SRS Problems and Concerns with 12-step programs

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by undirected, Jun 29, 2008.

  1. undirected

    undirected Guest

    This is a thread for discussion about issues that you may have with 12-step programs such as AA and NA, and suggestions for other programs that may help ensure prolonged sobriety.

    I will update as I get a chance. Right now I'd like to leave this open-ended to see how others in this forum who are not 12 step proselytizers feel about the program.
     
  2. polishillusion

    polishillusion New Member

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    Therapy and rehab and long term rehabs work better.
     
  3. undirected

    undirected Guest

    Any personal experience here?
     
  4. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    I've got lots of problems and sometimes I want to blame my program, meetings or the people in them as the cause of my issues. I used to go running to other members of AA to bitch about someone who wasn't doing it right and they'd just laugh and say, "Keep coming back" or "read page 449" or something like that. Took me awhile before I found this....the acceptance paragraph:
     
  5. undirected

    undirected Guest

    That's a real big problem I have with AA -- they preach that in 99.9% of cases of negative occurrences in your life it was your fault. That simply is not the case. True, a LOT of things that happen to people who constantly use drugs and alcohol to get through their days are their own fault and they are delusional enough not to realize it...but the continuous self-deprecation that is espoused by the program just doesn't work for me.

    And, as always, "God's world" strikes a real ugly nerve with me. The pseudo-spiritual-but-really-religious shit just ain't working for me either.
     
  6. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    Well from my own hindsight, a lot of the shit in my life was of MY doing. I just didn't think it was for a long, long time. If I took a lie detector test and they asked me if all that shit in my life was my fault, I would have passed with flying colors because I honestly didn't think it was. I didn't think all this shit had anything to do with my drinking.

    The self-deprecating discussions that you're talking about are more people's realizations that they've learned since getting sober.

    Noone ever said you have to self-deprecate to fit in. But you've continuously had issues with how you are different from everyone else in AA. This is simply the latest chapter.
    It's not religious and you continually spout that when you get pissed about something. It's not religious - the literature is very clear on this. Perhaps that's why you still think it is religious....because you haven't read the literature. Go read and you'll see how wrong you are.
     
  7. undirected

    undirected Guest

    Yes...you're right. I never said anything about it NOT being our faults. But what the program really boils down to when it comes to this is: you were wrong (all the time), you caused all your problems, you are sick, etc. It is a program of self-deprecation, which is probably why the overall "success rate" of the program is less than 5% world wide.

    The admonitions that "if you don't succeed in the program you just didn't try hard enough" are fucking bullshit, plain and simple. Susceptibility to what is, plain and simple, BRAINWASHING, should not be a way to quantify "trying hard."

    Look dude. I've read the Big Book front to back probably 6 or 8 times by now. Once again -- when meetings are ended with the Lord's Prayer and the majority of folks in the program who do have a religion are Christian, it really does NOT do well for the concept of "spirituality but not religion." I've still yet to have anyone explain the Lord's Prayer aside from some bullshit pseudo-response about it being "something that many people know and which brings us together"

    As you can tell, I've become very disillusioned with AA once again in the short period I have been attending it here in Hickory. Same old, same old. Big egos, megalomania, and narcissism at every turn.
     
  8. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    Wait...you're ranting against people simply "saying" it's all our fault regardless of whether it actually WAS our fault? :rofl:
    Wrong.

    Yes, I realize the irony of that post and it was intended.

    It's not a program of self deprecation but you're likely to continue on with this belief because like I said earlier, it's just your latest chapter of how you're different.

    Oh and if you have support for that 5% number, please provide it. Or is that just your idea to help support your other idea?
    :rofl:
    Wow...you've certainly figured us out. :rofl:

    It's not brainwashing in the least. I thought the same as you once...but then they brainwashed me into believing something else. Hmmm....or could it be that they helped me learn the truth about my addiction and the disease and that has helped me stay away from the booze? hmmmm

    When something is true it's hard to call it brainwashing....but actually...that word works because it does wash away all the lies that I told myself and helps me see things about my disease clearly. Certainly clearer than I used to.

