Magazine Discussion Topic

266 replies [Last post]
Anonymous
ADO10416

RE: Psychobabble. I assume this message is directed at
me. I was never involved with a treatment industry. I have
always felt that we ought to only cooperate. But of
course we have seriously violated Traditions six and eight.
On page 70 in AACA Bill W. writes about the equality
of all members, new and old. He uses the example of
what worked when he met with Dr. Bob. It was each
alcoholic's need for each. Remember, Bill had been
working with numerous alcoholics without success until
he changed his approach. Bill explains that this meeting
on an equal basis is at the heart of all 12th step work
today. This concept has been lost in today's A.A.
You may think that no one learns anything from talking.
I disagree. The AA member learns that sober members of
Alcoholics Anonymous (real original AA) care enough
about him/her to listen to what they have to share. This
gives them the chance to get used to the sound of her/his
own voice. We ought to just sit quietly and listen as
each person shares.
Maybe if we make the newcomers feel welcome, they will
be more likely to arrive early and stay late. In my
own home group, newcomers stay around and delay going
home. I sense an attitude of real spiritual arrogance
in most of your messages. This spiritual pride and
arrogance have all but ruined our fellowship. ANONYMOUS

Patsyd1
Offline
Joined: 2012-02-04
Anonymous

I am not sure what AACA is, but if what you are sharing is Alcoholics Anonymous and Cocaine Anonymous together as one.....THAT is a clear violation of every single AA Tradition WE have in Alcoholics Anonymous. And its a clear violation of every single Cocaine Anonymous Tradition that CA has.

If I am incorrect in what I interpreted by AACA, I apologize.

I am not sure why you believe that what ADO10416 shared is a violation of Traditions 6 and 8... I don't see that at all.

The 12 Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous are written in order for a vital reason. They BUILD on one another to keep AA as a whole, AA groups and AA members IN UNITY for Survival.

Tradition One - "Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. unity."

The very first sentence of Tradition One, on page 129 in the Twelve and Twelve is VITAL....its says the following:

"The unity of Alcoholics Anonymous is the most cherished quality our Society has. Our lives, the lives of all to come, depend squarely upon it. We stay whole, or A.A. dies."

Further on in Tradition One, on page 130 in the Twelve and Twelve is the following...again, VITAL to the Unity of AA.

"They see liberty verging on license, yet they recognize at once that A.A. has an irresistible strength of purpose and action. "How," they ask, "can such a crowd of anarchists function at all? How can they possibly place their common welfare first? What in Heaven's name holds them together?"

Those who look closely soon have the key to this strange paradox. The A.A. member has to conform to the principles of recovery. His life actually depends upon obedience to spiritual principles. If he deviates too far, the penalty is sure and swift; he sickens and dies.

At first he goes along because he must, but later he discovers a way of life he really wants to live. Moreover, he finds he cannot keep this priceless gift unless he gives it away. Neither he nor anybody else can survive unless he carries the A.A. message. The moment this Twelfth Step work forms a group, another discovery is made - that most individuals cannot recover unless there is a group.

Realization dawns that he is but a small part of a great whole; that no personal sacrifice is too great for preservation of the Fellowship. He learns that the clamor of desires and ambitions within him must be silenced whenever these could damage the group. It becomes plain that the group must survive or the individual will not."

Anonymous
AACA is a book

Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age ... AACA

Anonymous
RE: AACA is a book

"Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age" was first printed
in 1957. It is "A BRIEF HISTORY OF A.A." I believe it to
be Bill W's finest work, as equally important as the Big
Book. The Big Book is our personal guide to sobriety.
Knowing the full history of Alcoholics Anonymous is vital
to the future of our fellowship. By five years of sobriety
any serious member ought to own AACA. By ten years
it should be read and studied. Note: It IS conference
approved literature. ANONYMOUS

Anonymous
Why So Rigid

I agree with Robert F, some of us are demanding rule following. But we should also keep in mind that many coming in need a little firmer hand holding than others. On a one to one basis maybe the suggestions could be given to a new comer more emphatically. But I agree the shares in thew room should leave the words "got to" out of the conversation.

