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What do you like or not like about AA?


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Initial post: Jan 23, 2012 6:03:47 PM PST
allredah says:
The stories I hear in AA remind me of what I did, of what I don't want to ever do, and make me feel lucky that I did not go as far as many people did into real insanity or death. I listen for similarities and not differences. Alcoholics come in many different varieties and have many varied stories, many of which I really do not identify. what is important is that I made myself very unhappy and ill finally with my own habits with alcohol. AA is free, safe, positive, healthy, spiritual - but not religious - and makes me feel good. so why not?

Posted on Jan 24, 2012 12:14:32 AM PST
adam6979 says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Jan 24, 2012 4:13:25 AM PST
J. Carter says:
Holy crap, you're luck to be alive!! This is absolutely not something that anyone should ever do. Quitting any severe chemical dependency, cold turkey, has killed many many people. My mother almost died twice before she accepted that she had to ween herself off of alcohol. Some people need support. Good for you, that you're a one man army, but don't act like everyone else should just do what you did, because frankly, you did something very dangerous.

Posted on Jan 24, 2012 8:44:47 AM PST
Shawn Clark says:
they preach you are powerless. thats what started the whole problem. people are in control and can stop doing ANYTHING if they really want to bad enough.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 24, 2012 10:08:45 AM PST
allredah says:
powerless over alcohol - after a couple drinks, unfortunately the chemical takes over and the person loses the ability to resist another drink. that is what alcoholism is. However, I agree with you - we are not powerless to refuse the FIRST drink and that is what the program stresses. the answer lays in not taking the FIRST drink and remembering NOT to do that. the temptation can be huge to say "oh I'll just have one", and that is where AA helps to reinforce the thinking to remember not to do that and remember how everytime the alcoholic again overdoes it not meaning to. So AA actually teaches people that they ARE NOT POWERLESS over taking that first drink.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 24, 2012 10:30:13 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 24, 2012 10:31:30 AM PST
allredah says:
ADAM LEWIS; People in AA aren't sitting around making excuses - they are taking action and going to AA to improve themselves and get a healthy sober life. congrats to you for just stopping. just remember if you were drinking that much really and are still alive, your tolerance level is still growing - that "ism" thing - and when you pick up again, your ability to drink more quantity-wise will return swiftly. If you drink a gallon of liquor again, it could actually kill you.

Posted on Jan 25, 2012 7:33:07 AM PST
Keith says:
@Adam Lewis,

Some people can stop drinking just cold turkey; most alcoholics cannot. There is a complex association of social, psychological, physiological, and biological factors that account for alcoholism, and all of those factors need to be taken into consideration and addressed for an alcoholic to find liberation and lasting healing. To tell them to suck it up and rely on will power is ignorant. The physiological aspect of addiction alone usually overrides and prevents making an alternative choice.

Yes, will power is critical; people can make choices, and too often we give in to the wrong choices too easily. But that is the nature of being human, and it is about providing the right information and resources in order to strengthen and inspire our ability to choose differently. Alcoholics do not need to be coddled, but neither do they need to be condemned as weak-willed and lazy.

I think AA is good, but I think it focuses too much on the psychological and social aspects of alcoholism and neglects to address and educate its members about the very real (and often determinative) physiological and biological dimensions of the disorder. Morever, there is no exploration concerning the role nutrition might play in rehabilitation and therapy.

Still, it is better than nothing, and the ideas of accountability and community it promotes are crucial.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 25, 2012 2:50:15 PM PST
allredah says:
KEITH - boy do I agree. I would really like to see more info handed down or passed out at AA meetings about the tie with nutrition etc. I see alcoholics drinking coffee by the gallon, still smoking when smoking is coke based. I kind of got addicted to coffee after quitting the beer, and my blood sugar really got screwed up. I really wonder how some of them stay sober eating sugar and caffein and smoking, but they do.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 25, 2012 11:07:16 PM PST
J. Carter says:
Allredah, I've thought about that a lot with several alcoholics in my family. It's all so intertwined that many people would probably greatly benefit in the area of staying sober, with a complete health overhaul. Unfortunately the quitting is so difficult for most that taking on all those other things, may just feel like too much, even thought it would be beneficial.

Posted on Jan 26, 2012 1:13:39 AM PST
Treehugger© says:
regular exercise can stabilize blood sugar. I feel your body gets all messed up without regular exercise.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 26, 2012 12:39:35 PM PST
allredah says:
oh boy are you right. me too. water aerobics 5x wk a must. of course that stopped when I had a few beers and got lazy.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 26, 2012 12:42:00 PM PST
allredah says:
I agree - keep it simple and one thing at a time. it just happens that a healthy lifestyle is the norm for me with just turning off and doing the beer once in awhile. so when I get back with the program I realize how much all the good eating and exercize, vitamins, etc are need in the overall picture.

