Warning: False Sense of Recovery

The AA Promises should come with a warning.

“Be careful! These promises come true!”

The danger is that AA / Recovery will lift me up so high that i lose sight of why i needed it in the first place.

I need to remain grounded, otherwise I might get carried away. The more my recovery brings me, the more I need the meetings to keep my feet on the ground and my AA Fellowship as ballast.

About Al K Hall

Like a battered drinker or a punch drunk boxer, i am here for another round. For those of you who don’t know me, i’m a semi-professional writer on the rocks and a non-practicing alcoholic (if after 30 years of practicing, you still can't do something well, it's best to just give it up). For those of you who do know me, thanks for stopping by anyway and where’s the ten bucks you owe me? Welcome to my Bar None. A hole in the wall where we can hang out and trade the kind of stories you swap only when you’ve had one too many and either can’t find your way home or are afraid to. Hell, it’s cheaper than therapy and plus the pictures are prettier. Here we’ll crack open bottles and jokes and ‘last call’ are the only dirty words you’ll never hear. Pull up a stool and make yourselves at home. http://about.me/AlKHall

Posted on February 5, 2012, in Alcoholics Anonymous, Alcoholism, Lessons in Recovery, Recovery and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Oh so true! Sometimes I come to a meeting, floating on those pink lovely clouds and then there most often is someone saying something similar to what you wrote in this post. And for that I’m grateful, AA helps me stay in though with Earth.

    Also, sometimes I come to AA meetings feeling I’ve had too much of the Earthly – then there’s most often someone reminding me of the AA promises.

    Gotta love AA 🙂

    • Gotta love it, indeed!

      Thanks for stopping in, River! It’s true that the meetings and the people in the rooms act as a great counterweight to keep us balanced. Thanks for putting it that way!

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  2. SO true! I have 20 years under my belt and when the rubber hits that old proverbial road, I realize I revert back to old behaviors and my character defects run amok.

    Like now. I do not want to use or drink BUT I am unravelling. Back to meetings for me!

    It ain’t over till it is.

    Thank you for the reminder AND for writing about your recovery. Your walk is inspiring!

    ‘keep working it…’

    Yep. Thank Al, jen

    • Thanks for stopping by, Jen!

      Glad you could get something out of my share!

      Keep coming back, babe,

      Al K Hall

      • I’m amazed by your strength AND caution. I love reading about recovery: real recovery. Your hopefulness is a reflection of recovery. It’s certainly what I strive for. Honesty will most definitely keep you sober. Rock on Al , melis

        • Rock On, Melis!

          Thank you so much for your compliments! They really mean a lot to me and encourage me along my path. In fact, you’ve inspired me to write a mini-post expressing just how grateful i am!

          Keep Coming Back,

          Al K Hall

  3. There are a couple ways to interpret your post:

    1) It is true that one can have a feeling that their “cured” and that will lead to a relapse. The reasoning often goes that since they’ve been so successful, one or two drinks can’t hurt. And then before they know it, they’re back to the old ways. But I the lesson I got from our friend Moderation (and from personal experience) is that “abstinence does not teach moderation” and so that reasoning is flawed. Whenever I catch myself following that line of thought (not very often) I immediately dispel it.

    I think if I were to relapse, it would be when I’m out of my element. Maybe in a foreign country on holiday, I’d say to myself “Aww fuck it, I’ll quit again when I get back.” But I don’t go on extended holidays abroad anymore….for that reason. And that’s why counting helps. I don’t want to say I blew 2.2 years of sobriety.

    2) The other interpretation is you don’t feel like you need to go to AA meetings anymore because you’re cured. I don’t know….It depends on the person. SMART’s philosophy is “go to meetings if you need to, work your shit out, and and if you don’t need to go to a meeting, don’t.” And that worked for me. I haven’t been back to one in almost 21 months. I don’t know if I would say I’m still in recovery. If so, it would be the “maintenance” phase.

    But on the other hand, I still comment on your blog. And I get help from it. So maybe I’m really just taking my recovery online.

    • Hi ITSB!

      The post is more along the lines of your point #1. i should have specified in the post, but i wrote it during an AA meeting when one woman who always crashed after 2 years of sobriety and another guy who’d been sober for 25 years then lost EVERYTHING, including wife, kid, job, home to a 6-month binge shared their experiences. The thoughts i was going over concerned the idea that i have to be on guard against complacency.

      As far as being cured…i don’t think i’ll ever be cured. i’m an alcoholic and always will be. i still go to meetings, despite them biting into my schedule, because i like them and i like the people there. Also, they keep me focused and remind me of where i came from. Here in Yeaman, in my groups, AAers are (for the most part) fun loving people who like to have a good laugh. It’s like a mini party without the booze.

      Thanks, as always, for your insights, man.

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

    • Meetings help. No doubt about it. Sharing with other people that you can identify is much better than any recovery ideology.

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