Sunday, 16 July 2017

I Don't Want a Fight With AA

I had an old friend round for lunch yesterday.

She's an amazing woman, who has dealt with issues that would break many people, but has come out stronger.

For a few years, L lived with a cocaine addict. She saw, up close and personal, how drugs can destroy the lives of the user and those who love them.

As a result, once she'd found the strength to get away, she re-trained as a psychotherapist and an addiction counsellor.

I am in awe of the people who not only survive their own life traumas, but then use them to help others.

So, a while back, I gave L the name of my blog. She never told me whether she'd read it or what she thought of it.

Then, yesterday, L said "I read your blog."

"Oh yes?" I replied.

"I have to say, I don't like your refusal to use the word 'alcoholic.'" She said.

I imagine she was referring to this post: Am I an alcoholic?

Then she continued, "there are an awful lot of people who feel the same as me."

"I have no issue with anyone using the term 'alcoholic' if they find it helpful," I explained, "it's just that I don't. I think it's one of the reasons why so many people find it difficult to confess to having a problem and asking for help. We're worried about being judged."

But the truth is that anyone who is a member of, or works with, AA feels hugely strongly about the A word, and I'm not sure that I can take them all on. I don't want to have a fight with AA - I think they're an amazing institution doing an incredible job.

But I know that I, and many of my readers, feel strongly about this issue too. I am very happy (well, sort of) to stand up on national television and confess to drinking a bottle of wine a day. I'm happy to confess to being an alcohol addict.

But I'm not happy to say "I am an alcoholic." I don't believe I have a disease. I think I became addicted to an addictive drug, the same way I did to cigarettes, back in the day.

I found it much easier to say 'I have cancer' (when I was diagnosed with breast cancer 18 months ago) than I do 'I am an alcoholic.'

The truth is, people sympathise with cancer victims, but they assume that women who are 'alcoholics' are weak, diseased, and terrible mothers who neglect their children while they pour vodka on their cornflakes.

Surely the words I use are a personal choice?

It seems extraordinary that one word can cause so much trouble. But it will....

Is this really a good idea?

Love SM

38 comments:

  1. I absolutely hear you. I have tried to say, "My name is P and I'm in recovery from alcoholism," in AA meetings, but the words get strangled in my throat because that's not part of how AA works. And I go to a VERY laid-back atheist/agnostic AA meeting.

    I wish you luck with that discussion. It's probably going to get hairy, but no arguments from me.

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  2. There is a tendency to over-identify with words. As Eckhart Tolle points out, they are simply signposts, labels. I agree that the A word is a particularly loaded one which prevents some people from seeking help with their problems in relation to alcohol. I too prefer to think of it as an addiction - and when I am in a restaurant and want to insure that I don't get "red wine gravy" I say that I am allergic (they probably don't want a law suit). I do not think of myself as diseased, I do not struggle with cravings - as I sometimes do with cigarettes - but I don't have a functioning off switch when I drink alcohol. "A rose by any other name ..." Love NT x

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  3. It's not an argument you need to have; you're not trying to convince other people that they should change to your opinion, but you know what you feel about applying the term 'alcoholic' to yourself, therefore how can that be wrong?

    And I think that many others share your view; I know I do.

    In my case, I know the term 'alcoholic' and the stigma attached to it were fundamental in stopping my wife from feeling she could seek help for the issues she was having; she never felt that way when trying to stop smoking.

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  4. There is definitely a stigma attached to the word alcoholic and in all honesty how do you define that word??? I didn't have an off switch at the weekends but hardly drank in the week? I think there are a lot of blurred lines and it depends on the individual and how drinking affects them and their life and family.

    One thing I can be certain off is that you shouldn't change how you feel or how you write to please others, I've loved your blog because your so honest and open. You will never please everyone SM, so just stay true to yourself and what you believe! Xxxx

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  5. You should absolutely have that conversation, and I can't think of anyone better suited than yourself to have it. I have several reasons: 1) You are right. We are not born with a flaw that makes us inherently 'alcoholic', nor do we have to turn our lives over to God. 2) This is IMPORTANT! A more realistic viewpoint will make a lot more people likely to admit that their use of alcohol is problematic, and that they might be dependent on it, chemically and psychologically. 3) As your self-appointed publicist, nothing could be better for the book and for the people you want to help than a public conversation about this. If someone took the bait, you would be entitled to answer at length and explain your point of view. That would be tremendous.
    Actually, you should make it your first order of business. Make the back page copy something along the lines of 'Am I an alcoholic? No. I was dependent on alcohol, just like I was once dependent on nicotine. If you too are sick and tired of being sick and tired, this book is for you.'

