Alcoholics Anonymous, is it for you?
There are a variety of reasons why Alcoholics Anonymous or the various other 12-Step programs might not help the vast majority of individuals. They range from a strong denial of there being a problem in the first place to an aversion to being a part of what they see (incorrectly) as being a theological organization.
I have said this before, you need to approach this problem with commitment and passion. When people approach any form of alcohol use disorder half-heartedly it never works out. They end up lacking the ability to remain sober for enough time for it to mean anything significant.
Alcoholics Anonymous, just because it’s free
When you come to the conclusion that your drinking is out of control there are very few options top of mind. Sure, you could go to your GP but then you will have alcoholism on your medical records. This can cause serious problems with your medical insurance.
All of a sudden you are no longer covered for an array of diseases and illnesses. All because you have the sword of ‘self-inflicted’ hanging over you.
So people turn to Alcoholics Anonymous because it’s free and it’s secret. However, AA just is not appropriate for most problem drinkers. It holds true that the AA approach to alcohol addiction can feel judgemental at times and some people find it difficult to stomach.
Free is rarely the best option. Drinkers are spending thousands on booze but when it comes to the solution they don’t want to spend a penny. It’s seriously twisted thinking.
It is also true that meetings tend to discuss the same things repeatedly. That is because they are intended to address the problems of the members, and those are the complications. If you attend frequently you might find some meetings lacking in variety, to say the least.
However, you have to remember that the sessions are not just about you.
It’s Not All About You
Sometimes you do need to hear a message many times for it to sink in. Hearing a fact just one time, or reading through it once in a book, is often not sufficient. We need repetition to assist us in transforming our outlook and behaviors. After all, we have been thinking like junkies and alcoholics for years.
You can’t expect to change overnight.
If that held true, all it would take is browsing a post in a random clinical journal to sober us up. Sometimes fundamental ideas do not even make good sense up until the 15th hearing, or even the 51st hearing. We need to approach our addiction with an open mind. Also, avoid the temptation to think our drinking habit is unique.
Ideas like that virtually ensure that we are destined to fail in the long run.
The Twelve Steps Are Not For Everyone
Don’t get me wrong, AA has helped thousands of people over the year. However, the 12 steps are not for everyone, myself included.
The Twelve-step style program of AA is extremely helpful for many individuals who are determined and have the correct mindset. There is no justification, however, to assume that other more private courses would not work just as well. As long as the individual is totally devoted to kicking booze into touch.
The hard reality is this. If you are less than 100% committed to quitting drinking then probably no program will work. Not AA, not private rehab and not this one. Getting clean is the beginning, not the ultimate conclusion of sobriety.
It’s not just about quitting… It is completely possible to stay sober for many years. But without altering our thinking sufficient to become truly happy ourselves or to add to the happiness of others. That is not the objective of stopping drinking. There is no pointing going sober if you are going to be miserable.
No, That Does Not Mean You Should Keep Drinking
As you can guess, I am not a huge fan of Alcoholics Anonymous. But that doesn’t mean I don’t respect the organization and what it has achieved over the years. I also salute all those dedicated individuals within Alcoholics Anonymous who have saved the lives of thousands of people.
About the author: Craig Beck ([email protected]) is a British personal development and self-help author who has written several bestselling books on alcohol addiction. Using his experience as a former problem drinker, combined with expert knowledge of human behaviour. He has gone on to help over 100,000 people to quit drinking, without willpower, rehab or medication. More Information >>>