    You continue to make up stats without supporting them. Majority of folks are Christian....hmmm....maybe in the MEETING you're attending. So go to a different meeting.

    And your ego appears to be one of the biggest.

    You claim to want help but then all you do is highlight how you're different. When are you going to put down the paper, open up your ears and do what's suggested?
     
  9. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    You know...for someone who claims to want to get and stay sober, you sure seem to be looking for a reason or a whole lot of reasons as to how/why you can return to your drinking.

    It's almost as if you're looking for reasons so you can tell other people in your life after you return to your drinking, "Look I tried AA and all I found was all these self-deprecating people that were brainwashed into believing all this stuff. It doesn't work."

    Then you can drink the way you want to drink because after all you did "try it".

    I also find it funny that it took years for your drinking to cause you serious pain yet you want it all sorted out within a matter of weeks.....and using the word weeks seems a bit of a stretch in your case but hey, I'm a generous guy.

    I mean....the question that I'm not sure I ever heard you answer is, "Do you want to get and stay sober?" If the answer is no....ok. I wish you the best. If the answer is yes then get a sponsor, don't drink, go to meetings, work the steps (with your sponsor), etc.

    If your answer is "yes but not with AA's help"...then I'd say Ok....good luck. But that begs the question, why are you still going to meetings then? Noone is forcing you to go. If you have THAT much of a problem with AA, stop going and find a path that works for you.
     
  10. undirected

    undirected Guest

    I'm a little too tired to get into a really lengthy debate tonight...I'll respond to all your points tommorow. However, the 5% figure came from AA's own internal survey. A quick google search will get you the information you need.
     
  11. undirected

    undirected Guest

    Difference of opinions here. In my opinion, the entire program is based on repeatedly convincing yourself that you don't know a thing and that the only way for your "spiritual malady" to be removed is to rely on a higher power or the others in the program.

    [/SIZE] .

    You're really going to sit here and disagree that the majority of people in meetings who belong to a SPECIFIC RELIGION are Christian?



    Excuse me, but with all due respect, I will do what I need to do to fully believe in and support WHATEVER I finally decide to use as a long-term support method for recovery. This sort of anti-intellectualism (just shut up and listen) is absolute BULLSHIT and one of the major downfalls of this program for me.


    My questioning a program with the same success rate (by their OWN numbers) as the success rate of quitting on one's own is me looking for a reason to return to my drinking? Get a grip.

    So once again, you are saying that in order to get and stay sober 12-step programs are the only viable method? Your indoctrination into the program is PAINFULLY obvious here.



    I had a big problem with a lot of the people I was around when I was using and that never stopped me, right? In one breath you want to tell me that AA is the way to go and to keep coming back, it works if I work it, etc., and in the next you tell me that if I have a problem with it I should avoid it entirely? Whatever happened to "don't leave 5 minutes before the miracle"? :rolleyes:
     
  12. undirected

    undirected Guest

    How about an explanation of how this condition is a "disease"? After that, why not elaborate on why 97% of the treatment facilities in the world for said "disease" use 12-step programs? And finally, let me in on why this is the only "disease" in the WORLD for which the most-often prescribed remedy is of a SPIRITUAL and not medical or psychological nature?
     
  13. O'Fuck

    O'Fuck Guest

    I'll get in here tomorrow :hs:
     
  14. undirected

    undirected Guest

    :hs:

    Don't let my negative outlook mess you up though man, if it's working for you and you can deal with the inherent bullshit that you and I have talked about before then keep it up. It simply is NOT for me.
     
  15. undirected

    undirected Guest

    How do you define "works"? Staying sober for 6 months? 12 months? 12 years?
     
  16. undirected

    undirected Guest

    There are some numbers to ponder
     
  17. undirected

    undirected Guest

    Of course, none of these numbers can possibly be considered even partially accurate, but I guess it's as close as we can get..
     