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    Replies
    1. Ulla, I love you! I also need to mail you, as you are in the book and I want to check if you are ok with that? Can you mail me? Sobermummy@gmail.com xxx

      Delete
    2. Your feelings are reciprocated in their entirety! ;-D
      I've mailed and look forward to hearing from you. Good thing I checked back in here.

      Delete
  6. I have said here before that the I have an issue with the label 'alcoholic, fine if it works for others - but it actually delayed my dealing with the issue. Your early posts about the term actually encouraged me to act. I identify with Ang75 and agree completely with Ulla. More people will pick up your (much anticipated) book if the term alcoholic is addressed.

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  7. I fully appreciate your position. I am someone now who routinely calls himself the "A" word and is ok with that. But that's me - I'm ok with it.
    One of my regular meetings is started with "It is customary here to introduce yourself. If you are not comfortable with that just say pass". I hope that people could come and say "Pass" if saying "I'm X and I'm an alcoholic" is not something they can cope with.

    I've followed a similar path to your friend, I'm just completing my training as a counsellor/psychotherapist - I expect to specialise in addictions. Call or say whatever you like... but yes "alcoholic" and "addict" are two terms often in the minds of many people equate to people with low self will, self esteem or self respect. Sadly that, for me, is the lack of education and understanding in the populace about what addiction actually is and is the dividing line between those that "have a drink now and then" or "I tried drugs when younger but never did anything for me" etc. To me you have to have the predilection towards an addictive behaviour and the substance (alcohol, nicotine, drugs etc.) to then get become an addict.

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  8. I have as much struggle with the word sober. I hate it. To me it is the counter to alcoholic. So if I don't like saying I am an alcoholic I begrudgingly will use the word sober. And what does sober mean? Never drinking again? Not drinking for awhile or haven't drunk anything today? We can give ourselves fits trying to label is what I am trying to say. Stay strong, you're opinion is just that, an opinion. You haven't disputed the word, you just don't like to use it either. I am sure there are plenty of folks in both camps. Makes the world go 'round. Your friendship with L is what counts but friends should support each other's opinions, not attack. It is a fine line though, isn't it, between giving one's opinion as an observation to initiate a robust discussion vs provoking with an opinion? You can see you have many supporters who believe as you do. Prepare for opposite opinions but don't overly stress about it!

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  9. In one of the AA meetings I attended (only been to a handful), which was for women only, when I was asked to introduce myself, I only said, "hi my name is...". As the meeting progressed, a woman who was sharing, stop and looked at me and said, "the new woman did not say she was an alcoholic." Her expression was one of anger, at least from my perspective. I felt so violated. I may have not known the rules, that one past say they are an alcoholic when introducing their selves, but I went there for support. I know I have a problem (very big) with alcohol, but I've cringed to the label of alcoholic, the stigma is hard to accept. Needless to say, I never went back, and kept drinking until I found the on-line blogging community. I have no issues/problems with those that identify as "alcoholics", they're brave for giving up the booze. But so are many others who chose to do the same, but without labeling themselves as such.

    As HabitDone wrote, "Prepare for the opposite opinions but don't overly stress about it!" You have nothing to prove.

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  10. Society needs to rethink the way they talk about addiction to alcohol. There is a shift but it’s slow. Now people refer to it as alcohol use disorder which I also take issue with. Like there is a proper way of using a highly addictive drug! In the days when AA was in its infancy the general worldview was that there are 1)normal drinkers and 2)alcoholics. The new view is that there is a wide spectrum in between these points. Can we for a moment also reflect on how this translates when applied to other highly addictive drugs? ‘Normal cocaine use’ as opposed to cocaine addiction. ‘Normal heroine use’ as opposed to a strung out junkie?

    The old terminology is out-dated and the word alcoholic’s definition is so mired in stigma and confusion no wonder I have a problem calling myself one.
    So I am an alcoholic (only I can diagnose myself as one) but the guy next door who necks 7 pints a night is just a dude that likes to have a good time? I call bullshit on that. So many people in our society are totally dependant on alcohol and are ‘high risk’ drinkers but they are ‘ok’ because they haven’t called themselves alcoholic yet. This is all way too bloody confusing for me!

