Abstinence vs Moderation

After 36 years in AA I left. A very long time to not drink a drop for sure. I have been gone now from the AA culture and its dogma for 18 months feeling free and happy! In the process I have thought about why I stopped. I do not believe that I am an alcoholic.

One day I had to go to Bev Mo to buy alcohol for a large party I was having.  So down the aisle I went with my eldest son. Needless to say, I bought nothing for me, but it was fun to look. So my son and I began to talk about my not drinking for so long and no longer being in AA.

It began a serious question about Moderation vs Abstinence. I had already interviewed Ken Anderson from Hams Harm Reduction and Donna Cornett from drink link moderation regarding a topic I had never even explored on my blog talk radio show Safe Recovery. Recently a blogger began to journal his experimentation with moderation successfully.

“anon” a fellow blogger, began documenting his journey with moderation after 15 years of abstinence in AA.  I am going to post some of it here.

Blog away with respect for each other.

Please…No trolling and no AA rhetoric. This is a site to help those who have left or want support in leaving and are experimenting with the idea or the reality of Moderation.

#1 anon wrote: I have 30 days of drinking successfully after attending AA for 15 years.
Keep not coming back.

#2 “I drank last night and really enjoyed it. I waited for my wife to get home from work and we drank together. I could feel the effects but was not grossly impaired. I woke up with no hangover and have had a productive day. I helped a friend with his work on the side in addition to completing my own tasks. I will not drink tonight or probably for the next few days.
Massive, I really liked what you said about AA speak; when I use it today it is in a joking manner.
I think it would be healthy to eliminate it completely.
I still talk to old friends from AA, it is better for all concerned that they don’t know I drink.”

#3

 I have to take antibiotics for 10 days so I will not drink during this time. I have not drank since the 19th. I have no craving and feel that these abstinence days are very healthful. I believe that even small amounts of alcohol may cause subtle undetectable withdrawal symptoms, drinking several times within a week may exacerbate or lengthen the withdrawal. I have interviewed many long term normal drinkers who claim to have one drink every other day. I know them well enough to believe their symptoms if any are undetectable. My plan is to drink without restriction except that during periods of family or work responsibility I will accumulate abstinence days. I will also not drink for health reasons with medication as listed above. Abstinence days (ABS) are a HAMS tool.

Why do I want to drink after 15 years in AA?
-I love the taste. I find Armagnac, Calvados, Fine Rye Whiskey, Eau de Vie, Wine and NA beer to be exquisitely enjoyable and rewarding.
-Connoisseurship, study and acquisition is a very enjoyable hobby.
-Alcohol is a mainstay of human social interaction, to deny myself responsible use is to become socially handicapped or different.
-Moderate use can lift inhibitions and make love making more enjoyable.
-Alcohol use aids in setting aside times when I don’t take calls, drive, email, or interact outside of my home, restaurant, or bar.
-Moderate use allows alcohol to become a side issue rater than a mainstay constitutional issue as in AA membership. At times I will go to a meeting and see old friends; I do not have to deny myself anything.

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943 thoughts on “Abstinence vs Moderation

  1. October 30, Day one of another 10 day abstinence period. Drinking is just not that important to me but I do feel better now that I have broken free of AA.

  2. I started to feel a bit of the old AA guilt yesterday for drinking although it did not last. It is amazing to me that after years of deprogramming any trace of AA ideology could remain. I quickly disregarded the thoughts when I realized where they came from. AA brainwashing seems almost comical too me now, it’s tempting to attend a meeting where I could speak the old language as I watch the eyes of the true believer. Thank God and Science for hypocrisy, prejudice, and philosophy, for without them closed mindedness couldn’t exist in the shadow of truth. Alcohol clearly causes brain damage, without it AA couldn’t exist. Now there’s a reason to moderate effectively.

    • ANON- Its so refreshing to read your posts and see your journey out of the cult and to be free of the brainwashing. Do you want me to pull the other posts from the other thread? Some of them are so good from you, etp and the Yo….conversation.

      • Hi Massive,

        I think that wouId be great! I got my questions answered here by Anon, Mike, ETP, and you. So why not make a tab where foIks can honestIy report their experiences with moderated drinking. I bet it wouId heIp many readers.

        • I’d be glad to share my experiences with moderate drinking…they started off good but within 18 months spiraled continually downward. I didn’t end up in the hospital again, but I was always on a hair trigger temper-wise and suffered increasing cognitive decline.

          In a nutshell, I had to rediscover anew the reasons that I stopped drinking close to two decades earlier. In this respect I can see why rehashing the past in AA meetings is useful, as it helps one to relive mentally the pain caused by the earlier substance abuse.

          I know that believers in moderation might not like hearing this, but it’s true in my case. I tried my best to believe that my good career, experience, and relative maturity could buffer me from addictive tendencies. They helped a little, but gradually the addiction had the final word. I do believe however that those attributes helped me to stop sooner than the first time around.

          • mike- To be honest, Im not interested in hearing about how parts of AA works. I sat in meetings for 36 years listening to the droning on and on of how “AA saved my life” ” “AA taught me this” etc….even when I was in AA, when women said this …I would say, “I am here because of all the other work I have done…aka with therapy, spiritual, rage work with a real PhD, real inner childhood work, Great Marriage Counseling, reprogramming of negative childhood experience. My list is long, the books I read that were non AA is a long one which began at 2 years of sobriety. I have quite a library of non AA literature that made me who I am today and its not AA literature! I also had alot of great therapy.

            AA and pro steppers have so many forums where you can blog. I want to welcome you here but…
            The AA that existed in 1975 DOES NOT exist anymore. The AA you went to 20 years ago does not exist anymore.

            May I ask …What year did you first attend and in what city?

            I could see AA’s decline when Drug Courts began and the sentencing to AA meetings began 22 years ago in Florida and California. Places filled with steppers in high places. Judges and lawyers are crawling these states now.

            It seems you wanna blog here…but can you tell me what other “outside ” work have you done to help you deprogram? Therapy? Smart Recovery? DId you read other books by say.. Stanton Peele or Albert Ellis. Have you read NON AA literature after leaving AA before you tried moderation? I think we could make a list of great books we have all read that have really helped us.

            After I left AA I realized I was beginning to deprogram decades before I left AA. How about you?

            Have you really explored Moderation Management, www:drinklinkmoderation.com with Donna Cornett
            http://www.hamsharmreduction.org...

            Maybe what I wanna say is that when you first drank, did you do it before being gone from AA a few years. The successful stories I have been told are ones where people leave AA and are gone a few years. At least 1-3 years, they are deprogramming all that time and then they have really investigated the MM , Harm Reduction approaches. or sometimes , especially ones who got sober really young, were sober decades, and had very very stable lives, drank some thing again with no bad consequence at all. All the people I have interviewed drink super moderately.

            There were bloggers on RFR who did not want to mess with their abstinence but they are usually those who drank for over 20 years and were very hard drinkers as well. The young heroin addict was able to have a beer or smoke some pot and not use heroin again. If she went to NA she would be told she “failed” when she drank that beer. Not true. This young blogger helped me see DOC makes a difference. EVEN people who are really into pills. One glass of wine is also not their DOC, so some of them shared how it was a non issue as well.

            I only drank from ages 13-my 18th birthday! Looking back…I think its ridiculous that I ever called myself an alcoholic.

            I actually have not seen a blog where this was discussed without trolls and without judgement. No , I take that back, it did get discussed on RFR for a few months. Im glad this is happening here. Thanks etp for your input as well.

    • I think some of the guilt around anything pleasurable is our society’s programming about it too. I remember a Buddhist teacher telling me to deal with the fear that comes up from a label like “alcoholic”. That has something to do with it too. It’s okay to enjoy life! I’m thrilled to read about those of you learning to be responsible with drinking. Although with my prone-ness to depression, I think I will stay with abstinence. Make sure you have driver-do I really need to say that? It’s the “mothering” thing.

    • anon,
      thanks for your post. when i take any alcohol or weed into my system, i think i turn into some horrable ugly monstor.
      this has only happened to me since i went to aa.
      pre aa that didnt happen to me. if i took a drink or weed i didnt think
      that way about myself.
      I didnt look in the mirror and hate what i saw pre aa.
      that only started to happen to me after my first and early on aa meetings.
      it happened not long after i went to aa.
      aa made me dislike and hate myself.
      pre aa there were times i didnt like myself.
      i had low self esteem on entering aa. but it made it worse.
      im trying not to think im a horrable monstor when im sipping a half of larger or weed.
      trying not to think if i drink it makes me a bad mother or person.
      im all through with cults religouns steps prayers self help books
      the lot.
      i didnt think drinking or weed was bad evil or sick pre aa.

      • Sally, I know what you mean about feeling like weed and booze are sick and evil only after AA. I have to go back further than AA to remember my normal feelings around alcohol. I actually was a Scientologist and boy are they ever against drugs. Before that I felt that weed was a holy herb. Or may be not so dramatic as that. But after the Scientology brainwashing about drugs, really much worse than AA probably, much more sick and violent — I came into AA with an already grown and large guilt complex over weed and God forbid, Coke or hallucinogens. The propaganda Ron Hubbard spewed about these substances was truly frightening. I was a Scientologist for 2 years. It took about 1and 1/2 years to even start to deprogram from that, to even question it! I couldn’t savor my freedom for long, because almost immediately then after my mini deprogramming, I felt I needed AA (as I write this, I see how all the Scientology guilt propelled me to AA, to become absolutely pure).

  3. This new section is great Massive, thanks for adding it. I think this topic is just as important as the AA is a cult and AA is dangerous topic.
    For me I am very happy that I have been able to drink once in a while then go right back to abstinence. This has never been the case for me as it was always either abstinent in AA or binge drinking.
    The jury is still out for me as to whether I will remain abstinent for the rest of my life or continue to drink every once in a while. My thinking now is that as long as I create a safe environment for the times I do drink that it’s ok. Meaning no driving and no drinking by myself. I have never been a big alone drinker and I have heard stories of people falling while intoxicated at home alone.
    I have an event coming up on 11/10 where I will be with drinking friends and at a club listening to another friend perform music. I will wait for the day to decide whether I will drink or not. To have this blog to discuss how things go for me is great and helpful.

    • That sounds very healthy ETP, Abstinence periods between drinks are VERY important. How long have you been drinking with long ABS periods since leaving AA?
      I am seeing that I need longer ABS between drinks to keep the drinking enjoyable.

  4. Hi Anon,
    I would say I have drank 10 or 11 times since April 2011. The closest times were 3 Sat. nights in a row, that got me nervous.
    To be honest this whole leaving AA thing has taken a toll on my nerves plus job/money/home issues. Now that I have a stable job and a nice place to live I hardly want to drink at all so I do think stability in life plays a key role in my drinking and perhaps others too.
    Anon, never in my life have the words “healthy” and “my drinking” gone together, lol. What a pleasant surprise :)

    • I know what you mean about being nervous. I have built a great life in abstinence and I surely don’t want to blow it. I identify with what Mike said about the anger; when I drink on consecutive days without any ABS days between I get easily frustrated. Frustration can easily turn to anger. Cost benefit analysis is very useful to me; drinking can be enjoyable in moderation but if I drink too much and start making bad decisions the cost is too high. Drinking for me needs to be in the distant background of my life if I am to be successful. I do not wish to become overly fixated on it, alcohol is powerful and needs to be respected. Tonight it’s coffee, sorry Massive but one thing AA gets right is that coffee helps on ABS nights, even decaf. I am going at least 10 days before the next drink. If I find myself overly fixated on drinking I will wait longer and reevaluate my situation.

      • Anon,
        I think that you hit on something extremely important. If we allow ourselves to become fixated on alcohol we are in major trouble. I have always noticed that is what separates occasional drinkers from problem drinkers. Occasional drinkers can leave a drink on the table if something else requires their attention, get up and walk away and never give it a second thought.

        • Although I once loved AA, I hate it now, for all the numerous predatory reasons and more…including…oh …the list is too long now…

          AA in its old fashioned form, meaning one meeting a week, in someones house that you knew, etc might be a good thing for about 1 % of heavy drinkers who have a hard time with self control around alcohol. There was no stupid BB being read, no 12 steps being read, no traditions were read for 15 or so years cause they didn’t exist. Well I guess after 1939 Bill Might have started reading his book but I kinda doubt it.

          Bill I bet did everything he could to kiss those alcoholics asses so they would stay sober.

          They were sitting around talking about how their week went. Not a bad support group….right?

          Even when I got sober in 75 no one dared to tell me to attend 90 meetings in 90 days. That was absurd.

          If Bill and the new bunch didn’t need all that crap …well you get my point and my point is if you like AA and you like abstinence great. Abstinence is practiced by many religions. Muslims….millions and millions of muslims…some buddhists…and so forth…

          Its that in your writing here when you say , like ” occasional drinkers” problem drinkers…its all AA lingo.

          The old saying “take what you like and lave the rest” is just a good con mans rap. They fooled me once. They will not fool me twice. When I hear the lingo it’s a red flag for me.

          Not referring to you Frank but even when I am out an about in the world I can see the AA members coming. Its that uptight look on their face. Their arrogant smile. That condescending attitude ” I know it all” ! The longer they are sober the more uptight most of them look and act in my opinion.

          Frank I agree. TO be fixated on the booze is not the way to handle. SO if one gets fixated… maybe abstinence is better. I really, really think one needs to be seriously deprogrammed before one takes even a sip. The Brainwashing in AA is deep and whats even worse is that the brainwashing is now in our culture , our media and in our entertainment everywhere we turn.

          It takes commitment, It takes reading other books and blogs. I like Hank HAYES book YOU’VE BEEN LIED TOO… available on amazon. and Stinkin-thinkin and OP was invaluable!

          So I hope in the end you figure out what’s best and good for you. I would like to see a real 2 year study with this topic and some major Medical Center.

          • But mainly Frank, Yo and MIke and anon, this conversation can never happen in AA and that I think is very sad and harmful.

            I want people to really discuss it honestly here, hopefully without AA and 12 step ideology.

            Perhaps with a more science based, cognitive, less magical thinking , less the guru component .The CLean SLate where Steven Slate blogs is also great. Smart Recovery and SOS are refreshing support groups as well. I hope they triple in size this year.

          • Massive,

            I drank and drugged for a good 35 years before I ever attended an AA meeting and then the only way I ever attended was I was mandated by the courts. So you can see my experience with alcohol has nothing to do with AA. I despise AA and everything it represents. I use the term “problem drinker” because I am very familiar with being one.
            It is nice to to be able to have a place such as this to have the conversation that Yo, Anon and others are having, myself including. All of the experiences that I have are not from AA , they are from years of trying to drink successfully which never worked out for me, believe me I tried. I do believe that some people, like me, are better off practicing abstinence. I think only the person themselves can make such a decision, I wouldn’t pretend to know what’s best or someone else but I do believe that I am qualified to know what’s best for me. I enjoy this forum very much and I hope this forum will remain a safe place to hold meaningful discussions such as this.

  5. @massive,

    I sense this isn’t the right place for me based on the tone of your responses. I shared how moderation didn’t work out for me and I’m asked if I did a, b or c. Funny how the steppers are chided for laying claim to the one path to sobriety. Now it appears that others claim a way to successful moderation. One size fits all indeed.

    Good luck with your site.

    • Don’t sweat it Mike, I liked reading your story. The universal truth about mankind is that we are all hypocrites. It’s either you didn’t do a thorough forth step or your moderation didn’t work because you didn’t employ the right method. That’s what’s great about being human; sub-sociopathic selfishness thrives not so far below the surface of us all. AA makes an easy call when they point it out as if some sort of alcoholic revelation. Go figure; one size does fit all as far a hypocrisy is concerned. Much of what sucks about AA can suck for people in general. Don’t worry about me on this one, when I start sharing my philosophy I know something is wrong with me and not you or the world. Coffee tonight, no withdrawal, just speedy repartee.

      • I am not calling you a name; I am pointing out that all of mankind is selfish, me too.
        If you noticed that your passage to Mike seemed similar to the AA tact we criticize here in which the slipper is belittled after drinking for not doing the steps, except that the shoe is on the other foot, then good for you.
        However please note that the passage does not single you out and that it is inclusive of all mankind, it claims the trait is common to all humans.

        • I had to deprogram before drinking. I was so deeply contaminated with AA think when I departed the rehums that I couldn’t even speak normally.
          I know several people who have left AA and drank, two of them are regular drinkers now with 10 years out of AA. One drank and didn’t like it, and the other could take it or leave it.

          • It seems to me that you are still pretty obsessed with alcohol. You go to great lengths to document your ability to stop drinking here and there, or your ability to have a few drinks. Good for you!
            But what’s this fixation on your alcohol use after all these years? Maybe it was never AA you needed; maybe you need a good psychiatrist.

    • Mike,

      After all the topic of the site is; “Abstinence vs. Moderation”. It’s obvious that you are a thinker and take the subject matter seriously. I think your contribution is very valuable to someone who is moderating there drinking after a history of abusing alcohol or considering trying moderation. They should hear both sides and then decide whats best for them. Thankyou

      • Mike,

        I wanted to add: When I read your post this morning; I wanted to ask you why you said/felt:
        ” rehashing the past in AA meetings is useful, as it helps one to relive mentally the pain caused by the earlier substance abuse.”

        However, I changed my mind because if your goal is abstinence and that makes it easier for you at the present time, thats what you should do. I did that many times in my life and I doubt that AA would be my solution to an addiction problem ever again. It just did not help me personally to discuss my past with a room full of strangers. I see now that I needed to move forward, be a better person and let the past go. Speaking for myself, I never intentionally tried to hurt anyone when i was drinking. People who loved me understood that. The last thing I needed was to punish myself more than I already had. Plus, it didn’t keep me sober. :-)

    • Hi Mike,

      I hope you stay! I appreciated your insights- they correIate with my observations very weII. Massive is a nice Iady, and we aII go on a bit of a rant once in a whiIe (read some of my stuff about criminaIs and junkies in AA (one of whom tried to kiII me some years ago!) and you wiII see that we actuaIIy quite passionate in our positions. I think Frank and you wiII hit it off- he is of a simiIar mind to us.

      BTW Anon, that ‘sub-sociopath’ observation made my day!- I need some bumper stickers that say that to hand out to fruitcakes at IocaI AA meetings.

      LOL!

      I Iove the fact that Anon is making a reaI go at this and seeing if it works. I think of aII the thousands of meetings I went to over more than 20 years in the ‘feIIowship’ and aIways heard disaster stories from foIks who tried drinking again, but so many Ieft and never came back that I aIways suspected some had tried drinking again and it worked for them.

      You NEVER hear THEIR experiences in AA. So Anon’s posting is awesome stuff!

      I aIso beIieve that a tab on this site on the diseasing of America wouId be a good thing. 12 Stepper crap has become so wide spread that back in the 1990s they were comming out with a new 12 Step program for freaking everything. My personaI favorite was Codependants Anonymous- basicaIIy if you form a reIationship with another human being you quaIify as a codependant (whatever the heck that is!) and can go to meetings- I imagine my dog wouId quaIify as a codependant too! I wonder how many marriages that garbage theory wrecked…

      AIso, Over Eaters Anonymous, the most ineffective 12 Step organization in history- nothing Iike a room fuII of fat, angry, mean peopIe, stewing in their internaIized rage whiIe hating Iife and getting fatter…it was just too much! Most finaIIy just reaIize they Iike the buzz from the junk food more than they Iike being thin…but they kee going to meetings for decades and just gain weight and act nasty to each other. For crying out Ioud! What a bunch of asshoIes!

      Now they have Emotions Anonymous for whatever aiIs you- it is not the addiction or the trauma, it how you FEEL about it that’s the probIem. This program is super discounted Freudian regression anaIysis done pubIicaIIy for a doIIar an hour. Nothing Iike putting a bunch of emotionaI psycho/sociopaths together in the same room with a bunch of insecure depressives who have a victim compIex- Yow!

      No wonder they made the movie ‘Fight CIub’.

      Ok, I had my ‘share’ for the day! Have a good one, Y’aII

      • yo- LOL great post . I was just thinking I needed to re watch fight club again last night.

        I so agree with whole 12 step for everything crap.The big one in California right now I hear is SLOA. Imagine being powerless over who you have sex with?
        Really? And emotions anonymous. I went to some of these you mentioned when I was very young. I saw how ridiculous they were and never went back. Especially Co dependents anonymous.

      • Yo,

        This is so true: “I aIways suspected some had tried drinking again and it worked for them.

        You NEVER hear THEIR experiences in AA. ”

        First of all why would anyone bother. They have moved on with their lives and dont need to prove anything to anyone at an AA meeting.

        Second, IMO I think it would be disrespectful to return to a meeting and inform others of your successful moderation. If someone is really interested in another point of view; they can come to a site like this.
        Plus it could have a negative influence on someone who really needs to be abstinent and has chosen AA to accomplish that.

        • Hi Sue,

          You are right on the money there about NOT going back to meetings and taIking about successfuI drinking. It wouId not be weII received, and for those who are serious drunks, couId be deadIy. But I think one of the reasons that steers those AAs who drink again to have so much troubIe, is that AA programs them to think that if they drink they wiII automaticaIIy do so to seIf destruction- and that can become a seIf fuIfiIIing prophecy. So I Iike Massive’s comments that drinking again before deprogramming from AA couId weII be VERY dangerous.

          • Hello Yo,

            I have never had a desire to go back to a meeting or talk to anyone who is actively involved in AA. When I left, I immediately enjoyed my free time and never missed the fellowship. I feel like it would be a waste of time; plus the thoughts of it gives me the creeps. It’s not that I dont have desire to help others or I would not have participated in the blogs for the past 2yrs. I might add that the interaction helped me also, in so many ways. Discussing AA on these sites with people who were confused by the mind control, was the only time and emotional energy I had to give. I work full time and have a lot of responsibilities. Also, there are topics where I have nothing to offer because I experienced more mental abuse than anything else. Ive learned so much about the criminal activity in AA since leaving and I appreciate those who are working to expose that. As ive said before, I went back many times over the years but I didnt stick around long and I never got to close to anyone.

            To me, the bottom line on moderation is that it’s a personal choice. If you have a desire to enjoy an adult beverage; I guess the only way you can find out if you can handle it, is to try it. I think others just choose not to flirt with alcohol; either because of AA brainwashing or its just not that important to chance reliving the past.

          • Sue, you have given much of yourself on the blogs with very thoughtful insights.

            I have just observed as a whole, and the people in power in AA or in government etc that could do something to protect the minors et al in AA look the other way, when they could make a difference. We are talking huge numbers of people doing zip, nada, zero. I have yet to hear one single child advocate or abused women advocate state anything anywhere publicly on the subject about the crimes committed against them by AA/NA members. It is disgraceful.

          • AntiD,

            I couldnt find a reply option right under your name; Anyhow:

            I really appreciate what you said and it meant a lot to me. I dont know what its going to take but AA has had a pass for decades in many ways. Maybe most of those who have been truly harmed feel as if it is a loosing battle because AA is so powerful and society is brainwashed into thinking it saves lives. Their kept in the dark when it comes to all of the criminal activity. I dont think your efforts will go unrecognized forever. One day someone with a lot of power will have a loved one harmed by AA (in some way) and they will do some research and follow up with what it takes to fight for justice. I hope I live to see that.

            I’ll be honest, I have read AA horror stories on the blogs over the past two years that I view as poor judgement on the part of the individual but many that are so criminal I end up speechless. I know that I was extremely vulnerable when I went to AA; but i have to understand that others may have been even more so. However, Im quite certain that they will not get the help they need in AA.

            I would like to see a program similar to AA but nothing like it is now. Those are fighting words in a meeting. Change the program; God forbid.

          • SUE AND Anti D

            I agree that something will eventually happen to someone powerful and rich. Maybe their kid AND Then they will wake up. SOme stuff is already happening under the radar.AA has gotten so promoted …Im not sure why. THE DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES was a total insider propaganda film. I was reading Marty Mann’s bio …good god..

            But in regards to going to a meeting and telling them that what they are repeating like parrots is a lie … I disagree. I think it would be a refreshing change to hear an ex stepper who once bought into that BS to go back , sit in the room and tell them they are repeating a bunch of lies. Its a lie for many, so many, that when they have the first drink it sets up some sort of compulsion. This happens with about 1 % of those in AA. Most people in AA are nothing like what Bill Wilson was.

            Especially to young people. Those who arrived in AA young and then were preached to and told they will NEVER be able to drink again like a normal person.

            That book and those statements were written in the 1930′s by idiot Bill W . I know I am repeating myself but Mr Bill never did ANY RESEARCH with the lines he wrote in that stupid BB. I think I have a right to get mad. I was in there at 18 and in AA way too long.

            I would love to go to an AA meeting and talk about all the lies I see in AA including the topic of moderation. I would like to have the cameras rolling and post it on youtube!

          • Massive,

            I respect the fact that you disagree with me and have a desire to return to a a meeting and express your opinion. As I recall, you were already sober for some time when you started going to meetings (dont remember how long). In each case with me, I was only sober about 24hrs and rather a shaky mess. I needed to go somewhere to busy myself until I got the alcohol out of my system. It would not have taken a whole lot of convincing to encourage me to pass by the liquor store on the way home from the meeting. This is one of the reasons I feel going back to a meeting and discussing moderation has the potential of being harmful. Plus, I dont agree for other reasons which I explained.

            I see now that AA was not the best place for me but I did not learn about alternatives until many years later and there were none in my area. A place to go Close to home is important in the early stages of breaking an addiction. Besides, in my experience when you are a “newcomer” they dont pester you too much. Your pitied and there to keep others sober. At least thats what I was told; somehow it didnt make me feel important. Every time I went to AA, I got weary of it all in about 30 days. Personally, I probably would have enjoyed hearing what someone like yourself had to say; because unlike many, I always questioned most of what I heard there and it interfered with my personal growth and over all self respect. However, I still would have left when I was ready. I agree with doing everything possible to educate people on the alternatives, I just dont think going to meetings is the way to do it. As far as taking a camera and filming; lets just say I think that would really start a riot. Also, I think its important that people like yourself, AntD, JR and others are researching and taking the time to expose all the crime that revolves around AA. Finally, I am not defending AA one bit. I think its mentally harmful to anyone who spends too much time there; but they have to do there research too.

            As far as children in AA; I think its the responsibility of the parents to completely research any organization where they are sending their children for help. Ive never been a parent. However, I wouldnt even board my pet without thoroughly checking out the facility.

            You said that there was a time when you loved AA. At that time, would you have accepted someone attending a meeting with the sole purpose of criticizing the program; without being offended by their presence there? Would it have helped you see the truth sooner than you did.

          • Hey Sue, I could not find a reply button to you in your response to Massive. So hope this works. I understand you saying parents should thoroughly check out an organization first when it comes to children. But what I didn’t get was your thoughts on the responsibility of the AA Organization itself to protect minors. As far as parents checking out an organization such as AA, I think some do. But much of what is out there is 12 step propaganda singing AA’s praises! Not to mention that many people who end up in AA are on the verge of losing their children and probably many are not getting Mom or Dad of the year awards! Someone needs to be responsible and mandate laws to protect children to protect them from Organizations such as AA, and parents who are being brainwashed into thinking AA is a fine place for their young ones.

            As far as filming an AA meeting, I would be ALL about it! That is called investigative reporting to bust people out on unethical and at times criminal behavior. Many things have been exposed this way. For the general public to hear first hand the God awful horrific horror stories that children of all ages are listening to including the physical abuse by AA/NA members of their spouses, girlfriends and other people. Stories of shooting up or being a hooker etc. No minor should be being exposed to this. It is child abuse. I would LOVE to expose it firsthand. Not the actual identities, but of the conversations. It needs to happen.

        • I think it’s ok to go back to meetings and inform them of successful moderation. It’s not disrespectful, in my book. They disrespected me all those years with their lies, what is so wrong about a little truth at a meeting?

    • mike- hey man I did not mean to offend or rub you the wrong way. Sorry…

      I see your experience with abstinence is what it is. Blog away with that point of view.

      I just wanted to know if you had taken some time before you left to try moderation. None of it matters really cause you guys are here talking about it which would NEVER happen in an AA meeting. And that is a good thing!

      Again Mike, hope you continue to blog here.

      • Hi sue – this was the only place I could respond to your last post. I hear what you are saying. We have such different experiences with AA.

        I stopped drinking on my own 2 weeks prior before I first attended a meeting.

        I never heard anyone speak about AA like I did as I was leaving. It felt so honest and freeing. There were some young women in my old meeting that often talked about not believing in powerlessness and things like that.

        Now, how would I feel. I don’t know, but I do know that the last 6 months I went I spoke about SMART Recovery and what I felt when I went there compared to AA. There were always 4-5 women who were interested in these other options. There were people who hated what I was saying then and many of the newer women less then 5 years..really liked what I said, and what I was doing to expose the sexual predation. In the end many old-timers iced us out as we left.

        I think it would have been refreshing to hear an old timer like me come back, and say hey man, this is all bullshit what you read here. Moderation is possible and in fact alot people leave AA and do it successfully. Or even someone to come back and just talk about how the literature is filled with lies as well.

        I did some of that but not as much as I want to. I dont think its healthy for me to spend alot of time going in there to try and change them. That is not going to happen. Like my hubby says. GO make your film honey. Expose them and tell the world what you have found. He is right. But I do dream about the other idea and it humors me.

        I really have a dramatic sense of humor..so I have no idea if I will ever do this and film it. I am allowed to film myself saying what ever I wanna say in a meeting. thing is….I really don’t wanna set foot in a meeting. The vibes are so horrible. Causing a riot? Maybe. Maybe not. I have already caused few at meetings right when I was leaving by just handing out my Make AA Safer pamphlet. Either way Sue I will be careful. They are nuts for sure. :) Thanks for your input.

        • Massive,

          Thank you so much for the reply because I hesitated to post the comment; which I wrote this morning. Im still too unsure about myself at times but its getting better. The blogs have helped in that way. Ive been on here tooooooooooo much today (maybe others think so too) and this topic had my head spinning. Im pooped. :-)

          • Thank you, everyone for this whole discussion. I try not to be ANTI anything but boy, say one honest observation about AA and the general perception is “Oh, she’s just trying to find an excuse to go drinking. She’ll be drunk in a month and dead in a year.”

            • Yeah, AA is a one way street and everything else is well, just plain wrong. Scientific evidence means nothing to them. The nonsensical Big Book and 12 & 12 are all they need to know about drinking and life. Societally shameful really.

              After 16 years in that mental contortion emporium, I have had around 20 “drinks” in almost 5 years. I have not actually felt the effects of alcohol because I simply didn’t drink enough or fast enough for it to do anything. Had a large saki with sushi the other night and completely forgot about it the next day. Haven’t drank since or had any huge desires to do so. I much prefer being normal with regards to alcohol, rather than living in constant fear that some booze might jump in my mouth and ruin my standing in a cult. I guess their hats are off to me….

  6. I had sort of a tough day yesterday and found myself in a feverish angry frustration. A recurring pissing contest my wife and I have started the feeling. I ended up drinking on Halloween so I drank two days in a row after ten days abstinence. Coffee really helped subdue the feeling and also satisfied the reward craving brought on by alcohol. For me to have reacted to the anger with my wife would have met the DSM criteria for alcohol abuse. I feel as the normal healthy drinker who decides to cut way back when they starts to feel it. I will allow myself a drink on the 10th but not commit to it. As I said before; there are many things I want to accomplish and I don’t want to jeopardize my gains. I believe my drinking needs to be about cost benefit. Benefits of enjoyment, inclusion, and social norms won’t be outweighed by abuse or dependence.
    So far so good; I feel no compulsion to drink dependently but instead am modifying my habits to achieve my goal which is being a healthy normal drinker after decades of AA participation.
    How long will it take for some AA to parrot “the great obsession of every abnormal drinker is to drink like a gentleman?”

    • Also I want to say that I know many men in AA, good men that have serious rage and anger issues who have long term “sobriety”. Because of AA telling them to stuff it basically, many are really screwed up in the anger department. First off, many are very angry. And second many have never been taught healthy ways to deal with anger. This I saw as a long term member and most oldtimers are really uptight…unless they have done lots of outside work.

      Im not trying to rationalize your behavior.

      I have seen way too many enraged AA members with 20-40 years sober who are out of their minds!!! And so angry….I think they need a drink.

  7. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) published by the American Psychiatric Association (doctors not therapists) provides a common language and standard criteria for the classification of mental disorders. It is used in the United States and in varying degrees around the world, by clinicians, researchers, psychiatric drug regulation agencies, health insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, and policy makers.

    • yes I know about this, but there use to be 7 classifications for Mental Illness now there are 500 or more. Read Robert Whitaker’s Books MAD IN AMERICA and Anantomy of an Epidemic.
      Or watch on Netflix GENERATION RX .

      • I agree the DSM has faults. I use it because it is a much more useful to me than AA as it lacks ambiguity and is science based.

        • I like Science based stuff now too.

          For years I was really into the spiritual aspects of problems. AA ruined that for me, but only a portion of that aspect. I like to study religions. But real religions. Not phony AA made up crap!

  8. The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD), produced by the World Health Organization (WHO), is another commonly used manual which includes criteria for mental disorders. This is in fact the official diagnostic system for mental disorders in the US, but is used more widely in Europe and other parts of the world.

  9. ICD;
    Alcohol abuse, unspecified

    •Excessive use of distilled liquors.
    •The use of alcoholic beverages to excess, either on individual occasions (“binge drinking”) or as a regular practice.
    •Short description: Alcohol abuse-unspec.
    •ICD-9-CM 305.00 is a billable medical code that can be used to specify a diagnosis on a reimbursement claim.
    Alcohol dependence syndrome 303-
    •a disorder characterized by a pathological pattern of alcohol use that causes a serious impairment in social or occupational functioning.

    • It is “potentially” what I did by a criterion for abuse in the DSM definition; continued alcohol use despite persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of the alcohol.
      I saw it simply as a warning sign that a problem could develop. Since there were only feelings of frustration which were later discussed and worked out with my wife I did not see it as crossing the line. There was never any fight.

      • Hi everyone.. I have seriously been considering trying to drink moderately again. I have been sober now for just shy of 4 years. I attended AA in the beginning but have not been to a meeting in almost two years. Honestly, it didn’t do a whole lot for me towards the end. I fell victim to it when I was in real tough shape from my drinking but when I started to un fog I didn’t like the cult like atmosphere.

        So here’s my story,I always loved drinking. For most of my drinking career I could manage my intake very responsibly. I had my share of binge weekends but not unlike any early 20′s man. I would normally have a few beers on any given night but I rarely got drunk during the week when I had work responsibilities. I got married young, things were okay for awhile until I found out she was having an affair on me. That’s when My drinking went through the roof. I spent almost a year and a half drinking foolishly nearly every day. I got tired of the life I was leading so I decided to quit.

        I am in a much better place in my life now and I truly miss the days I could enjoy some beers with some friends.

        Any suggestions on some books I could read or ways I could learn to drink normal again?

        • I like Anti D’s suggestions. I think If you go on to Moderation .org and Hamsnetwork you will find a lot of great tips. Also Donna Cornett’s books are great and so is Dr Kerns Book on moderation.

          There are some basic rules.
          Never drink when you are upset.
          Always eat when you drink.
          Drink only one per hour with a glass of water in between.
          don’t drink at least 3-4 night s out of the week.
          Make sure you have addressed your core issue and deprogram before you try moderation.
          You have to believe you will be okay.
          Make a plan before you go out to drink and stick to it. Tell people in your life what you are doing and that you would like their support.Start with a beer or two with a good friend or wine if you liked that.

          When I left AA I went to Smart, SOS and Moderation to learn new things. It felt so nice to talk to sane people and not AA nazi’s.

          I will find the links to my favorite books. Many of these people will talk to you free the first time. You would be amazed how many old timer AA’s have left and are drinking moderately successfully. Take your time.
          Dont do it till you feel confident. And Have fun! Let us know how it goes. :)

          http://www.drinklinkmoderation.com

          Dr Kern’s recommendation for books to read.

          http://www.addictiontreatmentalternatives.com/library/

          • Thanks Massive, I truly believe I can learn to drink normal again. I am trying to be as honest with myself as I can. I want to do some research so I can better make my decision. I (Like all of you) had a hard time believing that I can never be normal again. I will certainly read the literature you suggested and hopfully at least I can make a competent decision based on my life.

