At which meetings have you seen celebrities? AA or other "_A" meetings. I think they tend to go to ones on the westside, and avoid the Hollywood ones.
The central tenet is that the anonymity of the attendees is sacred. Anyone in the program who takes it seriously won't tell you. And anyone who tells you is likely to be making it up.
They have meetings in their homes for the most part. Years ago celebs would go to AA meetings in public but word got out and lots of fans would show up just to see them.
They can't do this now as everyone has cell phone cameras.
I met a minor celebrity some years ago at a meeting in CT.... He was really nice to me, and most of the people at the meeting didn't recognize him, but you would recognize his name.
everybody, including the supposed "hardcore" AAer's squack about who's attending.
The lying, treachery, and hypocrisy is hideous in AA.
I used to attend ACoA meetings which were attended by a well known New Age music performer, a thoroughly nice woman. Name? Never.
I agree about the treachery. Years ago, an alcoholic sibling used AA meetings to engage some members in a smear campaigh which got back to me. Truth-telling is not a requirement of AA attendance.
I'm just waiting to hear about lawsuits against AA for the abuse, rapes, and criminal activity that goes on in the "fellowship."
you own your brain
Wtf? Seriously ?
In one of the few times I ever agreed with Dennis Hopper, he railed about AA people being blabbermouths, not just about who attended, but about their recovery generally. "It's supposed to be Anonymous." Or something like that.
I've seen several celebs in AA and NA meeetings in Chicago, mainly the theatre areas. Agree 100% with the posters who say the anonimity of AA is BS. Had a collegue who thought he had some big secret to blackmail me with when he saw me at a NA meeting.Bitch forgot that I saw him at that meeting too.
After years in AA and NA I had to get away from it and figure out why I felt the need to drink and get high. AA/NA is good at the begining but if you don't know why you're doing it you're never going to stop.
Here you go bitches - the courts have spoken about AA anonymity/confidentiality.
So much for the 'spiritual foundation of all our traditions'.
AA is a support system that you can reach out to when in need. You shouldn't give people (including celebs) a hard time for reaching out for help imho.
There are secret AA meetings for various groups of people who have a need to protect their identity, including celebrities. Some of the more protected groups include airline pilots and doctors.
You read that right, airline pilots. It's understandable why that needs to be kept secret.
People would be amazed how many surgeons are in AA, and the fact that they were operating on patients throughout their drinking careers. The chief of surgery in the top-ranked hospital in a city where I lived came to AA and got sober. He was at the end of surgical career and was ready to retire. I always wondered how many patients he had killed.
There is an actress who portrays a doctor on a television show who unfortunately had an online tabloid take pictures of her having exited an AA meeting. This actress is in dire need of perhaps more than just AA. However, since an online tabloid busted her, she has since claimed to be in Al-Anon and has one of her siblings living with her as her minder. The sibling she lives with is the one she claims to be going to Al-Anon for.
A relative of mine saw Lindsay Lohan at an AA meeting a few years ago. Not too surprising.
I've been a c&s member for a long time. I've seen them come and go - it's a veritable revolving door. I can't be sure but I have heard many share from the floor including: Rush L., Spencer P., Heidi M., Jon and Kate G., Nadya "ocotmom" S., Candy S., Lil' K. My eyesight isn't the best (thanks to that damn lighter fluid!) but it sure looked like those people. It could be the ol' celebrity double switcheroo that many people do. Can you believe it? -- they don't use their real first names. (washington D.C. is the most notorious --- as if those minor gov. workers are Anybody!) Of course there are many I pray for : Casey A., Eliot S., Jesse J., and Charlie S. My back is up against the wall to pull a STEP 3 and wait. All in His time.
In LA, even the most hardcore AAs and Al-Anons drop names as quickly as they breath.
I got into recovery in a place where anonymity was strictly practiced. So, was completely stunned when I moved to LA and heard all this name dropping -- both during shares and outside of meetings.
