Bad Sexual Harassment and Intimidation Going on in Costa Mesa, CA STOP 13 STEPPING in Alcoholics Anonymous

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118 thoughts on “Bad Sexual Harassment and Intimidation Going on in Costa Mesa, CA STOP 13 STEPPING in Alcoholics Anonymous

    • πŸ™‚ You are really free when you don’t believe in the fortune teller readings of Bill Wilson a chronic alcoholic ( he really was one) Jails, Institutions and Death.

      The funny part I see now is that why didn’t people challenge him and say, where is the research, why don’t you update your book every ten years? Even every 20 years? But 75 years and no research about exactly what you are telling us. We had a thread on the blog recovering from recovery about moderation vs abstinence. It was great! Lots of sane discussion. I wonder if mfc66 has the threads ?

  1. yo- how long since you left AA? Im sure you posted it here but I cant remember.

    One of this biggest things I do not do …and I really work on is to not talk ” AA speak”. I have been deprogramming for over 2 years. From reading the blogs, first OP then ST …I learned from Hank Hayes, Stanton Peele, Tom Horvath and Michelle Dunbar , Steven Slate, Kenneth ANderson, Donna Cornett, Robert Whitaker, Amy Lee Coy, Ilse all of these folks I interviewed DURING my process of leaving, left, gone and free! Each of these individuals said really interesting stuff to me in my interviews with them that emphatically changed me and made me stop using these words. Hank Hayes book and AMy’s really helped. “Addiction Proof Your Child” really helped me as well.

    Some of them are;

    Sayings like “they went out or they slipped” instead of ” they drank some alcohol”
    Sayings like ” are you working your program” instead of “How are you”
    Sayings like “are you willing” istead of “you’ll figure it out”
    Sayings like “have you hit bottom” instead of “do you want to stop or moderate your drinking”

    OMG there are too many for me to mention. Maybe we can make a list here of one liners LOL

    and yes sayings like this one. “Have you tried controlled drinking?” What exactly is that. I never even tried that when I was 13-18. I drank however much I wanted. I never drank at all when I hitched hiked around the country. Then I stopped on my own 2 weeks before I went to a meeting with a guy I met on the beach. So wtf was I doing in AA for 35 years? OMG now I can see why I get so mad about all of this. Furious actually.

    With Stanton, it was when I used the word Sober. I was deprogramming all these past 18 months that I have done the radio show. I still have more deprogramming to do. AA is a deep deep sick cult. I am getting so much better little by little. But I NEVER talk like and AA person . EVER!!! AGAIN . Im not mad towards you but …I am super mad I wasted all those F#####years in AA and its wacko culture.

    I say go ahead and write about your point of view.

    • Hi Massive,

      You give some good points. I made my Iast meeting in August, so I apparentIy stiII use program Ianguage without reaIizing it.

      I was just trying to see if others have had success with sociaI drinking…has it work for you? If a Iarge % of foIks can drink again normaIIy after extended abstinence, that wouId further undermine the disease theory of AA- which I stiII feeI has some vaIue- even if onIy for the worst drunks.

      • Large amounts of people have success with social/moderate drinking! This is proven by the fact that most people quit or change drinking habits with no help from any program! Even if people do totally abstain from drinking, in my opinion, this has nothing to do with supporting the disease theory.

        I believe it is best that some people not drink. It is not because it is a disease, it has to do with other factors such as lack of self control, emotional issues etc. Also some people do act terrible under the influence.

        Some people cannot stop eating ice cream once they start. This does not mean it is a disease.

        I think what you are saying that not drinking for the worst of drunks, is that it might be best for some of them not to drink.
        I agree, but not because it is a disease. People who have damaged their liver, or are already suffering from liver disease because of their drinking, are better to not drink!
        For their liver to try to heal, people need to quit.

        There is all kind of moderation drinking supporters. That is because many, many people can drink in moderation after abusing alcohol.

        Check out this website with all kinds of scientific evidence that supports moderation! Great website!

        HAMS Harm Reduction For Alcohol

        • So Massive,

          I see you are using your other user name, AntiDeniaI and you didnt answer my question.

          So I wiII ask it again:

          Are you now drinking? And is it working for you?

          I think that if it is working for you thats great- its exactIy what wouId offset the deep fear of booz the program puts into peopIe.

          • Yo, You are very confused! Massive only has one username! I am AntiDenial, who also just uses the AntiDenial username. I guess because I responded to your direct question to her. Sorry if that mixed you up.

            I have to say Yo I find your questioning of Massive or anyone on this site about whether one drinks or not rather odd. I think Massive made it rather clear in a diplomatic way that she felt that your initial question was “12 stepper” speak.

            Which Massive CLEARLY has no interest in
            engaging in- EVER. Plus it is a personal question, that if one does not answer indicates that they do not feel that it is anyone’s business. Otherwise they would answer.

            I also have been asked that question and also have been actually “accused’ of drinking by 12 steppers ( as if it is a crime) to somehow gaslight me, and try and minimize the strength of my points. I do not feel a need to discuss whether I do or not. This should not effect my ability to express my stance on drinking in moderation.

            I know AA tends to feel unless you were a falling down, in the gutter true blue alcoholic- you have no right to an opinion on any matters related to alcohol.

            Which of course is just not true.

            But I have stated that I am not an AA/NA member, nor have I ever been. Yet I certainly have learned a lot by reading blogs, books and speaking with AA/ NA members. This stuff is not rocket science.

            Also what do you mean, “if it works for Massive it would offset the deep fear of booze the program puts into people”?

            I think people can be sober or moderate or alcohol dependent, and still totally pick apart AA’s ridiculous disease theory. One person is not going to change that. So why not look at the body of evidence that I posted to you earlier about drinking in moderation? Really is an excellent site!

          • AntiD:

            You have answered questions for Massive on a few occassions that I remember- hence my observation, which you state is erroneous.

            There is no stated Iaw or poIicy on this site to not as personaI questions, so I asked- and wiII do so again in the future to gain insights as needed.

