Thursday, November 3, 2011

So... is the idea of a line between the alcoholic and the normie a myth?

I'm that one... that throws tables, steals others' drinks... kicks ass, takes the girl, and staggers away.


  1. You forgot that, according to most of you AA true believers, the only way to tell whether someone is an alcoholic or not, is to ask the simple question, "Have they or have they not worked the twelve step program successfully?"

  2. No. That's not true.

    Lads here and there were recovering from the desire to drink booze due to drastic psychic and personality rearrangements.

    A.A. via the 12 steps is one way.

    I'm more than half way through my 3rd column of my 4th Step now. I was hoping to get it 5th stepped tonight, but my spiritual mentor is unavailable tonight. So, I've watered the plants, did some yard work, laundry, dished, scrubbed floors, cleaned bathrooms, talked with the neighbor, wished my MIL a happy birthday... and I'm making dinner for my wife who will be home shortly.

    A part of me doesn't want to do this damn thing. It will do anything else to avoid... coming to grips with that part of me... that doesn't want light shed on "it". But I'm already feeling a sense of peace... relief... of being done and facing the music.

    It's a damned good piece of inventory if I do say so myself. If my buddy agrees, and it gets communicated to him... he'll say "Go well and it's good to meet another warrior on the path. Now go do them effing amends." If not, he'll say, "You need to go 5th step that with someone else now. I think we've missed something."

    But it's getting done and I'm glad I've not only started it, but pushed out a bunch of work over the last two days and when it's done, I'll be able to look you in the eye, me-myself in the eye, the world in the eye.

    And guess what? We didn't even have to talk about booze. Booze ain't even in the equation for me.

    Do you want that or not? If not, fine. Have a nice crazy-er... holiday season. I done took the trash out and am ready for some new stuff.

  3. "the only way to tell whether someone is an alcoholic or not, is to ask the simple question, "Have they or have they not worked the twelve step program successfully?"

    Against my better judgment, I'll take the bait and ask what are you talking about? Your comment makes no sense to me, probably because I have no experience with what you are suggesting all us Big Book zombies do.

    I do not declare anyone alcoholic, that's a direction from the book. Although when I am working with someone, I make damn sure they are. I am as interested as sponsoring people out of AA as I am in.

    One last thought, this is not my blog and I don't care who posts or doesn't, Censorship sucks and I'm glad Patrick doesn't do it. That being said, I am honestly interested in what a guy with your belief systems is doing here?

  4. I would take the fault of engaging in communication across enemy lines. Heck, there was a situation going on.

    I brought up his blog and that was my bad. But I don't regret it because it prompted me to learn a bit more about Dr Stanton Peele, and I think I have a new respect for the guy. He's not just antiAA, he stands for another method and seems to be willing to guide folks to sobriety via another path.

    Or like you say Rob, when you sponsor folks out of A.A., they might ask you, "Then what?" You can say, "I don't know. You figure it out." Or you can say, "IDK, you might try one of these other methods."

  5. "We'd be glad to discuss the good, the bA.A.d, and the ugly of A.A. here."

    I'm starting to like you guys. You seem to have toned down the hostility... Maybe I could follow your example.

    I'm not much of an anti-AA guy. I'd rather consider myself AA critical. Ive had some bad experiences with AA, and having looked at the entire process, I believe that AA can stir up a lot of guilt, driving members to suicide. You see... AA amplifies guilt and even has the power to rewrite our histories. Vulnerable new members have no idea what to look out for. They are completely unaware that AA is just a faith healing cult.
    Stirring up guilt never helped anyone to overcome addiction.

    I don't understand how concentrating on the negative aspects of addiction could help a single soul, and I do not believe that praying to God, a doorknob, or even a group of people could relieve us of the desire to drink.

