Hello and thank you for being a DL contributor. We are changing the login scheme for contributors for simpler login and to better support using multiple devices. Please click here to update your account with a username and password.

Hello. Some features on this site require registration. Please click here to register for free.

Hello and thank you for registering. Please complete the process by verifying your email address. If you can't find the email you can resend it here.

Hello. Some features on this site require a subscription. Please click here to get full access and no ads for $1.99 or less per month.

I went to my first AA meeting and hated it

It was filled with narcissists who talked about themselves and never shut up....everyone was friendly to me but in a very cultish kind of way.

It seems like everyone I know in AA never misses an opportunity to talk about "the program" and being sober and all. AA attracts narcissists.

by Anonymousreply 318October 14, 2021 12:15 AM

Then don't go back.

For many, AA is a lifeline to keep them sober. Others find different paths. The important thing is finding what's right for you so that you can live a healthy and fulfilled life.

by Anonymousreply 1April 27, 2021 3:14 PM

Try a different meeting in another location, OP.

You may find that AA is not for you--you can maintain a sober life without it. But not all AA chapters or members are the same, so I'd give it another chance.

Good luck.

by Anonymousreply 2April 27, 2021 3:17 PM

Try the Sinclair method. A good psychiatrist to prescribe naltrexone and provide monitoring. I couldn’t do AA either. I get it works for many - and the idea of social engagement is useful - but given my issue is social anxiety, it was painful and scared me away. There are other options - despite what they say.

by Anonymousreply 3April 27, 2021 3:18 PM

Naltrexone is literally a placebo R3. It does nothing.

by Anonymousreply 4April 27, 2021 3:20 PM

Do you imagine there are many people who enjoy their first AA meeting?

by Anonymousreply 5April 27, 2021 3:21 PM

I spent about 2 months in AA in Los Angeles in 2012 or so. Most were LGBT centric. I met lots of characters. I went to many, many different types of meetings - from churches, to private homes in Beverly Hills, building basements, halls, coffee shops, parks, you name it - I was going through a bad breakup that was caused in part because of me and alcohol. I knew that AA wasn't for me but I suppose I appreciated the experience. But anyway, the meetings were all so completely different. I would try different ones, different cities, and then decide. I'm not a group person or a joiner and ultimately I was just depressed over my breakup. I do have issues with alcohol but now socially drink. Another topic... good luck to you OP.

by Anonymousreply 6April 27, 2021 3:25 PM

Was not a fan either…

by Anonymousreply 7April 27, 2021 3:26 PM

Her last name was "Winehouse!" It was fated.

by Anonymousreply 8April 27, 2021 3:31 PM

Well, what are they supposed to talk about? The Savoy Cocktail Guide?

by Anonymousreply 9April 27, 2021 3:58 PM

OP, one of the least narcissistic people I've ever met is a committed AA member of over 40 years. He readily acknowledges that it's not the right approach for everyone, but it seems worth a try. And R2 and R6 must be right about how different from each other groups can be, since they're all composed of different people whose addiction experience may be the only thing they have in common.

by Anonymousreply 10April 27, 2021 3:59 PM

I have social anxiety too, and AA was hell for me. I tried several different groups, at the suggestion of my counselor. It was so stressful for me that it made me want to drink more. My longest period of abstinence was when I was on Naltrexone. There is no point drinking on it, because it is very difficult to get a buzz. It’s like the pleasure center of your brain shuts down. This is also, oddly enough, why I quit taking the Naltrexone. I was miserable all of the time. I didn’t even enjoy food. I started getting angry and lashing out at everyone around me. I quit taking it and started drinking again, and it’s worse than ever. I may have to go back on the Nal, because I will die if I don’t. My primary physician prescribed it for me. I wish you luck, OP. I know how hard it is.

by Anonymousreply 11April 27, 2021 4:08 PM

are you a child of alcoholics, R11?

by Anonymousreply 12April 27, 2021 4:58 PM

[quote]Do you imagine there are many people who enjoy their first AA meeting?

I loved mine. It was a bunch of drunks in a church in Dupont Circle on a Saturday night in the 1980s, and everyone seemed happy to be there. Totally chatty and friendly. The guy leading the meeting was moving from DC to San Francisco, and nearly everyone who shared told him the first thing he needed to do was get a sponsor. "Ah...sponsor," I thought. And and halftime, I asked the guy sitting next to me to be my sponsor.

He's now one of the ones who didn't make it out of the '80s, not unlike a number of guys who became friends. That's the tragedy of that time period, particularly, it seemed, as so much played out behind the scenes in DC. I went to every anti-Reagan demonstration I could get to. One I remember, we marched to the edge of the Potomac in Georgetown while Reagan and company were having some state dinner or other down the river at the Kennedy Center.

Interesting times, for which I'm glad I was sober.

by Anonymousreply 13April 27, 2021 5:09 PM

I don't have an alcohol problem, but I did try Al-Anon because of some relationships I've had. I tried several different groups, but I never really got to the point where I felt like I was getting a lot out of it. There were a couple of people who were at every meeting I tried, no matter what day or time it was. And they were the ones who ALWAYS spoke up to share. I went to one really small group that was trying to get established and the only other guy talked pretty much the whole time about his drunk, cheating wife. It was all just a little too much for me, but I do appreciate that a lot of people get something out of AA and Al-Anon.

by Anonymousreply 14April 27, 2021 5:19 PM

AA meetings offer coffee and sugar doughnuts. Sugar addiction and alcoholism are connected. You go to meeting to help cure your addiction and they feed you into the next drink.

by Anonymousreply 15April 27, 2021 5:27 PM

A friend lost his ten-year partner from a heart attack. Went to a Grief Support Group at an LGBT center. One guy began to cry, saying he "just lost his partner." Turns out "just" was two years ago. My friend felt members were wallowing in their misery, rather than working through it. Never went back.

by Anonymousreply 16April 27, 2021 5:33 PM

At one of the Al-Anon meetings I went to, an older couple talked for about 20 minutes about their dead OD'd daughter. I turned to the woman next to me (who I know socially) and asked her when their daughter died. "Oh, about 10 years ago, I think," she replied. I went to that meeting one more time and that couple monopolized the meeting again. I hope they get what they need, but I just couldn't take it again so never went back to that one.

by Anonymousreply 17April 27, 2021 5:39 PM

Alcoholism became a "disease" when doctors found out they could make big bucks. Until then everyone knew alcoholism was a choice, no one tells you to drink. Doctors and their rehab centers have been conning insurance companies for decades.

by Anonymousreply 18April 27, 2021 5:42 PM

OP - Was she in your meeting? If so, I get your point about narcissism.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 19April 27, 2021 5:46 PM

AA meeting? I thought this was the book club!

by Anonymousreply 20April 27, 2021 5:50 PM

I’ve never been to a meeting, OP. I post on r/stopdrinking and that seems to work pretty well for me. 1.5 years sober and counting.

by Anonymousreply 21April 27, 2021 5:51 PM

R15 I would rather be a fatass than a drunk.

by Anonymousreply 22April 27, 2021 5:52 PM

"AA attracts narcissists."

So does addiction, so you're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't.

Speaking of which, if there's one thing a narcissist can't stand it's another narcissist hogging all THEIR attention.

Anyway, AA isn't the only game in town, OP.

by Anonymousreply 23April 27, 2021 5:54 PM

[quote]It seems like everyone I know in AA never misses an opportunity to talk about "the program" and being sober and all.

It's how they deal with it, gurl.

sounds like you don't have too big a problem.

you probably went to find someone to hook up with and were disappointed.

by Anonymousreply 24April 27, 2021 5:57 PM

I think it’s a good way to meet men who can party!

by Anonymousreply 25April 27, 2021 5:58 PM

[quote] There were a couple of people who were at every meeting I tried, no matter what day or time it was. And they were the ones who ALWAYS spoke up to share.

I experienced this as well. There was one person who always, always went "overtime."

You're still dealing with people and group dynamics.

I'd try another AA group. If that doesn't work, then I'd go it alone or look for an online forum.

by Anonymousreply 26April 27, 2021 6:05 PM

I do have to praise the people with the courage to share.

I haven’t been able to share the worst of my alcoholic behavior, even among strangers on the internet and without attaching my name.

Typing out the things I did will force me to relive it in a way, and it’s not somewhere I feel I can revisit.

by Anonymousreply 27April 27, 2021 6:13 PM

I was introduced to AA as a naive 17 year old. I used it to pick up hot felon type men. I was in and out of "the program" for the next thirteen years or so. I finally said fuck it. I don't think I'll ever go back, tbh.

by Anonymousreply 28April 27, 2021 6:15 PM

[quote] I used it to pick up hot felon type men.


by Anonymousreply 29April 27, 2021 6:28 PM

Have you stopped drinking, R28?

by Anonymousreply 30April 27, 2021 6:29 PM

R12, yes I am the biological child of an alcoholic. I never met my birth father, but I have looked up my half siblings online and they are all in worse shape than me (one has a long rap sheet for drugs, assault, and domestic violence). If would’ve known, I probably would’ve been more careful before I started binge drinking in my 20’s.

by Anonymousreply 31April 27, 2021 6:30 PM

[quote] Alcoholism became a "disease" when doctors found out they could make big bucks. Until then everyone knew alcoholism was a choice, no one tells you to drink. Doctors and their rehab centers have been conning insurance companies for decades.

R18, how does addiction fit into your theory? Do you believe that alcoholism isn't an addiction, or do you believe that addiction doesn't prevent choice, or what?

by Anonymousreply 32April 27, 2021 6:39 PM

I never bought into the notion that I have no control over alcohol. All that higher power stuff doesn't fly. I drank daily for 20 yrs. It was affecting my health so I quit without all the drama. Cold turkey. Half my family is in AA and I have never mentioned my sobriety to them. They have been sober for decades and still won't shut up about it. Alcohol still controls them. I wish they would give it a rest.

by Anonymousreply 33April 27, 2021 6:41 PM

Just reading about that meeting makes me want to have a drink.

by Anonymousreply 34April 27, 2021 6:48 PM

I dealt with my addiction to vodka in a different way. I switched to margaritas.

by Anonymousreply 35April 27, 2021 6:54 PM

The concept: trade one addiction, alcoholism, for another, AA meetings.

by Anonymousreply 36April 27, 2021 7:04 PM

R33, I'm glad you got control over your drinking. Some people have all of this energy that they need to transfer to something else. It could be church, AA, becoming a counselor at a rehab center, etc.

For some reason, Mackenzie Phillips interviews popped up on my YouTube recommendations. I watched a couple of them. She says she is sober and I believe it. She works at Pasadena Recovery (where Dr. Drew's show was located). She has a ton of energy that she is now channeling into running the group discussions, etc.

by Anonymousreply 37April 27, 2021 8:04 PM

R18, a lot of people have physical withdrawals. DT’s from alcohol are worse than heroin withdrawal.

by Anonymousreply 38April 27, 2021 8:08 PM

AA is a joke. It doesn't address WHY you started drinking. Just a lot of 'You can't do this without Jesus' crap. Also, never been by a meeting where everyone's outside SMOKING during the breaks.

You can do it. You just have to decide if you want to feel sick (and sicker and sicker) if you keep drinking, or feel better.

by Anonymousreply 39April 27, 2021 8:13 PM

R30 I still drink a few times a week.

by Anonymousreply 40April 27, 2021 8:21 PM

OP - When people share at meetings, the purpose is to 1) Talk about problems in their lives / things that are stressing them out. The goal is that by vocalizing your problems you will get the thoughts out of your head and maybe have some clarity (same goes for therapy) OR someone else in the room who has dealt with your problems can offer you solutions and advice after the meeting.