Anonymous
Two sisters Feb 13

The story describes a members sister that is ravaged by the disease and on a ventilator near death. She miraculously recovers and when she gets out the member states that she will be a part of her life sober or drunk, as she continues to have difficulty staying sober. I think this is an important topic, do you disown everyone who doesn't recover, or do your forge out a relationship, not an enabling one, but at lest spend some time with the person before the disease takes them. If you see it as a disease how could you look at it any other way

Anonymous
traditions

the twelve traditions of a.a. are important to keep a.a. going for the future.they also develope spirtual growth in the understanding of true unity.

Anonymous
White Collar - Should I wear my collar to AA meetings

I just read the story "White Collar" by a priest in the October 2012 issue of the Grapevine and it reminded my of my sponsor who was also a priest. I remember another priest coming to him and asking, "Father, should I wear my collar to meetings?" My sponsor is all his wisdom told the young priest, "Son, I wore my collar to jail. I see no reason for you not to wear your collar to an AA meeting."
Another story from North Alabama. There were several priests from a monastery in our group. One night a lady, a daughter of a Baptist preacher, came to her first meeting and saw five "backward collars" sitting in the room. She knew these men for they were also professors at a local church school. Her comment, "If religion or education would do it, these men would not be sitting in this meeting." She went on to become a long time sober member of AA.
I see no reason for there to be criticism of what someone wears to an AA meeting.

Anonymous
Church Bash Article - Grapevine February 2013

Thank you to "Anonymous" who wrote "Church Bash" in the most recent Grapevine issue. I too witness a tolerance (thankfully) within our rooms for just about any type of higher power beliefs (or non beliefs)...with the ironic exception of Christianity. I've been to meetings where members nod in agreement or acceptance of comments regarding the occult, eastern religion, worship of crystals, a Great Spirit, etc. But the moment someone mentions Jesus or Christianity, eyes start rolling. There is no room for such intolerance or discrimination in our beautiful program--please let's be mindful of this. In any case, I pray that the author called Anonymous will not leave our rooms--we need more of him/her in attendance to not only stay sober and be part of our fellowship, but to be there for a newcomer who might dare slip the J-word when sharing his or her experience, strength and hope. Thank you for writing the article; please keep coming back.

Anonymous
Church Bash

Let us look at the big picture. Many of us come to AA with resentment toward a religion we were exposed to as a youth and to a God of our understnding at that time. It even tells us that in the Big Book. Here in the USA a vast vast majority or us would have been exposed to the Christian religion. When I share my experience, strength, and hope on the topic I share that I had resentments toward religion and toward God. I also share that I ovecame those resentments and have had a spiritual awakening as a result of working the steps. Some people may take that as religion bashing but it is not. When the topic comes up, Christianity of some form is all that most of us know. If you hear people that say they have "worked" the steps and they still God bash and religion bash....they missed the boat, must not have read the book, and are working their own program, not AA.

Anonymous
Church Bash Article

Regarding the minister that feels that his Christianity is not accepted in AA meetings. I hear what you are saying. In my AA meetings that I go to when I share about being Catholic I usually say "AA has helped me return to the church of my youth..." I too have felt at times that, that every other type of religious activity was respected, but it was still OK to make jokes about my church. However, when I have heard more than 1 horror story about priests or confession or wealth I just ask my Higher Power for strength and I go at the break or after the meeting and put my hand out to the member who shared. I bring up another topic. I have ceased fighting everything and everybody. I have to to stay alive.
Dear Reverend, please do not leave AA. Please tell your fellow churchmen (Evangelical, Jewish,Baptist, etc.)that we can help them stay sober. Mary Anne B.

Anonymous
religion bashing

i have had this problem in my district as well. we even had a gso speaker at our area convention who beat up her old religion.so i went to the top and said to the area delegate and said this has to stop what can we do. he said nothing.i was beside myself with confusion.it just so happens i am the dcm.so i research this issue and found that on page 192 of our step book it clearly states religion is an outside issue that we have no opinion on.and should not be talked about in aa meetings.at my next aa district meeting i told all my gsr's to announce this at their meetings and the result was great once people new that they were hurting the chance of success for people who love their religion but for what ever reason can't get sober.if the hand of aa is always going to be their it should be their for all not just the people who think there way to a higher power is the only way,i am a christian but in an aa meeting i talk of god because aa's job is to get people sober.the churches job is to save their soul and what is done with sponcee's is up to the sponcer.you can say your higher power is jesus but quoting the bible or koran or any other religious text is an out side issue

Anonymous
denominational bashings

Dear DCM;
I too have run frequently run across religion bashing: at meetings, district business meetings, and even on the area levels at assemblies. And as suggested, I hve approached the speaker after these meetings to express my feelings.