When I've questioned people about it, the attitude they took was it's OK to break anonymity with people also in recovery. Not OK to break it with people not in recovery.
Tatum, Alec, Liza....
That's true, R16. There's no such thing as anonymity within AA, only outside of AA.
Grace Adler and Val although Grace was just there for the food
[quote]There are secret AA meetings for various groups of people who have a need to protect their identity, including celebrities. Some of the more protected groups include airline pilots and doctors.
And White House Chiefs of Staff.
I would have loved Leo in meetings.
"Alcoholism" doesn't even exist. Those people just need to stop getting drunk all the time.
I'm sure halitosis doesn't exist either, R22. That doesn't mean your breath doesn't reek.
One of my ex's many faults was an inability to remember what the second A in AA stood for. He had every reason to be grateful to that organization (as did I, during the years we were together after he joined), but couldn't wait to out his fellow members. He apparently hit the motherlode in Amagansett meetings.
Group therapy is a huge problem for public figures and it's generally recommended that they avoid it.
It's not well peoples anonymous.Just because a person is in some stage of recovery or trying to be, doesn't mean that they're going to do it perfectly. Celebrity or not. I owe my life to the program... And use my first and last name... If someone is struggling their never gonna find Shannon O in the phone book.... I've never heard of a rape an AA meeting, but I'm sure that type of crime can happen just about anywhere.... What a ridiculous statement that was.
Lots of celebrities go to both AA and NA meetings in the West Village. Pay attention next time you walk by a nondescript place with lots of people standing outside smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee out of styrofoam cups.
[quote]People would be amazed how many surgeons are in AA, and the fact that they were operating on patients throughout their drinking careers.
Hardly shocking. I've been to detox and rehab several times (and all the meetings that go along with that). I met many, many well-paid and powerful medical professionals among my fellow attendees. Some of them had worked with or volunteered with children.
[quote]Group therapy is a huge problem for public figures and it's generally recommended that they avoid it.
AA isn't group therapy, though many who share during meetings mistake it for that. "Group therapy" in rehab isn't even what most patients think it is.
[quote]Hardly shocking. I've been to detox and rehab several times (and all the meetings that go along with that). I met many, many well-paid and powerful medical professionals among my fellow attendees. Some of them had worked with or volunteered with children.
Maybe not shocking to you, but I bet the average person would be surprised to find out the chief of cardiothoracic surgery at the most prestigious hospital in the area was drunk through all the years he was operating on people. I'm also sure they would be a bit amazed at how many airline pilots are drunks.
I don't understand your strange references to alcoholic medical professionals being well-paid, powerful and working with and volunteering with children. Huh?
You might want to remember that most people don't casually drift in and out of detox and treatment like you apparently do.
The UWS had star-studded AA/NAmeetings in the early through late 80s when a friend went there. Lots of crew members from SNL, musical guests from SNL. That show used to be full of coke heads and heroin addicts. A famous singer was married to another famous musician who was sober until he went off the rails after attending the SNL after parties. That's when famous singer #1 divorced famous musician number 2.
Al Franken's Stuart Smalley was based on a UWS regular attendee who sort of ran some groups. I was at the 92nd St Y year's ago when Julia Sweeney and Al Franken appeared. They interviewed each other and then took questions from the audience. A woman asked if a specific person (ie, Mark E) was the basis for Stewart. Al just laughed and said he wouldn't comment.
r17, which meeting please!!!
Please close this thread. It is the decent thing to do. AA should be anonymous.
r32, here you go
People I have seen at AA meetings in L.A
1. Orlando Bloom
2. Robert Blake
3. Jodie sweeten
4. Alec baldwin
5. Christian Slater
7. toby maguire
8. Nancy Allen
9. ozzy osbourne
Many celebs will attend meetings in trendy areas just so people will THINK they are sober!!! Tons of BS' ERS IN AA
[quote]The lying, treachery, and hypocrisy is hideous in AA.
that's why i hate them
I'm in OA and OA has tons of meetings online, AA has more. Why go to a meeting when you can be anonymous in an online chat? If these celebs really wanted to be anonymous they'd go to online meetings.
