Posts tagged anger

How to Treat Dick Burns

First, let me apologize to those of you who googled the title of this article, hoping to find some relief from an STD, or a domestic accident with a curling iron. This post is about our beloved Dick B, aka Dick Burns – an AA historian and friend of the blog. Those regular readers who read this title and started snickering (speedy, I see you), you should be a little more mature than that. Really! Continue reading How to Treat Dick Burns

"An A.A. meeting is where losers get together to talk about their winnings."

Bullshit slogan of the day:
An A.A. meeting is where losers get together to talk about their winnings.

Among the most often heard utterances at an AA meeting is, “As alcoholics, we are…” This is followed with some negative stereotype such as “angry” or “selfish” or “overly sensitive” or “argumentative”. The list goes on and on and on….

There is no basis in fact for any of these claims, as alcoholics are no more selfish or angry than the general population. These are simply myths created by, and perpetuated by, Alcoholics Anonymous. The ‘Big Book’ and the ’12×12′ are littered with degrading references to alcoholics, as is the vocabulary of any hardcore 12-Stepper. Pick a pejorative, and the chances are good that you will hear it applied to alcoholics as a group.

There are a couple of reasons for this self-degradation. Continue reading "An A.A. meeting is where losers get together to talk about their winnings."

How Alcoholics Anonymous Costs You In Court

Two months ago, a guy in North Carolina became suicidal after getting liquored up at his home. The situation escalated after police and the man’s AA sponsor arrived, and ended with the guy laying dead on the ground with a bullet hole through his chest. Yesterday the autopsy results were released, which showed that this guy’s blood alcohol content was above the lethal amount. He should have already been dead by the time the deputies arrived, but somehow he was still able to function. Here is an article about the incident.

The fact that this guy is now dead is obviously a tragic consequence, but looking further into this story reveals other failures, as well. Toward the end of the article, the reporter cites some previous arrests of this victim – including DUI, public intoxication, assault on a female and carrying a concealed weapon. These are not all of this guy’s convictions or arrests. There were two additional arrests for impaired driving, one resulting in a conviction (1990), and the other in a suspended sentence (1997). In four of these cases, he was compelled to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

This is an example of how AA is not a benign organization. This man is a victim of AA in two ways. One is their failure as a program for sobriety, and the other is in how AA conducts itself in relation to our court systems. This man had obvious psychological problems that extend beyond alcoholism. Problems that AA is ill-equipped to handle, and are actually more likely to exacerbate. A sponsor who is untrained in counseling, and who is very likely to be unbalanced himself — coupled with the collective idea that medication is poison, becomes a toxic mix for a person with psychological problems. Treating this man’s anger – which was likely the result of a chemical imbalance in his brain – with shame, resentment lists, suppression of his feelings and divine intervention; instead of with real psychological help, is the standard AA approach. An AA slogan is often said, but never applied, comes to mind. This guy needed a “check-up from the neck up”. What he got instead was a religious program that fails almost everyone who walks through the door. A program that had already failed him multiple times. AA is not required to accept anyone as part of a court mandate. I wish they wouldn’t have accepted this guy, and would have instead forced the court to find other methods of treatment – real, psychological treatment that someone who is mentally ill deserves. Maybe this tragedy could have been avoided.

I wanted to write about this case, because I wanted to isolate a specific example of how AA costs everyone, beyond the most obvious thing, and that is loss of life. There is a cost AA’s high failure rate. Putting an exact dollar figure is impossible. Factor in the hourly rate of those involved in the multiple arrests, court appearances, jailhouse stays and legal fees for this person — and it will give you some idea of what the costs are to you and me in terms of tax dollars. Multiply this by tens of thousands of cases, and you begin to get an idea of how this impacts everyone. It does not matter that an AA chapter passes around a collection plate, and accepts no outside contributions. That is not what costs you and me. We lose out from AA’s failure, and their inability to accept the idea that they are not a solution to almost every new member, or in this case, returning member.

Serenity Now!

One of the slogans in AA is “I can go from grateful to hateful in a second”. That seems to be true of this woman in Washington, who got liquored up after her last AA meeting, and she threw a bit of fit. Now she is sitting in jail, and my bet is that she gets some sort of court ordered 12-Step based treatment (seeing as though it is working so well for her already).

"I'm still waiting for those promises!"

"I'm still waiting for those promises!"

Kitsap Sun – Poulsbo, WA
“A 43-year-old Poulsbo woman was arrested Thursday after drinking too much and becoming violent, according to Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office reports….

The woman had been at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting before drinking at a friend’s house. Her boyfriend and son, who had been overseas, had planned to surprise her by keeping her son’s visit a secret.

The woman came home drunk, according to reports, and was upset because her night had been interrupted. She became suspicious when she saw her boyfriend and son getting along — the pair have disagreed in the past, according to reports.

She threw things at her boyfriend, including a mug, utility light, an ashtray and ceramic flower pot, according to reports. The boyfriend forced her outside, then called police.

The woman was found covered in mud on a trail behind the house. She told deputies when she saw her boyfriend getting along with her son she thought he was going to propose. When he didn’t she became angry, according to reports.”

HERE is a link to the full article.