I will honestly tell you in my 20 years of drinking I did try AA two times through out these years. The first time lasted about 4 months and the second about a year. When I began drinking, it wasn’t a gradual slide into alcoholism. It was a running jump off a bridge. The first time I drank it was a six pack and shots of Rumplemintz. By the what I hope is the end it was a case of beer and a pint of whatever. Sometimes 10 to 12 shots of good tequila no salt no lime. The year I spent in AA I saw a lot that didn’t sit well with me. Who was I to say anything though? I went to different groups. A closed all women’s group. An open group where they brought prisoners in from the ACI. A LGBT group. Where the old timers in my group refused to go. Groups in poverty stricken areas downtown and groups for people in the medical community. Except Drs. they had hush hush private groups but the nurses didn’t. I watched hypocrites and liars get up and tell their stories. Some I could relate to, but most I couldn’t. I could feel most people holding back editing their versions because the “Real Shit” you saved for your sponsor and didn’t say it out loud. This pissed me off. Specifically when a grown man is sharing and is chastized in front of everyone because his story was a little “R” rated. But you could see it bothered him and he needed to feel like he wasn’t the only one. I could of told him he wasn’t but I wasn’t risking public shaming I do that to myself anyway. I did enjoy and liked some of the people. I didn’t enjoy the lectures about my medications. I had not been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, Conversion Disorder and Social Phobia yet but depression and anxiety. I was not on a quick acting anxiety med it was one that had to buil up in your system and was not addictive and Effexxor one of the few antidepressants with no side effects that some what worked. I wasn’t going off them for anyone. I also got looks ( glares) for not saying the prayer at the end of every meeting. I lean towards Atheism but I keep an open mind. That doesn’t mean anyone can bully me into doing something the program says it isn’t affiliated with anyway. My father cold turkey for 34 years on his own. My mother if she were alive would be the same. I have 5 1/2 years now on my own. It’s different for me. Being diagnosed Bipolar was a lightbulb moment. When I realized all the reasons why I drank I felt the need go away. I still feel worthless, hopeless, shame, guilt, and all those lovely Bipolar feelings but alcohol sure as hell isn’t going to make them go away. My mom never saw me sober, I regret that, I lost my father’s trust and he’s on dialysis at 72, I regret that too. My liver and kidneys not so great and neither is my brain. I know if I have 1 drink this time I won’t stop until I’m dead. AA works wonders for a lot of people and varies from state to state, town to town, person to person. Only you know what is right for you.
Recently a family member finally admitted that they were an alcoholic and addicted to pain pills. I had known this for quite some time but because of the lifestyle this person lead a lot was overlooked and even encouraged by others. This last part made me angry but I kept my mouth shut because I didn’t know the entire story. What I did know was somewhat like mine, bullied quite a bit throughout school until started playing guitar and joining bands. There were other issues too, of self esteem and so forth. He was a back up player for a well known band that he had been friends with for quite some time. One band member was best man at his wedding. I believe he lost his spot playing with them because of the drinking, anxiety, and not thinking he was good enough. For fun or if they were bored they would fly him out to where ever they were as entertainment. I know one member didn’t see it that way and honestly cared but the others were more fascinated at how far he could projectile vomit outside an Irish Pub. There were pictures. His wife was proud. (not really) He’s an excellent father, one of the best I’ve seen and he loves my sister, not always easy to do. She scares people, it’s either black or white with her no gray and she doesn’t forgive easily. Some respect her for it some don’t. AA has had a tremendous effect on him so far and he’s doing well. I have to wonder how much of it is because the people he knows are doing stints in rehab or if he really wants it. There has always been a need and want to fit in and be a rockstar. In my sister’s eyes and his childrens he already is I hope he realizes this soon.