After an assembly I even presented that same page 192 to the speaker. And have always been dismissed. Did they perceive my discussion as a personal attack? Perhaps. They never articulated how they felt in return. As always, a member should get thier sponsor's input.

Yet the response I got regarding page 192 at a Round-Up discussion panel on "Spirituality and Higher Power" was unanimously in agreement. So why then does this outside issue of religion come up in AA in the form of bashing?

As I have confided in my sponsor, I find bashings are like festering resentments. I am an alcoholic by my own choosing and did not need to point my finger at anyone but myself. I am not unique. We all had families, jobs, relationships, and other justifications we used before coming through the unlocked doors of AA. We all have outside issues but they just do not belong in an AA meeting.

Anonymous
Churrch Bash

As a regular member of AA, I must admit that I have been one of those who has had some unkind things to say about organized religion, particularly the one of my childhood and drinking days. After a meeting a year or so ago, a lady came up to me and told me that she didn't like what I said and I, at that moment, realized what I had been doing. I watch my share now when I get into any part of that story so as to not offend.
Now as for Christian bashers in general, I see a lot of that in AA and in the world in general. Christians are counseled by their "Book" to know that they will be hated by the world for their beliefs, so I have come to expect it from some unthinking individuals. It doesn't hurt to voice your opinion about this unwelcome conduct following a meeting or to the individual who is perpetrating. You may find that it will work for you like it did for me. Phil in California

Anonymous
addicts in AA

Many addicts, such as myself (I am also an alcoholic) attend AA because it works. NA has a different atmosphere, in my experience. The majority of people at the AA meetings I go to are also addicts. The big book talks about drugs and they are also part of Bill's story. If I am coming to AA for help and it is working for me, then what is the problem? Who is anyone to exclude someone from a program that is improving their lives and keeping them sober. AA is not exclusive to ANYONE. Alcohol and drugs generally go hand in hand, and drugs such as opiates are become the top abused drug among up and coming generations. The program helps people stay SOBER. Alcoholism and addiction are a set of behaviors and a mindset. Whether you used alcohol or drugs is negligible. I identify myself as an alcoholic in meetings because I am not unique and don't need to separate myself by saying alcoholic/addict. I can identify with the feelings or emotions from alcohol or drugs. Why? Because we go through the SAME stuff. The only difference is the actual drug we used.

aabrad
Offline
Joined: 2011-05-01
addicts in aa

The meeting I attend and it was decided by A Group Conscience that the meeting and any aa speakers or those sharing keep their talk or share to alcohol or recovery from alcoholism. This request is read at the start of each meeting.
Although I was a drug addict I try to honor the group's request when I share, but I do try to mention that I have used drugs or was a drug addict just in case there is someone who has some ??? or needs help with that addiction.
Listening to some early AA speakers talk about going to their 1st AA meeting back in the 50's 60' 70's and how the AA meetings seemed to be attended by mostly old men. Some of the AA speakers said at that point they decided AA wasn't for them or they were TOO YOUNG to be an alcoholic and continued to drink.
So Identifcation seems to be an important to some who decide to check out AA. Too bad there isn't some kind of notation in the local AA meeting listings which would describe if a meeting is Alcohol Only or Drugs & Alcohol.
To the those looking for some NA or Other Addiction help.
www.xa-speakers.org has speakers for Cocaine and Marijuana addicts.
Brad

Anonymous
addicts in aa

I guess I can start identifying myself as an alcoholic and a Capricorn. I'm sure there are others who can identify with the frustration of having a birthday so close to Christmas and getting shortchanged on gifts. It's enough to drive any sensitive person to mood altering substances.
A drug is a drug, right? As someone posted before in this forum, a truck is a truck, so when your house in on fire call AAA to send a tow truck.
Apples and tomatoes are both fruit, though many people thinki a tomato is a vegetable. Both are usually round, usually red, juicy and used in many ways. But if you run out of apples when baking pies I wouldn't recommend substituting a tomato or two.
Has it ever occurred to you that there might be one or more compulsive gambler in an AA meeting? Over eaters? Ask yourself how often you have heard someone share at length on his/her gambling or eating disorder. Then ask yourself why it's only addicts who insist that AA change its traditions to accommodate them.

