Archive for August 2009

Stinkin' Thinkin' FAQ/RS

Stinkin Thinkin Frequently Asked Questions and Repetitive Sentiments

I know that when AA scolds come here to wag their fingers at us, or take the time out of their serenity to insist that they are serene and to point out that they pity our anger, I know they’re not really interested in engaging in a dialog. They’re hit and run. If they were actually curious about our motives here they’d be inspired to peruse the blog, and what they learn will inform their questions and comments, which would be much different. And if they did, they would have found their questions answered and comments addressed over and over again, because I keep answering them, for some reason (You know when you take a screwdriver, like this, and you jam it into your ear, like this… I hate that!). They’d also be able to actually take issue with what we’ve said, rather than dropping in to take pot-shots at our sobriety, motives, mental health, and emotional state.

They’re not here to engage – which we are very open to. We’re game. We don’t censor. Granted, we’re not going to mollycoddle anyone. I mean, you have to be able to take the heat. But we’re open to debate. So, let’s just get these FAQs and RSs out of the way, so when you drop in with some variation on the theme, you can just peruse this page and get the answers to the questions you aren’t really asking.

Now, these questions are more along the lines of the rhetorical questions used by authoritarian types to shame their kids, like, “What is the matter with you?!” They’re the kinds of questions that set the asker up to be pissed of by an answer, but also to insist upon an answer if they get none: “Seriously! What is the matter with you?!”

Off the top of my head, I am going to compose a typical AA response to Stinkin’ Thinkin’ (seriously, do you guys have some kind of a template you use? Or is it just one single person writing the same thing over and over again on every forum on the internet?), and then I will respond, and if you still have questions beyond these, feel free to ask: Continue reading Stinkin' Thinkin' FAQ/RS

Keep Coming Back!

Probation for teen who set block of Stirling flats on fire

A TEENAGER who caused a city centre block of flats to be evacuated after setting fire to his bedroom received two years probation.

Matthew Dow (19) had broken down in tears in the dock in Stirling Sheriff Court back in June when details of his offence were read out.

The court at that time heard he had befriended a man at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings who had then begun presenting him and his girlfriend with gifts.

On March 10, however, Dow was confronted in the street by a member of this man’s family, unhappy at the situation, and had run off.

Apparently then getting drunk he returned later to his then home at 19 Bruce Street in Stirling and, after more drinking with a neighbour, went into his own flat where, in an apparent attempt at self harm, he set fire to his own clothing and bedding.

So, we learn later in the article that this boy has severe problems:

The court also heard at the earlier hearing of how Dow had had a difficult life with treatment for leukaemia at the age of five leaving him brain damaged while various doctors also agreed he had borderline personality disorder and some suggested he might also have high functioning autism, or Asperger’s syndrome.

OK. This boy is in AA, where he clearly doesn’t belong, and some nice, normal, sober, serene guy who’s definitely not preying on him (because that wouldn’t happen), starts giving him presents. And a relative of this generous AA member decides to confront the kid… who responds by burning his neighborhood down.

And what does the court decide for him? Psychiatric care?

Handing down the probation term Sheriff Cubie imposed additional conditions that Dow would undertake alcohol counselling and would abide by instructions from his care team.

More AA.

Mr. SponsorPants

A little while ago, AnnaZed turned me on to Mr. Sponsorpants, and we’ve been following him with some measured indulgence and ambivalence. Charmed, I guess. He is charming. And holycannoli can he write. Yeah, OK, I have a little bloggish crush on Mr. Sponsorpants. He breaks my fucking heart is what he does.

 He breaks my heart because he has the kind of moral sensibility (in John Gardner’s sense of the term) that allows him to really home in on human complexity, and gets it so well that he can make it funny and brilliant. And then, you know what he does with that? He reels it in, slays it, guts it, and leaves you with a nice clean slogan. It’s a crime.

 Mostly what breaks my heart is that, within the small scope that AA allows him, he can use this gift of moral observation only to run circles around those less gifted (here’s part two and part three of this story) of his fellow members. With great power comes great responsibility, and he is squandering it to play head games with himself and others.

 So, AZ reached her threshold with Mr. Sponsorpants when she read this recent post, and I agree with her: enough’s enough. He responds to a question from someone who is genuinely trying to get it right: Continue reading Mr. SponsorPants

Happy Birthday, FTG!!

HappyBirthday001

I’ve been out of commission, but I will be back very soon. I did, however, want to come on and announce:

Today is friendthegirl’s burfday!

How did a person get so wise, at such a young age?

Happy Birtday, FTG!

Response to Newsweek's "What Addicts Need"

written by Jeff F

A year and a half ago, Newsweek magazine ran this cover story, weirdly titled “What Addicts Need”.  It’s a nebulous, unfocused article which deals almost exclusively with “vaccines and other new drugs [which] may change the way we treat [addiction]”.  Much of it reads as if it were copied and pasted from promotional material supplied by drug companies, with some rather sweeping general statements by some college professors and a Nora Volkow thrown in for substantiation.
 
Here was my take on the subject, which I posted in the comments section on the Newsweek website:
 
I’ve noticed that articles like this come out once a year or so. My reaction to them is always something like, “Well, it’s sure a nice idea, but…lotsa luck.” This article has an interesting twist in that the central idea of much of it seems to be, “People will FINALLY come to view alcoholism/addiction as a disease as soon as we invent a pill for it.” Um, OK. Again, I’ll believe it when I see it.

I had my last drink of alcohol in July of 2004. In the 18 months preceding that, I had been actively seeking treatment for my alcoholism. I knew that AA involved praying, God, smoking, talking at length about oneself, and people I wasn’t sure I wanted to be around. It also seemed to me that if alcoholism was indeed a disease, then I’d be better off seeking help from the medical community.