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  11. I am surprised at your friend’s reaction. It smacked of professional pride, even bullying. Sadly I think you are going to get more of that type of response from your book, but so what! I too have a degree in psychology and years of training and practice as a counsellor, and I think AA does a great job along with NA and other recovery groups. But one size does not fit all, and your blog has been a tremendous help to me as well as many others in our paths to sobriety ( or whatever you want to call it).

    You didn’t attack AA or people who choose that path, you just said it wasn’t for you and you’re not alone. You said “I am in awe of the people who not only survive their own life traumas, but then use them to help others.” – well there are a lot of us here who are in awe of you and what you have done with your blog.

    So keep writing from the heart SM, that’s what you’re good at.

    Love

    Rob

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  12. Hey MM,
    Well I know you don't want to fight with AA - but you might want to be prepared for it a little if you do a book launch and tour. I spent some time at Moderation Management - and they have a big fight with AA (well usually it's AA that has a fight with MM). The AA folks are very passionate and often believe that their system is the best and "only" way - not all AAers of course, but many. You might check out some of the secular abstinence groups to prepare for your Q and A's. They are a direct match to your system - since at least AA and you are both on the full on abs as a system.

    I also agree with you on the phrase "alcoholic" which is complicated by some medical terms which can alter country to country and in different eras as well. Problem Drinker is probably too tame - but it's a phrase that I think works.

    Best of luck on the book launch - what's the timing?

    Eeyore

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  13. Hi SM,
    I'm with you 100%, I don't want the A word and its attendant references and assumptions, they don't define me. Like you, nobody knew, my kids were to school on time with uniforms, lunch, extra curriculars covered, etc. I work FT at a very big stressfull media job, I'm never late, no dropped balls, no nipping at lunch.

    What I have is a powerful and very bad habit, I drink wine when I'm home at night and on weekends and I'm not denying it's too much but I'm not giving my life over to a disease label and God. I'm not.

    Grateful to you for advancing these conversations and giving those of us who don't want the stigma but need the support all the wisdom of your experience!!!

    xo
    Sheila

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  14. So many spot-on comments here; so much that I agree with. When I knew that I was truly starting my way down that slippery slope, the thought of plastering a red A on my forehead and walking into a meeting was completely abhorrent to me. Shouldn,t there be a way to find help without donning a label that just BEGS people,to judge you?

    Oh, wait! There is! It's the sober-sphere and people such as you SM. Happening across this blog in my early, early Dry January days was critical in stemming my slide.
    If it is inevitable that controversy stirs as this topic and your book are discussed, well, perhaps that's just a great big positive, shining an even brighter light on your helpful, clear-eyed, refreshing, NON judgmental alternative approach. Your 'take' will encourage an awful lot of people, like most of us here, who eschew being labelled. And haul more than a few, I predict, up off a slippery slope.

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  15. It is not AA that classifies alcohol addiction as a disease, it is the medical association.

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  16. Sorry I'm spamming you...Just thought of another point.
    The most important thing for a path to sobriety is that you know on a visceral level that your brain pathways have been permanently altered and that ‘normal drinking’ is not an option anymore. This is where AA is very useful becasue you admit that you have no control over it and that you can never return to normal drinking. It’s a definite statement and admission and leaves no back doors open to thinking you are taking a ‘break’ and can then try to drink again. I know for myself that this is the case, Lord I’ve done enough drinking research to know this. Still I have trouble with calling it a desease and also getting up in meetings and identifying myself as an alcoholic. The issue lies (for me anyway) in the ‘overidentification’ with a disease model of recovery. The words are just words, it’s the meaning we attach to them that hold the power. Smart recovery resonates more strongly with me. Having said that I firmly believe that where AA is really helful is that it is very clear that that you can never return to normal drinking which is what a lot of ‘problem drinkers’ try to do because they havent made the admission of being an alcoholic.
    As stated in my previous comment we as a society needs to have a total rethink of how we view addiction to alcohol, a legal mind altering, highly addictive drug.

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  17. Im like you SM. I don't call myself an 'alcoholic'. I call myself a person who chooses not to drink and if people push now, I tell than that 'Its better that I don't' Like you I was a highly functioning heavy wine drinker. I completely accept that moderation does not and could never work for me so abstinence is the answer, AA has not been part of my journey, but this sober blogosphere (which lets not forget did not exist when AA started) has been a HUGE part of my recovery and ongoing sobriety. AA is wonderful for some, why should it be so for all? I have said things on my blog - shared things - that I would never ever ever have said in real life 'anonymous' or not ... And im doing ok.... Be preperaed SM, be gracious as you always are and dont enter the fight.. Lily xx (www.alcoholfree2016.com)

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  18. Everyone has such validity in their comments right? You have raised interesting subject matter for sure :)

    I tend to call myself an addict as it helps me realise my intensely passionate reaction to almost everything. This transcends from alcohol through to cross-stitching. It doesn't seem to matter, when I start to learn or try something I go all the way.

