Magazine Discussion Topic
I'll add one more quote from AA literature to those Corey posted.
The 12 & 12, pages 141 and 142, tells the story of the first alcoholic with another problem who approached AA. The main difference between that gentleman and today's addicts is in the sentence, "Never did he trouble anyone with his other difficulty."
As an alcoholic, drug addiction doesn't disturbe me much in AA rooms. As a newcomer, I just wish sex addiction and predators would go elsewhere for help. Hope the program will work for me so I can grow stronger and help others in more safety feelings.
This is in response to the article in the August Grapevine submitted by an anonymous atheist about the nature of our primary purpose. He or she writes that they are troubled that our Big Book “is clearly written in a moral tone, more Christian than anything”. No surprise there. Before there was a Big Book, Bill and Dr. Bob searched for answers in select Bible readings. Alcoholics Anonymous in Ohio split off from the Oxford meetings (a modern attempt to mimic first century Christianity). Our Big Book describes how the first 100 sobered up after that split from purely religious philosophy. I hope you are not suggesting that we rewrite history. I fully agree with the writer that an AA meeting is not the place for sharing personal religious beliefs. I also cringe when someone makes any reference to a personal creed or deity. Nor is cross talking a good idea, yet that happens too. Sharing at length about family problems or work issues without reference to recovery is also inappropriate. Many meeting formats suggest that “we take what we need and leave the rest”. You might try that my anonymous friend. You might also take a look at page 90 of the Twelve and Twelve. “It is a spiritual axiom” (whoops, there is that word again) “that every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us”. If you cannot lay aside your prejudice against spiritual terms such as these, perhaps you can take your resentment and a coffee pot and start an Atheists Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. Personally, I hope you don’t. I fully believe that our strength comes from others in the group. We have much to learn from each other. Victor K, St. Louis, MO
When I read that article in the grapevine, it made me want to move to Austin. It was so refreshing to hear someone who feels as I do. Unlike the writer above, I hear no sign of resentment from Jerry S. What I do hear from Victor, is if you won't support my way of thinking, I'm going to cut you down, call you names, take your inventory. One of my favorite lines is, if I am okay with myself, I have no need to make you wrong.
Thank you jerry, for your refreshing and honest submission to grapevine.
I am sad to see what is happening in Akron. What has happened to guardianship of our Traditions? What has happened to modesty in our public relations? Thousands of alcoholics gathering together to celebrate a mass public event is repeating Washingtonian movement history. The motorcycle motorcade to Dr. Bob’s grave is reminiscent of the Washingtonian’s triumphant parade in Boston. The destruction of the Washingtonian movement is a warning written into A.A. Tradition. I do not believe Dr. Bob or Bill W. would have condoned such mass public events to mark their meeting in 1935; they would have spoken against it. It smacks of unhealthy religious emotionalism. Neither of them wanted a monument on their graves connecting them to A.A. Their monument was Alcoholics Anonymous. Better to let them rest in peace, in respect of their anonymity. Mark their meeting in another way, in gratitude and respect of their leadership by guarding your Third Legacy, guarding Traditions, spending time with a newcomer, or visiting an alcoholic in a hospital medical ward instead.
Extracts from “Modesty One Plank for Good Public Relations” by Bill W:
… “Mass meeting in 1841, at City Hall Park, New York City, attracted 4,000 listeners. Speakers stood on upturned rum kegs." "Triumphal parades in Boston. Historic Faneuil Hall jammed." (Overdone self-advertising--exhibitionism? Anyhow, it sounds very alcoholic, doesn't it!) "Politicians looked hungrily at the swelling membership. . .”
…“We are sure that if the original Washingtonians could return to this planet they would be glad to see us learning from their mistakes. They would not regard our observations as aimless criticism. Had we lived in their day we might have made the same errors. Perhaps we are beginning to make some of them now.
So we need to constantly scrutinize ourselves carefully, in order to make everlastingly certain that we always shall be strong enough and single purposed enough from within, to relate ourselves rightly to the world without.
Now then, does A.A. have a public relations policy? Is it good enough? Are its main principles clear? Can it meet changing conditions over the years to come?”…. (Bill W. AA Grapevine August 1945, The Language of the Heart pp 3-6)
With courts ruling AA is religious, something is going drastically wrong with AA public relations.
The Washingtonian Movement can be found in the following AA publications:
The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions: Tradition Ten
Pass it On pp 325n 354, 366-7n
The Language of The Heart pp 4-5, 7, 11, 43
Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age pp 77, 124-125
I wonder how many of today's AA members have any clue
as to what you are writing about. Recently at an AA
meeting a member stated that he had never heard of the
Language of the Heart book. He has 29 years sobriety.