            If we are going to have an open discussion forum, then Iet us be open. Forbidden questions are a stepper tactic not appropriate here. One who does not wish to answer can simpIy state as such.

  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.

    • anon- I think I am a little overzealous about not using AA lingo to make up for the 36 years I went. My son told me tonight at dinner that when he was 14, 4 years ago, I was a hard core AA stepper. I felt so bad. He was right. I told him I was so sorry. I really am. I hate that I said and believed such hogwash for way too long. He laughed and said he was glad I’ve changed.

      Yo- where else do you blog. Have you read some books to help leaving ? The first book I read cover to cover was by Amy Lee Coy From Death DO I Part, The Stanton Peele’s, Addiction Proof Your Child. Then I read blogs like Stinkin thinkin and Orange papers before there was a forum there. Im glad there was no forum. I could not have dealt with the trolls.

      Im sorry I have not created the thread yet but I have been too tired to deal with it.

      • Hi Massive,

        I have the ReaI AA text, and Addiction Proof Your ChiId.

        I read the first and it made me aware AA has serious cuIt quaIities. I have not read the second text.

    • I don’t trust anything I ever learned in AA anymore but I do recall there were two things that classified someone as an “alcoholic”. Either they could not control when they drank (frequency) and/or they could not control how much they drank once they started (quantity). Before I learned that addiction is not a disease and that AA is total bullshit when I did drink I could not control frequency nor quantity therefore I considered myself an “alcoholic” and anytime I left AA (3 times) I went back to out of control drinking.
      Since 4/2011 I have not been totally abstinent but I have been able to control frequency. I refuse to allow myself to go back into destructive drinking. If I do drink I go right back on the wagon and I take that event as a learning experience. I do believe that at some point in my life I will be able to control quantity. I just don’t feel the need to put a lot of effort into that right now.
      I think all of us in society have been brainwashed to believe that if someone isn’t born with the ability to drink responsibly or at some point their drinking gets out of control they have “alcoholism”. That’s ridiculous and come from the disease theory. I believe anyone can learn to control their drinking as there is no such thing as an “alcoholic”.
      Anon, I am very impressed with your ability to drink in a “controlled” manner, congratulations!

      • I do believe there are “alcoholics”, which I think were people that actually became physically addicted do it. People certainly do become physically addicted if they drink often and a lot. But once one stops the physical addiction of alcohol, people can learn to just have a couple of beers or a couple of glasses of wine occasionally without becoming physically dependent on it again.

        • Well yes, AntiD, I do believe that people can become physically addicted to alcohol as it is a drug. I just do not like the term “alcoholic” for obvious reasons. To me it’s more AA speak. I like the term alcohol dependent which at least matches the DSM (for now).
          I agree with everything you’ve written above and some people should not drink but it is a personal choice.
          BTW love your NA Daytona Beach Blog.

          • etp – I really felt after being in AA over 3 decades it was really important for me to use different words. I refuse to use that word if possible. Even the word addiction….makes me think of NA, so I use Alcohol and Drug overuse! It make me feel better. And I know then I am not buying into the 12 step rhetoric. πŸ™‚

      • I congratulate anyone that can drink responsible, that has never been my history. When I use to drink, it was never a problem of staying drunk for days or weeks on end, it was the fact that I couldn’t stop until I got totally drunk. I feel as though alcohol reacts differently in my body than it does in others. Once I have that first drink it is next to impossible to stop before I get smashed. For me, abstinence is the best and safest method. I am lucky too in a sense, as I have lost ALL desire to drink. I just don’t like the way it makes me feel anymore.

        • I love the way certain alcoholic beverages taste, I also enjoy how they relax me when used responsibly. For years I walked the earth with the identity alcoholic. I was a cripple out of place in normal society with a false sense of entitlement due to cultish AA membership. I was easily pliable to those who would exploit me. Today I am less wound up and tense, the longer I drink responsibly the easier it gets. I don’t punish myself anymore or live in a fabricated serenity in an unsustainable belief system. It is no longer necessary to collect years of abstinence to feel important. Today I live fully without the denial of truth or substance.

        • Hi Frank,
          “I feel as though alcohol reacts differently in my body than it does in others.”
          That’s the brainwash that we have bought. That somehow it’s us who is faulty therefore can’t handle alcohol consumption. It’s learned helplessness and all I am saying is that it is not true.
          Abstinence is the safest and easiest way to go.

          • For me abstinence wasn’t the easiest way to go because it gave power to the AA dogma of jails, institutions, and death. It wasn’t until I drank healthfully with a drinking plan that all the stress of AA participation was gone and deprogramming was complete.
            I started about a year ago with non-alcoholic beer. I went through stages of behavior with the beverage; enjoyment, moderation, emotion, discussion, etc. It was a good primer for alcohol and paved the way to healthy drinking.
            The main reason I left AA was that I observed a dangerous belief system in which my friends were killing themselves.
            Today I do not have any abstinence, instead I drink soberly, never allowing my judgment to become impaired. For my friends who killed themselves AA was just as dangerous as drinking. Their judgment was impaired and warped by an untrue belief system which lead them to death. Their thoughts were not sober, they were based on magical thinking, faith healing, and dogma.

          • Anon, I couldn’t agree with you more. The powerlessness belief system is what kills people possibly more than the alcohol. I think deep down that you are right. I don’t think I will ever be truly free of the AA brainwashing until I can drink moderately. But that takes a lot of work and it can be dangerous. I appreciate you posting your process here.

          • Hi Etp,

            I think a lot of what you say has validity. In my particular situation I realized long before I even knew of AA I had this problem. For me, its like once I stick my key in the ignition I can’t turn the motor off until I am pretty wasted. I am not saying everyone has this reaction to alcohol but without a doubt I know that I do. I am not powerless as long as I don’t take the first anything. It took me a long time to realize this about myself, believe me I tried for many years to be a normal drinker. I never did buy into the powerless b.s. I do have the power not to take the first one. Finally, I have simply lost all desire to drink, but I quit on my own. I think there are a lot of people that alcohol affects the same as me. I think it is perfectly okay to drink as long as you don’t have to suffer bad consequences. I never was that lucky, at my age now I think a hangover might kill me! Lol

          • I hear you Frank. I am glad you are content with your abstinence.
            I like HAMS reduction approach and I wish it was around when I was younger. I was told when I was 12 after one of my first drinking experiences that I was an alcoholic. That’s f’d up. I was never given the opportunity or any instruction on how to drink moderately. Until the disease theory is dead teenagers will continue to be taught learned helplessness around drinking. Which makes AA happy I am sure.