The other purpose of sharing is to discuss stressful things you dealt with that week and how the program / 12 steps / tools helped you alleviate that anxiety. For example, stressed about your taxes? Many alcoholics would drink. A person in AA might make an outreach call and tell another person "I'm stressed about taxes". Maybe they give advice. Maybe they just change the subject. The idea is to stop worrying, alleviate anxiety without using the substance.

AA attracts lots of narcissists and tons of other personality disorders, people with chemical imbalances in the brain, and other people who just have a genetic predisposition to alcohol abuse. Doesn't matter why a person is there as much as that all have a problem with alcohol and it negatively impacts their life.

by Anonymousreply 41April 27, 2021 8:26 PM

OP, there are zoom AA meetings. You can find a gay one. Probably much more entertaining, too.

by Anonymousreply 42April 27, 2021 8:29 PM

you'd have a only fAns these days

by Anonymousreply 43April 27, 2021 8:32 PM

Hint: The ones who talk the most in platitudes and how great the program is are usually using on the side.

by Anonymousreply 44April 27, 2021 8:35 PM

R33 if you have so much control, why did you have to quit cold turkey? Couldn’t you have just started drinking non-addictively?

by Anonymousreply 45April 27, 2021 8:36 PM

I was in a 12 step program for awhile (not AA). It was weird.

The long-timers sort of became unofficial group leaders. Cliques of 12-steppers would go out for food after the meetings, which normally would be alright (support, bonding, etc).

I went with them after one of my first meetings. These 'unofficial group leaders' talked about people in the meeting!!!!! That's a violation of the most basic tenet of every 12-step program. I stopped going to the meetings after that. (If they talked about others, they'd talk about me, too.)

Just because someone seeks help in a group doesn't mean you should trust them. There are lots of very damaged people there. When it works, good; but it's made up of a lot of flawed people.

by Anonymousreply 46April 27, 2021 8:36 PM

R39 I agree that alcohol is not the problem — it was your bad solution to the problem. But you cannot even begin to address the underlying problems until you start drinking. And for many alcoholics, that is incredibly hard.

Believe me, I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of my problems and I’ve been sober for over a year.

by Anonymousreply 47April 27, 2021 8:38 PM

That sounds shitty, R46. People form cliques in any situation.

by Anonymousreply 48April 27, 2021 8:40 PM

OP is clearly a racist. Goes to his first meeting with African Americans and hates it!

by Anonymousreply 49April 27, 2021 8:49 PM

OP wants to drink. He’s building his wall of denial. Classic case.

by Anonymousreply 50April 27, 2021 8:51 PM

Yay the AA troll is back. 🙄

by Anonymousreply 51April 27, 2021 8:52 PM

Weird I used to go to AA meetings all the time with my brother and I never saw that, OP.

by Anonymousreply 52April 27, 2021 8:52 PM

I consider the AA Twelve Step Program as legitimate and effective as Gay Conversion Therapy.

by Anonymousreply 53April 27, 2021 8:52 PM

R44 or the opposite

by Anonymousreply 54April 27, 2021 8:53 PM

Aw, look at the gay-hating gay at r47, pretending to be a normal person.

Fuck off, you fascist cunt.

by Anonymousreply 55April 27, 2021 8:57 PM

[quote] Alcohol still controls them


The people who repeat the same refrain in every meeting and just parrot each other’s language and quote the parts or the big book they like are still being controlled by alcohol.

Don’t get me wrong, I go. But I don’t speak unless I have something to offer. Never offer up details of your tragedy in a meeting. It WILL get repeated. There is a third reason that people speak in a meeting. It is to give hope to those who are trying to get their lives together.

For me, I drank so much I needed something else to do. The fellowship can be a big draw with the right group. I also became a gym rat.

I have been going for a while and sometimes chair meetings. You go over your time when I am chairing (especially if you do it a lot) I will shut you down. I find that the young people meetings are usually more honest and at the same time, light hearted.

One last thing. Once you have a few days of sobriety, consider taking acamprosate. It is one of the three medicines that the FDA approved to treat alcoholism. Big in Europe. It is taken daily and helps reduce cravings without the pleasure depleting effects of naltrexone or the ridiculous sickness of antibuse. It usually works best when coupled with aa or some other group therapy approach.

by Anonymousreply 56April 27, 2021 9:04 PM

AA is not for everyone. No crime if you don’t want to. But if you’re drinking too much and want to stop, you have to find something that works for you.

by Anonymousreply 57April 27, 2021 9:04 PM

I got sober 6 years ago in AA. It's not so much that I was/am "in love with" the program--I've got plenty of complaints, as many do--but it's free, I'd tried everything else (years of therapy, anti-depressants, Antabuse etc) and needed to be part of a community of people who were also not drinking, and understood all the personality quirks and head trips around trying to stay stopped.

What's been helpful for me these past 6 years is remembering that AA is a "bridge back to life," and one that enables the person to "wear life like a loose garment"--i.e., if I work a good program, I can live a fulfilling life outside of the meetings, rather than making my life revolve around meetings and becoming very rigid without alcohol (all of which I have seen people do in AA--they are the cautionary tales for me).

by Anonymousreply 58April 27, 2021 9:07 PM

PS, I was put on Seroquel. It’s an anti anxiety/anti schizophrenia drug that they discovered can curtail cravings for alcohol. I was a guinea pig. It worked for me. AA helped me for a while, but I grew weary of the cliques and smug behavior of the people with long term sobriety. I haven’t had a drink since 2009. I attended my last AA meeting in 2014. I have a great therapist. Helps me a lot. And I have urges to drink but I don’t give in.

by Anonymousreply 59April 27, 2021 9:10 PM

R55 You’re just jealous, Lisa.

Because I got better.

Because I was released.

Because I have a chance.

And a life.

by Anonymousreply 60April 27, 2021 9:17 PM

I have a few mentally ill family members who go to AA everyday, multiple times. They all enjoy getting other AA people to do things for them because they’re in perpetual states of “freaking out.” I woke up one morning to an AA plumber snaking the upstairs bathtub.

by Anonymousreply 61April 27, 2021 9:18 PM

[quote]The people who repeat the same refrain in every meeting and just parrot each other’s language and quote the parts or the big book they like are still being controlled by alcohol.

I think in a way recovering addicts always will be controlled by alcohol. But it’s better than drinking until you pass out on a nightly basis, going to work hungover, constant diarrhea, and the horrible social implications of alcohol addiction. That was the life many of us knew for years and years and anything that works is preferable. Whatever it takes to not have to live like that again. I did it for ten years, the last five of which were really awful, and it’s just a miserable excuse for an existence.

by Anonymousreply 62April 27, 2021 9:24 PM

12 step groups are a great way to stop pretending I’m not a reclusive drunk.

I work out and bathe because I’m going to a meeting and I don’t want to look like I need a meeting. I do and these are the only people I’ll interact with today. It’s usually a big deal for me. I’m not dressing up, but I will look adorably casual and perhaps slightly slutty.

In private, I don’t drink because it throws my ass to the floor for a week and I can’t sleep or eat. As a last reason not to drink, these assholes will notice the shakes I experience whenever I stop. They’ll also notice that my back gives off pure alcohol for hours after I’ve had a drink.

by Anonymousreply 63April 27, 2021 9:46 PM

I thought nicotine was worse than heroin withdrawal

by Anonymousreply 64April 27, 2021 10:20 PM

Worse than going to your first AA meeting and hating it might be going to your first AA meeting and loving it.

I suppose they get meeting junkies, alwAys on motion fresh from one meeting for some fucking thing, hurriedly en route to another meeting for some other fucking thing, every issue of equal importance to them.

by Anonymousreply 65April 27, 2021 10:32 PM

[OP]Alcoholics at AA are narcissist who only talk about themselves!

Tell us about it. And you're not ready.

But you're also a troll, right?

by Anonymousreply 66April 27, 2021 10:38 PM

[quote] I thought nicotine was worse than heroin withdrawal

Never done heroin, but was a pack-per-day smoker. I quit cold turkey and did not experience a dramatic withdrawal.

by Anonymousreply 67April 27, 2021 10:48 PM

R41, what you said sounds great, but know one in AA knows what you say.

They just share because they have a captive audience until the time-keeper's cell phone alarm goes off.

by Anonymousreply 68April 27, 2021 10:56 PM

I'll drink to that OP!

by Anonymousreply 69April 28, 2021 1:10 AM

I’m sober too, fascist tool @r60.

Now go ahead and post that “Cry more, lib” meme featuring your hero the Roller Nazi. You know you want to.

by Anonymousreply 70April 28, 2021 1:22 AM

Haven't studies found that AA doesn't have much better results than someone quitting by themselves? I think similar has been found for 'rehab'. I'm sure that they work for some but it fascinates me how much they're pushed.

by Anonymousreply 71April 28, 2021 1:28 AM

"Studies find" anything you want them to find, R71

by Anonymousreply 72April 28, 2021 1:36 AM

R72, that's like saying that science is meaningless.

by Anonymousreply 73April 28, 2021 1:38 AM

Studies show the best indicator for recovery is a relationship with some kind of mentor or partner. It does not matter what program or if there even is a program, it is that connection that heals.

I do not know if it is possible to connect on that level in AA.

by Anonymousreply 74April 28, 2021 2:04 AM

If you’re addicted to routines (“I get off work and then pick up a fifth and then black out”) meetings are a good reset that involves other people who are just as messed up as yourself. They give you something to do while you’re “Actively Not Doing Drugs” (stolen from Carrie Fisher).

It doesn’t mean that you have to attend for the rest of your life, but replacing those patterns with something positive early on is valuable. It also helps you see that drinking is only one problem - there are some fucked up folks who are sober.

It also helps me make peace with my failures that I can’t blame on drinking, family history, self sabotage or anything else; I did my best and I failed. That’s adult shit.

by Anonymousreply 75April 28, 2021 2:28 AM

I don't believe AA quantifies their results and tracks long-term sobriety of its members, which makes measuring effectiveness tricky.

Which also makes it tricky that so many healthcare and mental health professionals in the US think of AA as the (single?) standard of care for alcoholism, when there may not be quantifiable data that supports that conclusion.

Just saying.

by Anonymousreply 76April 28, 2021 5:16 AM

R76 It's the "single standard of care" in nobody's eyes. It is a standard track for daily check ins if someone needs it. I've never heard anyone in a 12 step program say "you don't need regular therapy because you are in a 12 step program".

There are rehabs, private therapy, group therapy, and then psychiatrists--most substance abusers can benefit from anti-depressants in at least the short term. There's also guided hallucinogenic use. Many people dont know AA was the result of a hallucinogenic trip in an asylum.

AA is where people to go to stay on track. If your life is so fucked up that you need it, chances are you will need some additional guidance and supervision/medical treatment like the ones mentioned above at some point.

by Anonymousreply 77April 28, 2021 5:33 AM

I think the worst thing is how some people talk about the effectiveness of AA based on studies.

If 1000 alcoholics go to meetings and it stops 50 of them from drinking, that's amazing. If another 50 decide they don't need the program to stop drinking, that's amazing too. That's still 100 less drunks ruining their lives (and creating damage in the lives of all who care about them).

What I think there is 100% percent agreement on is that AA can't make things any worse for an alcoholic or substance abuser.

by Anonymousreply 78April 28, 2021 5:39 AM

R46, that's exactly the kind of thing I hate!

by Anonymousreply 79May 6, 2021 3:28 PM

You'll quickly learn in AA meetings that alcohol is the least of these people's problems. It's a symptom for the vast majority. Some are genetically predisposed to alcoholism, but that's not the majority.

by Anonymousreply 80May 6, 2021 3:39 PM

AA has a poor effectivity rate

by Anonymousreply 81May 6, 2021 3:43 PM

[quote] If 1000 alcoholics go to meetings and it stops 50 of them from drinking, that's amazing. If another 50 decide they don't need the program to stop drinking, that's amazing too. That's still 100 less drunks ruining their lives (and creating damage in the lives of all who care about them).