  18. undirected

    undirected Guest

    :dunno: Depends on how you interpret them, really.

    Overall the 12-month success rate for AA is only 5%, and that's world-wide, not just in the US and Canada. That's the more important figure, in my opinion. With that said, as I mentioned before, none of these numbers even approach being accurate simply given the nature of survey taking at an anonymous organization. Nowhere near 100% of members were even given the chance to participate, and I've yet to see any notations by AA about that survey and how many people were included in it.
     
  19. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    Actually, we're quite close but here's an important distinction IMO, it's not repeatedly convincing ourselves that we don't know a thing, it's more accepting that our problem is bigger than us and we need the help of a HP to whip it. It's been my experience that this is true, regardless of whether or not I liked that idea.


    And about the brainwashing....come on man....you are far too intelligent to not see the flaws in that definition. I mean it's so wide open that you could easily apply it to school or any sort of teaching.

    Learning anything new is going to cause people to get out of their comfort zone. It's how we grow as humans. Very often people don't like this feeling.....yet it can be quite common among any form of learning.
    I know a lot of people that are Christian in AA but I honestly can't say that they are the majority. I've been to many, many meetings and if anything, I've found that the diversity among members is HUGE and it's one of the aspects that I love about AA the most....that it's so accepting of other people's beliefs.

    However, it sounds like the meetings in your area are overly vocal about their Christian beliefs while others that may disagree are overly quiet. Go to different meetings.

    It's actually not bullshit at all. It's what happens in a leaning experience. You actually have to listen and gather the concepts then learn how to apply them.

    That doesn't mean that you aren't free to question things, you are but when you're reading a paper in a meeting you're doing it for reasons and you aren't fully paying attention. I find it hysterical that people are comparing READING a paper to knitting or needlepoint or other activities like that. Reading is much different and you simply can't do both....nobody can....but IMO you're doing it for a variety of reasons and one of the main reasons is because of your ego.
    I call them like I see them. You still think you're so unique but what you continually fail to comprehend, or seem to, is that your ideas and actions are NOT uncommon. They are quite common and yes....alcoholics will look for any excuse to return to drinking.....even if the reason is, "AA just doesn't work".

    Well I've said it repeatedly in other posts....if you are able to get and stay sober on your own and you're happy, joyous and free....FANTASTIC!!! I'm actually quite happy for you. I just know that I wasn't able to do that and I wasn't able to get ANY long-term relief from the disease until I got into AA and worked the 12 steps with my sponsor.
    :rofl:
    Look, I know what's worked for me and I've been sober for 13 years. It worked for me and it's worked for millions of people around the world.

    You want me to agree with your ideas about how you can get and stay sober using methods that aren't supported in or by AA but I can see many of the things you current believe as things that I used to believe. I haven't been brainwashed I've simply realized that I was believing an un-truth. My belief in that un-truth didn't make it anymore true.....and no amount of belief in an un-truth will make it true. The process of working the steps is simply to help us realize what is the truth and letting go of what isn't true.....no matter how much I WANT it to be true.

    AA worked for me. I'm sorry you're struggling but I'm not sure what else to tell you. My suggestion has always been to just let go, get in and do what is suggested. Not 1/2 assed but whole assed. :)

    I mean if I were to describe a rollercoaster ride to you we could talk all about how great or scary or whatever it is but you won't know until you experience it for yourself. The same idea applies to AA. But you know....we don't need members and we're not "recruiting" so if you find another way, great!

    Actually it's more of a realization that you're seriously not happy and you're resisting every suggestion made. You constantly find things wrong and people are pissing you off to no end.

    I still think you should keep coming back...no matter what. But you know, you seem to think there is some other way to get and stay sober out there. My suggestion to stop coming is encouraging you to go find that other way. I mean when I got to AA, I knew there wasn't another path so I was willing to do the difficult work ahead.

