Tuesday, March 24, 2015

the inevitable point in any anti-AA article

If I had a big glass of wine for every time I'd ever heard this, I....still wouldn't have as much wine as I washed my liver pancreas* with back when I was actively drinking, probably. ANYWAY. It's this moment:

The whole idea made Jean uncomfortable. How did people get better by recounting the worst moments of their lives to strangers? Still, she went. Each member’s story seemed worse than the last: One man had crashed his car into a telephone pole. Another described his abusive blackouts. One woman carried the guilt of having a child with fetal alcohol syndrome....She couldn’t relate.

And it always just makes me go //EYEROLL FOR FUCKING EVER, because that attitude is just I'm not like them, I'm not that bad, they're nothing like me. THAT'S THE WHOLE DAMN POINT OF AA. YES, YES YOU ARE LIKE THEM. We are all like each other. The point is empathy. The whole enormous creaking arguably messed-up enterprise started with two drunks talking to each other. That's it! That's all it really is. For wherever two or three are gathered together in Dr Bob's and Bill W's names, there AA is. All the rest is fucking window dressing, cafeteria choices, a la carte, however you choose to phrase it.

Is AA perfect? No. (Is anything? Sorry to break it to you, but no.) Is it surrounded by a shitload of myths and eternally brightsided and is there a lot of cargo cult nonsense all around it and do people have blind faith in it? Sure. Does the same thing happen with MEDICINE, both alternative and allopathic? Betyourass.

(Amy Lee Coy, the author of the memoir From Death Do I Part: How I Freed Myself From Addiction, told me about her eight trips to rehab, starting at age 13. “It’s like getting the same antibiotic for a resistant infection—eight times,” she told me. “Does that make sense?” -- Dude, you don't even want to fucking hear HOW MANY TIMES I was put on an antidepressant, it didn't work, I was put on MORE of it, then taken off it and put on something else, and then got "Well let's try the first one that didn't work, just in case it does now!" This approach is not limited to AA. FFS. And addiction is all ABOUT relapse. Yeah yeah I've heard stories from people in AA about how they went to a meeting and saw the light and were instantly free and whatever. They're nice stories. They're not everyone's experience. They're not even most peoples' experience. It would be nice if it was, just like it would be nice if the first antidepressant I ever took, back in 1994 or so, had fixed me. But it didn't. Because it couldn't.)

It's such an American article, too -- look, it's Science! There's a pill! All that humiliation and need for discipline and facing up to your inner demons can just be medicated away! WE ARE ALL BETTER, THERE IS A CURE. Praise Jesus Christ, M.D. Talk about signs and motherfucking wonders, indeed.

*All those years, I was terrified for my liver! I feared cirrhosis! Apparently my liver is made out of battlship iron. But on the other hand, at the age of forty-four, now my pancreas is so calcified it apparently resembles a giant tooth. I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker, &c &c.