I hope you are still attending meetings and voicing
your concerns. It is not easy to do so. No one seems to be
interested in the traditions. Traditions meetings are
scarce. Our 21 trustees are the custodians of our
traditions. They are out of reach of the membership.
I wrote personal letters to every trustee a few years
ago and not one of them responded. NOT ONE! I sent
emails to the chairman of the board of trustees last
year, expressing my concerns. I did not get so much
as an acknowledgement, complete silence.
I really could not believe that a monument to Dr. Bob
was erected in Akron. But I believe it is there. Dr.
Bob and Bill W. must be "spinning in their graves"
screaming NO! NO!. We have made lots of mistakes,
blunders Bill calls them. Bill warned us about almost
all of them. Yes Alcoholics Anonymous is faltering on
the edge of collapse. Our membership numbers show the
sad truth. It is sad to see such a wonderful solution
(which works) distorted and eventually will be lost.
Thanks for your message and your concern. ANONYMOUS
In my town, there are quite a few book studies that alternate the BB with the 12+12. Sometimes, when we get to discussing the traditions, it is enlightening and educational, but more often the participants are either bored or on a soapbox about this-or-that group who doesn't follow the traditions. The only cure that I can imagine would work for me is if we could focus on the spirit of the traditions. WHY they matter.
I am reminded of the Pharisees in the Bible. Jesus told the people to beware of those who clean the outside of the cup, but the inside is dirty. Bill says to get our own house in order first, then the true spirit of how the traditions work will be made clear to us.
I woke up this morning praying for guidance. I have had a terrible financial year, despite what looks like a fairly successful business, I haven't done a good job at running it and I am not running at a profit. As a matter of fact, I have suffered fairly substantial loss.
I've been sober two years, but that just means I have not been drinking. I haven't been truly sober. I ran away from most of my drinking triggers, but I'm still basically a dry drunk. I've allowed anger and old resentments to come through in business and that has really hurt me financially.
I didn't start out in AA the right way, and now that I've got 2 years, I don't know how to start. i had a temporary sponsor, but i never got one after that. i worked the steps once, and then didn't start them again. i go to a meeting once in awhile and feel great afterward, but then i don't go back for weeks and i go back to being what i know is a bit better than what i was before, but not what i'd like to be.
my financial condition weighs on me so much that i worry constantly about it. i worry in my dreams when i can sleep. i worry when i wake and most of the day despite my best efforts to meditate and pray to let go and let God, for God's guidance and to accept what is and to take things a day at a time. Thanks.
I know how that feels. I have eleven years of sobriety, and I can still be "on a dry drunk" if I allow myself to do that. And, my finances aren't in the greatest shape as well. However, I am finally realizing that A.A. is a program of recovery, not a program of "Let's get rich---quick!"
I hope and pray that since you have written this post that you have found a *real* sponsor, and have begun working the Steps with him/her. They are the solutions for worry, and many other situations which can consume us. And, attending meetings is where we alkies find that a problem shared is a problem cut in half.
As you go through the journey through the Steps, you will be amazed at how many things change. In my case, I've found that although I don't LIKE my financial condition, the first step toward change is accepting it just as it is now. Then, I talk with my sponsor, and ask my Higher Power, Whom I choose to call God for guidance, direction and protection!
I hope this post helps you or another alkie in the "dry drunk" stage. I also hope that I haven't posted too late to help *you*. May God Bless you---real good!
Just Another Alkie :-)
I lost my job in January 2012 and have issues of my professional license on the line. I spiraled down to isolation and all day drinking. I found AA and was wrapped in a blanket of love and compassion I didn't know existed. I became sober the next day (May 10th.) There are others who are basically in the same position career wise and I find solice talking to them. I've got a great sponser and I attend meetings daily. I have to live day by day. I still have these legal problems hanging over my head and because of this I cannot get a job to make a living. This problem will not be resolved soon.
It's OK! At least I have sobriety and people I can talk to who understand how my mind works. I know great things will happen and I already see some now.
GET A SPONSOR; GO TO A LOT OF MEETINGS; QUIT GETTING INTO YOURSELF AND ACTUALLY "LET GO AND LET GOD."
Start attending some "Step Study" groups. There you will find clues on how to manage your life & meet people who have already learned to do the same. Perhaps even a sponsor who has solved his financial problems.
I know exactly how you feel. i did the same thing, but for a couple weeks and not 2 years.
