My first year or two in AA, I loved it. I was on a pink cloud.
I had just separated from my alcoholic husband, and was completely lost.
The instant intimacy was intoxicating.
I thought AA had saved my life, and that I would die without it.
I loved the people, they were all my friends.
I spouted the slogans, they were all new to me, and seemed so profound.
I studied, quoted and adhered to the big book.
I had a stomach ache the whole time, and was in denial as to the reason for it.
It was fear. My stomach was trying to tell me not to trust. I knew this, but did not want to face it.
I wanted to ride the pink cloud.
I lost 50 pounds the first 6 months.
I could not sleep.
I was told I was manic, but i wasn't. I was afraid, and deep down I knew it.
I was afraid of the game players. I was no match for them.
After a year or so, I really started to be bothered by the game-playing. The sexual merry-go-round, the meetings led by obviously drunk and stoned members.
Also, I wasn't feeling better, more stable; I was getting more confused and depressed. I trusted myself less than I ever had.
I felt less and less trust for my fellow members, whom I had learned weren't trustworthy.
I thought I was doing something wrong, and was assured that I was.
I felt I was going crazy, and was assured that I was. I wondered if I was really was an alcoholic, and was assured that I was.
I went into rehab at the advice of a therapist. It was an AA rehab center.
I asked why there was so much predation at meetings, and was chastised and laughed at. I left rehab, the one good choice I made during that time.
Back at home,I was told to be more wary, that AA members were sick alcoholics.
Because I talked about the predators, they thought I was easy game, and came on to me, which made me even more wary.
Where were all the wonderful friends I was told I would have?
Everyone seemed to either want something, money, sex, a whipping boy, or want nothing, including my friendship.
I heard it said at meetings, often, "I didn't come here to make friends!"
Well, I wanted to make friends, didn't everyone?
Where was the promised fellowship?
I stuck it out, but became more and more unwilling to open up,
I moved, and was very quiet at the new AA meetings, thinking that would help.
Nope, now fellow AA members pried into my life, asked inappropriate questions about me and my friends. They interfered in my affairs, gossiped about me with my friends, and told me I would not get better unless I opened up.
So I quit going.
I quit torturing myself.
I quit telling myself I was a sick alcoholic.
I started to make friends outside of AA.
I got better. It took a while. I was lonely, and missed the intimacy of AA.
I went back from time to time.
I saw through all the bullshit, and it was no longer enjoyable or informative.
Nowadays, the slogans and stop-think phrases make me physically ill.
I still believe in self-inventory.
But i don't believe in beating myself up anymore.
And I don't believe in AA.
I think it's a place for sick people to get together and allow each other to be sick.
Me, I want to be well.
I am not a sick alcoholic, not anymore.