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Anna, August 7, 2011 in Substance Abuse / Addictive Behavior - 8-balls, Highballs, Deal Me in One Last Time
Wow, that's about as comprehensive as anything I've seen. And a helluva lot more concise.
While not a 'religion', AA can be viewed like any other widespread movement. It starts with a small core, develops an orthodoxy, then develops splinters and sects, etc. I advise anyone and everyone to sample as many groups as they can. Eventually, you will find a group that speaks to you and helps to keep your focus where it needs to be.
"Spiritual but not religious"
I'm happy for all those AA has helped. It did not work well for me. The bottom line, I think, is that you've got to decide for yourself that you don't want to drink anymore. If that sounds facile, so be it. I'm not saying it shouldn't be tried, but finding a good group is key. My group was a bunch of professionals in my field and they sucked IMHO.
I have been sober in AA for almost 10 years. I think it has been a great help to me, and I really like what Anna has to say about it.
Some people in AA can say fucked up things about mental illness, religion, whatever, but if you go to the literature, like Anna said, you will find a lot of helpful info that is not so ignorant. It helps to remember that people are in AA because they are sick, and some are sicker than others. Look for the helathy people and stick with them.
Anyway, this is a really old topic, but I wanted to say that it does work, it can work, if you just try not to drink one day at a time.
AA is working for me.
This is a very old topic but it showed up near the top on my screen so here I am just in case anyone else is out there. As of today, I'm on my Day 16, completely sober for once in my life and I'm actually enjoying it. I never, ever thought I would type or say any of the words in the previous sentence.
Alcohol became my DOC a few years ago but it was always meant to be really. Alcoholism killed my father and ruined many lives in my family line. I never, ever thought I would go to an AA meeting let alone enjoy it but that is indeed what happened. Nobody forced me to go, no court order, no wife insisting, nothing like that. My universe compelled me to quit drinking and all drugs and I found myself curious about AA all of a sudden. I lucked out and found a really good group on my first try. They even recommend everyone go to several different groups and see what they're all about. They have no qualms about where you end up as long as you keep coming because that means you're sober or still want to stay sober.
AA currently has over 20 MILLION members world-wide. It's impossible to know the exact number, but they have probably saved tens of thousands of lives, if not more, since their inception. It's not a commercial enterprise but pretty much the opposite. It's definitely one of the most purely altruistic organizations on the planet. They do talk about "God" but always are adamant about including "as we understand him" so as not to be imposing their idea of a higher power on anyone. My group has a very intelligent old-timer who, before getting completely clean and sober, had done more drugs than I could imagine and more booze than I could ever drink, and he's about half my size. He comes to nearly every meeting and has for 25 years not because he has to but because he truly believes in AA as an organization for good and he know, first hand, it works if you let it work.
If you're an alcoholic with a desire to quit, even just the desire, please check out at least one AA meeting, if not a few in your area. You'll hear their stories and hear parts of your own in all of them probably. If it helps you stay sober, it's worth the little time out of your day.
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