Sunday, January 8, 2012

What if... I/We walked away from A.A.?

Here you go Rob. Let's talk about this in all of its forms, shall we?

The only real experience I have with this is when I ... unknowingly at the time... picked a road out and went and drank booze.

But heck, I didn't need A.A. to blame for this because I did the same kind of thing when I "got sober" without A.A. in the past. I've gotten sober with and without A.A. with the full intent to never drink again, and went some time without booze and seemingly happy, content, etc. But the time came eventually where I drank for some seemingly trivial reason, a case of the fuck-its, the poor me's, etc.

I drank again because, I wanted to get laid and was nervous, because she left me, because I was offered a drink and somehow just said yes, because somebody stole my sale, because I was in California, because I was in Texas, because I "accidently" mistook rum and coke for coke, etc.

But what we're talking about here... is folks who do A.A. ... are sober and recovered in A.A. ... and just fed up with the goings on in the fellowship... or at whatever level they're fed up. Or maybe it's an internal thing.

But as RobB talks about, it's a matter of staying sober and continuing on a God-Centered path.

I brought up this notion... of "What if someone left A.A. and lead a God-centered life and stayed sober despite leaving A.A.?" at an after-A.A. diner get-together... and you'd a thought I ripped a fart during the wedding vows.

"WELL... I KNOW PLENTY OF PEOPLE WHO LEFT A.A. ALL THE ONE'S I KNOW OF ARE DRUNK, DEAD, OR LOCKED UP!" Pretty much something to that effect. One gal said she knew some who did that and either drank or she just don't see them anymore... despite the fact she relocated to a town 120 miles south of where she got sober.

I credit you folks... my colleagues I've met in cyber-recovery... and the anti/XAers... who opened my eyes to some of the head-knodding-droolery and hypnosis that we can choose into and hopefully out of.


  1. Like I've said, I know people who've left AA and lead happy, sober lives. Their sobriety was well established in AA, not by years but by quality and the strength of their spiritual condition.

    On the other side, I just had a sponsee take his ball and go home. He was just finishing his 4th step and I though was doing well. Then he sent out an email to the world saying how he's been insulted/offended by members with years of sobriety and he's decided not to take it any more. He feels he's learned all he has to know to stay sober and won't be going to any more meetings. Knowing the guy I think he just may make it. As a miserable dry drunk, but that's better than a wet one.

    I can only speak for myself. I like the AA I'm associated with, at least in the form of the meetings I go to. The bullshit that goes on out there I avoid. If groups want to self-destruct, let them. I know where the assholes meet, and I stay away from those meetings.

    There's a reported 5% success rate in AA, and I wonder how they arrive at that figure but that's beside the point. It's pretty dismal whatever it is.

    And the 95% who decide to leave and end up "DRUNK, DEAD, OR LOCKED UP"? They never stuck around long enough to begin with. I don't think someone who's been to 8 or 10 AA meetings and then goes out and drinks again can be considered a statistic. They were never sober to begin with.

    Sure, we all know people who've been in the program 15-25 years and have gone back out. Just had another case here this week. But every one of those I know comes immediately back to the meetings, explains what happened, and moves on.

    Personal opinion? If AA is dragging you down, the get the fuck away from it, or at least the local organizations that're doing the damage. Every guy on this blog has, I feel, the strength of sobriety to pull this off. Fuck what everyone else thinks. They're expressing their own fears and insecurities by saying that you'll get drunk again. If I wanted to go and get drunk, an AA meeting doesn't mean shit. I'm gonna go and get drunk.

  2. Walking away from AA is not the end of the world.
    Quick note.
    Anyone who is in a meeting telling people that if they ever leave AA that they will die, is just plain wrong.
    We were never supposed to switch one addiction for another.
    I am not speaking for everyone. I have a friend who has been sober for 53 years. He attends a meeting at a church Mon-Fri at 11:00am. This is what he chooses to do.
    I am perfectly fine with this because he doesn't push his decisions on to others.
    I am one who doesn't go to many meeting at all anymore. I have made other decisions yet I have also maintained my AA friends. Whether I am going or not is not the point anymore in my life. I practice the principles in my life.
    I don't rule out sitting in a meeting 5 days a week either later on in my life. I love AA and the people in it.

