I am a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous. That means I do not drink. The reason I mention this and the reason I care about this is because I am an alcoholic. For an alcoholic to not drink is a pretty big deal. If I were someone with some other problem, not drinking might not be such an issue, but to me, it is an life threatening issue. So, we have established that I am an alcoholic. I am also anonymous at the level of press, radio, and film. That level also includes the internet, because the internet is public. That means I do not use my full name or a full photo of my face. That makes me anonymous. Therefore, I am an Anonymous Alcoholic.
I am a member of Alcoholics Anonymous. I am not a member of a "12 step program." I am not a member of a "self-help" program. I am a member of a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength, and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. Recover from alcoholism. This is no small goal. This is awesome and massive. And yet if you tell people that is what we are about, many will tell you that we shouldn't limit ourselves to that tiny little fraction of people - the fraction we can actually help.
Maybe the person who discovered the insulin treatment for diabetes should have gone around injecting everyone with it instead of just using it on diabetics. Why limit something so good like that? Surely it could have helped EVERYONE!
I was approached the other day about taking a meeting into a treatment facility. This facility treats all manner of people with all manner of problems. And I think that is wonderful. I was approached about bringing a message of hope to women who are being abused by their husbands, and people with problems with "drugs and alcohol" and need a "12 step program." I had to tell the person that I don't know anything about "12 step programs." I am a member of Alcoholics Anonymous. That is the one and only message I have to share in a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. I am not going to bastardize a meeting to be "one size fits all." Because as we ladies know, "one size fits all" really means "one size fits no one."
Oh, you're going to love me for this, aren't you?
I probably wouldn't have such an attitude about the treatment industry if I hadn't had such a battle with them over my blog in the last 6 months or so. First one of them hijacked my entire blog and put it on their website. A website that said, among other things, that a person needed to be in a protected environment (that they could provide, for a fee) or they would "relapse." That is just SO WRONG. And now they have a new approach, every day or so, under the guise of a different name, they post some asinine comment, which links to some damn treatment center website. The other day, on my post about my friend Ron, was one of them. It was some inane comment about "working in drug and alcohol treatment, you see a lot of people die, it is a sad part of the business...." Yeah. It is a sad part of your lousy business. But my friend Ron died a natural death at the age of 70, after 37 years of continuous sobriety in the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. That is one of the sad, but wonderful parts of being a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous. We get to see people LIVE and LIVE WELL until they DIE a NATURAL DEATH at an OLD AGE.
I know what I am. I am a sober alcoholic. And I know I am grateful with every fiber of my being for the program of Alcoholics Anonymous which saved my life. I hope to God it is around for a while for other alcoholics who need it now and will need it later. But I do believe that if we keep bastardizing it, it will not last.