            Thanks again

            • slippery- Sure thing! I trust you will know what is best for you. AA so disempowers us ..its a bad bad thing AA rhetoric teaches its moons. Oh how nice it is to be free.

            • Hiii….I must agree …I have a hard time thinking I cannot be normal…I am about to finish up a 9 month program that I decided to go in and I am feeling like I do no want to contunue with AA,…but I start to feel guilty and that my life will fall apart if i leave….THat cant be right…? Why cant I have a good relationship with my HIGHER POWER and sip alcohol…..my higher power can’t befriend me….would they???…geese!! I want to drink sometimes while listening to a band…or on the beach or have some fun sex with my boyfriend…thats all….
              and I think I will know and people around me will know if I start slipping into bad behaviors…I learned new things in rehab and I have developed healthy habits….
              I dont want to feeeeel guilty….geese..!

              • You sound young…are you ? 9 month program…thats a long ass time. No body needs a 9 month program.
                Im sorry you were so lied to. Its up to you whether you can moderate. I would suggest you don’t till you are not so brainwashed and not drinking the AA bullshit koolaid.

                Read the blogs, Get a good non AA book and leave AA if you want. Have you heard of Smart Recovery, SOS , HAMS, or MM?

            • Hey what ever works. To each his own. Its a badly embedded cult. Its not like leaving the Mormans. They are not embedded everywhere and every TV show does not have an AA thread throw it. Doctors are not coerced there. Pilots are not told they must go there. Its bad.

              • It is bad. The powerlessness philosophy is definitely embedded. I watched Dr. Phil bully a woman into treatment, just the other day on national TV. I was horrified to watch her lose her composure and gut feelings, because he was using every brainwash trick in the book on her.

          • I just spent 6 weeks in sin city by myself. Everything negative to fuel addictions is everywhere there. I had like 5 drinks in 6 weeks and gambled very lightly – just enough to get into the casino systems so they would start sending me deals. At one point, I ordered a Grand Marnier and sat down to play a couple bucks on penny slots. The most enjoyable thing of it all is the situation felt “normal”. I was enjoying myself and didn’t have to second guess my behavior or plan my relapse shares for meetings and look forward to the major shame and guilt that would be impressed on my by the “fellowship”. I fully realize the potential for “danger”, but it never happened, not even close. I had that one drink, played some slots, checked out the locals, listened to some free band music at the Hard Rock and made my way back to the hotel. Nothing grand, nothing tragic. Just a guy being normal and having one drink and taking in the environment. The next day, it was all but forgotten. No guilt, no shame, no nothing. Just another day to get on with and there was no compelling urge to drink or even thoughts about it. There was a twinge of financial remorse however, 8 bucks plus tip is a little steep for a single drink. And I didn’t put my house, my car, my job and all the over AA myths on the bar when I ordered the drink. I put a 10 spot and that was it. Reality is the biggest threat to AA mythology and nonsense.

            I guess there are some people who should never drink for any reason and I am quite confident there were people that felt that way about me when I was “in my cups”, but I have shown over the last 4 years since leaving AA that I am now a very occasional, responsible drinker. I have yet to feel the effects of alcohol from my minimal consumption and, quite frankly, I don’t care to.

  10. Here is a good article about the pros for some using moderation management as an option from Psychology Today 2011

    Helping addicts get their lives back
    by Adi Jaffe, Ph.D.
    Abstinence is Not the Only Option Learning to Drink Responsibly Will Help

    Research shows that moderate drinking can work for those who abuse alcohol
    Published on March 9, 2011 by Adi Jaffe, Ph.D. in All About Addiction

    I can’t even think of how many times I’ve heard the notion that complete, total, abstinence should be the only goal for all people who abuse drug or alcohol. This idea is so pervasive that most addiction treatment providers actually expel clients for relapsing, a notion that makes no sense to me especially if you believe in the idea that addiction is a chronic disease. In fact, even most research institutions and well-informed providers use total abstinence as the marker for addiction treatment success. The thing is that the amount of alcohol or drug use per se is not a part of the definition of addiction or abuse (other than in the “using more than intended” factor but even there an absolute amount isn’t introduced) and I don’t think it should be a necessary part of the solution either.

    When I first set about writing this article, many of the issues I was going to bring up had to do with research on alcohol relapse patterns, my own story, and other evidence I’ve already introduced on All About Addiction. Fortunately for us, some recent research about Moderation Management and a newly developed website application component introduced me to some new evidence regarding moderate alcohol drinking that will allow us to look even more deeply into the problem.

    Moderation Management – Drinking alcohol like a gentleman

    In case you’ve never heard of Moderation Management (MM), you should check out their website at http://www.moderation.org. Moderation management offers face-to-face and online meetings, a listserv, a forum, online alcohol drinking limit guidelines, a self-help book that can be ordered through the site , and an online calendar where users can report their drinking. The population of people who use MM is pretty well educated and is made up for the most part of problem drinkers rather than those meeting full-blown alcohol dependence criteria. The idea is to teach problem drinkers more responsible drinking habits so that they don’t devolve their habits into all out alcoholism.

    Not only is there evidence that the moderation approach works, but with the addition of a new website application that helps problem drinkers through an interactive web-experience it seems that moderation management may be a real option for people who want to learn how to control their alcohol consumption instead of going into full abstinence. For all we know it might also be an option for people who do meet criteria for alcohol dependence but since the study we’re about to assess didn’t talk about it, we’ll leave that for later.

    Entire Article-
    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/all-about-addiction/201103/abstinence-is-not-the-only-option-learning-drink-responsibly-will-he

  11. Why do we need to fix our anger? Without anger Massive would never have stepped up to protect victims of sexual abuse in AA. There is nothing wrong with anger unless it becomes a threat to society, the true higher power we all answer to. The human instinct to protect and fix everything is extreme. I think we all need to attend human instinct to protect and improve everything management classes.

    • Anon- Anger can become a problem long before one is a threat to society! At the same time anger has it’s place. Anger can turn to rage, and many people do have anger issues. I do not think they should be dealt with by repressing anger the AA way for sure! That does not mean there is not a time and place to learn to manage and deal with anger without repression.

      As far as the comment we should attend ‘we need to protect and improve everything management classes’ I do not think that is true at all. What I see is a society that is very apathetic and selfish. Many only looking out for themselves and feeling that they could not effect change even if they wanted to.

      There is a reason Massive is a RARE breed to be doing what she is doing. It is sad that there are not thousands like her. It is truly a reflection of a society that is weighed down with apathy and preoccupation with self, and unwilling to do enough to make change.

    • anon- Anger is really important. Anger is a part of being human. Without it there would be no change in our society. The Civil RIghts Movement would have never happened. What Im doing I would not be doing. I agree.

      That is why Long time members in AA get so sick and twisted. They take sayings like ” we cease fighting everything and everyone ” and they apply it to everything. I never did that. I knew that was ridiculous.

      They tell each other they can’t afford to get angry ” that is the dubious luxury of normal me” OM f####king GOD….. what a stupid, inane saying that is parroted all day long in rooms and over the phones from sponsor to sponsee …ok They are nuts….LOL sorry got me in a rant….:)

      But honestly, the anger thing in AA is huge problem. They are the angriest group in one room I have ever seen. Oh yea and immature too.

      AND as far as the world being apathetic…this is very true. Too many people are on drugs and I mean on pharma anti depressants and it’s very very bad. Thats why in the 60′s the youth were out in the streets. They were not drugged by big pharma. Anti depressants are destroying our culture. There is a time a place for them, but they are seriously over prescribed. DID you know that if a kid is rebellious in grade school ( ages 7-13) now that they are saying he has a mental disorder? Anti D I hear you.

      Passion is so important for change and we need to do more then blog to make change as you and I both know! Thanks for all the work you are doing as well.

      Have a great day.

      • Imagine how frustrating it is to be new in AA and disadvantaged mentally by long term alcohol use. One way I react to frustration is anger. Alcohol wiped out my coping skills which were limited to begin with. Then I arrive in AA and am presented an apparent solution to my problem. The problem for me is that in time the damage waned and I was able to adopt my own beliefs and question those presented in AA. I found the old coping skills became ineffective long term.
        As for immaturity; AA gives the member a platform or adopted identity of sick or ill. It gave me license to act out in all sorts of immature and inappropriate ways.

    • Frank,
      I wanted to introduce another possibility; when I started blogging anti-AA two years ago I found that I was so heavily programmed by AA that I was speaking AA and didn’t even know it. When I realized how deeply I had been influenced I began to make an effort to deprogram.
      Even today I find myself wanting to begin sentences with statements such as “for me” or “in my experience”.
      It is tough stuff to shake.

      • Anon,

        Thanks for taking the time to offer a suggestion but I spent most of my mandated time in AA trying to block out the bullshit. The way i phrase things are just me. Good luck with your moderation experiment, I sincerely hope that it works out for you. I have enjoyed this forum very much, but it seems that it is no longer a welcome place for me.

        • Frank,
          I am interested in hearing what you have to say and getting to know you here on the blog. Whether or not you are in or out of AA, regardless of the language you use or the methods you do/don’t employ. I learn most from those with opposing or contrary viewpoints. Being open to opposition is key in a true discussion.

          • Anon, just for the record, I have not been to a meeting in over 2 years now.
            Sue, thanks, you are correct , I just try to be polite and not overbearing. I can only speak from my own experience. It is no longer fun to have everything I post here to be dissected to make me appear to be a stepper. I have enjoyed our conversations over the last couple of years. Take care.

        • Frank,

          I have always stopped what Im doing to read your comments. I think you have a lot to offer.

          IMO, those who have tried moderation or are in the process have the best understanding; whether they have had success with it or not. Both sides are valuable to the person considering moderation.

          • Sue, I agree 100% , and that’s all that I was pointing out. I knew that moderation was not possible for me long before I ever set foot in an AA meeting. I wish anyone that seeks moderation the best, but that person and only that person will know if it is possible for them.

            • Frank, for sure abstinence is a personal choice and moderation is not for everyone. I know people who no longer drink, which is a good thing, and I also know people who drink who I wish were abstinent!

              Yet there are many people that it can and does work for. Many either quit on their own, or learn to moderate on their own. Sometimes it even comes down to just ‘maturing’ out of it when people get good jobs, get married or have children (or both) and there is less time to drink and drug.

              It just angers me when AA makes every person who walks through the doors of AA/NA or a court room labeled an addict/alcoholic for life. It is a very black and white outlook, no gray. Even though I believe even Bill W. did not view addiction in such black and white terms, the current 12 step certainly does. If you do not state that you are an addict or alcoholic you are just in denial. Sometimes that very well may be the case, but it is really a case by case basis I think Frank.

                • Anti-D
                  Just for the record I hate AA because people get sucked into the BS and die there. I think its AA that’s grey; Alcoholic/ not alcoholic, our hats are off to you. Religious or spiritual, agnostic or atheist, all are welcome. Love you till you love yourself. Stinking thinking, open mindedness except for outside issues, rarely have we seen a person fail, there are a few is it you? It’s not a revolving door, many never make it back. It’s a disease, it’s progressive, I’ve never seen anything else work. No dating in the first year, he slept with a newcomer, if you can get it up, get it on. Gossip, dating, business deals, 90 in 90. I like his program; I don’t want what he has? I could go on at infinitum.
                  Confusion = ANGER!!! Oh yea, whenever I am angry something is wrong with me? Or is something just wrong? Ask your sponsor, your thinking is faulty.

                  • Actually I see your point Anon. When it comes to abstinence they are black and white- except you get to keep starting over, which in a bizarre sort of way is an acceptance of accepting the practice of falling off and on the wagon over and over again.

                    Yes AA is all over the map, and very contradictory! In one part they say the traditions are merely suggestions, but yet another they state they are non negotiable. I mean which is it guys? You really can’t have both. They are worse than politician’s in speaking out of both sides of their mouth. It is what is convenient to harness in the masses.

                    Where does AA get these ideas on repressing anger? Was this a Bill W. thing, or something invented along the way? It certainly is not biblical. There is a place for forgiveness of course, but that does not eliminate justified anger.

                    • Anti D, Anon, Massive, and Frank

                      Funny how BiII was aIways so toIerant of ‘reIapsers’ Iike his buddy Ebby. Except who chooses to reIapse into a diseased state? Nuts. I never ‘reIapsed’ and got fed up with the nuts. I was thinking back to Massives comments, and I reaIize that I had stopped drinking on my own for 8 days before my first meeting. I went because a nurse toId me to go- and I got sucked into the cuIt.

                      BIechhhhhh!

                      I think that if I went back to a meeting I wouId have to teII them my views and then Iook out! AII the cuItists wouId attack!

                    • In a way a steady amount of relapsing is in it’s own way a form of moderation depending on how the person drank. Very hypocritical of AA, when they stand by there rigid stance of abstinence, yet you are ALWAYS welcomed ( technically) no matter how often you drink. Why dont more people see how ludicrous this is?

                    • That’s right Anti-D; an AA relapse (bad thing) is the end of an abstinence period (good thing) in HAMS or MM. The AA personal identity of alcoholic makes the double standard possible. AA makes no distinction between alcohol abusers, alcohol dependents, or alcoholics; everyone is lumped into the same category or identity; alcoholic. This itself is a double standard as the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. Conformity and social contagion ensues, the same social phenomenon that facilitated mass persecution of the Jews. AA’s band up in a sort of mutual aid movement to indoctrinate whoever they can. In some of the West LA meetings they even have those they call Lieutenants. Double speak and circular logic defends every objection. Old high time ranking curmudgeons with bands of followers deflect every would be attacker protecting the greater good. They are the true believers, Charlie Manson types who can’t be reached with discussion.

                    • Lieutenants? So much for no leaders in AA! Of course we knew that was B.S. anyway.

                      AA lumping everyone in the same category is absurd and has destroyed lives. I do not think that was their original intent-but became obsessed with increasing their base and forcing their religious beliefs onto people. They probably know abstinence is something many do not want to entertain, so it is the ” keep coming back’ mantra until they are successful of never having you have another drop of liquor as long as you live.

                  • Anon,

                    Yes, the AA BS gets way too much! Who the EFF needs aII of that compIexity and negative emotion?

                    Garbage In Garbage Out! No wonder oId timers in AA commit suicide so often. In hindsight I wouId Iove to bitch sIap a dozen+ steppers I have had to put up with over the years. Over programmed asshoIes aII the way and mentaIIy iII on top of it.

                    What a rotten experience.

                    • Before I drank I stopped keeping time and criticized those who did openly at meetings. My argument was that time was seen as a sort of rank or hierarchy in AA and it exhibited lack of humility and hypocrisy. I noticed that the ones who committed suicide never had any time and were very hard on themselves. They became depressed and felt they were failures because they could not make it in AA. Many of these precious souls were my dear friends; honest and genuine people who I would contagiously attach myself to. At one meeting I suggested that people from harm reduction programs were going to AA for support on their abstinence days between drinks. I claimed that they were welcome because the only requirement for membership was a desire to stop drinking. A few of the old timers stopped going to that meeting. They would say things like that’s an outside issue, or you’re killing people. They ignored the earlier statement they made to me that when one finger points out four others point back. I hope I am rarely like them and that I can keep a truly open mind. I hope I can keep myself open to others thoughts and be less of a hypocrite.

                    • Anon- Are you saying you were advocating people come to meetings from harm reduction techniques or that they were actually already coming on abstinence days?

                      Also, are you saying the people who committed suicide that had no time, do you mean they were all pretty new to AA then, or that they had fallen off the wagon a few times and broke the chain of long term sobriety? I ask because I have heard stories of many old timers committing suicide in AA. I have also heard of old timers with long time sobriety for over a decade coming up dead over an overdose. Also makes you wonder how many OD’s were in reality suicides.

                      This is why I think the confessional part of AA is so dangerous to newbies. They are so fragile and then they are beaten down by the steps by exposing the most personal aspects of their souls. I think they should ban it actually on some level.

                      As far as talking about success of moderation in AA meetings, I have conflicting thoughts on this. I could see where it could be positive for others to see that someone did do it and did not end up dead or in jail. Maybe it would give them hope when they fall off the wagon that they are not morally corrupt and a pathetic loser.

                      I can see where it would not be a main theme per se, but should not for sure be 100% not allowed.

                • Frank- AA members act so militant about abstinence, they really reinforce negativity like Laura Tompkins article speaks of in her article here.

                  http://nadaytona.org/2012/03/28/alcoholics-anonymous-is-negativity-based-says-addiction-specialist-laura-tompkins/

                  Us anti-AA’ers can get defensive when we think one might be trying to project the AA line on this topic in a round about sort of way. This topic is a hot topic, in part of the narrow mindedness of 12 steppers. Having said that, like I stated earlier I feel there certainly is a place for abstinence for many reasons. One can even need to be abstinent to just get physically healthy again after years of abusing their body, not because they will face certain death if they have one drink! Extreme alcohol abuse can ruin your liver, kill brain cells even cause heart problems etc. Then there are others that maybe they got in trouble for underage drinking, but are not an alcoholic or addict.

      • I dont at all consider beginning sentences with “for me” or “In my experience” AA programming/speak. I view that as a proper beginning to a personal experience and an attempt not to speak for others. Did i read something wrong??

        • Sue, This is just my personal viewpoint; the meetings I attended adopted the belief that if we give advice we can’t help but be wrong, if we share experience we can’t help but be right. So truly, my experience with the statements originated with AA and not society in general, so I equate them to AA learning. Perhaps I am wrong or extreme.

      • Frank- No. I dont think you are. I see you left 2 years ago and were never really into AA right? You were court ordered?

        Even people who are not in AA speak things that originate out of AA. Its all over our culture and entertainment unfortunately.

        I agree with anon…when I first started blogging on Stinkin-thinkin OMG they ate me up and spit me out. First off I was in AA, a long time member ad trying to make it safer with literature we wrote , then I had Make AA safer Workshops and then most of AA GS types and delegates hated me stirring up the shit. Whenever they saw me or Kali coming all the predators would say “oh there SHE is” Then I came to the blogs and many were talking of burning BB’s and so on. I didn’t understand their hate for AA yet.

        So Frank, I have become so obsessed with trying to get it all out of my language. When I have my radio show I struggle to new ways to say ” thanks for sharing” !!!!LOL . I hear it everywhere. One good thing is…. my sons are so glad I left AA.

        I did a show last year and I had HANK HAYES on and I asked someone how willing they were. We both laughed about it later.

        Frank, I am probably wrong about you, but I wanted to have a conversation with you that maybe your belief about you and alcohol could change if you didn’t use any AA language.

        I’ll leave it alone, but its such a knee jerk reaction when I hear certain lingo. Im sorry. I have a sorta PTSD from AA and I am still in recovery from recovery. hahahahahahahahh.

  12. Frank,
    I am interested in hearing what you have to say and getting to know you here on the blog. Whether or not you are in or out of AA, regardless of the language you use or the methods you do/don’t employ. I learn most from those with opposing or contrary viewpoints to mine. Being open to opposition is key in a true discussion and open mindedness.

  13. Anon,

    Thanks for clearing that up. :-)

    I thought maybe those statements were another thing AA thought they invented; like the serenity prayer, forgiveness, humility and on and on. I thought well, i must be a programmed robot because I use similar statements all the time out of respect.

    Thanks again, Anon for the courage to speak on the blogs about you journey.

  14. Anon,

    I was thinking that its a good thing that the people in the program use those statements; because a good percentage of their advice can be very dangerous.

  15. I do believe in many cases that AA interferes with a persons desire to try moderation. Of course thats considered positive in the program. It seems like someone who wants to try, wouldnt be content until the choice was completely their own. I think its only natural to want to run your own life. This one of the ways AA holds people back.

    Your experience is important too; because you knew in your heart long before any involvement with AA; that moderation didnt work for you.

    • Also, I think people who are not running their own lives; have a tendency to interfere with the way others run their lives. My stepper land lady for 12 years taught me this the hard way. )-:

    • Right Sue, AA literally puts the fear of God in you to NEVER EVER think for one moment that you could survive long term by having one glass of wine. So it stands to reason members would fear this impending doom when they did fall off the wagon. Also the feeling of failure because they lose their line in the ‘chip’ giving. Actually their was a recent article in the grapevine where an AA member was very critical of the whole chip giving ceremony.

      He said that this was not an original part of AA, and felt it should be stopped for many reasons. One the holier than thou attitude from those with decades of sobriety, the crushing feelings of failure when one slipped after a long time of sobriety just to be kicked back to the line. I would not be surprised the cause of many suicides actually.

  16. Just for the record I hate AA because people get sucked into the BS and die there. I think its AA that’s grey; Alcoholic/ not alcoholic, our hats are off to you. Religious or spiritual, agnostic or atheist, all are welcome. Love you till you love yourself. Stinking thinking, open mindedness except for outside issues, rarely have we seen a person fail, there are a few is it you? It’s not a revolving door, many never make it back. It’s a disease, it’s progressive, I’ve never seen anything else work. No dating in the first year, he slept with a newcomer, if you can get it up, get it on. Gossip, dating, business deals, 90 in 90. I like his program; I don’t want what he has? I could go on at infinitum.
    Confusion = ANGER!!! Oh yea, whenever I am angry something is wrong with me? Or is something just wrong? Ask your sponsor, your thinking is faulty.

  17. I feel I am thinking less about alcohol in my day to day life since I left AA and started drinking moderately with abstinence days between. Today for the first time since my involvement with AA I realized that I wasn’t thinking about alcohol. Is this real relief from my previous condition or is my subtle foe cunning, baffling, and powerful as AA claims. My intellect says no, how can an inorganic substance attain human characteristics like cunning?

  18. AntiD,

    I have a definite opinion on this. The number one goal in AA is sobriety. I do not agree with it; but the distorted reality is the longer your sober, the more your are looked up to and respected. There is a definite hierarchy. You can be a nut case with 30 yrs of sobriety and your considered to be working a good program. If you had the audacity to share that you moderate but would like to attend meetings (for whatever reason), you would be looked down upon and really not welcome. Even if your a responsible, insightful person with good common sense; if you dared to share the choice to moderate, you will be challenged and criticized. They dont appreciate it and it makes them very uncomfortable.

    • SUE- you are so right on this. They would tell you that you are in denial and it would be just a matter of time before you went downhill and drinking out of control. They would so ice you out if one did this.

      After many years..I noticed that women with over 20 years who did not go to good therapy got really tweaked at 20 -22 years of time. it got worse. I know I’m making a judgement, but it became part of my leaving. That I would see these women seemingly becoming sicker and more f####ked up as the years went on. They tried working the steps over and over again. I began to question what I was doing there 6-7 years prior to leaving AA. I didn’t fit in the mold. I tried. But I was too much of a rebel with a cause :)

      I do think Anti D is right. It needs to be filmed and put up on utube. even if it’s just their words.

      • I shared this once on the blog but its worth sharing again. I heard women once with 28 yrs of sobriety (noted for being a control freak in the fellowship) say; she was working the steps for the umpteenth (is that a word) time. Her sponsor told her that she was like an old house. The older she got the more maintenance she needed. That was shortly before I left.

        Now I had never worked the steps and that sure didnt convince me to try it. You know what I mean.

        • OMG that is horrible! Like it isnt hard enough growing older, then to tell someone basically they will just need more maintenance. Even though I was never in AA. Just hearing these stories make me cringe at the mere thought of not just going through the steps once, then twice but over and over including the confessions?

          That is enough to drive someone over the edge. Not to mention the sheer boredom of repetitive chanting.

    • Well I would agree if a person is basically drinks moderately, maybe AA is not the place for them. Then Anon makes an interesting point about moderators going on abstinent days.

      As far as people like Massive going to talk at AA meetings. I can see both sides. I think really it depends what it is you are trying to convey.

      What if a minister left the church because of how child molestation is handled? Would it not be okay for him to come back and try and talk sense into those refuses to protect the children, yet protecting the priest?

      Is it okay for an X AA member or even a member from the medical community to visit meetings and ask them to stop telling people to not take their meds or seek professional help?

      Is it okay for Massive after 36 years with tons of insider information and insight to go back and talk about the error in AA’s ways in allowing minors and sex predators to co mingle? I think the answer is a resounding yes.

      Damn the joint is hoppin tonight-I gotta get some sleep! Hot topics indeed!

  19. anti d As far as filming an AA meeting, I would be ALL about it! That is called investigative reporting to bust people out on unethical and at times criminal behavior.

    Love it. I’ll report if I do it for sure! :)

  20. Wow- this is right up our alley for discussion! It looks like times are a changin’ on views on moderation. No wonder AA and NA do not like many counselors!

    Half of Counselors Don’t Always Advise Abstinence
    The last 20 years has seen a dramatic rise in addiction counselors willing to consider moderation as their clients’ ultimate goal.

    By Valerie Tejeda
    11/05/12

    The Argument Against Abstinence

    Nearly half of addiction counselors say they don’t always advise total abstinence for clients with substance problems, a new study shows. Researchers surveyed 913 members of the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Counselors across the US, and found that around 50% of them believe it’s acceptable for certain patients with alcohol problems to have an occasional drink. This represents a dramatic rise since a similar study, released in 1994, showed just 25% of addiction therapists said they didn’t always push total abstinence. As for drug problems, about half the counselors in the new study also believe moderate drug use can be an acceptable intermediate goal, with one third able to accept it as a final goal—about the same as in a similar survey 10 years ago.

    Complete Article-
    http://www.thefix.com/content/addiction-counselors-abstinence-moderation90859

  21. Anti D …. another very dangerous thing they chant at every meeting now is

    “WHat you hear here let it stay here”. Very Culty. It creeps newcomers out.

  22. November 10th is here, time for a drink!
    I am gearing up to have a nice Blanton’s single barrel whiskey. It’s not the most expensive at about $50 a bottle, however it is rated #2 just below $250 a bottle stuff that caught the #1 slot. One thing I notice about moderation is that I don’t waste my drinks on rot-gut.
    Massive, I love what you have done with this thread. The graphics and charts are useful. I love the simplicity and message of the GPA graph.
    Here is a good laugh for you, last night I had an AA dream. In the dream someone in a meeting asked why do people relapse in AA?
    I blurted out that you can’t relapse from a behavior!
    The old timers glared in disgust.
    I thought this dream was interesting because those in AA have drinking dreams that they share about in a way that seems to reinforce their alcoholism disease model and alcoholic identity.
    I thought it was interesting that I would have an anti AA dream out of AA after having a drinking dream while in the program.

    • anon wrote: “I am gearing up to have a nice Blanton’s single barrel whiskey. It’s not the most expensive at about $50 a bottle, however it is rated #2 just below $250 a bottle stuff that caught the #1 slot. One thing I notice about moderation is that I don’t waste my drinks on rot-gut.”

      @anon:

      I too started off with (near) top shelf alcohol (micro-brews in my case) when I began my moderation experiment. Strangely, I felt that the “snob” factor would further insulate me from compulsion. A little over a year later it was Bud in a can and eventually cooking wine. What happened for me is that the compulsion set in and I didn’t care what I drank – I just wanted to recapture the early euphoria.

      Now I really don’t want to be a downer. Your experience is yours, mine is mine. I’ll be interested to follow your progress over the coming months. I truly do wish you luck.

      And @massive, please don’t ask me if I did my moderation “right”. I believe one of the ex/anti-AA mantras is that we should allowed to roll our own program, and that people ultimately get better on their own anyway. The same should hold true for moderation, right?

      I also tried to avoid AA rhetoric in my response to anon. However, I am troubled by your insistence on this blog that we not use such language. Why not? Again, if we are free to design our own program of action to combat addiction, are we not also free to take from various programs those approaches applicable to us and use them (AA included)?

      Mike

      • So far no compulsion, in fact I am loosing interest. I thought this morning that I would do another 10 day ABS period but am disinterested and don’t want to make a mandatory appointment to drink. I will however still impose strict rules regarding my drinking; mandatory ABS days, never more than 2 drinks on any occasion, never impaired, never driving after any consumption, no telephone or emails.
        I don’t drink top shelf for the snob factor, I drink it because it is better and enjoyable.
        I appreciate the plain language Mike. AA’s loaded language can be a bit tiresome in that it could reinitiate deeply seeded programming in me if I adopt it. I really don’t think it is an issue though because I still go to a meeting from time to time to see old friends.
        November 17th I’ll have 90 days of drinking out of AA after 15 years attendance and a 2 year deprogram.
        To date adverse reactions are; minor forgetfulness and lack of motor coordination when waking after an evening of drinking. During the day I may feel minor dullness. Typically a day or two of abstinence brings on a feeling of extreme well being and energy.
        Keep Not Coming Back!

      • Mike said:
        And @massive, please don’t ask me if I did my moderation “right”. I believe one of the ex/anti-AA mantras is that we should allowed to roll our own program, and that people ultimately get better on their own anyway. The same should hold true for moderation, right?

        Mike, why bring this up again? I thought all the bloggers and Massive covered it and completely acknowledged your value and participation.

        • You left AA and your attempt to moderate, gradually evolved into abuse. Dont you think there are many people (with similar history’s of abuse) who have left AA and remain abstinent or have moderated successfully for years. Be mindful that you will never encounter those individuals attending meetings to share their story. AA is not about exercising self control. Its about dependence on the program and the group in more ways than abstinence from alcohol.

          It seems like unconsciously you are attempting to convince Anon that what he is doing will eventually turn out the same as it did for you. I dont think you mean to; but its only natural when all you hear is the biased opinion’s in AA; where they preach dependence on the group in order to control your behavior.

          Sharing your negative experience with moderation is helpful and you wish Anon luck (as you put it). However, I detect underlying AA scare tactics and a sense that you really believe he will eventually fail at moderation after say a year or two. If thats not your intention, I do apologize. I never heard an acceptable length time in AA, where a person who chooses to moderate is out of danger. What i heard preached in AA is; you might be successful for a year or even 10 yrs but you will eventually fail and be worse off than you ever were. If not, then you were never one of them. I see that as one solution with no other option.

          Life is short and we all experience success and failure. Hopefully we dont repeat the same mistakes over and over. Whether the choice is abstinence or moderation; some people who were at one time out of control, do not care to spend their entire life being told they are powerless over people places and things; including the demon alcohol. We all have such a wide range of personalities and many dont care to live in fear disguised as a choice. If someone believes the only option AA promotes is just reality than thats their choice. I do respect that.

      • Mike, didn’t you see me saying Im sorry to you in regards to that remark?

        But still I say … no… NO forget the point of view of AA is somewhat helpful on this site. I guess you didnt read why I, massive, left AA. This is a “LEAVING AA” site . Not half in AA half out of AA site !LOL I put up with their BS for 36 years. Im not in the mood for any more of AA crap for the rest of my f####king life! I paid my stupid dues by bringing meetings to prisons when I was 21- 24 when I should have been in college. And that is only the tip of the iceberg. Dont even get me started. I did way too much stupid AA service my first 10 years. :) Im not mad at you , I am mad at AA and me for staying so long.

        Deprogramming includes leaving the AA talk behind. I still work at getting Un brainwashed after 19 months gone.

        You can certainly have your experience with moderation not working for you. I can respect that and you are welcome to blog here. There were plenty of bloggers on Recovering from Recovery who had 20 years of hard drinking and didn’t want to mess with their abstinence which I respected and we were still friendly. BUT They really tried to not use AA rhetoric and any AA philosophy.

        I really like that anon is plugging along successfully with his plan. I feel most here want him to succeed and I believe he will prove AA nay sayers wrong. But how else will we know if no one talks about it publicly.

        I believe the AA stuff is very damaging. IF it seems you are trying to convince us that AA has some good stuff to offer us…forgive me if I am reading you wrong….but forgetta bout it! Im tough on this one. I have my reasons and my story.

        They are:

        Sexual harassment, rampant going on in AA for 75 years and still going on by older trusted respected AA men

        Rape – going on forever in AA. Rarely are they reported

        Murder- By men sent to AA instead of jail.

        Indentured servitude (against the law by the 14th amendment) by Clancy and his clones for free honey doos…doing servant type work for free because Clancy or someone sober 20 years is their sponsor. Disgusting!

        Children molested by sober men who date sober women

        Millions of dollars stolen form innocent trusting AA members by old timer men with slick silver hair and slick silver tongues.

        Ancient literature repeated endlessly that corrupts and destroys a healthy ego and self esteem of good men and women who trust that AA is still a good thing

        thousands committing suicide because of AA bullying and degrading of members when they “slip” or drink again.

        The insanity of reading Chapter 5, The Preamble and the 12 Traditions at every meeting most of which are lies yet they wont implement Safety measures for youth and teens and women .

        Is that enough? I think so . If not I will email all my AA stories or you can visit http://www.expaa.org to read many of them there.

        What do you think about SMART & SOS, they are non AA but they are abstinence based programs? They have online meetings ( SMART does every night) .

        • I have been going to AA for almost 20 years. I have been using MM to help with anxiety and sleep. But if I go to a meeting and tell them, I will be judged and told that I slipped. I am currently drinking NA beer as well. I have thought about having a sip of something but I am afraid of losing my “time.”

          I have met some very good people there and I do miss them, however, the last time I was there I was very turned off. Yes there are some good meetings, but I have also been to some meetings that were ridiculous and self absorbed. For years I’ve known that I needed something more on a spiritual level or sense. So I am at a point now, where I ask myself , do I want to go back just to see the people I miss or should I completely free myself from a program that has been lacking something for me for quite some time.

          I have only attended 4-5 meetings in the past year. At first they called me asking where I was, but now only a few call or text.

          • Sam, The very best thing I did for myself was to loose my time in AA, 15+ years. There is a stress to abstinence that I didn’t know I had till I drank and got rid of it. Time in AA is simply a rank of superiority within the group, an ego feeding proposition for the humble alcoholic.
            I still go to meetings when I want and talk to old friends.

        • massive wrote: “Mike, didn’t you see me saying Im sorry to you in regards to that remark?”

          Yes I did, but not in regards to posting AA-ish comments.

          massive wrote: “But still I say … no… NO forget the point of view of AA is somewhat helpful on this site”

          Maybe not AA as an entity, but some of the approaches AA takes and the nature of AA itself. For instance:

          - wide geographic access. Just about every city and town in the US has an AA meeting
          - inexpensive
          - the ability to socialize with other people who are attempting abstinence
          - some nuggets of useful information in the literature and group practices

          I understand the negatives you mentioned and agree that AA has become a breeding ground for less desirable people over the years. Not sure how that can be solved, as it reflects society overall IMHO.

          • @ mike
            Why would anyone want to sit next to man who has raped a 9 year old girl. I dont. See main page of http://www.nadaytona.org

            The literature alone disgiusts me and keeps grown men weak and filled with self dounbt. Even successful men with 17 years sober.
            Why do you wanna sit next to a man who has stabbed a 90 year old women in the neck and murdered her. I dont.

            Not sure how to fix it.

            I am .

            NEVER NEVER send these men or women to a local AA meeting.

            They need to make special meetings at the court houses and ask AA members to come and put on their AA meetings there for the hard sex offenders and violent criminals. Maybe some one trained to handle crazy violent men and women.

            Just saying. And as far as AA taking a seat in fixing things. There is alot they can and they will have to do when we get through with our work.

            I will post it below.

  23. Here is a good laugh for you, last night I had an AA dream. In the dream someone asked why do people relapse in AA?
    I blurted out that you can’t relapse from a behavior!
    The old timers glared in disgust.
    I thought this dream was interesting because those in AA have drinking dreams that they share about in a way that seems to reinforce their alcoholism disease model and alcoholic identity.
    I thought it was interesting that I would have an anti AA dream out of AA after having a drinking dream while in the program.

  24. THE FIX ARTICLE By Maia Szalavitz

    The Beginning of the End of the Abstinence Rule?
    When Hazelden realized traditional treatment for young opiate-painkiller addicts was failing, it introduced maintenance therapy. Only a week later, the backlash has begun.

    The reaction to the news last week that Hazelden will be using medication-assisted treatment—including the maintenance drug, buprenorphine (Suboxone), potentially indefinitely for some patients—has been intense. “Hell froze over,” one tweeter responded, expressing shock that the granddaddy of abstinence-based treatment could make such a big change. “It’s about time,” said Dr. Charles O’Brien, director of the University of Pennsylvania’s prestigious Center for Studies on Addiction, and one of the field’s most eminent researchers. The head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Dr. Nora Volkow, also praised the decision.