  3. So now what? Are we living the program as it was intended? Or do we mistake the program for meetings? Do we stay in these meetings out of fear? The analogy in my mind is AA is "Meetings" like Alcoholism is a "Disease". I don't have a disease and I don't need meetings. I have an illness and I need Gods direction. I don't need hugs and slogans spouted by people that haven't got a clue what the book says, I need to practice Principles in all of my affairs.
    I go to one meeting and it's weak coffee bullshit. I go to a hardcore book study once a week too. We get into the guts of AA in someones home where we're not distracted by someone whining about their personal life or the associated drama that comes with alcoholism. It's steps, traditions and history.
    The sad thing is that AA has become all about meetings. "Rarely have we seen a person fail who has gone to 90 meetings in 90 days". Bullshit!!! If I dare tell someone to go to 90 meetings in 90 days I best be prepared to go to every one of those meetings with that person. That to me is more like AA as the book says. "Both you and the new man must walk day by day in the path of spiritual progress" (Pg100) To me that's an alcoholic working with another alcoholic as opposed to an alcoholic telling another alcoholic what to do. "Go to 90/90 and call me in the morning. Chapter Seven starts out like "Practical experience has shown that nothing ensures our sobriety like ninety meetings in ninety days"
    Things are to the point that we even have sponsors telling pigeons which meetings to go to, when where and how many. Otherwise they can't be their sponsor. If there's one thing that AA needs more than anything else it's sponsorship training and we need to earn a "Sponsors Certificate of Competency" before we're allowed to carry any message to anyone that walks in the door. In order to earn this certificate we need to take a test that states we've actually been through the book and actually taken all 12 steps as they're written. There should also be a course on traditions we need to complete so traditions are a little more than some mind numbing bullshit to read at meetings. Then and only then will "Meetings' turn into "Groups" as the book states.

  4. Good Stuff Guys, thanks for the thread Patrick.
    I have walked from AA, no dramatic exit, no drama, I just stopped going. My ongoing advice to sponsee's, clients, etc regarding life issues is "live with it until you can't". I got to the I can't and simply made a decision.

    I'll tell you this, I'm finding out who my friends are in this process. I'm tired of my identity being derived from a "disease". I don't have a disease, physical craving=yep, mental obsession=yep(if not kept in check with spiritual principals)

    AA is a good place for a lot of folks to get sober, I'm not convinced it is the best place for me to remain sober. Talking about this with most AA's is like the proverbial fart PAtrick mentioned. Even the most level headed AA's will start slinging slogans at me when I bring this stuff up.

    If my sanity has been restored (which I believe it has) and I maintain discipline which I do, I have nothing to fear. I see far to many (hardcore steppers wannabes) still using meetings as a safety net. That's fine for them, I'm much more interested in free climbing these days, makes it more mystical. As in free climbing, I am fully aware of what will happen if I fall. Which is why I will make damn sure I have solid footing.


    Yeah. That's sort of the party line.

    And I'm okay with it. It's not true in an absolute sense but it relays the message that there are plenty of reasons for a person that needs AA not to go to meetings. But they should go anyway.

    I've known alot of people who stopped coming to meetings and I have no idea what happened to the vast majority because they're off my radar.

    If the anti-AA's are right then most of them must die because there's no cure according to them......I suspect that many pick up enough in AA to stay sober even if they only come for a few months.

    You do hear alot of good stuff if your listening.

    I like AA because I like to hang around with people who are working the steps and that's where I find them. I also like (or at least feel like I should do some) 12 step work. Again, AA is the easiest place for me to do that.

    I think alot of people are like me. They've been sober for a while and they make AA a part of their life but it isn't the center of their life like it was at first. I think that's fine. The principles need to remain at the center of my life. I know when I slack off on the spiritual stuff I suffer.
    But AA attendance has it's highs and lows.
    Then again, it's supposed to be a spiritual kindergarten and life also has it's highs and lows and it's monotony. So I can use that if I like.