    This can be fine, however it is not if drugs and alcohol are involved - I have to go all the way.

    I too think AA is great and does awesome work (when there was nothing out there for those addicted to alcohol) however attitudes have changed, information has moved forward, I tend to think AA may have some outdated philosophies. I found it very old school and quite ridgid.

    Michelle xx

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  19. I subscribe to the Harry Potter theory- not saying Voldemort only makes it more powerful and scary. AA don't own the word and I try to interpret it as it applies to my experience then get on with living a beautiful sober life.

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  20. I don't mind calling myself an alcoholic in AA meetings, actually, because I am what the people there understand by that, BUT in real life I absolutely think along with Sober Mummy that it's just an addiction like nicotine addiction or cocaine addiction or gamling addiction. I'm also an Atheist, but when I unavoidably find myself in a church, I fold my hands and bow my head just like everyone else.

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    Replies
    1. I was interested to read, somewhere above, that there were AA groups to welcome an 'atheist/agnostic' population. Because the god tenet was another stumbling block for me, no matter how 'softly' it was sold. I absolutely believe in finding help and understanding through groups of people who have 'been there.' But not in the case of my drinking. NOT.

      There's always more than one pathway to a result. How very fortunate for those for whom AA is an answer. And how very fortunate for those of us who needed...and found....another way.

      Delete
  21. What I cannot stand are those that tell you you are in denial when you say,"I know I have a difficult relationship with alcohol but I am not an alcoholic". It's arrogant and denies the right of people to define themselves. Good post, needed saying.

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  22. Another interesting post SM and so many valid points as usual. My main gripe with the AA model is the "one size fits all" approach. I don't want to say I am powerless, that doesn't sot well with me. A bottle of wine is an inanimate object, the power it had over me was the power I gave it and I chose take back my power.

    I know the AA model would not have worked for me as 5 of the 12 steps mention God or higher power. The notion that a spiritual/supernatural entity could "cure" me sounds like pure quackery. If I did believe the illness model would I believe that God could take away any other illness or ailment - cancer, my son's autism for example?
    Probably not.

    My relationship with alcohol was robbing me of myself, I could either be an old soak or cut it out and get my life back. I am proud of myself for that.

    Thank you SM for another thoughtful post. Lx

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    1. Written on my phone on holiday. Excuse the typos please.

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  23. Dear SM,

    I have been extremely interested to read all the comments on your blog and see how passionately people feel about the label: 'alcoholic'.

    It's funny when you think we have drug addicts, sex addicts, food addicts, the list is endless, but only one extra special name for those addicted to alcohol.

    I wonder if this is because alcoholism or addiction to alcohol is so insidious, so prevalent and so much part of so many people's lives that it almost needed to have a stand alone definition.

    So now I think I need to perhaps explain why I said what I said and defend AA a bit.

    My concern over people not wanting to say they are 'alcoholics', mostly because they don't like the 'shame' associated with the word makes me worry that they are not accepting their situation.

    Most addicts inhabit a world of denial, most of those in co-dependent relationships with addicts, like myself, the same.

    Its hard to stare at yourself in the mirror and admit what you are, but its also not possible to get well unless you do.

    AA makes you stand up and and take, as it quotes in one of the steps; ' a fearless moral inventory'. Meaning you stand up and say what you are.

    Of course there are other wonderful organisations outside of AA that work incredibly well, Smart Recovery is a wonderful programme and there are many amazing organisations who will work with those with alcohol problems without demanding people call themselves 'alcoholics'.

    Yes AA can be a bit rigid, yes you have to tap into a higher power... but it works. Over and over again it is the one organisation that has the highest number of successes and the highest number of people who maintain sobriety.

    Where AA is so brilliant is that it doesn't just help with getting clean, but with staying clean and it is this fellowship that makes it such a wonderful organisation.

    I suppose my question is if you are not willing to say you are an 'alcoholic' does that not mean that you are still a little in denial?

    And as a therapist and having lived with an addict myself I know that inhabiting this space can be very dangerous.

    Of course in the end what you call yourself is personal choice and if its easier to say you're an 'addict' rather than an 'alcoholic' well then so be it.

    In the end recovery is a personal journey and no one can tell you what to call yourself.

