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Thread: Alcoholics Anonymous - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

  1. #81
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    Re: Alcoholics Anonymous - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter King View Post
    Know you have met me. I was mentally rock bottom and that caused me to accept help and work towards my beating my addiction.

    And I am not talking about drugs, I am talking purely about alcohol and gambling. With drugs there is a need for consequences or order because there is so much of a chemical need to force someone to accept help in drugs that is much less prevalent in gambling and alcohol. At least that is my opinion.
    That is what you get when you are still half asleep and think you are awake enough to do some posting LOL.

    Now you have met me, that is what it should read and not "know you have met me". What a gigantic blunder if I do say so myself.
    #StayStrongAppie

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    Re: Alcoholics Anonymous - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter King View Post
    There is nothing wrong with a self help group, but I feel it has become something of a pseudo religion in the US (or at least that is how their booklet reads and their meetings sound).

    I used to be addicted to gambling. I hit rock bottom before I went to the group. I went together with my mother (was still living at home). I sat in the group of gambling addicts and my mother sat in with the group of family/loved ones of the gambling addicts. Where I was being told about how I could try to stay away from gambling and what I should and should not do (give my bankcard to my mother, give my passport to my mother, give my wallet to my mother). And I was told that I cold ask for a voluntary house ban at the local gambling businesses and how I should do other things to not fall in the trap of boredom and falling back into gambling.

    My mother was on the other side being informed about how she should keep my bank card until I had proven I was able to handle small amounts of money and had shown improvement. She was giving invaluable information from the people who had gone through it before. About the warning sings I would be giving off if I were about to fall off the straight and narrow.

    There was no twelve step program, no religious things, no admitting that we were powerless and should throw ourselves at the mercy of a higher power, etc. etc. etc.

    All we did was talk, support each other and only the leader (or one or two assistant leaders) should be called if a member got into trouble and needed support. For the rest we met up weekly to give each other moral support, etc. etc. etc.

    Not to be too negative about AA, but maybe they should stop with the higher power and apologizing to everybody and put the energy into trying to restructure their lives into a live without ever using alcohol. Maybe even giving away their bank cards in the beginning to make sure they cannot fall back.

    For the rest I cannot fault the wish of AA to help others but they should be a bit less superior about it and stop looking for power from outside themselves and start looking for it from the inside.


    That seems like a good, practical approach.

    If people need AA and it works for them - great. But people are different, and everyone needs different approaches.

    I'm also not sure I buy the "one drink will send you right back into the gutter" thing. Again - some people, yes. Others - maybe just need some help to cut back rather than give it up. Like with eating - find out what the triggers are that make one overeat/drink too much and work to avoid those triggers. No one says obese people can't ever eat food again; we don't even say you can never eat a dessert again.

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    Re: Alcoholics Anonymous - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

    Quote Originally Posted by JayDubya View Post
    Alcohol addiction is a pathophysiological state... whether or not you like the word "disease," neither is "just stop drinking, morans!" at all helpful for anyone who has an addiction.

    I have seen increased criticism of AA in the past few years. I would say that if it helps some people, great. The ones who it doesn't, well, they can try something else.
    But it does seem as if it's hard to find programs that aren't based on AA. Its popularity has earned it a lot of copycats

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    Re: Alcoholics Anonymous - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chomsky View Post
    To lose her PT license due to alcohol, and need 90 meetings to get it back doesn't sound like that bad a deal. Around here PT is a pretty decent occupation paying reasonably well with good working conditions, and it pays especially well for an indie in home-healthcare if they build-up a decent clientele - I know several PTs doing just that.

    To walk away from one's profession and remain unemployed in lieu of 90 days of meetings, sounds a bit short-sighted to me.

    I suspect your friend might have a bit more going on here, like she's still drinking or having issues coming to grip with paying the price for her mistakes. Or even perhaps she is addicted and is caught-up in 'addiction thinking', interfering with her decision processes.

    Oh it wasn't just that. It was also the having to be on the hook for the urine tests which had to be done in a town an hour away. After being sober for 2 years. And she was going to AA, just not daily.