Posted on Jan 26, 2012 12:57:00 PM PST
Anonymous says:
What I dislike about AA is that it does really nothing to improve the lives of people who join but creates a facade that it does. Most people in AA are "dry drunks" still extremely narcicistic and manipulative, still playing the victim and avoiding personal responsibility and the program nurtures that, and most of them are just transfering their addictions to other substances.

The program is detrimental to family of the alcoholic because it promotes the idea that alcoholism is a "family problem" and promotes that family member should attend al anon which really is just a program that promotes further enabling of an already maniulative individual.

It has very similar aspects to cults and cult programming in that it promotes not questioning their "teachings" and discourages the members from actually thinking and dealing with their BS. Family members who do not conform to AA are often ostracized and rejected just as in many cults.

Bill W was a freemason and a philanderer. read about his history even insobriety and you will find he was not a role model to be emenated but a self absorbed man who regularly commited adultery and screwed people out of their money.

Dr Bob was also a freemason hence so much of AA mirroring how freemasonry is run. Cults running cults.

The fact that the judiciary system regularly funnels people who commit alcohol related crimes to AA instead of other more helpful recovery programs and methods is highly suspect.

I could go on. There are so many reasons to not like AA. It is a program that has been prmoted as a way of recovery when ultimately it has only made the core problems of those who choose alcoholism worse. I guess that is why there is truly only about a 5% recovery rate. Very few have longterm/ lifelog sobriety and a majority return to choosing to drink.

Posted on Jan 26, 2012 11:16:59 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 26, 2012 11:17:40 PM PST
Treehugger© says:
my girlfriend swears by AA. She went for years and has developed lifelong friendships through AA. I dont have an opinion on AA becasue I have never been to AA

Posted on Jan 27, 2012 12:37:52 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Jul 5, 2013 10:22:28 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 28, 2012 2:35:37 AM PST
Treehugger© says:
allredah says:
oh boy are you right. me too. water aerobics 5x wk a must. of course that stopped when I had a few beers and got lazy.

I remember when I drank alcohol years ago how even one beer could remove any motivation to do something healthy such as hiking, bicycling etc

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 28, 2012 12:34:43 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 28, 2012 12:53:32 PM PST
Mike says:
Your post is well thought out though it also hints that there is an ax to grind. For people who demonstrate a willingness to 'work the program' results follow and are hard to ignore.

Yes, not every group is up to par or particularly comfortable but it is up to the individual to find their own niche. It's human nature, too. Not everybody gets along with everybody else so you look for those who you feel are good examples and stick with them. Hopefully, you then find the magic in your life happens when you reach out to help others. Whether it "takes" for the other person or not isn't the point. It's about being of service.

True, the recovery rates are not what they used to be.

But why is that?

Initially, recovery rates were 75% to 93% of those joining AA. Remember, the Big Book (the text for recovery from alcoholism) is the same. The wording is basically the very same as it was when first published in 1939. So if the literature for recovery has not changed and was proved as highly effective but recovery rates have dropped, what has happened?

One idea is the introduction of suggestions over the years that are accepted and promoted without a whole lot of thought behind them. There is an idea that anything can be used as a higher power; a light bulb, door knob, etc. This is utterly ridiculous. I've been around since '86. Never once have I seen or heard of anyone at an anniversary, for example, expressing gratitude or thanks to a light bulb and how that light bulb changed their life forever.

In the first chapter of the Big Book, 'Bill's Story', where Bill and his friend, Ebby, are talking about the miracle of Ebby's sobriety. The thought of how to find God (or, if you prefer, a higher power) is made known to Bill. "Why don't you choose your own conception of God? (page 12)". Be willing to believe that there is a power greater than yourself. A simple idea. So what characteristics or attributes would this greater power of yours have? Would he be loving, forgiving, providing, protecting, all-knowing and all-powerful, etc.? It's up to you.
A beginning that really does make a difference has begun.

Recovery rates may have also dipped because there are those who don't change or rather, don't want to. They ignore or downplay the vital significance of the 12 Steps. Imagine. In a 12 Step program and not willing to work the Steps. "Don't drink and go to meetings" will only carry you but so far.

Near the end of his life, Dr. Bob was well known for saying, "Let's keep this simple and not mess it up".
Because even by that time (1950) they were those who may have had good intentions who were adding fluff and particular kinds of feel good garbage to distract or otherwise substitute the two-part primary purpose of anyone in recovery.

