AA haters

I’ve been pretty open and honest that I am an alcoholic and that Alcoholics Anonymous has been the avenue that I have used to achieve 8 years sober. I am sober by God’s grace, that is my belief. I have put a lot of effort, action, and change in my life for that to be a reality. I am in no way the poster child for AA. I have found something that works for me and it works quite well.

I have enjoyed reading blogs about AA, sobriety, alcoholism, addiction, recovery, and a few other topics. Some from people that are sober, some not, and some trying to figure out if they should be or not. I relate to some people a lot and some not so much. I have also found some that have, apparently, made it their life’s work to discredit Alcoholics Anonymous as a whole due to their bad experience, someone who they know who had a bad experience, or because they think they know what we AA is about. Those probably amuse me the most.

They say AA is a cult or that they brain wash people. To be honest, my brain needed some washing! They mention that we are a hoax and that we force people do to this or that. They state we have a less that 5% success rate (if that is the case than I am one lucky girl! HAHA!). They believe that we shove God down people’s throats and or our own religion on them. I could go on but all of this is such a load of crap that I will stop there.

“Prejudice is a great timesaver. You can form opinions without having to get the facts.” – Bertrand Russel

Funny thing about people these days and the internet….. they believe everything they read good or bad, true or false. If you believe everything you see on Facebook or on chain letter emails…. you are an idiot! Check out Snopes.com next time you forward some crap you believe to be true. When people have made up their mind about something, whether it is true or false, their minds are closed like Fort Knox. It’s like “don’t confuse me with the facts, I’ve already made up my mind.”

“Of alcoholics who came to AA and REALLY TRIED, 50% got sober at once and remained that way; 25% sobered up after some relapses, and among the remainder, those who stayed on with AA showed improvement.” Big Book page xx

This statement was written in 1955. Lots has changed in the world since then but I think the kicker in that quote is REALLY TRIED. I’ve seen a whole lot of people come in and out of AA over the last 9 years and I see a lot who don’t do anything but come to a few meetings. In my experience that approach with AA does not work. Truth is if AA can help one person not die from alcoholism or addiction then that is SUCCESS! In 2010, I went to the 75th International Convention of Alcoholics Anonymous in San Antonio, TX. I personally said the Serenity Prayer with 50,000 plus other alcoholics in the Astrodome, so i know it’s helped more than just me!

AA has taught me to be a woman of consideration. Meaning, when I hear or read something, instead of shutting myself off, I consider if it is truth for ME. This whole journey has helped me learn truth about myself. What are your truths? I have no clue! But I know what mine are!

What do I have to say to these AA haters? Get a damn life! I have one that works for me and it doesn’t include forcing others to believe what I believe. There are plenty of other avenues to go through to get sober. My hope is that all those that are trying to get sober find what works for them, AA or not! Living in the endless spiral of self-destruction, unhappiness, hatred for self and others, depression, anxiety, guilt, embarrassment, etc. that drug addiction and alcoholism bring in its wake…… Is NOT living! I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy or on those who hate AA with a passion!

Why can’t we all just get along? HAHA!

16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. dopesickdiaries
    Jan 27, 2014 @ 03:38:40

    The internet is a place where anyone with an an idea can go on for eternity about their latest flickering of the light bulb. Hot topics as we know are God, Guns, Gays, Pot, and sometimes AA.

    I am not an AA hater as you’ve outlined because I refuse to give anything I deem not so useful for me so much attention that I would “hate” such a group. For me, AA just wasn’t the answer.

    That “fuzzy buzzy oh I finally felt at home” feeling you will hear many in the rooms describe just never showed up for me. Not even running 2 Sober Houses and having young (in sobriety) addicts around all the time, that “miracle” those involved with 12 step programs talk about, didn’t occur. I don’t think out was AA’s fault anymore than I found it mine. I just did what I was suggested to do, and still got stoned.