    But yes, she does have some other issues. She joined a new church group and started saying how she isn't an alcoholic, she's just allergic to alcohol - when she used to go through bottles of the hard stuff. If you're allergic, you feel it after one drink.

    She isn't drinking, as far as know. But she does seem to have underlying issues still. Which may have interfered with her judgment.

    I do think people could go to 90 AA meetings in 90 days and still be drinking though.

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    Re: Alcoholics Anonymous - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

    Quote Originally Posted by paddymcdougall View Post
    Oh it wasn't just that. It was also the having to be on the hook for the urine tests which had to be done in a town an hour away. After being sober for 2 years. And she was going to AA, just not daily.

    But yes, she does have some other issues. She joined a new church group and started saying how she isn't an alcoholic, she's just allergic to alcohol - when she used to go through bottles of the hard stuff. If you're allergic, you feel it after one drink.

    She isn't drinking, as far as know. But she does seem to have underlying issues still. Which may have interfered with her judgment.

    I do think people could go to 90 AA meetings in 90 days and still be drinking though.
    Well, good for her getting & staying clean.

    It seems she wants to deal with sobriety using using own prerogatives, and that's perfectly fine - only she knows the value of her former career, and what lengths she's willing to go to keep it (and what makes her happy).

    As for drinking while attending meetings, you are absolutely right: I've anecdotal heard of individuals attending meetings for years while concurrently drinking! And I've heard this from pretty reliable trusted sources. I believe most individual groups are acceptant of this practice, asking only that if one has used/drank that day, that the refrain from contributing to the conversation - I think it's a fair policy.

  6. #86
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    Re: Alcoholics Anonymous - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

    Quote Originally Posted by Summerwind View Post
    I have no reason to, I have the least addictive personality of anyone I know. I don't drink, I don't gamble, I don't do drugs,... I'm a control freak, addiction just doesn't fit with that personality trait.
    Actually "control" is a prevalent trait in addicts. Alcoholics and addicts constantly have to control their environments as much as possible in order to be enabled. Alcoholics and addicts teach people in their lives how to act, react, and support their dependencies. It's just part of their survival tactics.

    And this brings us to another form of addiction not yet talked about in this forum. It's called "Codependency".

    Textbook Definition: Codependent relationships are a type of dysfunctional helping relationship where one person supports or enables another person's addiction, poor mental health, immaturity, irresponsibility, or under-achievement.

    Personally, I'd almost rather be a drunk or junkie. Codependents have to suffer without self-medicating. Feeling like life is totally ****ed up while being sober - sucks.

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    Re: Alcoholics Anonymous - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cephus View Post
    Except some of these programs just trade one addiction for another.
    Everybody is addicted to something. I'd be willing to bet you're addicted to the air in your car's tires.

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    Re: Alcoholics Anonymous - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainCourtesy View Post
    As a psychotherapist, I have worked with addicts for 25 years. I cannot remember one time where an addict choose to get help without some form of consequences or order.
    Well you cannot say that anymore because I did (although technically we have not 'met').

    I was doing crack (a lot of it), had lots of money, my health was okay, no dependants and in no legal trouble whatsoever and I quit completely on my own.
    I wanted to quit from the first time I tried it. One day I finally got tired of it and realized that it was a bridge to nowhere. Plus, the dot.com crash had started and I thought it wise to cut back on such an expensive 'hobby' while my investments were under duress.

    And I have known several people that have quit simply because they were fed up with the lifestyle - not because of legal or health issues.

    Also, those that I did know that quit because they 'had' to usually went back on it because addictikn is not because of boredom or rebellion, it's because of pain and suffering that an addict is trying to escape from. Just because a court orders you to quit - that does nothing to help the underlying cause of the addiction. In fact, it probably enhances it.

    IMO, in most cases, the ONLY way for an addict to truly kick their addiction (whatever it is) is to want to kick it badly enough - not for others to try and force him/her to kick it.

    And please try and remember - and I mean no offense - but just because because you supposedly counselled addicts, that does not mean for one second you understand them or know what they feel or why they do it.
    Only addicts can know what they are going through - just as only someone that has given birth to a child can really know what it is like to go through...you have to experience it directly.