    I'm not a brilliant guy. You can probably tell this by my writing. Up until recently I have lived a life of repeated mistakes. I hurt many people with my actions, but I never needed AA to teach me how to feel remorse, or even make amends. This is simply human nature. But, when we spend all of our time mulling over so-called "character defects" and wallowing in guilt... well, let me just say that, for some personalities, this is a recipe for disaster. I used to feel powerless over my affliction... AA only made things worse. I found my answer in books like Chris Prentiss' The Alcoholism And Addiction Cure, and Jack Trimpey's The Small Book. Another thing that helped me was a drug called naltrexone. I took naltrexone for four months (while drinking)and my desire to drink was literally erased. It works.

    So why do people criticize AA? Because many of us don't believe AA works. People like me believe that AA actually causes more harm than good, and people need to know this so that they don't fall into the same trap that we did.

    Call it a resentment if you will, but I see it as a way to help people. I see it as a way to snap people out of their trance and perhaps help them to find a way that will actually work for them.

  6. Wow, that was pretty frank. Good job.

    I would just like to inject here that in the process of being powerless... that only lasts until I make a decision. Then I'm no longer powerless.

    Then you say, "This is simply human nature." Not so fast with that one. No. Some folks never... ever see their defects of character. Take the insecure bully for an example.

    Then you say... "But, when we spend all of our time mulling over so-called "character defects" and wallowing in guilt... well, let me just say that," I really got in inject something here too. NOT MY EXPERIENCE!

    Once I do a 5th step, I get on with 6, 7, and I'm on with 8 and then onto 9. Once I've started making my first amends, I'm usually on my path to freedom and release from worry and definitely shame. I get free of guilt as I clean up the past... aka make the amend.

    Then at some point... hopefully by Thanksgiving, I'm done with my fucking amends, my shame, and your guilt. Now I got December, January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, Septem... well at some point I decide my 10, 11, and 12 need some dusting off or I nuke the whole thing and start over.

    That's right. I spend 9 months of the year with no wallowing. Infact, I'm not wallowing now. I'm just doing a stupid simple inventory. Sometimes guess what? I interact with an asshole. I get resentful, and I come to find out that I was right. They really ARE an asshole. If I'm not really sick and twisted, I sometimes don't even owe said asshole and amend. They can continue being an asshole and I can get free of said asshole. I've even seen the asshole turn into not-an-asshole.

    Does Trimpley experience this?

  7. I'm not a big fan of the new and improved Trimpey. I think that basic AVRT is helpful, and The Small Book kind of gave me permission to begin to believe in myself again... mostly with it's scathing indictment of AA. from what I've seen of the new Jack... well, let's just say that I think he's developed his own little cult.

    Why focus on your weaknesses rather than your strengths?

    Believe me, I know what it means to seek redemption. I've spent countless hours praying for the God of my misunderstanding to deliver me from my character defects. I've written out a couple of fourth steps. Then one day it hit me... No one cares about what I did. There was never anyone there on the other end of the line to answer the call. For a while I thought that the line was just busy... that God didn't love me enough to answer. I've prayed for a willing heart. I turned my will over... second guessed every thought... lived the life where I was never good enough... walked around like a stinkin' sack of character defects until I just couldn't stand it any more.

    At this point I've just given up on the idea that God exists. No one was more honest than I was when I hit my knees in a dirty rest room at work begging God to help me through the rest of the day without a drink. I truly believed that eventually God would intervene.

    These days I am sure that, while I wallowed in all of that guilt, my life was nothing but unbearable. The god I was trying so hard to believe in was nothing more than a figment of my imagination... It was just something that other people had led me to believe. I thought that believing would somehow kill the pain and make life livable. I realize now that I was wrong.

  8. Ehhh... Not quite my experience.

    I never recall praying to God for countless hours for much... unless I've giving God one of my What For speeches where I tell God what a shitty God He is and how I would do better. But it's good stuff. It usually settles me down like a chill pill.

    No... it's usually just about those one or two defects I find a bit odd... that I wouldn't mind if God took away... maybe...

    The freedom comes in the mere willingness to turn lose of a defect. I get free of it despite any amend I make with regards to it. And you're right. Nobody really gives a fuck about the whole deal as much as you or I did... except for those deals where we come across that person who really kinda pukes in their mouth a little bit at the site of us. Some of those are reconciled and some of those are just a matter of "Leave them the fuck alone now and move on."

