No hAAters

Used 2013-04-20 You Our Write (AlKHall Anonymous sobriety recovery)

You Our Write

i’m not going to defend Alcoholics Anonymous here. AA does not need me to defend it. Hell, i wouldn’t even be playing soccer in this minefield at all, except i believe coincidence is language of God.

Like today, after returning from a meeting, i read a beautiful post by “Sober Life” where she decides to put her faith in AA to the test after reading some AAA (anti-AA) comments.

Or like after Roger Ebert died. i learned he was an alcoholic who got sober in AA and had even written a very eloquent post about his 30 years of sobriety. In this post he says,

The last thing I want to do is start an argument about A.A.. Don’t go if you don’t want to. It’s there if you need it. In most cities, there’s a meeting starting in an hour fairly close to you. It works for me. That’s all I know. I don’t want to argue with you about it.

i’ll make you a deal. i won’t tell you that you have to go to AA to recover if you don’t tell me who i can and cannot marry, what i can and cannot wear, and what i can and cannot do to stay sober.

Recovery: the best solution is the one that works for you.


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.

Posted on April 21, 2013, in Alcoholics Anonymous, Alcoholism, Lessons in Recovery, Recovery and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Great post, Al.

    I really have to watch myself at times that I don’t get too frothy in the mouth when it comes to the AA bashers. I am better, believe me, but I do get my moments. It’s not those who aren’t in AA or aren’t interested. That’s groovy sauce to me. It’s when someone promotes another method at the expense of AA that gets my goat. I don’t tell everyone red is fave colour at the expense of telling them that blue sucks. I don’t know…love and tolerance. 🙂

    I’ll get spiritually fit enough one day to let that stuff slide very easily. Sticks a bit these days.

    In the end, whatever works is the right way. And that’s that.

    Cheers – thanks.


    • Hi Paul,

      Thanks again for the encouragement. i keep trying to turn the other cheek but, like i said, so much popped up all at once that i needed to get it out of my system. Hopefully i won’t step on too many toes as that definitely wasn’t my intention.

      And i agree with you 100%, i would never say AA is the only way and i totally get that people can’t find what they need there, but to then say it’s a bad organization because they don’t like it seems like saying no cancer victims should ever have chemo because one person had a bad experience with it.

      Is AA perfect? No. Is it 100% effective? No. Does that mean i shouldn’t go there when it’s helped me so much not just in sobriety but in making me a happier and healthier individual? Hell no.

      Anyway, hopefully this post will make it easier for me to let it slide the next time.

      Keep coming back, brother,

      Al K Hall

  2. runningonsober

    Agreed! And great comment from Paul above. There are lots of great programs and options out there, but I really dislike when someone must discredit another to validate their own choices. Probably the hardest for me is those that put down AA (or any), and they’ve never even been to a single meeting! Huh?!

  3. Perfect. Straight forward; Simple. Correct.

  4. Great Post. I don’t get the AA bashers at all ~ I also don’t argue. I’m on TEAM RECOVERY and welcome and support any program that relieves a chronic alcoholic of the obsession to drink. The thing is AA offers more than sobriety, it offers a non-denominational spiritual philosophy based on the 12 principles of recovery, love, humility, service to name a few.
    I have to remind myself that not everyone wants that ~ they JUST want sobriety. Some want it but a cooler more glamorous version of it. And some bash AA because it’s FREE and their solution has a financial incentive for them to be critical…. whatever the reason doesn’t matter, different strokes for different folks. Would be nice though if they all realized WE’RE ALL ON THE SAME TEAM!
    For the record I tried many cooler versions and in the end only AA worked giving me both continued sobriety and an amazing spiritual philosophy to live my life by.

    • Hi Elanor!

      Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to visit.

      You bring up a very good point here. We’re all on the same team! Of course! It’s us, all of us, AAers and NonAAers alike united to fight against alcoholism. We need to be supportive of people’s choices (to either enter, leave or ignore the program) rather than back bite and in fight.

      i also really appreciated what you said about the spiritual philosophy to live by. When i was on my pink cloud, i was so happy i was an alcoholic because i’d been looking for a solution like AA my whole life and never found it, even in organized religion. AA provided me with ways to live with myself, even to like myself, that i never would have thought possible.

      Thanks for your input and keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  5. Well after 18 months without AA I’m thinking of going. So there.

    • Hi Mrs D!

      i only hope that the groups where you are resemble the groups i attend here. Everyone is so supportive, friendly, funny and the concept of a Higher Power is very loose compared to some regions i’ve heard tell of. If the people there are anything like the people here, i think you’ll get a glimpse of why i’m such a fan.

      Keep coming back regardless, though!

      Al K Hall

  6. Good Morning Al!

    Great post, and thanks for sharing Sober Life’s link, I am just reading now, thanks to you, and am loving it!

    I am very much with you about AA bashers, and they are very easy to deal with, in my opinion (my answer? don’t deal with them).

    Where I struggle, oddly, is with the newcomer. I remember well being an AA Doubter (never a basher), and, when I first started coming around, the people in love with AA would, in an extremely well-meaning-ed way (this post could go up in your picture above, my English not so good this morning), invade my boundaries and spout all sorts of AA stuff that made zero sense to me at the time. So now, as someone who loves AA, I don’t want to scare anyone away, in the way I had been inititally scared. I am still struggling to find the balance between welcoming and “crazy cult recruit,” between being informative and barking AA orders.

    Hopefully that makes sense, I need to drink my coffee before deciding to reply to posts, but I just loved this topic, and had to jump in!

    • Good morning, Miracle!

      Great point! hAAters are a pain, but there are the “fundamentAAlists” that can be just as bad. People need to move at their own pace, heal at their own pace and it doesn’t help to push someone harder than they can be. i’m lucky that my sponsor is present but not invasive, though has a very sensitive bullshit detector, even when i don’t realize i’m bullshitting myself. i found the perfect sponsor for me because nobody was rushing me along and, knowing me, if someone had intimidated me i light well have left the program altogether. The only requirement is a desire to stop drinking!

      Keep coming back,

      AL K Hall

  7. Thanks for the shout-out Al! Love the Roger Ebert quote, “Don’t go if you don’t want to.” – well, and that’s about it 🙂

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