    (snip)

    And in yet another sign of just how radically the addiction world is changing, NA itself seems to be softening its stance. “Our policy is a little convoluted,” concedes Jane Nickels, public relations manager for NA World Services, while stating firmly that “our basic philosophical foundation is abstinence.”

    Here’s how weird it gets: an NA publication written in the ’80s and updated in the ’90s said both that “the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop using” and also that meetings can legitimately limit those on maintenance medication from speaking and taking leadership positions. A later publication, from 2007, however, states that “the reality is that some groups already permit those on drug replacement to share and lead meetings while others do not.” Since each group is autonomous, Nickels says, “Group conscience will ultimately determine the level of participation of those on drug replacement,” including buprenorphine. Nickels stresses that the group’s official stance is “we’re encouraged to open wide the doors of our meetings to any addict who wishes to join.”

    Read more here-

    http://www.thefix.com/content/hazelden-maintenance-suboxone-opiate-painkiller8546

    • Wow, that is interesting. Can you imagine AA gradually becoming quasi-moderation? In my mind this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as a lot of people continually pick up while attending meetings anyway. I just drove a guy to a sober house last night. His wife chucked him out because he was drinking but still going to meetings. So the all-or-nothing approach means that he’s banished for 6 months from home and can’t celebrate the holidays with his family. He’s not abusive in any way, he just likes a few pops now and then.

      • It is interesting Mike. I had read where one person who was defending MM over AA, made the point that in many ways AA actually IS moderation on some levels, because they incorporate into their belief system that people will ‘relapse’ multiple times. It is expected and actually accepted by the fact that they are always welcomed back ( technically anyway). Also many people who do actually attend have not quit at all, maybe are just cutting back.

        In reality I think AA groups have far more people drinking and drugging than anyone actually realizes. Some really do ‘take want you want and leave the rest’.

        This is horribly frustrating to hardcore oldtimers or Nazi Sponsors that do not like to see members not doing steps etc. I had someone in the mental health profession state her clients say AA and NA meetings were the best place to get drugs. I doubt they are all like that, but more than people realize.

        It is a trip to read what NA Headquarters had to say. But I criticize that leaving everything to the group concious on the topic is irresponsible. Convoluted is right! That they were honest about.

        • I’ve found that the people who constantly relapse are accepted by the group as long as they show contrition and a willingness to someday embrace ABS. It’s when talk of moderation comes into play that the old-timers get their panties in a bunch. They also tend to dislike people with long-term ABS who do not credit the steps. Sorry to tell them, but when I get my year (which I’m pretty sure I will in ~8 short weeks) I’m going to give credit to myself, my wife and the group itself, nothing else.

          • anti-denial wrote:

            [
            Mike- have you found that common that actual AA members with long term sobriety do not credit the steps?
            ]

            @anti

            My experience is that it depends on the demographics of the group itself. Where I live now it is still fairly religious and conservative, so an old timer who does not credit the steps is indirectly not crediting God, so you get the picture. I do believe however that there are a number of people with double-digit sobriety in my group who, if pressed, would simply credit the group for providing a venue for like minded people seeking abstinence. They tend to not talk much at meetings.

            The cities outside my area are another matter altogether. There, a mixture of new age religion and outright secularism water down the importance of the steps. I think the religious side of AA is doomed because of ongoing demographic shifts in our culture towards non-belief (or at least non-affiliation). Maybe the program will truly some day become a self-help fellowship and leave all the other claptrap behind.

          • @Mike- Very, Very interesting, indeed. I think even for people that are religious whether they are , Jewish, Christian etc. Understand the idea of not forcing any one regious belief on another. Particulary in America. Even a H.P.
            I think AA screwed up starting with their very first step- which many can not and refuse to get past. What is outragious is that Judges are forcing compliance with the actual steps which I think is just horrible.

            I have listened to a judge ask a person what step they were at.They said Step one- He asked them if they believed it! Of course they said yes- as the judge is creating an abuse of power relationship. To hear and see it with my own eyes, it really hit me in the gut with the stark reality of what we are doing to people in our courtrooms. It is WRONG.

          • AntiD,

            My answer to your question about giving he steps credit:

            Unless things have changed in the past couple years since I left AA. The most common shares I heard (and there were many) was individuals giving “THE PROGRAM” credit for their sobriety. I assumed that meant all of it; the steps, meeting attendance, the fellowship and being of service. Sometimes they would expand on those issues. Usually there share included a special thankyou to their sponsor after lighting the sponsees birthday cake.

            In my experience; taking credit for your own sobriety was not well accepted by the group. Why I dont realy know but its just not the thing to do. When I had 9months of sobriety, I wanted to take my chip and sit down. I did not like sharing. However, the group was chanting; “tell us how you did it Sue”. I told the truth and said that simply eliminating the alcohol had improved my life and I expanded a bit on that. I said that I had not worked the steps and had no plans to in the near future. I honestly did not think it would offend anyone and might help someone who was intimidated by the pressure to do so.

            I was followed by people sharing the importance of working the steps. At the break I was questioned by two people (one being an old timer); “why was I there if i did not want to work the steps, they are part of the program”. I left feeling badly (rather pissed off too) because my honesty was not appreciated.

        • @sue,

          I have had similar experiences regarding people giving the program kudos for their sobriety. This actually doesn’t bother me because the program provides access to meetings. If the meetings keep someone sober, then so be it. But I agree think that the program is most often employed as a euphemism for the steps, which in turn are meant to convert someone to the AA God, whatever that is.

          • Mike,

            Didnt bother me a bit; if they gave the program credit for everything successful in their lives. I mean I heard people say things like I wouldnt have this great job if it werent for the program. No problem, just dont harass and criticize me when I dont. I suppose they meant well; but I considered feeling uncomfortable being truthful, a problem.

          • By the way, I was glad the meetings were there at first. As time went by, I wanted to take what I needed and leave the rest. I found that difficult to do because of pressure to conform to the group. I just didnt get it.

          • Sue,

            I’m pretty much immune from group pressure to conform. I follow a few certain rules to maintain this:

            - sit in the back
            - make polite small talk with a few people who appear semi-normal and ignore the rest
            - don’t socialize after the meeting
            - smile and be nice to everyone, old-timers included
            - put a dollar in the basket.
            - don’t share phone number or other personnel info with anyone
            - don’t volunteer for anything

            Behind my back I’m sure some people are saying I don’t work a good program. I don’t give a rat’s tush.

          • Sue- I read your story about accepting your chip. I think that was very thoughtful that you were honest about not doing the steps, and even admitted you had no intentions of doing so( I would of loved to be a fly on the wall for that one) in the hopes that it help relieve the pressure from others as well.

            Even though it was just the nazi old timers that responded, you very well might of helped others. The main thing though is you were honest to yourself and them. Good going!

            AA really frowns on independent success dont they? What sane person does that?

          • Mike,

            Looks like your able to ignore much of what goes on in AA. I cant help but wonder what would happen if everyone handled their time in the program the same way. I wonder if it would still exist. Ive had a long day; so I have to give this more thought. Who would make the coffee and pick up the literature etc. When making a decision to leave, I had to ask myself if it was fair to anyone to be in a club where I seem to be in disagreement all the time. At that point I felt like; if I didnt agree with the rules that the majority of the group conformed to, maybe I should find something else.

            For some reason, I thought the one thing you enjoyed in AA was the social aspect of it. I think it may boil down to; if the positive out ways the negative; go for it.

          • @Sue,

            Regarding volunteering, I occasionally do little things behind the scenes one-on-one, like giving people rides who have a suspended license or donating stuff I don’t need anymore. I had jobs in the past making coffee and doing the treasury, but I avoid these things today because I’m not consistent enough at any one meeting. I think volunteerism is important, it’s just not for me any more.

            The social aspect of AA has become less important for me over the years, but it does still play a role in my sobriety. I see the meetings more like attendance at a movie or the theater. I am with like-minded people during an event we both share interest in but I do not plan on being seeing these people much outside the event.

            I have my reasons for avoiding AA members outside the halls. I find that many are gossips and generally have poor social skills or habits that make me uncomfortable.

  25. I have two days abstinence and zero craving plus I am coming up on 90 days of drinking since leaving AA? The AA’s told me I had a progressive disease that was doing push ups in the parking lot while I was in the meetings.
    So far so good.
    Massive, would you post the date of my first drink up near my intro at the top of the thread?
    Sept. 17 2012
    My last AA sobriety date was May 1996
    My first AA meeting was summer 1978

      • I posted this on another thread;
        anon on October 17, 2012 at 9:02 AM said:
        I have 30 days of drinking successfully after attending AA for 15 years.
        Keep not coming back.

    • anon-Sure. I am sure that the doom and gloom AA er’s chant is 99% Hogwash. First off they AA and NA have Never done ANY SEARCH WHAT SO EVER!!!

      So knowing what happens when people leave the rooms is unknown to them. When I started doing statistics in my head of many many come and go and don’t even stay. Its a very small number.

      You are flying free for sure and telling the world.

    • AntiD,

      That is an excellent question. In most cases commitments are for one year and breaking your commitment is considered irresponsible. If you take it; its your responsibility to find someone to take over. How do you do that without socializing and having phone numbers of other members. Im self employed with irregular hours; so taking commitments interfered with my work. However, if your not willing too, you can count on some being resentful that goes out of their way to do so. It felt like a bit of a catch 22. Once again; I didnt feel good; so I took a coffee commitment (after being pushed) and it caused me to be stressed out. I wont bore you with how I took care of it.

      • There certainly is a big push in AA and NA to volunteer for all kinds of things. In Holly Hill Florida they would choose different people to ” volunteer” to sit at the largest pavilion and hog it for an hour BEFORE the meeting started- then hog it for another hour and half.

        If anyone came into the pavilion or people were already sitting there, the NA and AA member would say to anyone and everyone- Are you here for the meeting? Are you here for the meeting? We even had them go up to strangers and hug them! They were very good at chasing people away.

        • @anti

          I know what you mean with the creepy AA schmoozing stuff. My wife (non-alcoholic) has remarked to me at times when I greet an AA member on the street how these people seem to not have good boundaries. One member happens to be working in the same place as her now and my wife tells me how the person just wants to talk people’s ears off about stuff of no substance.

          The fact that AA members appear so open and approachable doesn’t bother me too much if I take it at face value. However having gotten to know many of these people over the years I have come to the conclusion that it’s almost 90% of the time superficial. What appears to be an almost childlike willingness to befriend someone is in fact mere curiosity. Most of these people would gossip behind your back in a second, as they really never learned the value of long-term loyalty and deep friendships.

          • That is an accurate way to describe it a child like way of befriending people.

            What I did not like was the hugging complete strangers by accident assumng they were AA members. Also the pressure people feel in AA/ NA to accept or give hugs. They are a lot of narley people in AA/NA. Just watching makes my skin crawl at times. It seems to break boundaries right off the bat. i think it was initiated as a form of breaking down a persons defenses to more easily brainwash them.

          • Mike- your wife is right. The love bombing is extremely superficial. I know someone who went through a very serious health issue and many so called friends of 25 years didn’t even call because she left AA.

            Most AA members are very weak individuals and the friendships are 100 % fake.

            After 36 years in AA I maybe have 10 real friends from there. Those who know I left and who still love me. Maybe not even that many. Its a bullshit program and its NOT A FELLOWSHIP anymore. Those days are long gone. Most are in Hawaii and a few are here.

    • anon- I too was thinking about you today as I was walking downtown LA. This is funny!!! But true. In the old days people drank some booze when there were sick …glad to see your post. Happy Turkey day to all!.

      ALso I got really sick in early Sept and for the first time in 37 years I took Nyquil. It worked really well. I realized, hey, Im not in AA, what does it matter if I take a medicine that has alcohol in it. I have taken herbal tinctures for about 6 years and some of them alcohol to preserve the herbs …I was tired of being a crazy stepper. But then I found out I had pneumonia. Wow…I still really get pissed that I was so brain washed for so many years. Thing is….Im getting free and more free every day.

      take care anon :)

  26. I found this article via the letters section in the Orange Papers. A recent study indicates that even moderate drinking has detrimental effects on the brain’s ability to form cells, thus leading to cognitive difficulties in the long run. Here is the link:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/10/study-even-moderate-drinking-impairs-brain-cell-formation/264129/#

    As I’ve mentioned before, I left AA after a good number of years sober, stopped going to meetings almost altogether for a few years then decided to try moderate drinking. It worked for a little over a year. Even in that time however I noticed a slight cognitive decline – kind of a fogginess in the head that felt like I was never getting a good enough sleep. This makes sense, as alcohol really does screw with the sleep cycle, especially when imbibed closer to bed-time. This article indicates that I may have actually been doing damage to the brain, even in small doses.

    Here’s the link to Orange’s letter that links to the study:

    http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-letters331.html

    Happy Thanksgiving to all you in the USA.

    • OMG …Moderation is fine for so many people!!!

      SOME people have said to me that alcohol is evil. I said “what” ?

      You have to be kidding me to her”

      I want you to express yourself. But I ….
      whatever…I’ll agree to disagree with you ….happy Turkey day.

    • How does alcohol help the heart?

      Various studies have shown that moderate amounts of all types of alcohol benefit your heart, not just alcohol found in red wine. It’s thought that alcohol:

      The Mayo Clinic on the benefits of alcohol in moderation for the heart.

      Red wine and resveratrol: Good for your heart?

      Raises high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol
      Reduces the formation of blood clots
      Helps prevent artery damage caused by high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, the “bad” cholesterol

      http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/red-wine/HB00089/NSECTIONGROUP=2

      • You can obtain those same benefits without red wine. Resveratol can be obtained in much higher quantities with supplements, without the incurring the carcinogenic effects of alcohol.

        • It states that it is not limited to red wine. Mike even Tylenol has side effects if it is abused. It can do major liver damage. But in moderation it has helped millions from pain.

          Tylenol PM can make you feel a bit groggy the next morning, yet it also helps many get a much needed good nights sleep.

          • True, but the negative effects of alcohol far outweigh the positives, considering the positives can be obtained in other ways (diet, supplements, exercise) that have far fewer risk factors

          • Mike- that is a matter of opinion. There are pros and cons to many things we ingest including medicines. You chose abstinence which is a great choice for many people.But many choose moderation and actually enjoy some health benefits along with the enjoyment of an occassional buzz.

      • I agree that the buzz and the general feeling of euphoria is one thing that alcohol can (legally) provide the individual, and I think that is sufficient reason for people to drink, assuming they can do so safely. However I also believe that those of us who have had problems with alcohol in the past are at higher risk of falling back into problem drinking.

        I personally have found this time around that a well-balanced social life that includes friends, family, and hobbies provides more long term and durable euphoria than the 45 minute buzz I’d get with 2 12 oz. bottles of beer (or the equivalent). As I’ve mentioned before, drinking was ok at first but gradually the 2×12 oz. no longer had the desired effect, precipitating a need for more. Conversely, the emotional and physical toll of the moderation was increasing, causing me to lose cognitive acuity, sleep, and my emotional self-control.

        Everyone is different though. I’m sharing my personal experience.

        • I am glad you are leading such a healthy lifestyle. Abstinence is certainly the better choice for many. At the same time trying to convey as I feel you are, that moderation is not an option for people with addiction to alcohol is dangerous. The all or nothing mentality gives no wiggle room at all for someone who has a drinking problem.

          For example teenagers that go to AA are being told to not drink a drop for the rest of their lives. Most teens will not and do not buy into that. It is better to give them choices and teach responsible drinking which includes moderation.

          • I don’t think teens should be sent to ANY 12 step programs. What one might see as addiction is what others see as learning experience and growing pains.

            I started AA in my late 20′s, after having been hospitalized for internal damage due to alcohol. Now I see kids being sent who clocked someone in the jaw after they had too much at a party. The system is using AA as a dumping ground and these kids are being exposed to religious indoctrination. It’s ridiculous.

          • @ Mike- We agree on teens not being sent to AA meetings. But I think you missed my point. Someone needs to be teaching teens that drinking in moderation is a viable option and can save lives. AA does not teach this to teens or those in ICYPAA.

            Also if one is so stringent in abstinence you lose a big part of those that need help, for those that cannot see themselves never drinking a drop forever.

            It is like just telling teens to not have sex, and not also teach them about how to have sex responsibly to aid in preventing unwanted pregnancies, diseases and abortions.

          • Rather than teach teens that moderation is a viable option, or that abstinence or indulgence is acceptable, we ought to be focusing on instilling the core value of self love and care, the importance of being kind to oneself and one’s body. The result then — how or if they drink — is a reflection of how well we guided, how well we taught them the value of proper care and feeding and love for their body. It is a reflection of our efforts as much as theirs.

          • ALC- I agree with you as far as teaching our children values. But I disagree that children always grows up to reflect those values. It has become much harder to parent these days with so much information on the internet and storylines of movies and TV shows. Many fine parents do a wonderful job, only to still have teens to choose to have sex and drink. I think teens should know responsible ways to behave if they insist on going in that direction.

            If we can prevent unwanted pregnancies, traffic accidents, overdoses on alcohol etc.

  27. Wow, what a great blog and discussion! It embarasses me to admit that I was an active AA member for many years and was involved in the AA machine at the District level as a District Secretary for 4 years. I, too, succumbed to the all or nothing brainwashing and stayed sober for 20 years even though I had left the rooms completely after 8 years. I never bought the idea of a progressive, incurable disease as I watched my grandmother die of cancer — the differences are striking. I could choose not to drink; she couldn’t choose not to have cancer. True, my grandfather had died in DTs and was labeled a severe alcoholic, but even he had managed to put several years of sobriety together when other things in his life became important enough. Even though I always knew intellectually that drinking is simply a choice — whether that means taking 1, 2, 3 or more drinks — it’s always a choice, the idea that I could drink in moderation was strange. After all getting sober at 22 years old, I had never drank as an adult. It was not a part of my life, but I wanted it to be. When I went to AA I always just wanted to be normal and drinking is a normal part of life in our culture and many cultures around the world. I wanted to feel like I had control over all aspects of my life. So I discussed it with my husband, who also had been sober nearly 20 years, and we both decided to run the experiment. That was 2 years ago. I can honestly say drinking occassionally in moderation has enhanced our lives. It has helped us to be a positive power of example to our teenage children, who are, of course, curious. I was brought up in a strict AA household where drinking was taboo and alcohol was all powerful, and all 3 of us kids developed serious substance use problems, so that apparently doesn’t work. I certainly did not want to make that mistake with my kids. Someone said in the comments above that alcohol was no longer the focus and that’s exactly it. It has no power; it just is. I also liked what someone said that when they plan to drink it provides a time to unplug, stop working (which I do all the time), not drive (I’m a Mom of 3 teenagers – I’m the taxicab). While I know I’m not at the legal limit with 1 drink, why take the risk? More than anything, it’s been a right of passage for me at 44 years old, I’m a true grown up. I can enjoy a cocktail at a party and maintain my self-control. The idea of allowing myself to lose control is simply foreign to me now. So many of my AA friends from 20 years ago are successful moderate drinkers, that it can’t be a coincidence. Just like drinking, losing control is also a choice. When I drank “alcoholically” I set out to get drunk each and every time for ridiculous reasons: to celebrate, because I was upset, stressed, angry; because I wanted to forget or get revenge — my reasons were endless. Since I was 10 years old I was told alcohol was powerful and that because of my genetics, if I drank I would instantly be out of control. Big shocker, I started drinking at 16 and never looked back; in therapy by 20, in AA at 22. But what about my genetics? Both of my siblings now middle aged all drink moderately and are very successful people in many areas of life. So much for genetics…

    • Great post! My son has mentioned more than once that he notices that I have had a bottle of wine in the fridge for way over a month and have not touched it. It is good he see’s people drink responsibly and in moderation.

      A drink can be very relaxing and does help one unwind. Like you I work a lot! When I do decided to have a glass of wine or beer with dinner or special occassion I really enjoy it. I have no desire to get drunk, or drink and drive. It is not like I have to ‘control’ my drinking either. I am sincerely totally content with one or two glasses of wine.

        • A very very long time. Just like many, many people.

          Again Mike- It is not for everyone. Some people are just better off not drinking.

          Yet teaching responsible drinking is an important part of teaching people how to drink in the first place so

          they do not become addicted, and also to teach those that have become addicted that theie other other options.

        • Mike,

          What if AntiD’s answer had been 5 yrs. of successful moderation. In your opinion would that have been a successful amount of time to be out of the danger of getting out of control. I believe I ask you about this before but never received an answer. AA preaches that if your drinking was ever out of control, life time abstinence is the only solution. Would you not agree?

          They say; go ahead and try some controlled drinking. You might drink responsible for a year or ten years; but you will end up worse than you ever were. Also, I could never figure out the amount of safe moderation time before they would no longer label you an alcoholic and consider you a normie. I think the reason I could not get an answer in 30ys is; BECAUSE THEY DONT KNOW.
          Part of the reason they dont know is; know one comes back to share about successful moderation. Would you not agree.

          • I want to say that I understand why some would not even want to flirt with moderation; because of their history. I agree that those who have abused alcohol in the past and want to try moderation, should give it serious thought.

          • @Sue,

            Anyone who can put together 5 years of successful moderation after having had alcohol problems in the past is in my mind at very low risk. And, yes, some snarky AA’er will say either they weren’t an alcoholic after all or that they are not being honest.

            What I found to be a complete lie regarding picking up again is the AA mantra that we will be right beck where we ended with the last drink. In my case this would have meant pancreatitis, unemployment, and a bad marriage. None of these things came to pass, except towards the end when I would fight more often with my wife. Even that was nowhere near the severity from the past.

            BTW, I have shared in meetings over the past 10 months that nothing really bad happened when I went back out, except for the fact that I very gradually could not control the amount and that I was getting more foggy, even at low doses. This is not exactly well received by some, but who are they to negate my experience?

            What keeps me from having a go at moderation again is a scientifically-based questionnaire I found on the following web site:
            http://www.moderatedrinking.com/home/default_home.aspx?p=chancesofsuccess

            My score indicates that my chance of long-term successful moderation is less than average (sorry for the AA reference, massive). Full disclosure, that site is funded by the NIAAA, which some in the anti-AA community might find biased. The fact that they are even broaching the moderation topic give one pause, however.

          • Sue wrote: [ Im not someone who would like to see AA disappear.]

            I wouldn’t want to see it disappear either, Sue. What I would like to see is some meetings in which con-men, predators, religious nut-jobs, and parolees do not run the show. That unfortunately is the AA of today, especially in the metropolitan areas.

            I’ve actually considered starting a secular AA meeting in my area. Unfortunately I think it will become a lightening rod for all the true-believers to spout off about. I have no doubt they will show up and disrupt things.

            Another possibility is starting a SOS or SMART meeting, but to be honest I don’t have the time or motivation to get certified as a moderator in those programs. I know AA and it has saturation already in our culture. Starting a meeting is easy as 1-2-3.

          • Mike,

            Your right; I did say:

            Im not someone who would like to see AA disappear.

            However, what I said right after that is a vital part of that statement when quoting me:
            “I just think that there needs to be some drastic changes. ”

            You mentioned predators, religious nut-jobs and parolees. That would be a great start. When I wrote that, I was thinking more along the lines of brainwashing people into thinking they are powerless as soon as they walk into the rooms. Making it pretty much mandatory to label yourself an alcoholic every time you open you mouth. Kind of uncomfortable if you choose not to and would like to fit in with the group think. Just for starters. I will refrain from expanding on it; because most know that post here.

        • I have know idea where this reply will turn up but here goes. Sorry confused. :-)

          Mike,

          Your said;
          “Anyone who can put together 5 years of successful moderation after having had alcohol problems in the past is in my mind at very low risk.”

          Well, thank you for your reply and your opinion but I was expecting a little more detailed breakdown of the process. However, the more I think about it, I believe that would be impossible for you or AA to determine; because we are all individuals with different personalities. Something I had to learn after leaving aa. There are so many different factors involved; our age, our current environment, our personal growth and much more.

          You mentioned sharing for the last 10months at meetings, that things were not near as bad as before “when you went out” (I never liked that term) and I think they need to hear that; yet I think they dont mind hearing that because it was bad enough to bring you back and it just might justify their fear to ever leave. On the other hand, I would not go back and tell them that moderation is working for you and has for let’s say 5yrs. Anyhow, why would anyone? AA is not a program that promotes moderation; its all about abstinence. People know that when they choose (or are forced) to go there. That kind of sharing is not appreciated. I respect that and would never interfere.

          As far as the link to the questionnaire. I looked at it and i dont believe in such questionnaires anymore. I think the questions are ambiguous and may apply to the past but not where your at presently. Also, ive said this before, I believe that anyone who has had a substance abuse problem in the past and is being honest with themselves, knows damned well if they are crossing the line. I dont think they need an online survey to determine that. Do you think people actually change their behavior because of those surveys. Maybe?

          • I got lucky, it turned up in the right place.

            I would like to add one thing. Forgive me, I always have after thoughts. Im not someone who would like to see AA disappear. I just think that there needs to be some drastic changes. Maybe if it wasnt a one size fits all (we program); people would not feel so uncomfortable and want to hang around to help others. Just sayin!

          • About that questionnaire, I took the test and got points for a few questions including ‘have you ever lost friends due to your drinking?’. I truthfully answered yes, but it was only one friend and the only reason I lost that friend was because he is a big AA person and he got pissed off at me when I told him I was going to moderate. It had nothing to do with my drinking, really, it was the fact that I was even going to try to moderate.

            For the record, I have been successfully moderating for some time now. No issues at all.

          • Hi Snow,

            Congratulations!
            Im assuming that you have left AA. I always felt like AA was so sheepish and inflexible in countless ways. Ive never missed AA and leaving was a wise decision for me.

            Also, thank you for sharing about you ability to enjoy adult beverages moderately.Alcohol in moderation can be healthy for many people. I was curious if you had a lengthy history of substance abuse. Please know, I will respect the fact that you may not wish to answer that question.

            As far as your AA acquaintance. He is not a friend. True friends love and respect you for your strength’s. The dont shun you for running your own life.

          • Hi Sue,

            I went to my first AA meeting when I was pretty young, just 21. I started drinking at 15. I was in and out of AA, never never really felt like it was right for me nor did I ever think I really was an alcoholic. I abused alcohol, that I will freely admit, but I wasn’t physically addicted. Maybe psychologically, but as soon as I dealt with the reasons I was drinking to excess I was able to control it. Over the last few years I have been totally smashed once, but I refuse to take responsibility for that. I was enjoying a party, talking to people and not really paying attention to my glass, and someone kept filling it up. I just never noticed until I started feeling dizzy. Other than that my drinking over the last few years has been totally in control and totally normal.

            I love going out for dinner and having a glass of wine and not worrying about who is going to see me. I’m in my 40s, I don’t need to hide my drinking. It is legal, I enjoy it and it is not a problem. When I hear people talking about how the program saved them and when just about everything they do or say is program related all I can do is shake my head. I know one person who had 6 drinks in his life and smoked some pot when he was a teenager. His parents found out and sent him to rehab and now at the age of 50 he still identifies as an alcoholic and drug addict and he still goes to meetings. That is such bull, he was experimenting, nothing more. I’m sure he would have stopped on his own, and I am sure he could drink normally now if he thought he could, but he doesn’t think he can.
            His life is all about staying sober, nothing else. It’s sad, really.

            Nice to find this site, I’ve been reading it for a while now, thought I’d jump in with a post.

          • Snow,

            Thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed reply. You brought up some very valid important issues. For one the importance of dealing with the reasons we drank to excess.
            I will have to respond more later. Unfortunately, I have to work. However, fortunate to have a job. :-)

          • Mike- sos is really easy to start. Just write or call jim Christopher and he will send you a binder. Its as easy as starting an AA meeting. Just a but easier then starting a SMART meeting.

            I hope you do it.

          • @massive,

            I just listened to your interview with Jim Christopher. It was great! I am considering starting a meeting in my area. I’ll keep you posted.

            Thanks so much for keeping this site going. Mike

    • another ex AA- WOW what a fantastic post. These were the stories I was told when I started to do my radio show in March of 2011 when I was leaving AA.

      I think it is an important part of the work I want to do. Not just expose AA, but I want to educate the pubic that there are many other options and help those options grow, and empower those who drank out of control as youths and some regular folks who went to AA but really never felt they were alcoholic…drink again and enjoy it. Safety. Sanely. ANd without the AA brainwashing to boot.

      Mike …there were many on rfr who drank super heavy and didn’t want to mess with taking a sip or even try to be a regular social drinker. Thats fine.

      I created this site to help people leave AA or those who are wanting to leave.

      This site is not called I left AA.com LOL it’s called leaving aa.com so on with the discussion…I think it’s great. You would never have a sane discussion about this at a meeting, before a meeting or in a coffee shop.

      • Mike All the NIAAA people are AA. Serious long time steppers. Greg Muth who is the new Board Chairman ran AA in NY ,its headquaters for 10 years. They go from one pro AA society to another.

        NIAAA is the result of MS MARTY MANN’s work, Ms first lady AA who was a rich high society closet gay, ( not that any one cares about that now but back then it would not have been good for AA’s white male business man type image) who knew the Rockefellar’s. The richest man in the world at that time. SHe knew all the people at the top to spread her lies about how AA was the sure thing for everyone and that alcoholism was a DISEASE which is also a lie.

        She made over 500 speeches to top companies like FORD in her first 5 years that she created the National Council on Alcoholism. SHe did it to promote AA and not break their silly traditions. Without Marty Mann and her promoting AA would be the size of a pea.

      • SNOW- Thank you sooooo much for writing your truth here!!! SO much fun to hear real life stories with no AA BS rhetoric weaved in every last sentence.

        It’s really refreshing and this thread is getting alot of views even if only a few people are posting.

        My hubbie and I were just talking about how some AA oldtimers we know ….every time they talk they have to always talk about a step or how fucked up there are , even after 20 years sober, what losers they are, even though they are rich and famous.

        Anyway….great post. I enjoyed reading it.

    • Wow! This could be my story. I grew up in an AA crazy household. I decided to drink again after 22 years abstinent in AA. I drank with my wife who was never an AA or much of drinker. So far so good. It just doesn’t seem like a big deal to me either way. I leave glasses half full and almost always want to stop after 2 beers.

      • JPW- Hi and welcome!!!

        I love hearing these stories about successful drinking after being in AA a long time. Maybe one day we can make a video and show how many people have had this experience.

  28. This is a timely discussion. At the 9th National Harm Reduction Conference in Portland Oregon last week I made a presentation about choosing a drinking goal–should one opt for abstinence or controlled drinking? Studies such as NESARC show that the majority of people with alcohol dependence recover on their own without AA and without treatment. About half recover by cutting back and about half recover by quitting completely.

    He is a link to the HAMS conference page where you can watch a video of my presentation and also view the PowerPoint
    http://hamsnetwork.org/9th-conference/:

  29. I am amazed at how brainwashed I was in AA. I’ve been drinking for months now and I still feel no compulsion or phenomenon of craving like I used to share about. I started to call an old AA friend last night who is a sort of anti AA but realized he is brainwashed and it is a waste of my time. I have experienced an AA withdrawal though; AA occupies all of a person’s time with program and forced friendships. I am adjusting still to the social change and absence of feelings that I am contributing something to society through AA.

      • I drank last night and woke up with a small headache. This is totally not worth it from a cost benefit standpoint. I am less and less interested in drinking and may switch to occasional wine with dinner. I can’t believe how stupid AA is and that I bought it. Total brainwash! Booze has no power over me, powerlessness is ridiculous.

          • Sue wrote: [Dont you think Anon knows he has that option. Maybe that is not what he wants to do and I think that ok]

            @sue
            He might know it, but maybe a little encouragement from someone who tried the moderation experiment himself and also experienced headaches can help him. I have found the ABS option to be much better for me personally. This blog is after all about abstinence vs. moderation. I have experienced both and find the former to be much better for me than the latter.

            And regarding powerlessness, yes, we might not be powerless over alcohol, but imbibing in a substance that causes us to wake up with headaches isn’t exactly smart, especially if we have obligations the next day (family, work, friends) who will be disadvantaged because of our mental and physical decline.

          • Sue: [I try not to compare myself to others anymore.
            “Look for the differences not the similarities”]

            @sue,

            Don’t you think that personal experience can sometimes be helpful to others? Yes, the one-size-fits all approach AA uses can and does over-simplify the issue of addiction for many. However, I think the morning after headache is almost universally associated with using alcohol to excess the night before (taking into account an individual’s tolerance). The “excess” part can be very subjective.

            If anon suffers from a headache after drinking moderately I would question whether his body is equipped to handle even small quantities of booze. Again, this was my experience about a year into the drinking experiment. At first the buzz was nice and the morning after ok, but gradually, no more nice buzz when drinking moderately, but morning-after grogginess and headaches all the same.

            I also remember him posting some weeks back that his frustration tolerance had gone down, leading to a spat with his wife. Wow, guess what? Happened to me too.

            One size might not fit all, but sometimes a drawer can have matching socks.

        • hey anon- if I eat a pint of vanilla bean ice cream by Häagen-Dazs, I wake up with a whopping head ache.

          SO I dont do that anymore. Or if I eat cookie dough …same thing. So I don’t do that either. But I agree. AA is total brainwash and the powerless part and the gloom and doom is such BS!

          Now dont get me wrong… I love sugar but I hate bad headaches so …on occasion this happens, when my kids make cookies etc:)

          • I drank a small amount too fast and then engaged in strenuous activity. I was rushed and in a hurry after a huge day. Not a big deal; I’ll treat it like Hagen Dazs and fully expect a headache if I do it again. The headache was about at 2 on a scale of 1 to 10 so it didn’t wreck my day. I am finding at this point that I don’t need to think about ABS days with alcohol because they are occurring naturally. I have no compulsion whatsoever to drink at this point.
            The HR program I work on tobacco is much more challenging because there is a far greater desire to consume with less ABS days. Tobacco definitely has my attention, alcohol, not so much. I will be switching my focus where it is needed at this point. Today is Nov. 22, my second ABS day off tobacco. My goal is to be tobacco free till Sunday. I have family obligations this week so I will not be drinking till after Friday.

          • The reason I mentioned wine was that I have a good friend who will not touch hard alcohol. I respect this person greatly and know that he only drinks wine and beer.

          • Just for the record I have practiced HR on tobacco for one year after leaving AA with great success before I drank. I have 14 months HR on tobacco with 15 to 30 day ABS periods between smokes till recently. When practicing tobacco HR knowing that after a year I would drink it was easier to moderate. Now that I am drinking, tobacco moderation is more difficult because I don’t perceive a reward for moderation. I may try using a consequence such as no drinking without tobacco moderation. This would give me an incentive to maintain my cost benefit balance of healthy use and enjoyment with minimal health consequences.

  30. I drank half a Blue Moon beer with my wife the other day.
    Yes, it was worth it and it tasted good.
    No I did not get a headache.
    I didn’t get drunk so I am sober.
    High benefit, minimal cost.

      • No orange last time but I’ll do it next for sure. Perhaps I’ll have a Blue Moon with Orange and read The Orange Papers!
        Blue Moon Beer, The official beer of The Orange Papers. Massive thinks I’m crazy but I still like to drink a Bill Wilson, whiskey and milk. YUM!

      • Anti D,
        AO is Agent Orange, Agent Orange is the ABS type not Bill Wilson. Bill wilson is a AA philanderer who couldn’t have a drinkey-poo because it would hurt his sales pitch.

    • anon- Stanton Peele was on my radio show twice. I was listening to an old episode the other day in the car with my hubbie and Stanton corrects me when I call myself sober. It was early on in my radio show and I was going to go to my old home group and tells the ladies I was leaving AA for good and why. Nip the gossip in the bud..you know?

      And way Stanton said to me …”AA has hijacked the worked sober. You can be sober and still have some alcohol like you are doing. AA has made sober a work that means abstinence in the AA way.

      When I listen to the early show you can actually hear my deprogramming right on the air. Its a trip. It really helped me…it still does.

      SO anon …I love your stories. SO refreshing.

  31. I met with an AA today for business and had the feeling that I had alcohol on my breath from the half beer I drank the night before. I had an awkward feeling, sort of a newfound wreckage from my AA past.
    Just a thought thay I wanted to share.
    Nothing happened.
    The business went fine.