    You have to find a path that you can walk safely that works for you.

    I am wondering though does saying you're 'addicted to alcohol' sound like the lesser of two evils?

    The other thing that is worth noting is that different organisations and different forms of treatment work better at different times of our life.

    We all have to find what works for us... sobermummy blogs, AA and all the other wonderful ways of being supported whilst working towards recovery have value.

    You just have to find the right one for you.

    I don't want any of your readers to discount AA, or to feel that I don't think your blog has enormous value and has helped many many people.

    Of course as a Psychotherapist I think talking therapies are the best, but I am also beginning to think that beating, in particular alcohol, is so hard and such a difficult thing to do that maybe what we should be looking it is doing lots of different things.

    Going to AA, reading supportive blogs, having therapy.. and of course doing all the other healthy things and living well that also supports staying sober.

    I really hope that you don't get into a fight with AA.... it wouldn't help anyone and would be rather ridiculous.

    After all, all any of us wants is to live happy healthy lives and to be free of anything that controls us in a negative way.

    So to all your readers I am sorry if my AA comment ruffled so many feathers.

    Do whatever works for you, but don't hide your problem by giving it a name that feels like a lesser admission.

    The path to recovery lies in admission, acceptance, and absolute honesty.

    Much love,

    L x



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    1. Thank you, lovely L, for putting the other side of the argument so eloquently, persuasively and passionately.

      Xxxx

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    2. Thank you... for making me look at another side.
      As a therapist this is all very interesting stuff.
      I want to be able to support and understand those in recovery.
      I was so lucky, I was never addicted to any substances, but I was to the chaos that surrounded them.
      Its profoundly interesting to me to see how people like to identify and face their addictions.
      Fascinating stuff and wonderful reading peoples comments.
      x

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    3. Unfortunately, I am not filled with as much grace as our dear SM.

      I have a blunt side to my personality and I'm afraid your comments, LC, call it forth. Was unable to use a 'cut and paste' to bring down to this reply a couple of your sentences. Suffice to say, they DO come off as smug. And judgemental. You want to use a 'one size fits all' cudgel to characterize a wide-ranging population. And seem to think that givng power to a word - a word! - is a required step to any kind of progress. Many people believe in AA and believe it has helped them, perhaps the ONLY way they could have found a way out of their addiction. Other people, many people, prefer to find another way. And have confidence in THEIR OWN POWER to do so. Yes, you give lip service to 'finding what works best for us,' but only after labelling folks as 'being in denial.'

      Over time, in various places, I have found it very odd the way folks who support the whole AA idea - and have found that it's the best support for them - are so very quick to take umbrage with anyone who doesn't buy into the approach whole-hog. Square pegs. Round holes. What does it matter??? Success to each of us...and POWER to each of us.

      Delete
    4. I actually found Laura's comments pretty open and not overly defensive of AA. The main fact I got from her is admit the problem (don't sugar coat it as she suggest might be "alcoholic" word avoidance - and then find a program that works for you.

      You can google endlessly - and don't want to start a war with AA either - but there are some reasonable questions about it's success rate, it's methods, and the way that it's "prescribed' by the courts her in the US - not sure if the UK does the same.

      Here's an interesting article in The Atlantic - which is mostly a book review fro 2014.

      https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/03/the-surprising-failures-of-12-steps/284616/

      Eeyore

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    5. Tuppence worth from me. AA is by its' very nature is anonymous- therefore there holds very little data about efficacy, how many people have been helped etc. Research like this https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2746426/ would suggest AA is no more effective than any other method.

      Whatever works for an individual is what works best. The right way for me may not be the right way for someone else. If AA helps some people then great, if something else works then great too. No need to brand folk as being in denial if they don't agree with the 12 steps.

      I have a respect for any method which helps people.

      Delete
  24. Interesting reading everyone's opinions on this post. I personally think it doesn't matter if someone chooses to call themselves an alcoholic or alcohol addict. Its just a word. We all have the same problem in that we cannot control our drinking habits. As long as we fully accept our problem with alcohol and manage to free ourselves from the addiction then the label doesn't matter. I do go to AA meetings and I also find this blog incredibly helpful. I am now comfortable to call myself an alcoholic while in an AA meeting but I wouldn't dream of introducing myself as an alcoholic in the school playground for example! Because like SM said most people would think I was a terrible mother who poured vodka on my cornflakes! I wasn't the best mother while drinking but I never drankn in the morning as was high functioning. Sadly a majority of people don't understand alcohol addiction and I can see why most of us are scared of labelling ourselves for fear of being judged xx

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  25. I love this comment... I think it nails it.
    I believe recovery is a personal journey and as long as you 'own' what's going on and are totally honest and accepting with yourself then really you can call it whatever you want.

