Thoughts on AA

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I'm just curious as to peoples thoughts on AA. I find I like it but then I don't. I like being around people like me. I don't like the thought of being powerless. I also don't like hearing that anyone who leaves AA is doomed. I was sober for 11 years without it. I fell off the wagon 3 years ago. Quit for 2 weeks with one slip. Been going to AA. There are positives and negatives. Any thoughts or experiences?

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  • Posted

    Hi Kelly.(its just me and you already know what I think..but i'm waiting to leave for an appt. and checking board) have experienced a long time of sobriety WITHOUT any help.

    ​I think the difference this you are struggling with it..and there are many people around us that do not understand what we are going thru.  There seems to be many empty hours for us...even if we do work...where we were drinking and it has become hard to fill that void.

    ​Think about this...the times you have been to AA...have you had any or many BAD experiences?  I had a couple...but they were entertaining...

    ​Also...they do hear what you need....when you go.  If your sitting at hear nothing except the constant bander of your brain...telling you it is ok if you just have a few. 

    ​As far as hearing what I needed in meetings...I used to hear that...and then I would make myself think about that on the way home "what did I hear tonight that I needed to hear".  I can honestly say...that 99% of the time...I needed to hear something.  Even if it was learning a new saying that would get me thru a tough time.

    I will share with you one of the special sayings I learnt that kept me sober at times.

    ​When I worked...I had a hard time holding my tongue...if I didn't agree with something...and usually if I disagree with something I disagree STRONGLY.  This personality trait would get me in trouble at times.  So I heard one night at AA....

    ​"Live and Let Live".  So...when there were times at work...that I wanted to pounce on somebody and would occassionaly have the "filter" ready...because of AA....I would start writting down on a piece of order to keep my mouth shut.  I was very grateful for this phrase and many other phrases in times of distress......

    ​Prior to learning these phrases....I would lash out at people....I would drink to squash my anger...etc.etc.   I always laughed with my friend about the sayings - I used to say...

    ​OMG..these people are so GAY.  But, after a figure out...that some of these "gay" things..prevent you from drinking.

    ​What I will leave this post with is....they also say there "Take what you need and leave the rest!".  So, while I was going....I would only try to focus on what I needed for ME to be sober.

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    • Posted

      Missy, I relied to LunarDog below.  I just cannot get all worked up and full of anxiety when it's time to go to AA.  I also cannot lie about not taking meds.  I think it's part of the reason for my relapse.  I wasn't feeling well when I went off the medication and drank to numb it.  Last night I went back on my meds.  I still have cravings, yes, but, I also feel I gained some sanity back.  

      I just can't go to a place where I think all day about how everyone is going to react to my relapse.  Nor do I want to be reminded every single day of how I screwed up.  

      So, I'm going to keep my women's recovery group every Wednesday night, church on Sunday's and lots of reading and research when I'm not working.  I will not count AA out.  I just need to give it a try without it.  Stay away from people, places and things that trigger and should I fail then I'll try AA again.  

      You're so kind hearted and thank you so much for all the info you gave me.  I promise to keep an open mind smile

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    • Posted have to do whatever works for YOU.

      ​Notice..I am not currently going to AA.....all I say is that I recognize in the time it saved my life.

      ​I also did not go the last 3 years of my sobriety and I was fine.  The reason I drank was because I thought I could!

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    • Posted

      That is exactly why I drank.  I wanted to test the waters after 11 years thinking just maybe I am not an alcoholic, lol.  Question answered for 3 years after that!
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  • Posted

    It's not for me, it works for some others and I'm happy for them.

    I'm not religious in the slightest (don't equate that with being anti-religious), I'm not really a fan of the whole 'enabling' culture philosphy, and the must hit rock bottom.

    And most people here who would be discounted, because I believe that the AA doesn't allow the use of medication from users trying to either kick the habit or remain abstinent.

    That would preclude me, because I used a medication to detox off of alcohol and a medication to help combat returning to it.

    That probably makes me a sober failure, but I'll take a failure that is not drinking any day.