  32. I thought this was sort of interesting.
    I am noticing that if I see an activity such as drinking or tobacco use as unhealthy I don’t want to do it. I used tobacco for a year with as many as 30 abs days between uses with success. This ABS period had a healthy feeling to me even though it was difficult at times for short intervals. This week I have used tobacco every day in an abusive fashion; I have increased the dosage in an attempt to regain the initial effect. This has not been true with alcohol. With alcohol the consequence of abuse is illness so I have been less likely to abuse alcohol or become dependent. I find that moderate tobacco use is most enjoyable because the intoxication is more intense and relaxing after at least 20 ABS days. My tolerance for tobacco is rapid. Alcohol on the other hand has not caused a tolerance that I notice because I do not drink to intoxication.
    I am having trouble at this point moderating tobacco. I am using very little except more frequently.
    I am going to use tobacco tomorrow and then attempt to be abstinent until new years.
    So far alcohol is no problem.
    I can see that moderation is the key to success as tolerance plays a huge role in the compulsion to use. Detoxification from tobacco is about 20 days for me and this is the time that there is a compulsion to use. Because I am not building tolerance to alcohol the detox is much faster and there is no compulsion. If I were to drink with the objective of intoxication I would clearly build tolerance and suffer some sort of compulsion coupled with alcohol induced mental impairment. It is much easier for me to control alcohol intoxication than tobacco. I use tobacco to its intoxication ceiling every time I use. With alcohol this is much easier to control because it takes large amounts consumed very quickly to reach maximum alcohol intoxication. Also the physical consequences of extreme intoxication are severe.
    Conclusion; it is easier for me to moderate alcohol than tobacco.

    • Then maybe stay abstinent from tobacco? You abused it to get to a certain effect? Hmmmm……… To me smoking in moderation is a bit of a different animal than drinking. I guess you are finding that out.
      Of course smoking less is better than smoking more.

      • I am definitely going to use more ABS days for tobacco.
        - Use is enjoyable after 20+ ABS days.
        - Health risks with 20 day ABS periods are minimal.
        - Benefits of relaxation and contemplation that are negated with tolerance are achieved after long ABS intervals.
        - For me frequent tobacco use falls into the abuse and dependence definitions found in DSM.
        - I enjoy tobacco immensely and I am not powerless over it.

        • It sounds like it is much more of a struggle for you than alcohol as you stated. I have not read any literature that smoking minimally is okay. It is cancer causing etc.

          These statements are confusing to me-

          ” Benefits of relaxation and contemplation that are negated with tolerance are achieved after long ABS intervals.”

          ” I enjoy tobacco immensely and I am not powerless over it.”

          It sounds like an addiction to me. Why would you try and build a tolerance and abuse it after quitting for so many days?

          Where there are studies that alcohol in moderation can be good for you. I have yet to find any studies that say tabacco use is good for you in moderation.
          Maybe they are out there, but again never came across it.

          • AntiD,

            Unfortunately, I have always enjoyed smoking. Kind of a love hate relationship. However, speaking as a current smoker who quit for 12yrs and very regretfully picked up the nasty habit again 3yrs ago:

            Boy, if I had 20 days abstinence behind me right now, I would feel like i was on top of the world. Like it or not, its a habit that will kill me. I smoke much less now but I think anytime you are burning your lungs; it’s harmful.

            I grew up around parents who smoked heavily. It’s a habit that has been a part of my life for too many years. Ive learned over the past 3yrs that if I am foolish enough to pick up one after quitting again. I will most likely become a daily smoker again. Nicotine is a very powerful addictive substance.

          • Rapid tobacco tolerance causes abuse and dependence patterns in me if I do not adhere to ABS days.
            Tolerance negates the benefit I perceive.
            I did not mean to say my use of tobacco at the 20 day interval was healthy; I meant to say that it is relatively healthy use when weighed against the benefit I receive.
            I also believe that tobacco use at a 20 day interval has negligible health risks. there is no scientific data because the sample group that could adhere to this regimen over a long period of time would be very small.

          • Here is an article that does not support light smoking. It is sad that so many AA members die prematurely because of their smoking habit that AA considers an outside issue! What a joke. It is just so ridiculous for AA to be so anti alcohol and then give the green light to caffeine and nicotine addition. There are many reports of AA members who did not smoke until they became a member.

            “The only thing that is relevant is this: If you smoke at all you are at increased risk of cancer and heart disease. Any smoking does that,” he says. “So if people say, ‘I only smoke occasionally,’ or ‘I never smoke more than 10 a day,’ they have increased risk because this substance is so toxic.”

            http://www.webmd.com/smoking-cessation/features/can-you-get-away-with-social-smoking?page=2

          • Sue- That is good you quit as long as you did. At least you know you can do it. It is such a shame that so many get hooked on cigs and alcohol when a teen, and an addiction develops-that it carries on into adulthood.

            It is hard on kids that grew up with parents that smoked. I am glad there is more awareness about second hand smoke, and smoking is being allowed in limited public places.

            • “Antidenial, I enjoy your posts and respect your opinions. I also really like Anon’s blog about smoking, and it is helpful to me. Why should drinking addiction be the only bogus “”addiction”? I think he is making great strides with an activity that can be really pleasurable.

          • “I think if a person is healthy, in the broad sense of the word, and smokes one or two cigarettes a week, something else will probably kill that person before cigarette smoking will,” Bachman says

          • In 58 yrs. I have never known anyone who smoked 1 or 2 cig’s a week. Guess that would be consideredmoderate and if thats what you do after your ABS periods, thats great. Ive known people who smoke 4 or 5 a day; but then they say it depends on their stress level. Ive run into people who bum a rare cigarette from me. They usually choke after a couple puffs and put it out. Its curiosity, they are not addicted to the dopamine high.

            I was wondering; who is Bachman.

          • Anyone I know right now who trys to smoke one or two a week (which they bum from me); eventually gives in and buys a pack and ends up smoking more than me.

          • Sue,
            AntiDenial on December 5, 2012 at 3:11 PM said:
            Here is an article that does not support light smoking.
            http://www.webmd.com/smoking-cessation/features/can-you-get-away-with-social-smoking?page=2
            The quote by Bachman can be found early in the piece.

            massive on December 5, 2012 at 9:54 PM said:
            I don’t know where we are going here with the smoking thing.
            Massive, I think it is relevant conversation because I used tobacco moderation as a test prior to moderating alcohol. My fear of alcohol moderation was deep because of my AA programming so I wanted to proceed with extreme caution.
            I also want to debunk the powerlessness theory taught by AA. Tobacco is thought to be the most addictive substance on earth by many. I am not powerless over tobacco. My mind has the ability to weigh the situation and make choices that enable me to stay in control of my use. I quit smoking for 15 years and started missing it. Why should I deny myself if I can manage use? I really enjoy tobacco when I am moderating at 20 day minimum intervals. It does not seem that the health risks are significant and the effect is potent after this period.

            Anti D said; I do not understand why one would go through withdrawals-detoxify and then smoke again to the point of building up a tolerance again and again. It seems like torturing oneself in away.
            *Plain and simple. I enjoy using tobacco responsibly and am willing to endure minor discomfort as long as it is not disproportionate to my enjoyment. Benefit minus costs equals outcome.

        • I dont know where we are going here with the smoking thing but If someone wants to smoke a few cigs a month and can then thats great …it s their business. If someone wants to eat cupcakes moderately… be my guest.

          I like to stick to my own experience. I want anon to be able to tell us what he is doing.

          I smoke cigarettes as a teen. I did it for 4 years. I was never a heavy smoker. I quit easily at 16 . Then I smoked Again at 22-24. I got sick of being the only one in AA not smoking. I could feel myself being hooked and eventually smoked in the morning.

          It started with just outside the meetings, smoking after meetings in the Coffee shop with the other steppers. I hate the way it made my hair and breath smell. Yet I enjoyed the connection with others as I smoked.

          I hated that I was so squeaky clean. SO I smoked. After many months I smoked so much I had to buy my own pack. So I smoked about a pack a week. This went on and slowly I smoked more even though I didn’t want to.

          After 2 years I decided to quit altogether. It was hard this time. I felt the addiction to the chemicals they put on the cigs. Some 500 of them I think. Anyway I had to change my behavior, my meetings and I had to stop hanging with the heavy AA smokers, which I did.

          I could see it was hard to quit but I did it. Each persons own experience is more powerful. With each persons DOC…..this being nicotine.

          • After 6 months after quitting I was able to return to my old meetings where they smoked like fiends and it didn’t bother me.

            WHat a crazy Freaking world AA in Hawaii was in 1981. hmmmmm It was also then I realized the steps could not help me any further.

            • I didn’t think you were. It seemed to me to be a bit of naysaying to his smoking moderately. Its not like he is talking about smoking crack or using hard drugs. I feel the need to agree to disagree here.

          • First of all, Anon brought up the topic of moderating smoking; not me. I gave an opposite opinion; just as Mike did on the topic of moderating drinking. From what I have seen, I think he has proven that he is capable of handling a debate; otherwise why bring it up. Im not powerless over smoking either. I proved that for 12 yrs. I simply pointed out that nicotine is a substance that i have not been able to moderate, nor care too. I pointed out that its one of those pleasures in my life that is just far too dangerous to “MY HEALTH”. I also said; if I could quit for 20 days, I hope to be a non smoker for many years again. For the rest of my life would be ultimate goal.

            In some ways Im sorry I ever got involved. However, I thought my experience was important and could be helpful to someone. I have nothing further to add to the discusssion.

    • anon I think you are proving an interesting point about physical addiction theory’s that have floating about in AA for years. Many which are complete lies.
      I really appreciate your blogging here and telling what is really going on.

    • “This week I have used tobacco every day in an abusive fashion; I have increased the dosage in an attempt to regain the initial effect. ”

      “It is much easier for me to control alcohol intoxication than tobacco, I use tobacco to its intoxication ceiling every time I use.”

      I was responding to anon statements above admitting his struggle with moderating tobacco, yet his desire to want to continue.

      I do not understand why one would go through withdrawals-detoxify and then smoke again to the point of building up a tolerance again and again. It seems like torturing oneself in away.

  33. Sue – Its not personal… I hope that we can disagree here with each other even though I may know you and like you as a person. I just didn’t agree with some stuff.

    I hope that this blog allows that ….which I want it to. No one is trolling….and I dont have to agree with bloggers just because I may be a friend to you or anti which I am. I want there to be discussion. And so there was. THat is good.

    you said ‘In some ways Im sorry I ever got involved. However, I thought my experience was important and could be helpful to someone. I have nothing further to add to the discussion.”

    WHY are you sorry? WHat you said was valuable. Just because I disagree with you and ANTI on this it doesn’t make your opinion or experience not important.

    If we cant disagree here then we are just like the steppers. Speaking only things that I know you guys will agree with me on.

    • I didnt take it personal. I dont have a problem with your disagreement with me. However, that was not what prompted my response. I saw a need to address some issues that looked like they may have been overlooked or missed. Actually, your response last night; indicated to me that you may have had a problem with my disagreement on some of Anon’s points. I said if someone can smoke 1 or 2 cigarettes a week; thats great. I meant it and I wish that were the case with me. If I had smoked that little after picking up the habit a few years ago; maybe I would not have been diagnosed with mild to moderate COPD a year ago. I regret ever picking one up again but you think it will never happen to you when your young. I guess I am saying be careful; because that is a sneaky habit to experiment with.

      • Sneaky? Look at the language here. Smoking is such a scapegoat and people think it’s ok to put all their prejudice and anger into one activity: Smoking”! I did this for a long time myself I don’t do it anymore, since I have taken smoking back up again, and really like it. Anon’s tips on abstinence days have intrigued me and they sound really workable. Fear around a habit, makes it easier to go out of control and victim with the particular activity.

  34. It is day two of twenty in my tobacco ABS with VERY minimal discomfort. I simply think “NO” when the thought comes. I can’t say for sure the thought is a craving, it’s just a thought. My wife and I drank last night and had a great time together. No hangover or compulsion to drink this morning.
    December 17th I’ll have 120 days drinking since leaving AA and a year four months Tobacco moderation.
    KEEP NOT COMING BACK!

  35. 10 Tobacco ABS days today, I’m half way to my next smoke. There is no compulsion and any thought is easily derailed with denial. HAMS tobacco and alcohol moderation are the way to go for me. It’s easy for me and the benefits far outweigh the costs.

  36. December 17th is four months of successful moderate drinking since leaving AA.
    Keep not coming back!
    Thanks to your help I am sure I can make a year!

  37. Hey There everyone…just wanted to drop in and say that I recently found the Blog Talk Safe Recovery show after doing a podcast search for any Trimpey AVRT stuff… I listened to the show…then listened to some others and have since downloaded all the podcasts! There is so much good stuff here! I have been a heavy Drinker for 35 years…since I was 15. I only knew of AA and so I went there…but I cannot agree with the first step…I’m not powerless! So anyway, about four months ago I found Moderation Management and it has been great! I read the book Responsible drinking, participate in chats and the listserv….I have been a truly moderate drinker (and happy about it!) since Sept 12. I usually abstain 4 days a week and have no more than 4 drinks on the other days… they have this great webpage called the Abstar where everyone tracks their progress etc… I find it really helpful. Then I started finding all kinds of helpful resources like HAMS and that Blog Talk show and web-sites of others you have interviewed. I just wanted to say that your show and this blog have been very helpful to me…Thank you!! Miami Mike

    • HI Miami Mike,
      So glad you found us too. I will have on Kenneth Anderson From Hams Harm Reduction tomorrow at 7 PM PST and 10 pm EST .

      I am really happy to hear your positive experience. Its really refreshing!

      More later…

      • Hi Anon,

        I did join AA….kinda. I went to 3 meetings a week for a few months last year then again for 6 months this year. I refused to get a sponsor though because I refused to believe step #1…. I am not powerless over alcohol and I didn’t think it was a “real” disease etc… But, I was reading the AA literature a lot and I enjoyed listening to some of the stories so that I knew where I might end up if I did not get a handle on my drinking…. I had NEVER heard of any of the other groups out there… MM, HAMS, SMART, RR etc… no one ever mentioned any alternatives. I guess I had to deprogram a little when I started reading all this stuff online because AA was all I knew at the time…. but I also knew I was not an alcoholic or dependent drinker…so when I found MM and read the Responsible Drinking book I just took off with it and have done great with that program….and, through the MM chat and listserv It opened the door to all the other programs…then after looking up Trimpey I found this blog and show and also the Anderson Show etc…. its like a WHOLE NEW WORLD!!!!!

        • I was an AA true believer so I had to be very careful. I thought I had a progressive deadly disease and that I was different from my fellows. I was powerless. Things are better for me now that I am moderating. I use the HAMS tools and blogs like this one to stay on track.

  38. This appears strange to me but here goes. When I started attending AA after intemperate drinking, I noticed positive changes right away. I noticed that things were getting better for me; relationships, coping skills, communication, etc. I spent quite a long time in AA and had many commitments. Toward the end of my membership I stared noticing the backlash of my activities. Most of my trouble appeared related to my own guru-ism and sponsee relationships, however now I feel the problems were more related to dependence on AA. Remember that when we talk about alcoholism we talk about dependence and abuse.
    Now that I have been moderately drinking just over four months I notice similar changes; relationships, coping skills, and communication all appear to have improved due to my being in a more relaxed state. Additionally I notice that I am more conscious of my demeanor and have a strong desire to be socially pleasant. While in AA I used my imaginary disease as an excuse to act inappropriately.
    I believe that any major lifestyle change can bring about a phenomenal appearance of improvement or betterment. I think this is a sort of hook that can set up those would be drinkers or evangelists for failure because it sets them up for dependence. I more clearly see the correlation between AA dependence, alcohol dependence, and any other type of potentially damaging behavior.

    • anon- wow…what a great post …When I see older members with those 18- 22- 25- 30 years, they do have much of these traits in common. Uptight, nervous, jumpy, not relaxed. Never mind the guru ism and the “I know everything” type of thinking. Not that I ever felt that way! LOL

      I remember at 5 years sober and 23 I thought I knew everything. There were many times in the later years I could see the failure of the AA program in myself and others so I usually shared non AA stuff with sponsee’s.

      However, looking back being gone for 21 months now, having too many sponsee’s who just took, I don’t mean all of them did, but it was not relationships based on equal footing like a true friendship would be. I got really sad about it yesterday again. The wasted time and energy. I still feel sad about the years that I believed what I did and imposed that belief on my family. Especially my sons. They are are happy I left AA and changed my beliefs and attitudes. So am I !!!!

      • Spend all your meeting time with your kids. What is it they say; if you would have drank you should go to a meeting instead. Well, I say; if you would have gone to a meeting you should spend the time with your kids instead. Kids are everything and the time you spend with them HUGE!

  39. I am almost to the 20 day ABS mark with tobacco. I notice that when I am completely detoxified the thought to smoke has almost completely dissipated. At that point I can smoke and really enjoy it. With abstinence days and moderation I can repeatedly experience that new user feeling many in AA chase to no avail because of dependence and abuse. As for alcohol, I am practicing sober consumption in additional to ABS days. Although the ABS interval is not as long as with tobacco, I achieve the same effect because of sober consumption. It is physically unlikely to develop damaging tolerance with sober consumption. Some may ask; why drink at ill if you are not getting drunk? Well, because my goal is to drink as a normal healthy drinker. I observed in AA that the members there would criticize those who stopped drinking when they started to feel it; this became my definition of normal healthy drinking.
    I was poking around on the internet the other day and found an interesting survey. The survey claimed that those asked at the end of their lives what they would do differently answered unanimously that they would practice moderation. I have noticed that since fine tuning my moderation habits that I have found unforeseen benefits. I am more relaxed and have a deeper respect for decorum and other people’s space. I articulate my thoughts more clearly when put on the spot. I no longer have random tension headaches like I had while abstinent. I am getting along better with family. I am not missing out on anything AA; I still go from time to time and talk to those in program, they are not aware that I am drinking. I go because my mind is open, open to your thoughts as well as mine.

  40. ANON- I am blown away by your ability to express this is such a clear way. What is this you said ” As for alcohol, I am practicing sober consumption in additional to ABS days.?

    Can you explain.

  41. Sober consumption is drinking without becoming intoxicated or impaired. Sober consumption is easily achieved by drinking a beer slowly or sipping a small quantity of hard alcohol over an extended period. I have not been drunk since I started moderating. ABS days are simply abstinence days when I do not drink at all.
    One benefit of my moderation that I failed to mention in my earlier post is that I am sleeping much better. My sleep is restful and full of dreams that I remember. Alcohol is wonderful when used healthfully and the benefits are great. For this reason I will be mindful to continue longer ABS periods so that I don’t fall into dependence or abuse.
    As for healthy drinks, I recommend; Armagnac, Eau de Vie, Wine, and beer. All these drinks are easy for me to drink in moderation. Armagnac and Eau de vie are both brandies that are best savored in the mouth one sip at a time. I also enjoy Blanton’s and Basil Hayden’s whisky. Beer and wine are rich and heavy so I do not have a desire to gulp. I avoid tasty mixed drinks that make over consumption or gulping too easy.

  42. I gotta say that I am skeptical of the whole moderation thing for several reasons.

    1 – Moderate drinking holds no appeal for me. My pattern was to down at least six beers just to start the ball rolling. Moderate drinking is a waste of good booze.
    2 – I quit drinking almost entirely in 1972 after a three day binge that led to DT’s. Over the next seven or eight years I drank very little, getting drunk perhaps twice a year. Then my consumption increased, and I found myself falling into the same drinking pattern.
    3 – I was heavy smoker for ten years. I quit 40 years ago, and it would never occur to me to try smoking moderately. I view both smoking and heavy alcohol consumption as addictions, and I treat them both the same. If I won’t have the odd cigarette, why would I have the odd drink?

    If some who drink alcoholically can successfully crank it down to moderation, more power to them, but I’m not willing to take the risk.

    • @lech

      I’m approaching a year ABS again after trying the moderation experiment. I too do not wish to go back again. It is way better living without that monkey on my back. Mike

    • Lech AA preached that once an alcoholic always an alcoholic.
      I say BS. They NEVER did any studies at all. It was one mans opinion. He was a hopeless drunk. About 1 % of those coming into AA are like BILL. The rest belong in Smart or doing or at least being taught moderation as an option, CBT skills, the Famous Sinclair Method, and other cool tools that AA has none of.

      Only you know what is right for you. A sponsor does not know and I do believe one should never drink a alcohol beverage until they are deprogrammed for some time. ANd only they know when that time is right if ever. Too much weight and pressure on “TIME” in the AA cult/program.

      There is a saying in AA ” the disease keeps progressing even though you stop drinking” are you F#####king kidding me. That is so ridiculous. It is so made up. It is such a lie. ANd its not true.

      However, I have see people begin to drink while they believe all the hogwash and that they are powerless and that they are losers.
      Those do not fair well and many kill themselves. They are AA Failures. AA people judge them and do not welcome them back as they should.
      I have also see people drink after many years and they do not fall down the rabbit hole of jails institutions and death.

    • he lech- are you aware there are moderation books and programs written recently that have some better ideas then the all or nothing approach?

      Dr Marc Kern’s book TAKE CONTROL NOW is fantastic. I know someone who is seeing him and is having amazing results.

      You ask why would I have an odd drink?

      TO enjoy the beverage.
      To relax.
      To feel a slite something and not want more.

      Are you aware so many people enjoy alcohol this way.
      I worked with a really famous music engineer who told me he drank like a crazy man in his youth and even took a few drugs, then he got married, had kids, became successful and now on his own drinks one-two drinks and doesn’t like anymore. He likes being in control now, he said. He likes just a little bit of alcohol. He doesn’t like getting drunk and so he doesn’t get drunk anymore. He told me its no big deal. I have been interviewing lots of people about this especially since leaving AA.

  43. I am really angry after reading All the comments. I am 7 months sober and am extremely open minded which has helped me pull my life back around from alcoholism and helped repair my families and my sons lives. I attend aa and do not completely hand my self over as I don’t feel ready yet. I go to SMART have crystal therapy and do some other groups. – tried and failed to control my drinking for years on a harm reduction programme. until I came across abstinence 7 month ago and cannot see how I can drink as I cannot stop when I start and am not a very nice person when drunk. The thing that has annoyed me is that I believe that each persons journey is different and this website will not listen to anyone else’s opinions. If something works for someone then good. People need to know about all the avenues they can take instead of people thinking their personal journeys are gospel. I do not agree nor disagree with anyone points but for people to think they have all the answers for everyone (AA included ) impossible.

    • Dont totally get what you are saying, but if abstinence works for you- great! Many people abstain from drugs and alcohol through SMART Meetings and/or literature and some abstain all by themselves without being part of any group. SMART and Rational Recovery have lots of info you can read without ever going to a meeting. Sounds like you are keeping busy trying many things. Looks like you are keeping your options open, and trying to learn from different ones.
      Sounds okay.

  44. Hi danielle, Yea but here you get to say this, in AA its their way or the highway….or honestly, their dirty looks, their condescending attitude, or how bout them telling you while they are rolling their eyes, that you are heading for trouble if you do it “YOUR” way.

    So that’s great that abstinence works for you right now. SO why not go to Smart Recovery Website and blog and chat there. We were all in AA for too long and we know what we are talking about. GO ahead get mad. Anger is a part of being human. But in AA those angry F#####kers will tell you you can not afford being angry….that its for normal people. That resentment will block you off form the “sunlight of the spirit” and you will drink again. GIve me a break.

    Yes we have discussion and healthy debate here, but if you love AA, go somewhere else. This is clearly an anti AA site….hence the name Leaving AA .com! :) http://www.orange-papers.org might be good for you. In the rooms is a pro AA site. The Fix is a pro AA blog.

    Good luck. But please don’t lay the AA trip on your children. PLease may I suggest to read “Addiction Proof Your Child” by Stanton Peele. I really hurt my kids with the AA mentality. They like me so much better since I left AA. I am so much saner. And way more relaxed!!!! Happy New Year.

    I was in AA for 36 years. I was a black belt stepper. Just saying … miss aa. Miss AA service. Ms AA bullshit whatever. I left . Im free. Just tread lightly with the super pro stepper talk or I will delete….delete.

    after all …it is my blog. There is a leader here.

  45. Yeah I am not totally sold on AA I do go and have a sponser but I do like SMART as well I guess I found this site because I like to keep my options open. I think the reason I am not sold on AA is because its there way or the highway. But the reason I am on the fence is because in the past when I’ve tried doing it on my own and with a harm reduction service I have ended up destroying me and everyone around me. Therefore I am scared of trusting my own judgement.

    • Daneille, AA and its members love to disempower you and make you believe you cant trust your own instincts. Just listen to a Clancy I tape.

      I think that part of AA is criminal. Welcome here! I was on the fence in 2009. By the summer of 2010 i knew I had to leave . I planned my departure. So not to go through AA withdrawals LOL!!!!!!!!
      It was a good plan. It worked.

    • danielle,

      If you like AA and its working for you, you should stay. However, if you feel fearful to leave; you have to ask yourself if thats healthy. I dont know if you have worked the steps. I never did but I attended on and off for 30 yrs. (more off). The best piece of advice I can give is; “take what you want and leave the rest”. No matter how uncomfortable they make you feel about that. If you choose not to have a sponsor or do the steps and not go meetings frequently: “DO JUST THAT”. Dont take a commitment if its inconvenient or you just dont want to. If you endure pressure for that, then ignore them. There will always be someone there to try and make you feel guilty for that. Let them do it then. Your in the process of recovery and trying to figure out whats right for you. Your suppose to have that freedom in AA. Isnt that what they claim. Guilt and fear run rampant in AA. You dont have to buy into it. Please take care of yourself and go where you want in your life when your ready.

      • Danielle,

        By the way, for the most part; I did take what I want and left the rest. However, I ended up being frustrated and unsure of myself for many years. If I had it to do over I would do just what I did, absent the guilt and the doubt.. Having that confidence would have been a great benefit. Sites like this were not available to me and may have made a difference. Abstinence or moderation: deep down we all know what right for us individually.

  46. To Abstain or Not to Abstain…Ain’t That the Question?

    Well, if I had listened to the people on this site I would have not almost just killed myself. A few of you posted that one ought not to try Moderation until being off of alcohol for at least a year. Did I listen? Now that would be quite unlike me. I read an outline of HAMS Harm Reduction and came up with a nice little drinking schedule that seemed to really be working UNTIL I broke my own parameters. I literally almost killed myself just before Christmas. That is what I do. That is why my sponsor hates me and wants me to be an example of “one who dies so that others may live.”

    Still, since she fired me suddenly, I have decided to just keep searching and trying to Find My Way… I think AA is a “must-be” for those for whom it is. They decide. AS for me, I MUST look into other alternatives. It is my choice and I choose to choose. We all have Free-Will and no one can take it from us without our consent. Powerless? Sorry, I just ain’t feelin it. I am not asking for sympathy or condemnation. Every time I drink; I decide to do it. Do or Die. The sh!ts on me.

    (Again, my question: If oldtimers REALLY feel that this is a disease why do they get so upset and condemning of the “relapse” who they teach has no control over this deadly disease? We know why; they know why…anyway…)

    What the F happened?

    My oldest son came over to visit with some comedy he wanted me to watch. I said, “Okay!” Then I was feeling like a nice beer would go good with the show, right? So, I asked him to go get me a beer. His already pie-like brown eyes got HUGE!

    “You should NOT be drinking, right, Mama?”

    I go, “No…it’s fine. I have been doing HAMS Harm Reduction. I can have 1 to 3 drinks of wine or beer, but no more than 9 drinks per week. I NEVER drink vodka except on Mondays (my meeting day with my ex sponsor) and even then I NEVER can have more than half a pint. So….I can have a beer today…”

    “Mama!”

    “It’s fine, Son!”

    “If my brother finds out that I got you something to drink he is goin to hate me after what he says you’ve been through…” my oldest son says. You see, he lives on his own. His brother still lives with me and has seen some “scary” scenes within the past 24 months prior to my joining AA.

    “I’m fine. Look…” I take out my empties from a bag I have stuffed under the kitchen cupboard. “I’ve already been having a beer or wine here and there. Nothing bad has happened. I have not binged. I have not blacked out or been hung-over…”

    “I don’t know Mama…” he says scratching his head. I know all I have to do his calm his worries and get my way.

    “I’m fine, Hon. Go get Mama a beer,” I say smiling confidently.

    Then he says, “Well, if I get you a beer, I’mma get myself some vodka,” what the hell did he say THAT for?!

    I said, “Well, today is not my vodka day…”

    “That’s cool. I’ll get your beer and a half pint for me,” he announces resolutely.

    “Well, screw that! Get a pint and we’ll split it…” (What a good mother I am, right? He is over 25 but I still need to be a better example. I wish I was. My other grown children do not drink at all, but this oldest one…he unfortunately inherited or has chosen to adopt some bad family habits.) Vodka is my drug of choice. I had no place even contemplating using it—even in moderation, I have busted my ass over some vodka and I damned well know it. But on I go…

    We split the pint. It was fine. We watched the shows and all would have been fine until I got the INSPIRATIONAL idea to go out and buy another pint.

    I am an azz hole.

    We drank that. He left and I think I just kept on drinking. I bought more and more. I took myself to some surreal place of moribund pre-death. I was not “drunk”…. I was not sober. I was just dying and continuing to sip vodka. It was horrible. One can only know what I am talking about IF one has been to this shadow place.

    From somewhere within me I heard a voice say, “Pour it out!”

    “Wha…”

    “Pour it out!”

    There was like an entire pint of poison left for me to consume. I have no hesitation in telling you that had I ingested it, I would be dead right now. I know this. I poured it out and spent the next 3 days trying to pull myself back from the edge of life and death. Again, this was no hangover…

    It was The Valley of the Shadow of Death.

    Tonight is the first time I have been able to somewhat function. The taste in my dry mouth has still not returned. My brain feels like it is a bit joggled and unattached within its shell. I have slight chest discomfort. But I feel 1000% better than I have been feeling. I think I am going to live through this one.

    I am going to eat and continue with my herbal teas and Motrin. There will be no further HAMS or Moderation for me at this time. I am going to go to a SMART Recovery meeting and see if I can get some actionable support in my decision build a program of abstinence in my life that works for me.

    I have a life that is worth saving and living…I intend to do my best to do that.

    My goal starting 2013 is to investigate as many other alternatives that strike me as potentially viable as I possibly can. I shall use my God-given intellectual capacity to make informed decisions for myself and trust that God in Good Wisdom, gave me this brain in order that I should use it. Educate myself. Empower myself. Be myself and live my life without reliance on external “suggestions”, keepers, controllers or gurus. If I did not have the power to that–well, I could not do it, now could I?

    Thank you again for this site. It is a Godsend. I have decided that my first article for my website will be on Karla Brada, raising money for her parent’s suit and making people aware of the potential dangers that await newcomers to AA meetings.

    Please feel free to share any national numbers or statistics on the number of murders, molestations, rapes and suicides wherein AA, NA or other 12 step programs may be contributing factors. I back every statement with facts in anticipation of attacks.

    • Ill be free- sorry it went this way for you. DO you drink water at least 8 oz after every drink? The young people who drink now tell me this is very important to do after each drink.

      Have you read Dr Marc Kerns book , TAKE CONTROL NOW. He is a moderation guy but even for someone who is going for abstinence. He deals with so many other underlying issues. I have a family member who was drinking heavy, especially when drinking the hard stuff. It was amazing to see the change.

      I personally never had a hard time stopping. I stopped at 18 by myself 2 weeks before I went to my first AA meeting. I wanted to never drink again. I was weird!!!!LOL I was fed up . DONE.

      I agree with you. Only you know what is right for you. I deal with alot of younger people from the blogs and my sons ages 22 and 18 who have not ben brainwashed by AA. They do not want AA or to be abstinent for life.

      I hope you keep us up to date on what you find. What program or books help you the most.

      In my opinion, if one is indoctrinated in AA , they should wait a year or two and be deprogrammed before taking even a sip of anything.
      This generation, I predict will bring Moderation into the mainstream .

    • illbefree,

      Maybe if you still feel the need to get intoxicated; dont drink at all. I know that feeling and the need to feel numb. Hangovers are no joke, they are very painful in many ways. I heard someone say once on the blogs: “I just didnt want to hurt myself anymore.” That one simple statement had a big influence on me. I thought; If I choose to drink without being fully aware that I dont ever want to hurt myself again, then its not the right time. Ive hurt myself more than enough in my life. I hope you feel better. Be kind to yourself. Dont hurt yourself! :-)

  47. Hank Hayes and Amy Lee Coy have abstinent based support books that are fantastic as well. FROM DEATH DO I PART by Amy Lee COY, she was a very heavy alcohol drinker. Great self care approach. But Smart has really great meetings and great daily online daily chat meetings.

    I was not able to read all of your post yet I will tonight. IN both Hank and amy’s book they talk about great supplements to help with bad hangover and they are both into foods that really help too.

  48. Thank you all so much. Yes, I do need to read–really READ the books that you have suggested instead of just skimming thru the outlines. I did not do HAMS properly.

    Yes, AntiDenial… I was ONLY drinking vodka on Monday nights which was the night that I had my regular meeting with my ex sponsor. I have not been to a meeting since the one I went to that Sunday when she fired me.

    I just need to grow the f up. Of course, I do not need to be drinking vodka right now. I am still in shock and trauma; reeling from the sudden emotional shock of one I thought a true friend and confidante suddenly rejecting me; my greatest fear (almost).

    After my ex sponsor fired me, I just wanted to rebel like a child and just drink and not die like she and AA predicted. I know it can be done. Others have done it and are doing it, but I do not know how to do that–YET. I am still in the “sick-phase” of my relationship with alcohol. I do not believe it has to be this way FOREVER as The Fellowship preaches, but it is the “sick-phase-of-alcohol” for me right now. I so, so WISH it wasn’t.

    I enjoy it…until I don’t.

    Yes, Massive, I have reado about the water drinking technique. It makes sense. If I ever try HAMS or Moderation again, I will definately employ that. You’re right. I think young people will certainly start to get a real handle on drinking in ways that do not kill us if they never have to be poisoned by AA-witchery.

    I like that Sue: “I just didnt want to hurt myself anymore.” I just have to make sure that that is a true statement coming from me. The underlying issues with childhood molestation, rape and suicide likely motivate some of my self-destructive behavior without my even being 100% aware of it at times. I need to just stay away from alcohol. AA or no AA, I am ill equipped to handle it right now.

    I will become more active with SMART and begin to read literature other than the AA stuff I have been reading over and over for almost two years. It’s got me all screwed up; and I was already screwy when those freaks got to me. LOL

    Thanks y’all!

    • It is a good idea to let your body heal from all of the alcohol. It does hurt the liver as I am sure you are well aware of. Do you take
      vitamins? Some people feel better as well trying to exercise more, eating better and other holistic ways to take care of yourself after stopping drinking.

      You mentioned suicide, do you mean suicide attempts or other experiences with it in the past?

  49. Yes, AntiDenial…getting with a more healthy, holistic diet and exercise program will only help. I am always admonished by friends and family to take better care of myself. I am an avid walker, though I have not felt up to it lately and the weather has changed…but I’ll get back to it. I feel so much better when I am active physically. I have never been a big eater but when I do I love fresh veggies, some fruit, nuts. Every now & again I might indulge in a lil junk with a friend of my kids… Pizza is my weakness. :-) And I will NEVER lay of my Dear Chocolate! SMILE

    I grew up in a home where my father was physically violent towards my mother on a regular basis. She is the sensitive artist type and only wanted to be loved. She attempted suicide a few times. I know now the poor thing was just crying for REAL HELP that never came. I have vivid memories from being a toddler of her rocking back and forth on the floor crying and saying, “Oh we’re gonna die… We’re gonna die… We’re gonna die…” as her tear drops fell atop my head.

    I felt/feel so sorry for my poor mother. I have childhood memories of her being carried out on stretchers. I remember her being gone and then returning home from (mental ward) and acting very strange and spacey. She was made to suffer so. I have always just wanted to help her, love her and make it better for her. I was just a kid though. What could I do?

    Later in life, my alcohol abusing boyfriend broke into my house and attacked me when I was 17. I had tried to help him because he had suffered awful abuse as a child; scars all up and down his back from abuse at the hands of his father when he was a little kid. I tried to love him, but what could I do?