      • I should mention that I deprogrammed from AA for two years before drinking. At one year deprogramming I started drinking non-alcoholic beer and taking codeine for migraine headaches (about 6 pills per year).
        It would have been dangerous for me to start drinking while still brainwashed in the AA belief system.

        • @anon- you said “I started about a year ago with non-alcoholic beer. I went through stages of behavior with the beverage; enjoyment, moderation, emotion, discussion, etc. It was a good primer for alcohol and paved the way to healthy drinking.”

          I just love hearing your story about this in such a NON AA WAY! πŸ™‚

  3. My understanding is that the 20 questions tool of AA is not diagnostic.
    I understand that there are accepted tools for diagnosing alcoholism and that someone with an alcoholic diagnosis can become non-alcoholic after a period of abstinence.

    From a contact from Johns Hopkins’ media relations department:
    “The Johns Hopkins Twenty Questions: Are You An Alcoholic? was developed in the 1930s by Dr. Robert Seliger, who at that time was a faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. It was intended for use as a self-assessment questionnaire to determine the extent of one’s alcohol use. It was not intended to be used by professionals as a screening tool to help them formulate a diagnosis of alcoholism in their patients. We do not use this questionnaire at any of the Johns Hopkins substance abuse treatment programs. To the best of my knowledge, there have never been any reliable or validated studies conducted using the Hopkins Twenty Questions. I advise you to consider using other instruments such as the Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test or the CAGE β€” both of which have proven reliability and validity as reported in the scientific literature.”

    So, the questions should be attributed to Dr. Robert Seliger of Johns Hopkins (in the 1930s), not to Johns Hopkins itself as they no longer advocate their use. I note as well that the e-mail I sent to you all earlier from the Literature Desk at GSO stated that the hospital had requested that GSO not attribute those questions to their institution in the pamphlet “Memo to an Inmate Who May Be an Alcoholic.”

    If you know anyone who would like permission to reprint this piece, I have a contact at Johns Hopkins to whom I can refer them. I have been in contact with the faculty member who knew the history of this document and who recommended that we not use it. She was very adamant about it–in a second e-mail to me, she said that she’d grant permission to any AA group who wanted to use it, but that she really recommended that we don’t.

    Or try the DSM

    • Yes ETP, that is crazy to be told that you are an alcoholic after a few drinking experiences, and that young. I think a lot of my problem with alcohol might be the fact that it was totally acceptable to see who could get the most wasted. Maybe if I had been taught to have a healthy fear of overindulgence from the start things may have been different. It seemed when I first drank in my mid teens we had no fear of getting drunk, in fact it was considered kinda macho. My peers all drank way beyond reason. Maybe it’s the fact of how I was introduced to drinking rather than it affecting me differently. I don’t know the true answer, but I do know that a few drinks or a few beers never interested me. I know people that can get up and leave a 1/2 of a drink on the table and walk away and never give it another thought. I could never do that. I think I am long past the point of learning moderation and that’s really okay for me.

      • “Maybe if I had been taught to have a healthy fear of overindulgence from the start things may have been different.”
        My point exactly Frank. Sounds like you hung around with the same people I did way back then, lol.
        I had a conversation recently with a man around my age who lost his mother at age 18 the same age I was when I lost my father. I said to him “Good thing you didn’t turn to drugs and alcohol at that time as it was the popular thing to do back then.” He said that he did over drink and drug after his mother’s death but decided after a few years to stop as he knew it wasn’t healthy. I thought to myself that the difference between him and me was that he thought he could stop on his own because he was never told otherwise.

        • ETB,

          When I was a teenager in the in the 60’s, the stigma of drugs and alcohol were lifted. Everyone I drank or smoked pot with were in to getting trashed. So that’s how we all behaved. You know, it’s no telling how things could have been different if were taught a healthy respect for what drugs and alcohol can really do over time. Every time we drank we got totally smashed. This was acceptable back then. I can actually remember police officers pulling over drunk drivers, taking their alcohol , but not taking them to jail, just a warning of sorts. You never would hear about dui’s, no one would be taken in and booked. So in this atmosphere it was just fun and games. I wish we were given a set of instructions with that 1st 6-pack. Lol

          I guess I am lucky that I have completely lost my desire to drink, makes quitting a lot easier, lol. I extremely lucky to have realized that AA was full of crap when I did( thank you Orange) I don’t need all those labels that AA wants to brand a person with for the rest of their lives. I never bought into that disease concept, or having to be an alcoholic for the rest of my life when I no longer drink. Kinda stupid for a person to be labeled an alcoholic when they haven’t drank for years. I do know one thing for sure though, I have a strong dislike for AA/NA , people collecting chips, sponsors, old timers etc. The only thing that AA/NA ever did for me was to waste a lot of my time sitting in bullshit meetings with people I dislike , getting hit up for $20 loans, I mean gifts, that never got repaid, guess you can’t work when you spend all day and night in meetings.

          • I agree Frank. I have a very strong dislike for counting time, collecting chips, reading any AA material and especially listening to old timers. So nice to be free of all that.

          • Hi Frank,

            I enjoyed your reminiscing back to the 1960s. I was a young aduIt in the 1980s, but in the earIy 1970s, I was in a smaII town, with very oId styIe conservative views. And in hind sight those views were heaIthy! If you ever watch the movie THE BIOB, which Steve McQueen made his Iead debut in, that was fiImed Iess than 1 hours drive from where I grew up.

