You fucking drunks are all the same, just looking for an excuse for your behavior. And I say this having gone to AA meetings for most of my adult life. Alcoholism is an illness.
When I got a clue, after going to meetings (and being wholly indoctrinated) all those years, I realized that AA is a cult just like Scientology, or the Pentacostal church. You learn to spout slogans and sayings, are rebuked if you show any doubt, and if you don't do things exactly the way "the people in the rooms" and the holy fucking "Big Book" tell you to, people threaten you with death. Yes they do!!! JAILS, INSTITUTIONS, AND DEATH!!! WTF is that if not a fucking cult??
It was AA that came up with this bullshit "disease" concept. And it's really funny that even they don't take the holy grail of the disease concept to its natural conclusion.
OK -- the analogy AA makes is to a diabetic: a diabetic takes insulin to treat his/her disease. AA then tells you that going to meetings is like "medicine" for alcoholics. I got news for you: No, it's not.
Take the analogy to its logical conclusion: there's medicine for the physical defects (not a disease per se) that are behind alcoholism, too. If you get on a good anti-depressant or mood stabilizer, and/or deal with the underlying physical/mental illness that caused you to drink to excess in the first fucking place, you won't feel a need to alter your mood. You'll feel pretty good every day just the way you are. Just like everybody else does.
I know -- I've been clean and sober forever, and sober without AA and with anti-depressants beats the hell out of that bullshit they fed me for a million years no anti-depressants any fucking day.
And frankly, I believe that many of the things I was indoctrinated with in AA actually harmed me more than it ever helped me.
Now let the AA "followers" show up and demean me because of this post, as if I were some kind of "supressive person." That's another way to be sure it's a cult. And you know, BB-thumpers, that it actually says in the sacred writings that AA's founders will gladly step aside when a cure is found, but science hasn't done so yet. Well, now, that day is just around the corner -- and when it comes, you can kiss your cultish bullshit crutch bye-bye!
R6, Here you go or for anyone who needs help or doubts that Alcoholism is a disease...
"The National Institute on Drug Abuse" US Dept. of Health and Human Services, NIDA Notes. Vol. #21 Number 2 Vol. #18 Number 5 Vol. # 19 Number 1
Medicine@Yale Advancing Biomedical Science Education and Health CAre Vol. 3 Issue 5 Sept/Oct. 07
Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission, AADAC "Relaspse Prevention: Planning for Success"
"are rebuked if you show any doubt"
No such thing happens in AA or is any AA literature. No one in AA makes anyone do or believe anything- it is just about the least judgemental group of people you could ever find yourself among. "Take what you want and leave the rest" is one of their "slogans".
The fellow who I quote above and wrote his rant is an angry fellow who for some reason channels it toward AA- and is saying things that have no basis in fact He is what some would call a dry drunk.
Alcoholism in most active alcoholics produces profound withdrawal symptoms (DTs) as do other addictive substances including nicotine and caffeine. I suppose it is a matter of degree and potential harm. To rid yourself of the addiction you have to first over come the physical (which is why for some rehab is a must since the physical withdrawal can be so dangerous) and then the pyschological. The latter is the more difficult and is often complicated by depression and other factors related to the addiction.
Disease, condition, whatever. Most addicts and alcoholics would rather not be addicted- big time. Most know they are dying too. They know they are self destructive but cannot stop.
Call it what you will- it requires a great effort and ceaseless vigilance (call it psycholical vigilance if you do not want to call is spiritual) to both overcome and control.
And AA is the best treatment- longterm- any 12-step program for any addiction is the best treatment and a cornerstone of almost every rehab program- after the physical withdrawal has been overcome.
[quote]No such thing happens in AA or is any AA literature. No one in AA makes anyone do or believe anything- it is just about the least judgemental group of people you could ever find yourself among.
Somehow, I don't think you've been to every meeting in every city. Just as individuals differ, so do groups.
My experience with the one group available at the time in my small town was that they were very rigid & insular. I said fuck it & got sober anyway.
Is alcoholism classed as an illness
I've stayed sober for almost 15 years now on my own but as Samual Johnson said, "I can’t drink a little, therefore I never touch it. Abstinence is as easy to me as temperance would be difficult."
[quote]I might get drunk once every six weeks. That's it.
lol, so you [italic]only[/italic] get drunk eight times a year.
op, I'm not an alcoholic but imo aa is one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century. it's my understanding that alcoholism is a spiritual disease, and the 12 steps are a program are designed to spiritual "awaken" the alcoholic.
