Spot light - 2004 Blog - Why I hate Alcoholics Anonymous

Looking through the archives on the Internet, I recently found - The Shoebox Gallery - It has a nice little article called - Why I hate Alcoholics Anonymous. It covers pretty much the same things we are talking about today in great detail.

Friday, November 26, 2004
Why I Hate Alcoholics Anonymous
Hi, my name is Ben, and I’m not an alcoholic.

But I\'ve never wanted a drink more in my life than when I went to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.

My cousin Jay regularly attends AA meetings. I was told, on the day I agreed to accompany him to one of the meetings, that he hasn\'t had a drink in over 18 years, so I thought, well, why is he going to AA if he hasn\'t had a drink in so long? Sounds like he\'s kicked it.

I started wondering what the statute of limitations was for alcoholism. Jay\'s been dry eighteen years and still considers himself an alcoholic. Can\'t you finally doff the moniker \"alcoholic\" if you\'ve been sober twenty years? Thirty?

Never?

If you\'ve stopped smoking, you don\'t still consider yourself a smoker. You\'re an ex-smoker.

I\'ve yet to hear anyone describe themselves as an ex-alcoholic. They\'re all \"recovering alcoholics\".

Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic. Sounds like a raw deal to me, a scarlet AA burned into your liver for eternity.

The only reason I accepted the invitation was because so far my trip had been rather tame, filled with accompanying my nephews to the local swimming pool each day, sitting through impromptu living room talent shows, and getting to know the family dog rather well.

We arrived at the Charlottesville Community Center thirty minutes into the hour-long meeting. Before joining, Jay and I detoured into the coffee room to juice up. A large man cradling a styrofoam cup stood reading a bulletin board.

\"Stan!\" exclaimed Jay, giving him a hug. He motioned to me and continued: \"I want you to meet my cousin Ben. This is is first visit to AA.\"

I shook Stan\'s hand while Jay ran off to use the restroom. \"Nice to meet you,\" I said.

\"Welcome,\" he said. \"So, this is your first time, huh?\"

\"Yup,\" I said, making my way to the coffee machine.

\"Well, we\'re glad you\'re here. You\'ll find that you\'ve got help here whenever you need it.\"

I didn\'t try to correct his assessment of me, as denying I was an alcoholic would firmly cement in his head my reason for being there. Admittance is, after all, the first step. So I just smiled politely and pulled a cup from the shelves.

\"Is the coffee any good?\" I asked.

Jay rejoined us and said, \"Stan\'s my sponsor. Been trying to get him to be my sponsor for a long time, and he finally said yes,\"

\"I said yes just so you\'d leave me alone,\" Stan chuckled. Jay laughed at this, an inside joke apparently.

\"Yeah, Ben here\'s a normie,\" Jay said.

\"Is that so?\" Stan asked. \"You sure he\'s related?\"

The three of us shared a quiet laugh, then made our way into the meeting room, where Arlene was talking about how her faith in God keeps her sober.

We took a seat in the back, well away from the single table lamp illuminating the room, and listened to the various stories.

\"Hi, my name\'s Brad, and I\'m an alcoholic.\"

\"Hi Brad.\"

Brad went on to tell us how he\'s been sober for five years, which elicited supportive applause from the group. He apparently found the drink in college, and realized he was an alcoholic when he woke up one afternoon in a puddle of vomit in the front yard.

I thought hell, I\'ve done that before.

Brad and Arlene\'s stories were your basic stories of \"this is how I became an alcoholic, this is how I realized I\'m an alcoholic, and this is how I keep from drinking\", and I wondered if they tell these same tales each week.

Seems like that would make for some tedious meetings. The same people telling the same stories over and over and over. Like visiting Grandpa in the old folks home except with less urine smells. You just smile and nod and feign interest in the story though what you really want to do is scream \"we\'ve heard this one before, we get it already, Jesus Christ!\"

A few more people related their stories of woe and hope, strength and faith. Each one unique, each one exactly the same.

At the end of the hour, it was time to call this meeting adjourned. After an induction of two new members, everybody stood up, grabbed each other\'s hands, and arranged as much a circle as they could in this dark, L-shaped room crowded with desks and chairs.

I sat back in mine, outside of the circle, and listened to the group prayer which was topped off by what appeared to be the AA vision statement in rhyme. Something about trusting in Jesus to help the drunks get through life one day at a time, yadda yadda yadda.

I thanked Jesus myself for not letting anybody notice I wasn\'t participating, and afterwards gleefully watched as everyone scrambled to the front porch for a cigarette, chuckling as I imagined the Smokers Anonymous members throwing back a few pints after each one of their meetings.

Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic. Talk about having no hope at all for recovery. It frightened me to think of all the bad habits I\'ve had over the years, and how someone might still be able to identify me as that habit today even though I\'ve kicked it completely.

Hi, my name is Ben and I torture insects.
Hi, my name is Ben and I don\'t wash my hands after using the bathroom.
Hi, my name is Ben and I pick my nose in church.