            It was a happy whoIesome farm community and smaII town. A teenager couId hitch hike across the county at night back then and no one wouId worry for him/her. We wouIdnt dream of doing that today. Drugs and aIcohoI are a big part of the change. My mother didnt know what pot was untiI she was aImost 20 years oId! If AA was around, we sure didnt know about it and didnt have any need for it either.

      • Thanks, I will continue to post progress and tools.
        It is no longer necessary to collect years of abstinence to feel important. Today I live fully without the denial of truth or substance.
        AA was not freedom, it was just a different kind of bondage.

        • ANON I think its awesome what you are doing. This week I will get help to add a page and I can move your posts…copy them to that thread.

          I too think this is a very important part of the non AA way to be promoted and prove them wrong.

          No Jails institutions or death for a great many of people.

          Now when it came to my dad, not the case. But he was never offered any other way but AA. HE hate AA. He hated that I was such a stepper too. He’s happy now. πŸ™‚

          When Recovering from Recovery was up there was a thread on this that was really long and a great conversation was going on with no body judging.

          • What makes them wrong is that someone will come along and say I was never an alcoholic to discredit me. This is not true because I was a mainstay AA true believer for 15 years. They say only the individual can diagnose themselves. Well I did that and indoctrinated thousands of others along the way. For a mutual aid support movement, AA really goes out on a limb with religion, belief, control, and identity. Why not just provide mutual aid and support? Why is all the ritualistic practice necessary?

  4. anon- thanks for posting this as it happens. Anti D is going to show me how to create a page for this specific conversation.

    abstinence vs moderation!

  5. I don’t know if I am moderating as much as I am using alcohol responsibly, consciously, healthfully, optimally, or soberly. Moderation is such a buzz word; it conjures visions of failure because it is used in a negative context in AA. DSM calls alcohol abuse maladaptive use. Perhaps I am drinking adaptively as long as I do not meet the criteria for abuse or dependence. Even the word β€œuse” brings up negative connotation due to recovery industry programming. The medical business of making money by treating the effects of a behavior has completely contaminated society with circular thinking and buzz words.

    Alcoholism is a disease; get treatment, relapse, repeat.
    Alcoholism is a disease; get treatment, relapse, repeat.
    Alcoholism is a disease; get treatment, relapse, repeat.
    Alcoholism is a disease; get treatment, relapse, repeat.
    Alcoholism is a disease; get treatment, relapse, repeat.
    Alcoholism is a disease; get treatment, relapse, repeat.

  6. 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.

    • anon- quite refreshing! I got a call from a young twenty something blogger who will be posting his exit from AA as well, who is successfully being normal πŸ™‚ with no harmful effects from drinking as he pleases.

      AA is one big lie!

      There is about 1 % in AA that are like Bill Wilson. When I arrived in AA they should have said to me ….honey , you are not an alcoholic. You are just looking for a group of people that dont drink or a culture that likes being present.

      SUre I drank alot as a teen, but not like Bill Wilson. 20 years hitting a bottle of hard liquor everyday. Never.ANd not till I got good therapy 15 years later did the issues that needed addressing go away. I knew after 4 years sober at 22 and working all the steps and being of service up the gazoo, that AA and its steps were not going to fix me. SO I began reading every self help book I could get my hands on. Its kinda sad that I didnt find SOS or SMart when they first were created. Oh well.

  7. I was in AA for many years..thank God I left. Now I have real sobriety. AA has always had many sick and disturbed individuals not to mention the sick AA idealogy. Remember it was started by 2 mentally ill sociopaths who had a love of cult religions.

  8. @yo- ” If we are going to have an open discussion forum, then Iet us be open. Forbidden questions are a stepper tactic not appropriate here.”

    No forbidden questions? Hmmm you’ve got me wondering.

    Yes there are. We have boundaries here unlike in AA where they get to do and say what ever they want.

    Not here. So far your posts have been fine. But if someone began to ask rude, racist or sexual offensive questions I would ban them.

    And let’s be open. you said

    We dont’ even know each other’s real name, where we live, what we look like. So I did notice on Stinkin thinkin when I first blogged there that if I asked a personal question people ignored me. If I wanted to get more personal, I would give my email and then it got more personal. But right on the blog. It didnt happen like that for me. So I learned from being iced to not ask those personal questions. If someone wants to offer it. FIne. I was in AA for way too long and had lots of deprogramming to do. Im still doing it.

    You got really pushy I thought. Asking me questions that are so stepper like. Kinda made me think….why, why does that matter to you. Who cares? I would never ask someone who left AA that questions out of respect for how we hate the AA head and power tripping.

    I deleted something you wrote cause I found it very offensive.

    SO back to response to Anti D. She has my back. I have her’s . We’re friends. I have made many friends on this blog and other blogs. Steven Slate, Amy Lee Coy, Ilse, Gunthar, etp.

  9. Thanks Massive,
    I consider you a friend too πŸ™‚ I also think it will be very helpful to have that other page on this site that deals with abstinence vs moderation.
    One of my first deprogramming thoughts was that it truly is no ones business when I had my last drink or if I drink at all. I got so accustomed to my drinking being public knowledge in AA and that I had to confess when I did drink. So I can see how that question can feel loaded.

    • etp- thanks πŸ™‚ great feedback. I’ll get a new page up this week. I know someone who can help me. She said it’s a piece of cake.

      I think it’s so true. Another cult aspect is always wanting approval and calling someone to ask them if it’s okay to do this or that. I know someone on my life who is deprogramming, and I can see this with them. It’s so disempowering. Sponsorship may have helped me a bit, but then it should be their job to tell you to figure it our yourself. It’s really sad to see a grown successful person with alot of AA time still doubting themselves.

      But like you said etp, that lack of boundaries AA members have really un nerves me now.

  10. YO- you stated “AntiD:

    You have answered questions for Massive on a few occassions that I remember- hence my observation, which you state is erroneous.

    There is no stated Iaw or poIicy on this site to not as personaI questions, so I asked- and wiII do so again in the future to gain insights as needed.

    If we are going to have an open discussion forum, then Iet us be open. Forbidden questions are a stepper tactic not appropriate here. One who does not wish to answer can simpIy state as such.”

