Monday, October 05, 2015

AA Meetings. Do They Work?

"Don't Drink. Go to meetings, meetings, meetings  . . . and do the Twelve Steps."

These are some of the recovery mantras doled out thousands of times daily to individuals who just don't want to drink or do drugs anymore. But is that really what it takes?

by daniel j schwarzhoff sr

If a meeting or a series of meetings is keeping someone sober, then it is by mere willful distraction—purposefully substituting one activity for another. 

That individual would not fit AA’s description of the true alcoholic, * who drinks regardless of setting or routine.

An actual alcoholic as described in the Big Book would find it impossible to remain sober by simply adding a meeting routine into his life and surrounding himself with happy people, recovery talk and literature. That is because he has a spiritual illness compelling him into an obsession to drink that only a spiritual awaking will cure.
Many meeting end with someone asking, “Who keeps us sober?” The answer to that question is always “Our Father in heaven.” A bit ritualistic for sure – but the sentiment is correct. Sobriety is only by the Grace of God – not by the things we do.
All obsession whether it is for alcohol, drugs or food, is a metaphysical symptom of an underlying metaphysical aberration we call, “spiritual disease." 

It is a horrible malady originating with resentment that evolves the repression of anger and rage within a failing human.

There is no psychology, medical or clinical treatment that can so much as approach a resolution once a person becomes fixated to seeking harmful “solutions,” to the inner pain of bitterness.  Ultimately, obsession is humanly unmanageable.

Meetings are not for staying sober. But they are for something important. 

The inspired brainchild of Bill and Bob they exist so that people who already ARE sober can get exposed to others who want to GET sober. It’s a staging area where fellowship and pleasant camaraderie coalesce to attract an unpleasant, anti-social drunk. Groups adhering to their Primary Purpose will hold “meetings” with exactly this in mind.
If a real alcoholic goes to an AA meeting and the focus there isn’t freedom from alcohol through the teaching and practice of the Twelve Steps, then he isn’t in an AA meeting. That is the one and only purpose of an A.A. group. And they will center their meetings on this idea.
The meeting itself doesn’t do squat for a real alcoholic to keep him from drinking. It’s simply the conversion point where two of the same, distinct entities we call “Alcoholic” meet -  where a recovered alcoholic encounters the un-recovered alcoholic and they mutually take it from there.
Then “How It Works" kicks in and miracles happen.

* See the first 43 pages of the how-to volume, "Alcoholics Anonymous" to learn this description

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Alcohol is Not a Drug - It is a Food

by daniel j schwarzhoff sr

Mushroom "meat" can contain a psychotropic drug called Psilocin.

Marijuana, also “edible," contains tetrahydrocannabinol.

These “foods” are not themselves drugs, but they are organic containers delivering powerful mind the altering chemicals.

When sugar or alcohol are referred to as a "drug" it is properly done metaphorically; just as would love, judgment, sex, relationships, compliments - any one of these which has a dopaminergenic effects in the brain become addictive.  

Addictive like drugs; a quality that  leads us to make the metaphoric connection.

“Love IS The Drug", is a song by Roxy Music produced in the 70s. “Love” isn’t REALLY a drug is it, but metaphorically it is used by us to get “high.”  Subsequently it is certainly addicting.

Who doesn’t remember how ill you became the first time you got dumped?  The second time? The third, and each excruciating time you had were forced to “kick,” someone who made you feel sooo good?

But are ALL these things really "drugs"? Clearly no.
Alcohols and sugars are foods. They are metabolized by the body for energy. They are measurable in calories. Period.
Love and hate are emotions. Another period.

All of these are addictive. They are subject to the obsessive embrace of those of in need of pleasure.  Cocaine is drug, heroin is a drug and nicotine is drug. Sugar and alcohol – are foods. All that is addictive, all that become obsessive are not, “drugs. “

Classifying alcohol as a “drug” outside of the metaphoric connection is deleterious to human understanding. Yet there are some very educated people out there, people with certifications and bulging foreheads, clip boards and impressive clinical vocabularies that make me sound a prattling schoolboy – who have been so indoctrinated, so brainwashed that they cannot wrap these immutable scientific facts around their heads. It is astounding.

"Alcohol is  a drug," perpetrates a myth created for commercial interests by a dishonest, multi billion dollar industry intent upon capitalizing on ignorance and is therefore injurious to the hope for ever recovering from alcoholism.

It is a deliberate subterfuge of fact, much to the harm of real alcoholics and addicts. Period.


Sometimes the question of anonymity arises—along with the issue of whether or not Dan is a member of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). If Dan were a member of AA, he would violate AA’s traditions by saying so publicly. He would also be lying if he were a member and denied it. So in order to respect the traditions of that organization, he does not answer that question publicly. No one ought to assume that he is member of AA or any recovery organization. Dan does want his readers to know that the spiritual Fellowship of AA has earned his respect, and he approves of AAs Twelve-Step program. He also does not think that AA has a monopoly on recovery from alcoholism, spiritual recovery or that AA is for everyone. He has attended AA meetings and has done extensive research into its history and Twelve-Step program, and is an ardent practitioner of the spiritual principles contained within the Twelve Step proposals. He typically writes about some of these observations regarding AA’s program, fellowship, and history in his blog articles, pamphlets and his books.

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