Schizophrenia.com

Why i don't go to AA

I have nothing against AA, but im not comfortable talking publically. also I would need to embellish me drinking history to fit in, as I was functioning ok when I was drinking. and I still have a beer or two a week to relax, so that wouldn’t go over well and I would have to hide that. I am interested in thinking about my higher power though, im not atheist. and need to learn to put my faith in something greater.

another reason I don’t go is because I have a hard enough time getting up the energy to hang out with my current friends and I don’t think I would have the ability to connect with other AA goers. mom thinks I need to do more socially, but im content with my social circle. ive considered going to AA but I think it would be a lot like therapy, I would tire of it after sometime with nothing to say.

The only requirement for A.A. is a desire to stop drinking.

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If you ever do want to stop drinking, AA will be there.

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when I was about 25 years old, would have been the time where i would have had a desire to go to AA. I was tired of partying, and wanted to stop drinking. I guess I did, but I didn’t go to AA, I withdrew from all my friends and spent much time alone. that lasted a few years, then I started to drink again, but this time in moderation. today I use alcohol like a benzo or something, to calm me down when I need it, with one beer to relax about twice a week. I guess im having trouble seeing it as a problem. but the urge to drink more is sometimes there, mostly on days I have nothing going on.

I think my fear of public speaking is the biggest reason I don’t go.

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They say you are one drink away from a drunk. But listening is wayOK. Its good support just to listen, to spend time with others in a positive atmosphere- very helpful against boredom and self image and loneliness. But as they say you have to want to stop drinking.

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I was an active member of AA for many years. I actually had a crack problem but I got clean first in AA and then later branched out to CA and NA and for my first 5 years as a member I went to 5 or 6 meetings a week. I’ve been clean and sober since 1990.

But I’m usually not a big talker in groups but in certain meetings I felt comfortable enough to share when someone called on me or when I got a sponsor he told me never turn down a chance to speak. In my neck of the woods, after the speaker talks it was common for many, many meetings to use the phrase, “Does anyone have a burning desire to talk”. I don’t know if this is just a California thing but this what we say. So I heard that a lot and did what my sponsor told me and regularly got up to talk in front of 10, 20, or 25 people and shared my experience, strength and hope.

This was twenty years ago but believe it or not I said way stupider things than I say here, lol. And the funny part is that my audience were ex-drunks, many who had been in jail or prison or homeless or ran the streets or hookers or self admitted ex-crack whores, or veterans of psyche wards, or other nefarious people who did crazy things in their addiction and ran amuck without regarding who they hurt or no respect for the law or anybody else. And this was who I told my crack stories too. Obviously, I’m not a hardcore type of person, I’ve never been to prison, I was never homeless, certainly not violent. I hobnobbed with people who had those experiences, and I did my share of crack and coke but I was kind of a straight edge user of drugs who often got asked if I was a cop by people I partied with. It actually used to bug me. But I had experiences to share in meetings, my drug stories overlapped with the guys who had been in institutions, we had some common bonds.

And all these people got together in these sometimes tiny rooms of AA, CA, or NA and got along amazingly well. But these are the people I sat shoulder to shoulder with for over a thousand meetings. The basic tenet of the AA program is “principles before personalities”. Which means at meetings leave your ego at the door. Our common purpose is to support each other and share how you got clean and what works for you to stay clean. No one wants a guru in meetings, we don’t need someone to play god, or feed their ego at the expense of everyone else. Sure there could be cliques and semi-popular people but no one was out for trouble. We all had the common purpose to get clean and stay clean and so out of the types of people I listed you would find the nicest, funniest, warmest, honestly helpful people you would ever want to meet.

In their alcoholism they may have gone down to South America and hooked up with major drug dealers with guns and heroin in the forest and done god-knows what but they would greet me in meetings and leave me alone. They may have been formerly violent men or women who fought at the drop of a hat in their addiction if someone looked at them one second too long but in meetings they would stand up and make a whole group laugh and they were often very likable people.

I’m sorry if I digressed but my point is that AA people are very tolerant. I’ll say it again, I don’t like groups but they made me feel so welcome that I actually enjoyed getting up to talk. I’m a paranoid schizophrenic but I had stuff to say that could help other people. I’ll admit, certain meetings I rarely talked in.