    Actually I have never answered FOR Massive period. I have only given my opinion on comments.

    Yo- in your recent comment above you state If one does not wish to answer they can simply state as such. Well I guess you did not read Massive’s initial response to you where she explained quite clearly that was stepper like questions, and that she had no interest in having a stepper dialogue. Yet you rudely kept pushing.

    You make it sound like your whole thoughts on the disease theory depended on what Massive’s response was. Very odd. There is a huge body of evidence you are seeking about drinking in moderation that it works for many people. I think you know this.

      • Anon,

        After years in the miIitary, where I come from asking a straight up question based on honest observations is not a troII tactic- its an honest question.

        And ducking the answer is considered rude. Massive uItimateIy answered the question and thats good- it shows character.

          • No desire for a contest on my end. I was just trying to see what experience peopIe with Iong term abstinence were having going back to drinking. No generic study wiII repIace 1st hand experience- thats why the question was important to me.

          • Yo,
            I had 15 years in AA.
            Several friends in program died so I left.
            I had a head full of AA so I used blogs like this one to deprogram and adopt realistic beliefs. I spent over a year clearing my mind in which I only drank NA beer.
            I just started drinking just over a month ago and feel no compulsion to abuse alcohol.
            I do have a healthy respect for alcohol though and know that if I do not drink soberly I may impair my decision making ability and become dependent.
            I use the HAMS program and am now accumulating 10 abstinence days before my next drink.
            I drink using the DSM criteria to avoid their definition for alcohol abuse and dependence.
            Hope this is what you are looking for.
            So far so good, I hope to post my results here.

          • Hi Anon,

            What is HAMS and what is DSM?

            When you drink do you feeI the desire to keep going untiI intoxicated?

            It sounds Iike you are not experiencing any shakiness or withdrawaI, is that correct? What % of ex-drinkers go back to successfuI sociaI drinking? I am sorry for your Ioss. I Iost a number of friends in AA too.

            Did the friends you had in AA pass away from tramatic events due to over programming?

          • Yo,
            HAMS is harm reduction for alcohol.
            I use some of the 17 elements
            and sometimes the chat at 6pm Pacific time.
            DSM is…
            Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
            Q; When you drink do you feeI the desire to keep going untiI intoxicated?
            A; I use a drinking plan based on cost benefit which you will find on HAMS site.
            Q; It sounds Iike you are not experiencing any shakiness or withdrawaI, is that correct?
            A; I am not drinking more than 2 ounces at a time. I respect that if I drink to intoxication that I may become alcohol dependant and over consume due to mental impairment.
            Q; What % of ex-drinkers go back to successfuI sociaI drinking?
            A; I have no idea.
            Q; I am sorry for your Ioss. I Iost a number of friends in AA too.
            A; Thanks.
            Q; Did the friends you had in AA pass away from tramatic events due to over programming?
            A; They died due to an untrue belief system in which they had a disease, were powerless over alcohol, and their only options were recovery in AA or jail, institutions, and death.
            With sincerity, I hope you find a healthy sustainable path. Everyone is different.

  11. Hi Everyone.

    OK- I hope we can move on. I cant handle this kind of stuff right now. There is too much going on.

    I’d rather let it go now and just have this discussion be as it was going nicely.

    PLease? Thank you.

    • I am talking to parents whose daughter was murdered by an AA guy and Elizabeth who was threatened by a man who is giving women aids in Costa Mesa. She is traumatized for sure and could use support.

      PLease let’s pick our battles. This topic , successful moderation is a freedom someone gets if they leave AA and they are deprogrammed and et al. This is NOT one of my fights. Although it is part of my over all plan to educate around moderation and get the courts using it for when someone gets their first DUI. I also want to get to parents and colleges to teach their kids this.

      PLease smile. Life is too short. And my head is still healing. πŸ™‚

    • yo- thanks so much. πŸ™‚

      I really felt like anon brought a great discussion to the blog. This conversation was happening on RFR beofre it was brought down, but it could have never happened on ST or OPF because of trolls and pro steppers even on anti AA sites.

      It needs to be discussed freely and I hope some university will do a study to debunk AA 1935 book that projects all the doom and gloom.

  12. I had a slightly rough night with my moderation. It seems that even with very moderate use there is a withdrawal that manifests itself as minor intellectual discomfort. This occurred at 5 days abstinence after averaging one to two ounces of alcohol two to three times a week. Once during this period I consumed four ounces and became slightly intoxicated but experienced no sickness or headache the next day. I feel no compulsion to drink now and am not overly interested in anticipation of my next drink after I complete my 10 days abstinence.

    • Anon,

      Thank you for your post with aII the Iinks. They are very heIpfuI. I think there are former AA peopIe who can handIe drinking, but I am not confident I can do it, so I wiII stay abstinent. I aIso know I cant handIe smokes- I Iike cigars WAYYYYY too much!

      If I ever get to the point where I can comfortabIy avoid seconds with Ice cream or chocoIate, then I might try booz again, but that wont happen soon. I just got frequent fIier miIes from 7/11- not a good sign…

  13. Yo,
    I do not think that tobacco, food and alcohol cause the same types of compulsion or have equal consequences with abuse. I also believe that craving and dependence are relative to the quantity and duration that the substance is used in relation to abstinence days or detoxification periods between uses.
    My personal observations follow.
    Tobacco used once causes me slight craving at about 3 to 5 days that dissipates till day 20 when virtually no craving remains. My theory is that as I escalate the duration and or quantity of my use the craving intensifies making it more difficult to reach the 20 day abstinence. Alcohol seems to take 3 to 5 days for any craving to dissipate after repeated use. If I drink several days in a row the desire to continue drinking without abstinence days increases as in tobacco. Food is necessary for survival so the compulsion to consume it is in an entirely different class than other substances. If a person has no ability to control their compulsion to consume food they will become obese.
    For me, education and objective study regarding the use of substances has helped me to control my compulsions and be cognizant of my actions.
    Perhaps it is time for a cost benefit analysis on cigars to determine the point at which the benefits or enjoyment of use outweigh any potential or actual negative health or financial costs.