    Hurt people, hurt people.

    I attempted suicide after that at the age of 17.

    A year later, I was pregnant.

    I vowed to never take my child, then children thru what I went thru with my mother. So, I stopped with the suicidal tendencies. I just pushed myself to cope with life the best way that I could. I married my best friend who turned out to be an awful, angry young man. He took his frustration out on our babies and me. He was addicted to perverted sex. As his wife I felt I was supposed to submit, but as a survivor of childhood molestation and rape as a teenager, how could I submit to sexual torture?
    I began drinking at night in preparation for bed so that I could just let him do whatever he wanted to me…and be happy. Of course that never made him happy either. His emotional and sexual abuse just got worse and worse until I had to divorce him and save my children and I from a hellish life.

    I enjoyed being a divorced woman, going to school and discovering PARTYING with hot, wealthy men. Oh I had a GREAT time! But…

    “Life is just a party and parties weren’t meant to last!” –1999

    My drinking did not get bad — really bad until just a few years ago. I honestly believed that the people in AA were sincere and that they could help me. I tried to do what they told me to do…but something in me KNEW that they were full of it. They answered my questions with non sequiturs, slogans and pre-programmed jargon. These people, though they covered themselves in that outer-shell of faux “niceness” really gave me the creeps sometimes. And I saw how mean they could be to members who were hurting in the beginning. My sponsor told me it was because alcoholics could not be allowed to wallow in self-pity. They had to be shocked or knocked out of it. It just seemed mean-spirited and like bullying to me. They said a LOT of stupid sh!t. They began to look like Emptied-Out-Cabbage-Heads to me.

    I never appreciated being treated as if I was mentally retarded. That was my proof that they were the ones who were intellectually compromised.

    It is unfortunate that some people think that an individual is stupid, unintelligent simply because she struggles with alcohol. I am not dumb. I can see through bullspit (even my own) from a mile away. Even drinking does not dull my perception often as much as I wish it would.

    I have often wished that I could just be dim witted and sheep-like as most human beings strike me as being; to just be able to follow along like blind lemmings to the sea. I envy that blissful ignorance sometimes. One cannot wish herself into bliss though. Drinking doesn’t do it. A pill won’t grant it. And jumping into AA and trying REAL HARD to just Stop Thinking and bow down to The God of Alcohol will not cut it either.

    I am here for a Purpose.

    My Purpose just does not include Mindlessness, Powerlessness & Ignorance.

    SIGH…

    So, tired sometimes….

    • illbefree- this is a very hard and intense story you have been through. You have a real ability to write and tell your story so well. Its so painful. Im so sorry you went through so much.

      I had a lot of violence in my home when I was a teen. It was not fun. I went through years of really good therapy with a therapist that specialized in childhood abuse. Those years I went to a minimal of AA meetings. When my kids were little I went to meetings just once a month for years at members homes. So I had no idea how AA was declining those years. I read so many non AA books that helped me heal.

      Its sounds like you are figuring out what you need to do. I understand that you are choosing abstinence now. Be kind to yourself. Love your kids. And don’t listen to the AA shit that might still be roaming around in your head. Thats why deprogramming is so important. I deprogrammed while I went the last 10 months. Then I realized how deep the brainwashing is. This past summer I went thru some stuff and I could see there was still some AA crap still in there.

      It’s gone now, but in April it will be 2 years that I left. However, I created a radio show to express myself and get IT OUT!!!. I created 2 blogs. I was so mad. I was so …..angry I had stayed so long.

      But Im free now. But I am very involved in the anti AA activism as part of my healing from the damage the cult of AA did to me and my children.

      I also feel AA is now going after youth and teens and college students because the adult population knows about AA and its not being fooled anymore. We all really need to do our part to Stop this. Sick pedophiles are going to AA to get their free piece of …not even a cup of coffee, not even a dinner date. And these date rapes never get reported. They are laughing at AA women.

      Its a disgrace. Anyway…..you take care and be well.

      • You are a Godsend Massive!

        The work you are doing is making a very significant difference. Being able to communicate with you all has helped me transition from my daily communication with my sadistic ex sponsor. At first I did not know how I was going to possibly get on without her. She and Granny got me good! I even considered doing as she instructed and getting another sponsor, but I knew better. Fool me once…

        Sometimes things that look as if they are meant to hurt us are actually blessings in disguise meant to help us. It is all just a matter of perspective.

        Your blog, the education, information and support I have gotten here has been a real help and validation of what I have experienced. Without all of you here I would be left with doubts about my ability to think and a bunch of AA BS floating around my psyche. You have assisted me from going further into the pain that AA and my sponsors willingly and knowingly set me up for. I once thought they were angels; now I know that they are quite the opposite. You just do not do to a vulnerable person what they did to me unless you are either consciously or unconsciously wicked. They are demons or they are zombies; I’ll have nothing to do with either. Thank you!

        Sometimes I still can hear their dung-crap BB-BS preaching to me from the corner of my mind, but at least I can recognize it for what it is—thanks in large part to you all.

        I have been a writer since I first could string words together; which was at a very young age. Reading and writing were often my only escape from a harsh reality. As such, I do believe that The Power of the Pen is very real.

        AA should teach its members to respect other human beings. They have disrespected and harmed the wrong people in us on blogs like these all over the country Massive. You are a writer and a powerful activist. I am too. Prior to AA my motivation was to help survivors of childhood molestation and rape; I even have a book I started working on. (My sponsor “suggested” that I stop working on my book and just study program materials because she said I was “not ready”…I needed to STOP THINK says she. IDIOCY!)

        Now I realize that the substance abuse component is HUGE here. Many people who have been molested and/or raped end up dealing with substance abuse issues. If these people end up going to AA as did, well, it is the 100% WRONG place for a survivor to be.

        AA is primarily a place for abusers, misusers, perpetrators and the like. It is geared toward helping people who have done horrible things (to usually women and children) to make amends for their sins.

        And the fact that it puts this population in direct contact with mandated offenders is even more egregious. I just never imagined. I honestly believe that my getting an in depth perspective into AA was Divine Intervention.

        I needed to know what I know now.

        I am a writer and a counselor…a woman of letters & author of books. This is POWERFUL. There is not now, nor will there be anything “powerless” about me.

        I CHOOSE to be an integral component of bringing The Real AA and what it does to women, teens and children to light. I am as dedicated to this now as my sponsor–excuse me, ex sponsor is to making sure that AA goes on long after she is gone.

        I would like her and the other old timers to live long enough to see The REAL AA brought into the Light and made Accountable for its practices, abuses, bullying tactics, lies, molestation, exploitation, rapes and murders.

        I want the public to be made aware of what AA really is. They think it is just a nice, benign little support group with professional facilitators or something. They have no idea it is more like One Flew Over the Damned CooCoo’s Nest… but they will.

        My first project is helping with the fundraising for the Karla Brada case.

        After that I will focus on HOW we will make sure that every church-goer in America realizes that they are putting their churches in jeopardy due to the potential for AA meetings shootings and predators coming to their church.

        If American parishioners realized that the potential for shootings are being harbored in their church homes…oh…oh…oh….now that will bring on Holy Hell–especially with what is going on in our country today. Yo

        You see?

        Thanks Massive

        • illbefree- thank you soooo much! When I read posts like this it makes up for all the trolls and all the shit and every bit of crap I endured while being a GSR the last 2 years I spent in AA.

          I read your post outloud to my husband again and he made alot of WOW’s as I read! :)

          Im headed out by Ill BB later to write more. What a great F######king post.

          @ AA is primarily a place for abusers, misusers, perpetrators and the like. It is geared toward helping people who have done horrible things (to usually women and children) to make amends for their sins.

          Yup ! Exactly! I am with you 100%. They are hiding in the shadows in rooms where people who come innocently both through the courts, High school health teachers and Stupid movies like FLight and have no idea who they are holding hands with.

          I hope we get to talk in the new year. makeaasafer@gmail.com

        • Ah Ha! You are a writer! It was evident in your writing skills. This movement could use an excellent, gifted writers like yourself. I am glad this site has helped you through such a difficult time.

          There is a new website http://www.theaachurch.com that also talks about what you pointed out in your comment about the dangers the churches are bringing upon themselves by renting space to AA and NA and SA.

          Another point they really focus on is the fact that AA is a pagan religion telling people to pick any Higher Power of your choosing. AA is religious, but they are NOT a Christian religion. Many pastors have no idea that AA is a pagan religion or that criminals are mandated to AA. Considering the churches have had there own problems with sex abuse, they have no business allowing mandated level 3rd level sex offenders to be under their roof WITHOUT supervision and knowledge. Many churches have childcare and schools. Some also rent to Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts while renting out space to sexaholics anonymous et al.

  50. Hello, everyone. Wow. I am so happy I found this page tonight. I left AA last April after 5-1/2 years of a miserable existence where I lost all my real friends, and the ones I made who weren’t in the program thought I had a real stick up my ass. Throughout the years I went through different kinds of therapy that helped me to realize the underlying reasons why I felt the need to drown my feelings in alcohol to begin with. Does AA do that? NO. They tell you you’re diseased and powerless, but it’s still your fault because you’re a selfish, self-centered worm not worthy of a good life because of all the stuff you have to make up for. GOD. I hate those people! I have been drinking socially since I left, and today went to a blues bbq place with some friends and had two beers. Guess what. The whole time I was sitting there, a guy I had met a few times in AA meetings was glaring down the back of my neck, standing against the wall, looking all hateful and giving me dirty looks! These are sick f*cking people, and I just wish I didn’t have to see any of them out on the streets anymore. Thanks for letting me vent here. :)

    Lori

  51. HI Lori . Welcome Welcome!!!! you said “They tell you you’re diseased and powerless, but it’s still your fault because you’re a selfish, self-centered worm not worthy of a good life because of all the stuff you have to make up for.”

    So well put. I had to read this to my husband. He was blown away. He is still de programming. He hasn’t been to a meeting in 7 months and only attended 3 in the previous year. I left in May 2011. after 36 friggen years….I loved loved it.

    I talked to a guy who left AA who lived in WEHO which is filled with steppers. He told me countless stories like this.

    OMG The guy starring you down giving you those dirty looks. They are truly so F#####ked up.

    Again, glad you found us. http://www.expaa.org is another ex stepper site.

  52. I went to a party last night and sipped one half glass of red wine and instantly got a headache. It’s been almost 24 hours since consumption and it’s still there. I just Googled red wine headache and found this is a common condition in some people. I will never as long as I live drink red wine again; I am not powerless, compulsive, or diseased. One to three fingers of Marie Duffau Armagnac and/ or European Eau De Vie makes me feel better in the morning compared to prolonged non consumption. My objectives as a moderate drinker are; reduced anxiety and relaxation, improved sleep, connoisseurship, and improved health.
    I am finding moderate planned tobacco consumption less enjoyable. I am thinking that I may create a minimum interval for tobacco consumption without planned usage. Perhaps vague longer intervals of use will be as enjoyable as when I started Tobacco moderation. If tobacco moderation continues to feel unhealthy to me I will discard it. So far alcohol has provided much higher benefit than costs, even with unsuccessful experimentations such as that with red wine.

  53. hi anon= sorry to hear about the reaction to red wine for you, but it seems you have beverages that you like with no ill effect. Thanks for the continue postings about your positive experience. :) Happy New Year.

    My son switched to e cigs. The Vapor Spot in los Angeles has lots of no cigarette choices that many are finding to be helpful.

  54. I am able to stop smoking cold turkey for the detox period which is just over twenty days. I have done this over a dozen times so it is easy; once the detox period is over the compulsive desire to smoke is gone. E-cigarettes would delay my detox because they contain nicotine.
    Happy New Year and thanks for the support!

  55. The e cigs they sell at the vapor spot have 0 – light- med – strong – nicotine. Sounds like you are fine without them. But I thought I would post this anyway in case someone here was having trouble with quitting real cigs. Happy New Year!!!

  56. General observation:
    I have noticed that when I stop smoking for an extended abstinence period, that the cravings I have are simply brief thoughts and feelings similar to those felt in an optimal tobacco use induced state. The cravings could be described as romantic thoughts of pleasurable using. In the past I have called these thoughts and feelings my addiction. For me they have more power when unidentified or examined. To simply label them addiction lends power and confusion to my mental process. I do not know how to treat addiction but do know how to react to thoughts and feelings.
    With alcohol moderation the thought is much more easily disregarded, probably because I don’t drink to intoxication. With tobacco the chemical action is much more subtle than with alcohol and frequent use is more socially accepted. Therefore it is much easier to develop tolerance.
    At a 20+ day tobacco abstinence interval I have noticed that the thoughts are far less intense and not backed with the feelings similar to flashbacks of an optimal intoxicated state. At this point I have a choice whether or not to use that is not based on the flashback or romantic use feeling. These are the only differences I see between physical and mental addiction; both are centered in the brain but the initial stronger desire typically called physical addiction substantially dissipates after a complete detoxification. This brings me to my experience regarding levels of wanting to and deciding to use a potentially dangerous substance. Using abusively or dependently after detox in my case would be a conscious choice based on some perceived benefit and not a compulsion to use. I clearly remember deciding to abuse alcohol in the past because of feelings of hopelessness and futility, today I am deciding to use without damage. I should not neglect to mention that the levels of manageability in a moderation program could change should I drink to impairment because of mental incapacitation or damage.

    • Anon- great observance around this. Have you considered contacting a University nearby to see who is doing research around this and adding your study of yourself to the mix? I mean around both smoking and drinking successfully in moderation.

      • Your blog is the university of experience, life, and caring; unadulterated by editors and scholars who use formula and correctness to perpetrate their special interest.

  57. Realizing that dangerous belief systems in AA can cause a negative reaction gave me an idea. In my above posts I have tried to be objective about moderation and my predictable reactions to it. I am formulating new beliefs with my objective being healthy outcome while moderating. Here is a belief that I have began to embrace; cravings to drink or smoke before my predetermined abstinence period is over can be perceived as good feelings. A craving or mild withdrawal symptom can be seen as a romantic idea or flashback to a pleasant using experience that passes quickly. When I look at abstinence days in this way they are enjoyable. Keep in mind that I am not drinking to intoxication and that I am smoking at 20 day intervals. Abstinence days and sober consumption are paramount to my moderation program.
    January 17th is five months of successful moderate drinking and over a year and five months of successful tobacco moderation since leaving AA.
    Keep not coming back!
    Thanks to your help I am learning to drink and use tobacco in a sustainable health concious ways!

  58. After 22 years abstinent in AA I started drinking again in moderation about 3 months ago. I have not once gotten drink or even came close. Two or three drinks is enough and that is only a few days a week. I have matured out of the crazy drinking I did as a kid. I was basically forced into AA when I was 25 and liked not drinking. I did whatever was asked of me and have no regrets. Stopping drinking changed the course of my life for the better but I was never really an alcoholic. As far as I knew at the time it was the only option I had. It never occurred to me to moderate. The longer I stayed in AA the less sense it made to me but it was all I knew. It finally got to the point where I realized that this was not how I wanted to live my life. After that almost everything in AA seemed complete nonsense other than the fellowship. The fellowship of about 5 or 6 guys is the only that kept me going. Now I am on the outs with all the AAs I once counted as friends but I am having a great time being a normal human being. The freedom from all the constant introspection and self flagellation has been the biggest gift. This blog is cool and I was happy to see there are others like me who are doing just fine. It’s tough un-brainwash.

      • Enjoying a nice drink (gasp!) is fun! I’ve been drunk once I guess. But that’s OK, because I’m not a minor. I got to choose to take a couple of hours for myself and just relax. I stayed home and enjoyed a movie and did not go out and drive like an idiot asking for trouble, or worse actually being forced to go to AA.

        Most of the time I don’t even want more than one. Moderation is the opposite of powerlessness, blame and infantile rejection of full responsibility for choices.

    • JPW- Im sorry I missed this post.

      SO glad you found us and that you too are moderating easily and effortlessly. Anon has been documenting what he is doing, but its nice to hear even another success story with leaving AA and moderation being easy.

  59. So I have a couple of questions: what’s a good program to check out if you:
    A. have been abstinent from your drug of choice (pills) and have no problem drinking in moderation
    B. Did a lot of damage to ppl during your period of abusing prescription pills (stealing, lying, etc.)
    C. Cannot go to one of the anonymous fellowships because you don’t believe in the dogma, and you are not, in their eyes, abstinent from all drugs if you enjoy a beer or glass of wine now and then…

    I definitely have some work to do on myself and some apologies to make, but I don’t think the 12 step approach is right for me – I don’t want to sit in those meetings and listen to them tell me I’m using when I believe in my heart and soul I’m not. At the same time, I need some help cleaning up the damage I did, so I need a “sort of” spiritual program to get right with my past. Any suggestions?

    I love this site and thank you all so much for your support and great advice!
    Katy

    • I like HAMS and MM, both moderation programs.
      Educate yourself, there is no magical cure or answer, everyone is individual.
      Read the whole thread, ask questions, and then decide what YOU are capable of doing for yourself.

      • Thanks Massive. Your replies are always kind and compassionate and friendly. Lord knows ex- steppers can use a little of that!

        Definitely not looking for a magical cure, and I have read the entire site. Asking questions is the stage I’m in now. Thanks to those of you with kind replies!
        Kate

    • In my case finding a good therapist who was willing to work with me on moderation was invaluable. It just helps to have a person to be honest with that is not going to judge me for attempting this. Most won’t do this. They subscribe to AA voodoo and won’t hear of anything but abstinence.

      • jpw- yes so true. We need to make a pamphlet that we send out to therapists and Dr and lawyers and Indian chiefs about other options and that AA is not working and is dangerous.

        ANYONE wanna help me in a few weeks. Im editing my footage and shooting my lat 6 interviews for my film. I did pitch my idea to the head of SUNDANCE FILM Festival last night . That was fun!!!!!

  60. Today is a good day to check into ye ole Moderation forum for an update. Moderate drinking after 35 years exposure and 15 years abstinence in AA? No problem what so ever. No signs of disease, compulsion, and no aspiration for self inflicted incarceration in the AA concentration camp, Stalag 12.
    I have alcohol in the house and little desire to drink it. Occasionally it’s fun to have a drink and even get a bit tipsy. It’s not fun to drink every day or feel tired after even the slightest excess.
    I guess my point is this; drinking and tobacco are enjoyable unless they cause an ill feeling. I have no desire to use either through that point.

  61. I went out to eat the other day with an old-timer friend with deep roots in AA. Three of the five members at the table admitted to using either weed, hallucinogens and or prescription drugs to ease anger. All take cakes in AA; all are well adjusted, successful, and wealthy.

    • anon- Interesting. Why dont they just have a glass of wine. Or like you are doing. Why is it okay with them to do one but not the other. Im glad they are and Im glad you are here to speak the truth but AA is such a F**King …they are just such hypocrites. Yea thats the word.

      Its not a real place. Its filled with illusions.

      Thank you so much for telling us this. my hubbie loves your posts:)

      • I am glad to know you both, and even gladder you both escaped AA in time to be with your children. I missed my daughter’s school years because of AA meetings. If I could go back I would have a meeting with my child every day instead of going to an AA meeting (nearly every day). I would spend the time teaching her interesting facts that I have learned. I would expose her to art, science, cooking, camping, archery, lawn bowling, every thing I could fathom.

        • I’m glad you escaped too! Don’t be so hard on yourself! I once almost lost my job because I was late. I was “accepting some responsibility” returning a meeting room key to someone that I had to wait around for and to a meeting that no one goes to. I was shouted into it the night before. Yeah, being “responsible” almost cost me my job! I had to face reality in the face. And it felt surprisingly good.

          I just knew then that I’d finally “hit bottom” and quit. And it’s been all up hill ever since. Should have thrown that stupid key in the trash. That’s my only regret.

    • The first question that came to my mind was; whats the reason for taking a cake in AA? If they gave up the other substances (hallucinogens, weed) would they take separate cakes.? Maybe the reasoning behind it is; they take a cake for the substance they are not capable of moderating? I thought taking a cake meant you did not use any mind altering substances. Just a curious question

      • I have lots of questions about the reasoning for what people do in AA. I’ve thought deep and hard about most of it. Don’t even ask. Most of it makes no sense what so ever is the only answer to any question you could have about it.

        If they are taking some sort of cake for something, it is clearly some form of self(ish) celebration and I doubt there is no real utility for this embarrasing behavior.

        • I always thought it was selfish and ego driven to keep track of sober time, it’s clearly against the written principals of AA. Strangely the group of old timers I was recently with who all take pills and smoke weed claimed to have double digit sobriety. One of them had lots of important stuff to say, his unyielding philosophy lecture threw me into a coma. I became tired and short of breath, my gaze turned to a stare and my stomach became a bit upset. I am sure that is what someone means when they say “you make me sick”.

          • hey anon, I think I knew this creep…oh that’s right…there’s so many of them …Especially at The Pacific Group or in Hollywood.

          • Yeah, I know him too. Literally to wonder if there is anti-nausea around from simply coming into contact with such a person is a very strong indication that they should best be avoided.

            Medals and accolades for not drinking alcohol. There’s no words for that.

        • Massive,

          Thanks for the response and i think you might be right. He said;
          ” Three of the five members at the table admitted to using either weed, hallucinogens and or prescription drugs to ease anger. All take cakes in AA; all are well adjusted, successful, and wealthy.”

          Now, they use (seem to moderate) substance that I would not even consider; yet they still feel a need for a pat on the back for not using alcohol. Is it ego or brainwashed and fearful to of run your own life and leave AA. After all they are successful and wealthy. Maybe they like the fellowship. What ever works in your life. To each his own.

          When I posed the questions to Anon; I was truly curious.

          • sue- sure thing. :) honestly, I dont know how they stomach listening to Chapter 5 …it became impossible for me to sit thru it the last few months. Its such crap. Yet some guys just like hanging with the “dudes” the Bros. The women are different. They are icy. They can be so cold, so condescending.

            Whatever….its all about the ego. Its bullshit. All of it.

  62. Pingback: Abstinence vs Moderation Are AA Members Lying, smoking weed, etc… and even Drinking and Still Taking Cakes? | Leaving AA

  63. I spent the day with a friend yesterday who is deprogramming from AA. We had a great conversation in which he asked me to share my experience. My experience is this; it took me a year of blogging with others who had departed AA to eliminate the brainwashing and become comfortable with my own thoughts. He told me that he wasn’t considering drinking at this time because he was still quite confused from the AA experience. I think it’s very good that he is cautious about his situation and willing to explore open-mindedness. I also think it is good that he is remaining abstinent while he does this chore. Adopting the AA philosophy took years so it stands to reason that repairing the damage could also take considerable time.
    I did not drink yesterday however I may have a drink this evening after all of my obligations and family responsibilities are complete.

  64. anon- GLad to hear your friend has you to talk with. I was thinking today of writing a book called Deprogramming from The of 12 step cult and its culture. WHat would a book like that read like. There have been incredible posts written here , and on stinking thinkin etc. One I found today and brought the link here.

    Maybe we can all list our favorite books and /or blogs.

    * orange papers was first
    *Stinkin thinkin was next. Blogging was as important as reading others posts.
    * Seeing the stupidity of AA members behavior in the Westside District Meetings area 05 in Los Angeles, help me see them for the fools they are.
    Stinkin thinkin community pages were huge for communicating at a more private level. They came and went but I was there for it.
    * Gunthars radio show. From that I created mine.
    * Creating my stop13stepinaa blog. WOW those early stories and private emails I got were eye opening and so bad.
    * Stanton Peele’s Addiction Proof Your CHild. MUST read for parents.

    Was there a book or blog that helped you?

    • ST helped me the most because the participants gave me feedback. OP was troll dominated. LAA is best for me now, the only thing that could make it better would be more genuine AA’s posting who question the AA program. I would not have read a book.

  65. Rebecca Fransway (I think thats her name) wrote AA Horror Stories. That was what initially gave me the wake up. i don’t think she is on the scene so much anymore. But historically it was an important piece of work.

  66. One of the best things about stinkin-thinkin was the humour. It was very interactive and could be outright hilarious at times. I think it was Ilse’s talent as a writer that really set the tone. She really is very good. But most of all I miss SoberPJ. He taught me a lot and made me LMFAO. Wherever you are in the world man I wish you the best.

      • Hey! Stick around! I am finding it harder to deprogram than I thought it would be. I am finding it helpful to blog again. Maybe thats just the way it is. I have to vent. Doesn’t mean much but helps me. I repeat… sky daddy is an asshole.

    • Steve,

      Stinkin thinkin helped me in many ways. It was interactive with a lot of heart to heart discussions and very supportive. Neither one; Ilse or Mark, had ever been to AA but they sure seem to understand.
      Im sorry they had to cut it off so abruptly and Im sure they had their reasons. I guess I was being selfish and still at a point where I needed what the blog had to offer. We all have to accept things and move on. It was difficult for me at the time; because I was still searching for that reassurance we all need when we have been exposed to AA for any length of time. Unless you accept it.

      Hey, I agree; SoberPj was the best. She/He knew how to make lemonade out of lemons. I too LMAO.

        • Nope. I do not believe so. Ilse and Mark just started up a blog and it really took off. But they took a very intelligent and considered look at the whole subject. The essential reading there really is “essential reading.”
          I may be wrong. They may have popped into a few meetings but I do not believe that they were ever steppers. I miss it a lot now.

          • yuk and steve. I think Steve is right. I know Ilse for sure was not and even Mark was not but I think Mark went into a few meetings with a friend once in a blue.
            I miss http://www.stinkin-thinkin.cim too. WHat a great blog. I was still a stepper when I first arrived. Drinking 1/2 the koolaid. Do you remember that video that a blogger posted where he was shooting his BB with a gun and he video taped it and posted it on youtube? I was laughing so hard.

            I met Ryan on that site. Hopefully when Ilse finishes her book which is so important to what we are all doing she will bring it back. I Hope!

  67. I wonder why overeater’s anonymous which is obviously a moderation program hasn’t spurred other twelve step moderation groups for drinking, gambling, sex, and other similar delicious human activities.

  68. Hello everyone. Remember me? I posted a while back though I haven’t in a while but I still read this often. I am making a wonderful pasta dinner this evening and will be complimenting the meal with a glass of wine or two. I love that since I stopped listening to steppers I am easily able to drink one or two glasses of wine or other alcoholic beverage and then stop. Totally normal. I never have more than 2 normal sized drinks and I only maybe 3 times a week. I have a great life.

    • Wow Snow!

      THAT ROCKS! Good for you. Now that truly does sound like a great life indeed. You can eat, drink in your own moderation and enjoy life as an autonomous adult. I LOVE it.

      People who moderate successfully are my (s) heroes…I know that sounds strange…but y’all are.

      Thanks for sharing that.

      And that is not to take ANYTHING away from successful abstainers at all. I really admire abstainers too…

      Adults being and living grown-up lives…THAT’s HOTT! :-D

      It’s just the pro-Steppin on people, people that I can’t abide.

        • Thanks so much Snow!

          I’m so glad you guys put up with me. Writing/journaling has always been healing for me…

          Really, connecting with you all here, blogging and having intelligent people willing to communicate back with me has been my saving grace. For almost 2 years I was primarily communicating with my sponsor and grand sponsor and fulfilling an ongoing assignment to call at least 3 people from the Fellowship per day and color in my coloring book every time I got the urge to THINK or DRINK. (Yes, color in my coloring book! )

          Can you IMAGINE?!

          It is so encouraging to hear that you are able to live as an adult, have a lil wine with dinner and it not be a catastrophic event.

          Please keep sharing your success. Their BS still lingers in my brain, though it is lessening… Reports like yours really help to hear…

  69. Anon, I have wondered about OA myself. It has to be a moderation program, not abstinence because if you don’t eat, you die. Over eating, like over drinking, is not a disease, it is a behavior. Moderation is the way to go. Although, I heard one OA member proudly state that they have been abstinent for 3 months. I really wondered how that was possible but I did not ask.

  70. Overeaters anonymous?
    You are having a laugh.
    Today I have decided that I am powerless over oxygen and my life is unmanageable.
    Maybe if I am rigorously honest enough I can achieve lifetime abstinence.
    Goodbye cruel world.

  71. I wonder if this 12 step society has any dating problems.
    This one to me is like air and food. I am not a priest; I am not Jesus; why should I be celibate? Is physical contact with another person a slip? Is looking at someone wantonly a slip? I’ll pass on this program; laws, embarrassment, and my wife will keep me in line.
    Again, they claim TOTAL SEXUAL ABSTINENCE is the answer. I would think moderation help would be more appropriate for instinctual bodily function. But then again, who knows what dangers lurk in the parking lot of an SA meeting?

    Essay; what is a Sexaholic and what is Sexual Sobriety?
    http://www.sa.org/sexaholic.php

  72. Yeehaa!
    Sexual sobriety ???? WTF does that mean?
    I remember in the cult it often felt like you can leave here and never drink again but also you will never get laid again, now write me another fourth.
    Bleu be bleu.

  73. Interesting to read recently about a couple of celebs going down the moderation route. Bruce Willis is having a couple of wines with meals after 25 years total abstinence and Kelsey Grammar overcame a huge cocaine habit but still drinks with no known problems. Maybe there is hope for Hollywood after all.

    • Also Steve… As a part of my deprogramming process I started putting together videos that I discovered on YouTube and found helpful. I put them on my site because I wanted to share with others intending to deprogram.

      You may like one or some of them?
      http://illbefree1.wix.com/illbefree#!aa-deprogramming-videos/c2271

      There is a guided meditation that is set to play automatically on the site, but you can cut that off if you like and listen to any of the others. And if you have found any others that are helpful for people working to cleanse their minds of AA rhetoric, dogma and crap…please share. I will add them to the site…

      *** This is a General Question to whomever wants to answer: Why do people who LOVE AA continue to visit a site called “Leaving AA” and comment?

      Seriously, what is the ill?

      Wouldn’t it be better to be calling to “help” someone in The Fellowship…or calling one’s sponsor…or going to a meeting…or reading the 12 and 12… so many things that AA’s advise one to do toward enhancing one’s “sobriety”…

      I am sure going to anti-AA sites are just NOT topping the list of “suggested & approved” activities…

      I’m just asking…

      It’s not like their comments do anything but remind of of the people we choose to get away from… That …that…tone…that blindness and brainwashed ignorance to a THING…a thing that cares not for its members even…

      People can and will do as they please…it just AMAZES me…That’s all.

      PEACE

  74. The reall reason sites that this exist is that in the US in particualar anyone with a drink problem is told to “go to AA”. The organisation was never intended as a catch all for people with a drink problem but for people who found they could not control or moderate their drinking without a spiritual solution.

    The evangelical nonsense spouted at most meetings is harms the fellowship for people who are alcoholics of the hopeless variety who created the organisation in the first place

    • ANdrew- exactly. The problem is that AA went after teens as early as the 1960′s with speakers going into Catholic Schools to pitch their Bullshit evangelical crap.

      Then in the 70′s they made movies about AA… Sarah T Im a teenage alcoholic. Then they made TV show characters join AA.

      About 1 % of those who attend are real alcoholics. I bet 60 % of all could drink again normally if taught moderation and harm reduction techniques. http://www.hamsnetwork.org http://www.moderation.org

    • Here…here…Anon!

      My sponsor once proudly reported to me that some lady had just died at 49…but she DIED SOBER and had been sober for the last 5 years of her life.

      I guess I was supposed to say OOOH and AHHH…

      I said, “Screw that… If I’m gonna die soon, I may as well have a fluckin drink for shyt’s sake!”

      She just clicked her teeth and shock her big ol head.

      I didn’t have the guts to ask her if she’d heard about Bill Wilson begging for a drink on his death bed…

      Poor bastard!

      Little Known Facts About Bill W.
      http://www.alternatives-for-alcoholism.com/bill-wilson.html

      I’m not saying folks ought to just keep on drinking. I think every adult must choose his or her own Path… But I know if a friggin asteroid was about to crash into the earth and destroy us all…you certainly will NOT find me in any AA meeting…

      I’d much rather have a drink in hand than be drinking the Kool-Aid and reading the Big Book of BS by Bill…just like his ass wanted.

      Ya feel me?

      • I detoxed from AA for 2 years before I took my first drink which evoked the feeling of a great weight lifted from my back. Unreasonable demands bring about stress and discomfort. That’s not serenity folks, that is bondage of self by self.
        I used to get terrible headaches that lasted 3 days at least two times a month. Not any more, tension gone.

  75. Gosh darn it, I forgot to celebrate 6 months of successful moderate drinking since leaving AA. Here it is; I have six months.
    -The drawbacks of drinking are easily controlled by moderating with abstinence days.
    -The benefits of drinking moderately far outweigh the drawbacks.
    *The only drawback I have experienced is dullness related to overconsumption or not enough abstinence days between drinks.
    *The benefits are as follows:
    My headaches are gone.
    I am more relaxed all the time.
    I am less reactionary.
    I am more objective about my behavior, decorum, and interaction with others.
    Cooking with alcohol is delicious.
    As a responsible adult so there is no reason I can’t enjoy drinking.
    I love shopping and trying new drinks that I have researched.
    The stress of self forced abstinence in AA is gone.
    I AM MORE INTERESTED IN MY FAMILY, instead of AA meetings and others.

    The biggest benefit that I have noticed is this. When I drink moderately, abstinence days are full of expanded consciousness similar to that experienced when sober in AA. I am very effective in this state so there is great incentive to moderate successfully so that this benefit is achieved.
    It appears to me that moderate alcohol consumption with abstinence days is biologically important to normal human function. I believe that complete abstinence for me is unnatural and incompatible with normal body and brain function.

    • LOVE IT! Congratulations ANON!!!!

      I love cooking with alcohol. But I have been doing it for over 20 years. SInce leaving I do cook more often with it. It makes great sauces.

          • Roasted Vegetables in Marinara sauce with Italian sausage and Marsala wine.

            Cut yellow squash, red bell pepper, and zucchini lengthwise and brush with olive oil, brown on BBQ.
            Skewer mushrooms and brush with olive oil and cook on BBQ
            Sauté chopped garlic and onions in pot with light oil.
            Add tomato paste, sauce, wine and canned chopped or BBQ roasted tomatoes to pot.
            In separate pan, grill sliced sweet or hot Italian sausage till brown and add to sauce.
            Season to taste with salt, pepper, oregano, bay leaf plus whole and ground fennel.
            Simmer for a couple of hours on low adjusting seasoning to taste.
            Half an hour before removing from heat add whole mushrooms and sliced fresh vegetables.

            Put in refrigerator covered overnight.

            Serve with warm bread and garlic olive oil parmesan roasted fennel on top of whole wheat spaghetti.

    • Anon,

      Lets leave AA out of the picture for just a moment. You must know that there are many who do not use alcohol and believe it is biologically a normal human function. Enjoying alcohol on any level is just not something they would consider and they live very normal lives.

  76. Only I can change my mind. When I was in AA I believed that my only options were recovery in the program or jails, institutions and death. I believed that I had an addictive personality and all the principals other AA’s taught me. Now that I am free and exploring more truthful criteria for personal beliefs I find my situation has changed. Deprogramming and the blog conversation has helped greatly in this process. Now I clearly am not addictive and willing to avail myself to all positive options and philosophies available. What I think is within my control so I have the power to change. I believe therefore it is true. These beliefs are based on reality so they are easy to accept.

    • .
      Hi anon, This is great stuff but are you getting giddy? As I read through the weeks, months of this A vs M heading, your talk of abstinence days caught my attention. Such metered usage implies deliberate control not “second nature.” Please square this with: “Now I am clearly not addictive….”

      I believe “the Disease” catch all prompts black and white thinking – either you are or you are not ( alcoholic.) To mix metaphors, people are analog, not digital in totality. A continuum, perhaps with discrete break points however. Think of steam, water and ice then throw in mist, fog, clouds, snow and slosh. You get the idea.

      And just to tease you, almost forgot, my cyber-buddy, “Congratulations!” on celebrating ‘Six Months.’ Did you take a chip?

      ///

  77. I have taken the tobacco out of the house, I don’t want to use it regularly any more, It’s easy when it isn’t in the house. Fact is tobacco makes me feel tired.
    Alcohol moderation is getting boring. I am not moderating any more, in fact I’m barely drinking at all, It just isn’t that rewarding; I wanted these things because I thought I couldn’t have them.
    I am planning a geographic and am completely free of meetings. My sponsor denied me a geographic years ago, in the same breath he told me that he enjoyed sleeping with AA women even though he knew I was married.
    I see AA people from time to time; even the open minded ones have difficulty coping.
    I am free now and looking forward to the life I have worked for.