Some groups could be dysfunctional and unhealthy for various reasons. But the solution was simple and obvious; I stopped going. I happened to live in a large city with many meetings to choose from. So I handpicked my meetings to attend and as a side note, I made some friends and in most meetings the regulars knew my face and I talked a little to some. You don’t need to embellish anything. As @everhopeful said, “The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.” I sat through some meetings and didn’t talk for a year. That was my choice and it was OK. Alcoholics and addicts are screwed up people in their disease so when they get in the rooms and understand the basic principles of AA and what it’s all about they know they are lucky to be there and are grateful to be in those rooms despite their eff’ed up past. And this makes them tolerant people who are not going to judge other people.

Incidentally, I was chosen to be the main speaker at a large CA group of more than a hundred people. So I got up in front of a hundred addicts and talked for 15 minutes. People came up after the meeting and told me I did a good job. ME, lol.

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Speaking as an AA “Old Timer” (27 years sober), you don’t need to hit a minimum drinking quota to share at a meeting. It’s not how much you had to drink, it’s how much the drink affected you that you need to quit. It’s always a happy occasion when someone new shows up at a meeting wanting to quit. Please feel welcome to attend meetings and share your real story. And if you do, welcome to the family.

Edit: Just realized I should share our perspective from the AA side. We usually ask if there are newcomers at most meetings because we want to make sure we welcome you properly. You really are the most important person in the room when you’re new. We’re all looking forward to meeting you, to hearing your story, and to supporting you. We understand the fear of being new to sharing (we were all there) and you’re not gonna be judged hard if you stumble, have to speak around a foot, etc. You’ll definitely have people shake your hand and might even get hugged. It’s all good, so get to that meeting!

:blush:

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i did AA and thought it was great…during the time of doing AA, I didn’t crave a drink at all

Dude if I had never gone to AA and I still was drinking at all I would wanna check it out. Unfortunately I went too “young” to Aa. They say everyone is welcome but I never felt very welcome there. No one would start conversation with me. And hey now I don’t drink anyways so I wouldn’t go. I do say when I was in AA it was helpful and beneficial. And I could not speak. It wasn’t that I was bad at public speaking but my mental health was so bad that I couldn’t even speak a coherent full sentence. Yet I never felt judged and was supported. I don’t think they knew how to help me. But they definitely supported me. And the guys I asked to be my sponsor, well they tried to help me. Aa just wasn’t for me and now thanks to the grace of god I don’t need it. But I wish I had a second first chance at AA, knowing what I know now ;). But glad I dont need it as I don’t think I have a substance abuse problem anymore. Maybe I’m in denial but it’s a self diagnosed disease and the meds keep my substance use in control.

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I sobered up there at age 23. Have mostly felt welcome. There was the odd bitter old ■■■■ who be like, “I spilled more on my tie than you ever got in your mouth!” My answer was, “maybe you could have had a life back sooner if your aim was better!” They’re jealous, just remind them to work their own programs.

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I thought about going to NA after my speed usage caused another psychotic break. I quit on my own though and I havn’t needed that level of support thankfully.

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I agree there’s no “too young” too this too that too anything at the end of the day. But it just felt like that to me. I know I’m always welcome back there.

I hated the guy who was like “first meeting??” I was like “I’ve been around” and he said “you’re too young to have been around” when I was 27. Oh well. If I ever need it it’s there.

Yeah, you get those. The downside of AA is that it’s not somewhere that you go to meet healthy people. Everyone there is broken, some are still the useless type of broken, and a very few always will be, but you still have to welcome them back.

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Yea I went to an over eaters anonymous and that group that I went to was huge and I felt very anxious to enjoy speaking bout my problems. I didn’t go back though I may try another group at a later date

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I went to this thing called emotions anonymous. Apparently everyone at the meeting had mental illness. One guy said he was sza. And it was A very warm welcoming helpful place. We all hugged. And one guy was crying but it was beautiful. Because we felt connected a comradarie the first time we met.

That was the best meeting I’ve ever been to.

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Did you go again

I tried to but now it closed down even though I live right in the neighborhood practically now. A shame really.

They do have dual diagnosis anonymous at a hospital but it’s 25 mins away. I think that’d be an interesting one.

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one big reason I should probably start going to AA is. im generally unhappy sober. I spend most of my time sober, but haven’t started to live to the point where I don’t want a drink every once and awhile to lift my mood. I have problems with sober life, because I do so little and don’t lead a fulfilling life so I turn to alcohol a couple times a week. I would like to get to the point where I feel like being sober is better than having a drink.

When you give up a lover, you give up what you liked about that person as well as those things that you didn’t like about that person.

It is the same with a substance.

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