    So instead of hating myself or anyone else and trying the something (AA) and electing a different result (meaningful life) I found different ways of finding people who aren’t fucked up all the time. Which is in essence what AA is. Sober Fellowship.


    • trudgingdestiny
      Jan 27, 2014 @ 08:56:42

      It is not the answer for everyone just because it was my answer. I glad you are searching for your truth and what works for you! I really appreciated your last post! I completely get it and am glad you are sharing your expexperience as I know it helps to know you are not unique in your struggles. I look forward to reading more.


  2. carrythemessage
    Jan 27, 2014 @ 11:02:49

    I used to get frothy and worked up on the AA-haters. I got my back up out of fear and all those other things we do when we get our back ups. These days I am pretty mellow on this. I learned this being on several recovery forums where AA is just one of many methods. AA is an easy target, of course. it’s the most well known manner of recovery. It’s like “big oil” as one anti-AA told me once…it’s almost *necessary* to take shots at it (didn’t agree with that, as you can imagine). I think that most people who rail against AA over and over again carry a resentment of some kind. Why, I don’t know. i am not them. There is something deeper going on and it’s none of my business.

    Take a look at the Orange Papers and you will see someone who is very dedicated at trying to dismantle the program, Bill W and everything connected to the program. Good job. I hope it makes them happy. There are countless other websites and blogs that do the same. hell, I had one of my posts from that recovery forum lifted and then used as a whole post as they skewered me, taunted me and all that. I left it. It’s none of my business what others think of me (and this was an AA doing this! ha ha)

    I know others have their ways…and I am all for it. If it works for you and you are happy and sober…then rock on. Seriously…I don’t sell AA or shove it down anyone’s throat. Even in my blog I don’t do that. I just say it was MY answer, not every one’s. As I have always said, i can tell you that red is my favourite colour without having to trash blue and green. Ya know?

    It is what it is. Many of those who say AA didn’t work for them usually didn’t work the program (not an indictment, just usually what they mention), so it’s difficult to judge that. And gives others a false impression of the program. But AA doesn’t need you and I to defend it, does it?

    I just live and let live. HAve to bite my tongue now and then…but that’s my issue, not anyone else’s 🙂

    Great post!



    • trudgingdestiny
      Jan 27, 2014 @ 16:09:02

      Thanks for your comment! I always appreciate what you say because it is always packed with experience. I have read the orange paper and the green papers response to orange. I also read Valiants research to see for myself, even though I am aware of the success rate first hand. I, too believe there are resentments unrecognized but as long as that’s not my own resentment, I am good! I truly hope that anyone looking for help finds it, whether AA or otherwise. Grateful that I am able to let others have their own beliefs, even when they don’t agree with mine. Back in the day, that was not the case at all! It’s a good life!


  3. esah8
    Jan 28, 2014 @ 20:44:45

    To thine own self be true 🙂 That’s all that really matters.


  4. Sober Learning
    Feb 17, 2014 @ 15:50:22

    I will be attending my second AA meeting tonight. I have to say I was scared shit stepping into the first one. That being said, I did get that warm, fuzzy feeling. Everyone was really nice, and welcoming. I am not sure about the God aspect of it, as I lean agnostic at best, but I do believe their is a higher power. The Universe. So, I will continue to give it a go.
    Day 80.
    Great post.


    • trudgingdestiny
      Feb 17, 2014 @ 16:29:38

      Truly if we say in step one that we are powerless over alcohol them we have already said that alcohol is a power greater than us. I’m step two you just need a power greater that alcohol. What ever that is. …. totally up to each individual. That is what works and has worked for 78 years in AA. Everybody’s Higher Power concept changes and grows the longer they work the program. You just got to find something! Welcome to the journey friend!


  5. mike
    Feb 27, 2014 @ 05:38:07

    I was an AA hater too. When I first started coming around, I had a lot of ‘yets’ and i saw god on the shade and i didnt like people that much. I wasnt ready for the ‘we’. I motherfucked AA everywhere I went and to anybody who cared to listen. At the time AA wasn’t for me.