    • anon .My sponsor denied me a geographic years ago, in the same breath he told me that he enjoyed sleeping with AA women even though he knew I was married.

      WOW thats sick. These AA creeps. Im so glad Im gone.

    • Interesting…anon….happy life free from AA wacko, cult thinking….but I ask ….how long till it all is gone…the brainwashing?

  78. I decided to give myself (and my life) a Gift for the Month of March….

    I attended my first ever SMART meeting today. How REFRESHING! I had some trepidation about it due to my AA experience…but SMART meetings are not like AA meetings. The *wieRdO-faCtOr* is surprisingly and pleasantly missing from what I see thus far. (I waited for it…)

    This was a meeting of like minds…ADULTS actually speaking TO and WITH one another instead of AT one another. People earnestly listened to one another and respectfully responded. They stressed that they DO NOT support the beliefe in “POWERLESSNESS” nor would we be holding hands and chanting prayers….

    I said, “Oh no! I am so, so, going to miss THAT special, wonderful part!”

    They laughed.

    For me, conversation on a common theme with rational, sincere adults was like water for a desert rose.

    I got to talk and to receive some very insightful food for thought and even a bit of homework based on my stated goals for the month of March.

    Good shyt.

    I’ll likely go back next week…which says a LOT cause I have to go by bus in the snow! ;-)

  79. illbefree- I know. I went to Smart Meetings before I left AA and would talk about them every time I went to my home group. The younger women were always asking me ” Whats that Smart thing you are talking about.

    I was blown away by what I saw, felt and heard there. It made me feel sane. Then sad I had missed out on such a modern way of getting help. Not with drinking but with life skills. Im glad you went…the more of us who have left actually experience these other modalities the more power there is in getting the word out.

    I eventually made postcards with these other choices and hand them out whenever the subject comes up and it does often here in LA.

    • Congratulations on the post cards, what a fine gift. If you do a bus bench ad again perhaps that would be a good advertisement. Both women and men look at pictures of women, women can’t resist a picture of a baby. I would put a picture of each (family oriented) at opposing sides of the bench with the text in the middle. Don’t even mention AA; simply state that there are many options to help with a drinking or substance problem and list them. Perhaps you could top it off with a link to your documentary.
      Just an idea.

      • its a great idea. I will consider adding this next time. My ad is up for 6 months. Then I can decide. Great idea though.

  80. Yes, the postcards are great to give out… I am going to print out the image I just posted on my blog. I’ll carry copies with me for just in case someone happens to need the info.

    http://illbefreeordie.wordpress.com/2013/03/05/freedom-from-powerlessness/

    Simple; just listing some key AA alternatives…

    Basically…the message is about FREEDOM…and with so many viable alternatives, people ought never be hemmed into only having AA or NA for choices…

    I am very happy that I was able to sit with like minded-real people and discuss a common objective in an intelligent way. Just being around them felt energetically…BALANCING…

    AA has left me wierdo-over-dosed…and the SMART folks represented a very refreshing change of pace.

  81. It is easy for me to give up tobacco just not having it in the house. I am not denying myself the occasional smoke; I just don’t want to do it on timed intervals of moderation. AA and strict moderation for me create an environment of deprivation. Deprivation is a state of desperate compulsion and longing, I can eliminate deprivation with balance and thoughtfulness. Alcohol is much the same; I do not want to specifically moderate on a timed interval. I will restrict the quantity and quality that I buy and keep it in the house less frequently. Again; I do not want to deny myself and create an environment of deprivation; I want my use to be special, beneficial, and healthful. I am enjoying life and have no desire to drown it out with alcohol or allow my days to be consumed by fatigue.
    The last of the AA’s recently stopped calling me this week. He wanted me to help him with a project and then told me how to do it, I easily yielded and it didn’t go well for him. I think he blamed me for the failure, strange behavior from a live and let live turn it over sort. I think I am free and clear of the AA program now. I am finding new ways to be social that are much more enlightening and enjoyable. AA is deprivation, moderation is less deprived than AA but still a form of deprivation, normal drinking is neither deprived or excessive.

  82. anon- I hope some day we can meet . Maybe at an ex stepper convention. :) I love your journey. Im enjoying my new life as well, except when it gets me down. Sometimes its alot to do. I wish I had a team. A nonprofit filled with 20 workers doing all that we want to do.

    AA is deprivation, moderation is less deprived than AA but still a form of deprivation, normal drinking is neither deprived or excessive.

    Yes …moderating is moderating. There is also it being a “non- issue” . I think for many it is shocking but truly and non issue.

  83. What you do is important. The closed minded and dangerous method of treating a substance problem that AA offers is obsolete. AA’s treat each other badly and don’t even recognize it. We have to change and allow people the dignity to be well and avail themselves to all the possible options that make that goal possible.

    In a way you do have a team, a team of like minded people sharing their experience. We all get down, we all make mistakes, and we all confront those who disagree. I think sobriety is the ability to overcome ourselves in times of hopelessness to face our difficulty and react in a positive way by facing reality instead of being blinded by emotion or prejudice.

  84. Now that the newness of drinking again since leaving AA has worn off, I find myself comfortably and naturally having many abstinence days between drinks and rarely drinking two days in a row.
    I think I may be done blogging on this but assure you, should anything change with my drinking I will check in and let you know.
    Thanks for the help and good luck with your crusade, I am free.

    • anon- thank you for logging your experience here. Im sure many were helped by it. I think many do it but most just lurk and dont blog.

      Let’s go to a meeting and tell them LOL:) How full of sh**T their cult think is about how the drink is gonna take them……

  85. I didn’t drink for 27 years, and I had to see if having a bit of wine would cause me to fall off a cliff, as AA told me it would. I bought a bottle of wine and after a few sips I threw it out. I’ve not been going to meetings regularly for quite a while, since my long term sobriety made me feel somewhat out of place in the room where most people are struggling to stay sober. I just couldn’t relate, and they couldn’t relate to me. So I decided to try it. I felt like i was committing a crime in my own house! But in the end I didn’t like it, and the slight feeling of the wine in my system only brought back memories of the days when I used to drink so much and so often. I think if I’d had even a half a glass I might have felt high. I hated the whole experience and couldn’t wait for it to leave my system, but wait…
    I called my sponsor and told her that after 27 years, I just had to see for myself if it would cause some kind of alcoholic catastrophe. And nothing happened. I didn’t like it and that was that. She became inflamed and told me I WAS IN VERY DANGEROUS PLACE”. I calmly told her that I was in nothing of the kind. I called because I felt the need to tell someone about it….well she never even called me back the next day to see how I was, whether I continued to drink, NOTHING!
    Who are these people? If it’s so dangerous, wouldn’t she be a little concerned? I haven’t spoken to her since, but I’m hurt by her lack of interest in the whole matter.
    Not drinking has become such a way of life for me, and the AA programming so dense that I don’t want to ever drink again. I want to rid myself of the programming though, just for its own sake.

    Thanks for being here.

    • Sounds like your sponsor had a narcissistic injury. Her ego could not handle that her good little sponsee had a drink. On some level she see’s it as a reflection of herself that she failed. She is going to hurt you on purpose by cutting you off emotionally. It could be a form of tough love in her mind, or just plain spiteful.

      I liked your question- who are these people? They do seem out of this world-don’t they? If you are in such a dangerous place why not call to check in? This is where AA is very dangerous, as this can be emotionally damaging to be cut off by someone you thought cared about you and was a friend.

      • Miss Bee,

        I like what antid said about your sponsor and that very well may be the case. Also, she may be secretly curious to find out if she is truly powerless, like she has been brainwashed to believe. What you did may be just a reminder of what she would like to prove to herself but doesnt have your courage. Maybe having any contact with you, puts her in a dangerous place in her mind. Wouldn’t that be projection.

      • Hi Antidenial: Thanks for your reply. I don’t understand how it’s tough love to see how I’m doing, but I’m willing to be enlightened!
        Over the years I’ve made many acquaintances in AA, but in the end they haven’t turned into friendships except for four people; I have contact with only one of them now and the other was a sponsor that I check in with once a month. I haven’t been to the meeting we both attended for four years. All of my lasting relationships have been outside of the AA programs. Why would that be?
        About sponsors, once the AA dogma fog clears and you start to see sponsors as people just like you, they don’t like the change in status it seems. I’ve tried to challenge her on some of that, but she won’t have it. I had another sponsor years ago tell me that I was ‘a very angry person’. I said, ‘That’s not true.’ I was abused growing up, and began to see it as my intense need to escape through alcohol; she didn’t like the shift from my being an alcoholic to circumstances, it seemed to me. But labeling me as an ‘angry person’ felt like one more blow on top of ‘you’re an alcoholic. I don’t believe that all abused people end up drinking like I did, but I was exploring my history, when I started drinking and this should not have led to a label. She dropped me as a sponsee afaer that and suggested someone else in the group. Seriously.
        I told her that choosing a sponsor is a personal decision, one that I would make on my own. When I’ve been in meetings all of these years, I’ve never believed powerlessness, but I did believe I needed support to stop drinking.
        Thanks again for being here, and giving me a place to express my honest feelings!

        • Miss bee- 27 years years? you were young when you came in …weren’t you?

          I think your story here is a perfect example. I read it to my husband because I find it SO AA!!!

          You proved that you took some wine and unlike what they preach “the wine didnt take you ” HAHAHA right? All their stupid little slogans.

          You so called “alcoholism” was not doing pushups all those years you didnt drink waiting to get you.

          I appreciate you telling this here like anon has done. Its like a marker in the sand. You did it. You proved their philosophy wrong …end of story. I wish you much freedom to come in your journey of deprogramming.

          http://www.expaa.org is filled with many ex steppers too.

          Are you familiar with other programs like Smart, SOS , WFS, Lifering, Hams Harm Reduction, and Moderation.org?

          I ask because I didnt have a clue until I found Orange papers and stinkin thinkin.

          Have a great day!

          • Hi Massive: thanks for your response.
            I have read some of the Orange Papers material, and thanks for the suggestions and the link.

            I’m not sure how much credit to give AA for my 27 years, but until I stumbled into the rooms, quite young, I didn’t have guidance of any kind of how to run my life. What AA did was give me a place to go besides bars. I had a job but my drinking was threatening even that and I needed to stop. However, it doesn’t mean that I’m an alcoholic for life. I began a spiritual journey in AA that led to a relationship with God. I think the first step should say.
            We admitted that we’re drinking too much, and need support for stopping.

    • For me drinking was an important part of leaving AA, It helped me to void all of the untrue lessons and beliefs.
      Congratulations on “washing the AA off” with alcohol.
      PS. I never told any one in AA that I drink.

      • Hey anon—–your back. :) GLad to see you.

        anon said “PS. I never told any one in AA that I drink.”

        I think you are right. They are so judgmental ….they cant handle it and will talk and talk and talk to everyone about what YOU HAVE DONE. They are like middle school.

        • Well, now I regret having told my sponsor. Certain things we’re just driven to do, I guess:) She’s maybe telling other people as well “miss bee drank.”. I might check in and tell her that I still haven’t gotten drunk, and haven’t the desire to be drunk. That it’s great that I didn’t end up in a gutter as AA has told me I would, or that the ‘disease progresses whether we drink or not.’!!

          • miss bee LOL funny….yea I bet she is. Unless she is a unique stepper….Yea I think eventually after my film on exposing I’ll make a short 1 hour piece about exactly this.

            Abstinence vs Moderation: The truth about 12 step members when they leave in Silence!!!!
            The success no one wants to hear about. Why….are they all making too much money on the loser drunks….

            to be continued…..Have a great weekend ….I need break.

    • You cant be honest with true believers. They spout about honesty all the time; but when you speak honestly and it doesnt fit into their black and white world they live in; the shun you.

      • Out of curiosity do others think they are the most hypocritical ppl on the planet as I do?

        Honesty, open mindedness, and willingness? Right only when it suits them. I understand some religious ppl fall into that category as well but I just haven’t had as much experience with them as I have with PA (predators anonymous, lol) members. I’m just curious….

        About moderation I wonder why some can and others can’t. I’m one of those who can’t so drinking is just not an option anymore. It must be a genetics thing. I’ve tried moderation but to no avail. Not drinking is just easier. For me at least.

  86. suntime- do others think they are the most hypocritical ppl on the planet as I do?

    Yes they are in my opinion….including right winging evangelicals are pretty bad too. How bout super white pp in Mitt Romenys circle? Not to be political but…..:)

    Honesty, open mindedness, and willingness? Right only when it suits them.

    Exactly!!!

    • Oh yeah they are too. The right-wingers. I personally don’t know how u can be an AA member and call yourself a progressive. They follow a book that was written in 1939 for God’s sake. It is such a patriarchal book it is disgusting. They are just zombies, I swear.

      • I have to say; I have run into just as many far left people as far right people in AA over the years. Ive had to deal with individuals that are extremely liberal (long time devoted members); but when it comes to AA; all bets are off. I just dont think it has anything to do with AA and your ability to be open minded and not allow yourself to be brainwashed. Just my thoughts! I do not consider myself either one.

  87. Just wanted to share a recent experience. Been “not drunk” for coming up on 20 years. 16 years in AA, did the research, saw the truth, got out. No alcohol for 4 additional years. This past weekend, I decided to personally test the AA myths around having a drink. Bought a Mikes Hard Lemonade and drank part of it on my walk home and the rest at home over a couple hours doing chores and stuff. So, what happened? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. No buzz that I could detect, no awakening the sleeping monster, nothing. Nada, zilch, zippo. And nothing since except an interesting request from my brain to get another one at the store if I happened to be in the vicinity. I said “No” and it didn’t come up again.

    In the AA world, I have thrown away 20 years of treasured, gawd-granted “sobriety” , lost my hard-earned community stature, and will now descend into the depths of hell through jails, institutions or death unless I repent and hail to the supremacy and righteousness of Alcoholics Anonymous and return to the fold and start over. In the real world I had a flippin hard lemonade and it means nothing more than what it is.

    For me, I needed to get that monkey off my back. Even after many years out of AA, some concepts are emblazoned on my brain and I needed to find out for myself and end the underlying fear I had around ANY drinking. There was a good study at the University of Washington that proved your beliefs determine your behavior. I choose not to believe 1930′s religious con man nonsense.

    Further, I was thinking last night about the concept in AA that it is not your life. Your life has been given to you and you need to listen and do the will of the power that gave you your existence. The entire concept of turning your will and your life over to a higher power is superstitious, religious mysticism and complete nonsense. Oh, and because we know your brain is broken and you can’t tune into sky daddy to hear correctly, we’ll tell you what to do. Just like the Oxford Group. AA is an thinly veiled, organized religion, plain and simple. Complete with jihadi style true believers that will threaten your life if you squawk too loud about the realities of their precious delusional program.

    • spj- really great post and thank you for putting it all so well! I do think we are what we believe. AND that AA is a religious cult dressed up for a program for alcohol problems.

      I hope you continue to let us know how more you get free from the nonsense professed at meetings. Fully filled with know it alls at every turn.

  88. blogger sally wrote this and I thought is was so great I wanted it here too.

    I went to AA for 13 yrs.Haveing periods off it then drinking again while going to aa and working the steps. The periods would last from days to weeks to months and one time 4 yrs.

    The last time this happened after a few months of abstinance
    and picking up again while going and working steps.I decided not to go back again but leave for good.I didnt care if i died.and believed my life would become very bad and i would end up in jail instatution or dead. These things and more were in my mind while i drank.

    However my drinking has not been the same as it was pre AA.I have been drunk about 4 or 5 times in this year.

    One of those i got drunk on 3 beers due to haveing not ate,slept, and fraught with worry. Worry not only around what AA predicts, but also around things that were happening via AA after i left AA. Some of the people from there would stop me on street. Also i had an incident happen to me via a family member of one of my x sponsors
    that i ended up going to the police around. I ran from my home with the cloathes i was dressed in got a bus out of town and was so much in a state of panic i have PTSD,that i was going to just rough it outside not go back to my home or town i live in.
    I got 3 beers and passed out on the ground it was in january so very cold.
    Dureing the night i came to i was frozen.

    I didnt die an old wollen jumper i had on ( a jumper some took the piss out of when i wore it in AA L.O.L) it saved my life i took it off and put my legs into the arms of it i had a big parka on for my arms and body.
    I ended up passing out on the ground.

    That time, It felt like the things AA were predicting were going to come true. It felt like a rock bottom.
    It wasnt- it was my rock bottom with AA.
    The worry in my mind the mental confusion it had produced in my mind.

    AA no longer scare me. And i had 2 halfs of larger last week after work and enjoyed them.

    I didnt go see anyone else after leaving AA i was going to get CBT treatment, but decided not to.

    I have had pycology, counselling ,AA and NA steps, and therpies.

    The reason i dont get there step one is because it dont apply to me im not powerless. It’s hard to get that into my mind but the longer i stay out of AA the more i get it.

    When they stop me on street and start talking i go back into that mind set start thinking im an alcoholic i should go back to AA.

    I have had many times in this past year when i have had one or two drinks. I have gone weeks and months without a drink.
    And i have been drunk about 4 or 5 times.Only once with bad consequences.

    However thats me, it may be diffrent for someone else.
    There are alternatives to AA some are on internet.
    Hope you find whats right for you.

    Reply ↓

    • Hey Massive thankyou.

      I have found some great web sites all stemming from leaving AA web site.

      And now this one .

      Theres more to alcoholisim and drink drug problems than I heard about in AA.

      I may not even be an alcoholic, people that know me as I am now
      laugh when i say i was in AA.

      They say “Your not ”

      I’m fed up thinking about it, i cant work it out.
      If i am i am, if im not im not. Whatever I am, i shall handle it without going to AA.

      I’ts good to be on line again.

      I ran away thru fear acute anxiety,
      but it wasn’t beer that took me to deaths door,it was fear, and the fear was triggered by incidents that had happened at the hands of AA,
      both in my past and were happening since my leaving AA.
      The incident that happened at the time i panicked and ran,
      had came from a family
      member of an x sponsor of mine.

      If i hadnt gone to AA i would never have met these people,
      it would not have happened.

      i’m all through running away from AA meetings ,and im all through running back to AA meetings.And im all through running away from my home because of people from AA.

      I’m not looking for trouble from them or anyone,but if they want to bring it on ..well like i said i’m all thru running away…

  89. I went back to AA. I missed the meetings and the comfort of the steps. I am an orphan and I guess you could say it’s where I grew up.

    • Miss Bee, Welcome!

      I am glad that you found a comfort in AA. I have always said; if it suits you, thats great. Unfortunately, there are many who have been harmed in different ways; as a result of their involvement with the program. My experience was different than yours. My personal growth has improved since leaving a few years ago. We are all different and have separate needs.

      Your experience is interesting. However, it must be obvious that most of the individuals on this site; did not benefit from their time spent in AA.

    • miss bee- okay… and so you came back here…. you do what you want with your time and your evenings. You are a grown up.

      We are not a cult here, so we will talk to you even when or if you return to the rooms. Unlike AA if you drink then you are made “wrong” its your fault” etc. Not true. None of what they read is fact.

  90. I have settled into my drinking plan; I drink a maximum of once a week. I allow myself one to six ounces max of premium alcohol. I eat a good meal prior to drinking and follow the drinking with water and something to eat before bed. I do not drive, talk on phone, text, or email while drinking. My focus is on healthy eating and exercise, family, work, and living well, not being drunk. I will check back in to see if I sustain this, for argument sake I will set the date at April 1, 2013 because it is easy to remember.

  91. I’ve stepped away from AA. Making sure i get it all out of my head before I decide what to do next.
    Couple funny stories though. I was talking to my friend, saying that I felt that AA set us up to fail at ordinary drinking, and she said that when she tried drinking, she never really thought to try to drink normally because it was so ingrained in her that she would fail. The thought of drinking like a normal adult NEVER CROSSED HER MIND, because AA told her she couldn’t do it.
    My fiance went to Las Vegas for his bachelor party last weekend. He was sober for 5 years and started drinking again pretty recently. So he was in VEGAS at his BACHELOR PARTY…. he had a total of maybe 10 – 12 drinks the entire time he was there (3 nights).
    What an alcoholic.

  92. I have been browsing online more than three hours today,
    yet I never found any interesting article like yours.
    It’s pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all website owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be much more useful than ever before.

  93. Wow! I have almost 8 months of successful drinking under my belt since leaving and over 2 years detox from AA and can’t believe how good I feel. I took all the tobacco out of the house and it is VERY easy to moderate it now. I keep alcohol in the house and have much more control with it; I have learned my limitations and am positive result oriented. It would take a court order to get me back in AA and it isn’t happening.

  94. Hi there,

    I have been attending AA/NA for 14 years and had 81/2 years sobriety when I drank again after getting involved with a guy I should have avoided !! The reaction of people in the rooms was completely contrary to what I expected, they didn’t like it that I described having 6 beers and then stopped for fear of resurrecting my addiction.
    I even had people say maybe I wasn’t an alcoholic in AA which made me laugh actually in pain at the thought of what I had endured from drinking aged 12.
    I have attended meetings since this time and began to feel disillusioned by the whole thing seemingly an outcast and someone to be feared…hence I have slowly pulled away, deciding I have become too honest for the rooms…! really…I had thought it was an honest programme, however I feel I have grown up and need to move on, I have been experimenting with a few drinks recently it seems ok, not something I want to get into a lot as leaves me feeling a bit fuzzy…
    I feel free, also a little scared but tired of trying to interact with such dysfunctional people, hence I am moving on and seeking support elsewhere, I hope I can do this.

    • Good for you Jonas, your only options are AA and all the other possible options available. Please avail yourself to any helps that correspond to your goals.
      I left AA after several decades and now drink moderately using the HAMS harm reduction program.
      Also, many AA’s have STD’s, it should be protocol to get tested.
      Please blog about your experience, it helped me to deprogram from AA and loose the subtle beliefs that were not healthy.

      • Hi there, thanks for getting back to me, Im glad you are free to. I have been struggling a little the past few days, I told a therapist about leaving the rooms and they seem to think I will need more support (this has left me a little fearful) I have been drinking, sometimes on my own and have a slight hangover today so I will look at HAMS and take a break, I have had depression in the past, so think am not best with drink. Gosh I saw someone from AA this morning so I avoided them, I am going to join more clubs and help feeling insecure wont drive me back there, tired of so called friends/support that doesn’t really exist…people helping a lot for selfish reasons rather than altruism. It is great to have so many evenings free, a relief, now I just need to fill them with interesting things to do. I was thinking this week about how when I got clean in 1999 I didn’t know how to make friends as always out of it for years, I feel after 14 years in the rooms, not a lot has changed, very superficial relationships, however conversation were deep, but still not right.
        gosh so much has happened in the last 14 years, originally my wildest dream was not to pick up…that is really all the rooms ever promise however so many people claim they get so much more, I think that’s down to other stuff to, I have not been as lucky, I feel as if I have surrounded myself with dysfunctional people like my family and now have to play catch up, part of me regressed in the rooms.
        I am not a great typer so that is enough for now !!

    • jonas- hi and welcome! I am glad you found us. I know that AA and NA members are so rigid, fearful and close minded it wold take a few Yale Studies , Harvard studies and still they would say …We know best. I say …no they dont. I left after 3 decades 2 years ago. I am free jonas. So are you. Blog away.

      • Hi there, thanks for getting back to me, Im glad you are free to. I have been struggling a little the past few days, I told a therapist about leaving the rooms and they seem to think I will need more support (this has left me a little fearful) I have been drinking, sometimes on my own and have a slight hangover today so I will look at HAMS and take a break, I have had depression in the past, so think am not best with drink. Gosh I saw someone from AA this morning so I avoided them, I am going to join more clubs and help feeling insecure wont drive me back there, tired of so called friends/support that doesn’t really exist…people helping a lot for selfish reasons rather than altruism. It is great to have so many evenings free, a relief, now I just need to fill them with interesting things to do. I was thinking this week about how when I got clean in 1999 I didn’t know how to make friends as always out of it for years, I feel after 14 years in the rooms, not a lot has changed, very superficial relationships, however conversation were deep, but still not right.
        gosh so much has happened in the last 14 years, originally my wildest dream was not to pick up…that is really all the rooms ever promise however so many people claim they get so much more, I think that’s down to other stuff to, I have not been as lucky, I feel as if I have surrounded myself with dysfunctional people like my family and now have to play catch up, part of me regressed in the rooms.
        I am not a great typer so that is enough for now !!

        • Thanks Massive, I need some encouragement ! Yes free, gosh everywhere I go I see AA people two this morning at the pool…I am deciding not to say ive left as it makes some of the panic and get on their high horse AA Rhetoric, I have to ask myself do I want to be told oh you will go insane or die? NO !!

          I feel as if attending AA retraumatised myself and totally destroyed my trust in myself, well what I should have got back after years of sobriety, unfortunately I feel the programme works to undermine ones sense of self (confidence) and just made me extremely dependent emotionally mentally etc…..I took a few drinks once and then got told I couldn’t have decided to stop again after drinking beer one night….people usually go wild and go out for great lengths of time….my battle with booze and drugs began at age 12 so 17 years later I had no problem admitting I was in trouble I lost everything and had liver damage, not pretty.

          I had some fun before I left being honest and saying stuff like oh I have become too honest for AA, how come I have to start again when lots of people act out and don’t start their time again, basically being rational, everything AA/NA don’t encourage.
          Got tired of the lunacy of it all, old timers with big egos as they been sober X amount of years…nothing to do with being happy treating others as you’d like to be treated, honesty and integrity….

          Wow I have never met so many flaky dishonest people in my life, still feel sad it took me so long to realise these people (most) would not be friends as they did not have the capability and often so focused on themselves real intimacy, give and take relationships impossible, having boundaries with these people made them run for the hills or at worse be abusive. I have a few people I will stay in touch with but that’s it. I truly believe AA?NA made me more dysfunctional…happy to be free !!

          • jonas- boy oh boy , just reading your posts just reinforces all the insanity going on in AA/NA these days. I did not tell them I was leaving till the night I walked in and I knew it was the end. Even some woman I sponsored I did not tell. I just couldn’t bare it. Some of them talk to some who talk too much. Either way, it was a very liberating experience. I felt I had a lighter step, my heart was lighter too and I really felt free. It was why I chose some of the pics on this website. You are going about it the right way. Your way.
            HAHAHA its your life. You can to decide. Love it ….

            PLease keep blogging …I wonder where this pool is that you swim in. I swim too…

      • Hi there, thanks for getting back to me, Im glad you are free to. I have been struggling a little the past few days, I told a therapist about leaving the rooms and they seem to think I will need more support (this has left me a little fearful) I have been drinking, sometimes on my own and have a slight hangover today so I will look at HAMS and take a break, I have had depression in the past, so think am not best with drink. Gosh I saw someone from AA this morning so I avoided them, I am going to join more clubs and help feeling insecure wont drive me back there, tired of so called friends/support that doesn’t really exist…people helping a lot for selfish reasons rather than altruism. It is great to have so many evenings free, a relief, now I just need to fill them with interesting things to do. I was thinking this week about how when I got clean in 1999 I didn’t know how to make friends as always out of it for years, I feel after 14 years in the rooms, not a lot has changed, very superficial relationships, however conversation were deep, but still not right.
        gosh so much has happened in the last 14 years, originally my wildest dream was not to pick up…that is really all the rooms ever promise however so many people claim they get so much more, I think that’s down to other stuff to, I have not been as lucky, I feel as if I have surrounded myself with dysfunctional people like my family and now have to play catch up, part of me regressed in the rooms.
        I am not a great typer so that is enough for now !!

        • Hang in there, you can get to the other side just fine. Millions of people do. More people leave than stay and they do just fine. There really is no “promise” of sobriety from AA. There are actually many promises if you search the text, but non of them say that if you do the program we promise you will stay sober. The promise of sobriety is not in AA and Wilson knew it. That is why they had to lock people up so they wouldn’t drink prior to a public engagement that extolled the virtues of the wondrous program of AA. It’s all bullshit.

      • Still not attending AA/NA and feeling much better about it, less self doubt, less crazy people and less resentment as I found myself getting so annoyed listening to stuff that didn’t make sense eg it wasn’t rational.

        Still seems like a shame I didn’t realise this stuff earlier. I have had a few beers but am laying of booze for a while as not really my thing, I love drugs, but after spending two whole weeks years ago high on E, I took too much and didn’t come down for that long (Scary!! and fun…) I cant take drugs at all, I had a spliff a couple of years ago and have to say it had a worse effect on me psychologically than coke. Paranoid for a month afterwards…now that is not fun in my book.

        I have to keep making an effort to meet new people and make new friends, I have been unemployed for over a year so things are tough right now.

        not sure what else to say, still trying to stay positive and keep my life moving forward.

        Oh yes, I met so many people in the rooms, who god knows why they stopped drinking….this was a very un acceptable thing to say in AA, where I found this more prevalent. I think getting over years of full on addiction is not an easy task, especially if you don’t receive support easily. Imagine going to meetings when you weren’t really addicted to alcohol, for me an alcoholic is someone with a physical dependency, I couldn’t ID with some people but I guess that’s just life.

        Another inflammatory comment I made unawares was I have worked it and I don’t feel better, I feel worse. I mean I didn’t need my ego smashed, I was lowest of the low, rock bottom had enough hope I die/overdose sort of place, the more I lost eg home etc the more I thought few, more money for addiction, less responsibility.

        Oh gosh the craziness of it all, spoke to a friend the other night who has stopped going to. Going to meetings was traumatising me, listening to all that shit.

        Happy days everyone

  95. I’m drinking about 2 ounces of premium alcohol once a week now. The headaches I had while in AA have been gone since I left and I am overall more comfortable. I am also very involved in real community service which is incredibly and genuinely gratifying. I love tobacco and use it about once a week too. I am gawking less without the steps. High benefit minus minimal cost equals maximum enjoyment.

    • anon,
      i’m glad my migranes arent as freuquent now, as when i went to AA.
      what is 2 ounces of premiam alcohol, i have never heard of this.
      What do you do in the comunity service.
      I smoke tobaco, smoked it since i was young.
      i’m glad your doing so good.

      • Sally, I can’t get too specific. Community service is giving time or property to interests that benefit the community. Some examples are; activism like Massive is doing, donating time at the museum, thrift shop, homeless shelter, and so on.
        2 Oz is a measurement, premium alcohol is top shelf booze, in my case; Blanton’s Whiskey, Marie Duffau Armagnac (not the more expensive Delord), Absolute or Goose. Also, I do not smoke cigs and avoid other engineered tobacco products that make moderation difficult; I only use pure unaltered tobacco. It is easy to moderate pure tobacco; it lacks the free base element of cigarettes and certain types of snuff, plus it tastes good and does not stink you up badly.

  96. I’m going to start comming to this site more regular.I’m not abstinant.
    I left AA over a year ago,and took a drink about a month after i left.
    In that time,i have been able to have one or two. And periods of abstinance in between. I have had 4 or 5 drunks..once with bad consquences..i lived through that.

    i last had a drink 7 days ago i had one half of larger with my sister while waiting on her bus to London she was visiting me recently.

    I find the times i drink when im tired hungry and have a lot of worry on my mind
    are times i get drunk easy.

    I had blackouts pre AA when i drank and i always got drunk.Pre AA, when i drank i drank to get drunk i drank more frequently but not every day and i drank more than 2 or 3. I drank spirits and lots of beer. PRE AA. Had lots of trouble and accidents.

    I don’t want to get back to drinking how i did Pre AA.

    I would like to be able to just drink ocassionally and keep to one or two.
    This is pretty much how it’s been for me since i left AA.

    I dont want to get so drunk i dont know whats happeing.
    If i do i would rather it be when im in safe company have ate and no big worries going on.

    I also would like info on anything that could help me cut down on my weed use.
    My reason …it costs too much.
    If it didnt,I dont reckon i would want to cut down.

    I would like to stop smokeing nicotine too.

    It felt good to be able to sit in a bar with my sister and just have one.

  97. Thankyou Massive,
    I will check these out.A few years back i went to Harms on internet.
    later after 2 years out of AA, i went back.and lost the internet at times.
    So i didnt go to Harms again.
    I dont have any complaints about Harms.
    A grown up..Aw thankyou, i’m still haveing problems seeing myself as an adult.
    I’m due my old age pension soon,but i keep thinking i’m a child.
    I was nearly a stepper…last few months in AA i had been taken through all the steps in a few months.
    By the Real AA as they called themselfs. Prior to that i had done steps in other way’s. They said that hadn’t been AA. Well the others were saying it was AA they were sponsoring me.
    All in all i did a lot of looking at my past and defects and wrongs.
    I’m sick of it. worring about defects and never recalling good parts of myself or good things i did.
    I have delibrately started to talk about any good i did in my past when i recall any ..
    i forgot i ever had..
    Well i’m going to try get a bus to Scotland tommorow if theres a seat available.
    It will do me good to walk on streets where i dont bump into them.
    Breath easier.

  98. I am not drunk, I am not abstinent, and my thought is sober.
    I am a norm-eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee…
    I have constitutional recovery.
    Stinking thinking in AA is gone.

  99. What kind of reporter? I’m not sure this is news to the outside world; it only amazes people like us who were in the AA abstinence cult and believed we had a deadly progressive disease.