While I was still able (meaning, before I lost my job and my health insurance due to my drinking), I went to pretty much every variety of health-care person that was accessible to me. They all said essentially one thing: “Stop drinking, go to AA.” Never was there any mention from any of these people about Campral or Naltrexone, dopamine receptors or GABA, “delayed discounting”, not even Antabuse.

A little baffled, I shrugged and began to attend AA meetings. Their effect on me and my emotional state with respect to my drinking ranged from none at all, to a marked increase in the depth and degree of my despair.

After months of attending AA meetings, stopping drinking entirely still didn’t seem and had never seemed a reasonable or realistic option. Finally, I agreed to enter a “treatment center”, it being obvious to me at the time that AA wasn’t “working”, and that I needed “treatment”, not AA.

I then discovered what a “treatment center” really was — a place where they throw you in with a dozen or so other nitwits and shove AA down your throat. After surviving 30 days at to what I came to refer as “jail lite”, I left, and six weeks later I was drinking again, with increased fervor and urgency.

At that point, with my job and health insurance long gone, the question of whether I could find “medical treatment” for my “disease” was rendered academic. The only treatment for my alcoholism, I felt, was more alcohol, and I nearly died.

Jeff F

After a period of some months, I found myself in another “jail lite” facility. Again, AA was force-fed. Nowhere was there any mention of anything else described in the article. I spent the first few months of my “recovery” waiting to die.

I can’t explain how it came to pass that I’m sitting here typing this today. My best guess is that I’m simply lucky. I do attend four to five AA meetings a week, and as much as I would love to profess that “the Program” is the reason I’m sober, it would be a half-truth at best. Again, I can’t explain why, but at some point I simply decided that I had had it with the whole business — that enough was simply enough.

Jeff F

[Thank you, Jeff!]

If Atheists Ruled the World (repost for Uberdog)

Quotes from the FSTDT site…

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qO9IPoAdct8]

Bring it.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_puTAZp-USs]

Do you boys want me to pull this goddamn internet over? Because I sweardagod I will pull it over right now! Do not test me. I will stop the whole internet right here and end you all.

[An imagine of my mom just popped into my head: Trying to steer the car with one hand, swerving all over the road, while she flails her arm in the back seat trying to smack us around… and we’d laugh our heads off, while she got more pissed off trying to make contact. This was before booster seats and seat belts, so we could ninja. God, that was funny. I am about to become my mother, so hold onto your hat.]

 So!

 I’m glad to see Danny back – especially since I invited him back. I didn’t just invite him, I badgered him. (Yeah, tell me with a straight face you’re not glad he indulged me.) Continue reading Bring it.

The AA Creed of Powerlessness or Spiritual Fascism

A creed of individual powerlessness has obvious attractions for those drawn towards fascist ideas, and it certainly gained Buchman plenty of financial support from weathy businessmen of extreme right-wing political persusion, who welcomed the preaching of a “spiritual” message which told the underdog he must not question his place in the world. However, this creed of powerlessness has wider and graver implications than those of narrow class politics.

The Communion Question – More Fun From The Wackos at Sober Recovery

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There is an interesting thread started by our friends over at the Sober Recovery forum about whether an alkie should receive the communion wine during the Eucharist ceremony in the Catholic Church. This is an interesting question that I have seen discussed before, and as usual, there is no shortage of opinions from the wackos at that forum – ranging from reasonable to ridiculous. As is typical with AAs, the answers are full of rationalizations and faulty logic, and they all evade the obvious questions that come to the minds of those of us who aren’t under the AA spell, most notably – why would a person’s higher power ask them to drink in the first place?

The answer to this is simple for a true believer in the Catholic faith, because according to the church, once the bread and wine become consecrated in the Eucharist, it ceases to be bread and wine, and becomes the body and blood of Christ – literally. When one consumes the communion wine, they are literally drinking the blood of Christ. So, for a true believer, this question should have never been asked, because drinking blood should not cause an alcoholic to slip. Particularly the blood of your personal deity.

For a non-Catholic, this question should also be simple, as the wine is simply representative of Christ’s blood, and can therefore be substituted with grape juice or any other drink for that matter. Still, it begs the question of why one’s higher power would play such games with the person He loved so much that He removed their character flaws and restored their serenity. I think if Jesus is powerful enough to do that, then He can surely make a sip of wine innocuous. I don’t think a lot of these AAs who have responded in this thread have thought this one all the way through. Some have advised this person not to drink the wine, as it could cause a slip, and has caused slips in others.

I could not be an AA simply because this whackadoodle logic drives me nuts. Any question that comes up that is not neatly answered in the ‘Big Book’ becomes an exercise in the ridiculous. Someone should start a thread asking them to explain the difference between their ass and a hole in the ground. Their fucking heads would explode.

An Angry, Deluded, Misguided Narcissist Rants

I’m bemused… Remember that Darren Littlejohn piece on the Huffington Post? I posted about it below, and called it “Takes One to Know One” in reference to the title of the piece in question, “The 12 Steps: An Antidote For Celebrities and other Narcissistic Addicts.” As someone who misses every opportunity to shut up, I went after it in the comments section.  So, I expect that if I’m going to do the old “you’re projecting” thing, I’m going to get it right back, which I did. And I totally asked for it. And when I got it, I asked for some clarification from the commenter who diagnosed me, because I thought it would be interesting to hear an AA explain to me how I had proven myself to be a narcissist via the content of my posts.

Here’s the sub-thread in question: Continue reading An Angry, Deluded, Misguided Narcissist Rants