As you know from reading this blog, there are two types of addicts: the brainwashed and the liars. At today’s meeting in Hollywood we were privileged to hear from both.
Our featured speaker was a lovely woman who started drinking as a young lady after getting a job as a waitress at a bar. Even though she was a shy and delicate girl, there was something about being at the bar that made her comfortable. She felt at home with the alcoholics, whose ranks she soon joined. She spent the next 10 years blackout drinking.
She just assumed she was an alcoholic. So when she met a man who told her on the first date: “Just don’t ever ask me to stop drinking,” well it was a match made in heaven.
Eventually she realized that she had a problem. She went to AA and stopped drinking (after one or two relapses), and spent another 8 years doing the steps. Then she got depressed again. What was going on? By this time she was supposed to be happy — wasn’t that the promise of all this hard work? It turns out, she had been suppressing a memory all these years. As a young teenager she had overdosed on drugs, and instead of taking her to the hospital, her parents kept her home in bed. They never discussed it again. She felt like they treated her as if she was not a real person. She describes her life after this point as ‘walking suicide’.
This is a tragic story and I would not make light of it. However, unfortunately our young lady succumbed to the Myth of Addiction. She believed that she was an alcoholic and unable to control her drinking. In reality, she was self-medicating her psychological pain. (See Types of Addiction Fakers – Malingerer) If she had realized that drinking was a choice, then she would not have wasted 10 years of her life inside a bottle — as one big act of passive-aggressive revenge against her parents. She would have gotten the help she needed and moved on. Or at least she would have moved on.
The message in our schools to impressionable children is: “Don’t do drugs because you might get addicted.” This is the wrong message. It unintentionally abets addiction, as in this case. The message should be,”If you find yourself drinking too much, it means you are suppressing emotional pain. Figure out what it is. Don’t drown 10 years of your life inside a bottle.”
This is one of the great ironic tragedies of the Addiction Myth. We believe that by teaching children about addiction we are helping them and their families avoid the psychic pain caused by the ‘disease’. In fact we are only increasing it.
As I mentioned, we also heard from a liar/psychopath today. The speaker was a lovely young man, early 30’s (?), who had 60 days sober. (Clap, clap, clap.) He comes from a long line of alcoholics (i.e. psychopaths and liars). He has long had a problem with drinking and frequent abstinences and relapses. About a year ago he drove his car into a house, and has no recollection of it. “Yes I was really drunk!” he says laughing. The room erupts in laughter. Wow talk about getting really drunk!
But wait… he drove into a house??!! He could have killed someone!! This is no laughing matter. This guy should be in jail, and here he is laughing about it? The room is laughing about it? This is the great flaw of AA: do your amends, laugh about it, then relapse a few months later and do it again. You get as many chances as you want. Hopefully you’ll stay out of jail. But if not, a year behind bars isn’t the end of the world — and will actually improve your credibility when speaking at meetings. AA is a refuge for psychopaths: it offers unlimited acceptance as long as you can convincingly relate the power of addiction over your life.
Continuing with the story: when he wakes up the next day in the hospital, he is told that he has killed a girl who was sleeping in the house. He crushed her with his car. He is besides himself — sick with grief, regret and sadness. He also knows he is going to jail for a long time. He promises himself he will never touch another drop of alcohol again. Then 24 hours later they tell him it wasn’t true: he knocked the girl out of bed but didn’t kill her. He has been granted a reprieve! But of course, he sticks to his promise never to drink again.
Until a few months later he is drinking again. But it’s ok. He stopped and now has 60 days sober. He gets a 60-day chip! (Clap, clap, clap.)
And oh did I mention he once had a really hot, tall blond boyfriend? Yes he did. Unfortunately he died of alcohol related disease at 34. Despite the tragedy, he refrained from hitting the bottle at the time. Thank goodness for the 12 steps — it really works!
Remember boys and girls, this alcohol stuff is deadly. If alcohol doesn’t kill you, and you don’t kill yourself drunk driving, and he doesn’t kill you drunk driving, then at least you can have as much fun as he’s having! Just remember to take a break from the boozing every once in a while and drop in to your local AA meeting to pick up a chip for your collection.
By propagating the Myth of Addiction to impressionable young minds, AA is a menace to public health.