My sponsor taught me to read pages 84-88(steps 10 & 11) as part of my daily meditation. after a while practicing 10 & 11 became automatic.
The next part is reading chapter 7 as often as possible. it taught me how to work step 12.
Finally, find a sponsor that practices the 12 steps as a way of life. hard to find, but easy to spot. they are happy, joyous, free, and don't give hysterical advise.
After reading posts about certain people thinking drug addicts should not be allowed in AA I am irate!!!! My AA meetings welcome us drug addicts and if they did not I'd prob still be using . AA is here for anyone who has the deire to stop drinking and w/ many of us when we drank we then in turn used drugs... And seeing as alcohol is a drug I just don't understand anyone having a problem w/ drug addicts attending the meetings. Maybe we all need to be more understanding of anyone who enters the rooms wanting help. I say welcome anyone w/ an addiction . Afterall we can save lives or be judgemental and turn someone away who finally reached out for help and was turned away . WAKE UP AND HELP YOUR FELLOW MAN OR WOMAN WHO ASKS FOR OUR HELP!!!
With those, with your other addiction I am sure you would have enough to start an N A meeting and allow the A A meeting to do what it does best.
As your needs are not being fully met in a A A meeting, and just being dry or in your case not picking up is not a condition that one can call being sober in the true meaning as it is referred to in the B B Book.
In a N A meeting you would be called out on various shares where at an A A meeting they would not have a clue for a way to help you. Unless that is what you are worried about
Like I said with almost 30 years I have seen and heard both sides of the story.
Hugh London Ontario
So are cons, liars, cheats and thief's - Whats your point?
Support them too !!!!
As long as you say you're an alcoholic you are welcome no matter how many other problems you have,especially "anger" which you seem to have in abundance.
You should read the pamphlet, Problems Other Than Alcohol."
This has been an ongoing argument for more years than I care to count. I have yet to hear one honest reason for addicts to avoid NA, CA, or one of the hundreds of programs designed for drug users. Many excuses but not one valid reason.
Based strictly on my personal observation and listening to addicts I have come to my own conclusions.
A. By coming to AA meetings an addict can deny his/her addiction.
B. By identifying as an addict at an AA meeting he/she can deny his/her alcoholism.
C. being an addict at an AA meeting allows the addict to be different, to stand out, to be special.
A drug is a drug is a drug? So what? Not all drugs are addictive. Aspirin is a drug, how many aspirin addicts attend AA meetings?
I have an addiction in addition to my alcoholism. When I felt the craving for that particular substance I used and the craving disappeared until the drug left my system. I didn't crave alcohol until I took a drink, and then with each drink the craving grew, it didn't diminish.
They screwed up NA, where else can they go?
"They screwed up NA, where else can they go?"
They can go back to NA and work to straighten it out.
N A is not screwed up. It is the person that screwed up while attending their meetings. My experience is they run a tougher program and those who screw up there think they can get some sympathy from one of the little old ladies in A A that does not understand their problems because she had not taken the same path.
Why would they have any interest on returning to N/A?
They are comfortable with us in AA. They have been allowed
to become AA members the same as the rest of us. They will
remain unless and until we begin steering them back to their own fellowship. I have heard that in some parts of the country,
if a member makes the statement "my name is Jim and I am
an alcoholic and addict", the group chants "two bucks in the basket", and the visitor is informed that "this is
an AA meeting".
My real concern is that most addicts do not remain
abstinent in AA or N/A. In a one hour N/A meeting, at
least 20 minutes is spent reading "required" redundant
material. They have followed AA with that ritual.
Parallel, AA and N/A can offer a real solution to
alcoholism and drug addiction. Combine them (which we have
done for decades) and both fellowships lose their effectiveness. Today's AA member, and N/A member have
no idea how to carry the message of recovery. Both fellowships have had the "cart before the horse" for
the past 25 years. Until we return the horse to
its proper position, alcoholics and addicts will
continue to suffer. This suffering is not necessary.
Study Bill W.'s words on page 70 in AA Comes Of Age,
concerning how to carry the message to others. ANONYMOUS
“Now there are certain things that AA cannot do for anybody, regardless of what our several desires or sympathies may be.
Our first duty, as a society, is to insure our own survival. Therefore we have to avoid distractions and multi-purpose activity. An AA group, as such, cannot take on all the personal problems of its members, let alone the problems of the whole world.