LoisJean
Offline
Joined: 2013-06-27
Addicts in AA

I agree. As I understand it, our Fellowship ought to be as inclusive as possible--never turning away anyone who has, (or thinks he might have), a drinking problem. To me, this means that a person can have an addiction to everything out there and still be a member of AA if he wants to address the drinking problem - EXCLUSIVELY. I attend group meetings that adhere to this principle, asking people to leave other issues outside the door, and they can pick them back up when they leave.

I will qualify myself as a cross-addicted person but I cannot imagine myself mixing my nicotine addiction with my alcohol addiction at an A.A. meeting, nor can I believe it would have been tolerated for long anyway. Anyway, I quit smoking without having to announce at A.A. meetings that I had a problem other than alcohol.

Anonymous
Pam

I totally agree. We have the disease of addiction. the chemical we used to try and block our feelings is just a symptom of the disease. Alcohol is just as much a drug as any opiate I ever used.

AD010416
Offline
Joined: 2012-01-18
Re: Reply to comment

Anonymou wrote, "I totally agree. We have the disease of addiction. the chemical we used to try and block our feelings is just a symptom of the disease. Alcohol is just as much a drug as any opiate I ever used."
Unless you also believe that AA who uses tobacco in any form must change his/her sobriety date your statement doesn't hold water. Tobacco is one of the most addictive drugs on the market today, far more addictive than alcohol or marijuana.
It's kind of hypocritical for someone to state that he's 'clean and sober' and then light up a cigarette right after the meeting. Or during the meeting, in some localities.

Anonymous
the same?

We hear all the time that drugs and alcohol are the same, if that is indeed true, why would you or anyone want to use drugs and all the legal problems associated? Alcohol is legal, fairly cheap and easy to get and socially acceptable for the most part. There must be vast fundimental differences. Please; this is an honest question that is never ansewered. We must cleave to our singleness of purpose or we will not have a purpose. With A. A. Love Mike

Anonymous
the same?

I can only say one thing with any certainty. When my husband drank or when he relapsed on heroin...the way it affected me and our children was the same. No difference. And, when he attended AA meetings, it helped him and in turn, it helped our entire family. Please think about that the next time someone reveals in a meeting that they are addicted to more than one drug.

Anonymous
When people talk about drugs and alcohol being "the same"

I believe what they are referring to or meaning by "same" is that the "manifestation of the disease" is the same. The lack of control is the same. The inability to control or stop is the same. This has nothing to do with the legalities of using one drug or another. Alcohol is a drug too, legal or not. My "drug of choice" is alcohol, however, I will use whatever you got. All for the same reasons. I use any mind altering substance to change the way I feel and to escape and runaway from my "problems". I am a member in good standing of AA, meaning I am sober, and I use AA because it works. In meetings I identify as an alcoholic because I am, I have a problem with alcohol and working the 12 steps and practicing the program of AA helps to alleviate the pain associated with active use. The bonus is that as long as I work on and practice the AA program it also helps to alleviate the pain of the drug addiction issues I have as well. So for me anyway, that is what "same" means.

clu1992
Offline
Joined: 2012-05-30
re anonymous

I have always felt that if alcohol and drug addiction was really the same, why doesn't everyone stick with alcohol? It's legal, readily available, and usually socially acceptable.

charin
Offline
Joined: 2011-12-20
"Drug of Choice"

I had no choice, I am an alcoholic.