Sure it sounds great until you realize there are mechanisms and programs that stop many more people from drinking.

by Anonymousreply 82May 6, 2021 3:45 PM

This thread reminds me I should go to an AA zoom meeting today. I have several decades sober but it’s good to check in.

by Anonymousreply 83May 6, 2021 3:49 PM

[quote] It was filled with narcissists who talked about themselves and never shut up....everyone was friendly to me but in a very cultish kind of way.

Funny because that also describes every bar I have ever been in.

by Anonymousreply 84May 6, 2021 3:53 PM

AA would make me go back to drinking, I feel like I’m in a bar with a bunch of toxic people who are waiting for an overwhelmed bartender.

Ive tried many meetings in many locations. The religious bullshit and the helplessness is pathetic. I have the power to just say ‘no thanks’.

I’m not inclined to drink, anyway, however, once I got going it was never enough—- so stepping away from alcohol was/is rather easy. Decades of sobriety, here.

by Anonymousreply 85May 6, 2021 3:55 PM

OP if you went to a restaurant and didn't much care for it would you never again go to another restaurant? Of course not you would try another, hint try a different meeting.

by Anonymousreply 86May 6, 2021 3:57 PM

I do like the helpful nature that a good AA can provide newcomers. Too bad that’s inconsistent with locations

Another issue is the anonymity isn’t respected by the gossip addicts.

by Anonymousreply 87May 6, 2021 3:58 PM

I do not understand why therapists recommend AA. (And why most people in AA recommend therapy.)

Therapy is about talking about what is going on. AA is about talking about positive things. Sometimes you need to share your weakness and fear--or let someone know that you want to drink. Therapy encourages this, but AA asks you to keep it quiet.

It seems the approaches are opposed.

by Anonymousreply 88May 6, 2021 4:18 PM

I wouldn’t go as far as saying AA is about positive things. A lot of rehashing the awful past is the typical narrative.

by Anonymousreply 89May 6, 2021 4:37 PM

R86 - not if it's a chain and it's serving the same food but just in a different atmosphere.

by Anonymousreply 90May 6, 2021 4:42 PM

One of the meetings that I have attended had the same old woman who told her same story over and over again. When I asked her why she repeated it at every meeting, she said because there was always a new person at the meeting who probably needed to hear it. Apparently her sponsor told her that it was okay to repeat it.

by Anonymousreply 91May 6, 2021 4:45 PM

I have been an AA member for thirty some years, in two different cities, and have gone to meetings in lots of other places, and I have never heard of a requirement that you only talk about positive things.

by Anonymousreply 92May 6, 2021 4:48 PM

Anonymous my ass. Many followers of Bill never shut up about it. My sister is a lifelong AA person. She was constantly preaching. I told in confidence, decades ago that I used cannabis regularly. She immediately went to my Mom and told her who told everyone else in the family. Frankly, I didn't really care but I was surprised that someone who follows a group that prides itself on anonymity would gossip.

by Anonymousreply 93May 6, 2021 4:52 PM

R92, really? I have been to a couple dozen different meetings over the years and they all shared the idea that you share "experience, strength, and hope". If you share negative stuff you are living in the problem rather than living in the solution.

by Anonymousreply 94May 6, 2021 5:24 PM

AA is a voluntary program. if it's not for you, walk away.

by Anonymousreply 95May 6, 2021 5:32 PM

Recovery groups always felt like a place many misused to run their own personal agenda for a captive audience. Too much toxic narcissism and neediness.

by Anonymousreply 96May 6, 2021 5:44 PM

How does one find the Oversexed Anon. meetings?

by Anonymousreply 97May 6, 2021 5:50 PM

R95 - well, if it were that easy. A lot of recovery programs and courts require you to go to AA meetings, despite the lack of real numbers in its success.

AA has become the default program for anyone and any problem. It does work for some, and that's great. But the level of authority AA has been given in our society is reckless and unjustified.

by Anonymousreply 98May 6, 2021 6:08 PM

The subreddit R/StopDrinking is a nice positive place for those struggling with alcohol.

by Anonymousreply 99May 6, 2021 6:28 PM

R98, that’s because AA is free and readily available.

That’s the amount of money we’re willing to spend as a society on disease treatment. Especially since normal folks think it’s people who are just having too much fun.

by Anonymousreply 100May 6, 2021 8:16 PM

[quote]R87 Another issue is the anonymity isn’t respected by the gossip addicts.

Posting on a gossip site - -

by Anonymousreply 101May 6, 2021 8:21 PM

R99 I am a regular there and it helped me a lot in my early stages when I was a constant emotional mess.

by Anonymousreply 102May 6, 2021 8:22 PM

Sober for 14 years without AA. I went to one meeting fifteen years ago and loathed it. AA is a cult in my opinion and didn’t address the root issues (childhood trauma and low self esteem) that led me to drink.

Therapy and the secular sobriety group LifeRing helped and loads of workouts.

by Anonymousreply 103May 6, 2021 8:24 PM

AA works for some, doesn't work for others. If it doesn't work for you, you're not alone.

But give it a fair shot. Try a few different meetings. Do some fellowship.

I also have social anxiety, but I pushed through it and forced myself to socialize, because isolation was a huge reason why I drank problematically. I made some great friends I still have today.

by Anonymousreply 104May 6, 2021 8:25 PM

I feel like “social anxiety” is just another form of narcissism, sometimes.

No one’s really thinking of you that much.

by Anonymousreply 105May 6, 2021 8:39 PM

[quote]No one’s really thinking of you that much.

This is true, an important thing to learn.

by Anonymousreply 106May 6, 2021 8:41 PM

Ummmm...you are!

by Anonymousreply 107May 6, 2021 8:42 PM

[quote]. I spent about 2 months in AA in Los Angeles in 2012 or so.

R6. Did you have a DUI and was forced to go to meetings for 2 months?

by Anonymousreply 108May 6, 2021 8:47 PM

Courts really shouldn't mandate AA Meetings. Of course, I'd rather have to go to meetings than go to jail. Coffee, Tea or cookies might not be the best thing for you, but they don't give you cirrhosis.

by Anonymousreply 109May 6, 2021 8:59 PM

Having a partner, parent, or sibling that's an alkie is sheer torture.

You want to talk narcissists? Alcoholics and drug abusers are hell to live with. Their world revolves around where their next drink or pill comes from and oh, 'fuck you for trying to get between me and my fucking fixx'.

Mine finally stopped drinking and drugging 3 months ago but it took a near-death experience, an ambulance ride to the ER, and 10 days of coming down off all the poison he was using to make that happen. Now it's hell for the rest of us that want to keep him clean, sober, and alive. He gave it a try but won't do AA. He's taken to drinking non-alcohol beer and wine by the gallon. All that says to me is that he's dying for a real drink.

If he goes off the wagon I hate to admit it but I hope he dies this time. He was lucky his life was spared last time around. It's hell to stand by and see someone slowly kill themselves with drugs and drink. It's pure narcissistic selfishness. He was an alkie and drug abuser for 20 years prior. I hope he maintains his sobriety and becomes a trustworthy person again.

by Anonymousreply 110May 6, 2021 9:41 PM


by Anonymousreply 111May 6, 2021 10:08 PM

My friend found a a hot daddy fuck buddy at his NA group. I think the guy is his sponsor.

by Anonymousreply 112May 6, 2021 10:21 PM

R112, if you are actively sober that’s your dating pool. Jumping outside the group poses many more issues that require full disclosure early on. It’s like you’re selling a house and advertising it has 27 cats, a leaky roof, and flooded basement.

by Anonymousreply 113May 6, 2021 10:55 PM

My brother was indoctrinated in NA for years. It became pretty annoying after awhile. He would only associate with NA people, only NA activities, spoke down about people not in the program and it became very cult-like. Glad he is out of it now.

by Anonymousreply 114May 6, 2021 11:14 PM

How deep can a relationship with an AA "friend" be? Usually you know a friend's last name.

My sponsor once dropped some mail and got mad when I picked it up. He was so worried I would see his last name. The whole thing is designed so you have some distance from the people there. Your friends are supposed to be part of your real life.

by Anonymousreply 115May 6, 2021 11:21 PM

Plus, they bitch when you can’t visit them in the hospital. “I only know your last initial, Steve. I can’t ask the nurse for every Balding cunt named Steve!”

by Anonymousreply 116May 6, 2021 11:25 PM

Just wanted to share an experience I had with a friend I met in AA. I had a contract job run long (like 3x longer than they quoted) and the delay had nothing to do with me, but was caused by the people who hired me. They kept me onsite, on the phone the whole time telling me they would "take care of me" because we had reached the point of no return. Well, they added a measly $100 to the job and I was incensed. I called to vent to my buddy and I was ready to let them have it. He advised against it and told me to just move on. A drink would have been nice.

I did call them the next day. But it was to explain to them what the actual problem was. When I figured it out and fixed it onsite, we had just implemented a separate change that was really a hail Mary. They thought that had fixed it and I went along with that because I didn't want to waste any more time there. Anyway, they approved my pay immediately (usually takes two weeks) and added me to their preferred provider list which has already brought me more lucrative business.

Anyway, at the meetings I go to, newcomers are always given a list of peoples phone numbers. In this case, using those numbers not only kept me from drinking, but led to a better outcome. Drinking is always just the symptom. In this case, my short fuse was the problem.

by Anonymousreply 117June 13, 2021 5:07 PM

To mix up several of the phrases in the big book and what I heard when I first hit the rooms of AA 30 years ago...

We are like men who have lost our legs... if you can find and easier, softer way .... our hats are off to you... take what you need and leave the rest.

by Anonymousreply 118June 13, 2021 5:27 PM

Op, the reason they talk about themselves is so you can see someone else stopped drinking. The point is to be inspired by other's stories. You see yourself in them and know they made it. Know they slipped but it's okay, know they have the same shit you did that gets them to pick up.

I didn't like every meeting. Some I never went back to but some I stayed and still didn't like everyone in there but you are at rock bottom so just keep going back.

by Anonymousreply 119June 13, 2021 5:38 PM

r115, that changed because so many are facebook friends and names are all there. I was a bit thrown by that initially. But l knew last names of sponsor and sober sibs.

by Anonymousreply 120June 13, 2021 5:40 PM

I know quite a few people who go to AA and they don’t sound anything like what you describe. I wonder if the problem is you, OP?

by Anonymousreply 121June 13, 2021 5:42 PM

R36 nailed it. I know several people whose long time relationships were destroyed by AA. My co-workers husband left her for a woman he met at AA. She said she was glad he left because he was easier to deal with when he was drinking.

I got a DUI when I was 17 and had to go to court mandated AA meetings. The speaker at the first one spent an hour talking about how much fun he had when he was still drinking. Also if you don't believe in the concept of a higher power then you might as well not go since that is the basis for their "cure." They will shun you anyway.

by Anonymousreply 122June 13, 2021 5:45 PM

R120, "sober sibs?" Do you mean family members or is this some AA lingo?

by Anonymousreply 123June 13, 2021 5:52 PM

When you go to a 12-step, I think you’re supposed to for 5 meetings before you make any determinations. Try different times or locations but you kind of owe it to the people in the programme to commit to those 5 meetings.

by Anonymousreply 124June 13, 2021 5:52 PM

^^I mean, why did you go in the 1st place? You need help, right?

by Anonymousreply 125June 13, 2021 5:53 PM

R122, my teetotaler sister's husband did the same thing. And cut himself off from his teenage daughter (from a previous marriage). Then when she committed suicide, he told them all that was why he relapsed.

They are big on cutting you off from people, places, and things that influence you to drink. That includes wives and children.

by Anonymousreply 126June 13, 2021 5:54 PM

r123, I had sober sisters (I didn't want to draw attention to my gender on this site when I don't have to) Sober sisters were all women that had the same sponsor. We were also family with those who had the same grand sponsor - my sponsors' sponsor.

by Anonymousreply 127June 13, 2021 5:56 PM

I never heard this five meeting thing.