    Now I need to stop. I'm blathering.

    God bless you all.

  6. Just get out and enjoy life. Don't drink and be done with it. It's really simple. God will follow you, I'm sure.

    There's too high of a percentage of crazies who stick around long term. Most long-termers aren't giants of wisdom and serenity, like Tony is.

    1. MA, I suggest that you follow your own advice.

    2. RR, perfect.

      Your economy of words should impress even a would be English professor like MA.....lol !!!!!

  7. I love this place.

    Not to brag or bring attention to myself... but it's been 8 years since I drank booze. Ain't been drunk since January 8th and I ain't been thirsty for one today.

    I get to chair next week's meeting and there's a guy named Gary there who's been sober 33 years. He seems pretty straight and upright to me. He don't do much outside of the weekly meeting in A.A. but he'll help a drunk at the drop of a hat and he's more inclined to sponsor folks out of A.A. than in.

    1. McGowDog: Congratulations to you for your eight years, and my sincere wishes for many more!

    2. Congrats Dawg. Good job !!!!

    3. Something may have changed from blogspots end lately.

      Hope Joe gets through without too much hassle. There's no recent activity in the spam filter.

    4. I can reply, Patrick, but only to certain comments. Now the sequence is screwed up. Look at the date/times of the comments.

  8. Thx Ralph.

    Looks like we got nested replies. Kewl.

    1. BTW Mac, your seven year coin is incorrect in its usage of Roman numerals - VII is the right way to signify "seven", not IIV, which didn't mean anything to the ancient Romans.
      However, I should point out that the coin pictured is a "third party" version of an AA anniversary coin which was probably manufactured by Gunthar, MA or FTG!

    2. Ok, I'm going to respond from my phone. The coin says VIII which is 8.

    3. I am speaking about the greenish coin pictured at the top of this thread - it has the Roman numerals IIV on it. I assume that it was your coin from your previous anniversary.

    4. That is the coin. It IS right side up and it says VIII. The V is not as plumb as the I. The first let of the V is very thin.

    5. Yeah, I see it now! These new bifocals (courtesy of the VA) have been giving me trouble, or maybe my eyes are going...
      Anyway, thanks for clearing it up!

  9. What colour of chip do you get for 8 years?

    I'll be celebrating five years of dry drunkenness next month. My liver thanks me.

    1. If you go to the local casino and tell them you're dry for 5 years and give them 5 dollars they'll give you a red chip.

  10. Congrat's on your 8th McG. For some of us this was and is a major achievement.
    Once I kept that drink at bay for a good length of time I was able to see and do so many things with my life. I found what was really important to me again and started to practice this.
    Once again good luck and have a wonderful time at your meeting celebrating.

  11. Thx guys.

    MA, good job on the dry drunkenness. My dad will have been sober 8 years if he makes it to June... without A.A. He quit drinking one day because he almost fell in the hallway while staggering to bed one night after drinking a bottle of Jamison his sisters from Ireland had brought out for him and he thought he was having a heart attack. He decided that if he was going to die soon, he didn't want to go that way. So he up and quit. I don't get chips from my homegroup... and no hugs. Nor do they change the subject to "Let's blow sunshine up Patrick's ass for being such a great guy". I did get cake though. The only time "my sobriety" got brought up was in crossfire. It was mentioned that about a year and a half ago I was jobless and pissed off and I got a job the moment I changed my shitty attitude. My A.A. mentor said I couldn't get a job because I basically didn't want one. The moment I really decided into it, it came. So that's some advice for some 5+ Million of you Americans out there. Quit blaming Obama and get off your righteous fucking ass... kidding! Oh, but I went to a meeting yesterday and I got a chip. It's like a brass coin and it's got VIII on it. It's got the triangle within a circle and it must be old school as it's got the H-O-W stamped into each corner of the triangle. For some damned reason, the coin has glitter on it. It was bedazzled with fairy-dust or something. Don't know what that's about. I'll put a pic of it up later, so you'll see what I mean.