Which Hollywood Studio had regular AA meetings for 20-25 years, and all anyone had to do was tell the security guards that there were there for a "meeting with Bill W" and they were admitted on to the lot, no questions asked?
Then a new boss took over and just about shit when he found out about it because it was such a breach of security.
Hi my name is Kitty D, and I'm an alco-ponic.
R35, if you have a slip Krispy Kreme will have to restock. If an AA member has a slip, they might not survive to make it back.
Online meetings are fine sometimes, but they don't take the place of being in a room of other recovering people.
As for some of the criticisms of AA on here, individual members are not AA and their bad behavior is their own responsibility, not that of the group or organization. Someone who is genuinely in recovery is not about to divulge the names of other people at the meetings, or share anything that's said. It's nobody's business but those who are in that room at the time.
Hi, I'm Joan and I'm an alchoponic.
Kitty, I told you never to come to MY meeting!
Someone who is genuinely in recovery is not about to divulge the names of other people at the meetings
AA meetings in West Hollywood - Janice Dickinson and Russel Brand. Plenty of others who I can't recall their name. A few AA meetings in WeHo are so cliquey and repellent it would make anyone start to drink again.
People who are ordered to go like Lilo have to get court cards signed so probably need to go in person. Also, people like her who really want to be seen as being serious about getting sober like to go to meetings and be seen so that paparrazi can report that they were at a meeting.
It's the truth, R40.
There are many people who go to AA meetings, but not all of them are in recovery, even some who haven't used recently. Look at some of the crazy people who've posted on DL and claim to be in recovery. Those bedbugs are sitting in the same rooms with people who are actually trying to turn their lives around.
I was fortunate to have good sponsors in my early days who explained the importance of such things as anonymity, the bedrock of AA.
People like Lilo go around the corner to the nearest bar as soon as the meeting is over.
Cheyenne Jackson, Anthony Hopkins, Russel Brand, Tobey Maguire, Alec Baldwin, Adam Baldwin, too many others to name.
Sorry if this makes me an asshole, but I've been a DLer years longer than I've been sober. I might be a recovering alkie, but I'm loyal goddamit.
This thread is fucked up. Most people in AA respect the anonymity of its participants. Those who don't are as sick as the guy who started this thread.
One of the things you learn in the A programs is not to be judgmental. So the judgmental marys on here slamming people for outting the alkies/NA people should get a life.
As was said before, if they really really want to be anon they can go on line. But they're attention whores first.
OP, I saw your mom and dad. How 'bout that.
Bullshit, R47. Learning not to be judgmental is nowhere in the AA Steps or Traditions.
However, the principle of Anonymity certainly is.
Why does it have to be anonymous? Why should someone feel ashamed if they like to drink too much.? Big deal.
There's a local celebrity who occasionally attends meetings. When he does, everyone talks about it for weeks. It really makes me a bit sick. People justify it by saying that there is no anonymity within the fellowship, we are only anonymous to non-AAs. Personally, I go by the slogan 'Who you see here, what you hear here, when you leave here, let it stay here.' Who I see at a meeting and a member's individual progress is nobody's business - if I heard it or saw it at a meetkng I won't discuss it.
for r49 - wrong babe. But I understand. You're angry and resentful. Read this from the BB.
""It is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us. If somebody hurts us and we are sore, we are in the wrong also. But are there no exceptions to this rule? What about justifiable anger? If somebody cheats us, arent we entitled to be mad? Cant we be properly angry with self-righteous folk? For us of A.A. these are dangerous exceptions. We have found that justified anger ought to be left to those better qualified to handle it."
God. This fucking squabbling is why I no longer attend AA.
R50, you might try pondering OP's question about which celebrities go to AA meetings. In there somewhere is buried the clue that will help you answer your question.