Why would you owe something to people in a program you are not part of? That is a pretty high level of entitlement on their part.

by Anonymousreply 128June 13, 2021 5:56 PM

R127 that is weird.

I don't remember even knowing if my sponsors had other sponsees.

by Anonymousreply 129June 13, 2021 5:57 PM

r82 It's ridiculous to say that without listing them here. Please share them as a resource for anyone who has a drinking problem.

by Anonymousreply 130June 13, 2021 5:59 PM

r129, not really weird where my home meeting was. We were usually in the same meeting. We socialized for birthdays too. I'll have 13 years come August. So it worked for me. I don't go to weekly meetings anymore. The first 6 years I did and did service and all that stuff and I probably should be someone's sponsor but I just go to birthdays or some events every now and then.

I have no desire to drink. Sometimes on hot summer days, I miss the taste of a beer, so I'll have a non-alcoholic one, and it doesn't draw me back in. I was a martini drinker. That was what got me blotto. Do not miss it.

by Anonymousreply 131June 13, 2021 6:02 PM

My friend just went on an anti-depressant. Turns out he has about 30 drinks per week (according to the government standards for counting a drink, which he says are bullshit.) He needs to stop drinking. If he tries to stop and can't, I will recommend AA to him. Might he benefit from AA anyway? Sure. That's a separate conversation.

AA is for people who can't stop drinking on their own. Period. It is incredibly effective for people who want to stop drinking and they can't.

by Anonymousreply 132June 13, 2021 6:05 PM

All of these narcissists are the same people who went to ex-gay ministries. Their real problem is being attention whores.

by Anonymousreply 133June 13, 2021 6:11 PM

I had a friend once who was in the programme and she stopped talking to me because one day I told her she was speaking to me in "bumper stickers." I guess she felt terribly threatened by that. But it was just a bunch of meaningless group speak.

by Anonymousreply 134June 13, 2021 6:24 PM

AA did not work for me, but it is a good place to start. It helps a lot of people. And if it does not help your friend people in the program might be able to tell him about SmartRecovery and Rescue Recovery.

by Anonymousreply 135June 13, 2021 6:25 PM

I have been sober for thirteen years; the last seven without AA. Maybe it's a 'softer, easier' way, but I don't have a problem with it.

by Anonymousreply 136June 13, 2021 6:56 PM

The great. great thing about AA: if you go and don't like it, if it doesn't work for you, stop going and try something else. Those who particularly have a thing about AA and have to berate it and those who do go... well those people are "still going" in the heads, even if they are not physically going. Just let it go and move on.

Higher Power: Back in the day one of my favorite meetings was a group of old Jewish socialists atheists... met at the Kaiser building on Sunset and Vermont in LA.... this was 30 years ago. Fucking atheists knew what was up.

by Anonymousreply 137June 13, 2021 7:05 PM

Being sober and being in recovery are not the same thing.... just sayin'

by Anonymousreply 138June 13, 2021 7:06 PM

I've been sober almost 34 years and have not identified a greater number of narcissists in AA than elsewhere. If you presumably have a booze and likely meth problem don't you have bigger fish to fry right now?

Why not keep the focus on yourself and hold off being so judgy to people trying to help you?

by Anonymousreply 139June 13, 2021 8:28 PM

Its the sponsors who tend to be narcissists. I recommend holding off of that part until you know something about the people.

by Anonymousreply 140June 13, 2021 8:38 PM

What the fuck is R124 going on about? You don't owe anybody anything in AA. Also, 'programme?' AA is scorned outside the USA.

by Anonymousreply 141June 13, 2021 9:03 PM

I first went to Al-Anon in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It was a different thing then. It was instructional, and the meetings were heavily moderated to make sure everybody got a chance to participate if they wanted. We often had topics of discussion.

Didn't go for years, tried a gay group in the early 2000s. What a bunch of messy girls. Everybody trying to get their hands in each other's pants. Money got stolen on a couple occasions. The same group of addicts would attend all the gay meetings, including Al-Anon, and including closed meetings, so you had to see and hear them every time. And they always sucked all the air out of the room.

And the dynamics were so weird. No cross talk. Okay. But the rule was defined as "you can't comment on anything anybody else says." Which means there was no give-and-take, no conversation, and therefore, no opportunity to express empathy either. There was a heavy emphasis on books and other publications from AA-sanctioned publishers.

I bailed from the gay group after the 2nd burglary (inside job no doubt) and went to an ostensibly str8 meeting. Very similar dynamics. Two guys seemed to be the queens of the meeting. They did nearly all the talking, they ran everything, they sat on every committee, and they decided where the group would have dinner before the meeting twice a month. And those dinners were bizarre. I had no idea how feral people could be at the dinner table.

Ostensibly str8 because several of the men seemed real fruity even tho married. Then some random guy asked me to sponsor him. I said yes, but then one of the queens told us that I was too new and it was too soon. I asked 2 people to sponsor me after I'd been attending for awhile, maybe 2 months, and they both turned me down without explanation. That's when I decided I didn't need AA anymore. At the last meeting I attended, I made a point of sharing some of what I've mentioned here, and was met with stony silence, upon which I walked out. But I'm still on their email list, over 15 years later.

by Anonymousreply 142June 13, 2021 9:20 PM

You need a drink, r142!

by Anonymousreply 143June 13, 2021 9:22 PM

R142, I started in 2000 and that was how no-cross-talk was explained to me.

Different dynamics, but the same jockeying for power in the groups I attended.

I am shocked by an email list--that is a breach of anonymity.

by Anonymousreply 144June 13, 2021 9:48 PM

Consider it a stepping stone, one on which you will encounter many cautionary tales, perhaps seeing yourself - your life, habits, idiosyncrasies, and experiences - reflected in a few of them..

I never did get clean because of AA or NA, but both, along with the 12 Steps fundamental to them, made me face the brutal reality of addiction - it’s tenebrous and ever-worsening effects - and realize that not only am I not alone in my plight, but that sobriety and happiness without buffering intoxicants is possible.

Though I got clean and sober on my own (incidentally, “Clean and Sober” is a fantastic film on addiction, starring an Oscar-worthy Michael Keaton), I cannot deny that I used many of the suggestions I was given and techniques I learned in “the rooms” to do so.

If nothing else, spend your time in AA and NA like an investigative journalist, picking up and learning as much as you can about addiction and the people it tends to blight. You will learn a lot about yourself, some of it difficult and even a little tragic, some of it quite amusing and undeniably hilarious. Who knows, you might even make a few friends.

I wish you luck, peace, and prosperity, op 🙏🏼

by Anonymousreply 145June 13, 2021 10:06 PM

Okay R144, but how can you have a human conversation without back-and-forth? It's simply not how humans talk to one another. Our no-cross-talk rule wasn't only about interrupting. It was about commenting on anything anybody said. That sharing of mutual experiences, commisseration, etc. - that's what communication is. I still don't get it all these years later when I think about it.

The email list was an anonymized one, except for the few times it somehow was accidentally un-anonymized and you could see everybody's email. And you had to agree to be on the list.

by Anonymousreply 146June 13, 2021 10:07 PM

R146, I do not understand much about the program. No cross talk, only speak of solutions not problems, don't try to help anyone to not drink, etc. None of it made sense.

The one idea I took with me was share experience, not advice. That was an excellent guideline.

But honestly, AA kept me relapsing. Since leaving I have been clean and sober. Funny how that works.

by Anonymousreply 147June 13, 2021 10:29 PM

One AA acquaintance, a sponsor of several young men, used to the 12-step sex addicts groups to troll for men and then come back and regale us all during fellowship at the gay coffee house with tales of hookups. Whaaaaat?

by Anonymousreply 148June 13, 2021 10:32 PM

Fake it 'til you make it, OP

It works if you work it

Let go, and let god

Keep coming back

by Anonymousreply 149June 13, 2021 10:38 PM

Don't a lot of dope addicts show up to many AA meetings trying to take over even thought AA is not geared for them?

by Anonymousreply 150June 13, 2021 10:41 PM

I am not sure what a dope addict is specifically, but in truth you see the same people at NA, CA, CMA, etc meetings. They are more or less interchangeable. They have the same methods and the same steps. The only ones you do not see are people with behavioral addictions.

As someone said to me, if you prefer one over the other, it is usually due to the literature. The styles of writing are indeed different.

Oftne in meetings, you have a chuckle as someone asks to be reminded which fellowship they are in.

by Anonymousreply 151June 13, 2021 10:46 PM

Addiction is addiction, whether to a substance, a behavior, or an outlook on life.

by Anonymousreply 152June 13, 2021 11:37 PM

I was in a recovery group as well for a time, and when it came time to get a sponsor, I got every excuse in the book. Not long after, a young hot guy and woman joined—and they were practically fighting over sponsoring them. I left, since I saw the true caliber of the individuals in the group. Too many recovery groups are just narcissistic supply and a place to ger laid for a lot of people. There’s also a good number of people with mental health issues misusing groups as free therapy . There’s no true ethical involvement for a lot of people beyond what’s in it got them. And don’t get me started on the 13 steppers.

by Anonymousreply 153June 13, 2021 11:44 PM

r88 Sounds like youve gone to the wrong meetings. Meetings and outreach calls are there for people to talk about what is stressing them out. There are certain meetings that try to keep things positive but there is always space to say "I am dealing with this and it is upsetting me/I'm frustrated...."

Individual therapy should be on the agenda for any individual who is in AA and can afford it. Preferably, as much therapy as possible. But that isn't always possible and its not a substitution for the community that meetings create. Meaning, people the alcoholic can call 24 hrs per day if they're thinking about drinking.

Your distinction is wrong.

by Anonymousreply 154June 13, 2021 11:57 PM

R150 A lot of drug addicts find the AA meetings to be preferable over NA.

by Anonymousreply 155June 13, 2021 11:59 PM

R147 Glad youre sober and hope you stay that way. If someone can get sober without AA, they may not need AA.

I would point out you suggested the meetings kept you relapsing. You kept you relapsing. The meetings didn't hand you alcohol.

by Anonymousreply 156June 14, 2021 12:01 AM

NA has a lot of burnouts that no longer have the mental capacity to work the steps, unfortunately.

by Anonymousreply 157June 14, 2021 12:01 AM

R156, being in a room with a bunch of addicts who under other circumstances I might have used with--that was hard. Not being able to tell anyone there that I was struggling while listening to their stories of job promotions and real estate purchases--that made me feel alone and hopeless.

The meetings did not make me use. But they did not help. There is an old saying that if you go to a barbershop often enough, you are going to get a hair cut--meeting were the barbershop for me. They heightened drug fantasies and about half my relapses started with a phone call to a dealer immediately after a meeting.

I was too afraid to recognize what was going on. I kept looking for what was wrong about me rather than saying "this is just a situation I cannot handle."

I kept doing the same thing, but expected the result would change. That is insanity.

by Anonymousreply 158June 14, 2021 1:47 AM

Yes r158 I agree —you keep thinking it must be you since it’s not working. Ultimately you have to regain your sense of self and do what works for you.

by Anonymousreply 159June 14, 2021 2:39 AM

Isn't Narconon a Scientology outfit, and hasn't it been proven time and time again to be a complete fraud? I've read they make fantastic claims about their "cure" rate which are complete horsehockey.

by Anonymousreply 160June 14, 2021 9:31 AM

[R110], I hope you have an escape plan. If you can, set aside money and a plan to leave immediately, if the time comes when it becomes too much for you. Your partner, whether or not you're aware, is torturing you for his/her sobriety. And is more than likely getting a major kick out of it. The writing's on the wall. You don't need braille skills to read it, do you?

by Anonymousreply 161June 14, 2021 10:09 AM

[quote]R142 the dynamics were so weird. No cross talk. Okay. But the rule was defined as "you can't comment on anything anybody else says." Which means there was no give-and-take, no conversation, and therefore, no opportunity to express empathy either.