    Claude, thanks.

  12. Hi PAtrick, 8 years is a big deal, it's been nice trudging with you for the last few years.I enjoy this blog more than I do meetings and have learned more from here than in real life meeting. Now for some slogannering:

    Put your coing in your favorite drink, when it dissolves you can have the drink.

  13. Well thank you... but wouldn't that taste like ass?

    That sounds like our local slogan... put the chip in your mouth and when it resolves, you can drink. Naw ... I wait a few months and give my chips to my dad... sober without A.A. and doing pretty well.

    Joe doesn't seem to be able to post lately. Anybody else having problems?

  14. I've had difficulties lately myself, I've had to mess around with my cookies settings to be able to read comments and post,it's a pain in the ass, I don't know what gives, it just started happening a few days ago. Maybe I'll go to the nooner and bitch about it.

  15. Y'all need to clear your DNS Cache. I'll give it to you in steps, as you seem to respond best to this mode of doing things:

    Step 1: Admit this sucks (you've done this already. so good)
    Step 2: Go to start and type: cmd
    Step 3: Type: ipconfig /flushdns then enter
    Step 4: Type: exit then enter
    Step 5: Carry this message to others who can't comment.

  16. MA,
    you are sarcastic bastard (my kind of guy) despite having contempt prior to investigation, I followed your directions and now my computer is in a recovered state. PRAISE BE!

    1. It's a miracle! Since I have a MAC I couldn't follow MA's advice (not that I would anyway), I took the next best obvious step and rebooted the fckn computer. Lo and Behold!

      And MA, 5 steps are too much for any of us to do at one time. We're in AA. Best we can do is two-step.

    2. Not so fast. It seems that I can only reply to the last comment. Go figure.

    3. Oh, good. I'm glad that worked. This is a common bug on wordpress, which is how I knew of the fix. I know little about computers and such.

  17. Hey Joe,
    Looks like your computer relapsed, maybe an intensive outpatient servicing is required?

    If your computer is atheist I feel sorry for it, however I know a few nonsecular diagnostic technicians who may be able to help.

    1. It ain't the computer. I think Patrick needs to 4th step this blog, then do a good 5th on it.

  18. let's bring in cuda and TOny J, looks like a group conscious is required.

  19. Something changed in Blogger I think. I did nothing to change anything here. I can't respond to individual comments, much like Joe was talking about.

    I couldn't even see these comments until I cleared my cache and temp browser or something like that.

    Tony J; thanks.

    Ralph, it's hard to see the right leg of that V, I'll agree.

    Joe and Rob, this blog does need a 4th Step. It's been a dirty nasty blog. Hopefully it will find its faults and ask God to remove what it finds objectionable.

    Have a nice Martin Luther King Jr Day tomorrow!

    Rob, congrats to your Pats. Hope they don't choke against the Ratbirds next week. If they keep giving the ball to that GRONK dude, they should do well.

  20. Be careful, McGow. We had some problems with our wordpress filter, and blocked several commenters. That's was actually the catalyst for Ralph's flip-out, which resulted in the first and only self-banishment from ST. I don't wanna see the 'lil feller have to ban himself from here, too.

  21. MA, your demonstrated ability to twist the truth suggests to me that your "talents" would be put to better use in an election campaign.

  22. IT''s ON

    And in this corner representing the Godless heathen XA community MA.....

    And in the opposing corner representing the righteous 12 step movement we have Ralph Rotten.........

    LETS GET READY TO RUMBLE..........(copyright Michael Buffer) 1st edition.

  23. Oh, that is definitely what happened, and it was one of the more entertaining moments. You got yourself worked up into a "amygdala hijack,"(<----google dat) and went to town.

    The same thing happened to McGowdog, but he just simply asked what happened, and we fixed it. Actually, it happened to a few folks. You were the only one who banished yourself, though. It was adorable.