Anonymous
actual drug

You attend A.A. because it works. Does that mean that
you do not attend N.A. because that program does not
work? I personally believe that N.A. ought to work
for you as well as A.A. does. The name of the fellowship
ought not make any difference. I do appreciate that you
identify yourself as an alcoholic at my A.A. meetings.
And I hope that you limit your discussion as it relates
to alcohol. So far so good.
But what about the person who is addicted to drugs
other than alcohol? If N.A. does not work, where is that
person supposed to go. My son is trying his third re-hab.
He doesn't seems to fit in A.A. and sees N.A. for what
it really is, a sort of strange cult with religious
rituals. I have been to N.A meetings and find them
almost a waste of time, doing more harm than good.
I challenge you to enlist your drug addict friends
and develop an N.A. meeting, using the same format
as the A.A. meetings you find so helpful. I am convinced
that it can be done. I attempted this but I am not a drug
addict and did not succeed. I envision a fellowship
where my son, and others like him could fit in. You
know there are millions suffering.
I believe that A.A. and N.A. can both be effective
working side by side, parallel. Combine them, and the
ingredient of identification is lost. Everyone loses.
A.A. is weakened and the addict dies.
You can just relax and enjoy this wonderful life that
Alcoholics Anonymous has given you. Or you can get in
the trenches and make such a life available to addicts
as well as alcoholics. Are you up to the challenge?
ANONYMOUS

AD010416
Offline
Joined: 2012-01-18
RE: addicts in AA

I have several friends in Alcoholics Anonymous who are also members of Gamblers Anonymous. Also quite a few who are members of Overeaters Anonymous. They don't find it necessary to change AA meetings int GA or OA, they respect all twelve of AA's Traditions, including our singleness of purpose.
You don't get recovery from NA in your locality? Then why not find some recovered addicts and start a meeting with the focus on recovery?
I have yet to find a so-called 'pure' alcoholic. Yet most of us with other problems follow the example of the addict cited in the 12&12, pages 141 and 142. We don't 'trouble others with our other difficulty.'
Attending AA instead of NA is a rational way to deny one's addiction, and focusing on drugs in AA meetings is a rational way to deny one's alcoholism. And as the author of "Freedom From Bondage" says on page 550, "Rationalization is giving a socially acceptable reason for socially unacceptable behavior, and socially unacceptable behavior is a form of insanity."
Insisting that AA change to suit me rather than changing to fit AA is no more that extreme selfish, self-centered arrogance.

Anonymous
Addicts in AA

We may never actually meet but I am a pure alcoholic [age 70] and when folks start sharing experience with substances other than alcohol at an AA meeting I'm in, they may as well be speaking Chinese. I have not the first clue what a Cocaine/Heroin/Meth/Crack high feels like, what the withdrawal is like or anything else about drug use. I can drive all over town with a case of beer on my passenger seat and the police don't care as long as none of the cans are open.

Anonymous
Violence in AA rooms

Leave it open for women to respond. I know I have been hit 6 times and now have been barred from the Welcome group for 1 year because I complained. How is that for AA unity? Please answer or will you just ignore as AA does with most criticism valid or not.

anonymous
Offline
Joined: 2012-03-04
Re: Violence in AA rooms

There is never an excuse for violence. If someone commits an act of violence then the police should be called, by the victim or by those who are witnessing the violence. Meetings have to be a safe place. Perpetrators of violence should be stopped. If they are not, then this sort of group gives AA as a whole a bad name. No alcoholic's ego should ever be allowed to take the law into their own hands. Nor should they be above the law. I'm a male by the way,it is up to men to respond in such instances as well as women. It seems to me that there's a lot of boys and girls in AA at the moment, hiding in grown up bodies unwilling to take on grown up responsibilities.

barleycorn
Offline
Joined: 2012-02-25
Drug addicts in AA

Thanks Pat G. for your article (14 Nov 2012) on addicts and drugs in AA. I disagree with your logic and suggestion that perhaps AA members need to be more tolerant, encouraging and accepting of drugs and addicts in our meetings. I have no problem with addicts attending closed AA meetings providing they have a desire to stop drinking, identify themselves as alcoholics and share only on alcoholism. They can attend open meetings but should do so only as observers.

I believe there are few newcomers today who are pure alcoholics. Many, especially younger members, arrive at our doors on everything but roller skates. Does that mean that AA meetings should be open for discussion of any drug by addicts? I think not! Alcohol is the reason why our society formed and was named Alcoholics Anonymous. It is our sole reason for being. If we are open to discussion of every addiction (other drugs, smoking, food, work, sex, etc.) we should perhaps consider renaming our society; Everything Anonymous.