Actually, the principle of anonymity goes beyond the identity of the people in the meetings. Anonymity also means that everyone who walks into an AA meeting has equal status, and that's been invaluable to AA's continuation. There is no hierarchy that makes one recovering alcoholic more important than another. Meetings have a chairperson, but that person is only there for that meeting.
Having said that, of course there are people in the meetings who have ego problems, but most of us learn early on to ignore them.
Anthony Hopkins, Diana Ross, Matt Dillon
Rebel Wilson likes the drinky
Cheyenne Jackson? Really?
TBH I don't think there's too many surprises on the list of celebs who attend AA meetings or NA meetings. Almost all of them are known to have issues.
Is drinking really that hard to stop? I don't know because I can't stand the taste of alcohol. It's not like it tastes like candy or chocolate.
You honestly think drinking is about enjoying the flavor? It doesn't have anything to do with the alcohol in the drink?
We had an adorable newcomer and I couldn't figure out why there was such a strong reaction to him - outright disdain or adoration. Turns out he was a porn star of the moment. Poor baby put on sober weight and the bitchiness hit record levels.
In theory, you are judged by your behavior in the rooms. You would think Gay AA was a safe harbor against prejudice. A celebrity is dragged through everyone's database of second-hand information.
I've known a few prostitutes who ran into that too, R61. It's really hard for sex workers to get sober because of the way they're treated by some of the fringe area crazies in AA, especially the ones who get Jesus when they put down the bottle. They're probably worse than the guys who harass them for sex.
Life's too short, you might as well enjoy your drugs & liquor.
[quote]Maybe not shocking to you, but I bet the average person would be surprised to find out the chief of cardiothoracic surgery at the most prestigious hospital in the area was drunk through all the years he was operating on people. I'm also sure they would be a bit amazed at how many airline pilots are drunks.
I don't understand your strange references to alcoholic medical professionals being well-paid, powerful and working with and volunteering with children. Huh?
You might want to remember that most people don't casually drift in and out of detox and treatment like you apparently do.
R29, I wasn't being hostile. I also haven't been in rehab or detox since my early 20s.
I don't think I made any "strange" references. I got to know quite a bit about these people. In addition to some of them being exactly what I said they are, some of them specialized in pediatrics or held other leadership positions with children's organizations, a few of whom admitted to transporting or working directly with children while high.
And I've heard a lot of "normal person" jokes about pilots being drunks. I just think a lot of people do acknowledge things like this on some level, but they choose not to think about it.
Oh, damn. Quote fail...
All this AA crap is utter nonsense and a waste of time that fucks with people's heads. As my wise and beloved grandmother used to say, "You know how you stop drinking? You STOP drinking!" And, fyi, alcoholism is NOT a disease people!
The ONLY good thing about AA is the notion of a group of people with a common problem getting together to help each other out. It's things like The Book and The Steps and the insistence that all members force some kind of spirituality on themselves that ruins it. Individual differences are not respected in AA - you're simply told that if you're a REAL alcoholic, you have to do as they say, and that if you're successful using any other method, then you were never a "real alcoholic" to begin with (as if some people just go through a period of "faking" an addiction that they don't really have - bitch, PLEASE). If you've never been a hardcore, blackout drunk, you'll just be lectured on how you WILL become one if you don't accept the reality of your "disease" as it's described in some archaic 1930s book written by men with little to no actual knowledge on the subject. Read the "Description of the Alcoholic" in the Big Book. It reads like cult dogma, designed to convince people how weak and powerless they are without AA, how they will never truly "recover" and must accept dependence on the group for life. It's some of the most negative and depressing shit I've ever seen in my life (perfect for someone who enters "the rooms" because they're guilty of nothing more than depression and low self-esteem).
Here's an essay from an addictions counselor who was trained at Hazelden about the negativity in AA and the self-defeating thoughts it promotes. She says it better than I could.
I didn't know Anthony Hopkins was a lush. Good for him for not being a mess (in his professional life at least).
Wow, that's a good read, R67. Thanks.
