Addiction and AA? Hmm…

4 Aug

12:46 pm

Getting closer to 8 weeks sober, and that’s pretty much all that’s keeping me from cracking open a bottle of red and guzzling it these days. I just FEEL like drinking — it’s been taking all my concentration not to drink, actually. Then again, I’m much (yeah, much, I’d say MUCH) better at coping with the cravings using rational thought. As in:

If I drink one glass, I’ll likely finish the bottle, probably move on to two, or three, since I haven’t drunk for a while. Then, I’ll black out and well, who KNOWS what might happen at this point. At the very least, I’ll be hung the fuck over the next day, which will ruin it. And, I haven’t had a bad, ruined hung over day yet here (this time on island), and I’d really like to keep it that way. So, drinking equals hangover, which sucks.

I have to say, it’s amazing to me that I’ve “re-trained” my mind enough to WANT to choose not being hung over to drinking/being drunk. I’ve regained my sense enough to be able to see that while it’d be great — marvelous — to be drunk, it can only lead to bad things. Is three hours of drunkenness (or less) worth 24 to 48 hours of feeling horrible? Nope.

Again, it’s amazing to see just how you can re-train your mind, how you can overcome addiction, which is of the mind, not the body. AA would say otherwise. AA would also say that once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic. And I would say what I always say, fuck AA. Get over your dogmatic, outdated, and possibly never in-sync-with-addiction-science mentality, will ya?

Maybe I should give AA another shot, though. It is a community and once you’ve gotten over the hump of staying sober, it could simply be nice to have friends that get it. People who know what I’m going through, that could be there for me when I’m feeling sorry for myself and wanting to binge drink.

I dunno. Everyone talks about how helpful AA can be, and I agree that it IS helpful — to some, and as a way to quit. It wasn’t for me, as every time I went to a meeting, I totally felt like drinking after! All that talk of booze and blackouts…! It’s also a semi-load of bullshit: who made up those 12 steps? Not to mention, AA has always felt to me like you’re replacing one addiction — booze, sex, food, whatever — with another, meetings. Instead of looking inward at the circular thoughts of addiction, at your own reasons for using, or drinking, or binge eating, you’re told to look outside? To a “program?” I guess it’s a start, a method that you can use to quit drinking. Sooner or later, though, you’re going to have to STAY SOBER, which has nothing to do with 12 steps, saying you’re sorry, and turning to “god.”

In fact, I think it’s the (fake) religion of AA, like all religions, that serves the purpose of making folks believe that they’re actually managing their addictive tendencies when in fact, it’s the program that’s distanced them from these tendencies. It’s infinitely harder, I think, to take responsibility for managing an addictive personality or addictive thoughts on your own — but it’s the only way to stay sober, mentally and emotionally, and to be glad to be sober physically.

Like I said, the closest I’ve come to a “higher power” was that ONE TIME a few months ago when I felt an absence of craving. Remembering that moment takes me back, again and again, to my late teens, a time of immense…flow. Excitement. Anticipation. Creativity. All without booze. It’s possible, it reminds me, that I once felt that way SANS BOOZE, and that I can, therefore, feel that way again.

What made me start drinking? Where was that fork in the road? Was it a gradual process, a response to my social anxiety that turned into a dysfunction? Of course. Did it get out of control even further, years later, when my mind had come to rely on those circuits being turned on so that others would be turned off? Sure. I could go on, but the point is, I don’t think anyone can tell you whether you’re going to be a drunk for the rest of your life. I don’t think anyone can draw a line in the sand — your sand — and do the work for you by substituting a program with an inner healing process. In that regard, AA is as elusive a fix as some of the drugs and booze we were using!

5 Responses to “Addiction and AA? Hmm…”

  1. thirteenpointoneandone August 5, 2012 at 9:18 pm #

    I agree. I chose to deal with this whole thing myself. I don’t go to meetings. I like facing my problem alone. I’m at 64 days today and I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything. Way to go to keep pushing along. You are doing very well!

