I just got back from a couple meetings in Weho tonight. I definitely think things are changing. There was much less talk of the Steps, Big Book doctrine, mischief, disease and near-death experiences, and there was more talk of fellowship and the common types of problems that everyone experiences. In particular, several people including the speaker talked about using opiates for medical treatment without any significant issues. They used the word ‘disease’ sparingly. They didn’t recount mischief or ‘almost died from my disease’, and the laugh lines were sparser. Of course, “I always thought that drinking and drugs made people more interesting” got the usual round of hee-haws. Continue reading Winds of Change
Tim’s father drank after work then went out carousing with his friends and then came home and beat his wife and kids. Tim was often beaten to a pulp and he thought that was normal. His mother was a weak woman and usually ‘out of commission’. Now Tim can see the dysfunction for what it was — he has since recovered from his own drinking problems. He has risen the ranks of the West Hollywood AA, and now with 20 years sobriety, is the Secretary of the Old Timers’ meeting. He quickly quieted the room which was filled with friends, who beamed with pride and affection for the tall, handsome man in his early 50’s, as he began his tale. Continue reading How I Learned to Let Go and Accept the Abuse
Abby is in her 50’s and small in stature, but her confidence and insouciance quickly captivated the lively crowd at today’s Old Timer’s meeting in West Hollywood. She first got sober at 22 after years of heavy drinking, during which her cravings were so strong that she had to take drugs just to remain conscious enough to consume enough alcohol to satisfy them. But still it wasn’t enough. Continue reading Abstinence vs Recovery
Today’s meeting in West Hollywood was composed of about 10 old men (myself included), one old woman, and one young woman. The Big Book reading was about a middle age fighting man who kept fighting and drinking despite repeated injuries, who even drank on his hospital bed, and who finally one day fell on his knees and begged for help from his ‘disease’. And then the next day he went to AA and for whatever reason that time out of all the other times finally understood how it works. Something about god. And he never drank and fought again. Will wonders never cease. Continue reading Freedom Prayer
I feel like AA has been getting really boring lately. The speaker’s stories are not as salacious as they used to be. I think it’s because they are leaving out juicy details to avoid glamorizing their hedonistic lifestyle, or to avoid mention of criminality. Certainly, it protects AA’s reputation as a do-gooders society (if they mentioned these things they would easily be identified as the scoundrels that they are). But it makes the meetings boring. The whole point of AA is to drink as cover for mischief. So what’s the point without the mischief? Continue reading AA is getting really boring
Several people at tonight’s meeting in West Hollywood expressed their secret desire to be locked up, either in jail or in a padded room in a mental hospital. Our speaker tonight was a very handsome young man (late 30’s but looked much younger, and very LA style) who spoke of his drug and alcohol career in the mid-west before moving here. He mentioned a desire, during the depths of his drug use, to be sent to jail where all his needs would be taken care of. During the shares, several people commented on that, and described their own desire to be put away. One young man was despondent about his life, and his job as a telemarketer, and expressed his fantasy to commit a crime just so that he’d be locked up. Two of the young women expressed a desire to be put in a padded cell, where they wouldn’t have to worry about anything. Continue reading Lock me up, please!
The speaker at today’s Old Timer’s meeting was a trollish man with a powerful stage presence who recounted the story of his addiction to alcohol and every other drug he could get pudgy hands on. He currently has 35 years sobriety.
His father was an alcoholic – an ‘animal’ who abused his wife and their 9 children. The family had a reputation in the small New England neighborhood for being ‘bad people’, and our venerable speaker was one of the baddest in the bunch. “All I ever been was a punk.” Continue reading Some people will never understand
Today I was turned away from 2 meetings. The first one was an open meeting at the gay center in Hollywood. The leader said I could not attend because I did not have a desire to stop drinking. Of course, this is not a requirement to attend an open meeting. But since they rented out the rooms from the center, they can reject anyone for any reason. But the real reason is that two weeks ago I stood outside the room and handed out my flyers (under the “Activism” tab) as the people left.
So, I handed out my flyers to the latecomers and left. Continue reading Denied, denied!
Tonight’s late night meeting in Weho was full of drama. It’s a regular meeting of mine, and I enjoy it. It’s a mixed gay-straight crowd and interesting people. Today I met a software guy — like me!
I was assigned to read from Chapter 3: More about Alcoholism. I love this chapter, because it says how the alcoholic is constitutionally different from normal people, and the belief that they are the same is delusional. Of course I announce my name and that I am not an alcoholic or addict, and then proceed to read it with gusto. “The delusion that we are like other people, or presently may be, has to be smashed.” Of course this is pure brainwashing. Continue reading Late Night Live
Good new kids!
You can drink and drug until you’re in your 40’s, and run around and be crazy, and even neglect your children. Then, when you start feeling tired and old, just go to AA. Discover you have a disease, have a spiritual awakening, seek forgiveness from everyone you hurt, meet a good man there (don’t forget the 13th step!), and all is well again. It’s a great life!
Again today we heard this inspiring message at the Old-Timer’s meeting. Our distinguished speaker was a 60 y/o woman with a stage presence much younger than her years. Now she is an accomplished health professional with a loving family, but you wouldn’t expect that based on her childhood experience: there was a lot of violence in the home, and dad was super abusive. Continue reading The Purebred Liar
Today I went to two meetings at the gay center. The first meeting wouldn’t let me in because I blogged about it last week (“Addiction Fiction”). Well now you tell me — I didn’t know you weren’t allowed to do that (I didn’t mention any specifics, including even first names). So instead I handed out my flyers, which were met mostly with anger and contempt. But some curiosity, which is greatly appreciated. One guy spoke to me and asked why I was doing this. I said because of the War on Drugs. He said I should do something more useful with my life. Continue reading Double header
Tonight’s featured speaker was a 50-something woman who reclaimed her sobriety and her life among the gays at AA meetings in West Hollywood. She started life as a wild child from the very beginning. She had all sorts of issues early on, including anxiety and depression, and she said that she experienced things that would make anyone want to ‘check out’. It was not at all clear what could have been, however. Her mother was a little crazy, but likeable, and her father was a very responsible man, whom she appreciates much more now after he is gone (he died when she was a teenager). Continue reading Why didn’t you tell me that a long time ago?