    So if you're ideas about another way are true, go find it and report back when you do. And if you're not willing to chance it....why not just put the arguing brain aside for awhile and go with the flow? It's not like you'll forget all the stuff you now know. We don't wipe your memory. Why not just dive into AA head first?? Why not get right in the middle of it.....go to every social function, do everything that suggested (no matter what your mind says), then after 6 months look up and re-asses.
     
  20. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    Who in this world is responsible for classifying, diagnosing and treating diseases? Doctors.

    Well guess what, since 1957 doctors have said that alcoholism is a disease and not in a superficial way. Here's a great quote that perhaps will help:
    http://www.physiciansnews.com/commentary/298wp.html

    And there are plenty more sites that have information about the disease of alcoholism....here are a few links:
    http://alcoholism.about.com/cs/info2/a/aa022697.htm
    http://www.ncadd.org/facts/defalc.html


    I don't know....cancer is a disease and I don't want non-doctors running around telling me that it isn't. In fact, if I listen to them, it might be fatal.....hmmmm....the same thing applies to alcoholism.
     
  21. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    :werd:
    Well said...this is what I've been trying to say but you're more efficient with your words. :)
     
  22. undirected

    undirected Guest

    I don't get the disease classification for one reason. Let's compare addiction to cancer. I can use my will power to stop using drugs for a certain amount of time - whether it be a day, a month, a year, or a lifetime. I cannot WILL cancer away.

    I'm really starting to become partial to the ONE step approach - just stop fucking using. It's really pretty simple. I know what happens when I do drugs, I know that I have a multitude of emotional issues that drug use only exacerbates, and I know what I need to do in order to stay away from those drugs - choose who I hang out with carefully, watch out for emotional and psychological triggers (especially boredom in my case), etc. I truthfully do not believe that I need the help of a higher power as a sounding board to keep myself sober.

    As you said, I'll try it out and report back. You may believe that I am a victim of "fatal individuality," (the AA maxim describing this escapes me at the moment) but I believe that a lot of what has transpired in my life as a result of or relating to my addictive tendencies is the result of a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe that A will happen if B occurs, and it does. Etc. etc.
     
  23. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    The bolded is where we disagree. My will power was enough to keep me sober twice in my life and it only lasted 4 months each time....but here's the kicker, even though I wasn't drinking for 4 months, I was miserable. I wasn't happy, joyous and free. I wasn't engaged in life and living it to it's fullest.

    Nope I was scheming on when I could return to my drinking. I would think things like, "Have I been sober long enough to where noone will say something to me about my drinking." or "what will I say when someone questions me" or "now that I've been sober 4 months, will one beer really hurt me that badly?"

    Those thoughts were never very far from my mind. However after awhile in AA, those thoughts completely left and I did become happy, joyous and free. My experience with trying it both ways is that AA is the easier, softer way.

    Ok. I wish you the best with that method. I really do. I hope it works for you and that you're able to stay clean and sober and become happy, joyous and free.

    If you find that you're having difficulty then hopefully you'll give AA another chance. You will always be welcome and I'll never say, "I told you so." nor will I ever think that. Why? Because I really WANT you to be right. I honestly do because if there is another way to get and stay sober in this world, that will help more people.

    You're a fan of statistics but one that you've really overlooked is all the people throughout history that have actually tried what you're describing and failed. They found the disease simply too powerful for them to whip without help.
    Ok....but before you go, you should really look into the stats for people that have tried to moderate and failed.

    What you're describing is essentially "controlling" your drinking. That has never worked for me because it doesn't address all the other shit going on in my life. If drinking were the problem, not drinking would fix my problems. In my case, not drinking didn't fix shit......it actually caused MORE problems.
     
  24. undirected

    undirected Guest

    Wouldn't "controlling" my drinking be an attempt at moderation, not outright abstinence? I'm not even considering the ability to moderate anything, I'm talking about not using or drinking at all (despite the fact that drinking was never my issue).
     
  25. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    haha
    Isn't abstinence just a more severe form of control? I mean really what you're describing is just a difference of degrees right?
     

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