    Some of this stuff really is gut-wrenching... but enough of the drama. Most are simple matters.

    And just because I clear off my side of the street with someone does not make them right. Sometimes we were both wrong.

    The real magic to the middle-work... the 4-9 stuff, is how it makes everything fresh again. I get a whole new perspective in life... and that is the God experience I wish I could bottle up and give you or whomever.

    Don't let the sun totally set on that G[g]od idea. Wait till one of those moments... one of those "Is this all there is?" moments... and ask God. Test God. Ask God, If You're really there... show me something. If that absolutely fails you, you either burned it up or you've got an old idea sticking in your head somewhere. God knows where an old idea could come from, right?

    Oh, and why in the hell would you ever ask God to remove the obsession to drink from you? For God's sake! If you're gonna drink, then drink. Drink and get it over with.

    It's when I got sidetracked doing those stupid steps that the drink lost my attention. What I got from the booze was replaced with Power. I'm not a metaphysical expert or any of that shit, but it was really something like that for me.

  9. Holy Shit, some civil dialogue going on. My experience staying Sober without God is either miserable, or non existent. Patrick's path seems to suit my feet. Gunthar your path seems to suit yours. That is cool by me, I've never felt AA was the only way, I also don't believe it is a cult (but that's another thread)

    I do want to comment on what you said

    "Why focus on your weaknesses rather than your strengths"

    I go to the gym daily, my upper body is in very good shape, I love to bench and do lat pulls, and oblique crunches. That being said, I do not want to be one of these guys that is jacked from the waste up and has chicken legs. I hate leg exercise, but I do them because I want to be proportional from top to bottom. Same deal with inventorying my deficits. It's not about wallowing around in my own stink of self pity, it's about discovering and discarding. Like Patrick says, most of the time I am on cruise control and life is awesome. Inventory is important, but a business that is perpetually closed for inventory will not prosper, same deal with me. Have a good one guys, I'm off to pick things up and then put them back down.

  10. "So why do people criticize AA? Because many of us don't believe AA works. People like me believe that AA actually causes more harm than good, and people need to know this so that they don't fall into the same trap that we did".

    Oh Hell. Now it's time for me to jump in. Gunthar is right. A.A. does all of the above mentioned. And worse. If A.A. has been turned into a place to go it absolutely will not work. Such as any group or A.A. hangout followed by the word "Club".
    A.A. as it was intended to be is a 12 step program of recovery which includes developing a personal relationship with God as you understand God. Most meetings are places for a collection of social misfits to hang out at and sling bullshit slogans in each others direction. A.A. in and of itself can be done without ever setting foot in a meeting. Once upon a time it was.
    Where I had common ground with the good folks at stinkin thinkin was my belief that AA should be voluntary. Where I'm not too sure whether we agreed or not was the "Who". Who should be allowed in AA? Fuck that "The only requirement for membership...." Bullshit. Are you an alcoholic? Do you want to recover via the program as laid out in the Book?
    If for some reason someone wants to grace the hallowed halls of AA then by all means do AA and not "Your Program". Unfortunately that's what's going on and GSO couldn't care less as long as the dollars are coming in. (did I say that)? But it's true.
    Fortunately thanks to Orange, the ST Folks and the fact that Rehab isn't drawing the clientele they used to the numbers in AA are dwindling and AA may be going back to it's roots. Agree or disagree AA was full of treatment center graduates that took their treatment center mentality into AA. It spread like a fungus because treatment centers are where the bulk of the people walking in the doors of AA came from. Then the Courts started sending people to AA to be subjected to this treatment center bullshit with an AA sign on the door. And the fungus spread like toe jam.
    I always hope I can help clarify what AA is and isn't. I also advise anyone with questions about AA to stay away from "Clubs" if they're to gather information. Clubs are a haven for the Disinformation Warriors. Soberrecovery is a cyber "Club" so that's not the place either. Send them somewhere else. Like this place.