    • Lastly I need to say that long term abstinence helped me to make a new start and repair damage that long term drinking caused.

  14. You guys who are talking about returning to moderate drinking better be careful. Specifically the person posting as “anon”. I too weaned myself off AA, drank non-alcoholic beer for a while and eventually started drinking moderately. It worked for about a year, then the compulsion kicked in. I managed to still drink moderately, but the thought of alcohol gradually drowned out other priorities. By the second year I could no longer predict how much I would drink at times and eventually started getting drunk.

    Also, and this is IMPORTANT for me…the two beers that initially gave me the nice mellow buzz and no hangover eventually stopped working. The opposite happened…2 beers no longer got me buzzed but I felt crappy the next day. So I would drink more than 2 beers to get the buzz and feel really crappy the next morning. For me this was progression pure and simple.

    I have been sober for almost 10 months now and attend AA again. There’s a lot I don’t like about it, but I use it for the social support network. Until SOS or other programs start popping up like weeds I’ll go with what’s available.

    • @ Mike- the bloggers better be careful. WHY? The boogie man is coming. Is it the AA boogie man. Lots of AA brainwashing of the compulsion kicks in. I think ANON here is capable of doing harm reduction just fine without someone shedding their doom and gloom from AA on him.

      Mike did you ever think about the fact that Bill WIlson wrote this book virtually on his own and he was a true down and out alkie , BUT …he never did any research. NONE. ZIP. NADDA.

      It was just his opinion. I would like to suggest that there are many new ways that work very well. AA works for about 1 % who attend.

      SMART RECOVERY is great. SOS is great! Hams Harm Reduction, AMy Lee Coy, Hank Hayes, drink link moderation is cool too.

      I would like to know how did you deprogram first and if you did at all. DId you use a MM or Harm REduction program.

      • @massive,

        I did not shed AA doom and gloom. If you took it that way, my apologies.

        My foray back into drinking did not end in jails, institutions or death. It was a lot less dramatic. I gradually needed to drink more in order to get that nice warm feeling that two 12 oz. beers a night initially provided me. And I started feeling worse every morning.

        Another byproduct of drinking was that I easily became irritable. I see now that my sleep cycle was getting screwed up by alcohol and that the anxiety was brought on by the deprivation. Little things could throw me into a tizzy. Now that I’m dry again I sleep better and can handle stress.

        • mike, I see what your saying. Do you exercise regularly while drinking like this?

          Do you take care of yourself and eat good food and all that? Or does that change?

          • @massive,

            Funny you asked that because when I picked up again I made it a point to cut carbs out and exercise more, knowing that the beer needed to be somehow offset (I love beer).

            The net effect was that I lost 15+ pounds and lowered my cholesterol by about 10%. The downside however was that my sleep cycles were getting screwed up by the booze and I was becoming increasingly irritable due to the groggy feeling every morning.

    • Mike,

      I believe your experience with moderation is welcome here; but to categorize everyone who has had a serious drink problem as the same and attempt to instill fear is a misconception that comes from AA. Their membership is vast and they have successfully spread that theory into society. The consensus of opinion is not always the correct one.

      AA is the preferred method for many to control addiction in their life and I respect that. However, labeling yourself as diseased for the rest of your life and believing you are an alcoholic who can not stop and stay stopped without AA is a brainwashing technique they use. Ive been around awhile and I have seen plenty of proof to contradict what they have been preaching for decades.

      I do wish you the best; yet everyone should choose and do whats right for them without feeling like addiction is a black and white issue. If AA works for you; work it.

  15. Thanks for the warning Mike.
    Did you use a drinking program or support group?
    I am using moderation management and HAMS harm reduction programs to maintain consciousness and to plan my drinking and abstinence days. I’ll be posting my results here for the next several years.
    For me the key to a successful moderation program is abstinence periods between drinks. This keeps tollerance and withdrawl manageable.

    • I can’t say I followed a rigid MM program. I did use their guideline regarding no more than 2 12 oz. beers a night with whatever the weekly limit was (can’t remember). Like I already posted, 2 a night did not cut it after a while and I progressed to heavier drinking. Now I’m abstinent almost 10 months again.

      Everybody is different though. The only reason I posted earlier is that your story sounded eerily similar to mine.

      Good luck.

      • Mike,
        It does not sound like you employed abstinence days between drinking days, is this the case? I have 8 ABS days today since my last drink and will take my next drink on Monday. Sometimes I go to AA during my ABS days, I don’t feel I need it to stop but it is a good reminder of what un-moderated drinking causes and it is fun to see old friends. I think it’s great that you have 10 months ABS in AA. If you go back to normal drinking try the HAMS program, you can use it with or without AA.

      • mike- there was a guy on Stinkn thinkin last year who got sober in his teens. He was sober in AA for 20. Then left. After two years decided to drink. He did. It was uneventful. Meaning it caused no problems. He continued for a few months. No problems at all. He said he just liked the feeling of abstinence better. I thought it was interesting take.
        I swim. and When I swim I get a super natural high. There is nothing that compares with it.

  16. Mike,

    I agree with this statement of yours:

    “Another byproduct of drinking was that I easily became irritable. I see now that my sleep cycle was getting screwed up by alcohol and that the anxiety was brought on by the deprivation. Little things could throw me into a tizzy. ”

    I think anyone who has had a serious drinking problem in the past and decides to try moderation; knows darn well when they are drinking too much. Right now, I just dont believe you need a check list to tell you that. Just my opinion.

    • HeIIo FoIks,

      I am gIad to read this exchange. Mike, I am convinced that drinking in moderation is workabIe for some very few peopIe who have had probIems with booz in the past. Thats why I don’t try, I aIso don’t miss it- and I don’t want to waste time and energy worrying about it.

      When I need a Iift, a good miIkshake works just great. When I need a big Iift, a Starbucks and a chocoIate bar is wonderfuI. I reaIIy hate booz and smokes. I do miss a quaIity cigar once in a Iong whiIe- but then I remember what my mouth tastes Iike the day after a cigar…ack!