I was exposed to a heavy dose of gossiping, backstabbing, petty politics, and power trippers when I entered "the rooms" in the largely gay community of my town. It was anything but anonymous.
Back to what matters here... saw Robin W. share at a meeting once. I won't repeat what he said, but he's very public about his experience with addiction. And pretty damned funny.
Seen a few retired porn stars with multiple addictions, some of whom have already been discussed here. Not going to "out" those guys.
I agree with R67. And I feel the same way about the few other self-proclaimed methods.
AA/12 has evolved many sayings and cliches that try to include everyone's attitudes, but it really only works in theory; not so much in practice.
As a member of AA for almost 28 years, I'm appalled at the abuse of the fellowship here. Many people appear to have attenhnded meetings of some of the 12 step fellowships but feel the need to abuse them. I have seen several famous people in meetings and would never, ever even hint at their presence in meetings. And while there are obviously problems with what happens in the fellowships at times, no-one is under suress to attend meetings. The fellowships facilitate recovery for all types of addicts on an on-going bassis. No-one claims that they are perfect! Just like any institution, there will be individulas who abuse trust, power, knowledge and niaivity. We can;t just slate the whole of the fellowships because of some weaknesses. That's like saying we should ban all schools because of some bad ppupils. And when people buy into the whole fame game, they run this type of risk in many areas of life, not just in fellowships.
OK, silly question time, I understand that the recovering alcoholic doing the 12 steps must "make amends" to those they have "wronged" (for lack of a better word). So, a cute, sexy guy is doing this step and realizes he must make amends to you; you tell him the only way amends will be made is to have sex, starting with the cute, sexy amends maker going over the knee of the amends makee and getting a firm, but friendly, spanking. Would this be a legit way to "make amends"--kind of like make-up sex?
Celebs aren't half as interesting as most people think.
Exhibit A: Britney on X-Factor. There's no there, there.
Quite a few years back, Elaine Stitch was in Cambridge, MA doing a new Edward Albee play
at American Repertory Theatre.
A friend of mine went to an AA meeting that
Ms. Stritch was attending during her run in the play.
I only 'out' her because she is very open about
So, I went to one meeting where she was the scheduled speaker to tell her 'story.'
She was so funny - and honest.
Many years later, in her Broadway show - AT LIBERTY - she references her drunk history quite a bit.
Making ammends doesn't mean you have to do anything the wronged person asks of you. I don't know where you got that crazy idea, r75.
Years ago I remember Bobby Brown was in rehab and shared in either a 12 step meeting or other group situation about how he married Whitney thiking she occassionally played around with women, only to find out that she was 100% lesbian and he thought he should get out of the marriage, blah, blah, blah. Someone in the group IMMEDIATELY checked out of the facility to cash in on the story with the tabloids. The story was covered on the TV tabloid shows for a few days then disappeared.
AA indoctrinates as insidiously as Scientology
I was in a rehab facility in the middle of flyover. I mean it was NOT for the rich and famous. Yet, there were 2 television TV news people there that were foreign to me but well known to others. There is no anonymity in AA. It is a bunch of gossip queens just like here except they pretend otherwise.
Another of the 12 Step meetings even has a line in its closing "let there be no gossip or criticism."
I saw two celebs smoking outside an AA location in the West Village.
r27, styroform cups at meetings? Not if Bloomberg has his way.
r66 is right. Alcoholism became a "disease" when doctors figured out they could open clinics and make money from insurance companies.
And is he going to do something about AA coffee, too, R83?
There's a direct link between alcoholism and sugar imbalance, yet sugar-laden doughtnuts are offered at every meeting along with coffee and lots of packets of sugar. The condition can't improve since AA enables members to continue the problem.
Also caffeine can trigger addictive behavior, so then need to switch to decaf and stop smoking too. Just see what it's like to be totally sober for a while.
I am an alcoholic who firmly believes AA saved my life.
I'm wondering about the people here who haven't been able to stop drinking.
