Monday, October 05, 2009

Piggy back Rant

Pammie has a lovely post this morning about the necessity of working all the steps, including step 12, inconvenient though it might be. Yesterday afternoon, I was trying to write something and was flipping through blogs I don't normally visit just for a bit of research. I was dismayed by a trend, and it sort of has to do with what Pam wrote about...

AA literature all talks about ego deflation, turning our thoughts to others, learning to stop being self-centered, and helping others. This is what, in turn, helps us. I never read one word in AA literature about working on our self-esteem by spending great amounts of time pampering ourselves, lying to ourselves about how great we are, or accepting ourselves as we are.

The steps are all about trusting God, cleaning house, and helping others. These things work to help us build a new life built on a solid foundation.

But what about all these books about our precious self-esteem and our self-image and our self, self, self? I don't know. I don't know why we read them and pretend they are AA literature. They aren't. I don't know why about one in ten alcoholics thinks they ought to write a book re-packaging what they think they have heard in meetings. The cuter the better.

Some of the most dangerous nonsense I have heard over the years has sounded really cute. It is "marketable."

All this dour ego deflation and inventory and amends and helping others? Probably not so marketable. But, boy howdy! does it ever work!

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

AMEN!

dAAve said...

yes.

Scott W said...

It's Monday and I don't feel well and am going back to bed.

Lou said...

There is a trend of marketing driving recovery. Even respected places (begins with an H...ends with a.. N) have entire departments promoting "ancillary" recovery. Obviously, it is a lucrative market. It waters down the work involved in recovery.

Self help books never reach the homeless, the poor, the uneducated, the chronically addicted. It takes one on one to help the people that need it most.

Syd said...

I'm afraid the focus on self, self, self is part of what so many x and y generations do. And maybe some of our generation as well. There seems to be a lot of selfishness these days. It is a disturbing trend that isn't just in AA but permeates society in general.

Pete Hoge said...

It works and it never ends...
none of us are underemployed
because the sick and suffering
are always there.

Pete.

Ed G. said...

Yep yep...

Blessings and aloha...

diane d said...

Amen!!!!

Gin said...

Yes...si...

garden-variety drunk said...

how true! i pray that i remember my primary purpose- staying sober and helping another alcoholic achieve sobriety. it is easy to get confused about it, especially in some meetings and out in the world (and in my ego-inflated head).

Nancy said...

Mary, I am so grateful for your blog. I am slowly learning that it is not all about me. I thought I had found a new sponsor, but another one of her sponsees told me that I could not have *her* sponsor, that it was a threat to her sobriety, resentments are so easy for her to get, etc. She had a lot of things to say about her codependence issues and self esteem, etc. Nothing to do with our beautiful program.

Sponsor said she could only be temporary for me, because my friend is so fragile. And I took a day of fear-based anger. And then I let it go. It is my chance to give to others. I will find another sponsor. I am grateful for your blog--I really read it every day! Thank you!

Mary Christine said...

Nancy, I am grateful you will have the opportunity to find another sponsor. That doesn't sound like a very healthy situation and you are fortunate to not be a part of it. Just my opinion...

Pam said...

Pam who?
I'm not finished yet.

Robert W. said...

Couldn't agree more with this.