The cult of AA

failures art
Reply Tue 12 Oct, 2010 03:49 pm
I haven't made the time. Too busy with my web stuff and travel. It's still lodged in the back of my head.

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Reply Tue 12 Oct, 2010 07:17 pm
Lash wrote:

Then, when they beat the alcohol, they have this raging anger or gaping void to deal with. Any conversation about that would be deeply interesting to me.

I didn't have a raging anger. More on that in a moment.

I didn't have a gaping void either. More on that in a moment also.

I wasn't, and I'm not much of a going out type. You didn't see me hanging around in bars making a spectacle of myself. If I was out, I just sat and steady drank and stuck to whoever I was with. Wasn't a mingler. Mostly I just stayed home and drank until I puked, then passed out. That's how I knew it was time to go to bed. I'd throw up.

After a short while, I started hanging out with 2 or 3 other gals I'd met there. We had a regular go to the movies night, went roller skating, out for dinner or coffee. I already had a boyfriend. Um, actually, I think we had broken up by that time, and he'd moved to Miami, I was around Fort Lauderdale. Still close enough for us to remain **** buddies.

I took a 2nd job that I worked 4 hours on Sat and Sun, to buy some nice furniture, and just spend on treating myself and others. That left me the evenings to go on a date.

As far as anger, yeah, I had anger, but not about drinking. It was anger that once I had my head clear, I was able to deal with, and get help with. I don't want to talk about whatever I was angry about then. It was another life, and foreign to me now.

I did feel a tremendous void after I married my first husband, who was heavily involved in AA. I can't really say I was completely duped into marrying him, although so many things came to light afterwards. I realized too late that he derived his entire identity from being the one that everyone called to be their sponsor, and ask advice. He was always being asked to speak at meetings, made it a point to be at every event and was loved by all. If only people knew what he would say about them to me after he hung up the phone, or got in the car with me to leave, or what he would say before going to be with them.
I remember once I had the flu, with chills, a hundred and one fever, weak as a kitten. He came home from work to find me like that in bed. I asked him to get me a cup of tea, anything. He started screaming at me as he changed his clothes that he didn't have time for my bullshit, that he was running late for a meeting he was going to lead down at the jailhouse downtown.

I was just so selfish of me to come between him and the suffering alcoholic out there.

That person I temporarily was is foreign to me now also. Any anger I had has been resolved and at the worst has been replaced with an occassional feeling of revulsion for how he treated others, to make himself look good. And no, talking about it here doesn't mean I'm angry, but since Lash asked...I telling what it was like.

As soon as he was gone from my life, that temporary void vanished also.

Reply Wed 13 Oct, 2010 01:00 pm
Thank you so much for sharing such a personal memory.

I remember hearing a common thread of anger/social discomfort in the people who shared the most eloquently in meetings. I was surprised to hear that - for a lot of them - alcohol was not the problem - but a symptom of a deeper problem - and when the term "dry drunk" re-emerged on my radar (another thing to thank Bush II for - haha), I wondered why this issue wasn't part of the AA program, since it was such a big part of what people were saying in their shares.

Many of the AA adherents who shared would say they'd been sober for YEARS and it was still a struggle because the anger or social discomfort wasn't going away... Mostly, they talked about recent arguments, feeling less than at business events where people were drinking, and how to work out life's minutiae without either losing their temper or swinging the other way and being some tyrant's doormat. For me, it seemed that some horrible damage had really taken their self-esteem to a low - so low that they couldn't recover. They didn't trust themselves to operate "normally" in society... Many of them seemed to find their only temporary serenity when they were actively performing the 12th step. It sounds like that moment between you and your husband may have been owing to his desperation to have that serenity. He needed to go perform that step - and you were demonized for "trying to stop him." (I hated to hear that you had to endure that. So completely cold and impossible for you.)

I guess there is a group of alcoholics merely "allergic" to the chemical changes wrought by drinking alcohol in their particular system - but it seems the compulsion to drink - must have other origins.

From what you said - your drinking was connected to anger. You drank to numb your anger until you decided/had the strength to deal with it in a healthy way - you did (YAY YOU!!!) and now, you don't have a compulsion to drink. I think the people who can't seem to relieve their anger/deep seated issues are still living one day at a time...desperately hanging to a program, and living with crushing anger or issues they can't come to terms with...and can no longer self-medicate away.

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Reply Fri 15 Oct, 2010 01:13 pm
Am I crazy or what I attend this AA group and they have there own building, the members up there seem like they are some cult or what and they play new comers on each other, they will tell one somthing and try to get the others to fight they really **** a lot of people over is this just in my head or is it a reality
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Reply Wed 16 Feb, 2011 09:40 pm
There is so much truth in this...

I lost my husband to AA. It's like a 'us versus them' attitude. I don't recognize who he is anymore. I even asked him 'who are you'. Both my daughter and I find this very hard. There is brainwashing going on - no-one can understand them unless you are one of them. It is very sad and it destroyed our friendship and family.
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Reply Sun 30 Aug, 2015 04:54 pm
Not true - AA has NEVER claimed a monopoly on how to get sober or stay sober. In fact if you read the book 'Alcoholics Anonymous' and study it carefully, it states that people should use other agencies if required.
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Reply Sun 30 Aug, 2015 04:55 pm
@ebrown p,
There are also all sorts of sexula predetros and stalkers in other organisations, and outsdie in the big cruel World as well.
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Reply Fri 29 Jan, 2016 04:50 pm
I know quite a few AA's who ahve gotten married in the fellowship, I also know that some of those relationships have failed. But the failure rate is NO different from outside AA in the world of the 'civilians'.

On another point, one American who criticises AA states that before AA came on the scene in the late 1930s - that there were NO alcoholics in America, only drunks. Well, what is the difference between a drunk and an alcoholic? They are both the same, both have a problems with alcohol, it is the usage of words "drunk" as against "alcoholic". They are the same, they are dependend on booze.
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