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    • Posted

      True on some points....especially the medication aspect...another inside joke with my girlfriend and the middle of a meeting I would have to go to the restroom to take my anxiety pill!  I used to threaten her that I was going to take it right there and FREAK them out...I was too

      ​However, people who DO want to go to AA...the way to go with medication just not to talk about that in a meeting.  I always talked about my medication with my sponser...and my sponser....would call me to make SURE I took

      ​If anyone here is afraid to go because they take medication...rule that OUT...cause its not necessary for everyone in a meeting to know your private treatment method...all they care is about THEMSELVES...and they try (most of them) to help others that struggle with alcohol.

      ​As I said..I was not a BIG fan of AA either...but I have to admit....AA saved my life with various different aspects of the program...

      ​You guys in the UK are not as fortunate as the that there are many different types of AA meetings here....hitting rock bottom is not a pre-requisite here....actually quite the opposite...they try to help people before their lives become worse.

      ​On the way to the hospital in 2005...I said...I will do anything they tell me EXCEPT go to AA.  In the end...every Dr. I heard do "talks"...said AA I ended up trusting and believing and I went in the end.

      I'm not trying to counteract your beliefs RHGB...I'm only coming from the inside of AA....and wanting everyone to at least try it for themselves..when there are no more options.

      ​I like pressure and debate...and AA gave me that too.  I was told by someone that if I didn't "share" when asked...I would not be intent was to pressure me to share).  I said to that person...I will share when I WANT to share.....there are no rules...just opinions.

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    • Posted

      'I like pressure and debate...and AA gave me that too'

      I like a challenge also, aswell as pressure and debate. But I'm the sort that would wait until someone said, so RH, how are you managing without alcohol, tell us your problems.

      And I'd just say, it's been quite easy really, I did a home detox with diazepam to get off it and now I'm using acamprosate to over come any cravings. It's been plain sailing, if anyone else is struggling, I recommend that you give it a go.

      Then lean back, arms folded and watch it all kick off.

      Probably best that I don't go to any AA meetings. However I'm seeing my counsellor this week (this is different, I have to if I want a prescription) and I think I'm going to say I'll attend one group therapy meeting. I've just gotta see what it is like.

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    • Posted

      I replied below to LunarDog.  Thank you for your input.  I need my meds and I want my sanity back.  I'll be a sober failure with you.  
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    • Posted

      I am going to be starting outpatient therapy on May 2nd.  I will also try a group therapy meeting.  I'm open minded.  But, as like you....I need my medication.
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    • Posted

      yea, rhgb..that was some of the "fun" of me going to AA...I proved to many of them there....that their "suggestions" may not work for everyone...

      ​I always refused to pray at the end of the meetings....they would get up and hold hands...I would hold hands...because I like unity...if I DIDNT, I would take off at prayer time....but I would just hold hands and not pray.

      Like you...I'm religious...but not when people demand it...and I have no desire to talk about it..unless I want to talk about it.

      ​I have talked about my anxiety medication at certain meetings...and they didn't like it.....There was one guy who really looked forward to aggrivating me every week...and my goal was to keep showing up and letting him know that what he said...did not matter....but if he did ever say anything that DID matter...I would agree with him.....we developed a really good relationship in the end.

      I personally think people that act like to make a meeting reason why I kept going....

      ​What shocked me the most in the meetings at times...was after I did want to speak...and I did speak...many and old timers...would come up to me and tell me I helped them....or they felt like me....that was a gift that I really cherished.  Me? Helping someone with my sickness...or twisted humor at meetings?  LOL.

      ​Someone asked me to be their sponser (only 1 person ever)..poor girl...and I said I CANT....I told her I can barely keep my head afloat.


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    • Posted

      I briefly looked at the AA when I first thought about getting sober again last year. But decided the religious element wasn't for me and every meeting is in a church, you only get me in a church for weddings and funerals.

      Since then I have read a fair bit about the organisation and understand it better, I now know it would have been completely wrong for me. But I've wondered what a sponsor does. I can kind of guess that it is a mentor, someone you turn to when you are struggling, but what exactly is the role, what are you expected to do.

