I like to think I’m a quick study, but it’s taken me over a year to realize that whenever I troll around the tubes for AA news, I always land on the Desert Sun‘s website. There’ always some piece of AA fluff there that is just like more AA fluff, and so I usually navigate away (not always). It’s always obnoxious, but not usually interesting enough to post about. I just landed there again tonight, and I said to myself, “Jeezo, why do I keep ending up here?”
You’d think I have asked and answered this question for myself sooner.
Turns out the reason I keep landing there is that Dr. James West writes a regular column for the Desert Sun. He is a retired Betty Ford Center out-patient medical director. He is also the author of The Betty Ford Center Book of Answers (which has a lovely cover), among other things. Dr. West is hard on to 100 years old, which really makes me feel like a shitheel for this post.
(Don’t worry about me. I’ll get over it.)
Upon his retirement from the Betty Ford Center in 2007 (at 93), he said:
What I’m most proud of is that we have not moved one iota from the principle that treatment here is based on the 12-Step program. That was our foundation back in 1982, and it remains our foundation a quarter-century later.
It’s really hard for me to hold anything against a 97 year old person. I visited my grandad when he was 97, and the last thing he ever said to me was “My dear, I want to tell you something. I’m so glad you came to visit. But I am so goddamn glad to see you go. No offense.” People that age like their routine.
I hold it against the people who spotlight Dr. West’s old man routine to support their refusal to evolve.