LUNATICS ANONYMOUS: I have been sober for two years today. You’re not sober, you’re just abstinent. OK, I’m just abstinent, not sober and I haven’t had a drink for two years. You might be abstinent but, you’re not sober. You’re just a dry drunk. OK, I’m just a sober dry drunk. No, you’re not sober. OK, I’m just an abstinent dry drunk. You might be dry but, you don’t have sobriety. I thought I was sober. You might be sober but, you don’t have good sobriety. Is there a difference? Yes, there is. There is abstinent sobriety but, you have bad sobriety. What, I have bad sobriety? Yes, because you are not in recovery. I thought I was in recovery whereas I haven’t had a drink in two years. You’re not in recovery, you are only around recovery. You never recover. I thought that because I’m in recovery that I was sober. No, you never recover, you’re just abstinent. But, I attend A.A. every day. That doesn’t matter because, you are only around A.A., and you’re not in A.A. But, I’m in the program. Yes, you’re in the program but, you’re not working a good program. OK, I’m only around A.A., working a bad program and not sober. But, I am working the 12 steps. No, you only think you are working the steps. I thought if I was abstinent and attending A.A. that I was in recovery. No, that’s your problem, you only thought you were sober. I thought that I had good sobriety as I was attending A.A. That’s another problem you have. You’re thinking, when you were told to sit down, take the cotton out of your ears and put it in your mouth. But, I can’t talk with the cotton in my mouth. That’s good, because you don’t know what you are talking about, just sit there for 90 days and don’t talk or think. But, I think I am sober. No, you’re just not drinking, you don’t have quality sobriety. What, there is good sobriety and bad sobriety and now quality sobriety? Yes there is and you don’t have either or. You’re just a dry drunk. How can I be drunk if I’m sober? I told you that you’re not sober, you’re just not drinking. OK. F**K this bullshit, I think I’ll go the bar and have a few drinks.

Re-posted with permission from Lunatics Anonymous

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.

By Dan –

Denial (the technique):

The abusive manipulation of the subject wherein both agreement to and denial of an accusation confirm the accusation. This methodological technique of breaking down the subject’s resistance to control and manipulation was borrowed by Freud from Nietzsche’s claim to understand the mind’s of those long dead for the purposes of undermining their professed beliefs. In psychoanalysis, any statement by the patient is interpreted to confirm the analyst’s preconceived diagnosis, invariably based on the Freud’s (evil and preposterous) insistence that all neuroses, that is, behavioral problems, derive, ipso facto, from suppressed childhood sexual lust for the opposite parent. The idea is, “I hear what you’re saying, but know what you’re unconscious thoughts are.” In other words, the subject is “in denial.” There could be no greater abuse of the notion of self-hood than convincing the gullible that their own thoughts are lies, for no other purpose than to suit the preconceived notions of the therapist or sponsor in proselytizing the fanatical, quasi-religious cult of AA. (more…)

“My Higher Power today is not a God in the Judeo/Christian sense but more of an amalgamation of belief systems. There is a little Buddhism in Her, a bit of the Native American Great Spirit and a lot of my son in Her.  Sometimes I call Her HP…sometimes Great Spirit and sometimes just ‘Dave’.”

Kim Manlove, treatment center volunteer and AA advocate

Among our regular readers of this blog is a fundamentalist Christian, John, with an interest in the heresy of AA and the 12-steps. He is a nice guy, and though he does not comment in the public forum, I have received regular correspondence from him since we started a little less than a year ago. I don’t doubt that after reading this blog for a year, he believes that we are headed toward eternal damnation, and after reading his blog, I feel he is off the charts, batshit crazy. That’s OK, because we still like each other, and we have an understanding – and though we agree on few things, we have a common disdain for Alcoholics Anonymous – albeit for different reasons. (more…)

“I’ve heard this argument before and it rubs me the wrong way each time. No one has to go to AA/NA, they can refuse the drug court and go to jail instead if their [sic] that against having to say the word “God”. They should be happy their getting a second chance at all. You would never get a secular program passed in the courts. The religious rights of someone that was caught with a handfull of crack is that last thing on anyones mind.”

jbit, explaining in a conversation about whether or not compelling a person to attend AA breaks the establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution, and that a person being coerced into AA really does have a choice: It’s either go to AA, or go jail. Therefore, it is not forced.

Note: Notice jbit writes “you would never get a secular program passed in the courts”. Secular? I thought AA was secular. This slip of the tongue happens all the time from a group that claims to be non-religious.

A little while ago, AnnaZed turned me on to Mr. Sponsorpants, and we’ve been following him with some measured indulgence and ambivalence. Charmed, I guess. He is charming. And holycannoli can he write. Yeah, OK, I have a little bloggish crush on Mr. Sponsorpants. He breaks my fucking heart is what he does.

 He breaks my heart because he has the kind of moral sensibility (in John Gardner’s sense of the term) that allows him to really home in on human complexity, and gets it so well that he can make it funny and brilliant. And then, you know what he does with that? He reels it in, slays it, guts it, and leaves you with a nice clean slogan. It’s a crime.

 Mostly what breaks my heart is that, within the small scope that AA allows him, he can use this gift of moral observation only to run circles around those less gifted (here’s part two and part three of this story) of his fellow members. With great power comes great responsibility, and he is squandering it to play head games with himself and others.

 So, AZ reached her threshold with Mr. Sponsorpants when she read this recent post, and I agree with her: enough’s enough. He responds to a question from someone who is genuinely trying to get it right: (more…)