When someone compared AA to Scientology, I wondered what they feel AA would have to gain by that? There are NO DUES OR FEES FOR AA MEMBERSHIP,WE ARE SELF-SUPPORTING THOUGH OUR OWN CONTRIBUTIONS
The ONLY requirement for membership is a desire to STOP DRINKING!.
As far as the "disease"aspect goes,the best way I could make someone whose not an alcoholic understand that,is to say I have a disease,that tells me I don't have a disease. Alcoholism is insidious and deadly.
Almost all violent crime involves alcohol.especially domestic violence.
I really don't need to worry about people who don't need AA,because there are SO many who do. I wouldn't have bothered posting this,were it not for the fact that so many people here have chosen to attack AA, an organization that has helped many millions of drunks stop drinking and get on with their lives.
R4= serious alcoholic who can 'control his drinking'. Except when he can't, which is most of the time.
r89, an AA sycophant who can't develop his or her own self determination to control his or her life!!!!
Been to a varied amount of AA meetings in LA area and seen celebs. While I don't by into the AA mantra, I believe it is an ethical decision to NOT divulge their presence in a public forum.
R92, I will now divulge the celebs I have seen
R93...go for it...I have been to rehab and to AA meetings. Not ashamed and would not mind others knowing. However, one of the most common characteristics of alcoholics is shame. I would not divulge names of anybody since their going to AA is a personal effort to better themselves. Honestly, only an asshole would do so...Are you an asshole?
[quote]There is no anonymity in AA. It is a bunch of gossip queens just like here except they pretend otherwise.
Bingo, R80. I know many people who are active in AA and/or NA, and I swear, whenever I'm around them the conversation almost inevitably turns to who's (GASP!) still smoking pot, or who's (GASP!) still taking certain prescription psychiatric meds, or who's (GASP!) out drinking right at that very moment (or who's assumed to be out drinking because they - GASP! - never took "the steps"). Sometimes I want to tell them that they sound like a bunch of pathetic, nerdy middle school students who are just incredibly bored with their own lives and jealous that other kids are out getting drunk/high while they can't, but of course I don't.
Love how some of the posters name celebrities but won't name porn stars. Only on DL are porn stars treated with more respect!
r95, they are fucked up!!
It's strange, AA didn't work for me (though I have been sober 20 years) but it did help get me started. What's odd is I could name dozens of celebs at church meetings, alive and some now dead, and nobody would care (they were open and unashamed themselves).
But I swear I would feel like a total douchebag if I did that, even anonymously. It just feels really wrong. So maybe AA worked better for me than I thought it did.
I attend AA meetings in Chicago. The only person I've seen at a meeting who is anything close to a celebrity has been a famous academic. Professor X is not exactly a household name to most people, but is extremely well-known and well-respected in within their academic specialty. X's spouse, also an academic, is even better known than X, and is also apparently a total alkie, though based on the parts of X's story that I've heard, I don't know whether the spouse is in recovery.
My AA friends have identified two celebrities they've seen at meetings. I will out them here because, for reasons that will become apparent, in these two cases I don't think it's unethical to do so.
One of these people is Roger Ebert. Ebert has been an AA member for many years and is quite open about this fact. He apparently met his wife at AA. A few years ago he wrote a very moving piece about AA, which I've linked to it below. I don't know if Ebert still attends meetings. For a number of years now he has been physically unable to drink alcohol, or to talk (though obviously he can still listen, and many people find the listening to be the most powerful part of the AA experience). Friends I know in the program said that Ebert was a regular attendee at Chicago meetings for many years, and he was respected for the service work he did for the organization.
The other AA celebrity my AA friends told me about was Chris Farley. When he lived in Chicago he used to attend meetings regularly. A friend who knew him said of him, "He was a really nice guy who just couldn't get the program."
Let's get a grip.
I was involved with Al Anon, which is for the families of alcoholics. The problem is on both sides of the family. Is it a disease? Yes, a mental and physical disease that is abusive and crippling. Just grow up with parents like mine.