[quote]R146 how can you have a human conversation without back-and-forth? It's simply not how humans talk to one another. Our no-cross-talk rule wasn't only about interrupting. It was about commenting on anything anybody said.

An AA meeting is not usually about communicating back and forth WITHIN THAT HOUR in that single way you seem to know.

And one can express empathy in ways beyond, “I’m hearing Carl say he was gang raped when he blacked out at a biker bar and I’m sorry he was gang raped at a biker bar. And I hope he is not gang raped at a biker bar again, because gang rape is so often uncomfortable, and I have great feeling for what Carl is going through. From the gang rape. I do hope he gets an STD test because infection can be a result of gang rape.”

by Anonymousreply 162June 14, 2021 2:45 PM

R162, but the other half is that you cannot ask for advice or input on something because that invites crosstalk.

I know that there is a fear that AA could turn into a support group, but this does isolate people.

by Anonymousreply 163June 14, 2021 3:20 PM

Heard once at an AA meeting: "And if someone immediately has a response to me I think, fuck, they weren't even listening."

The art/practice of listening to someone telling their story, without preparing a response, a critique, while listening, is part of the process. In the space of meetings being able to say your truth (hearing yourself share, in the hearing getting deeper understanding), without fear of someone speaking into your story with an opinion, or the undertow of judgement... is part of how it works.

So much of life is full of people talking at, to, around, because, in spite, over other people. Communication becomes performance, self justification, and instrumentalized. It all started with "one drunk talking to another." And actually being heard, hearing yourself... the culture and psychologies of communication kept out of the space so something more true might emerge. There's so much noise in our lives that nothing gets heard.


by Anonymousreply 164June 14, 2021 3:21 PM

In rehab, they discouraged comforting people when they broke into tears. This included handing them a box of tissues.

The thinking is that by handing them the tissues, you are telling them that crying time is over. And it might be better to just let them get it out. I can see the reasoning.

by Anonymousreply 165June 14, 2021 3:31 PM

R164, that might make sense if stories were deeply personal. Those kinds of stories are told at speaker meetings---and you are allowed to respond after!

But most meetings what is shared is "sobriety bait" as a friend said. Shares are about promotions, financial success, relationships repaired, etc.

I think the no crosstalk rule is in part to protect this. If we could respond to each other, we might talk about harder stuff for the purpose of getting a response/support. This would turn AA into a support group.

But we might also be spared the "burning desire" section at the end. That is where people who shared sometimes correct or elaborate on anything they said that might be misunderstood. If other speakers could refer to them, the nervous nellies who use the burning desire might not be so nervous.

by Anonymousreply 166June 14, 2021 3:33 PM

I am going to do my first zoom AA meeting today, after getting drunk at a family gathering over the weekend and insulting my cousin’s daughter. She has a medical condition, and I called her handicapped. She heard me and cried so everyone hates me. Im also looking into addiction psychiatrists. Im thinking about asking for Campral. I tried it years ago, but couldn’t remember to take it 3 times a day.

by Anonymousreply 167June 14, 2021 3:38 PM

r163 I can't begin to express how wrong your impression of these meetings is. It could absolutely be the meeting you went to gave you this impression. All meetings are kind of different. But that's so far beyond anything I've experienced in other 12 step programs.

You are absolutely allowed to say "I am nervous about filing my taxes, I don't know how to do it, it's complicated, I don't want to screw up....." Cross talk would be someone else getting up and responding to that in their 2 or 3 minutes to speak. It would actually be ok for someone to say "I am also nervous about the tax deadline, I am so far behind...."

it would be absolutely appropriate for people to come up to you after the meeting and say, "I'm an accountant, what questions do you have" or "i know a few accountants who don't charge much, would you like their numbers?" It would also be totally appropriate to talk about what you're nervous or anxious about in your outreach calls. That is why they exist. So that when you are dealing with a stressful issue, you don't soothe yourself with a substance and instead replace that instinct with interpersonal contact.

by Anonymousreply 168June 14, 2021 4:41 PM

I'd say the thing making you so irritated about it is that it's uncomfortable for you to look at yourself and admit you're an alcoholic. It's scary to think about giving up your coping mechanism. It seems like your whole life is going to change. And it will, either way. What's better, listening to some folks go on about themselves, and perhaps getting some perspective and relief from whatever makes you drink, or continuing to allow alcohol to damage your health, your mind, or peace and your relationships and generally rule your life?

Suck it up, and give it at least 30 days.

by Anonymousreply 169June 14, 2021 4:44 PM

R18, you're an unintellectual, uninformed asshole.

by Anonymousreply 170June 14, 2021 4:48 PM

AA is a cult.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 171June 14, 2021 4:59 PM

R171 Ha. "AA is a cult and I WILL NOT listen to anyone who wants to talk to me!!"

by Anonymousreply 172June 14, 2021 5:16 PM

And that was my final opinion, R171. It is a weak cult, but one nonetheless. Cults always circumscribe human communication, either by censoring/censuring it and by only permitting specific types of usually ineffective pseudo communication.

My later experiences at Al-Anon were exactly this. So what if AA turns into a support group? Everybody speaking for themselves in isolation without feedback from others is frankly weird. You know who else does this? Mormons do during their monthly Fast and Testimony meetings. I went to one at the urging of a gay ex-Mormon friend. Freaky.

And the comment above. Since you can't really obtain empathy and compassion from others in this sterilized environment, you are not likely to share anything painful, because sharing pain and being met with silence is even more painful. Thus you'll share positive stories about yourself, because sharing those has built-in reinforcement.

I think this no-crosstalk rule exists primarily to create an atmosphere where people think they're sharing, but ultimately feel even more alone because the weird sharing reinforces their isolation. They may as well talk to a mirror or the wall.

Into the gap created by the isolation comes the AA doctrine, stupid catchphrases, and Hazelden publications.

by Anonymousreply 173June 14, 2021 5:16 PM

[quote]It was filled with narcissists who talked about themselves

Isn't that kind of the point?

by Anonymousreply 174June 14, 2021 5:19 PM

AA has its roots in eugenics. Essentially, it was a way for the people who “run” the towns to keep the drunks of the town in check. A way to brainwash them into submission. There was some genuine effort to help alcoholics along the way, but it is undeniably a cult. It’s heyday was in the 80s and 90s when it evolved into more of silos where there wasn’t much of a centralized network, except for supplies and support.

But it has unfortunately splintered so much that the fascist stuff has been creeping back in over the last 2 decades. Electoral Politics have seeped in and you will find people spreading the trump propaganda and mixing it with the 12 steps. It’s a mess and although they did a good job of keeping the “real world” out of “the rooms” but you can’t really do that anymore with 24/7 right wing propaganda everywhere you turn.

It was good while it lasted. I think more people need to start sobriety groups and do sober events and attempt to create situations where drugs and keep alcohol is not the main focus.

by Anonymousreply 175June 14, 2021 5:34 PM

The best example of the leftover influences from eugenics is the phrase that must be repeated before any meeting that labels anyone who is not in AA (but suffering from alcoholism) as unfortunate and defective.

by Anonymousreply 176June 14, 2021 5:38 PM

You seem to forget you were there because you are one of them.

by Anonymousreply 177June 14, 2021 6:00 PM

Are there any support groups for trans people dealing with trans issues?

by Anonymousreply 178June 14, 2021 6:06 PM

Check your LGBTQ+ center, they.

by Anonymousreply 179June 14, 2021 6:19 PM

Everybody speaking for themselves in isolation without feedback from others is frankly weird

The feedback comes after the meetings. Speaking about your problems, out loud, in front of others, is a great way to clarify your own thoughts and get out of your own head (which is the big issue for lots of addicts). Therapy is great for that too, most people can't afford daily therapy and those that would benefit from multiple therapy sessions per week are the least likely to be able to afford that.

The second part is that when you have a problem and put it out there, it allows others who have experience with that problem to make contact with you either after the meeting or on the phone later. A problem could be emotional (death of a loved one or friend) or more technical/adulting/life stuff or it could be frustration with work, etc.

The no crosstalk rule is only intended for while you are speaking and meant to keep you focused on you and your problems (as well as the solutions to those problems). it also prevents disruptions and arguments.

by Anonymousreply 180June 14, 2021 7:16 PM

It is my understanding that it also prevents the impulse to rescue from derailing (can be a pattern to shift focus off OWN issues) or the meeting being derailed due to a back and forth.

by Anonymousreply 181June 14, 2021 7:35 PM

The no crosstalk rule is there to prevent assholes from criticizing the person sharing or offering bad advice (e.g. "yeah, divorce your husband. ") You can get advice from sponsors, friends in AA, or perhaps in the informal gatherings at the diner (although this too is usually frowned upon because, well, assholes.) The rule is protective and it works pretty well.

I never heard anyone advocating for Q-anon or Trump in meetings. In fact an official tradition warns against discussing outside issues. There's a lot of regional variation in how meetings are conducted. I'm in NYC and you do get the occasional person who tries to sneak in outside politics but that tends to be anti-Trump. One cunt had to share she was personally empowered by protesting Trump which fine but it had zero to do with her supposed addiction. I say supposed because I have never heard her say anything remotely related to addiction. She is just using the meetings to have a social life.

by Anonymousreply 182June 14, 2021 7:50 PM

Now, that is creepy cult speech, r177.

by Anonymousreply 183June 14, 2021 8:22 PM

[quote] It was filled with narcissists who talked about themselves

[quote]Isn't that kind of the point?—Would it be better if they discussed "In the Heights"?

Hey, when I got sober I talked about the first version of The Handmaid’s Tale in meetings, and how it depressed me!


Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 184June 14, 2021 8:56 PM

I think R184 is the cunt I was talking about. Are you also a fake bisexual who uses that fake identity as well as a fake addiction to go to gay 12 step meetings?

by Anonymousreply 185June 14, 2021 9:13 PM

^^ day drinking?

by Anonymousreply 186June 14, 2021 9:31 PM

R168, twenty years of going to a variety of meetings, and my impressions cover dozens of groups over years.

You can go up to anyone after a meeting and say anything you want. I am not sure what your point about that has to do with anything. Except that your example is not exactly real. Instead they are likely to have the greeter or someone go up to them to say, "What you said about taxes is living in the problem. This is a program about solutions, so you might what to think about how you can share experience, strength and hope instead."

After the meeting is when people get told what they shared that was wrong.

by Anonymousreply 187June 14, 2021 9:56 PM

Have never heard of that, R187.

by Anonymousreply 188June 14, 2021 10:18 PM

[quote]R163 they are likely to have the greeter or someone go up to them to say, "What you said about taxes is living in the problem. This is a program about solutions, so you might what to think about how you can share experience, strength and hope instead."

To which, of course, one can always reply, “You may want to think about [italic]kissing my ass. [/italic]No one asked for your opinion, you condescending shit.”

by Anonymousreply 189June 14, 2021 10:23 PM

R189, were you listening on my conversation at that meeting?

by Anonymousreply 190June 14, 2021 10:25 PM

[quote]R163 I know that there is a fear that AA could turn into a support group

Mmmmm… I don’t know what I’d call AA, aside from a support group (?)

by Anonymousreply 191June 14, 2021 10:27 PM

They usually are pretty adamant about not being a support group.

The program is about the steps. Support groups are usually just about people coming together with common experiences. AA is about a plan of action.

It has elements of a class and elements of a support group--but it is neither.

by Anonymousreply 192June 14, 2021 10:31 PM

Thank you for enlightening me. I’ve only been sober for about 30 years.

It’s great you could go just a few times and get all the facts down!

by Anonymousreply 193June 14, 2021 10:39 PM

Just a few times?

Try thousands of times over 20 years.