  100. Hello everyone,
    Just got back from my Dads.The train got in at 10 pm.
    While in Scotland I didnt use canabis. And i’m still off it, didnt go and get any when
    the train got in.So thats five day’s.
    I didnt drink untill today.I had one can of larger before i got my train.
    And four hours later had a second can of larger with my sandwitches
    on the train.
    Last time i was drunk was in January , and it was 3 cans that did it.
    I say because of the state i was in at the time. And no sleep or food in me and panick around AA stuff.
    My Dad say’s he wants to try canabis. He is 85 years old.
    He told me he only ever tried it once many years ago when he was in merchant navy.
    He say’s he wants to try it because he has heard a lot about it helping Arthritus pain.
    Well i can vouch for that it certainly helps mine.
    Anyway i didnt give him any i didnt have any and if i did AA
    would say i was a pusher and enabling.
    So i shall leave it up to him.
    But you know i reckon it would help him if he did.i love my Father its hard to see him in pain.
    Anyway we had a nice time together i painted his shed and garage and we watched the films on TV.
    He had his beer and whiskey, my Dad has a bar in his house.
    And i had my hot tea and roll ups dont do cigarets they are too expensive.
    just before i left i had another AA come up to me in the library and ask in a pitying
    voice if i was OKAY!
    i said yes and turned away i was with one of my children.
    So i sent another letter ,card actually to them all via x sponsors adress.When i used to go to AA i would say after drinking again and going back i would tell them i was lucky
    thought i was lucky i didnt die in drink and got back to AA.So anyway.
    AT top of card it says GOODBYE AND GOOD LUCK ,under neath The card had a picture of someone saying “best thing for luck is to wear a rabbits foot around your kneck”
    inside a picture of someone on a crutch broken leg it says but it dont work for everyone.
    LOL
    i said to tell them all just to walk on by me. that i really am okay so no one needs to ask me again,that i dont feel sorry for myself im not off to sue them just off to put them behind me.
    they were not what i call friends ,not mates.i hardley knew any of them. those i knew a little more well i hardley knew them either.
    Some of them were in my heart but i didnt know them.
    its so easy to feel something for anyone in there , while your in there,who gives you the time of day.i was so gratefull in there for anyone who spoke a few words to me.
    most thaT SPOKE JUST GOT AT ME CRITICAL OR TO TELL ME THERE PROBLEMS.
    aw my caps lock keeps going on.
    some spoke about other stuff or joked around my x male sponsor was cheery at times. and sometimes supportive. think that was closest to a friend i had.
    I’m glad to be out of AA. I have made Some good friends at my vol work they are work collegues yet i feel more like friends with them than i did with AA’s.
    AA was the most mind boggling and gut wrenching mental anquish i ever known.
    They can all shout as much as they want about having it hard in jail or living on the streets or being battered.
    I been in courts probation comunity service i been in hostels digs homeless shelters and a few times i slept rough i been baTTERED AND RAPED AND BEATEN.
    but NOTHING GOT TO ME THEY WAY THEY DID.
    I feel like i spent 13 years in solataray confiment for enjoying a spliff and a drink.
    i feel like i was infront of the harshest judges going the most twisted people i met
    and given A LIFE SENTANCE.
    OKAY THATS ME done,AND I KNOW ITS LONG AND THERE ARE SPELLING ERRORS BUT IM TIRED BEEN TRAVELLING ALL DAY INTO THE NIGHT.
    gOOD TO BE BACK ON LINE.
    OFF TO CHECK OUT Harms reductions tomorrow.
    my spine is really hurting me took my rucksack shall have to get one of them cases with wheels.
    nite nite X

  101. Massive,
    yes he makes me laugh to.he has his own drunkalogues. and they are all funny.
    i wonder tho if he is alcoholic or not. AA made me think everyone was.
    he don’t drink the way he did when he was younger. and he has always been in work damned hard work to at times, deep sea trawling, stoking boilers in navy, labouring.
    he has always kept himself clean tidy shaved. fed, his house is clean too.
    very little police trouble one caution, hes ashamed of it.
    Got caught haveing a pee in a close ( close, means in USA alley way.) at night after comming out pub.
    they call it indecent exposure.
    and i was done with same thing years ago.
    he has always payed his way in life. as for the defects well i cant say i see them that much in him.
    he is a bit of a miser, but i reckon thats to do with his own upbringing, childhood.
    Se eing my father modarate after recalling his drinking when he was younger is one of the things that made me question AA.
    he has a drink at night. one can beer and 2 shorts of whiskey.
    and on days when he feels like it he go to the local bar at dinner time for one pint of beer.
    On holiday he gets drunk.
    AA made me think everyone was alcoholic.
    My dad sometimes say’s himself that he is.
    He don’t want me to go to AA . he knew a bit about it. my uncle ,my mums brother went AA.
    my dad dont like nothing to do with religoun or god hes a staunch atheist.
    and nothing to do with anyone who tells people not to drink.
    anway if hes alcoholic i wish i was more like him in nature.
    now there are some people i have met since leaving AA who do seem to fit the bill.
    The defects i see them full blown in them, infact it’s hard to be around them. And they are gussling booze from morning to night.
    i have a medical assesment tommorrow, the goverment here are takeing most people off there benifits, even some who have limbs missing and terminal cancer have had benifits stopped.
    So i will have mine stopped too.
    im not a scammer i really do have spinal injuries arthritus and PTSD.
    however i expect to have mine stopped.
    i’m one of the people in UK who wants to and trys to work but at times can’t.
    they know this .
    today i can hardley walk, thats because i have been travelling doing painting and carring ruck sack.
    im not off to go get weed for the pain tho.
    i have taken pain killers and off in hot bath and rest it will wear off.
    im looking for payed work already, its not easy high unempoyment, my age illnesses all against me.
    But i will keep looking.
    if my beifits are stopped i dont think i will be able to buy credit for my dongel but i will keep in contact with this site via the library.

    • .
      A can of beer and two shorts of whisky vs ‘more or less always insanely drunk.’

      Makes me wonder: what is the difference between abstinence and sobriety?

      My answer was skewed; I was an AA member! My answer now: AA. AA has transformed the word sober’s meaning so that a sip or two of wine with dinner is ,well, tending towards drunk. Try floating the word abstemious at an AA gathering!

      I got wind last night that an effort is underway in the USA to shift the now national ‘drunk driving’ standard of .08% BAC to .05% Blood Alcohol Content. Therefore abstinence is a fact and sobriety, sometimes legally defined, is an opinion. Whereas, in AA, sobriety is code for “a way of life.” And lifestyles can be habit forming.

      P.S. I broke my marijuana habit. Walked away.
      .

        • .
          I smoked ganja and lived the culture for many years having first encountered M in the late sixties when I was a child. Today weed is no longer especially counterculture so to say ‘culture’ is perhaps less meaningful. But one can still generalize….

          I fell into that and – although I thought I was nonconformist – it was trendy and I was a ‘tinybooper!’ I was a bit young to be a hippie, more Watkin’s Glen than Woodstock.
          Funny but marijuana may well have been imposed upon us by circles that ‘experimented’ with LSD in the late fifties MK Ultra mind fuck shit. Jerry Garcia ‘came out’ of that some years later for instance. Brave New World / Doors To Perception author Aldous Huxley took over (HaHa) Bill Wilson from Rockefeller circles because these controllers knew a “good” thing when they saw (or created) it.. It is said Rockefeller tried (and probably did) fund Frank Buchman….

          The above is more than you bargained for and perhaps a rant more suited to the orange-papers forum but is supplied here as background for your internet studies…and for the therapeutic value of posting as such relates to my own recovery from “the hedonic lifestyle.” AA is really just the other side of the coin!

          I have been around and in AA for so long but that its not hard to answer your question: No I did not give up cannabis with the help of AA., I kept drinking and smoking ( and else besides ) to excess in part because of the “powerless” crap. Not so much that I was taught that but really because it IS the perfect excuse to do whatever I want – even against my better judgement.

          Ah, feels good doesn’t it! Or does it?
          .

  102. .
    Broke my abstinence, I did and attended an ‘open’ meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous.

    I did not bring in a spy-cam or record any audio for Massive Attack (soon again, I read, to be Monica!)

    “Witnessed, indeed participated, insanity.” Something about AA prompts me to enjoy (or create) ‘my sickness within.’ Enjoyment and revulsion. Kind of like… drinking….

    Abstinence vs Moderation

    Reminds me of the poster’s tag: If I could moderate, i’d do it a lot!
    .

      • .
        So am I happy with mine. And I notice and tend to binge drink when I ‘work’ the AA program.

        I attended an AA meeting yesterday and had a somewhat really bad experience.

        I am leaving AA. Perhaps I have already left.

        That turn of phrase ’bout moderation is not mine, you’ll find its ‘owner’ as you look around.
        .

          • Yes, I am here and NOT because I’m not all there!
            Massive, I appreciated your supportive post over on o-p forum. I ended up porting my ‘experience’ over to the Long and Winding page here.

            My return to ‘the rooms’ was another wake up call. The AA Preamble is not earnest Its bait.

            I’ve been away from AA now long enough to know I can break the vapid (but seemingly deep) social interaction that I gravitated back to over and over. Frankly, I cannot afford – on many levels – to hide out in the rooms anymore. Its insular, its awful and it is unhealthful too.

            AA is not for me. I choose not to attend; not to depend on Alcoholics Anonymous for ‘a way of life.’ Not even for a cheap cup of coffee and a two dollar sandwich.

            AA abstinence!

        • e-man,
          I have smoked canabis since i was young.
          also a hippie type, but too young for woodstock.
          AA didn’t break my canabis habit.
          Or stop me drinking, for long.
          I had periods off both.
          And i didnt right enjoy those periods off in AA.

          Some day’s were okay. last time i was in and
          abstinant and doing all the prayers,n shares, n chants,at first when i went back after yet another relapse with a new sponosor and did all the steps best i could and meetings ,all of it.
          I did feel diffrent to other periods i had, had in AA.
          It did feel a little wonderfull for moments.
          However nothing that wonderfull, and not for long.
          I think AA was changing me slowly each time i went there and had periods off.

          I’m not t keen to be changed any more, i just want to stay as i am.

          If i ever want to make changes in myself or my life,
          then i will.

          i also had periods off all drugs Pre AA,
          but had forgot this after some time in AA.
          Why i forgot i do not know.I often shared it early on in AA back in 2001 when i first went.
          But i forgot.

          i had seven years off canabis, in the 80′s, and many moons prior to my going to AA.
          So i know i can do it without AA, if i want to.

          At persent i’m happy to use it when i do and stay off it when i do.

          Peace

  103. *Firmly out of AA after over a decade of abstinence.
    No drinking this week, no desire to drink, no disease, no compulsion, no denial, no gawking, nadda, zip, zippo. I found a big bud of weed on the ground the other day and threw it out; thought about smoking it and then decided not to, it makes me stare. I’ve got about two weeks off of tobacco and am looking forward to enjoying some next week, no Jones, just fondness. I have not needed a half vicodin since starting moderation, no more headaches. Feeling more and more in love with my wife since leaving AA, less distraction and situational fantasy, all of my focus on her. Saw a movie last night with Bill Murray, Moonlight somethingorother??, reminded me so much of my childhood; boats, islands, running away with girls, it really made me grateful for my past. I remember once my father took me aside to ask me not to steal a boat and run away with my girlfriend, I was 15. How on earth did I have such a great start and then end up in a & a thinking I had a disease? The adventure continues, just bought a place in the middle of nowhere surrounded with mountains, rivers, and lakes. Geographic approved, firmly a better person, I look forward to amplified enjoyment in the new environ. Wherever you go, there you are; make it pretty and sustainable. Leave the past behind and start each day anew. The river of life embraces a canoe, not the big book. Eat drink and be merry, hold him or her close, enjoy the journey while you may, tomorrow may never come.

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  105. Well, it looks like it is time to celebrate 9 months of successful drinking since leaving AA. I thought I would share what I have done and what I have learned.
    First off its important that you know I spent one year out of AA on blogs like this before drinking. This helped to detox from a dangerous belief system.
    Below are some guidelines for normal drinking. During my 9 months I have experimented with many different intervals and variables of alcohol use.
    -Drinking every day.
    -Drinking once a week, once a month etc.
    -Variable amounts; one through 7 ounces.
    -Variable situations; upset, happy, tired, etc.
    -Variable types of alcohol; high to low quality.

    My personal conclusion;
    Normal drinking is not being concerned about alcohol at all. Any quantity consumed on a regular basis had a negative health effect on me. Only when there are prolonged periods of abstinence between drinks do I experience benefit, i.e. improved relaxation and function in an unimpaired state after minimal consumption. Any alcohol consumption while upset is a bad idea. High quality alcohol carries the least negative backlash; top shelf vodka being the best.

    Below is a snippet from a university site on normal drinking. The first statement being the most difficult for most who want to drink to understand “It is normal not to drink”.
    —————————————————————————————————–
    What is Normal Drinking?

    • It’s normal not to drink.
    • It’s normal to drink a few drinks at some times and not drink at all at others.
    • It’s advisable not to drink if:
    - You really don’t want to
    - You’re upset, anxious, or angry
    - There’s a chance of unintended or unwanted sexual activity
    - You’re pregnant or think you might be
    - You’ll be driving
    - You’re taking certain medicines occasionally or routinely. Ask your health care provider for guidance about drinking and medications
    • It’s normal to know your limit, to plan to drink within the low-risk guidelines, and to take steps to stay within them
    - Make a plan and set a limit. It’s tough to know when to stop if your judgment is impaired. Make decisions about your limit before you start drinking.
    - Eat before you drink. And eat while you’re drinking. Food in the stomach slows alcohol absorption.
    - Space and pace your drinks. Three drinks in over three hours doesn’t mean having two in 10 minutes and one 2 hours later. Spread them out. Alternate alcohol and non-alcoholic drinks.
    - Avoid drinking games.
    - Keep track of how much you’ve had.
    • Your body knows what’s normal-and what’s not.
    - Vomiting, blacking out and passing out are all clear signs you’ve had too much to drink. – A hangover is the body’s reaction when a toxic substance shocks the system. Signs include a dry “cotton mouth,” fatigue, upset stomach, headache, and sore muscles * http://www.uhs.uga.edu/aod/normal_drinking.html

    What worked about AA for me?
    -AA’s social structure allowed me to belong and supported initial abstinence.

    Why AA was an unsustainable means to arrest my drinking?
    -AA denies program exit, you are always sick.
    -AA’s support unhealthy core belief systems i.e. the belief that the member has a deadly progressive disease and AA is their only hope.
    -AA groups rely on SEXUAL TENSION and SELF IMPORTANCE for their survival. AA jargon carries dual meaning, in this case “AA is a program of attraction not promotion”. I would have never continued to go to AA if the meetings were men only.

    Conclusion;
    - I have successfully detoxed from AA.
    - I have learned what normal drinking is.
    - I am objective about my own reasons for attending AA.
    - AA does not stop damaging you once you leave.
    - Abstinence from alcohol is normal.
    - I would not have stayed in AA if the meetings were men only.
    - I am not in any danger of drinking dangerously at this point.

    • anon-I would have never continued to go to AA if the meetings were men only.

      I agree. I would never have gone to woman’s meetings. I hated them till I was in my late 40′s. Happily married and already had 2 beautiful children. They creeped me out Lesbian old-timer woman hit on me too.

    • Hello anon, You keep the focus on alcohol, thank you so much, for
      it is alcohol (AOD = alcohol + other drugs) that creates the circumstances whereby one gets caught up in the rooms of AA.

      Being in the rooms takes on a life of its own as demonstrated by the posts found on both pro and con AA recovery sites.

      You help me move on by getting the topic back on point: alcohol.

      Recovery from alcohol problems follows recovery from AA induced problems, from ‘fellowship funk’ – that is if you begin to get addicted to the AA program before you overcome alcohol problems. And who would shown up at AA after solving drinking issues? Well some do!

      Now, as always, one can overcome drinking to excess by means other than AA, thereby avoiding the second problem which is AA itself. I view this site, leavingaa.com, as someone who ‘got’ the second problem. Chances are, if your reading this, you’ve had some exposure to AA. So, unless your looking for “drama,” break away from AA soon, like now! Well some do like drama, you’ll find them in AA (and elsewhere.) Good company, eh?

      Remember my contention that the AA environment is not dissimilar to the barroom environment with much the same innuendo and blatant behaviors, sexual and otherwise. Yes some people even drink in and around these rooms. Imagine that. I did.

      So thanks again, anon, for telling it like it is (and was) for you. I’ve learned from you; I’ve adopted some of your methods. Imagine that!

      Yes – contrary to what’s taught at AA – many normal drinkers DO THINK about responsible drinking. About how to drink, and some choose not to drink. That’s normal.

      • Thank you e Man,
        I do have some fellowship funk. I clearly am still influenced by my AA attendance. It is important for me to stand on my own and detach from the AA notion that I need to completely rely on others for good decision making. AA has no exit and teaches complete dependence on others. The danger and long term damage occurs from the system of action and reward. EXAMPLE; I use a sponsor for decision making and comply with AA; I am then rewarded with approval from the sponsor and group. This is the human equivalent of dog training.
        Last night I thought about having a glass of wine with my wife yet decided not to, that is normal drinking.

        • anon you said AA has no exit and teaches complete dependence on others. The danger and long term damage occurs from the system of action and reward. EXAMPLE; I use a sponsor for decision making and comply with AA; I am then rewarded with approval from the sponsor and group. This is the human equivalent of dog training.

          WOW- this is such an interesting way to put it all in a nutshell. Especially regarding the damage that part of the culture of AA.

    • Nice summation of experience .. thanks for that.

      It has been shown in multiple studies on various organisms – including humans – that small amounts of alcohol improves health and adds to longevity. In one experiment, very small amounts of alcohol doubled the life span of worms. In human tests, improved heart, general vascular and cognitive functions were sustained for longer periods compared to non-drinkers. Given the evidence, doesn’t it make more sense to learn how to control consumption rather than abstain completely? The myth about abstinent “alcoholics” consuming ANY alcohol and being right back to where they left off clearly demonstrates they didn’t learn a thing about controlling their alcohol consumption and abstinence is primarily an AA modality. Hence, AA really does not prepare one for normal, life prolonging alcohol consumption in any way. Is that really a good thing? And I am totally serious here. People should be taught from an early age how to consume alcohol for maximum health benefit. Today, you give a kid some poison that makes them feel good and say “have at it”. Then everybody is shocked when it goes badly. Without education, how in the hell do they think it should go? Every person, including me, who drank to excess, learned how to drink to excess, it didn’t just happen. My entire outcome may have been different if there were venues where I could have learned accurate information about alcohol consumption at an early age.

        • Yep, people have alcohol in their systems almost all the time and the amount varies depending on what you eat and the combinations of what is eaten. But, THAT is never a topic in meetings.

          There was also a study at the UW that demonstrated people are affected by what they believe about consuming alcohol. Problem drinkers were given alcohol and told it was pure orange juice. What happened? Did they drink it and directly run out to the liquor store and guzzle what they bought like crazed, out-of-control animals ?! Ahhh, no. Not at all. None of them did that. Not one. Bye, Bye allergy nonsense.

          Not only do bodies withstand the alcohol created in the gullet, they can metabolize around an ounce an hour with little to no effect. It only becomes an issue when the amount consumed exceeds the amount metabolized by the system. In reality, a person could sip low alcohol drinks all day and not “feel it” if they kept the alcohol level low enough. In theory, they would not feel it, but the positive health effects would exist. A small amount of wine during a meal has no mental affect whatsoever, but may have profound physical advantages. But ya never hear THAT as a meeting topic either.

  106. Anon – thank you for posting! I will be interviewing Claudia Christian who has used The Sinclair Method, never AA for her success with moderate drinking. SHe has written a fantastic book called Babylon Confindential. You might like it. I loved it. Im so excited to have her on next week and she has agreed to be interviewed in the Doc film as well.

    Great posting anon about this very important topic.

    • The Sinclair Method is so wonderful and I’m so glad I found it in my AA research travels. Just the fact that it works so regularly and has a specific explanation for how it really works made the lack of knowledge about how the AA Program “works” sun blazingly obvious. One approach has accurate medical and scientific explanations and the other has pure and unadulterated faith-healing nonsense. I hope unaware readers do the research to determine which is which if the concept is not clear.

  107. Moving on.
    I just went to Yelp which is the most popular business rating website and noticed that none of the AA Central offices for Los Angeles have any comments or ratings. If you enter alcoholics anonymous you will get all the central offices, if you inter alcoholic anonymous you get many individual meetings. In this age of social media and networking, sites like Yelp are the best sources of consumer information.
    http://www.yelp.com/
    I believe that the best way to protect consumers from misleading and dangerous products is with public reviews that explicitly list grievances. It also gives business owners the opportunity to take responsibility and change practices.
    Give AA real comments where it will matter to them.
    With respect and admiration of your courage,
    Anon

  108. Since i last posted i have had one can of larger. My old mate Mick and his wife Bella came to see me. Mick was a pre AA mate i have knew for nearly 20 years.
    Never once did he do me any sexual harm. Or any harm come to think of it. A platonic friend. Who did all known drugs all class A’s and drank to real excess.
    Sorted it himself. Never been to AA. No longer touches any street drugs no longer drinks to excess.
    He bought a few beers. We all drank one each.
    He left 2 they are still in my fridge that was 3 days ago.
    I havent been drunk since january, but i have drank since then.And before january mostly when i drank i had 1 or 2. I got drunk about 4-5 times after leaving AA.
    I really dont think alcohol is a problem for me anymore, and i no longer believe i am addicted to it.I’m a normal drinker.
    Anon said something about AA being trainers. Thats how i see them.
    I once asked what “IT” was, the “IT” they kept saying i was to get but didnt get.
    I was told “IT” was the breaking down of the ego and building up of the self esteem.
    It damaged my self esteem more, because i already had low self esteem when i went there. I was getting a little better in that department due to work i was doing with a pcycologist, but i got rid of her AA encouraged me to.
    And the work she did with me was ripped away pretty quickly on my entering AA.
    I was told i had to get rid of myself. The selfish part of me.
    They tryed to change everything about me.My personality.
    As for selfish if you knew my past you would have to agree that i was inclined to
    be too selfless for my own good.,
    AA did break me down, inside.And the place inside it took me to i never want to go back to. But it has never did nothing to build up my self esteem but rather damaged that further in me.
    I recall being out for 2 year not drinking but tokeing a lot of weed.I couldnt afford my habit. I was starving. I was also depressed, a lot of which was due to AA. I had been there for a few years , then out for 2 then back. In all 12 years.
    I went back and the day i went back an old timer got up as i stood up to leave at end of meeting. He came over and started pokeing me in the shoulder looked at the others as he did it and shouted you get to your meetings “.
    Its not a big thing, i have had worse, yet it was more pycologically damaging to me than the time i got my teeth punched out.
    I felt like a prisoner of war. I felt POWERLESS.To do anything.
    There was a time i would have taken that man’s hand and pushed him away told him to get lost.
    But i had been around AA many years and they had got into my head so much.
    He was from my own part of the world scotland, but like me now lives in england.
    He is a sorry excuse for a scots man. And this isnt meant for every low lander scot i’m sure some are okay. But he is a low lander not a higlander, that old timer who poked me repeatedly in the shoulder that day.and though there are bad men in the higlands too i’m sure, but i never met one that was a wife beater.There will be, but i never met one.
    And without stereotyping, since i do not know all low lander men.I cant say them all, but every lowlander man i ever met were drunken, womansing, lazy, selfish sponging, tapping. theifing. lying,ugly,no good wankers.(And if saying that makes me feel better then good. It’s also true.
    Bit like Bill Wilson,the low landers i met. AA makes people into there sponsor’s. They turn into there sponsors. Bill Wilson was the first sponsor.
    If my Father had been in that room that day when that old egotist arrogant little man that resembled Hitler in looks and nature, had layed his hand on me in such a way my Father would have knocked the living ten bells out of him.
    My Father stands over six foot tall built like an ox and was a bare fist boxer for money when he was in merchant navy.
    He taught me how to throw a punch too.And i can do that im not typically violent person but i have defended myself with my fists.I perfer non violence, but i did defend myself pre aa against pysical attack. And in future if i ever have to defend myself pysically against him or any of them or anyone, i hope to god that my boxing skills come back, AA removed them along with my brain.
    However parts of me are comming back.I dont want to change into any of my x sponsors or anyone in AA especially Bill Wilson.

  109. Just listened to blog radio piece on deprogramming found it really helpful. Wish I lived in the states, spring sounds as if its been lovely, am in the UK.
    Leaving AA is really helping me as I am unemployed at present and am finding that tricky, also having left AA/Na after 15 years attendance is a change.

    I am happy to be free (I nearly put fucking grateful) I can have a few drinks and be ok, quality matters as I really don’t like headaches etc, I keep fit and can tell my body/mind does not appreciate booze. Wow I still feel traumatised at some level by my 12 step experience, all the crazy people I met, sexual predators, liars and cheats, I did meet some good people to, but they were usually very controlling and did not like it if I thought for myself, I really believe I regressed in 12 step programmes, full of fear, told to not feel anger, I mean what the fuck??? yes swearing man, doesn’t mean im evil or god will punish me. I feel frustrated and angry after years of falling for the rubbish/brainwashing and sad that I lost myself in it, I was very lost and broken when I got there, in fact totally.

    I went swimming again and saw some more AA people, I felt ashamed and small, like they may no am not doing it anymore, I am clearly bad and a loser….craziness huh, yes well I caught that sort of thinking it a bit like thinking, I am not as worthwhile as people who drive blue cars…see nonsense!!

    The idea of having dreams was taken away, I spent so much time going to meetings doing step stuff etc I have abandoned my own life at some level, I think it will take me a while to deprogramme, get the life I need, I have very little confidence these days at times….last night I felt a deep sense of peace that I cannot say I have ever felt since attending AA/NA, ironic that it took leaving 12 step programme to feel peace !!! I am not sure what will happen with few friends I have in the rooms? will see, they always seem so down and hard on themselves, that is just what I can see after month away.

    I would like to live in the usa for some time or at least visit, I am going to make a list of things I would like in my life, goals I suppose I feel so disempowered a lot of the time, down to 12 step rubbish and lack of employment over past couple of years. I am intelligent, lively, articulate, powerful, loving, beautiful, feminine, creative and fun. Not fucking powerless and unmanageable !!! fuck that….

    Ranting a bit now, I live in London but see AA/NA people everywhere….hence one of my desires to leave and start again somewhere else without that fucking dog tag round my neck, yes I was dying of drug/alcohol problems 15 years ago and would have done anything to acquire more at the time, I couldn’t go low enough….years ago now, I need a new identity, especially as I don’t even like getting drunk/hangovers. I feel I have to be wary of the 12 step dogma entering my mind, especially when I feel down.

    That’s all for now.

    Peace

    • Jonas,
      Hello. Glad you got out.I live in Yorkshire, my sister lives in London.
      i havent been to AA in London. But i went to an NA meeting there
      many years ago. Didnt like them one bit.

      i met a man at that same time in london who had left AA down there, i liked him.
      He said he chose to stop doing it all and had left AA four years previouse.He was okay.

      i was in AA /NA and a few meetings in other anon groups for 12 years.
      i left in april of last year.im glad i left, and im doing ok.

  110. Jonas- so glad to hear your posting and I understand…the word grateful is still tainted for me as well. But they ( AA) does not own the word yet there are words I feel have been hijacked by AA/NA.

    It has been nice here weather wise and I sometimes see an AA person at the pool where I swim too. Although he is a nice guy and he is always asking for my opinion about a situation. He is sober 18 and a successful actor. He is no nice and confused as well. I told him about my work and why I think AA is bad and he is very open. AA has taught him to look outside himself for all his answers.

    Its like AA keeps one stuck. Well that’s because it not only keeps you stuck…I saw woman with over 25 years actually getting worse. Im glad you got something from Marilyn Bradford’s interview. I did as well.
    If you ever come to LA ring me up. makeaasafer@gmail.com
    I have to say things get better as the years have rolled by but I have a mate to discuss it all the time. He left too. We make fun of the “inner fight” that goes on. The mind F**king. Those cliques that roll around in ones brain that are sheer nonsense.

    have a good day and happy to meeting another x stepper who is free and peaceful now. I totally get it. :)

  111. Pingback: How AA HARMS the Inner Strength of individuals- by blogger ANON | Leaving AA

  112. Hello everyone,
    Thankyou Massive for your reply’s. I have got myself a
    little bit sloshed tonight.
    However not so much as i don’t know what i’m doing,no blackouts.
    i came home to my own gaff on my own with no harm done to no one.

    And it’s the first time since januaray i have had a bit too much too drink that’s first time in 5 months.
    so im not beating myself up for it.,

    my mate from pre aa scottish cath got in touch with me .
    good ole scotts mates are the best.!

    first time in a few weeks since she has been in touch, she asked me to go out for a night on the town with her.
    i was up for it so i said yes.. her husband one of my best male platonic friends whom i saw in the last stages of his cancer that finally killed him at age 51.that was in the winter time just before i moved home.And just as i was being intimadated by my x sponsors relative, and run from my home, i went to scarbourgh. i posted about that night . the jumper saved my life LOL

    and any way my best male platonic friend was also as my mates caths husband.
    So like she wanted and need’ed a night out, and so did i so i went with her .
    i enjoyed most of the night. i got invited to a party on sunday maby i will go don’t know.
    my mate invited me to stay at her home tonight but i just wanted to get to my own gaff and get my head down on my own pillow .So i came home and put my computer on before i go to sleep.

    i would like to go to the party on sunday there will be some good musicians there playing, that i once knew, pre aa but haven’t saw in years.
    and they are shit hot .musicians.

    but its like, i dont know if they will be okay with me now its been 12 years since i saw them.
    at one time i loved those people but i am a differnt person now .
    its all so strange.
    i wish i could just go and get up there on stage with them and belt out a janis number or something like i used to and not care what others think.
    and just be me. Just be okay.And be liked for being me.

    but these days i have so little confidence so mixed up around what AA taught me.

    anyway i had a bit too much to drink tonight but nothing bad happened, i’m not in court in the morning LOL.
    and home safe.

    i expect i shall lay off it for a while now. , but i would really love to go to that party on sunday. sing my heart out and do it janis style lol.I wish i could sing good and play guitar right.
    but this shall never happen.
    i wish i could be accepted by my old pre aa mates.and new folk i meet.
    and laugh and have a good time at the party and also get home safe.

    but i doubt if that will happen.
    aa did such a good job in fucking with my brain.
    good night all.
    aw well .

  113. sally – you are welcome!

    Have you gone over to amazon and read the reviews for the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous? OMFG !!! if you want to laugh and scratch your head at the same time I highly suggest it. I gave AA and NA a 1 star and a scathing review.

    Have fun tonight Sally. I guess Harm REduction for alcohol works.
    Jails, Institution and Death is like a death sentence for 1930. Imagine if we women still were treated for menopause like they did on 1935 Get the Flock out ….we would say….right”

    Im heading out with friends to listen to live music!!!

    • Massive.

      LOL i had three pints last night thats six halfs of larger.
      That’s bit over my limit. But I couldnt have been that out of it, my post from last night is readable.
      hey i enjoyed myself and no hangover.
      I’m not drinking today, shopping and paying bills today.

      I have been okay with reduction for over a year now.
      So far i prefer it to total abstinance.
      Still get AA based thoughts in my head,i wont look in a mirror when im drinking LOL

      Yes thats right about 1930′s treatment for menopause.I prefer to take the HRT or evening primrose, thankyou very much.

      I saw one of my bosses from my vol work in pub. Good job i dont go to AA anymore,i would have been trying to tell her she needed AA.LOL
      She’s a great lass.Good to work with and have a drink with.

      hope you have a good night with your friends.

  114. I have been enjoying white wine every few days, I feel so good the next day after a glass. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what their favorite white wine is?

    • anon,
      I have never been a wine drinker. however i did have some cava
      a while back and i really liked that.
      i haven’t had any alcohol since thursday. And i decided not to go to the party i’m invited to today Sunday, and wont be haveing any alcohol today.

  115. Anon, these are my favorite wineries, I like both the reds and the whites.

    http://www.ste-michelle.com/

    http://www.mirassou.com/

    http://www.brotherhood-winery.com/

    Massive, I sent you an email some time ago, I wonder if you ever received it.

    I had an old friend call me the other day and the phone call was pitiful. He’s a 50 plus year old man who hasn’t had a drink or used any drugs since he was 25. He called me to tell me that he was upset about some stupid little issue but it was ok because he talked it all over with his sponsor and that made everything right. Wow. Just struck me as pathetic. Sadly, he’s a really nice person, just totally brainwashed. His entire life is nothing but recovery this and recover that, goes to meetings every day, sponsors many people, his entire social life is recovery. I think I’m his only friend who isn’t in recovery and I don’t think he realizes I haven’t been to a meeting in 15 years and that I drink socially.

    • Thank you Snow; I can’t drink Red it gives me an instant headache.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_wine_headache
      I’ll try the Brotherhood Riesling, I have not had New York wine and the fact that they are America’s oldest winery is intriguing.
      I am so excited about coming up on a year of successful drinking since leaving AA. At first I was like a kid in a candy store, now I am really settling into healthy moderation with positive outcome. I look forward to good meals and conversation followed by sound sleep and productive days. In AA I became an out of control child complete with excuses for my bad behavior. The people on these blogs have helped me to grow up, most recently anti-d.
      Thanks for the recommendations!

      • anon- Congrats on all this good stuff. I look forward to sharing some wonderful news soon. Very soon….right after 4th of July when I launch my Kickstarter campaign for The 13TH STEP the MOVIE.

        • Very cool Massive Attack,
          I also like the story about your sons party, aint it grand to NOT force your AA constitution on every captive and scared normal person in your life. I remember sharing my AA philosophy with people at trade shows, grocery stores, mountain tops and deep caves too!
          Thank God® for BARF™
          Beating Alcoholic Recovery Failure
          so we may-
          Become Absolutely Really Functional

          • anon- :) yea me too. I was such a stepper. I worked a booth for lawyers in 1979 , ( I was 22 and 4 years sober) for AA as the P.I person. UGHHH

            There were some steppers he invited to the party. It makes me so sad to see young people join AA and get brainwashed. My son said there are alot young people going to AA now and that my film is very important to get the word out about the other options. He says that they think its the only thing out there..Holy crap!!! He said every pretty girl who comes into their store has low self esteem and is in the “program” OMFG….

            Im beginning to see that educating the other option needs to be highlighted in the film…even though at first it was mostly going to be about exposing AA/NA. It will include our 1st amendment rights and the court ordering of criminals and sex offenders. Im also gonna talk about moderation and be interviewing famous actress who is successfully moderating . No big deal right anon?

            Take care.

          • Everything you mention is a big deal to me. You advocate, protect, and educate the vulnerable. You activate against judicial referral with AA favoritism. You provide blogs at your own expense where people can discuss and deprogram and/ or get support for abuse. You continually host your radio show with interesting topics and guests. You are concerned that your son doesn’t feel comfortable because of the prevalence of stepism in society. You care enough to get up off your butt and do something about it even though it puts you at odds in your community. You are courageous and fair at the same time; even though you and I don’t always agree you haven’t cut me off. I can imagine that there is MUCH more I am not aware of.
            Yes, it is a big deal; you, your sons, your hubby, dog, and this community are all proud of you. I salute you; you and your entire family. Something needed to be done and you did not hesitate, that friend is being a good citizen. That is making a real contribution to society that will be remembered long after you are gone. Not only is it a big deal, it is worthwhile and needed.

    • snow,
      thanks for your post. It reminded me of the very last meeting i went to.
      A middle aged man about 50 gave the main share. he said ( that big P…m and the lads, referring to men who were sat in the meeting.)
      that they had taught him how to be with his wife.That because his wife drank ocassionally he could not go near her, but they had taught him how to. Then he said however his marrage didnt work out and they split.
      It seemed pathetic to me that a grown man had to be shown by other men how to be with his wife.
      I could see the humiliation on his face when he shared that.
      he also shared that as an alcoholic he couldn’t keep alcohol in his fridge for more than a day never mind 2 weeks.
      When there is alcohol in my fridge i can leave it for ages. months even.
      There’s a can in there now.
      So i’m glad he shared that one.that was my last meeting.
      And it was in Scotland. I went to my last meeting there but i don’t live there.

  116. well i have been over my limits twice in one year.
    In january, and 5 months later, on thursday. Apart form that i have had 1 or 2
    or none.
    Moderations okay for me.

  117. Anon, you are welcome, I hope you enjoy the wine – Brotherhood makes one of the best Rieslings I’ve ever had!

    Sally, sad, isn’t it? These people really need to grow up and become adults. And I’m glad moderation is working for you, it works just fine for me as well. :)

    Massive, that is the address I sent it to. It was just a link to a Facebook page I found because some people who I know from years seem to think it’s the best Facebook page around and it annoys the crap out of me. https://www.facebook.com/pages/13th-Step-Memes/549064708438551

    • snow,
      thankyou. i made a mistake in a prior post i said i had
      went over my limits twice in one year. It should have said twice this year.

      I’m going to have a look at that facebook page.

    • snow,
      i didn’t get a good feeling about that memes page.
      I have an account on face book but never go to it. my mate set it up for me,
      but i dont know how to go about facebook pages.
      I have been for a long walk in the sunshine today and not long home.
      that can of beer is still in my fridge.
      Off to put my feet up with a cup of tea, and watch a dvd.

  118. I had a few drinks after my work Wednesday.
    And got a bit merry with it. But no blackout’s.
    I remember it. I didn’t have any big arguments with anyone,
    but did stick up for myself in a respectfull way
    with a woman who was trying to bully me.
    I didn’t do no one any wrong and got home safely
    without looseing anything.

    And i delt with a man who though i don’t hate or dislike
    and don’t take it too much too heart. He was very drunk.
    But I found him a bit too forward
    I have knew him a few years but don’t really know him well,
    no long conversations no dates nothing like that.
    He wanted to have sex, but i told him no i’m
    waiting on the real thing someone who loves me and someone i love.
    Someone who’s right for me and treats me right.All that.

    I also don’t know if i can trust him that much. He went to AA once one meeting years ago. But has close contact with an x sponsor of mine.
    it was his best mate pre aa and he works for him.
    the man seems a bit of a mess in his mind around drinking .
    things he said.
    So in future i think it best i just say hello to him but not get involved.
    he has always been nice enough to me over the years when i have
    seen him around the town or anywhere. And i don’t have nothing against him.
    But yeh, i think i shall be carefull there.

    I think to say i had a bit too much larger, i delt with things okay.

    however because i have went over my limits twice recently
    i joined harms reduction. I was thinking of joining it anyway.

    I havent drank since wednesday, it’s Friday now.

    • sally- I love your posts! I can tell you are not in LA !!!! People are shooting people here .for no good reason..its nuts!!!

      I met Aaron Sorken tonight. I love his show “Newsroom “. I met almost all the other actors too. It was really fun. Im so happy to be gone from AA!!! My hubby went to college with him.