  24. "Adorable?"...is there something about you that we should know, MA?
    I mean, we wouldn't want to give personal offense...and end up like, well...Stinkin' Thinkin' or whatnot (drug cartels and lawyers after us and all that)!
    BTW, did you keep score of all the people that you banned from your site during its brief duration?

  25. We banned four, unless you count all of Danny's personalities, in which case we banned about thirteen.

    But we didn't ban you, Chief.

  26. I haven't had any problems with my computer or the blog here.
    Rotten Ralph it isn't worth it. Who cares who got banned. Sounds like a ego thing to me.
    Giants vs. Patriots Super Bowl one more time. Giants win 27 - 21. I'm from NYC gotta do wha I gotta do.

  27. ELi Manning can pound sand, dopey mother fucker, the PAckers made him look a lot better than he is, to his credit, kid can win big games, I am still reeling from the 07'superbowl. Being a New England Sports fan is exhausting emotionally.

    I hope Brady can keep up the intensity he showed this week, I think our defense was on meth, they haven't played that aggressively all year. It was a good win though, we'll see. Looking forward to baseball season, the sox have 160+ games to toy with my emotions.

    And now back to our throw down, so far, I've seen better girl fights. After 1 round judges are calling it even.

    1. I'm still bitter about the Giants beating the Cowboys and knocking them out of the playoffs. and living among the Patriots fans has made me bitter toward them. I don't know who to root for. I'm really just bitter toward everything football wise. So, for Rob's sake, I'll reluctantly root for the Pats. I also hate Eli, which helps with that.

  28. As I said earlier I do not believe AA was meant to be lived out in a set number of meetings you go to each week. As if this is the measuring stick of our sobriety.
    What more can you get out of a discussion meeting after 26 yrs or better yet 53 years.
    Thank goodness I was taught to practice the principles and build a life that is healthy and sustainable in all of my affairs.
    I don't know when all this business about having to do this many meeting for the rest of life started. But it is creepy if you were to ask me. This sounds Cultish.
    I am supposed to be learning how to conduct myself responsibly with my family, friends and work relations. As I was doing this my priorities shifted as time went on.This shift away from AA meetings started around my 15 year and has been growing ever since. My sponsoring happens more outside of the rooms of AA. I am helping alcoholics with there living problems out in the world. Just as my mentors help me.
    This dependence on a meeting is being warped. Just my opinion.

  29. Yooooo!!! No reason to get hyped Rob. Eli and Tom are both great quarterbacks.
    I would rather play the Patriots then the Ravens.
    In your case you would rather play the Giants the the 49's. I'll you why. 2007 you guys beat us in the last game of the season if you remember. Then we came back and beat you in the Super Bowl. Well if things should work out again as they did in 2007 then, we beat you back a month and half ago so you folks should beat us in the Super Bowl.
    Nnnnnnoottttt!!! :)
    Though I will agree Love, Warren, Wilfork and Nickovitch(mspl'd lol) make for a awesome front four, take out Nicko (outside linebacker) and you still have Anderson, Ellis and Diederich to back up.
    So your 4-3 or 3-4 packages are looking great.
    Your line-backing crew has molded together also with Patrick Chung back as safety.
    Fucking new England defense is there you just had a lot of injuries.
    Your big question is if Tom Brady can keep his shit together when he is getting hit and under a lot of pressure.
    Dopey mutherfucker has proved he can do it in the big game.

  30. I haven't been to a meeting in over a month, I am better off for it.I'm coming up on 8 years sober and feel fantastic, most days my insides match my outsides. I have no plans on returning to AA,I don't rule it out, but I'm ok with how things currently are. It's about how I conduct myself and how I live.

    On this blog I am pretty much a sarcastic asshole, who loves to stir the pot, this is the luxury that cyberspace anonymity provides, in real life, I'm actually fairly quite and reserved.