      I think the big thing I reaIize in hindsight, is that AA was WAY too dangerous and WAY too aggrevating to stay with for the trueIy sober. I out grew it. And it was a terrific waste of time for a decade after I had compIeteIy Iost the desire to drink. Further, I have observed that the organization just isn’t buiIt to handIe the crooks that are in there today- and they are often sent by the court systems nationwide, so there’s a ton of them!

      I’m amazed far MORE kiIIings, rapes, robberies, and other crimes don’t occur around 12 step programs. But I aIso suspect a huge % of such events go unreported- so who knows what transpires on a macro scaIe?

      LastIy, I can teII you how much better Iife is without aII those mean bastards around! For exampIe, I drove past the IocaI AA cIubhouse yesterday, and sure enough one of the criminaI creeps was sitting in his car out front. This guy admitted to being arrested 35+ times during his drinking and drugging (heroin junkie) career and that every arrest was vaIid! This nut sits out front of the cIub untiI the very start of the meeting and Ieaves right at the end. Some of the vicious crap he’s said made me beIieve he is VERY dangerous!

      Who wants to be around a reaI crook Iike that? OnIy bad stuff can come of it. And the dirt baII is a mean spirited miserabIe prick too! Who is to say this guy wont shoot someone or worse on a bad day? It is obvious he’s a reaI psycho/sociopath and that just because he stopped using doesn’t mean he’s anywhere near a good man. The rooms are fiIIed with men and women Iike that.

      That is the reaI AA-> AsshoIes Anonymous-> some good peopIe, but a bunch of eviI peopIe trying to get good, most faiIing miserabIy at it, and a bunch of nuts. I wish them aII the best, but I can’t be around that crap anymore, and the more I stay away from it, the more the buII about “patience, toIerance, and Iove” becomes obvious cuIt indoctrination because I can now review my 20+ years experience from a much Iess BIASED view.

      I reaIize that the number of just pIain crazy peopIe in the ‘rooms of AA’ adds nothing but bad to the 12 step experience. Many desperateIy need professionaI heIp way beyond what AA offers. But they are not guided to it in the program, and think that abstinence from intoxicants and step work are enough.

      Very often, what AA offers isn’t nearIy enough heIp.

      Thank God I got away from it.

      • Yo-Interesting validation on the dangers of AA meetings. That guy sounds pretty scary. We have also seen people in Florida arrested 20-60 times mandated to AA/NA over and over. I would love to interview a judge and ask him/her what the hell are they thinking!?

        • Anti-DeniaI:

          I went to meetings in FIorida for 6 years- got to the Point where when I wouId see a HarIey, I wouId stay away.

          Nothing motorcycIe gang junkie narcisscists for troubIe…

          • We have lots of those Harley Bikers in our Park meetings. Narcissistic and trouble they are for sure for sure! Even today they were smoking and littering in Sunrise Park looking for trouble.

      • Yo, during my 3 or so years in ” The Program ” , there were only a handful of people that were still coming to the meetings on a regular basis when i decided to leave. Naturally, you get to know them a little bit, and looking back now I realize that they all had some kind of hussle going on. The more I got to know these folks the less I wanted to know these folks. The majority of these people could only function in AA/NA , even then, most were still pricks. I found them to be really self absorbed, most didn’t work or if they did they couldn’t pay the bills. You know, when you look back at it, AA/NA is a very negative experience and the regular members make the entire situation worse. Like you, I am so glad to be living my life and not having to associate with thes people any longer. I have found it far easier to remain clean without all of the bullshit and wasted time.

        • Hi Frank,

          Yeah, that is what I have come to observe- those who stick with AA for Iife do so because they get some kind of sick kicks out of it. Either they want to have their butts kissed for not drinking for a Iong time, or they have a need to controI others, or they have cIoset pathoIogies Iike bird dogging vuInerabIe women that can be done through AA.

          Or they are just such asshoIes no one eIse wiII toIerate them.

          AIso, the cIubs I have been in have kicked out many many kIeptos who are aIways Iooking for a hand out or a buck to steaI. Honest foIks Iike me run from that stuff- and for good reason- I shouId have foIIowed my instincts to Ieave much earIier, by the end of year 5, but I got suckered into staying too Iong.

      • Yo – I hope you keep blogging here. I will be curious how you will feel after being gone from AA for 1 year, then 2 years.

        The lack of hearing negative programming every week with the readings really makes a difference. It’s refreshing! No CHapter 5, no preamble, no 12 traditions.

        • Hi Massive,

          I figure things can onIy get better.

          I aIready have noted a serious reduction in my day to day stress Ievei from not Iiving in anticipation of the expectations of Steppers. George Washington said it: Better to be aIone than in bad company. And AA peopIe are bad company.

          • yo-

            Hmm Hmm SO true. The last few months I attended, I was swimming my laps and I could not get the rhetoric to stop playing in my head till almost the end of my workout… the Inner argument, the inner monologue rattling on and on!

            But guess what? When I stopped going. In a few months…it stopped. I think AA after a couple of years is more harmful then good.

            I should have left when I was 20 and the sexual harassment was insane. INstead a nice Hawaiian group found me and for many years protected me from that …at least while I was super young.

            Its ok now. Im gone and that is all that matters.

            Well, not really ….I harmed my kids with AA hogwash. AA koolaid drinking BS.

            Some of that belief system is really damaging.