    I needed another 5 years of decent into alcoholic hell before I’d agree to do anything or damn near anything to stop drinking. I had to be beaten into a state of reasonableness. Pain is a great motivator.

    I definitely believe in attraction over promotion. I don’t promote AA, or at least I don’t try to. I just share my experience, strength,,,,,you know the rest. Can’t lecture to an alcoholic, not even a sober one. Wont work.

    I read a lot of blogs. A few are Good Orderly Direction and a lot, are those still struggling. I just try to plant a seed through identification. Our one positive comment to their blog might just keep em from drinking that day or jumping out a window. But for the grace of God, there go I.

    Sorry bout bombarding you with slogans


  6. Cash
    Feb 16, 2015 @ 16:23:12

    Great post! Just a minor correction, it’s the Alamodome, the Astrodome is in Houston. That must have been a neat experience though. I got sober just a little too late to experience that.


  7. Steven Wexler
    Feb 17, 2015 @ 11:21:29

    As someone who is in the rooms let me say this: AA is far from perfect. It is a wonderfully brilliant fellowship in it’s own right, but as a collective consciousness, it needs to do another 4th step.

    It’s model does ‘blame’ the person it doesn’t help, and takes no responsibility for it’s role. This paradigm prevents AA from evolving to better help the alcoholic; anyone it doesn’t work for, just didn’t want it bad enough. AA’s effectiveness is never even considered.

    You quoted: “Of alcoholics who came to AA and REALLY TRIED, 50% got sober at once and remained that way; 25% sobered up after some relapses, and among the remainder, those who stayed on with AA showed improvement.” Big Book page xx

    This is like quoting the top of every pizza box that says “You’ve tried the rest ,now try the best.”

    AA has never done a true scientific study. It neither has the objectivity or expertise to do such a study, and it is inherently a conflict of interest.

    Other people have done studies. One of the larger ones done in 2006 by the Agency of Public Health Project found: “No experimental studies unequivocally demonstrated the effectiveness of AA or TSF approaches for reducing alcohol dependence or problems. One large study focused on the prognostic factors associated with interventions that were assumed to be successful rather than on the effectiveness of interventions themselves, so more efficacy studies are needed.”

    You can read more here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16856072

    The problem with these studies is they can’t provide consistent scientific controls into any method. The study cannot be considered conclusive, but informative and a step in the right direction.

    The whole “Rarely have we seen people fail who follow our path….” is simply nonsense based on purely anecdotal eidence. When people leave AA and find another successful strategy, do you think they come back into the rooms and go “Ha! I did it!” No. But you do see plenty of people walking back into the rooms with their tails between their legs, and this bolsters AA’s mythical assertion that it is so effective.

    AA also has proven to be quite prejudiced and borderline hostile towards agnostics and atheists. An ordained Episcopal minister, the Reverend Ward Ewing who served as a Class A (non-alcoholic) Trustee with AA’s General Service Office for nine years , and is a Chairman Emeritus of AA’s General Service Board. The Rev. Ewing stated at an agnostic AA meeting. “I am strongly opposed to religion creeping into AA,” Ewing said. “There is only one criterion for membership in AA and we have to keep these doors open wide.”

    Ewing acknowledged that certain parts of AA literature are at best condescending towards atheists and agnostics if not downright disparaging of them. These include Dr. Bob’s story in the Big Book in which Bob says he feels “sorry” for atheists and agnostics whose “intellectual pride” prevents them from accepting God.

    AA is a wonderful program that helps many people change their lives. But AA could use a dose of collective humility and take a collective 4th step moving forward, so that they may cast the widest possible net…helping as many alcoholics as possible.

    The first part of the big book was written in 1935. If there was ever a book in need of an update, it is the BB of Alcoholics Anonymous. I know: blasphemy.

    I have experienced the haters who are just going to hate. Some of them may not simply be haters for the sake of it, but are worthy of listening to and learning from.


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