Here is an interesting article from the New York Times about about belladonna and its use in treating alcohol addiction. Bill Wilson used it when he had his famous “white light experience”. For any AAs out there who are working those steps with rigorous honesty, and have still not had their spiritual awakening, you might consider tossing a bit of belladonna into the mix. That picture of Jesus or chia pet or pine tree or whatever you happen to be using as your higher power, is sure to come to life:

On the second or third day of his treatment, Mr. Wilson had his now famous spiritual awakening. Earlier that evening, Mr. Thacher had visited and tried to persuade Mr. Wilson to turn himself over to the care of a Christian deity who would liberate him from the ravages of alcohol. Hours later, depressed and delirious, Mr. Wilson cried out: “I’ll do anything! Anything at all! If there be a God, let him show himself!” He then witnessed a blinding light and felt an ecstatic sense of freedom and peace. When Mr. Wilson told Dr. Silkworth about the event, the physician responded: “Something has happened to you I don’t understand. But you had better hang on to it.”

Here is a story out of Winnipeg about an AA whose character flaws include raping and beating women. His first victim was his ex-wife, who he met at an AA meeting. Naturally, AA welcomed him back with open arms. The second victim was another woman he had 13th stepped in AA and started dating, and though they had stopped dating, she remained his friend, and drove to his home to help him when he phoned her in a drunker stupor. She was met with this:

The man put duct tape over her face, bound her hands and legs together and then sodomized her. He also demanded she call her 18-year-old daughter to come over so he could sexually assault her while she watched. She was repeatedly beaten when she refused. The man also threatened to hit her with a lead pipe.

I wonder why this woman’s higher power™, an all-knowing AA god who was kind  enough to take away her shortcomings and keep her sober, would not keep her out of harms way by advising her not to show up at this guy’s home to help him in the first place.

Ask a true AA believer, and you will be told this guy was obviously not working the program correctly, or he would not have been drunk in the first place. Or, maybe he was not a real alcoholic, as the steps only work for real alcoholics. What I wonder is why his higher power™, who was standing idly by, waiting for him to really start working those steps properly, would not step in and intervene in this situation. It seems like if He (the higher power) were going to allow this guy to victimize a person, He would have forced this AA to grab a bat or a baton and sodomize himself. Now that would be a higher power™ I could believe in.

One common theme I have seen with former AAs is that there is often a moment of clarity when they finally agree with that voice in their head that something was amiss, and that the program that they had signed up for – a quit drinking fellowship – was indeed much more. Sometimes it is a single incident, like the actions of a sponsor, or something said by another member that was particularly absurd, that gave their head a shake. With others, it was simply the totality of it all, and they knew that if they were subjected to one more aphorism, or one more trite slogan, they felt like their heads might explode.

What was your moment? When did you finally have enough? Was it a particular event, or was it a process. I would be interested to hear from those who have left AA. A reverse drunkalog, if you will. What caused you leave, and what difference has it made for you.

EZ just gave us a link to a good  article about SMART Recovery. Thanks, EZ!

“Bill W was a modern day prophet sent to us from God.

I cant believe the terrible things that are said on this site.

Shame on you all.”

Murray, an AA, commenting on this blog

Update Update: We have some pretty good ones. Agent Mango came with some nice ones. It is kind of nice to see that most of our AA friends don’t like the slogans and aphorisms, either. Just so you folks know, I am using one of these pens, and it writes really well. It has nice feel to it.

UPDATE: These are supposed to be your creation, not slogans already in use. I’ve seen three pretty good ones so far:

“AA: Because thinking is hard” by Sunny
“It’s time to harvest the crust from your eyes” by Sunny
“Just Quit, It’s the Bees Knees” by Tony (must be said sarcastically, but still not bad)
“I have a disease that tells me I don’t have a disease” me, which I stole from Corky the Twelve-Step Monkey
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It’s time to put on your thinkin’ caps and stir up those creative juices, kids. We are having a competition to see who can come up with the best thought stopping AA slogan. Submissions will be graded on catchiness, inanity, wit, thought stoppability, serenity, flavor and rigorous honesty. Everyone is eligible. Easy does it!

The winner gets this inspirational serenity pen (really, we’ll send it to you):

Good Luck!!!

Truthiness noun – 1) the quality of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true; 2) truth that comes from the gut not books

“The truth only carries so much weight. What we believe to be the truth will trump the actual truth every time.” – Cuda

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The above quote summarizes, in a nutshell, AA’s approach to recovery — or their approach to almost anything else for that matter. There is a reason why the endless debates which take place in our comment section will never be end, and that is because the two sides are playing with different points of reference – with one relying on logic, skepticism and rational thought; and the other relying on what they want to believe. (more…)

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