Monday, September 22, 2008

A.A. - Cult or Cure? Part III

Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous, Over Eaters Anonymous... and on... and on...

I've been on this rant now for three days. The reason is that I'm often asked why I don't go to meetings or why I'm not active in A.A. I suppose, then, that these posts have been my explanation, at least for myself.

I don't know if A.A. is a cult or not. I know there are very strong viewpoints on both sides about it and for that reason, there will never be a definitive answer. It's like arguing religion or abortion. The opposing sides are arguing with different sets of facts, so the argument becomes moot.

For me, it took a lot of work on myself to become sober. To maintain my sobriety is an ongoing process. Every day I make a conscious effort to have gratitude for the life I have now. I use what I've learned in Cognitive Self Change to help re-construct my thinking errors. I try not to isolate and I've found ways to fill my own personal void. I'll always be working on these things, knowing that my life is a thousand times better than when I was using.

Without these tools, without finding a new way to fill the emptiness I've always felt, I don't know how I could not want to go back to drugs.

So my unease with A.A. is not due to resistance or rebellion. I simply find that, for me, it's not something I need. Though it's a good starting point, I've just found too many inconsistencies, closed minds and hypocrisy in A.A., which are the same things I've found in most organizations.

Just because I think A.A. is not right for me doesn't mean my sobriety has any less quality than any other sober person.

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