Sobriety--freedom from alcohol--through the teaching and practice of the Twelve Steps, is the sole purpose of an AA group. Groups have repeatedly tried other activities and they have always failed. It has also been learned that there is no possible way to make non-alcoholics into AA members. We have to confine our membership to alcoholics and we have to confine our AA groups to a single purpose. If we don't stick to these principles, we shall almost surely collapse. And if we collapse, we cannot help anyone.
To illustrate, let's review some typical experiences. Years ago, we hoped to give AA membership to our families and to certain non-alcoholic friends who had been greatly helpful. They had their problems, too, and we wanted them in our fold. Regretfully, we found that this was impossible. They couldn't make straight AA talks; nor, save a few exceptions, could they identify with new AA members. Hence, they couldn't do continuous Twelfth Step work. Close to us as these good folks were, we had to deny them membership. We could only welcome them at our open meetings.
Therefore I see no way of making non-alcoholic addicts into AA members. Experience says loudly that we can admit no exceptions, even though drug users and alcoholics happen to be first cousins of a sort. If we persist in trying this, I'm afraid it will be hard on the drug user himself, as well as on AA. We must accept the fact that no non-alcoholic, whatever his affliction, can be converted into an alcoholic AA member.”……….
........“I'm very sure that these experiences of yesterday can be the basis of resolving today's confusions about the narcotic problem. This problem is new, but the AA experience and Tradition which can solve it is already old and time-tested. I think we might sum it up like this:
We cannot give AA membership to non-alcoholic narcotics-addicts. But like anyone else, they should be able to attend certain open AA meetings, provided, of course, that the groups themselves are willing. AA members who are so inclined should be encouraged to band together in groups to deal with sedative and drug problems. But they ought to refrain from calling themselves AA groups.
There seems to be no reason why several AAs cannot join, if they wish, with a group of straight addicts to solve the alcohol and the drug problem together. But, obviously, such a "dual purpose" group should not insist that it be called an AA group nor should it use the AA name in its title. Neither should its "straight addict" contingent be led to believe that they have become AA members by reason of such an association.”
Bill W. (Co-founder of AA)
(Extracts from “Problems other than alcohol” The Language of the Heart pp 222-225. AA Grapevine, February 1958,)
To be fair to alcoholics who have other addictions I think Bill W’s summary of what AA Cannot do for narcotics addicts ought to have been included in the above post. Just in case there are some of those comical “pure alcoholics” about. The meaning of AA’s singleness of purpose in Tradition Five is however, clear and unequivocal.
Bill W's summary:
“Suppose, though, that we are approached by a drug addict who nevertheless has had a genuine alcoholic history. There was a time when such a person would have been rejected. Many early AAs had the almost comical notion that they were "pure alcoholics"--guzzlers only, no other serious problems at all. When alcoholic "ex-cons" and drug users first turned up there was much pious indignation. "What will people think?" chanted the pure alcoholics. Happily, this foolishness has long since evaporated.
One of the best AAs I know is a man who had been seven years on the needle before he joined up with us. But prior to that, he had been a terrific alcoholic and his history proved it. Therefore he could qualify for AA and this he certainly did. Since then, he has helped many AAs and some non-AAs with their pill and drug troubles. Of course, that is strictly his affair and is no way the business of the AA group to which he belongs. In his group he is a member because, in actual fact, he is an alcoholic. Such is the sum of what AA Cannot do--for narcotics addicts or for anybody else.”
Bill W. (Co-founder of AA)
(Extract from “Problems other than alcohol” The Language of the Heart pp 222-225 AA Grapevine February 1958)
"...Just in case there are some of those comical “pure alcoholics” about." Comical? What's so comical about alcoholics or alcoholism? Perhaps you're positive there is no such thing as an alcoholic who didn't get addicted to drugs? Bill W. saw fit to differentiate between the "real alcoholic" and the "certain type of hard drinker" when he wrote the Big Book.
Insisting that AA abandon the traditions to admit anyone and everyone with a problem is not the least bit comical, but very arrogant.
You won't find a real Alcoholic in a NA meeting that's for sure.
True, you won't find them. But they may be there. They
just do not identify themselves as alcoholics. They respect
the fellowship they are in. I am a real alcoholic, and have
never abused drugs, and have been to several NA meetings. Do you get my drift? ANONYMOUS
Thanks for taking the time and energy to post this for
those who are not interested enough to look it up. It is
time to acknowledge the fact that combining alcoholics
and drug addicts in one fellowship has been another
blunder. The trial and error period has gone on much too
long. Both fellowships have been greatly harmed, in my
opinion. It is not that one is any better or worse than
the other, just different. We need to return to our
singleness of purpose.
