Archive for the SoberRecovery Category

The Daily Crazy

Wendy is a stepper down under, and she has a problem. She recently moved, and she’s dealing with a lot of crazy in her new group. So, she came to the good people at Sober Recovery for some advice. The whole post is a nice summary of a typical AA experience. Below are the last couple of paragraphs, which cover a lot of the lunacy in a short few sentences: You’ve got your 13th stepping, your suicide, your affirmation that she will be in jail were it not for AA, and a crazy AA buddy.

The responses are interesting, too. There is a lot of subtext to them, including Boleo’s implication that those non-fundie, “back-slapping” groups aren’t really AA, and CarolD’s suggestion that God put her in this situation for a reason – with that reason being to start up her own group. Shockingly, nobody has suggested she get away from these nutbags.

Being assertive in AA

And finally, there is a woman here I’ve begun to make friends with, a gay woman who is very strong from the floor, “men are for men and women are for women and the 13th Step” in terms of sponsoship and suppport – and she’s very strident because her last sponsee suicided shortly before I came here, partly due to the 13th Step from a guy . But she’s started to make it clear she likes me “that way”. That wouldn’t worry me so much – I’d just give it to her straight (excuse the pun). But our phone calls are endless diatribue of what her male sponsee is or isn’t doing and it’s truly, in my view, “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result” – ie, he calls her at 6pm everynight and it’s the same old thing. But SHE TAKES THE CALLS, and at 23 years sober she won’t do the Steps and seek psych help for some genuinely awful stuff that’s happened in her life. So I’ve had to make a major boundary with her, even though she scares me. (She’s done hard prison time – a YET for me)

So, while I know this is just the fabric of AA, we’re all cracked in our own special way, I’d just LOVE a period of quiet when I don’t have to deal with these exhausting dynamics. I work my arse off in AA, with my psychiatrist and psychologist and on my spiritual journey and I refuse to have anyone derail me. But it’s all been a bit of a shock to the system.

Stinkin’ Thinkin’ Over at the Sober Recovery Forum

What happens when there is dissension in the AA ranks? It depends on the platform. In real life, anyone questioning any part of the program will be derided. On an internet forum run by 12-steppers, they get censored. Even if it is not their AA section.

A few days ago, we were directed to a thread that was started at the Sober Recovery forum titled “The Concept of Powerlessness.” As is most often the case in these discussions about ‘Big Book’ scripture, it devolved into a circle-jerk of pseudo-intellectual mental contortion and philosophizing. I find it difficult to make it through more than three or four posts before my reading voice morphs into the “wah wah wah” of the teacher’s voice in Charlie Brown.

This time, I paid closer attention to the conversation, because a rare voice of trenchancy – “John Barleycorn” – jumped into the conversation. Knowing this was would go over like lead balloon, and knowing the AAs moderating the Sober Recovery forum would delete any challenge to the dogma quicker than one can say “rigorous honesty,” we took a screen shot. Click on the image below to enlarge:

It was followed up with this, which has yet to be deleted, but I’ll go ahead and include it here because I suspect it will be. It’s just makes too much sense:

One problem with using examples from internet forums is, AAs tend to couch their language more than they do one on one or within the confines of a group. What John Barleycorn is asking for is an alternative to tell a person who repeatedly fails. Something beyond a slogan. The answer, of course, is that the program cannot fail. It can only be failed. The onus, and the fault, is always on the individual. Always. It says it right there… in the ‘Big Book’.

It’s almost unfair to ask this of a group that is currently under the AA spell. They’ve been conditioned, and have no point of reference other than the insular world of AA. To a worm in a horseradish, the world is a horseradish.


Jonny Quest, aka “John Barleycorn,” advised us SR deleted another post that would dare to criticize AA. Here it is:


SoberRecovery has another revealing thread up, started by a potential new AA with a few interesting questions for the members.


I have decided to go to AA but need some answers to some questions before I go. I plan to do a “purist” program only. By this I mean, if it’s not in the original BB, I may or may not do it, probably will not do it. I figured this was the best place to post my questions and where I can get answers from experts well versed in the BB. So here are my questions…

1. Does it state in the BB one must get a sponsor?
2. Does it state in the BB one must acknowledge birthdays and take chips?
3. Does it state in the BB that one must say “I am an alcoholic” at every meeting?
4. Does it state in the BB that one must go to X number of meetings?
5. Does it state in the BB one MUST do the steps?

As far as I know, the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. Also, if the answer is yes to any of these questions, can you please point me in the direction as to where I might find this in the BB? I don’t have one but can always go online to read it myself. I guess those are all of the questions I can think of for now. I would appreciate any input and your expertise is valued. Thanks in advance.