    I am very proud of my friend and how she has gracefully fought her battle with drink and come out the otherwise.


    I believe she has helped many, and so much so that I even directed a client towards her page and have blogged about her myself on my website:


    Www.lauracolquhoun.co.uk


    Clearly this is an issue that many people feel very strongly about. Perhaps I'm more accepting of different terminology myself after reading everyone's comments.

    But as I said before the most important path to recovery lies in admittance and acceptance ....
    And I certainly don't believe in a 'one size fits all' approach to treatment or recovery.

    We are all diverse and different... we are all individuals.

    We need to find what works for us!

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    1. I would like to say a little more about 'the rooms' since this seems to have touched a lot of 'nerves'.

      When I had my breakdown I went to lots of meetings. Having lived with a cocaine addict and done a lot of drugs myself and drank copious amounts of alcohol I was in a very dark place.

      I wasn't really addicted to any substance, but I was addicted to the chaos and drama that surrounded people who 'used' and was seduced by the sometimes 'glamorous' allure of drinking vodka, sniffing Coke and dancing on tables til dawn.

      It was great fun, until it wasn't.

      I was alone in London, with a child and was, quite frankly, really really unwell.

      Many friends helped, SM being one of them.

      I went to many meetings. Co-dependents anonymous, Sex and Love Addicts Annonymoys, AL ANON, for friends and families of addicts, Cocaine Anonymous, and of course AA.

      What I found so helpful in the rooms was the non judgmental support and fellowship. It was a life saver, literally as my darkest hour had led me to almost dying in a bath.

      These first few weeks, when I was so vulnerable and so broken were terrifying, and I wouldn't have got through them without a sponsor and the help of all those people in all those meetings.

      The 'rooms' gave me a safe space where I could bare my soul. Where I could admit the most shameful facts about myself and feel accepted and loved anyway.

      People were always on the end of the phone to talk to me, my friends couldn't cope anymore and were so upset and worried that I'd try to kill myself again that it made it impossible for them to give me the support I needed.

      This I got though; AA, NA, SLAA and Al ANON...

      My recovery led me to going back to University and becoming a therapist myself. To help others like me.

      It was the fellowship provided in the 'rooms' that gave me the constant support I needed to get well.

      As a therapist myself I cannot be there 24/7 for my clients... but AA and the others can.

      Once again it's finding what works for you.

      SM's blog gives support and acceptance in a similar way.

      In the end it's up to you what you do and how you get well.

      Own it, accept it and then find a safe space to explore it.

      Keep the comments coming. As a therapist I'm learning a lot from what everyone is saying.

      Delete
    2. Thanks, Laura, for sharing all that. You are awesome ❤️

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  26. Laura, what a lovely, generous and thoughtful soul you are. You are so right about needing support as we change. Love to you x

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  27. I'm afraid that one of my biggest bugbears was triggered when I read that failure to use the word alcoholic might signify the someone may be in denial about their problem. I commented in my blog (I am an "over sharer") that during my journey I naturally ended up doing a fearless moral inventory. I am in no denial whatsoever, I know should I try drinking again I run the enormous risk of being hooked into alcohol on a daily ever increasing basis. I don't have big issues about the word alcoholic if it helps people get a rough idea of how things are for me.
    I have always taken exception to being told if I drank it was my weakness but if I didn't drink it was because God/AA intervened.
    Feelings against AA on the blogosphere are always pretty high and sometimes and I mean sometimes the implication is, we non AA bloggers are here by a lucky fluke and that eventually we will fail and end up in AA. I was told this directly once and it further cemented some negative feelings I had. AA does work really well for those it works for but for those it doesn't work for, it really grates - and no that is not me being in denial.
    Anne @ainsobriety and Wendy @ Tipsynomore are very laid back AA advocates and don't ever seem to shove it down people's throats, for that I highly commend them. If anyone is wondering about if AA is the right path for them and for some it is, I would suggest they approach Anne and Wendy for guidance.
    Finally and I may be misquoting Anne @ ainsobriety, take what works and leave behind what doesn't.
    No one is holding a gun to any of our heads, we are all trying to find the best way for us and whatever that is for each of us, I hope it works and we can all find a helpful way to stay happy, healthy and sober.

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