    • Hey Sue,

      AA tries to make drinking a black or white situation, but we all know that just isn’t the case. Some people can return to moderation but at the same time I am not one of them. I think alcohol affects some of us differently than others. I know when I use to drink, I had little control over the outcome, always drank to blitzville. I am not powerless over the first one, but after one or two, the compulsion kicks in and good judgement is out of the window. I feel that if I have to make an effort to control my intake, chances I am not a normal drinker. I had friends that could have a few drinks , and call it a day, that was never me.Thank God, I have lost
      all desire to drink, for that I am very grateful. It’s been so long since have drank I don’t even think about it any longer, it’s just too much of a hassle for me. My luck would be that if I took a drink I might come to sitting in a AA meeting somewhere, what a scary thought. Lol

        • Hi Yo,

          We have a lady that lives in my county that has a story that is really a motivator. This particular lady was a problem drinker ( every time she drank she got wasted) and she had finally straightened her life out. She finally got herself under control and hadn’t drank for over 5 years. One day at lunch she attended a lunch/ birthday party with the other girls that she worked with. Some of the ladies ordered a glass of wine during the party. After a bit I guess she rationalized and thought WTF I want a glass too, I can handle it now. Anyway, it came time to go back to work and she told the other ladies to go ahead, she would be along in a bit. That’s the last thing she recalls, she woke up the next morning in a jail cell, feeling like crap, very sick, only to learn the she was charged with vehicular homicide. She had drank to blackout stage, left the restaurant, ran a red light at a busy intersection out in front of the restaurant, and killed 2 teenagers coming home from high school. What a nightmare all over a glass of wine. This is an extreme case but it is true. That’s the unpredictability of drinking that I think a lot of problem drinkers experience. Only by the grace of God I wasn’t her.

          • “Only by the grace of God I wasn’t her.”
            Really Frank do you have to use that kind of language? That’s the Stepper theme song for Pete’s sake.

          • Yes, it is Russian rouIette for a Iot of peopIe.

            Once the neuro-receptors are there, they can overwheIm with just a IittIe booz to start them.

            ETP: “By the Grace of God” is aIso used by over a BiIIion Christians worId wide.

            It existed Iong before BiII WiIson and AA.

          • Sorry Frank I did not mean to call you a stepper. I just think that AA, steppers and the disease theory causes binge relapses then turns around and says “there but for the Grace of God……”
            We really don’t know this woman’s full story all we are getting is the relapse horror story told like we would hear it in an AA meeting.
            Was she an AA member? Was she subconsciously programmed to believe that once she drinks it’s jails, institutions or death? Was she ever introduced to harm reduction techniques?

  17. Hi Frank,

    Thanks for the response. I agree with everything you said. I chuckled when I read you last statement:

    “My luck would be that if I took a drink I might come to sitting in a AA meeting somewhere, what a scary thought. Lol”

    Thats enough to give moderation some very serious thought. πŸ™‚ Always nice to hear from you. Take Care!

  18. Even if it lasted just a day, this feeling of freedom that I have now that I have separated myself from the singularity of AA ideology is sublime. To live in my house without denial of substance or spirit, to have an open mind to those who embrace AA and at the same time know that I have found my own way. I feel the hypocrisy of my old philosophy slipping away as I realize that I have lived in both camps. I am a believer in belief for it is my belief that forms my reality. My old ways of believing alcoholism was a disease and not a behavior are gone.

    • ETP,

      Yes, that was a MAJOR insult. (lol)
      Yes, she was an AA member and I think that crap ( jails, institutions and death) really causes a slip much harder to pull out of. What I was trying to point out is that it is only the luck of the draw, I know that I have driven years ago in a blackout. If someone can drink successfully then go for it, I just know for a fact that I can’t.

      • I see what you are saying Frank about the luck of the draw. I have been very lucky myself. The issue I have is that now that I know “alcoholism” is not a disease then why is it that some people who at one point believed they were “alcoholic” can at a later point moderate and others can’t. If it’s not a physical disease than it’s in the mind therefore anyone should be able to learn to moderate. In theory, that is.
        I knew a women who has multiple personalities (I met her in AA of course, lol). She told me that one of her personalities drinks moderately. To me something like that proves that it’s all in the mind, not the body.

        • ETP,
          I personally do not believe that it is a disease, to me a disease is an affliction that is totally beyond one’s control. But I also know first hand that the 1st drink affects some of us differently. Whether it is mental or physical it remains real. I do believe without a shadow of a doubt, I do have a choice over ingesting the first one, so that’s why I do not subscribe to the disease theory. Lung cancer is a disease, but I have the choice over whether to smoke or not. Once I start to smoke it is hard to quit due to addictive nature of tobacco, I believe alcohol is sorta the same for some of us.

  19. The drinking went well last night. I was not overly interested and noticed that the taste improved in tandem with the more I consumed; about three ounces. I found myself less interested in drinking while my respect for the power of the spirits acute. This morning I awoke neither sick nor dull from the experience and have decided to embark on yet another ten days abstinence before my next drink. The spirits I originally wanted, bourbon, are less desirable to me now. I find the taste and healthfulness of Calvados and Armagnac very satisfying. Beer holds no appeal for me now except for the non-alcoholic variety. Perhaps I will try a Guinness or Black and Tan at some point. I have about 45 days since my first drink after 15 years continuous abstinence in AA as an alcoholic.
    So far so good.

    • anon,

      Congrats on your progress. Again however I want to warn you that in my first year of drinking again (after 19 years of abstinence) I was also able to go weeks between drinking. Gradually though the thought of the drink crowded out the desire to stay ABS and I started to drink nearly daily.

      At that point the mornings after became less bearable. While I can’t say that I had hangovers every time I drank, I did awake less well rested and more irritable. The cumulative effect of sleep deprivation eventually got me. Since being ABS nearly 10 months these issues have seldom resurfaced.

      Again, we’re all different, and one size does not fit all. I just find your situation similar to mine in some respects and want to let you know what happened with me.


      • Hi Mike,

        When you joined AA, had you aIready quit drinking on your own? The reason I ask is that there are IieIy some very smaII % of foIks in recovery who arent aIkies. Those foIks can drink safeIy. The rest of us- weII maybe not so much!

    • Good articIe, but she definiteIy understates the issue. A sober rapist, robber, murder, pedophiIe is stiII any or aII of these things, but you have no way of knowing, untiI you or someone you know is victimized. If some HAS to go to AA meetings, do it onIne…

      • Good advice! Also offers online meetings that more courts are accepting instead of face to face meetings.

        I think online is great also for single moms that have a hard time getting a ride and childcare. It is so difficult for many to attend all of the court mandated meetings when they do not have car or money! The courts do not care.

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