If a dual addicted alcoholic has any interest in
helping the drug addict, expend a little energy and get
involved in the creation of a meeting of addicts where
they can help each other. And I do not mean an N/A
meeting. I mean a fellowship where recovered and
recovering addicts can share experience, strength and
hope with each other, not to read to each other, and
chant, yell, hoot and holler. The N/A. meetings I
have gone to just read the same readings over and over
which consumes much of meeting time. I see very little
success at those meetings. Many are just loud nonsense,
just like many A.A. meetings.
If enough of us continue to remain silent, both
alcoholics and drug addicts will have no hope. ANONYMOUS
Thank you for your reply, I agree with what you say. AA must stick to its singleness of purpose or disintegrate like the Washingtonian movement. But I think it would be better if both AA and NA sorted out the unruly behaviour issues in meetings, rather than alcoholic- narcotics addicts forming yet another type of fellowship.
I thought you’d like to know that if ever you want to use a quote from Language of the Heart in your posts, it’s quick and easy to look up the article in the AA Grapevine archive and then copy and paste. I feel a twinge of guilt, you thanking me for my time and energy.
You have my sympathy and support. Addiction is addiction is addiction, whether it is to alcohol, coke, or cigarettes.
I am hoping that with enough work, we can find the momentum to effect some carefully thought out change within AA.
Hang in there, follow the steps, read, journal, meditate and pray, and share your thoughts, feelings and concerns with your sponsor. Tap into your spiritual source, and know that you are a cherished child of the infinite universe for all time.
IF YOU HAVE NO TROUBLE, WHY NOT START N A IN YOUR AREA
My sponsor pointed out to me that you won't find anyone under 35 years old in AA arguing that drug addicts should be kept out. That's because they either used drugs themselves or are tolerant toward those who did and are now in recovery. They are baffled by this whole controversy.
It's the older folks who are trying to keep AA pure. All I can say to them is, good luck...
Drug addicts are welcome to attend open meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous. They may attend closed meetings only if they are alcoholic and confine their shares to the subject of alcoholism and recovery. You hear in Treatment Centers that "a drug is a drug is a drug." Not so. A fruit is a fruit is a fruit but an apple is not an orange. I have reached out to suffering drug addicts and directed them to NA. We can't be all things to all people. Closed meetings are for those who are alcoholic.
If you are a non-alcoholic trying to recover in A A, my experience has shown that eventually you will expend your recovery energy trying to compair your addiction to my alcoholism. There is a vast difference in compairison and identification.If you do not have a problem with alcohol please find a fellowship with which you can identify! If you don't you might die in an attempt to relate. Please read our history, with an open mind, it reveals that we must do one thing and one thing only: Carry our message to the ALCOHOLIC who still suffers. With AA love, Mike
I have been in AA for 23 years and I get so tired of this heirarchy of addiction. After a while it just seems as if we addicts are just looking for something to argue about. At the base, the compulsions are the same and our twisted thinking messes up our lives and our emotional health in the same ways. As they say, we need to look for similarities and not differences. Splitting hairs about the bottle or the pipe is just another way for addicts to make ourselves "special and unique." "Oh, you couldn't understand what I went through. You're not an alcoholic!" That is rediculous. Get down to the basics of the program and reach out to others in the spirit of unity and love.
Are you an alcoholic? What is this hierarchy of
addiction? Are you on the bottle or the pipe? I believe
the very best thing we, as sober members of A.A. can do to help drug addicts is to
keep our fellowships separate. I do not identify with
the things that drug addicts do.
"Get down to the basics of the program and reach
out to others in the spirit of unity and love." I
cannot give away something I do not have. I have
very little to offer the drug addict, unless she/he
has a desire to stop drinking. Alcoholics Anonymous
offers a solution to alcoholism. This solution
rarely fails. ANONYMOUS
What exactly do you mean by you don't identify with things drug addicts do? Does this mean you weren't a low bottom drunk? Alcoholism didn't cause you to be a liar, cheat &/or thief? You didn't lie or steal in order to drink? What do you mean you don't identify? Does the fact that you were ONLY an alcoholic make you superior to a drug addict then? Because you were able to go to an acceptable liquor store to obtain your drug of choice? Because drinking is legal, being an alcoholic is legal? Each addictive substance one ingests & becomes addicted to, has their own separate means of ingestion, side effects, withdrawal symptoms and long term mental/physical consequences. However as pertaining to the consequences of what addiction does to the human life & relationships the effect is the same across the board. The solution for ALL addiction; whether it be to alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, opioids, heroin or whatever ~ IS THE SAME: Stop using ALL mind altering substances, find a power greater than oneself, work to discover & correct the character defects that lead to the addiction, repairing any damage these defects caused, learning to live by spiritual principles & helping others (with the preferred method of completing these things being Working the 12 steps with someone who has worked them before you)
Acceptance & tolerance are key requirements to a joyful spirit and those of you who haven't yet acquired these are only selling yourselves short. You've missed the boat I am sorry to say. What a pity!