Well, now what? Continue reading Suggestions

15 Seconds on SoberRecovery

By the time I get this post up, the thread will probably have been kiboshed by the keystone cops over at SoberRecovery (I have a screen cap). But some open-minded soul over at SR has linked to us in a discussion on the bogus concept of “dry drunk” (thank you, open-minded soul!) and I thought it would be interesting to see where the discussion goes now.

Here’s one response to our existence:

And that is a shame that some would spend their time in futile resentment trying to mislabel AA as some religious cult. I have seen some others ex-AA’ers with the same vendetta trying to sway others with their copy and paste twisting meanings. Most of them anti-God Christian hating atheists authors trying to mock AA’ers as brainwashed people when that is the farthest from the truth.

While I will agree, some of these slogans, such as dry drunk, can and probably are overused by AA’ers on occasion, when I speak of that term, my meaning is in life in general. I do not mean it from an AA meaning.

When someone takes the drink from a drunken horse thief, they are left with a horse thief. And unless some change is made in their life, that is usually the case. I have also clearly stated this change can take place either in AA or for some outside AA, as AA does not have tibs on recovery.

I don’t understand why someone would devote such time to such a hateful site in mocking what is known to work for so many that they have to establish web sites with articles to twist other comments to make it fit what they think things to mean. If they do not believe in 12 step nor are involved it in, one should ask themself this one simple question. In what way are they even qualified to speak of it then to get others to believe their BS? And what is their ‘true’ intention of doing so.

Does anyone actually believe it is because they ‘care’ for anyone who is trying to get sober? I hardly think so.

Sounds more like some personal ego vendetta to me.

Keep Coming Back! [UPDATED]

[UPDATE: Marsh was cleared of the charges. Here’s the story.]

And definitely bring the kids along. They bring such joy to the meetings, and if they’re lucky, they just might get to meet Fireman Marsh

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — A Greenridge firefighter honored in 2007 for saving a heart-attack victim is under fire for allegedly groping a woman during an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting inside the Eltingville YMCA.


Marsh is in no danger of being removed from AA, no matter the outcome of the legal process. Instead, the matter will be dealt with during Marsh’s group sessions.

“We don’t condone illegal behavior, but no one can be kicked out of AA,” said a public information staff member from the General Service Office of AA in Manhattan, who also maintained anonymity.

“This is about the whole group coming together and very, thoughtfully, carefully, meticulously deciding whether the person’s behavior is a threat to group unity,” the spokesperson said. “Our first tradition is maintaining the unity of the group.”

AllyB’s Quote of the Day

AllyB posted this comment in MA’s “Quotes of the Day” post, and I thought it deserved to be on the front page, along with AnnaZed’s response. So, finally (sorry it took so long)! Here it is:

AllyB says:

We just don’t understand you see, we’re just amateurs. Heres’ what I learned on S[ober]R[ecovery] yesterday:
That’s the difference between amateurs who think they know all about this disease and professionals who have been educated in the different stages of recovery and how to bait, cajole, feed, shove and rejoice with an alkie who actually becomes a healthy, productive person. If you do things in the wrong order, you’ll just loose the alkie and they’ll end up dead.

Not that different from working with an abused woman. They go thru their own stages as well, and if you use the wrong approach at the wrong time she’ll end up just as dead as the alkie.

When you see the Moderators here at SR removing posts and locking threads that’s the reason why. Some amateur has gotten a big head and is interfering in the work that is being done by people who actually know what they are doing.

Moderator, SR

And then later:

Continue reading AllyB’s Quote of the Day

Think, Think, Think!

Q. What do we get when AAs mull over their peculiar little existential conundrums — the complexities of conflicting slogans?

A. About 10 minutes of prime SoberRecovery Rubbernecking!

What They Say…

What They Say When They Think No One’s Looking

Over on the community pages, allyb directed us to a thread on SoberRecovery, which I want to highlight here on the front page. AA members take great exception to it when we highlight instances of abuse among AA members, because, they say, all groups are autonomous, and no single member can represent or speak for AA as a whole. Of course, AA — as an organization — does not provide any oversight, and is not accountable at all for what happens in meetings, either. This is a nice, tidy little buck-passing loop they’ve arranged for themselves.

And we don’t buy it. If AA doesn’t exist as a responsible entity, then what actually happens in AA and among members is AA. If it seems that we are picking on individual members, that’s because we are. These people are AA. You can deny responsibility on the technicality that’s built into the traditions, but we place the responsibility squarely where it belongs — on AA’s members.

The thread allyb exposed begins with a post from Sugardaddy, whose ex-girlfriend is a new AA member. He is very concerned because she is being aggressively 13th-Stepped in the meetings she attends. After outlining the specific behavior she has encountered, which is reprehensible, he says, “She is SCARED,” and follows up with a couple of questions: Continue reading What They Say…