We have a common solution to our common problem to which all alcoholics can identify. Our message must be kept simple in order that all members might want what we have, keep coming back and have a reasonable chance of recovery.

Quoting BB stories (i.e. P 171 and p 407) to rationalize acceptable AA meeting practices is as folly as believing everything we hear at AA meetings. The personal opinions of the authors of BB stories don’t always reflect AA principals any more than some of the personal stories found in the Grapevine. AA meeting guidelines are better served when informed group conscience is based on the AA’s steps, traditions, Blue Card and our Preamble. Failure to adhere to traditional meeting guidelines can adversely affect other groups and AA as a whole. Outside issues (i.e. drugs) can destroy AA’s singleness of purpose, unity, growth, recovery rates and survival.

I do not detect raging resentments towards addicts attending our meetings but feel they should adhere to our traditions when doing so. Addicts should seek help in other 12 step programs or professional counselling outside AA meetings. Addicts should attend only open AA meetings and should not be asked to share. When we share on drugs or other outside issues we run the risk of members leaving AA because they can’t identify with what they hear. Where else can alcoholics go for help besides AA?

An AA group has only one purpose; to carry the message of recovery to the still suffering alcoholic through the teaching and practice of our steps and traditions. Let’s keep it that way!

Thanks for the part you play in my sobriety.

Mike B.
Oliver, BC.

Anonymous
Tolerance

I have been hit 4 times by one man and tired to be thrown to the ground by 2 others in the Welcome Group in Winnipeg. When I complained I was barred from the rooms for 1 year. When I attended a meeting they actually shut the meeting down. I challenge AA to publish these facts and justify them. But I will probably bet that they will be ignored.

Louella

Anonymous
Violence in the Welcome Group

This violence actually happened in the AA Welcome Group?
Call the police or 911 the minute something like this happens, would be my response.

Lorraine

anonymous
Offline
Joined: 2012-03-04
Re Tolerance

If you are assaulted with physical violence then you should call the police. If any AA member witnesses an act of violence against another, then they have a moral duty to both AA and society at large to protect the victim by calling the police. There is never an excuse for physical violence. AA meetings have to be a safe place.

AD010416
Offline
Joined: 2012-01-18
Re: Tolerance

A) Why were you hit and thrown down?
We have your side of the story, how about a little more info?
B) You will probably be ignored because you you don't give enough info for anyone to give you feedback.
C) If you took the attitude to the meeting that you're taking here I can almost sympathize with the group.

anonymous
Offline
Joined: 2012-03-04
Re: Tolerance ADO10416

Your comment is irresponsible. I am shocked at your response. There is never an excuse for violence. With an attitude like yours no wonder new alcoholics are finding other ways to recover instead of coming to AA. If an alcoholic is disruptive in a meeting then an immediate group conscience can be called, the disruptive person can be asked to leave and to come back again when they've calmed down. If they wont leave when being disruptive and asked to leave, then the police should be called. There is never an excuse for someone to take the law into their own hands through violence. Nor should any alcoholic's ego be above the law.

AD010416
Offline
Joined: 2012-01-18
Re: Re: Tolerance ADO10416

"Your comment is irresponsible."
Making a judgement after hearing only one side of a story is irresponsible. How do we know that the writer wasn't violent him/herself and was thrown down to prevent further violence?
We alcoholics are always the innocent victims, aren't we?

renejr
Offline
Joined: 2012-11-15
Grapevine

I am subcribe but I can not get the stories. It tells me I have to subscribe. What is the problem?

seank
Offline
Joined: 2012-01-06
Re: Grapevine

Have you logged in? I find that sometimes, I have to log in twice. It seems to forget when I click on the Magazine image :-)

Anonymous
july 2012 hope in the yard

I am a member of AA for 23 yrs I'm going to court jan. 2013 I may go to prison for awhile. The grapevines topic gave me hope.