      Sally…:)

      • Massive.
        its good to here from you.No it’s not LA here , just West Yorkshire Numpties. LOL.They mostly use fists here. however there have been murders right here on the estate where i live. Stabbings.

        USA there is lot’s of guns there. And they take them into AA meetings. That alone would make me terrafied of AA in USA.
        I have had a gun to my head, when i was very young.But on the whole UK arent as bad with the fire arms thing.

        I don’t know of Aaron Stoker. I dont have teleivision. I shall look him up on the internet. Must be fun being famouse and meeting actors. Mind you I met a few in AA myself they were all good actor’s in AA including me .LOL.

        My sister gets to meet famouse people. She works with the music festivals, she’s just been clearing up after the stone roses.

        I’m glad to be gone from AA too.

  119. i posted my last drink was wednesday it wasnt it was tuesday.
    i havent drank since then thats 6 days. This is also my first day off canabis.

  120. im not doing anything bar posting and reading posts. no prayers books meetings or other ways i just stopped.and hope to stay stopped. if i try drinking again hope to moderate.

  121. my friend one of my friends who drinks phoned me asked me if i wanted to meet her in pub for a drink. the pubs about 5 minutes walk from my home. I said no. and told her to have a good night and i would see her another day.
    i haven’t asked anyone or anything to stop me from drinking.Not AA, not an AA meeting, not god or a HP. Not a sponsor. No one , nothing. I might have a drink again, but so far i haven’t.

  122. I notice that I am doing much better in my family and other relationships. When I first left AA there was a definite adjustment period in my ability to deal with others. Now I feel more confident and able to express my true feelings and appropriate thoughts with people. While in AA I had a feeling of defectiveness that prevailed in relationships outside AA, I was troubled and overly hard on myself. I still experience normal periods of sadness or uncertainty that pass after objective thought and acceptance; the main difference being that my focus is positive and not on seeking my defect in the situation. AA was confusing to me; I feel that my new non AA coping skills are deliberate, clear, and more based on positive outcome. I have discarded magical thinking.
    I am drinking wine in moderation well within healthy guidelines prescribed by the AMA, American Heart Association, and Diabetes Association of America, even though I have none of these conditions. I feel strong alcoholic drink is to be reserved for very special occasion and in extreme moderation such as Bourbon and water or some other diluted fashion; the exception being Brandy which is reserved for very special occasions. I do not keep Vodka or other drinks that I would have a propensity toward over consumption in the house. I also do not keep potato chips, pizza, or French fries in the house so I do not feel this is due to any alcoholic trait or condition.
    On many levels I regret participating in AA. I still attribute some of my success to the help I received obtaining abstinence. I also appreciate being exposed to mind control and coercion as well as deceptive language practices in that I now easily recognize and shield myself from them. It is as if I was in a bad situation that I came out of feeling it was worthwhile in regard to my character building. I do not believe that I would repeat my participation given the chance. This of course is not a fair comparison as I am not the same person I was when I initially made the decision to join.

  123. Another long post.
    I still haven’t had a drink since my last post.i’m out of dongle credit for internet. A neighbourgh has let me use her’s to post. i’m so surprised that so many non AA friend’s and neighbourghs have been so supportive and kind toward’s me. Helpfull.
    Not only with material things but lots of things. YET most of them drink and or use drugs.
    It kind of makes me wonder about the frequent shares i heard about how no one out there cares or would help you. how you dont see the alkies at your door in the morning with a loaf of bread after they have drank all your money”

    But we love you.

    When i first went to AA i had no computer , or phone. And i didn’t expect or ask for anything from them.(and by the way most of the things i have today like computer i got when i was out of AA. i worked the last time i left there in a cafe and a cleaner.)

    the only help i was given was the ocassional lift home from a meeting.
    That i didn’t ask for , and offered towards petrol money for. i useually said no to offer’s of lift’s.
    Because the few that i took though i didn’t ask and offered petrol toward’s.
    Most of those few people who gave me a lift very ocassionally, later would sit in meetings saying I’m not a taxi service, i cant carry an alkie.
    Also step work with all sponsors bar my last one, though i was told to do it, and try’d my best to do it, without knowing how to, other than what i heard others say in meetings they did or what i read in B&B about it, that’s where i took my direction from and tried to follow.
    Well i was also later to hear from some sponsors or shared by them in meetings.
    That i wasn’t getting on with the steps i wasn’t doing it or i was doing it wrong or the sponsor would say about it “I cant do it for you i cant do everything for you ”
    I did not ask any sponsor to do anything for me other than to share my step work with them, because that’s what i thought i was supposed to do.
    also phoneing people. Well i was told to i was got at when i didn’t.
    And when i did phone i payed for the calls and all i did was listen to them talking useually about there problems. Then later i would hear from those i called. How they were being bothered by people phoneing them.The people sponsees annoying them by calling.
    I didn’t like calling people in the first place, i was told to.
    i had an x sponsors nephew shouting at me on the streets that his uncle had done everthing for me took me all over-i beg his pardon his uncle did not take me all over . he offered the ocassinal lift i mostly refused i offered petrol for. and he lived in the next street to me it was on his way home. His uncle read some of my short life story and took some step forms from me.
    his uncle took some calls from me, and in them i listened to his uncles problems.
    thats all he did for me he offered i was told to do these things.he didn’t have to.
    That’s what anyone and not everyone but a few did for me in AA.

    took an ocassional call. gave an ocassional lift read some step work.

    All of which i was told to do by them, or they offered to do. I also thanked anyone who did any of this and also repay’d them with the material gift’s.i also listened to them share there stuff.

    apart from this i was given a gift of some money from one who said they wanted me to take it. insisted. i gave it back. And also did housework for that person for free.
    another bought me a meal at his insistence. another loaned me the money for a meal at his insistence i payd it back.
    and another insisted i take ten quid from them insited i did not ask or even want it. i bought her a gift back.
    That’s it in 12 years.

    Am i complaining that they didn’t do enough .

    NO! i didnt and dont care.That they did very little for me.I didn’t expect them to.

    (I dont include my last sponsor in this, her i have no issues with. )
    No I’m saying dont tell me you did everything for me and dont tell me your friends or family “We are your family now “And dont tell me i didnt try or that people not in AA are bastards that dont do nothing for you ”
    i was told they had carried me, i was told they had went over the miles with me or something like that.i was told i was asking them to do it for me.

    i walked miles to meetings with damaged spine, in the snow rain or sun. i copied step work forms by hand that took me ages since my hands and arms are effected by arthritus. i traveled miles to do step work and go meetings walking city streets in strange citys i didnt know late at night alone.i built a bon fire so high to burn hand written step work that sponsors refused to take from me.i got into debt with phone companys .
    And i also took phone calls listened to others stuff and gave materially, only i never complianed about it later.
    as for praying it all away i did that every day for over a decade.
    anyway i still havent drank. but will do so again since i am no longer trying to
    remain abstinant for life

  124. i was never classed as sober by them even after i did the steps.
    even at 4 years without a drink and over a year clean. they were trying to put my in a 12 step womans dry house when i hadnt had a drink for 3 years or a spliff for over a year.
    my so called relapses mostly only ever consisted of one drunk, or one drink, or one spilff.
    someitmes i would stay out longer but i didnt drink every day out.
    I know what my major problem was in my life.
    i married scum, i took up with scum, i hung out with scum and then i tryed to recover with scum.

    • Its good to get this stuff out Sally; I think there is value in realizing what happened and publishing it.
      I went to AA because I wanted to get better; exposure to problem people caused problems for me which made things worse. Had I participated more personally with those who offered it would have ruined my life.

  125. I just spoke with another old friend who was in AA and now drinks. He has been moderating for about a decade. He had similar findings to me; wine is easier to moderate than other hard or binge prone drinks. He works and gets up every morning at 6 to start.

  126. Abstinence days are healthy for me unless abstinence becomes an obsession or something I feel bad about when resume enjoyment. I resume drinking on purpose and for maximum benefit.

  127. thanks anon spj and massive,

    i go to hams, but i’m not getting the hang of posting there,
    yet.

    i haven’t had a drink since my post where
    i said, i had got a bit drunk and bumped into that
    mate of my x sponsor.
    i haven’t been counting days.

    i didn’t get canabis either untill last night.

    they can come to my crazy party, but i aint going to theres.
    infact i have invited them to do so
    in another post, where i have broke anonimity and posted one of
    the names of the violent criminals in AA. In this area.

    I still have some weed left, so im off to go chill out now.

    I was invited to a day out today by 2 of the women i work with.
    but i didn’t go this time, i will the next time. they went off
    to the grounds of a priory, its one of those old
    mansion homes people walk round,
    and the country grounds. hope they have a good day.

    i needed to rest today because i was worn out. pain in legs.
    and stress,
    i have had lots of things on this week, lot of walking to do things to sort out
    i’m in a job club now and have a new CV done.

    And i’m seeing a sickness officer at the job centre soon,
    she is going to help me find the right job , considering
    the disabilities i have.I wish i could do the work
    i’m qualified for, but i can’t any more.
    However i shall find one i can do,
    and will like to do.

    thank fuck
    i can have a drink or spliff now, without no one
    pokeing me in the arm and growling go to your meetings.

  128. i didnt have any canabis last night
    but i did in the early hours before i went to sleep. i still haven’t drank.
    i have been applying for lots of jobs. everyone told me there’s no work going but i am finding lots to apply for, though that don’t mean i shall get one right away. hundreds are applying for each job.
    i hope i get one soon.i dont want to drink on a empty stomache.
    i havent had much food in this last week.
    And i also really havent felt i wanted a drink for some time now.
    when i get a job i am going to have a party i shall definatley have a drink then if not before.

    • Sally, it sounds like you are doing better! This is good! When I drink I do it so that I do not feel guilty or sick about it. Good luck on the job hunt, being as abstinent as possible while looking will help. Congratulations on having such a positive outlook and approach about your own wellbeing.
      Better is better.
      When you do drink our use consider a cost benefit analysis and drinking plan. These are tools you can find on HAMS; also when I feel a bit down HAMS chat at 6PM PST helps.
      Consider eating something healthy and light instead of starvation, eat well before drinking and follow with water to minimize negative effects caused by overconsumption.
      Hope this helps :-)

      • anon,
        thanks for your reply,good advise, and support.
        I have just got back home, been out today not to the pub,
        but shopping.
        sundays the best day for me to do that.

        Yes, not to feel guilty about it, I think we have all had enough of that.

        I joined hams, i shall have to find the chat.
        the starvation isn’t intentional. LOL.
        sometimes i have nothing to eat because i have no money for food.
        that may sound like a scam , but i’m not a scammer looking for money.
        shit happens to me as it happens to others.
        my money was stopped by the welfare, they have gave me it now.
        I drink water or milk before i drink alcohol. my mother always told me to do that. puts a lining on the stomache she would say.

        i shall look into the tools on hams
        .yes your posts and replys always help me thanks.

  129. Sally, I’m glad the welfare kicked back in and that you can get something to eat. I noticed that I drink as part of a mental reward system so I decided that I would reward myself by being abstinent today instead. This changed everything for me and I am having a superb day. Thanks for talking to me Sally, due to the internet and world wide web, people care for you and wish you the best from all over the globe!
    Here is the HAMS chat;
    http://hamsnetwork.org/chat/
    I am not in there much because I am busy at 6 pm most of the time.
    I hope the support helps you, they also have an email group.
    :-)

  130. anon,
    thankyou so much.i have difficulties with web sites ,i’m okay with research on line.
    also my computer it never works right.I had some really strange things happen it.
    My mate mick sorted it all for me, and set me up up on this face book thing. I hear lots of people talk of this face book. My sister my children friends. Anyway, i had this page i think it is called, and leaving aa went on it i think by accident, don’t know how it got there, and people are talking about this stuff that is going on in AA there.
    I think i could be in trouble i have my real name on there.they will be sending the big boy’s to my door. That’s what they call them in AA the big boys. they are supposedly more grown up.
    They came sometimes before when i left, but that was at my other home. don’t think they will come here.
    and i’m not scared anymore, i’m not going to panick this time. It was 12 step free i was in the last time i left.They said i and others there were destroying AA and killing people there by speaking about AA. I didn’t want to kill no one or ruin someones life there, if they are happy in there AA, and all that.
    They have caused these web sites to happen,they have forced this to happen.
    I had no one to talk to anywhere about these things of AA, but these web sites.
    If they are so innocent, why are they afraid to let themselfs be investigated by us or the authorites. Why are they so up in arms about being critasized. they didn’t mind doing that to me every day for years.Or just about anyone or anything that wasn’t AA.
    I Just realised i may be off topic on this page. this is abbs v mods.
    Anway im not drinking today either. that’s when i like to have a drink, as a reward and when things are good, and in the right company.
    yes i’m glad to,about the welfare, i had to plead with them. but as luck had it the interviewer was an asian man that i was talking to in the dole, they know what its like to be hungry, and he said i’m not that cruel a person and he sorted things for me. i was so thankfull to him.
    i can’t get back on my face book thing, i have e-mailed them for help with that.
    i found a radio station that leaving aa has set up and listend to one of the videos there. i was crying inside. I was so ready to cry. i did but on the inside. That poor kid that got hurt in the meeting in USA.And i was like i can’t explain this maby you know, i just realised that this is really happening that at last after 13 years of this someone in america is getting it over to the people. and something is being done.how i felt inside. and realising that at last i really am free and never have to go back to that place again.
    god bless whoever it is that is helping. massive and you and everyone. And god bless America. the English don’t seem to give a damn. ( The Scottish AA did take this kind of thing more seriously, at least in one town, i only went to a few meetings there, but they were talking openly infront of me about this
    and they were trying to stop it )
    I am going to go live in America one day i think. I think it is a better country than the one i am in.
    who was the first person to start things such as this up and the orange papers.
    i thank them from the bottom of my heart.
    And the hippies for inventing the internet.

  131. well i still haven’t had a drink, my daughters husband offered me one today but i didn’t want it so had a cuppa instead. haven’t had much cannabis today either and none left.
    so i will be off it all by morning.
    i am closeing down my face book account.
    i put my real name up there.I don’t think that was a good idea.
    leaving AA are posting to me there. but i don’t know if it is them.
    my last post said.
    they told me my parents didn’t love me,they told me to keep my mouth shut about sexual abuse.They ried to get rid of my family.
    these things are true.
    To be honest. AW! that’s what some used to say in AA -to be honest.
    well i’m getting more wary, i’m not scared and i know my rights.
    but there are many dangerouse people in AA. and there are many AA worshippers
    who hate AA being pulled down.
    just how far they would go to stop people telling the truth i don’t know.
    still its probably too late i get the feeling they already know i post here and read my posts. I think i put my real name on here at times too.
    I haven’t ever been able to come to terms with how lightly a lot of people take
    things like domestic violence, rape, child abuse and sexual abuse.
    AA are not the only people in this world that blame victims or treat such things as
    if it were nothing. that makes me feel sad.
    I found a job as a receptionist in a 4 star hotel on the island of jersey,live in, low tax island.
    but i cant take it,because i have to be in UK for my Dad. but at least i got an interview.
    jersey is lovely.but never mind.

  132. the last time i posted to one of the sites was wednesday. I used the library since
    my dongle has run out of credit. i didnt have much time to read the posts, Also the library comupter has some of the pages restricted and i couldnt get on them.
    Its the same today , im in the library.And i havent read any posts. Today.

    I decided to look into it, about the law and suing AA. i found a lawyer who is legal aid. I talked with her and also gave her the leaving AA web site info.
    She said its very unlikely that i can sue AA or do anything. That’s it is medical incompatance within medical centres and hospitals, doctors that kind of place that can be sued. She also said that the USA have different laws to the UK. She said she would talk with the other lawyers at switalskis about it and get back to me by post or phone, but that she really didnt think there was anything i could do.At least she listened and is going to look into it.

    So i personally am leaving it at that.like i kept saying no one where i live cares or is interested in what happened to me in AA, or what is happeing to others there.
    Infact pre aa there were also people such as doctors police and others, friends family even, who thought i made too much of abuse issues. Or blamed me.
    So maby they are right and i was wrong.Maby it is right to sexualy abuse children and adults rape and physically abuse people. And blame them for it and make sure the one dishing out the abuse isnt blamed and gets comforted and not held responsable for it..Thats the message that not only AA but life in general has given me.

    im going away camping to a free music festival for the weekend, so wont be around, and i dont have money for internet credit.
    and the little money i have i need, so i wont be posting as often as i did.
    I thought this was the best page to post on about me going to see the lawyer since the library computer is restircting, some pages, of leaving AA.
    i havent had a drink,any drink for ages. no canabis today either.
    i may do so at the music festival.if i feel like it.

  133. just got back from the festival. I really enjoyed it a lot . But the dog henry wasn’t used to the noise so i quit early and came home. I didn’t have any alcohol just orange. i bumped into a very old friend, a lady who went to support and survival, for domestic violence at the same time i did. I haven’t saw her for about 10 or 11 years. We are going to meet up on sundays from now on. in one of the local pubs. I’m off out tonight to the pub. I have put in for loads of jobs, put in for a night porter at the hospital, its a temp job 3 months. And shop jobs, and care work at the care homes. There’s a heat wave hit my area , so i’m off for a cold beer.

  134. i didnt have a drink last night i fell asleep.its been 15 months since i left AA. my drinking has not gone back to the way it was PREAA. Nothing like it.
    I have not been to hospital, or police cells or in any trouble, (i have had a few arguments a few short words, nothing very bad ) with a drunk person who lives in my area ,but i dont care anyone would do if they met her. I dont dislike her but she winds everyone up not just me. shes very drunk most of the time and dont know what shes doing. so i just shrug it off. and dont mix with her too often. she lives across the road and shes had a lot of problems in her life.(including AA for a short while ) anyway my life hasnt gone to the dogs.
    there book say’s on commensing drinking again after a period of abstinance, in a short time,you go back to the same as it was before you stayed off it.
    I havent. How long is a short time?
    Haveing balckouts when i got drunk was one of the reasons i thought and still think at times im alcoholic. I was told by most of them for years (No one ever said i wasnt one) but most said i was one and that if we have blackouts we are alcoholic.

    Then after years of being told i was an alkie in denial and would have to do it or die get on the programme and all that, years later some of them, among them some who kept telling me i was an alkie, and had to get on with the programme, they started to tell me i wasnt an alkie and the programme didn’t work. EH!
    Those people to the best of my knowledge are still in AA. And the last time i went here in my area, i went after being off it all and haveing gone through the steps again but picking up again and went with a drink in me.one of the peole who told me i was an alkie for years and had go’s at me for not getting on with steps and sponsored me, even though i was trying to, do the steps, its difficult when a sponsor dont give you no direction as what to do,then years later the same person starts to tell me im not an alkie and the programme don’t work.

    he was there after i relapsed and had a drink in me, but not drunk and went into a meeting, he was sat in the meeting saying how he has been haveing to work the programme hard at present as he had a lot of problems on. EH!

    i go to AA he and most others tell me im an alkie in denial and have to do it or die get on the steps. i try my best to but keep picking up go back get told i didnt work it it works if you work it dont blame us or the programme. i try again and again keep relapsing keep being told im in denial and do it or die.
    then i finally manage to get throuigh all the steps in order and keep clean/sober and get told by the same people im not an alkie and it dont work anyway.
    then after i pick up again go into a meeting and there’s one of them saying he has to be working the programme hard just now. !

    he tells me it dont work once i managed to do all the steps. I would be doing them and relapse go back start again. but then eventually got through them all without relapsing.!and he and others who told me it works do it, tell me it dont work.But they are working it. EH!
    (Forgive me for being confused )

    As it was it didnt work for me. none of it not from the start to the end. i did it best as i could, and still picked up.it didnt stop me picking up again.
    i picked up again no one made me i did that, but that programme didnt stop me.
    i was told it would.

    Im going to do some research around blackouts on the internet.

    My canabis use is daily with short periods off it. NA told me if i picked up any drug weed or booze i would go back to useing all the drugs i ever used and some i hadnt used yet.
    I have not gone back to useing speed or lsd,both of which i stopped useing many years prior to going to AA/NA and without any prayers or HP.

    AA say theres nothing wronge with the programme just the people.
    I think there is a lot wrong with there pogramme and most of them.

    im not drinking to day and havent for a while. but i will have a drink again.
    im trying hard not to see myself as a alkie/junkie.They told me for years i was.
    pre AA i didnt see myself as a low bottom drunk though i did question if i was heading there. and question if i was an alcoholic or not.
    pre AA/NA i never saw myself as a junkie.. I did think i was addicted to canabis.

    the last meeting i went to in my area, there was an AA/NA man there a seroiuse wife beater from what i gathered of his shares.I had been useing weed for about 1 week, and hadnt drank again at that point.
    he came over as i was leaving and shoved an NA leaflet in my hand and said look your an addict you can see that just from how you look. go talk to M>>> at the local drink drug place. shes lovely. look at you you just need to look at you to see your an addict.and an AA true believer came over and said you look ill i can see it in your eyes.

    ILL! what dilated pupils.

    i had been off all of it for months and had just picked up weed again for 1 week.
    And he tells me i look like a junkie.
    the woman he said to talk to who works for drink drug place she was one of the reasons i left NA. and i have never found her easy to talk to. i had resentments to her years back. but that had gone, but still didnt want to talk to her and i see her at times she walks by me and im glad she walks by. Theres nothing i want to talk to her about. and i didnt find her to be a lovely person when i knew her.

    i have now been useing weed for over a year and drinking. not one person has told me i look like an alkie or addict. infact the woman at the job centre i had an interview with 2 weeks ago said your records say your a recovering alcoholic addict what happend did you recover you dont look like one.

    • Sounds good Sally. Remember that if the drinking or pot starts to get away from you there are many helps out there. The thing that is most important to me is that I take care of myself; eat well, exercise, visit friends, get outside, etc. Now that I’ve been away for a while I don’t worry about the old AA stuff so much. It’s better to find new ways and methods to achieve a sense of well being; this way I don’t feel lost without the old AA methods.

  135. Anon,
    thanks, hope things are good with you.
    yes, if i feel i need some help around substances the last place i would turn to is AA. HAMS is okay. and there are other things too apart from AA. i dont think i would try AA again even if i was at deaths door.looking after myself is important.
    i do okay at it most of the time.
    No,why bother to worry about the old dogma.They came across as hateing drunk people anyway. One of the old timers the one that did the obscene phone call. Last time i was in AA he kept saying at meetings to everyone, about how a lady who had helped him into AA was drinking again. He said when i saw her with a bottle in her hand i knew she didnt care about her grandchild. She has been out on the street in her knickers arguing with her neighbourgs if she rather be out there arguing than in here with us , i thought she was a very attractive woman when she was sober but now she is ugly. His live in woman and also in AA said yes we used to go to her home to try and help her back but i lost my temper and shouted at her.

    I knew the woman they talked of, not personally didnt have any long conversations with her didnt see her that often.she was one that was always nice to me and right with me when i saw her at meetings. She was very lovely and inteligent woman who worked as an art therapist.

    I didnt know she had relapsed and havent saw her for few years.
    Thing is i dont know if the old timer was telling the truth. Was she really out on the street fighting in her knickers.maby , maby not. And if she was, what buisness was it of anyone in AA, and there may have been good reason for her doing that.
    i have ran from my home in my PJ’s, and slippers when i have had to.
    And this man says she rather be out there arguing.
    well that man and his woman friend he first had when i first went to AA never stopped arguing they still are.
    And his woman friend of today said she shouted at this lady, so its okay for them to argue loose there tempers.
    and as for not careing about her grandkid. this stuff really got to me about AA.
    They assume if you drink you dont love or care about your kids.
    im not saying my drinking or drug use or life even has been good for my kids.
    But didnt love them. GET LOST!i would have and still would lay down my life for my kids.i loved them in my heart no matter what.

    I kept them with me through everything and did best for them i could. they didnt go barefoot and hungry i didnt send them out to prostitute i didnt stick them in a home. i kept them clean and tidy took them to doctors dentisists.went to there school events.
    they had baby sitters if i went out. i didnt go out all the time i didnt drink in the house often or go out all the time. I gave them the inherintance my mother left me .£24 grand between them and i did that pre AA. I didnt batter them or sexually abuse them.
    And if i felt they needed help from social services around things it was me that went and got that.I got social workers to talk to my kids after i left my second husband.
    I also explained to them as best i could the things they went through how it happend that i ended up with violent men and also how sorry i was (which i was and still am) that they went through the things they did because of me and my life style.
    i may not have been the worlds best mother, but i loved my children and wasnt a complete bastard to them.

    had to get that out.
    AA is getting further away from me,its starting to fade its getting easier.
    thanks to this leaving AA web site and other peolle who dont go to AA.

  136. havent had a drink for a while, begining to think im cured of drinking.naw!
    i will again. i have got 5 days work at a music festival. £300.
    thats in august.
    and i just got a call from a chinese restuarant, for an intview on wednesday.

  137. It is totally the individual’s (assuming no harm to anyone else) business of whether to drink or not drink. In particular, those (like me) that were labeled “alcoholic” at age 21 (i.e.) have likely outgrown the “ism” and CAN moderate. I have been moderating for over a year. I have had only 2 or three instances of “over drinking” and now understand my limits. It’s as if I’m learning what I should have learned about alcohol thirty years ago. I was so brainwashed that I truly believed the rhetoric (death, etc.). Now it is truly a choice to drink or not. I have no regrets about being sober for many years, but many regrets about sitting in meetings and believing all the dogma. I was just as judgmental and brainwashed as anyone. Now I cringe at the thought….

  138. yep its no ones buisness and i dont tell everyone when i have drank i just talk about it here as thats what this site is for and also in hams. i have been doing oksy with my drinking sice i left AA in april last years 15 months ago. dont think they quite manged to totally brain wash me, but they certainly did a lot of damage to my mind.
    know what you mean about being labled when young, not that i was labled alcoholic when young but i did get other labels infact i been picking up labels since i was young right up to recently i have had a few labels.
    everyone can be judgemental.not to worry free of it all now.

  139. I’m doing very well with my moderation. There are more abstinence days between drinks that are occurring naturally (not forced). When I do drink I do not over-consume or become sick. The longer I am away from AA the better my problem solving and coping skills adapt to logic instead of cultish dependence and magical thinking. This blog has really helped me hone my departure from the dangerous and damaging cult AA. Today I see AA as a cruel and abusive method of arresting addiction.
    Yesterday I ran into an old AA acquaintance, he spoke disparagingly about a very nice woman I know in the program for no apparent reason, I assume to feel superior. Later it occurred to me that this same man has paid sex with hookers.
    This is typical of the hurtful hypocrisy I run into with AA men.
    I have never in my life known a man married or otherwise who uses prostitutes until I joined AA, now I know dozens, mostly married.

    • There is a painful reality about AA and NA .. good people with a drinking or prescription drug problem that are not criminals, should never be subjected to the AA/NA environment – period. Some areas try to create “upper crust” meetings like for lawyers and doctors and the non-criminal population, but there is simply no way of avoiding the nut jobs over time and the belief system XA causes is really good for no one, especially motivated, societally contributing people. I know that sounds very judgmental, but it is just the way it is. AA’s religious program can work wonders for wet brains that are almost dead anyway because it replaces one delusional belief system with another, but if you have anything going on, it is a place one should avoid like the plague. Recoil from the nonsense of AA as if from a hot flame .. so to speak.

        • i knew a doctor in AA who got paid cash in hand for false prescriptions.
          and i knew a lady shop owner who phoned a man in AA so the 2 of them could have obscene phone calls and get off on it as they called one another.
          And i knew a very ritch well to do lady in AA who is scared to tell her skrink the stuff that happens in her haed.
          and i know a posh lady with professional back ground
          who talks to dead people and channels that in AA meetings.

      • spj, you cant aviod the criminals that are out to rip people off, or the violent, or sexually abuseive or nutters in AA.
        there are the same people in womens only meetings.
        meetings for the upper crust. men only meetings. every meeting.And the programme and attending AA can send a person mad.

        I have a criminal record, and mental health lables. But i didn’t feel safe in any of them meetings either and i got harmed in bad ways by some in AA and AA programme.

        I didn’t steal or scam anyone for anything in AA. Or sexually abuse anyone, or threaten anyone. and i returned anything given to me by anyone in there even when they didn’t want it back. and they had insisted i take it. i refused to have sex with those that wanted it. and pushed those who sexually abused me away.i shouted back at a couple of them that got at me , slagging me off, verbally abuseing me, shouting at me…
        And my metal health, if my deprsession
        And my panick attacks did wrong to them, i cant see how, since as soon as i started to panick i would walk out. and i only mentioned other illness a few times.just to let people know.and hopeing it would help.i doubt if many knew i was depressed or afraid since i had not to talk of that and not to show that. smileing on the outside.and if it would have hurt them to see someone sweat shake or hyperventalate, any time that happend when they were around,well it wasn’t ment to . they weren’t around when i had nightmares either. or flashbacks. and i wasnt feeling that way every day all the time.it came and went.

        thankfully i didn’t quite get to the point where god got back to me personally, and didn’t choose me as a channel for anything.

        i have been to that point pre AA when i was in another cult,
        it started to happen just before i left that cult and went to speak to doctors.

        but i sank into very heavy drink and drug use before i found the right help.

        That’s one of the reasons i didn’t want another religoun or cult.And perhaps one of the reasons i left AA, before that happened again.

        Well the doctors and medical boards are telling me i’m sane
        and in no need of any treatments and don’t go back to AA.
        i had a mild anti anxiety tablet once a day for a couple of weeks i stopped them recently.
        I also do not commit any crimes.

        There are nutters and criminals everywhere in or out of AA.
        And people who commit violent crime and sexual abuse, can send a normal person crazy ..PTSD
        And Cults can make a normal person crazy, deprsession, ptsd,religouse mania.

        i keep myself to myself out here, i only mix with people i know are not out to do me no big harms.And at first when i left AA i went to 2 churches for company and peacefull feelings,
        but i don’t go any where near them now either.because expieriance has told me if i go too often too long it will turn sour.

    • anon,
      the same is happening for me with alcohol.And also problem and copeing skills. Some of them shared they were cruel people pre AA.
      Prostitution, There were times when i could have went down that road, but i have never had to.or wanted to.
      I knew a prostitute many years back, pre AA, I didn’t judge her for it. I used to worry a lot for her. but i don’t anymore. I ended my friendship with her a long time ago and don’t care to have it back. Not because of her being a prostitute, but because she was a bad friend towards me.
      i make no judgement on prostitutes, or those who go to them.
      but i don’t want either of them to try to tell me how to be respectable, and moral , and better behaved.
      guess there relationships aren’t as wonderfull as they make out then.

    • The thing that bothers me most about these AA men that use prostitutes is that they are married. They bring disease and biological hazard home to their families. Do I want what they have? Do prostitutes use drugs? Are they spiritual? Do they make good sponsors? Can I trust them? Do they think at all?

  140. i went out to a beer garden last night met some friends and had 2 halfs of larger 4%.
    and today i went for my lunch with one of my daughters, down near the canals in a lovely family pub. i had one 4% cider mixed with wild berry juice.
    And we walked back along the canals and countryside.

    • That sounds like a nice couple of days Sally. :-)
      I had a few drinks with my wife last night so will abstain for the next few days. My wife has been really great since X-AA, we are closer than ever before. AA was strong enough to hurt my marriage, but not strong enough to break it.

      • anon,
        im sorry about them trying to break your marrage up. And im glad they didnt suceed.They do that. they wanted me to get rid of everyone except them.
        tie a big bundle of twigs together and try snap it. and then try snap one twig.the big budle thats family, the twig thats AA.
        i have had another drink since my last post.went to a barbacue at my daughters a family get together. i had 2 very small bottles of larger 4% and a big plate full of all sorts chicken, salad, crisps. and a huge ice cream LOL.
        I have this theory about my ocassional drunk times.
        when i first went to AA i kept hearing one drink and we cant stop we end up drunk cant stop at 1 or 2.
        PRE AA i didnt try to. but i tried to after AA, but like they said i couldnt stop at 1 or 2, I got hit by a car trying.
        years later after a relapse i found that one time i did manange to have 1 or 2 . When i told them this they said,
        sometimes we can, but we find that not long after haveing this 1 we got drunk. again.
        So first its we cant have 1…than its we can very ocassionally, but not so long after we do we get drunk again.
        So i have had 3 times recently where i have kept it to 1 or 2.
        So i should have been drunk by now!
        Also for years i heard if after a period of abstinance, we pick up again ,in a short time we will be as bad as we were before.
        i was out of AA for near 2 years i dont think i drank, I used weed. if i drank it was once and i went back.
        i said i hadnt gone back as i was pre AA.
        Then shares were changed to If it took us 10 years to get bad with the drink, if we stay off abstain for a period then drink again and keep drinking, it will take us 10 years to get back to where we were at when we first got here.Im starting to laugh at these people now. intsead of being angry. i walked by a meeting place today on my way to job club.one was out puffing a ciggy.i didnt feel anything. no fear or shame or anger.no interest either. i’m glad i hadnt taken anything ,no drink. And i was well dressed clean tidy and in good spirits.

  141. I will never go back to drinking or smoking pot, by clean time was never back by the NA or AA people. all I ever found there was threats intimidation, and a bunch of perverted out laws, what believe that women are at fault, AA people make me sick to my stomick, I have no problem with the Idea that I am alcoholic and I cant drink or I will go on a benge, but I do not believe that you have to be threatened and verbley abused by such creeps as those AA members are, it always seems like it is always the bad asses what control them groups,
    this is the prayer I say about AA and NA
    I hope god allows all the AA protesters to get there word out and inform people that AA is a cult and NA is to and not to listen to them. they will make your life hell
    I think God has a wraith against them that is what I see

    • dumb aa member,
      They believe its the victims fault be it man, woman or child.
      At least thas how they came across to me by the words they used and things they said.
      If something bad happens to somone near me. For example if my next door neigbourgh was beaten and robbed in there home.
      my first concern would be for them,getting an abulance, police, getting them a cuupa giveing them a hug.
      not snapping at them “Whats your part in it, aye but what did you do”
      or “Aye but you didnt lock your door did you “.
      say thay hadnt locked there door.
      is that there fault. prehaps they have demntia, or short term memory loss. and so forgot to lock there door. and even if they didnt that dont make it there fault they got robbed.
      the robber robbed them its his crime and wrong.
      it is best to keep doors locked, but why mentally beat up a person who has just been beaten and robbed.
      locked doors dont stop them either.Me and another woman neighbourgh chased 2 male heroin addicts off our street last week.
      he got caught breaking into an old alcoholic mans flat recently round here.
      that was them back again. I shouted a whole lot of verbals at them.
      im all through being patient with so called sick people, and abusers.
      that includes them in AA and them out of AA.
      if my neighbourgh the man that got robbed, had been in AA they would have blamed him for what happened.
      God or HP is there for everyone that has one or wants one,in or out of AA. And atheists have there own right minds and good consience in or out of AA.
      AA may well be run by abusers, bullies. infact i recall my last tx message to my last sponsor said just that.
      AA is run by bullies. Seems to be.

  142. Just want to throw in that I had half of a Mike’s Hard Apple Cider the other day. That makes 1 and a half drinks I’ve had since I left AA around 4 years ago. After this one, I just went about my business and completely forgot about the non event, until I decided to post about it. For those wondering if they can leave AA, the answer is most probably yes. I am not in jail, or in an institution, or dead and I certainly don’t crave another drink. I do not even consider myself a moderate drinker … I guess I am more of an occasional taster than a “drinker”. That brings up another question. What the hell is a “drinker” really?. If I take a sip of wine does that qualify me as a “drinker”? If I take a sip of wine every day does that make me a “heavy drinker”? Or a “daily drinker” ? Who made this shit up anyway? I mean, c’mon, I used to hear, “there is a fine line between a heavy drinker and an alcoholic.” Really? How scientific and medical is that piece of folk wisdom horseshit.. Can you see the line? Can you measure it? Does the line have a color? If you can’t see it or measure it, how can they say it even exists?

    • spj- so true. I was reading the bb earlier because I will be going to court with a friend and we are highlighting all the times the book uses the word God and the reference to having to have God guide you and your life. I can not believe I EVER believed this horse shit!!!

      Great post!

      When Steppers run into a person who has left , they always wanna ask….”are you drinking” . I wanna say wtf does that mean.

      Its such an AA term.