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    Re: Alcoholics Anonymous - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainCourtesy View Post
    You obviously don't understand the concept of AA, of recovery, or of addiction. You didn't "quit". No one does. It's not a crutch. It assistance to remain in recovery from a serious disorder.

    And as far as it being a "Christian recruitment" group, the only folks I've ever heard who've said that are militant atheists who really don't understand AA. The "higher power" doesn't have to mean a deity. I can give several examples of people who I knew who used something completely different as their "higher power". AA often gets criticized for using "God", but there are meetings that omit the higher power from it's literature.
    CC, as noted in Red...I completely agree.

    I do have over 29 years of sobriety, but I HAVE NEVER QUIT drinking. I just choose not to drink today. The moment I think that I've quit, I'll drink again.

    And I'm an atheist. But I was lucky enough to have a member give me a way to perceive GOD. It was a lifesaver for me.

    G=Good
    O=Orderly
    D=Direction

    Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable

    While I had a hard time admitting I was powerless over alcohol - I could clearly identify that my life was totally, insanely unmanageable. Good Orderly Direction is what I was in serious need of. I was uncontrollably unraveling. Whatever made alcohol work for me...stopped.

    Let's just say that boozes gave me wings then took away my sky.

    So every time I read the word "God"...or hear others speak about "God" as they understand him, her, or it...I translated that word into G.O.D. (Good Orderly Direction).

    Thanks...

  10. #90
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    Re: Alcoholics Anonymous - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

    Quote Originally Posted by jet57 View Post
    So I guess you broke up with your girlfriend then. People indeed get physiologically addicted to alcohol the same way people get addicted to nicotine and cocaine. I would suggest that you read up on that first. Secondly, AA is very helpful for people who need the support and camaraderie for not giving in to life's stresses and drinking again.

    Yeah, you need to study up, you're ex-girl friend is miles ahead of you.
    Okaaaaay.

    You have never met either of these people and you automatically assume his ex-girlfriend was right?

    Have you even been to an AA meeting? If you haven't, then you have NO IDEA what goes on.

    I went to CA meetings (cocaine annonymous - a branch of AA, exact same format, similar 12 steps). All they were to me was buddy buddy hug sessions. Most of the meetings were as follows. About 10-20 minutes to blather about the last meeting or 'events' coming up. Then some chit chat about addiction for 10 minutes. Then often someone would come up and spend 20 minutes talking about his/her 'war stories' of what he/she has gone through (like we have all not been their ourselves), then they would have a break, then they would give out the pins (for numbers of days clean), then they would spend a ridiculous amount of time talking about the upcoming CA event and how much they need volunteers. It's just a love in. How the hell does that deal with the underlying causes of our addictions?
    Now, I will say, once in a while they would break into small groups and people would talk more in depth about their problems...that I thought was helpful. But it was only once in a while that they would do that.

    Yes, if you want 'love and support' (yeah - like it's real love) and people to tell you how swell you are even though you are probably a thief or a mooch because that is the only way you can afford to feed your habit...then that is the place to go.
    Me? I want a place where people are supportive but aren't smiling all the time and telling you you are great and a good person. Most crack addicts are not good people. They could become good people. But most are either neglecting their responsibilities or are performing illegal acts to feed their habit; people that would steal from their mother to feed their addiction - these are not good people (though again - they still could become good people).
    I want the truth. I want the blunt truth from people that care but are not blind.

    And in the end - the only place I could find that was from a mirror.

    IMO, AA/CA are just love ins for starry eyed, weak addicts who cannot/will not quit on their own...all funded by the church to try and get more people into the God Club.

    If they work for you - fine. But please ask yourself, how can you say you have truly quit if you still need these meetings to keep clean. You have traded one addiction for another (granted, one is FAR better then the other).
    You will never truly be free of your habit until you can deal with it on your own. And I believe that the vast majority of people can do that but - like anything truly worthwhile - it is not easy.
    And there is the problem. Most addicts want the easy way out (that is usually why they are addicts), and intensive, self-reflection is NOT the easy way out.
    But it is - IMO - the only way to truly get out forever.
    Last edited by DA60; 05-03-15 at 02:08 PM.

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