Anonymous
drug addicts in AA

I suggest all of you who are raging in resentment over "drug addicts" being in AA re-read "Dr. Bob's Nightmare" in the Big Book, as he used drugs. (page 171) If it weren't for Dr. Bob, there would be no AA!! And who among you, would ask him to leave?? After that, perhaps you should read "Acceptance Was the Answer" in the Big Book. (page 407) He used drugs as well, and his contribution to AA was also invaluable. In all my years of working with "addicts", I have never met one who did NOT also have a problem with alcohol, just a problem with denial about their alcoholism. Alcohol is a drug, pure and simple. I am grateful that in my area of rural Pennsylvania, people embrace the "O" in the HOW of the program!!

Remember, "Love and tolerance of others is our code." (BB, page 84) Though it's hard to tell by most of these comments...

A grateful recovering alcoholic, Pat G.

AD010416
Offline
Joined: 2012-01-18
Re: drug addicts in AA

"Alcohol is a drug, pure and simple."
That's a widespread idea that has absolutely no bearing on AA's singleness of purpose.
Everyone is familiar with the apple. It is a fruit, fairly round in shape, usually red in color, juicy, and used in many different ways.
Though most people think of a tomato as a vegetable and use it as a vegetable, it is actually a fruit. Like apples, tomatoes are fairly round in shape, usually red in color, juicy, and used in many different ways.
If you are baking apple pies and run short of apples it is not a good idea to substitute a tomato or two. A fruit is a fruit, right?
How would you react to this at an AA meeting?
"My name is Jim and I'm an alcoholic and an adulterer. I realize this is AA but cheating on my wife is part of my story and maybe perhaps by chance there might possibly be another adulterer who can identify."
Or to steal one from a friend,
"My name is Jim and I'm an alcoholic and a Capricorn. I know this is AA but (notice how druggies always start their drugalogs with that phrase?) being a Capricorn is part of my story. And maybe, perhaps, by chance possibly another Capricorn can identify with the frustration of having a birthday so close to Christmas and missing out on the good presents."
I would be willing to bet that at any given AA meeting there are others who were born in late December/early January and a scattering of those who were unfaithful to their spouses. Shouldn't we allow them to feel special, too?
One final question, which has been asked countless times but never answered. Why do addicts insist on attending AA and refuse to attend NA?

Anonymous
hitting a brick wall

I attend AA. It's the first place I came for help when getting out of rehab and surrendering to life on life's terms. What sent me to rehab was alcoholic binging, popping Xanax like candy, and frequenting the emergency rooms to complain of whatever pain would get me IV Demerol. I see my story reflected in several of the BB stories, and my story includes abusing any kind of substance that would temporarily relieve the fear and emotional pain.

I am no chemist or psychiatrist, but I think the ongoing debate of whether alcohol is a drug makes AA sound like they are arguing that the earth is flat. Alcohol is a drug by every definition. Instead of arguing whether or not it IS a drug, perhaps our focus should be on the fact that it is a very unique drug that requires a fellowship of those who can relate to the specifics of alcohol addiction.

Quite a few people in my AA meetings get so visibly irritated when the words "drug" or "addiction" are used. The Big Book makes it very clear that the steps are a path for finding relief from all our character defects, but if one of putt character defects is drug addiction, then we need to walk out and go find an NA meeting?

I would like to see AAs stop freaking out over the words "drug" and "addiction" and start living the responsibility declaration, which speaks for itself, "I am responsible when ANYONE, ANYWHERE, reaches out for help, I want the hand of AA always to be there. And for that I am responsible."

May I humbly propose that singleness of purpose doesn't mean we focus only on problems having to do with alcohol, it means keeping our focus on the solution.

Anonymous
our single purpose

One more thought Pat, Our third tradition in it's long form reads: "Our Membership ought to include all who suffer from alcoholism. Hence we may refuse none who wish to recover. Nor ought AA membership ever depend upon money or conformity. Any two or three alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an AA group, provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation." Just more food for thought. Mike

Anonymous
our single purpose

Your points are well taken but that is not the issue, if we continue to look at our fellowship as "Addictions Anonymous" AA will cease to exist. Please read Bill W's thoughts on the matter in the pamphlet "Problems Other Than Alcoholism", his words ring true today after all these years. I have a friend in the NA program who states very emphatically the reason NA struggles somewhat is that we in AA keep their newcomers! My experience has been in watching non-alcoholics trying to recover in AA is that eventually they exhaust their recovery energy trying to "compare" their particular addiction with our alcoholism.One must relate not compare. True there are similarities between drugs and alcohol but in reality there are VAST differences. So my question to you is when AA is no longer AA where are the drunks like me supposed to go? AA Love Mike