    • drunkydrunkgirl August 6, 2012 at 5:00 am #

      Good for you, that’s awesome! I must admit, I’ve been really thinking of going back to drinking, in moderation if I can, of course, once I hit 90 days. I’ve been fantasizing about it for the past few days pretty hardcore.

      AA. Yeah, every time I’ve gone, and I’ve gone to meetings only in NYC and SF, I don’t really get how it can personally help me to quit. It’s so formulaic. I feel like everyone’s different, and has different issues and coping mechanisms. I dunno, I could ramble on and on, but mostly I just don’t feel like “it” can do what I, personally, need to do to quit. And that’s why I don’t trust people when they say, “AA got me sober.” Then again, I’m kind of a solo person, and the thought of sharing this with others, well, it makes it worse. I spend the entire meeting feeling like the dork in high school who couldn’t speak up, and now all the “cool kids” are getting to talk. There’s a real popularity contest going on in a lot of AA meetings, you know?

  2. Porkchop August 6, 2012 at 5:33 am #

    I totally relate to your feelings and resistance to AA. My mom has been in it for 14 years now and for a long time I felt the same way that you do. That it’s just a replacement for drinking and that it’s a fake religion. I spent my first 30 days sober, on my own, with no meetings. But I realized I had nothing to lose at all by trying it out, just to see if there was anyone in there I could relate to or even be friends with.

    I’m not at all a poster child for AA and I definitely still have a lot of wariness about many aspects. I only go to maybe one meeting a week and I’m slowly trying to take in all the different parts of the program. But I will say that I have met a handful of really cool women, that are my age, that understand where I’m at. They’re not culty and they’re not weird and they certainly aren’t trying to push anything on me which is something that I worried about before ever going. After trying out a few different meetings, I’ve found one that I really enjoy. I guess the primary thing I like about AA is that it makes me feel slightly more accountable. That someone besides myself knows I’m not drinking and can hold me to it.

    Another thing I will say, and you can take this for whatever it’s worth, is that I really do believe that once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic, I think that trying to drink in moderation is what you think it is, a fantasy. I wish that it wasn’t and I wish that I could do that as well and I have tried, many times, in many ways. I think most alcoholics do. But most of them end up at the same conclusion. You could very well be in the minority though, and maybe you’ll find that it does work for you.

    I know I’m just a stranger on the internet, so of course I wouldn’t expect you to put much value in anything I’m saying. But I like reading your blog and am interested in hearing your perspective on getting sober.

    Whatever you’re doing now is working for you and that’s awesome. Congratulations on having as much time as you do without a drink! I am just ahead of you at nine weeks tomorrow.

    • drunkydrunkgirl August 6, 2012 at 1:42 pm #

      Thank you SO MUCH! I really appreciate your feedback, and it’s great to hear a success story like yours! Congrats.

      As for AA, yeah, I can totally see your angle, and I remember a few meetings (women only) in NYC that were really cool, and I felt comfortable. And, maybe now that I’m not in the early (pouting and in denial) days, it might be a completely different experience. Like you said, a place to meet likeminded peeps as well as a way to make yourself more accountable.

      Anyway, you keep up the great work!

  3. OuttaHerBottle August 12, 2012 at 3:00 pm #

    I had the same sort of fears entering into AA. I had tried to stay sober on my own, many times, and inevitably I would go back out and experiment with moderation and sane drinking, which never stayed moderate or sane for very long. (I know, this story is not unique!) The difference for me now, with AA and a sponsor, is that I know there is a group of people out there who understand my alcoholism, because they’ve been there. They understand it better than I do. Yes, the meetings smack of fake religion and cultishness, but the individual people I’ve met are real and sincere. It took some shopping around on my part to find the a group that was a good fit for me, but I have found it to be worth the effort. I use what I like and leave the rest in the room.
    That said, more power to you if you have found a creative way to work recovery! I hope that you find inspiration and fortitude through your writing and other creative outlets. I certainly appreciate reading your viewpoints and I thank you for contributing to my recovery efforts!

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