May 2, 2016 at 9:34 AM #5315
Hi all I am new here and wanted to post my story but I couldn’t find a way to do that on the stories page (am using a tablet so that’s maybe why)/but I really just wanted to discuss what’s been happening with people who understand. So my drinking and drugging got waaay out of hand when I was very young. I never felt normal and had this crippling social phobia and low self confidence (which the hard-core steppers told me was my malady) but now I just think I had low self esteem and extreme social anxiety (duh). Anyway I really struggled to stop drinking in my teens and early 20s and then started taking pills on top and other narcotics. I eventually went to rehab which I did find helpful even though it was 12 step it was at least a lot more forward thinking and considered the individual far more than any of the rooms’ I discovered afterwards. After rehab I had a nasty relapse which frightened me and around d the time I came across an extremist message that AA had been watered down over the years by treatment facilities and the only true way to recover was in the big book following it to the letter. I was attracted to their dogma at the time, being fresh off a drug relapse and feeling hopeless and without any other places to go for help. I had always been an atheist but was told I had to let that go, that God was either everything or nothing and I had two choices to die or get spiritual help. I went along with all this and at times sincerely tried to pray. I think the mixture of relief from the end of that relapse and being clean again and the fact I was making very drastic, positive changes in my life had more to do with how much my life has improved but the steppers demand I give all the credit to ‘the program’. I faced my anxiety head on day in day out until I felt better, I did positive things like volunteering, playing sports, taking classes even though they made me feel anxious at first. This was about 3 years ago and today I have a job and have been back to study and plan to take this further, I have hobbies, friends, have been in a healthy relationship and I am happy. But all through this the ‘message’ around me was getting more and more extreme. I have seen people be bullied out of the meetings, have seen dangerous people control an entire room, have witnessed awful gossip, sat in rooms with sex offenders, been surrounded by people who still live off the profits of fraud despite being ‘clean and serene’ for a number of years. If this is what their image of a good life is, I don’t want it. I have decided it is better for my mental health to surround myself with the activities and people that help me to feel good about myself and encourage me to grow as an individual, not out me down for my belief systems or not parroting AA dogma or refusing to bully sponsees. That’s another thing that angers me, the insistence upon ‘tough love’s and ‘confrontation’ – I am not a narcissistic bully and most people I met aren’t but those who are perpetuate this nonsense as an excuse to feel good about themselves at the cost of another. How low and pathetic the lives can get. I am sick of feeling tense amongst angry people in a toxic environment which feeds off a dance between power and fear. I am sick of people claiming status over a group with only sober time to go on, demanding total honesty from sponsees but living their lives in complete dishonesty. I am sick of the platitudes, the sickening ‘tributes’ to God and the bullying of anyone who dares question the status quo. I’m glad I’ve left this toxic environment ~2 months ago and my head already feels better for it. I just feel ashamed that I was ever a part of it.May 3, 2016 at 10:59 AM #5321
Hey AnonRaven. The beginning of your post sounded just like the one I just put up. I drank like I did because of who I was at the time, and the difficulties I was enduring. I’m assuming through from the rest of your post, that you have stayed sober despite leaving the rooms?
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.