Anonymous
re pat

I havn’t read any posts from alcoholics with “raging resentments over drug additcts”, mostly honest discussion of customs and AA traditions.
You are right, Dr Bob did use drugs. If you read Bill’s story you will find he used drugs also. The part you are missing is that both Dr Bob and Bill W where alcoholics. To be a member of AA you have to at least have a desire to stop drinking.
If you would be so kind as to read the AA conference approved pamphlet “problems other than alcohol”, you will find AA’s stand on nonalcoholic addicts being members of AA. Non alcoholics cannot be members of AA. Of course you are a member if you say you are. No one can decide for another if they have a desire to stop drinking.
The real problem with nonalcoholics in AA is that when an alcoholic newcomer comes to Alcoholics Anonymous, they will be greeted by nonalcoholics. The backbone of AA is identification. If the newcomer cannot identify with the group, they will not recover.
The other issue is that nonalcoholics cannot give straight AA talks about alcoholism from personal experience and also cannot carry out AA’s 12 step to newcomers. How can you carry the message of AA if you are not an alcoholic?
Again to make it clear, if you read tradition 3 long form, it says AA ought to include all who suffer from alcoholism.(not other addictions)
Remember to apply to yourself what you wrote about page 84.
God bless you,
Corey in Mn

Anonymous
RE: Drug addicts in A.A

Identification is the backbone of recovery from
addiction, whether alcohol, drugs or food. Bill W.
explains that on page 70 in our history book, Alcoholics
Anonymous Comes of Age. I simply do not identify with
the drug addict. And she/he probably will not identify
with me.
A drug is a drug is a drug. That statement is true.
It is equally true that a duck is a duck is a duck.
Both statements are just nonsense.
We fail both the alcoholic and the drug addict by
allowing the drug addict to become an A.A. member.
In meetings I attend, we are tolerant of members
who state that they are addicts. By saying My name Joe
and I am an addict, and continuing to share at an
A.A. meeting, the requirement tradition is violated.
If those A.A. members who are also drug addicts,
and there are many, would get involved in N/A or
similar fellowship, addicts would have a chance at
recovery through identification. Combining the two
fellowships harms almost everyone. ANONYMOUS

AD010416
Offline
Joined: 2012-01-18
Re: Drug Addicts in AA

"I suggest all of you who are raging in resentment over "drug addicts" being in AA re-read "Dr. Bob's Nightmare" in the Big Book, as he used drugs. (page 171)"
A) the first mention of drugs (sedatives) in "Dr. Bob's nightmare" is on page 176, not 171. It is mentioned again on page 177.
B) There is no documentation that Dr. Bob or Bill W. were ever addicted to drugs (except nicotine), nor did they ever identify themselves as addicts. On the contrary, They seem to have had no trouble at all in giving up any drug use.
C) There is a world of difference between mentioning (one or two sentences) drug use and sharing about drug use at length in print or a live meeting.
C) Insisting that AA abandon the Traditions, that AA change to suit the addict, is the ultimate in selfishness, which our Big Book calls "...the root of our problem.
D) With all the twelve step programs available, why are addicts the only ones who refuse to attend the ones that address their problem and insist on joining AA? Denial, Perhaps?

Anonymous
really?

the first mention of drugs is the first line of the 2nd letter of the dr.s opinion...nice try...do your homework.

Anonymous
I totally agree with ADO1046

I am coming up on thirty years and have heard almost every reason why an addict believes he/she has a right to belong to .AA.

I believe this (A Drug is A Drug) came out of spin dry units.

One of the founders of N A wrote a letter to A A thanking us first for allowing them to use OUR PROGRAM and went further in thanking the AA Membership for asking addicts not dually addicted persons to go to N A meetings.

As he said in the letter, if they had not been asked leave their NA program would not have grown.

The letter can be found in the Grapevine archives by searching = (letter from N A) I highly suggest reading that letter.

Post new comment