Alcoholism is also a progressive disease -- left untreated, it only worsens.
And if it were a cult... well, who's the leader? Who gets all the profits? Who recruits new members & forces them to stay?
I don't know of any program or pill that has been more successful than aa re: treating alcoholism.
oh, and aa is not a "cure" for alcoholism. aa's "live one day at a time."
R62, yes meetings have people in them and the "personality" of a particular meeting can be dominated by specific personalities.
But if you know AA well, and you have been to multiple different AA meetings, I think you will find one of the most non judgemental settings you can find.
It is the nature of AA. It is also it's power, to avoid judgement and to present alternatives. And support and kindness, pretty much unconditional support.
It really does not matter whether it is a disease or not. It is a condition, one that can kill the alcoholic and quite often does- One of the leading causes of death in the US. It also distroys families and businesses and just about any kind of human relationship and arrangment.
AA works, in fact, in my experience as a health care professional and recovering alcoholic it works better than anything I have come across. I am fully aware that some drinkers stop without it. But not many- and I hope the one who shared his now moderate consumption can stay that way.
One thing is certain, alcoholism is not a matter of discipline or morality. It is way more complicated than that. I come it pretty high on the discipline and moral behavior meters in general- but I have no control over alcohol, at least I got that way and I am quite certain it will remain the case for the rest of my life.
Call it what you want, but it's a lack of self-control. Period. Blame it on whatever you want, but it's a lack of self-control. Period.
Only YOU can pick up the bottle and only YOU can choose not to. If it's a CHOICE, in any way, how can it be a disease?
As someone who has sat through hundreds of AA, NA and Al-Anon meetings, I can tell you that "the rooms" simply don't work for most people. They're cults, more so AA than NA or Al-Anon but that's only because AA is the most popular cult of the three. Nothing more, nothing less. A cult.
I have the same amount of understanding for "alcoholics" as I do for obese diabetics: none.
The only good thing to come out of AA is Al-Anon.
Something has to be done. AA has helped millions. AA may not be for everyone. That said however, it has helped many, many people men and women stay sober and stop drinking. The big book and what it was to say has saved lives, many of them.
We should not be so harsh to judge an organization that clearly helps and does not hurt anyone. It is not a cult. I believe in the principles of AA but I no longer attend meetings. I am still sober and have been for many years.
I personally found my AA group in my town somewhat stressful only because of the social politics that go on. It has nothing to do with AA itself. I gladly actually attend weekend AA seminars or something to the affect of Provincetown Round Up - Serenity By the Sea.
Give AA a chance those of you who are thinking about quitting. They will help you to get you started on the right foot. There are many gay and lesbian meetings as well.
It's all irrelevant unless you define your terms. Which definition of "disease" are you using?
1. A pathological condition of a part, organ, or system of an organism resulting from various causes, such as infection, genetic defect, or environmental stress, and characterized by an identifiable group of signs or symptoms.
2. A condition or tendency, as of society, regarded as abnormal and harmful.
drunk: "hi- y name is ______, and i'm alchoholic"
drunk: "i quit my job because i felt my coworkers disrespected my sobriety- the whole office was going out for happy hour, and when i told them i couldn't go, they refused to change to an after work meet up at starbucks! fuck them! now because i quit, i can't pay my rent, and my landlord has been giving me shit. doesn't he realize my sobriety is the most important thing, and i'm working so hard on that, i can't really have another job anyway? says he'll evict me tomorrow but if fuck him- i got him back by poisoning his dog! teach him to fuck with my sobriety! the good news is, i didn't drink or use, and i'm 90 days sober!"
group: *bursts into spontaneous applause and catcalls*
R84: A success rate of 5% for AA is an oft-repeated urban myth.
Loran Archer, Deputy Director, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services lists the figure at 36%.
That figure comes from a a study he conducted and posted in a blog that publishes peer-reviewed articles on alcohol abuse.
I wouldn't trust his figure either. The success rate is very hard to determine. Is it a success to be sober for a year? Ten years? Ten years with a two-week slip in the middle? Most statisticians say that a measure of success is impossible to determine,
R95: You stayed sober for 22 years of meetings and AA was a mistake? I don't understand, but that's okay. You are sober and however you get there, that's great. If you want to come to a meeting, you will find friends to welcome you.
The AA I know presents no pressure for a spiritual life. I attended a meeting for years named. A.A.A.A. -- AA for atheists and agnostics.
Whatever the success rate, AA has helped millions to stay sober. I have never understood why some people get angry with AA even if the success rate is overstated.