But I guess I need to go another 10 years before I become as expert as you.

by Anonymousreply 194June 14, 2021 10:47 PM

Being sober is a separate issue from the structure of AA as a program, or other 12 step programs, for that matter. It is supposed to focus on the steps and the individual, not have back and forth advice giving during the meetings which may not be welcome, which may seem judging or critical to the recipient and which may derail the progress of the advice giver as they focus on others rather than self insight and progress. Of course, if accepted as welcome, feedback or advice can take place after meetings or outside via phone, etc.

by Anonymousreply 195June 14, 2021 10:50 PM

AA is nothing, comparing to the shit-storm of self pity and whiny fuckfaces you'll find at an Al-Anon meeting. Many people who attended multiple meetings per week - Their "alcoholic", is often a long-dead spouse or parent, and the "program" is used as a social outlet for fat, middle-aged to elderly Karens, actually weeping about the mean person who inhabits the adjoining cubicle at her workplace, or the cousin who "never respected" them. Pathetic.

by Anonymousreply 196June 14, 2021 11:11 PM

Corrie Gold

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 197June 14, 2021 11:28 PM

OP, if welcome, it is fine to offer advice after or outside meetings. It does not happen during meetings for a lot of reasons - it may not be welcome, it may be received as judgmental or critical and the point of sharing is to be heard without judgment, it could lead to conflict, it would potentially use up the time and limit sharing by others, it could derail the topic, etc. Part of what the structure is designed to teach is boundaries and sitting with uncomfortable feelings without reacting. So you do not reflexively try to "rescue" someone with advice or commentary, you accord them your silent attention and acceptance of their words and emotions without coloring it by your reaction, even if well intentioned. Does that make sense?

by Anonymousreply 198June 14, 2021 11:39 PM

Asshole Kevin Sessums really is the personification of an AA douchebag. Always blathering on about “the fellowship to which I belong” etc etc. it’s STULTIFYING. JUST DRINK MARY

by Anonymousreply 199June 14, 2021 11:42 PM

Loved it, R197

by Anonymousreply 200June 14, 2021 11:52 PM

Of course, all of this makes sense, R198.

But none of this gets explained. Newcomers come hoping for help in staying clear and/or sober, but all they hear is a bunch of humble brags and brag brags. They ask for advice and get yelled at for not following the proper form---which is never explained.

Or maybe they do get the advice that doing the steps and praying will help them stop. But when they leave the meeting and pass a liquor store... they are on your own to figure out how to deal with that.

Maybe instead telling them to look for a sponsor, they should be told to find someone to help them figure out how not to drink. They can worry about the steps later.

After you are around for a few weeks, people will start talking to you before and after the meeting. But by that time, many people just give up and don't come back.

by Anonymousreply 201June 15, 2021 12:18 AM

I hear you, R201. I think all the 12 step programs are kinda similar in this respect. I had gone to group therapy that did not use that phrase but had the same rule, so it did not seem so odd to me. I hear you that it could all seem mysterious and kind of gotcha. Triage definitely. Are you OP? If so, hang in there and take good care. Change is hard but it gets easier.

by Anonymousreply 202June 15, 2021 12:45 AM

LOL @ the people trying to create hierarchies between AA and NA. They're the same program.

Years back, I had to attend a number of AA meetings as part of a community project(I'm a nondrinker because alcohol has no effect on me). The number of sleazy people there trying to date and hook up was unbelievable. Especially predatory middle-aged and older people.

I've heard a lot of other people's experience with AA and NA and they were identical to mine.

by Anonymousreply 203June 15, 2021 1:01 AM

Defo a hunting ground for predators, some meetings that predominates, R203. That is why the 13th step was put in place, although to little effect it sounds like.

by Anonymousreply 204June 15, 2021 1:05 AM

R202, no I am not OP. I stuck with 12-step programs because I did not know what else to do. After a very long time I realized it was not helping, went into therapy.

Leaving AA and NA, I finally regained my self-esteem and stopped relapsing. I think that sometimes positive reinforcement is better than tough love. Or at least it was for me.

by Anonymousreply 205June 15, 2021 2:11 AM

R175 Oh, blessed fellow human, I love you and want you free from all suffering, but that is a load of hogwash. Or, as President Joe would say, malarkey.

The steps are the steps.... happening inside the person, and worked outside the meetings, of course. But all the criticism of how meetings give time to someone to say what they need to say, with no response. Any narcissist, control freak, manipulator (e.g. an alcoholic) needs to speak without hearing "the reviews".... and this is smart communication, in therapy, and matches the "council" formats imputed to Native Peoples' practice... the pipe or Talking Stick passed and everyone directs attention to the speaker.

by Anonymousreply 206June 15, 2021 2:42 AM

Are there any Asian only groups? As a trans Asian I don’t think I’d find support in a regular meeting.

by Anonymousreply 207June 15, 2021 3:09 AM

Glad you found something that worked for you, R205.

by Anonymousreply 208June 15, 2021 3:22 AM

[quote]R201 But none of this gets explained.

Yes. It’s all such a closely guarded secret.

Too bad there’s no literature, intergroup office call lines, or choice of meetings to help with it all if one’s confused. (BTW: Are you the poster who’s always claiming he was forced to clean his sponsor’s gutters?)

[quote]They ask for advice and get yelled at for not following the proper form---which is never explained.

They probably just yelled at YOU. It must happen a lot.

by Anonymousreply 209June 15, 2021 3:33 AM

R207, I am not an AA myself, but I'm an activist and I can assure you that NA and AA hold meetings for specific cultures and alternative lifestyle groups. There are Native American, Women Only, Men Only and Transgender/LGBTQ+ meetings.

I think you might have an easier time finding a Trans AA group than Asian meetings, unless you happen to live in an area with a high population of Asians and Pacific Islanders.

by Anonymousreply 210June 15, 2021 3:38 AM

The best solution might be to just start one’s own special interest meeting, if there’s none suitable around.

For those wild for crosstalk, found one called “Crosstalk & Crackers” or “Not Cross with Crosstalk” or whatever. Surely someone will show up and you can indulge in what you love.

by Anonymousreply 211June 15, 2021 3:47 AM

r173, I don't really understand what you are saying. I never felt AA as isolating. The exact opposite. People come up to you at the end of meetings. People talked to you about stuff you shared on AFTER the meeting. No cross talk means you let the person share uninterrupted and they don't have to justify or be judged. There was a meeting that allowed cross talk- I went once and never went back because I didn't like it.

There is always coffee and snacks. People go out to eat afterwards. The club I belonged to had sober dances, potluck, bingo and movie nights. Trying to white knuckle it was when I found myself isolated.

by Anonymousreply 212June 15, 2021 4:10 AM

Thank you, R208.

R209, I was only yelled at once. That was enough. I stopped speaking much. But I did watch other people on the grill.

The literature is great and still inspires me, but it is very far from how the program is practiced. I think that is the problem. And interoffice group call lines? That is a new one on me.

You are right that meetings can be different. But they are similar that there is an inner circle that clearly feel warm toward each other and then there is everyone else. I suppose that the "everyone elses" could form their own circle, but that does not happen. I think the isolation and sadness of meetings makes reaching out hard. There was always the undercurrent that if you do not have the financial and social success in recovery that some do, that you are worthless.

Maybe it is changing with the internet. In real life 12-step recovery you are not supposed to ask questions about the program---but online people do all the time and now there is little or no resistance to it. Anonymity is also fading away, which is a good thing. The internet has made it so people in the program now share their last names, which a decade or two ago was seen as a huge breach.

R173's describes one way in which meetings are isolating. I actually like the no cross-talk rule for the reasons others have stated. But I wish that that there were ways to express support. R212 says people go up after meetings to express appreciation. I have seen that. But more often than that, people go up to someone who shared so that they can criticize. It is painful to watch.

I wish the warm, fuzzy AA/NA that you see in films and television and read in the literature was more prevalent. Some people online describe their experience in those terms so I am guessing it does exist somewhere.

But the sneering tone you read here when some one does not like what another person writes is what I saw more often. It is as if someone having a different experience is some kind of threat.

You also see here the voice of real recovery. It is there when people say, they are sorry or express sympathy, while saying that they had a different experience. They are sharing hope while not negating what someone else has said.

But as you read the thread, which voice predominates? Which comments are the ones that stick with you?

That is the problem. Maybe the negative people are not in the majority--but they have no qualms about telling us that they are right and know better than anyone else--so their voices are the loudest. Here and in AA.

by Anonymousreply 213June 15, 2021 4:47 AM

Where does one find the sex freak meetings?

by Anonymousreply 214June 15, 2021 4:49 AM

Anyone tried Kratom ?

by Anonymousreply 215June 15, 2021 4:51 AM

[quote]R213 And interoffice group call lines? That is a new one on me.

You never heard of your local intergroup needing volunteers to answer calls? Sometimes the lines are open 24 hours a day.

In the old days the after hours calls would be routed to a member’s home. An old timer I was close to got sober after she called AA at 2:00 a.m. and the lady stayed up for hours talking to her till dawn, when she could get to her first meeting.

by Anonymousreply 216June 15, 2021 5:00 AM

[quote]R213 In real life 12-step recovery you are not supposed to ask questions about the program.


[quote]…says people go up after meetings to express appreciation. I have seen that. But more often than that, people go up to someone who shared so that they can criticize.

You have been to very strange meetings.

by Anonymousreply 217June 15, 2021 5:08 AM

The key to anything today is worry about yourself, because everyone is super volatile and see the outside world as a threat to their existence/reality. I honestly used to think offering advice was a good thing, but more often than not you are resented for it. The only good advice it the kind that’s asked for.

by Anonymousreply 218June 15, 2021 5:21 AM


by Anonymousreply 219June 15, 2021 5:21 AM

I miss all the cookies and drinking coffee after dinner and the chain smoking .

by Anonymousreply 220June 15, 2021 6:00 AM

R216, funny, there were often signs about those lines, but I never heard them referred to in a meeting--not in a share or an announcement. This is in a few different cities. Now that you mention it, that is strange. A manager in an office where I worked had set up the first local hotline for NA.

My understanding was that those lines were for some kind of emergency, not for asking questions that your sponsor and meetings say you are not supposed to be asking in the first place.

by Anonymousreply 221June 15, 2021 11:58 AM

r221 - In my area, most groups will hold a business meeting at certain intervals and things like the phone lines would more likely be discussed there.

And the lines are more for people in distress and usually manned by people with long sobriety and a certain amount of respect in the groups. You don't want some flake with one year answering the phones. Those phone lines are really the only "public" presence that AA has.

by Anonymousreply 222June 15, 2021 2:07 PM

r221, I used to be at the monthly meetings because of my commitment and they always needed volunteers for the phone lines. You had to have a min sobriety also like r222 said. I don't know what your city is but I am in a city with lots and lots of meetings. I went to some I didn't care for and just didn't go to that one again. Found a great home meeting and that is where I got sober at. If you have 3 in town that that is a drag. There might be more online options now.

Someone asked about SLAA, (sex and love addicts anon) I used to go to online meetings that I thought were fine. Went to one live one and I didn't care for it at all.

by Anonymousreply 223June 15, 2021 3:23 PM

R215, I have been thinking about Kratom, because it helps with alcoholism and depression. The withdrawals are similar to opioid withdrawal though, which sounds miserable. I attended my first zoom AA meeting yesterday, and half the people talking began with “I apologize in advance, but I’m going to crosstalk”. One person on zoom was having a horrible time, and there really wasn’t a way to talk to them after the meeting, so maybe that is why everyone crosstalked?

by Anonymousreply 224June 15, 2021 3:30 PM

R210 You are an activist who doesn't use Google?

Also while this is named explicitly "Asian American" - in general there are many AA meetings who have a unique population who attend, but it's not name as such in the directories. Anyone who wants to give AA a chance also needs to find a meeting in which they are comfortable. Meetings really, really vary.

