The founder of the former website, Recovered Alcoholics.net, shares his recovery experience.
Welcome to Recovered Alcoholics.net. The reason why this web site was created is not to try to change the popular opinion of AA or to try to sway the minds of those who are part of what AA has become. This site was created in the hope that it may offer the man and woman who still suffers a solution to their problem as the members of the Fellowship of the Spirit tried to do when they conspired to write the book Alcoholics Anonymous. Hopefully this site may also edify those who truly have recovered and find that strait is the gate and narrow the way, and often times lonely. We will explore the path taken by the pioneers.
The sad truth is this and nothing less. AA as described in the basic text is not what has evolved into AA today. This is not my opinion, this is fact. I will not bore you with my opinion or anyone else’s, (except the doctors). My experience with modern AA has shown me that there has been a drastic change in the message that was meant to be passed on to others, if they cared to have it.
It was only by the grace of God that I met a man that understood what I suffered from because he had the same struggles that I was going through, but yet he had found complete peace and most times I only had moments of serenity.
Here is what I did. I bounced from meeting to meeting, from sponsor to sponsor and almost died one day at a time. I was doing big book studies and grabbing on to all the slogans and gimmicks that come with what AA is today. I tried everything from dumping my crap on the table, to doing service work, to just don't drink and keep coming back and you'll get it. I had sponsors telling me how good I was doing so when the pain inside got so bad that I could not stand another second I would fire him and look for another.
Then I found a man that said he had recovered. His dependence was not on meetings or other people. It was not on service work or gimmicks or slogans. He had found what the pioneers had found. A relationship with the true and living God! He was loving and kind. He was very patient and best of all he guided me through the steps and cautioned me about placing my dependence on anything or anyone other than God. I was to be helpful to others whenever I saw and recognized the opportunity to, especially other drunks. I was to be as honest as I could be in all my affairs and if I was doing anything that I knew was not morally sound I was to stop.
He did not chase me or make me do anything. He showed me what he did only when I made the effort to stay in touch with him. He told me that the day would come when I would become unsponsorable and we would each be depending upon God and helping others. And that is exactly what has happened.
As recovered alcoholics we must be patient, loving and tolerant. We don't waste our time chasing someone or trying to guide their lives. We don't stop others from drinking. Keep it simple. Show them what we have done to come into a relationship with God, if they care to have it.
I first came back to A.A. by way of Cocaine Anonymous by accident. My main problem was alcohol. A club I went to had several different 12 step programs. That led me to AA, NA, and more CA meetings. I have used more substances than I care to discuss but the one constant remained for me until I understood what I was dealing with, none of the various meetings had any impact other than to get me sober. I was addressing a symptom not the problem! Once I got sober the real problem became more unbearable. The fears, anger, self-pity, depression, loneliness and anxiety almost drove me to put a gun to my head. I knew I was better off drinking and drugging but I knew that I couldn't do that safely anymore.
When my life was running out of control I needed something to ease the pain or take away the fear, anger, depression etc. brought on by my own selfish behavior (although I didn't know that yet). If it wasn't the booze and drugs it was sex, money, possessions, control, anything that would make me happy. But I could never stay content, and the booze and drugs always seemed to do the trick. When I lost the ability to control the drinking and the drugs I was in trouble. So I got sober. At this point I have such a big emptiness inside of me that I need to find out how to fix me because I can't go on anymore and nothing is working. I'm broke and nothing I try can fix me. I don't want to live anymore but I don't want to die!
Pg 152 describes the state I was in to the letter:
Inwardly he would give anything to take half a dozen drinks and get away with them. He will presently try the old game again, for he isn't happy about his sobriety. He cannot picture life without alcohol. Some day he will be unable to imagine life either with alcohol or without it. Then he will know loneliness such as few do. He will be at the jumping-off place. He will wish for the end.
The exact circumstances that led me to the jumping off place don't really matter. What does matter is what I did to solve my problem. But first I had to come to know what the problem was! This site will often quote the two main books of alcoholics anonymous, the basic text and the book that the basic text came from. As I have stated my opinion means little. I hope that you will take a look at what is presented within this web site and as a good doctor once stated: and though perhaps he came to scoff, he may remain to pray.