You see what I mean? I don\'t need this following me around. I don\'t want to be standing at the altar and have a priest say \"Do you Ben, nose picker, take you Kerri, passive aggressive ice queen, to be your lawfully wedded wife?\"

But this is what Alcoholics Anonymous is doing. They\'re supporting an ideology and culture which states that even though you\'ve been sober for over twenty years, you\'re still a fucking drunk. What sort of fucked up co-dependency is that?

I say if you haven\'t had a drink in a year, you\'re no longer an alcoholic. Forget about it and get on with your life. The only person worse than a drunk is someone who thinks it\'s by the grace of God they don\'t get shit faced each night. We understand you used to have a problem, Brad, but get out of the bar, you\'re bringing everybody down!

You don\'t want to drink anymore? Go see a movie, read a book, or better yet, don\'t go to these meetings every two weeks where you\'re constantly reminded about how fucked up and awful your life used to be. Leave that to your parents, they\'re quite good at that.

Goddammit I need a drink.

Comments are still open: http://theshoeboxgallery.blogspot.com/2004/11/why-i-hate-alcoholics-anon...

alkieanon's picture
JR Harris's picture

You have to chant the 12&12 90 times in 90 days for it to stay in your head. Currently the last comment the original article was January 24, 2012 10:55 PM, also value was added by giving the date the actual article was written and a link to it.

~You can not moderate the internet. Just don't lie, steal or make stuff up out of thin air and expect to get away with it without it being pointed out to you. It's really very simple.~

alkieanon's picture

What is worse at an AA meeting?
Re-reading (listening to) the same book passages over and over again
or
Re-telling (listening to) the same personal story over and over again. :P

JR Harris's picture

and promotes. If you want to have to relive your past problems and not grow past them, you chant Bill Wilson in weird rituals.

~You can not moderate the internet. Just don't lie, steal or make stuff up out of thin air and expect to get away with it without it being pointed out to you. It's really very simple.~

alkieanon's picture

Does it really?
JR Harris says: "... have to relive your past problems and not grow past them ...."
Who, what, where, and when?

JR Harris's picture

A share in a 12 Step program is when you get up in front of a bunch of people and tell them what it was like before (usually in very gory detail) and then tell them that by the grace of God, you found out about Bill Wilson chanting and it has saved you. Shares are often embellished to impress people and members often have contests to see who can make their past worse. this is known to cause depression and the 5% that do not run from the cult of 12 Step have a higher propensity to be depressed and commit suicide which was verified by George Valient in the famous study that AA members like to quote. That is why AA has so many martyrs in the 5% that stay in an attempt to get more people to join.

A very good example of this phenomenon is with our own little Clara. She attempted to give this wonderful story book share where she just realized she had a problem and found Bill Wilson and the fellowship and was not mandated by the court or DMV. That share did not give her enough weight with the program so she has morphed it to be more appropriate. She now claims that she has had multiple DUI and was on probation for 3 years in South Carolina. Her six bottle beer binges did not make the cut, so now she is claiming she drank 6 Grande Mariners by bartenders that poured much more than the usual 1 oz shot.

This means she was either lying when she first came here or she is lying now. To get 3 years probation for a DUI in South Carolina for a 1st DUI you had to either have a very high BAC, and accident or both, regardless you will be sent to Alcohol Treatment where they will send you to classes and also require self-help group attendance on the side. Since she has already claimed that there are no available SMART groups, that means she must have gone to AA.

Of course you also claim that you are not an AA, NA, Al-anon or other 12 Step member, so you wouldn\'t know about the concept of shares and have no practical experience. If you are not a member of any of these groups, that means you are a counselor at a 12 Step rehab or other related job.

~You can not moderate the internet. Just don't lie, steal or make stuff up out of thin air and expect to get away with it without it being pointed out to you. It's really very simple.~

alkieanon's picture

The first half of the original question has been redefined:
Relive Past Problems = Shares
Curious if there is an answer for the second half.

JR Harris's picture

In AA Relive Past Problems = In AA constantly give a newer and more gory share for maximum impact

~You can not moderate the internet. Just don't lie, steal or make stuff up out of thin air and expect to get away with it without it being pointed out to you. It's really very simple.~

alkieanon's picture

Relive Past Problems = Shares

I remember reading this recently. It\'s pretty well written, and very telling.

Pro Empowerment!

\"Do you Ben, nose picker, take you Kerri, passive aggressive ice queen, to be your lawfully wedded wife?\"

God damn it, get me a whiskey

Bill W, Deathbed

http://www.youtube.com/watch?source=patrick.net&v=Sdn3O6aaMNc

jonnijoy's picture
JR Harris's picture

The voice over needs to be changed a little:

There is a 12th dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as demented as an insane asylum and as dangerous as quicksand. It is the middle ground between lies and coercion, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of Bill Wilson and his Alcoholic wet brain and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of manipulation. It is an area which we call The Stepper Zone.

~You can not moderate the internet. Just don't lie, steal or make stuff up out of thin air and expect to get away with it without it being pointed out to you. It's really very simple.~