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Hi everyone, I’d start by introducing myself but I’m anonymous, I feel exposed standing here let alone speaking to you and revealing my face.
Without this program, I’m capable of maintaining these changes. Not a faith in an outside power, but a faith in myself. I don’t need your approval, or your approval, or yours… If I disagree with something in the program, and you are angry at me for that, then you reflect someone I never want to be. In fact, if I leave this program, it’s because there’s no room for healthy criticism around here. The only requirement is a desire to stop drinking, so I don’t even have to stop drinking just have the desire. But I’ve changed my life, and it’s my life, not AA’s life to claim as another trophy in its case; another brick in the wall.
If you don’t like my honesty, then you don’t like honesty at all, period.
What you want is a false sense of comfort that comes with a group or another person deciding your fate for you. Decide that alcohol would decide your fate for you? We say AA works for me, I don’t know any other way.
If we wanted to be a program created to help others achieve sobriety– or recovery— we’d do so by having open minds. Maybe, if we are so inclined, we tell a newcomer they can leave whenever they want to and find something else that works… Oh we can’t tell them that because that would be too helpful of us, wouldn’t it?
We spent countless meetings hammering it home, nodding in unison, that it’s AA or death.
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We smugly tell newcomers, sure, there’s alternatives to AA, wink wink. In our arrogance, we have become self-righteous about AA dogma, we don’t have to research our so-called disease, this condition we have, because we might discover something that contradicts AA.Those alternatives are jails, institutions or death. We are blindsided to our only real mission: To help another achieve recovery. Oh no, we can’t be bothered with science or medicine because AA is too good for that junk. Especially since, hey, we can’t bother to give them any hope.Then we all shake our heads when someone leaves our rooms and goes on the drinking sprees to end all sprees. We only read conference approved literature, those little love letters just for us, kissed by the lips of our Higher Powers. We don’t talk to people who aren’t in the program about our program. Even if we saw a therapist we secretly believed AA’s advice was better, unless the therapist was also a member. We tell newcomers, using no facts to back this up, that if they leave here they sign their own death warrants. Hell, they broke up with us, they will never know a love like ours.We again, smugly, claim “better them than us.” Or, “Thank God for this program.” Well, what kind of God wants anyone to leave here and die? Well, brothers and sisters of AA, we failed our mission. We should learn and study alcoholism before we teach the newcomer anything. Why not give them credit for giving us a shot, it’s not for everyone isn’t that something we say? Or do we mean, it’s not for you because you aren’t as awesome as we are and you slip up?Folks, in our arrogance, in our self-absorbed stories of our own personal recovery, we have turned our gratitude for AA into a romantic obsession. 80 years of AA and I present to you a challenge in 2015. Back when our beloved co-founder Bill Wilson was chasing tail while married to Lois.Start telling newcomers our outdated books may not be the help they need. There are other proven ways to stop drinking or to drink safely. You see, unlike you, I’m here to actually help people recover which means I care a lot about any method that helps a person. Born from a hopeless world that offered drunks nothing? Here we are, 80 years later, ignoring anything else that could help. All of you who moan and groan about signing court slips can shut the hell up. Back when he wrote To Wives and lied, saying the wives wrote it. Yet, we vote down safety policies and blame the victims, because we have god-consciousness, right? They violated the US Constitution letting the government impose religion on us.SMART Recovery, SOS, Life Ring, Women for Sobriety, Moderation Management, and HAMS for harm reduction. Ask AA to stop printing guidelines about how to carry AA into courts and prisons instead of blaming courts and prisons for sending them to us. Us volunteers can leave at any time because we follow traditions. We laugh at our 13 Stepping because in here sexual harassment is the norm even if the rest of the world calls it a misdemeanor. We can’t even change our sexist literature, and we tell the women we supposedly love in these rooms to stop bitching about it. Back when “blacks only” meetings were something we cannot change. We are so full of shit, in fact, we ridicule the rehabs for softening the message. We forget the fact that if not for AA, if not for Marty Mann, a lesbian and a woman no less, and a study that skewed the facts, the AMA would not have deemed alcoholism a disease. We forget our members invented rehab’s Minnesota Model in order to make 12 Step recovery a profitable and insurable solution. We deny responsibility whenever a member abuses another member. AA admits no wrong doing, in fact, they offer no comment, no condolences at all. We have the audacity to say we live on spiritual terms but our organization remains silent about a member murdered by another member? You wanna tell me AA has no opinion on outside issues? So we have no qualms telling people “you have thinking problems,” yet we expect these same “stinkin’ thinkers” to be capable of obey rules that are non-existent? Why does the government get to infringe on our rights? The stigma against us drunks and druggies has not been solved by AA. Why can’t we announce our so-called diseases proudly? AA tells us we’ll kill AA if we told anyone we belonged here. But even a 9 year old can tell you real love doesn’t involve shame.The last thing we want for you to do is leave AA and die. You’re twisting the truth that we don’t recruit people. Courts are not AA so they don’t have to follow traditions and can force attendance. More than half our US states have deemed AA highly religious, but we deny that don’t we? And now, we blame the rehabs and the courts for sending people to us when we print flyers inviting them to come here? A young lady gets murdered by a man she met in AA, we don’t even blame him, no way, we blame her for breaking some make believe rule she was supposed to know about not dating the first year. The Pope didn’t molest anyone but he has the decency to publicly accept responsibility and apologize to the people hurt by his church. So why wouldn’t we commit crimes against each other if there’s no rule against it and we’ll just make amends and leave the police out of it. In AA we are told to keep our membership a secret and our loved ones are told the same thing in Al-Anon. 80 years later and we’re a bunch of drunks who don’t deserve rights.Decades of research confirm this all or nothing mentality results in something AA never teaches called the abstinence violation effect. I don’t know about you, but if I’m answering to charges of my dog barking too loud, the last thing I want is for the judge to force me to attend some kind of religious group to teach me how to train my mutt. Thanks AA for not changing one damn thing except that, of course, there’s a 12 Step program for anything and the rehabs get richer as the half-way house dwellers get poorer.They drop a dollar in the basket, they give hours of service, and none of it comes back to them.9 out of 10 of their sponsees go out and get loaded.