My take on these "arguments" is that often we are trying to win a debate point as opposed to being helpful, period. If I, an alcoholic with a bleed over to benzo's that was troublesome but not truly addicting in how it hits my chemistry, wander into an NA meeting due to: it is within walking distance on a snowy night say, and my ass is on fire, and I cannot make the perfect match connection to the AA meeting miles away, nobody seems too taken aback if A) I am polite, cordially brief and not a hijacker of the room's time and B) not on any mission of purity of purpose but rather a dude in distress that could use fellowship of a kind that is a close second-best (sometimes better) to my regular AA meetings. I am happy to reciprocate a figurative "temporary pass" at least, to any/all that find their way into MY AA meetings. Humility and common-sense need not be barred from the equation. My hunch is that an opiate abuser/addict say, feels just as antsy, desperate, defeated, jangly and worthlessly dangerous as me in the throes of my active alcoholism. If cross-attending keeps our respective first use from occuring on a given night, my hunch is our world is a better place - we can always gradually make one another feel unwelcome over time if that is the goal, to re-establish our "singularity of purpose".
Respectfully, John N.
Thank you for that! I could not agree more!
It is time for AA to recognize its own calcification, its lack of ability to flex and adapt to a changing world. Alcohol is a drug/chemical/substance and it affects the brain in the same way that other addictive substances do. "Drug addicts" have the same issues that we do, need the same self-honesty and spiritual growth that we do, deserve the benefit of a loving and accepting community, just as we all do.
If people are getting carried away during meetings with descriptions of their drunken ways, and then have difficulty relating to the "drug addict's" descriptions of their mishaps while "high", then they are all focused on the wrong things.
Meetings are about RECOVERY, and not about who did the most outrageous things back in the day.
To turn a cold shoulder to the drug addict who is reaching out for help is so abhorrent to me personally, that it causes me to question the whole AA program, from A to Z.
Love, tolerance, acceptance, service, recovery, unity.
Not exclusion, but INCLUSION! Exclusion is simply bigotry by another name, frankly. And it is our youngest and most fragile people who are in need of our experience, strength and hope, and to reject their pleas for help is unconscionable.
Recall the responsibility pledge, and examine your heart. Do you really believe it is right to pull away the hand of AA when someone is reaching out to it?
From my perpective, the trouble is this misunderstanding that a person who is alcoholic is addicted to alcohol. That is not always the case and it isn't/wasn't for me.
Alcohol effects me differently than it does a lot of other people I know. I was a blackout drinker from the beginning. I was more of a binge drinker overall, but was never physically addicted to it.
This whole misunderstanding about the nature of alcoholism is one of the most important things that AA has worked tirelessly to communicate to those who are still suffering. Read the Doctor's Opinion and you will find out that alcoholism is not necessarily about being "addicted" to a particular substance.
The answer can be true if your a drug addict but the answer is NO if your an Alcoholic.
A fruit is a fruit right, there is a huge difference between an APPLE and an ORANGE just like the huge difference between a wanna be Alcoholic and an alcoholic
As has been said again and again. Alcoholics Anonymous is for alcohlics. It's so simple It is a principle that has been with us since the beginning. I don't recall anything in the Big Book where alcoholics "reach out" to drug addicts. Should we welcome compulsive gamblers, sex addicts, "shopaholics" into the meetings of AA? We cannot, nor should we try, to be all things to all people. AA has been watered down so much, it has ceased to grow. We're at a standstill because we've been so "inclusive" and arrogant in thinking we can help any suffering person. To recover, non-alcoholics should be attending other 12-step groups. This is a selfish program
I hope the editors and readers will forgive me for such long post.
This was shared by a member of an on line group in Sept. 'o3,
I post it here with thanks to Dan K.
"Consider for a moment your first meeting?
If yours was like mine, you probably stumbled into a small AA hall somewhere.... full of fear, angry at almost everything, and yet with that vague hope that maybe there was an answer inside. You were half-eager to be there, and half-eager to bolt for the bar at the first opportunity. Maybe you were there against your will.... 'cause somebody sent you.