Not a disease because we bring it on ourselves? AIDs, STDS, diabetes, hepatitis, all sorts of cancers, prenatal alcohol syndrome, obesity, deafness, all have contributing factors that the person can control. Are they diseases?
Suppose the success rate is improved if calling it a disease and providing medical attention, wouldn't it be better to call it a disease?
"Since you can't contract alcoholism from another person, it's not a disease."
Oh, for fuck's sake. Too bad stupidity's not a disease, if it were, maybe you could be cured.
A disease need not be contagious to qualify as a disease. Nor does the definition of "disease" state that a disease cannot be self-inflicted.
Heart disease, lung cancer, and Type II diabetes%C3%A2%C2%80%C2%94to name just a few%C3%A2%C2%80%C2%94 can't be caught from other people and often CAN be avoided by curbing unhealthy behaviors, yet all three are totally legitimate diseases.
How is alcoholism an illness
If your issue with admitting that alcoholism is a disease is that you're afraid that might ruin the fun of being judgmental about others' behavior and feeling superior about your own, don't sweat it. You can go right on passing judgment on boozehounds for refusing to put down the bottle and seek help, just the same way you rag on smokers who get lung disease and obese diabetics who can't put down the fork.
I was struck when I read the responses on this thread last night, enough so I couldn't get to sleep. I have been thinking about them all day.
In response, I have this to say: You have no more control being an addict than you do being gay. Our brains are wired differently than those of others. I know because I am gay and a recovering alcoholic, sober 18 years now.
How many times have we tried to convey we were born gay, it was not a choice we made, as others believe. Those of us who are wired for addiction were born that way as well. Why would anyone elect to have a life other people find offensive? Why would we subject ourselves to such contempt if we had a choice? Why would we allow ourselves to be so unsuccessful and unhappy?
It gets tricky. We celebrate our orientation. Alcoholism, and any form of addiction, is a disease. Our orientation drives our pleasure zones, our pleasure zones drive our addictions. We have to learn to acknowledge each in its place in order to move forward in our lives. I have learned a lot about myself. There is no complete recovery to addiction, I must always be vigilant.
I am lucky. I am a very stubborn person. Once I made the decision to be sober, there was no going back. I had inspiration from my grandmother, who lost my great-grandfather, killed in WWI, my grandfather, killed in WWII, and my aunt to scarlet fever. My grandmother had no choice, she was forced to move on. I knew I had to, as well.
All I have to do is remind myself who I was once was, that image keeps me from entertaining even a sip of beer, or to use products which contain alcohol, like mouthwash, deodorant, rubbing alcohol, cologne. I even abstain from caffeine, because it stimulates the same part of the brain alcohol does. I had good doctors, one of whom told me gay men are four times more likely to relapse than the average Joe. I've decided to hedge my bets.
I lost friends when I disclosed I was gay. In so many words, they told me our friendship initiated stigma other people had about them. It's OK, I found new friends. I lost some of them when I committed myself to sobriety. I thought they would be happy about my recovery, I found I was no longer "fun enough" to be around anymore. But, I have again found people who love me, and who I love in return.
There was societal shame about being gay or addicted in previous generations. After honest conversations with my parents, they shared details of our family history, all of the people who were "family bachelors" or who were religiously unfaithful and too weak to overcome their demons. I was never told about these people when I was growing up. Now they have stars next to their names in my family tree. They are the people I most resemble and have newfound respect for. I don't know how they dealt with the intolerance they faced every day of their lives.
I do not consider myself stronger or more able to overcome addiction than others. I don't generally like to talk about it. We each have our thresholds, no one can be pushed through a door they don't acknowledge. You can point in a good direction, you can't drive someone there. But, you keep trying, because other people did it for you. One day, it may register in just the right way. That's when recovery begins.
I now run my own sole-proprietary business, with a moderate degree of success. I do not hide my sexual orientation, I work with high school students. I provide no reason for their parents to be wary of me. I visit nude beaches and will walk a mile along the shore without adornment. I have nothing to hide, this is how I was made.
I know you and I have the same basic physical construction. Some of us are physically challenged. Internally, we all face unique and hidden challenges. Again, we are all wired differently. I don't think anyone can presume awareness any more than they are self-aware.
When you relegate people to the place you choose to codify them, remember, people have been codifying us gay people to places within their own collective imagination. We know it's unfair. Be willing to give the addicted the benefit of the doubt. You may not see it, but they are seeking understanding and a better way, too.
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