I'm working the AA Hotline number this week, and I just got a call, that started with a question to me: "How do I quit? This is killing me!" (I'm sure he meant "how do I quit drinking? ... the alcohol is killing me." )
The only thing I could tell him was what I did. I came to Alcoholics Anonymous, and asked for help.
After listening to him rant and rave about how bad AA is, and all the bad things he believes there is about AA... and about how badly he felt he was treated, when he came to AA in the past... I couldn't help but ask myself, "Then, why are you calling an AA telephone number?" ... but, naturally... I didn't ask him that question.
I'm sure that AA has no monopoly on sobriety... our book tells us that. And, of course... we're all just a bunch of recovering alcoholics, ourselves... so, naturally, one visit to an AA meeting, and I'm sure that not everyone will appear very Saintly, or to have had all their character defects and personality problems perfectly removed... none of us are professionals... and we don't charge any dues or fees. We're just a bunch of alcoholics, trying to help other alcoholics like ourselves!
I told the caller, that if AA is not what he thinks will help him achieve what he wants to achieve, he could always try church or religion... I've heard that church and religion has worked for some alcoholics. Or... he could try something else... But, I have no experience with anything other than Alcoholics Anonymous, to share with him, because AA is what has worked for me.
I suggested that he could try other meetings, try some meetings with different people, or to get a copy of the book, Alcoholics Anonymous and read it and follow the instructions in the book. I've heard of many people who just read the book, followed the instructions in the book and it worked great for them.
Then, he asked "Well, how does it work?" (Of course, we have a whole chapter on that!) And, my reply was... "well, what worked for me was the 12 Steps."
He said... "Oh yeah... and then you get a Higher Power or something" ... and then he mumbled off something and hung up on me.
Hopefully, the caller will find what he is looking for. AA isn't for everyone. And, AA is not just for those who need it. AA is for those who want it.
All I can really say... is, that AA has worked great for me.
Sure, I've been to AA meetings that I didn't like and I didn't feel comfortable with the meetings... and I tried different meetings, until I found AA meetings that I felt comfortable with. Heck, I've even had Higher Powers before... and Gods... that didn't seem to work for me. But, I didn't give up. Alcohol had beat me to the point that I was willing to accept whatever help I could get, from anywhere I could get it, and AA was the place that I found that help!
Probably the biggest thing that happened for me... was that something started happening to me... and I began to change. Perhaps as I began to change... the meetings, and the people, and perhaps even a Higher Power, God, as I understand Him, appeared to have changed!
Thanks for letting me share! And, AA... thank you for the good life that you have given me!
If you are reading this... and you identify with the caller... and you believe AA is not for you, and it sucks, and itâ€™s all bad, etceteras.... You can always do three things: 1). You can keep looking for something different that works for you. And, I hope that you find it. 2). You can always change your mind about AA, and give it another try... differently. And, 3). You can always keep on drinking until it does kill you. No one can, or will, force you to do anything that you donâ€™t choose to do! Unless.... you are as alcoholic as I am.... I lost the power to choose whether I would drink alcohol again... and, on my own, I still do not have the power to stay sober and not drink... However, I have found a Higher Power... through the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous... and if I continue to take certain simple actions... Iâ€™ll never have to drink again!