What would your response have been had somebody walked up to you and said, "Welcome to Anything Anonymous! I'm Gloria and as you probably noticed I'm way overweight... that's why I come. What are you, anyway? You look a little thin and emaciated. Are you a druggie? We got lots of those. Oh, so you're an alcoholic, huh? Well, don't worry about that.... we've a bunch of those here, too.
"Now, don't worry about what you hear.... you'll hear all sorts of strange things here. It's up to you to sort it out, so every time you hear the word drugs, think alcohol, and every time you hear the word over-eating, think alcohol. You'll get the hang of it after awhile. Obviously, when one of us tells the newcomer not to eat so much, that won't apply to you.... you need to eat. And if one of our gamblers asks you for a stake on a hot tip, I would recommend you not give him or her any money! Avoid the crying ones who will lean on your shoulder and tell you about their alcoholic parents.... they have there own sub-group in here, too."
I don't know what you would have done. I'll tell you what I would have done..... I'd have turned and run for the door just as fast as my feet would carry me. And if AA was like that.... I'd still be running.... if I was still alive, that is.
This matter of singleness of purpose, primary purpose and the only requirement is not, in my mind, a case to be discussed on the moral merits.... those vague and lofty pronouncements we all feel that our principles are so wonderful and work so well, we ought to be willing to share them with all God's children. They can't be discussed on that level because it's true.... our principles ARE wonderful, and they work well for a whole host of other problems that don't have anything to do with alcohol.
Nor should we discuss this from the viewpoint of an addict is an addict is an addict. Maybe that's true, and maybe it isn't. It hasn't been proven scientifically, that I know for a fact. In each case, alcoholic, addict, overeater or gambler... I find the scientific evidence clear... different areas of the brain are responding to stimuli in different ways, through the manufacture of different body chemicals. To me, similarities don't mean so much as that one difference.... that one unknown... and that is simply this: I don't know FOR SURE they are the same.... and since I don't know FOR SURE.... then I need to be keeping my big mouth shut, because my pronouncements might well kill one of them if my advice were followed.
What we need to do is clearly understand the tiger in the cage. Alcoholics. Alcoholism.
My experience was, is and likely will be this: This disease that I have is so devastating in its impact, so terrifying in its many forms, and so relentless in its cunning, baffling and powerful nature.... that it takes all my energy, almost, to stay in recovery from this one thing. I, as an alcoholic, am high maintenance. I need a lot of directed effort, and I need a lot of directed attention. I need constant focus. I need a structure in which to function devoted exclusively to what I suffer from.... alcoholism.
My denial system is a fact. It is huge. So is yours, probably, if you are an alcoholic. My delusional and fact-twisting nature is well known in the alcoholic literature. My alibi-system can do double back flips, blindfolded, and land on its feet every single time. If I let up, or change my focus, even for a very short time.... I start to deteriorate. So do we all, if common experience can be believed.
So, you see, it isn't that the ideas of sharing aren't good ones. And it isn't that many different kinds of conditions can profit from what we have. It isn't a moral question, and it isn't an issue of what would be right and what might be wrong.
It is an issue of life or death. This tiger in this cage will kill me or you if it gets loose. Let us concentrate on this one thing. That's more than enough for all of us. You see, for all the high-faluting morality and high-minded talk..... simply put.... alcoholics die until and unless there's a specific place FOR ALCOHOLICS.
One last thought: The mission statement and the traditions have never once told me what you have to do.... all they've ever done is tell me what I need to be doing. Period.
God Bless, Ya'll, and have a great week
A.A. HAS been flexible and it has almost destroyed us.
By trying to be all things to all sufferers we have not only
hurt ourselves, but have failed those we have tried to help.
Sure. we could just lump all those who suffer from addiction
into one pile. But then all we have is a pile of crap. And, in my opinion, that is what we have done slowly over the
past three decades. Drug addicts are dying. Alcoholics are
suffering and dying. Drug addicts don't suffer as much. They
just die in their sleep.
You are right. We are failing a generation of young
people. We fail them by letting them think that we of A.A.
can help them recover from drug addiction. We can indeed help them, by helping them to help themselves. As sober
members of Alcoholics Anonymous, we have a method which worked for us. We have a fellowship of men and women. We can help drug addicts to form the same type of fellowship for themselves.
An alcoholic can help an alcoholic. A drug addict
can help a drug addict. A food addict can help a food
addict. I can identify with the alcoholic and the overeater, but I have never used drugs. I have had a
crash course in drug addiction in the past few years,
and now understand why the fellowships must be separated
and kept separate, if any of them are going to survive.