    Regarding Football,
    Brady is a better quarterback, definite hall of famer, we'll see about ELI, If he can secure another Superbowl win maybe..I hope we don't have to face the Giants, I'll tell you why. The Pats of 07'were phenomenal, they were blowing the doors off their opponents. The last regular season against the Giants was a barn burner, I think the final was 42-35. The Giants saw they could actually compete against us and came into the Super Bowl Hungry. The Pats record is deceiving 13-3 could easily be 10-6. Our prevent zone defense blows, it was good to see some adjustments in our secondary and guys actually playing their assignments.We have improved throughout the season but I am not convinced this is our year. We'll see, I could be wrong. There are some teams that we always play like shit against, Miami, Jets, Buffalo and the Giants in particular.

    1. Must be something about eight years that draws us together.

      Re: Football. Acceptance is the answer to all my problems. Giants will meet Patriots in the Super Bowl. Accept it.

      And I'm with MA about the Cowboys. But maybe that's unrealistic expectations?

      And sorry MA, but the "adorable" gave you away. 'Fess up.

  31. I really didn't expect an honest answer from you MA, and I certainly didn't get one.
    For those just tuning in, The "Chief" remark he made was just another slur from the ST proprietor on my Seneca ancestry. I'm not bothered by it though, considering the nature of the source.

  32. Anyway, to get back to the topic of this thread:
    Leaving AA when the time is right is one matter when one has some sort of spiritual program in place, and quite another when there is no spirituality present.
    Without God, the recovering alcoholic has only their own "strengths" to sustain them during hard times, and these are very questionable strengths, to say the least (where were they when the person was drinking?).
    I don't believe that anyone can stay sober indefinitely on simple willpower alone, unless they have found a way back to Eden.
    I learned that the hard way, as I posted a few weeks ago. I haven't been to an AA meeting in a couple of years, but I daily communicate with God as I currently see Him to be.
    I say "currently" because my understanding of God is slowly and constantly growing. Today's meditation while hiking through the woods was about harmony versus chaos, the meaning of those words (two sides of the same coin perhaps), and what it all means to me.
    It helps me to stay sober, even if the answers elude me for so long and I pity the person who lacks the ability to put their false pride aside and communicate with God.

  33. Good talk with ya MA.

    My computer still sucks and have to respond via phone.

    Went to and chaired a good meeting tonight.

    I may make a topic/new post about it tomorrow.

    Good night all.

    When we retire at night...

  34. So in the daily update, Rotten Ralph is a Seneca warrior. Of course, I should have known that, as "Rotten Ralph" is a proud and oft used name among the Seneca people. Me thinks he's been sucking a 'lil too much on his peace pipe.

    And now Danny has been reincarnated as "Claude."

    I haven't been around this much delusion since my college roommate got strung out on PCP, and ate his pet parakeet.

    1. ...and just what have you been sucking on, MAry?

  35. How did he prepare the Parakeet? If done properly I imagine it would be quite tasty, probably tastes like chicken.

  36. Parakeets taste a lot like a bald eagle, actually. At least it does to me. I prepare it like I do my spotted owl. They can be a little dry, you a good marinade is essential

  37. So when I delete my browsing history temp internet files, I can view comments, otherwise my web page locks up.

    I had a parakeet once. Named him Brutus. I went on a four day ski trip and came back home and he was snuffed. Looks like the poor little guy was constipated, took one last huge dump and croaked. I don't think I quite cried over the incident. But I did give hime a decent burial in the back yard.

  38. Awfully quiet in here, hope all is well. All good on this end, looking forward to the game next week, should be a good one.

  39. Maybe everybody left...

    I was at my soon to be former home group last night..I didn't want to go, but I have a commitment that will be finished in a few weeks.

    The old fire isn't there and I can't muster it up. Funny thing is, once I made peace with that and decided not to listen to the old "AA guilty conscience" that is really a fear of losing an imagined image, I'm OK with it.

    Topic last night was from Chapter 7, page 89, about how life takes on new new meaning, loneliness vanishes, a fellowship grows up about you, etc. Most who shared either waxed nostalgic for an old experience or expressed wishful thinking about an experience they haven't had yet. I touched on a my past experience just a bit, but what I mostly talked about how the ego gets attached to what I do in AA and measures my worth by how many people I sponsor and how many people the people I sponsor are sponsoring and how we sell that to AA members-that if they aren't sponsoring a ton of people then they must be doing something wrong. More of that good 'ol AA guilt. Fuck that.

