Fair-Weather Fan of AA
People are starting to ask me why I do not work the steps. People are starting to instill a fear in me that I might drink again because I do not consistently attend meetings. They say that because I do not work the steps and have a sponsor that I will ultimately fail in my sobriety. The big book says I will fail unless I follow the steps. I know because I read it twice. Did it help me? Yes. But, it does not help because it holds the key to success. It helps because all knowledge empowers me. I read because I need to know why I drank too much-NOT how to live my life step by step like the 50+ year old men who wrote the book in the 1930s.
I guess there are two types of people. There are people who give their problems away (to God) in the case of AA. And, there are people who admit fault and take 100% responsibility for their actions and their future actions. I am the latter. I respond best in life to positive reinforcement and by achieving goals. Hope appeals more to me than fear. I accept that I am flawed and I made a decision to live a sober life. I admit, I started my sobriety journey because I was scared. But, I was afraid because I was not in control of my alcohol consumption anymore. I knew exactly what I needed to do-I needed to quit drinking. Step 1. But, how? I needed help weaning. I had a chemical addiction. I drank 2-3 bottles of wine a day and took a few xanax to sleep. I was hooked. Notice how I do not say I have a disease. I do not feel like I have a disease. I feel like a healthy woman. I had an addiction that I created by drinking consistently for many many years. I poured wine down my throat, nobody else. Do I have addictive tendencies? Always have. I was going to be the girl who shopped til she dropped, exercised until she was super skinny, and drank everyone else under the table. That is me-not a disease. I over-do everything. This is not always a bad thing. I am also a product of consumerism and a product of wanting to feel good.
So, what do meetings offer me? They offer fellowship with people who are sober that I can mostly identify with. I do not identify with them because they are addicts. I identify with them because most are overdrinkers who do not want to drink anymore. I could also identify with a sober person that was not chemically addicted like me. We have the same goal of sobriety-however different our reasons for sobriety are. But, in that case, I assure you that I would not have ended up under a bridge shooting crack and giving a blowie to a stranger for heroine. I know this. AA says I do not know this, but trust me. I. Know. This.
I am looking at myself with 7 full months of sobriety behind me. My story is looking less dramatic. My identification of myself for the first few months was shaped by going to rehab which was an AA based system. They called us addicts and alcoholics. I did not call myself that until they did. I went into rehab for one purpose and one clear cut goal. I wanted to give up drinking forever and I couldn't do this on my own at first. I wanted to live a long life of sobriety and health. I am learning that I can. I can live a happy sober life. Notice I did not say someone could do it for me if I gave my problems away...I said, I can. But, I sure hope people can do it for themselves with me.
I am me. I am sober. I identify with sobriety now, not addiction. I still credit a 12 step program for lifting out of my addiction. I did almost all of the work for the steps-but I did it by 1,2 skip a few. And, that was my way of identifying with my new sober life. This is why AA does not work for me as much anymore. For all you AA people getting defensive, I said "for me." I did not say for anyone. What works for me is identifying with being sober instead of identifying with being an addict. That being said...I may or may not see you at a meeting. My AA opinion which changes one day at a time to be continued...