You, Our Readers, Comment:
“I never skip a letter from you two!! The comments always inspire.
The idea that the alcohol is just a temporary self medication to help avoid looking at the real, underlying issues is so powerful.
I numbed myself up for many, many years, but I am
coming out of the fog! It’s not just giving up the drinking life, it’s building the new life after that.
Thank you so much for your perspectives!!”
“Your mailings were extremely helpful during my transition period. It took me three years to recover from 3 months of AA, and I appreciate your newsletter insights!”
“A couple of years ago I had to choose between coming to see you and going to a program that was closer to home and slightly cheaper. I chose the latter. What a mistake!
The only good thing that happened was their “aftercare program” which consisted of subscribing to your Newsletter.
But your Newsletter saved my life. Thank you, and I enclose a donation to ease my conscience and express my gratitude.”
“Just reading the weekly newsletters has helped me vary much. I have been to 2 other outpatient programs, and attended some 12 Step meetings but always found them mostly unhelpful.
I am very much in control and don’t want to be “in recovery” forever. My programs helped me learn my triggers so that was useful.
I don’t always relate to what is written, but many times do relate. Yes, sometimes I fall back into a bad habit, but can dig down deep and know that isn’t how I want to love my life.
I do imbibe on vacations but when that is over, then it is time to get back to reality. Which for me is staying dry because my favorite hobby is working out and the two do not go together.
I also really notice how much more I can accomplish and keep my bills paid on time, and birthday greetings sent out on time, and enjoy a movie and remember it! (Movies are a big hobby as well as baseball and football.)
Thank you Mary Ellen and Ed, and if I ever feel I need more help I would certainly call and attend, and I would also tell otrhers how much sense your program makes!
When I attended 12 Steps I met people who liked them so much they couldn’t get enougfh of meetings, so their addiction just changed from their drug of choice to meetings and drinking terrible coffee!
I am retired and enjoying my freedom and am very busy.”
And one more….
“After reading the request for comments in your latest newsletter, I asked “J” if he had any he’d like to pass on.
Here’s what he said –He’s just about 1 year out from when he stopped drinking and 11 months since the week we spent with you guys.
He finds he’s not interested in drinking in any single drinking situations, and managing that part is now routine.
But, overall, considering himself a “nondrinker” as a global self-description is more difficult than it was at the outset of not drinking.
He can’t picture an event or situation that would trigger a drink at this point, but it still seems “Not J” to be a non-drinker. For instance, he can’t picture going to Paris (which we do every couple years), sitting in a cafe on a boulevard and not having a glass of wine.
K & J
Non-12-Step Program alumni, class of August 2013″
And here’s our response to this common “future” concern:
We’re glad to hear from you, and that all is well. J is falling into a mental trap that we all tend to confuse ourselves with – projecting into future situations and assuming problems. It’s similar to the mother who wailed, “I can’t imagine not drinking a toast at my daughter’s wedding!” even though her daughter was only 5.
But no one is saying that she can’t, or that J can’t sip a glass of wine in Paris. It’s still a choice and experiments are common and results are not often disasters, quite the contrary.
It’s really not necessary to consider oneself either a drinker or non-drinker – labels tend to incite us – but rather as a person who, for the moment, is foregoing drinking as a choice, not a life sentence.
Again, it takes some time to escape the AA mythology that so infuses our culture with misinformation, labels, and “Steps” designed to undermine you, your self-confidence, integrity, self-worth, and individuality.
Once again, don’t drink the Kool-Aid!
This cross section of responses pretty well covers the topics we hear every day. All of us need to not only be freed from our alcohol related problems, and their underlying causes, but from all of the AA/12Step mythology as well.
Actually, it’s a lot harder to escape the brainwashing than it is the alcohol. Remember that, expand your self-awareness of it, and you will be okay. Get stuck in it and you will drown in it.
Again, you are free to choose, to be, and to live. Yes, it takes courage to really live and, yes, it’s easier for the immature to opt for the security of a cult.