Having said that - one thing that always moved me in meetings is how all the divisions among humans that are so painful (class, education, ethnicity, race, politics) are less important than what members have in common. So few places where such democracy in operationalized. "Look for the commonalities" is how the world should be... the rooms are a laboratory where such inclusion and equanimity of status is a principle (as is human judgement etc etc and all the other "it's a cult" complaints here).

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 225June 15, 2021 3:34 PM

I just think that one can both espouse the benefits of the program but also admit that it is a brainwashing cult.

If you Google brainwashing techniques it’s all there. AA is undoubtedly, unquestionably and wholly a cult in every sense of the word. That is a fact.

But it doesn’t mean it can’t be helpful. Just keep a sense of yourself if you go in.

by Anonymousreply 226June 15, 2021 3:45 PM

[quote]R221 My understanding was that those lines were for some kind of emergency, not for asking questions that your sponsor and meetings say you are not supposed to be asking in the first place.

AA is about having as few rules as possible. There’s no rule about what you can or can’t ask if you call. Or what you can ask/talk about before, during or after a meeting.

In the beginning I did once call with a meeting format question. I forget what it was. It might have been if someone under the influence could share at a meeting. Whatever it was, the volunteer said meetings decide amongst themselves what their policies are, and I would have to look at the wording of a group’s format. He then sent me a brochure on how AA meetings can be formed and run.

At least that let me know that it was different everywhere - that some meetings have firm policies on one thing while another has never taken a vote on it.

by Anonymousreply 227June 15, 2021 3:58 PM

[quote]R226 I just think that one can both espouse the benefits of the program but also admit that it is a brainwashing cult.

I think you would benefit from reading up on what cults actually are. Perhaps something by a specialist like Margaret Thaler Singer.

You are misusing the word cult. AA would not be classified as a cult because - among other things - it has no single dictatorial leader, it does not require money, and (despite your belief) it does not discourage asking questions. It also does not seek to isolate members from friends and family whereas in a cult those connections are often severed.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 228June 15, 2021 4:14 PM

R226 As I always used to say... some brains are pretty dirty.

And any number of other human communities can be described using "it's a cult!" markers. Evangelical Christianity, Orthodox Judaism, college fraternities, human potential groups,

You don't like AA? It doesn't work for you? ... walk away, just walk away.

by Anonymousreply 229June 15, 2021 4:27 PM

R228 Exactly. One of the Traditions, "AA ought never be organized"

Whenever that's read in meetings I used to laugh internally "ha, no danger of that."

There is no central authority mandated orthodoxy - other than the things like "no visibility, no organization, no official membership status, only qualification for participating is a desire to stop drinking..."

by Anonymousreply 230June 15, 2021 4:31 PM

Are there "buttoms only" meetings?

by Anonymousreply 231June 15, 2021 4:42 PM

I knew The ugliest queen that ever lived. He go to “sex addicts anonymous” meetings in San Francisco and sit there making these bizarre “erotic faces“ looking for cock. Apparently that’s frowned upon by those who are super serious about “the program“ . But boy, did I bring the house down when I imitated those queer “erotic faces”!…. For a visual this queen looked just like Edith Massey in “female trouble“

by Anonymousreply 232June 15, 2021 4:45 PM

R230, actually there is. Though there is a good deal of latitude, there are certain things that are mandated. The one that has the most impact is that no unapproved literature can be used in a meeting. I have seen groups reported for using the bible or Pablo Neruda in their meetings.

by Anonymousreply 233June 15, 2021 5:39 PM

R223 From the 12 Traditions

For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority — a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.

The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.

Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole.

A.A., as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.

by Anonymousreply 234June 15, 2021 5:59 PM


by Anonymousreply 235June 15, 2021 6:29 PM

[quote]R233 I have seen groups reported for using the bible or Pablo Neruda in their meetings.

Reported to who? I’m curious as to what any response was.

As an agnostic, I’d love it if The Lord’s Prayer weren’t used to close some AA meetings. But that’s up to the members who vote at monthly business meetings.

by Anonymousreply 236June 15, 2021 6:44 PM

R236, I think it was to the regional intergroup or it may have been to GSO.

In each case the word came down that they had to stick to approved literature or stop claiming they were an AA group. So they stopped using outside literature.

by Anonymousreply 237June 15, 2021 7:42 PM

Find yourself a sponsor and start working the steps…….AA is about telling your experience with alcohol and drugs so others can learn and see themselves through your experience. Just keep going and you will learn some useful tools to help you cope with your alcohol issues. Just take it one day at a time ,my friend…..and good luck

by Anonymousreply 238June 15, 2021 7:50 PM

R236 For you...

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 239June 15, 2021 8:22 PM

I hated it too…I went into that meeting thinking to myself , what in the fuck do these people know about me and why I drink? But the reality is every alcoholics story is the same …just the names and the places are different. I continued to go and got my life back……if I can do it, with all the bridges I burned along the way…….you certainly can do it

by Anonymousreply 240June 15, 2021 8:22 PM

R240. Oh my. I bet you were a real mess! I can tell.

by Anonymousreply 241June 15, 2021 8:39 PM

R232, he thought it was a sex anonymous meet-up not meeting (although he's so tacky he would probably say "meat-up") !

by Anonymousreply 242June 15, 2021 8:55 PM


Don’t be so snarky bitch…..

by Anonymousreply 243June 15, 2021 10:10 PM

Reading all this as a Brit, I am scratching my head. Half of your drinking habits would not qualify as a problem over here, and the thought of joining a hivemind meeting club to pick apart one’s drinking habit is absurd.

by Anonymousreply 244June 15, 2021 10:34 PM

How did The Pledge work out for all of you?


[italic] Mathew Theobald, a Catholic priest in Dublin, Ireland, founded the Cork Total Abstinence Society on April 10, 1838. About sixty followers joined Theobald in swearing off alcohol completely and signed his abstinence pledge book. Meetings of the Society were held each Friday and Saturday night and after Sunday Mass. The Society’s ranks quickly grew, and within three months, Theobald had enrolled 25,000 new members in Cork alone; in five months, the number had increased to 130,000. Theobald traveled across Ireland, convincing thousands more to pledge teetotalism. In August 1842, he began traveling internationally, first to Scotland, then England, and on to the United States in 1849.

In 1842, Father Mathew enrolled Catherine Cauty into the Cork Total Abstinence Society. This pledge card, signed by Theobald as president of the society, presents the pledge: "I promise to abstain from all intoxicating drinks, except used medicinally and by order of a medical man, and to discountenance the cause and practice of intemperance." An illustration on one side of the card depicts a scene warning of the dangers of intemperance—a man driven by alcohol to beat his wife. Another illustration shows a scene of temperance—a happy family reading together by the hearth. Cauty took and signed the pledge on September 23, 1842. Theobald’s success in promoting his cause is demonstrated by Cauty’s numbered pledge card—four years after the society’s founding, Cauty was number 4,281,797 to take the pledge in Ireland. In his travels abroad, Theobald convinced as many as seven million people, including 500,000 in America, to pledge total abstinence from alcohol by 1851.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 245June 15, 2021 10:58 PM

[quote] the Cork Total Abstinence Society.

Laughing and crying as I type.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 246June 15, 2021 11:31 PM

[quote]R245 In his travels abroad, Theobald convinced as many as seven million people, including 500,000 in America, to pledge total abstinence from alcohol by 1851.

Of course, how many were drunk by dawn the next day is unrecorded.

by Anonymousreply 247June 15, 2021 11:41 PM

I don’t understand, r244. Do people not get drunk there and do terrible things that others don’t forgive them for? Drunk driving, pissing in a friends guest room while passed out, insulting people, falling and breaking bones, embarrassing friends and family, etc? Asking for a friend.

by Anonymousreply 248June 15, 2021 11:41 PM

Apparently this Father Mathew Theobald did not believe in adhering from the use of makeup.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 249June 15, 2021 11:44 PM

[quote]R248 I don’t understand, [R244]. Do people not get drunk there and do terrible things that others don’t forgive them for?

It’s basically that everyone’s so drunk over there they don’t notice those transgressions.

It’s a sodden, squalid place.

by Anonymousreply 250June 15, 2021 11:46 PM

R248 oh, we do all those things, yes. But when it comes time to grow up, we look our behaviour in the face, straighten our backs and get out of the beers; we don’t spend years sitting in a room full of equally culpable people and crying about it.

by Anonymousreply 251June 16, 2021 12:01 AM

R225, I never said there weren't Asian AA meetings, I simply stated that they weren't exactly the most abundant. I'm part-Asian and I hail from a densely-populated metropolitan area with an enormous Asian population, and there still isn't much in the way of Asian-American AA here.

Shut the fuck up, by the way. Your smugness is not clever, nor is it appreciated.

by Anonymousreply 252June 16, 2021 1:01 AM

In other news, there’s a website for Alcoholics Anonymous London, with too many meetings listed to count.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 253June 16, 2021 1:11 AM

R252 The internet was such a bad idea.

[quote]Shut the fuck up, by the way

May you always be happy, May you never suffer, May the causes of suffering never be around you, May you live in happy balance

by Anonymousreply 254June 16, 2021 1:45 AM

R252, Zhe said trans-Asian. The AA has to be for trans who are Asian.

No hunty, there are no AA meetings limited only to trans who are Asian.

by Anonymousreply 255June 16, 2021 1:52 AM

But you can start one.

by Anonymousreply 256June 16, 2021 1:53 AM

You need to find at least one other trans Asian in recovery.

by Anonymousreply 257June 16, 2021 2:04 AM

The person from London that said that they don’t need AA, reminds me of an older coworker from Russia. He said that if he drank daily to excess in America, people would say that he was in alcoholic. If he drank the same amount or more in Russia, people would just say “Oh, that Leon loves his vodka” and laugh about it.

by Anonymousreply 258June 16, 2021 3:46 AM

and you will need a coffee pot, r257

by Anonymousreply 259June 16, 2021 3:58 AM

It could be a pretty porcelain teapot, surely?

The group won’t be large at first.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 260June 16, 2021 4:18 AM

Is Activiste r11 From Another Thread?

by Anonymousreply 261June 16, 2021 5:07 AM

There are plenty of AA meetings in London. I've been to them and someone posted a list above.

It's true tho, Brits drink continously and it's true of all classes.

by Anonymousreply 262June 16, 2021 10:40 AM

Why don’t they use ice in anything??

by Anonymousreply 263June 16, 2021 1:10 PM

R262 MUST be kevin sessums…..he loves to go to “the rooms” in between afternoons and evenings of THEE AAAYE TAHHH…..that all his go fund me pals paid for…..BUT HE DESERVED IT, Damn it!!!! HE NEEDED TO NOURISH HIS SOUL!! ( and his hole, with fisting!)

by Anonymousreply 264June 16, 2021 11:14 PM

R261, I can assure you that isn't me, regardless of what else you may be implying.

by Anonymousreply 265June 18, 2021 4:18 AM

Nah bro, I'm not Ken Sessums. Lots of people go to London.

You're obsessed as well as a moron.

by Anonymousreply 266June 18, 2021 11:14 AM

[quote]AA is about having as few rules as possible.

So not true...don't try it with a room full of old-timers...