    One reason I'm about done with AA. It's become too much of an institution, too much of a religion unto itself.

  40. Originally, among the Oxford groupers who had become dissatisfied with their lives, surrendered to God and began anew, being sober was just one aspect of living a much larger, decided life.

    If you see an AA member who has stopped going to meetings and he quickly explains that he's happy and not drinking then that should tell you all you need to know; he missed the point to begin with. That’s not hard to do because generally speaking, AA over-specializes in "not drinking". We forget the commitment to "new thinking".

    But leave it to the unwise alcoholic mind to set out to prove him or herself an "exception to the rule". It is after all, a voluntary program, AA marches on without us.


    1. WoW, that is one way of looking at it.
      Kool, Colter.

  41. I've walked away from AA,I'm happy, I'm also not drinking. I'm of the mind that the not drinking is the result of the 12 step work I've done and continue to maintain discipline with. You are right Colter, AA will be fine without me, and I in turn will be fine without AA. My reliance has never been on people or meetings anyways.

    1. Now I can get behind this thinking. Thanks Rob.

    2. "My reliance has never been on people or meetings anyways."


      Funny thing.
      That's pretty much what the book says too......

      Still, I like AA.
      But I see where you're coming from and I was never one to assume lack of AA attendance meant drinking.

      If I thought that I'd think I was in a cult and be an anti-AA or something.....

  42. A.A. never converted me into a boyscout either.

    But if that works for you... that's cool too.

    1. They told me that if I was a drunken horse thief and I sobered up I would just be a regular horse thief.

      Who wants to be 'regular' anyway ?

  43. I am trying to get down to one meeting a week, although last night, out of the blue I thought of drinking (a little thought) was on the street looking into a bar and got a text from a newcomer. There was a meeting across the street just starting and I invited him to join me as he was int the neighborhood. I walked in, they had just started. I hadn't been in that particular room in about 28 years, since my first year in AA. (Sober the whole time.) He didn't show up, but I did. Tonight I will take a "slipper" to a meeting in the same neighborhood. I am tired of the ego drivers in AA, those who preach that there is only one way (via the Big Book). I like the Big Book and use it for sponsorship but realize it's not the full story. There is life lessons. I am sickened by those who brag in AA about the number of people they have sponsored and the number of fifth steps they have heard. This is tiring me out, I just don't want to hear it. The episode last night was unusual, in 28 I have almost never thought of drinking. I pray and meditate every morning, I sponsor guys, I have done the steps. Oddly enough the meeting last night, although technically a beginners meeting, was full of guys with decades of sobreity and willing to talk about emotional sobriety in a humble and honest way, and to admit that AA had not held all the solutions for them. I will go back to that meeting now and again. I have about four or five meetings I make the circle in at this point depending on my schedule. I gave up a homegroup when it became too hard to listen to the bragging and when I started to put up a false persona, the sober guy who had it all figured out. I hated myself for that. Once or twice a week, loosely done, work with some newcomers or slippers. But the braggarts and ego drivers in AA are worse now then they have ever been,

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  45. I will add something that has helped me, I heard if from a guy I admire (now very sick physically after a operation went bad) in what may have been his last qualification. He had about 40 years then. "The Big Book may get you sober but it won't keep you sober." He went on to talk about needing to learn from the experiences of people who have gone thru stuff in life (divorce, the death of their parents or children, etc.) and stayed sober using the spiritual principles. I would add that you have to find out for yourself by sincere trial and error what works to keep you physically sober and emotionally sober. Meetings can do that but there may be a point where they don't work the way they used to. Doing the steps over again may not be the answer either. Entering therapy late in sobriety has helped me. Working on a different notion of my higher power (God as I understand Him) and trying to maintain a better contact has worked. That doesn't mean I won't have the thought of a drink-- that's just proof I'm an alcoholic. But still, it's a work in progress, we have to change, and continue to change, I think, and that takes some courage. AA is part of that, but not the whole thing.