he joined after the killings -- came forward to say that he had told them he thought he might have committed the crimes. Several of those A.A. members testified at his trial."

MA, you moral derelict. What a stupid story and a misuse of my time. I liked the movie Religious, but it wasn't the end-all be-all final word on the answers to the Universe. At least Bill Maher has the balls to be open or say IDK to the possibility to a Deity. He just thinks that people do some wacko stuff to seek power and control by the manipulation of this wonderous Source ... in the sky.

But where the hell does MA get off bashing Mormons, A.A., and probably Moonies and Scientologists, if he got the chance... to further his points about A.A. and the vehicle it uses for its established success? You don't see the likes of MA picking on A.A. at an A.A. convention, I'll tell you that right now. You know why? Because MA is a pussy. It's easy to hide behind a keyboard and spin this shit. Reminds me of a shirt my brother-in-law wears;

People are more violently opposed to fur than leather because it's easier to harass rich old ladies than bikers

MA says, " I mean, if you are deluded, and your goal is to snipe off a pedophile, randomly spraying bullets into a crowd of AAs is like shooting fish in a barrel. You’re bound to pick off at least one, maybe two."

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


We had a group conscience at the start of our meeting week before this last one. Someone posed the motion to make the meeting topic the following week about drugs. It was 2nded, and passed.

So, this last Monday, our topic was drugs. It's against our group conscience to discuss this, but we made the exception because we felt it needed to be talked about. We've got a group member who moved out of town and is in a very strong group elsewhere. He was doing so well up there... he got the girl, married, new house, baby (son)... and we recently found out he's been pillin'. He's in trouble. He fessed up to taking up to 20 a day. And the way he's getting them isn't good. He's got a lawyer helping him with the legalities of it now. At least he fessed up, let some people know and is dealing with it. He's "up for grabs" now. It's a bad deal and we dont' want it to happen to us. So we talked about it.

Since I've been sober, I've not used drugs in any sort of hidden way. I have my drugs of choice... Extra Strength Excedrin for pain and Excedrin Migraine for the bad headache/migraine which is very rare for me. I drink coffee too. I don't smoke weed, do speed, drink Nyquil, etc. In short, drugs aren't a problem for me.

We have a crossfire period in our meeting at the end where you can ask anyone a question. Our chairpicker asked one of our guys if he is taking antidepressants. He said, "Yes, I am." It went no further. All I can say about that situation is that he's our strongest member this year in terms of life improvement, all around life force, and being a good example of a sober happy life. He's been prone to depression and struggled with being "in" our group in the past and has struggled with his concepts of and experience with God, and has in the passed been pissed off to be sober and missed booze. But this year, he's been a good guy, great health, great job, doing lots of service work, taking care of himself, doing the work, etc. So... for him, I guess the answer is, "Keep doing what you're doing. I'm glad this chairpicker didn't suggest he put down the pills. I'm glad I don't need antidepressants... but that's just me.

I'm proud that we, as a group, didn't play doctor in this meeting... but it was a disturbing meeting in some ways, for me. Our new guy... I'm honestly not sure if he's alky. I really don't know if he is and I'm quite sure he's confused. We've gone over a bunch of 1st Step stuff and it's frustrating. We're seeing that he doesn't seem to be afraid of drinking again.

The meeting wrapped up with a discussion of the differences between the alcoholic, the hard drinker, and the drug addict. We are a closed A.A. group and we are that way for a reason.

We know what the book says about the spiritual solution. We get sick from time to time. Sometimes we need medicine. I personally am honest with my caregivers and let them know about my sobriety and that I'm in a 12-Step program for alcohol. I personally cannot take codine. Gives me a splitting headache. I had a shot of dilaudid right into my neck when I was testing to see if I needed my appendix taken out. I shot up to heaven and begged the nurse for another hit. She asked me if I was in pain, I said, "No... I just want another shot." She said no. If I'm in pain, I'll take a pill... or two. If the pain goes away, great. If not, I may take one more. I've not had to take more than two Extra Strength Excedrin for pain. But the frequency would be the next issue. My wife told me to not take more than 4 in 24. She said it can shut down your liver. I've not had to take more than that.

Being in pain sucks... I, for myself have done good with cold medicine, aspirin, etc., and read the container, followed the directions, and let someone know what I was up to. I've taken nightime Alka Seltzer with a bad cold before and my wife told me I was scary. She said I got so mean, she had to lock me out of the bedroom. I don't remember the incident. I was wacko crazy when I got out of my appendix surgery. I got into a bad fight with my mom and dad for the way they treated my wife (Gave her the "You call us when our baby is in surgery no matter what" speech). Then I gave them the "Don't you ever talk to my wife that way again" speech. I pretty much destroyed everybody's Thanksgiving that year. When I got home from surgery (which was that very night, because I was feeling so well... and was starving to death... I talked them into releasing me that night... and they did under the promise I'd be good and take it easy), I cleaned the house, vacuumed, moved furniture, etc. for two days straight. About 3 days later, the "medicine" started to wear off or something. I was in pain and down for the count for the rest of the week. I don't think I'm wired like most people when it comes to drugs.

As far as dual-diagnosis, IDK. As far as drug addiction, IDK. As far as chronic psychological problems and medicine for the alcoholic, IDK. As far as alcohol, I know.

What say you?