Sobriety is truly a gift. Though in order to say yes to this gift being in your life there must be a daily willingness (actions, doing, etc.) evident to receive it. Just saying it alone is never enough.

Peace.

Posted on Apr 26, 2012 12:37:45 AM PDT
Matt Sidwell says:
Well I'm glad I'm sober. Im also glad I found and learned to love myself too. I attend meetings but don't feel as tied to AA as i used to. I feel I've progressed and outgrown the program in many ways. However it's a good place to start when you're looking for answers at rock bottom. Some folks need the doctrine and group to feel apart of. Some do not. I love sharing my experiences and helping others even if though my viewpoint doesn't mirror standard AA protocol. To me its just human beings helping other human beings with the human condition.

Posted on Apr 26, 2012 2:10:21 AM PDT
warrior mom
I agree with you, except the success rate for AA is 3% at 5yrs & 2% for 5+yrs. There are many other methods out there. Try www.the-alcoholism-guide.org for neutral information.

One of the reasons I am unable to use AA is because as a practicing pagan too many of the tenants and steps of the program run contrary to my belief system. My Deities expect me to be in charge of myself. "an it harm none, do as ye will" sounds simple until you look at the ramifications of an action.

Another reason is because I can walk into a meeting without feeling a need for a drink, but after listening to all the whiners I walk out needing a drink. It seems to me that the majority of people in AA are trading one addiction (alcohol) for one or more new addictions (caffeine, sugar, nicotine, religion, etc).

Posted on Apr 26, 2012 5:35:12 AM PDT
Teman99 says:
I've read the post in here and it seems a lot of folks are getting the Program and the fellowship of AA mixed up.

The program of AA is the 12 Steps. This is not a self help program, but based rather on spirituality. Running my own life
has only led me to self destruction/ self deception.....Self.
I can't think my way to sobriety (tried it for 20yrs.) My own thinking is the biggest problem (ego) and if I think I have the power to think
a drink through than I haven't accepted Step 1...Powerless / Unmanageability.

The reason AA worked in the beginning is because it was based on the program...12 steps first and foremost. The most important thing
I can do as an alcoholic is work the 12 steps. Whining is not part of the program, but has become a huge part of the fellowship.
The answer lies in our literature... Big Book which I had thought I knew, but found out after a little humility (asking for help) I knew nothing about our program.
I was great in the fellowship arena (meetings, hanging out with fellow AA'S, Talking to newer people) and sounded great (self knowledge), but lacked the program...Spirituality.

I have found a great sponsor and friend who is opening up our program to me. How did I find him? In Prayer asking my higher power to bring teachers and spiritual people
into my life. If your unhappy try this! What do you have to loose...except maybe self (misery).
I hope only the best for all you guys and remember AA never said we are the only way for someone to find contentment in their life!

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 5:38:17 AM PDT
What don't I lie about AA!?

One time, it took them an hour to come and fix my flat.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 9:18:44 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 26, 2012 9:19:23 AM PDT
allredah says:
Teman99 - your story sounds like mine. that spiritual bankruptcy unfortunately must happen to most of us. we just keep trying to keep doing the same old thing - grabbing that booze - and it just doesn't work anymore.

for me it is a blessing to finally have that burden lifted from me. and it was through a really honest appeal to my higher power that released me from the insanity of it. figuring it out logically just would not over the decades of periodic binging allow me to "just stop" on my own. always thought I was fine again after a few weeks or months.

I now truly know that the disease is a genetic defect which will return me back to the exact same patter - only worse to make of for lost time - if I decide to drink some more, which I always have the choice to do.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 9:28:51 AM PDT
allredah says:
Naudia - the feeling I should be strong enough to do it myself was what kept me spiriling down. because denial and self deception are the nature of the beast. I still do it myself - it is always my choice to pick up a drink - but the meetings enable me to hear reminders of what I used to do. what I am hooked now is hearing what I used to do, and more so what I could still do worse from others in the meetings. I don't think any church would discourage one from support of others making positive changes in their lives would they? and yes, a lot of them (us) do smoke and drink too much coffee etc. bugs me too. but I guess they can only fight one battle at a time maybe.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 9:51:18 AM PDT
allredah says:
Matt, also we have the right to make the meetings work for us by doing it any way that works for us - in other words being creative with it. some know-it-alls in there say you "must do this and that..." you can do it any way you want. try skipping the first boring parts of some of the meetings and going in at the dicussion point. I'm with you.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 2:18:34 PM PDT
Pat Cincotta says:
Don't you have to believe in a higher power?
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Discussion in:  Health forum
Participants:  17
Total posts:  32
Initial post:  Jan 23, 2012
Latest post:  Apr 29, 2012

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