Does AA help alcoholics? Yes, it can. It is not like Scientology and the idiot posting about clinics has no idea what he is talking about. Here is the truth about AA.
Very very few alcoholics get into AA. The overwhelming majority continue their drinking and die like my parents did of complications from the disease (i.e, colon cancer and liver cancer). Here is a strange fact.
There is an established link between alcoholism and cancer. The number of deaths caused by drunk drivers is indisputable. The violent crimes brought on by drinking is common knowledge.
However, no one will ban drinking. Smoking? Yes. Super sized sodas? Yes. Trans fats? Yes. Drinking?
Spare me talk about Prohibition. The fact is that bars are central to local revenue. You will never see an attempt to limit drinking the way you have smoking. Never. Fact: You will make more on the bar than the food at a restaurant. Fact: The distributors of alcohol have an extraordinary influence in politics. Fact: Alcohol can cause problems, and ruin lives.
So people gossip about who goes to AA? Big. Fucking. Deal.
Thank you r99 for your post, it actually almost made me cry.
There have been some major misconceptions about AA on this thread that I want to clear up. I'm doing this mainly for the benefit of anyone who believes they may have a drinking problem and is thinking of giving AA a try.
The biggest misconception is that AA is some kind of dogmatic cult. That has not been my experience at all. The thing to remember about AA is that it's huge, diverse, and totally decentralized. The AA central office has essentially no control over individual meetings, and meetings vary dramatically. Some are very traditional, old school, and religious; others are loose, nontraditional, and go very light on the God stuff. There are even regular meetings for atheists and agnostics that are advertised as such.
While I don't doubt that there are some meetings where people are very dogmatic and authoritarian -- the so-called "AA Nazis" -- I've never personally attended that type of meeting. The meetings I go to, and that I'm most comfortable with, are nontraditional. I've often heard people say at meetings, "Take what you need and leave the rest," and they mean it.Even he Big Book says that the only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking, and that the steps are "a suggested program of recovery" -- not mandatory. No one in AA has ever pressured or coerced me to believe anything in particular, or to do anything in particular. I deeply appreciate this because as a recovering Catholic, I'm allergic dogma and religious bullshit.
AA is not for everyone, and people are certainly capable of recovering from alcoholism and other addictions without it. But for many of us, the fellowship, support, and understanding we found at AA was a beautiful thing, and it was critical in helping us become sober. Many of us have also found the program useful because it has helped us examine and better understand ourselves and our behavior, and has provided some guidelines about how to live and how to be better people. We started going to meetings because we wanted to stop drinking, but we stay because the program continues to give us much more than that.
My main suggestion to anyone who is considering giving AA a try is to attend a lot of different meetings. Meetings vary tremendously and you may have to do some searching to find one that is right for you. There are many specialized meetings that are listed as such -- for example, women-only meetings, men-only meetings, and meetings especially for LGBTQ people, for African-Americans, for Spanish speakers, for teens, for atheists, etc. For myself, finding a recovery community where I felt comfortable was a crucial step in my journey to sobriety.
r102 Thank you for that post, you are absolutely right. I just recently got back in contact with a friend from rehab of over 11 years ago. She still does the meetings and I would too if I needed or if someone wanted to. She gave a cute guy my info while he is in my town to hit a meeting, I may do it. The point is you can meet great, lifelong friends in the program and don't have to stay in forever but should still respect and not out anyone.
R102 is right. I am sober, did AA for awhile hated it, left and never looked back. I'm not a group person and I didn't need the social support - my friends before I quit weren't alkies. I quit and hanging out them was actually more fun.
As to AA, can it be dogmatic and feel sort of culty/churchy at times? Yup. Conversely, can you totally disregard sponsors or steps or higher powers or commitments and still attend? Yup. The program, ultimately, is up to you.
R69 is just mad because she's been fucked in the ass so many times that now when she gets a regular fuck (in the cunt), she farts.