  11. Gunthar:
    God exists, alright! I don't know how many times I've prayed the 911 prayer, got what I begged for, and went back to denying the existence of that same God less than an hour later.
    I figure it as the fault of pride - the very false pride that put me at the center of the universe ( a sort of little god, myself). A common flaw that I see in many others.
    I've never had any problem with the "powerless over alcohol" doctrine of AA. In fact, I knew that I was powerless over that drug long before I went to my first meeting (under court order).
    I ignored every other part of the 12 Steps for almost seven years, and still managed to stay sober...until an accident at work killed two of my coworkers (only chance spared me), and I picked up a beer...
    That beer lasted nine months and four states, finding me on the sidewalk outside outside a dive bar, ready to kill a man that had given me slight offense. Only an undercover cop that happened to be there prevented another stupid tragedy from happening.
    That's when I returned to AA with "the wind knocked out of me" and a different attitude about God and spirituality.
    I have had so many close calls with death in my life that I must believe that more than luck is to be credited with the fact that I am here to write these words!
    There is much about AA that I don't like, and most of it is due to the "people in the rooms". I've heard a lot said in those rooms that AA itself opposes in its literature (ever read the pamphlet 'AA and the Medical Profession')?
    That's because AA deals with some of the most f***ed-up members of society, for the most part. It is their nature to behave as they do, for a while at least. Being one, I well know that this is true.
    A lot of what we all did, and the people we all were, can be explained by the simple fact that the human mind was not designed to operate with alcohol in it. This simple fact was explained to me by an AA oldtimer who had spent nearly his entire adult life in prison for running with an Irish gang in NYC during the thirties. Some in AA put him down for his criminal past, but he was one of the most hard-working, law-abiding, and spiritual men I have ever met! Was it AA that changed him?
    I've put the bottle down now for more than 32 years, and don't get into quite as many arguments and fights as I used to. Still have a temper and stand up for my rights, but I'm cooling down.
    I believe that it took the crucifixion of Christ to pay for all our sins, since they are so vast that nothing mankind could ever do could undo them. Keep that in mind when you judge yourself, please.
    I'm tired, so goodnight!

  12. Gunthar, You’re right. Stirring up guilt never helped anyone to overcome addiction. Desperation, however, can play a significant role in the process. And there’s a difference between guilt and desperation. Don’t confuse the two.

    As to rewriting our histories, maybe so. It depends on whether our “histories” were accurately remembered or structured in our imaginations to make us into a more desirable human being than the scumbags we really were.

    As to concentrating on the negative aspects of addiction, are there positive ones you’re aware of that we should concentrate on?

    This goes into on our focus on weaknesses rather than strengths. It’s our weaknesses, our character defects that got us into this quagmire, not our strengths. I drank because of an inability to accept life for what it is, I held resentments against others, I was in a constant state of blaming others for my problems, narcissistic to the core, self centered, etc., etc., etc. These were only some of the issued that kept me from getting sober. It was this list of defects that were my problem, not alcohol.

    I, too, prayed to God to lift the obsession to drink. It happened, but not overnight, not kneeling in a dirty men’s room. It took work on my part, God merely pointed the way. You say you’ve written out a couple of 4th steps, but have you done any 5th steps? Praying to God to remove these defects of character takes effort on our part, too. And this shit doesn’t happen overnight.

    As to AA not working for many people, I agree. It doesn’t. Whether that’s an issue with the program or the people who don’t want to do the work the program requires is irrelevant. If it doesn’t work for whatever reason, find something that does.

    The goal here is to get and stay sober. How you do it is up to you. But badmouthing one program because it didn’t work for you serves no useful purpose. Rather, tell us something that did work and why.

    Patrick, “Cuda, Jim, Rob and the rest of us all have litanies of what we feel is wrong with AA, but the faults are more structural/organizational in nature rather than philosophical. The 12 steps are cast is stone, But such things as interference from rehab centers, mandatory attendance at meetings, etc. That shit needs to cease. Cuda has wise words on this subject.

  13. I took a pill called Naltrexone for four months (while drinking) and it erased my desire to drink.

  14. You can read my story here...