If you are truely dually addicted, "doubly blessed".
form a drug addicts meeting and focus on drug use and
what goes along with drug addiction. Pattern it after
the A.A. method of the 1970's, not today's A.A. Today's
A.A. is just a twelve step program, only one of many
such programs, and has very limited success. We need
wholsale recovery methods today. Our country has an
epidemic of alcoholism and drug addiction. Bill
W. and Dr. Silkworth left us a solution many years
ago. That solution came in the form of a simple IDEA.
I have one question, how do you react to alcohol? if you find you cannot quit entirely or if when drinking you have little control over the amount you take, you are probably an alcoholic.
If you cannot relate to that simple question, In my opinion you are in the wrong fellowship. In AA we relate to each other at first by our mental obsession with alcohol and our physical allergy. we also have strange mental blank spots when we think drinking will somehow be different this time.
I am more than willing to help anyone. I am also trying not to hurt anyone any more as well.
It has been my experience that allowing someone who is not an alcoholic belong to an aa group is hurting them, the group, and any newcomer that only has an alcohol problem. When it comes time to do aa 12 step work, the nonalcoholic cannot relate their experience to the newcomer. At each aa meeting the nonalcoholic cannot give a straight aa talk pertaining to alcoholism. When someone comes to an aa meeting to find out more about their alcohol problem they will here all about problems other than alcohol from the nonalcoholic.
In AA our ego has been reduced to the level where we feel as a society that we cannot be everything to everyone. So AA as I understand it came to the conclusion long ago to do one thing well. That is to carry the message of aa to the still suffering alcoholic.
I am an expert in one area alone, MY OWN PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH ALCOHOL. When I share my experience with alcohol with another alcoholic, they may come to believe this program may work for them. That might give them just enough willingness to try the aa program of action. Until such an undersanding is reached, usually little can be done for them.
Please take the time to read the pamphlet "Problems Other Than Alcohlis". It is as timely today as it was when Bill wrote it in 1958. AA. Love Mike
I can't speak for everyone but I believe the issue isn't whether or not they, (drug addicts), are allowed, (as long as they have a desire to quit drinking), it is how much time during an AA meeting should be allowed to drug talk. If a person has a desire to quit drinking they are a member if they say so, regardless of any other addictions they have. But can a drug addict who never drank or who does not want to give up drinking be an AA member. The answer of course is no. The 3rd tradition states the only requirment for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking. Some folks put the emphasis on "ONLY", I would put the emphasis on "REQUIRMENT". That means you have to have it!! If you never drank or do not want to quit, (like someone I once heard in a meeting say, " alcohol is not my problem, cocaine is my problem, I like drinking, in fact I can't wait until New Years Eve so I can get wasted"), you cannot fulfill the requirement,(again MUST HAVE), so you cannot be an AA member. I believe if you are telling your story and you mention a brief thing about drugs that is fine. It is YOUR STORY. People talk about AA dying, what about NA. everyone bitches NA isn't available or isn't as good as AA. Who's fault is that?? Take your 3, 5, 10, 15, 25 good years of sobriety and go start a good NA meeting!
Ten years ago I could have written your message word for
word, and with the same passion. But I see too many drug
addicts today who are just not "making it" in the AA
fellowship. I believe it is the lack of identification.
I have attended probably 25 N/A meetings over the
past ten years. I have not been impressed. There are few
members with any length of clean time. I have seen drug
dealers at the meetings, although I have never seen a
transaction. I doubted if they were there for the right
purpose. ( yes I am judgemental). I just believe that
both fellowships can be much more effective working
side by side. There are certainly enough of each to
fill the rooms. I am personally trying to get a local
group together to form an Addicts Anonymous closed
meeting. Maybe they can best help themselves by
helping each other. Singleness of purpose. ANONYMOUS
in my experience of using the computer in the amends process, i have had nothing but positive experiences! i am up front as to the reason i am contacting them via computer.i got this from reading the book, "a new pair of glasses" i am an alcoholic, but i have found a way to live 1 day @ a time without having to drink. that condition is that i make amends.(these were made to my past girlfriends) When we were together i treated you in a manner in which you did not deserve to be treated. I WAS WRONG ! what can i do to make this right? i pray before i press the send button, that this is my HP's will for me. i go into this amends process without having any expectations. i thank my HP, my sponsor & his sponsor & this line of wise men for their guidance in me making my amends via computer. also, i thank ALL of you for my sobriety. 10-Mar-12 will be 3 yrs of being clean & sober...i cant do it, but WE can. Ha-ho