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 267June 19, 2021 5:13 PM

R266 “Ken Sessums”…..god you’re fucking stupid. Eat shit and LIVE, Mary.

by Anonymousreply 268June 19, 2021 8:40 PM

12 steps encourage helplessness and dependence on a group conscience of equally lost people. You are not powerless! It’s prison

by Anonymousreply 269August 13, 2021 12:07 AM

AA worked for us for eight long seasons.

by Anonymousreply 270August 13, 2021 12:11 AM

Lol r270

by Anonymousreply 271August 13, 2021 12:12 AM

OP, isn't that the point of the exercise....talking about yourself?? It won't work until you yourself admit you are....whatever you are ( an addict )

by Anonymousreply 272August 13, 2021 12:13 AM

Dumb twat. You're supposed to talk about yourself. Did you expect them to talk about you?

by Anonymousreply 273August 13, 2021 12:13 AM

R272, stop making certain medical / psychological conditions your identity.

by Anonymousreply 274August 13, 2021 12:14 AM

One piece of advice is to write down what you want to say about yourself so you don't face anxiety having to deliver an ad hoc speech when you're already spazzing out and shaking. No more than half a side of A4 for the first time you speak.

by Anonymousreply 275August 13, 2021 12:15 AM

How are the coffee and pastries at such meetings?

by Anonymousreply 276August 13, 2021 12:17 AM

AA should not be a life long commitment. With their slogans and their fear, the brainwashing really affects you.

by Anonymousreply 277August 13, 2021 12:18 AM

'It's true tho, Brits drink continously and it's true of all classes.'

Yup, I was hated at my job for refusing a glass of red wine at a 3pm departmental meeting. The Irish are even worse. Niall Horan of One Direction is an infamous alcoholic and has made it part of his brand. He's even the face of Guinness and tells 'funny' stories about breaking his foot after six pints, and eating seven bowls of cereal after 12 pints.

by Anonymousreply 278August 13, 2021 12:18 AM

AA is a dangerous cult

by Anonymousreply 279August 13, 2021 1:26 AM

r279, it is not.

Those who put it down are really the ones that either haven't reached that rock bottom point where it's either this or you are dead or want to convince themselves that they can drink again. You're not supposed to like having to face all this shit or you wouldn't be drinking to numb it in the first place.

When you are newly sober, all those meetings and being of service is important and a must but as you gain time, your entire life doesn't need to be about AA or your meetings. It's healthy to get back around normies and navigate in a world of drinking people where you can be comfortable and still sober. Doing the early work helps. Being a dry drunk is the other way to do with without a program and no one really likes being around a dry drunk. Depending on reasons for drinking, talk therapy can also help with those issues.

Good luck OP, I hope you are doing better.

by Anonymousreply 280August 14, 2021 2:34 PM

R280, I prefer cognitive therapy and church not some shaming , powerless cult

by Anonymousreply 281August 14, 2021 2:47 PM

R280, proves my point with his rancid post

by Anonymousreply 282August 14, 2021 2:47 PM

R280 does the usual AA thing. AA is perfect and if it does not work for you, it is because there is something wrong with you.

It is very hard for 12-steppers to admit that no one thing will work for everyone. For some reason they have to think that AA is a universal cure and even acknowledging that there are some people it is not right for is threatening.

What would be more useful might be figuring out what kind of people it works best for and what kind of people would do better to go elsewhere.

by Anonymousreply 283August 14, 2021 2:55 PM

The word narcissism is thrown about rather freely, here, isn't it? AA attendees are narcissists, people with social anxiety are narcissists. People used to say all gay men are narcissists. Maybe the name calling or five cent psychoanalysis is not helping.

[quote]A friend lost his ten-year partner from a heart attack. Went to a Grief Support Group at an LGBT center. One guy began to cry, saying he "just lost his partner." Turns out "just" was two years ago. My friend felt members were wallowing in their misery, rather than working through it. Never went back.

Crying because you lost your partner two years ago is *wallowing* in misery? What were your friend's expectations, to meet people in a grief support group who didn't need to be there? Maybe someone should have slapped him told him to snap out of it, like Cher.

by Anonymousreply 284August 14, 2021 3:03 PM

R283, so true! They actually call it a perfect program . In reality, AA has an abysmal success rate and leaves it’s members In a perpetual state of “the disease can get me at any time kind of thing.” You’re never cured, it’s a constant struggle they will tell you . How the hell is that healthy and productive?

by Anonymousreply 285August 14, 2021 3:55 PM

The term “ dry drunk” was coined by AA Nazis to shame those who gave up drinking without cult

by Anonymousreply 286August 14, 2021 4:33 PM

Well I have twelve years of sobriety; the past seven years without AA. I can see the importance of it the first few years. But I am doing fabulous now with just my therapist.

by Anonymousreply 287August 14, 2021 4:39 PM

Right on r287

by Anonymousreply 288August 14, 2021 5:46 PM

I know people who are doing fabulous without any life long help. It’s a habit and can be broken

by Anonymousreply 289August 14, 2021 10:25 PM

'The word narcissism is thrown about rather freely, here, isn't it?'

Yes - there is an actual Narc Troll who goes from thread to thread obsessing over it. He's also a Klan Granny.

by Anonymousreply 290August 15, 2021 12:19 AM

My brother is an alcoholic (ten years sober now) and told me that AA works well for him if he suddenly finds himself alone in a new city on a work trip. You're out of your routines and the temptation to drink is strong because nobody will find out. The meeting can refocus you.

by Anonymousreply 291August 15, 2021 12:21 AM

I hated it too, OP. Went once and never went back for all the reasons you mentioned. That was 6 years ago - 6 sober years ago.

Go with whatever works best for you. Make sure you have some folks you can talk openly with. Be kind to yourself.

Good luck to you and any others here going through this part.

by Anonymousreply 292August 15, 2021 12:30 AM

Wow, so many gays are/were alcoholics!

by Anonymousreply 293August 15, 2021 12:32 AM

There are more alternatives now people. AA/ NA does not work for most people.

by Anonymousreply 294August 16, 2021 9:38 PM

OP, that's what happens when you go to a meeting focused on a topic. People attend because they are alcoholics. That is the topic. And they talk about themselves because they are supposed to deal with their own issues rather than blame or project onto others.

Do you have a job? Have you ever attended a meeting as part of your job? Are you this appalled when management actually has the gall to discuss work-related matters? All that focus on business matters, how dare they!

by Anonymousreply 295August 16, 2021 10:15 PM

Fellowship with AAers is so cringeworthy. You have a bunch of people being forced to interact with each other without booze. No one knows how to act or behave. So, they go back to their drunken personalities and sans alcohol, it’s not a pretty sight.

by Anonymousreply 296August 17, 2021 12:34 AM

Tons of insincerity and envy in AA

by Anonymousreply 297August 17, 2021 12:55 AM

A friend found sobriety through an online AA meeting. He had tried before, hated the in-person meetings. But during the pandemic, the only option when he hit bottom, was online. That works for him. There is an AA saying which I've used many times in my life. Give it six visits. The six visit or six tries rule is not a bad one before giving up no matter what new thing you attempt.

by Anonymousreply 298August 17, 2021 1:02 AM

Been sober for many years. The main mission of AA is help drunks get sober so that they can help others get sober. Nobody's wallowing. It's a very purpose driven fellowship.

by Anonymousreply 299August 17, 2021 1:24 AM

R299, is a brainwashed fool

by Anonymousreply 300October 11, 2021 1:22 AM

There are other programs.

by Anonymousreply 301October 11, 2021 1:32 AM

As is always the case on threads about AA- a lot of ignorance. And it doesn’t really matter because AA is really only of use to alcoholics and other kinds of addicts. Suffice to say that those who have a desire to stop drinking, particularly those at a life-low, are in a place where there are many just them- who have been there. Narcissists- not at all- no more than any other gathering of people. Cult- hardly- no one has to believe in anything in particular or is required to pledge any loyalty. My experience of nearly 70s years alive is that 12-step programs for addiction offer the best hope for saving the lives of the addicted when and if they are ready to do so.

by Anonymousreply 302October 11, 2021 1:51 AM

R302, has the same sanctimonious, smug tone that is so prevalent among steppers .

by Anonymousreply 303October 11, 2021 2:02 AM

Newsflash- Drunken fool calls out everyone in group he knows nothing about who agree to help him for free by calling them narcissists!

Hun, why not go back to the bar and continue telling the bartender who regularly cuts you off all about your woes? He's just waiting for you to come back!

by Anonymousreply 304October 11, 2021 6:06 AM

For some AA saves their lives and helps them repair the lives they destroyed by alcoholism. I may not understand it but I won't knock it.

We get these anti-AA posters once in a while. I don't know why they resent something they don't need as much as they do. Use another method to get sober, let the people who use AA use AA.

by Anonymousreply 305October 11, 2021 6:14 AM

I knew a woman who was sober for 30 years and still always talked about the program. She went to meetings and was a sponsor for 20 odd years until she got too old to drive. She called anyone who drank anything at all an alcoholic. One drink a year at Christmas you were alkie. I didn't drink very much, just once in a while socially and she dragged me to a meeting. I went because I was kind of curious but I hated it. It reinforces weakness and powerlessness. It seems to reinforce low self-esteem. I am also an atheist and I don't believe in a higher power. I used to drink too much in my 20's and stopped cold turkey. Now that I am old I am addicted to weed and I intend to stay addicted to weed.

by Anonymousreply 306October 12, 2021 2:33 AM

Is weed really addictive, r306? I have heard people say that it is and isn’t. I am an alcoholic (quit a couple of months ago) and I have edibles once or twice a week. I would like to take them more often, but am scared of getting hooked.

by Anonymousreply 307October 12, 2021 2:44 AM


by Anonymousreply 308October 12, 2021 2:45 AM

Redundant as fuck

by Anonymousreply 309October 12, 2021 4:45 AM

jR367 you don't really get hooked but you build up a tolerance and usually I go 3 weeks on weed and one week off to bring my tolerance level down. It is not difficult to stop at all. Edibles are what I use and they can build up a tolerance much faster than if you are smoking it. I can't vape or smoke because I have COPD. I wouldn't worry too much about getting addicted to weed.

by Anonymousreply 310October 12, 2021 5:28 PM

[R36]: That’s so naive, calling going to AA meetings an addiction.

Might as well call being happy an addiction.

I’m coming up on 36 years clean and sober. Someone asked me, “Why do you still go to meetings?” I replied, “Why would you not want to go where people love you?”

You’re never going to experience anything like that in a bar. And it doesn’t sound like you’ll ever experience that, alone at home with a bottle.

by Anonymousreply 311October 13, 2021 1:48 AM

R311, you are in a shallow cult

by Anonymousreply 312October 13, 2021 1:55 AM

I quit drinking a couple of months ago on my own. I attended a few AA meetings years ago when I tried to quit, and am thinking of going back even though I hated everything about it. I surrounded myself exclusively with alcoholics, and literally have no friends since I quit drinking. It’s AA or a book club, and most book clubs involve wine.

by Anonymousreply 313October 13, 2021 2:43 AM

That’s not healthy r313. The whole point is to be able to integrate into society without drinking. AA focuses too much on alcohol . It’s an obsession. Eddie Van Halen said every time he went To AA , he wanted to drink after

by Anonymousreply 314October 13, 2021 5:30 AM

AA- where everything is your fault except getting loaded because “ that’s what we do.”

by Anonymousreply 315October 13, 2021 4:25 PM

I wanted to go to an Al Anon meeting because my partner is an alcoholic and I’ve been covering for him. I found that Al Anon doesn’t exist anymore. You have to go to an AA meeting. I went to three meetings and it was all fraus. There was a guy there who told me about another meeting that had more men in it, gay men I think, because he gave me a warm hug at the end of the meeting.

by Anonymousreply 316October 13, 2021 5:15 PM

The people I avoid like the plague go to AA. I’m not an alcoholic but if I was , I don’t know what I’d do. My town is too small to avoid the usual suspects, which include exes and high school enemies, all friends of Bill.

by Anonymousreply 317October 13, 2021 11:26 PM

Small town AA = no privacy and respect

by Anonymousreply 318October 14, 2021 12:15 AM
Need more help? Click Here.

Yes indeed, we too use "cookies." Take a look at our privacy/terms or if you just want to see the damn site without all this bureaucratic nonsense, click ACCEPT. Otherwise, you'll just have to find some other site for your pointless bitchery needs.


Become a contributor - post when you want with no ads!