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    • Posted

      A sponsor?  Hmmm.....when I quit in 2002 I told my sponsor I didn't understand AA.  She told me to go out and hit rock bottom and I'll understand it better when I came back.  Needless to say, that was my last meeting and I almost drank that day.  But, I looked online and for other ways to stay sober and did fine til I got overly confident.  I know NOT to do that again.  I guess there was a reason for my relapse.
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    • Posted

      Yea...a sponser is really (or was for me)...someone you pick..that is similar to you....Like I wouldn't do well with a sponser who MUST do the steps..or you MUST do anything for that matter.

      ​Actually, when the woman approached me to be my sponser...I asked her...what do I HAVE to do? She said..just call me everyday.

      ​Guess what?  I didn't do test her.....would she reject me?  She didn't....I would laugh at her...and then I would comply...I played games all the see if she would reject me...she never did.  I was lucky to have her in my life...She was like a therapist....a friend....

      Many people DUMP sponsers all the time....

      As far as the church aspect...i learned that it is really because...churches are "charity" oriented....people in AA need a place to meet...churches allow it...not only for AA..but for Alanon...

      ​The church gets "rent".  I actually got the key to the church because I would make coffee for my "home" meeting (per my sponsers request).  It turned out to be good for me...because I NEEDED to be needed.  But, they gave me a KEY to the church because I had to get there early.

      ​I was like WHAT? ME a key to anything? Someone trusts me? Me the "drunk".  These are just some of the things I got from AA....And again..I never expected my mind to change about it.

      ​I think the reason I am not going right now is because my sponser died....I had her over 12 years...I never want another one..and wouldn't have one..but going to AA..and knowing she is dead...just reminds me she is dead I think....I think that is why I don't go....

      And I have many meetings to chose from here in my state...if the UK only has a few...and you go to one and you hate it....its not like you can move on.

      I hope you do the ONE therapy session...basically that is the AA concept....without the little cliches...etc....

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  • Posted

    Well, I've tried going to different meetings over the past few years but never found it helpful personally and find it all a bit negative.  The opinion seems to be also that if you don't do the steps and the big book then you are never going to quit and as you say be doomed forever!  I am not religious and find some of the people quite overpowering with the views on how I need to find god and start praying (that one comes up a lot).  Pray every night and you need to keep praying or you will never find sobriety.  

    I do find it good to talk to people that have experienced things and can relate but all the negative stories and people living in the past and being all depressed is not uplifting and encouraging to someone that is trying to give up!  

    And well done for doing it without AA, goes to show it isn't the only way wink

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    • Posted

      I was sober for 11 years in 2002 without AA.  I drank for 3 years and these past 6 months I've been quitting on and off.  I just realized that the longest i had was one month and that without AA.  I drank because I was in the wrong place and I should have known better so early in my sobriety.

      I relapsed two days ago after having 2 weeks sober.  I've had huge anxiety ALL day wondering what to say at the meeting and how I relapsed and hear the words IT'S JUST A SLIP, YOU CAN'T GET SOBER WITHOUT AA, IF YOU LEAVE YOU'RE DUE TO FAIL!  

      I've read the big book and honestly it's a bit creepy to me.  I also like the fact that I'm using medication to quit.  I stopped that medication before my relapse due to AA saying it's not an acceptable way to heal. I should have been taking my medication.  And to not bring it up at AA seems like lying to me.  Back in my drinking days I did enough of lying. No more! And,  I'm sorry but some of the people in the room telling me how to live my life have maybe 8 months or 3 years of sobriety.  Those 11 years I had still mean something to me.  I'm not stupid. I'm just depressed going to meetings and living it over day after day after day.  I want to move on like I did before.  

      I'm sorry.  Yes, I am an alcoholic.  No, I'm not powerless & I can be in control of my own life.  I do believe in God and love the Women's Recovery Group at a local church.  

      So, getting out of my AA clothes and into PJ's and researching other ways to stay sober.  Thank you EVERYONE for your advice.  I just gotta go with my gut feeling on this one.  smile 

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