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A special thanks... and goodbye
Thu, 08/09/2012 - 21:20
Still in use today or a historical artifact?
Thu, 08/09/2012 - 21:27
Doesn't AA have a similar questionaire?
Remember Christopher Stevens when you vote.
Thu, 08/09/2012 - 21:44
"Did you know less than 10% of people get a second medical or treatment opinion!"
Fri, 08/10/2012 - 07:53
It is the same pamphlet.
Mon, 09/03/2012 - 02:37
Way back in the day, when I first discovered AA, this test was offered to me as a way to see if I were an alcoholic. The person who gave it to me was really expectant, hoping that I would become convinced by it.
At the time I'd voluntarily come to AA for the purpose of checking it out and I knew very little about it, much less about alcoholism. Several of the questions appeared to be quite circumstantial--for instance, one could be hassled about drinking by tee-totaling hyper-religious relative and have to answer yes to the question "Do you wish people would leave you alone about your drinking?"
There is a question concerning blackouts. A majority of college students experience drinking blackouts, but the test implies that they are evidence of alcoholism.
Other questions are clearly for people whose problems are severe, for instance I recall there was one about drinking in the morning. Some of my friends tried this as a lark while gardening, but I've never done it. It seemed like a pretty outrageous thing to do. The closest I ever came was some years after hearing all kinds of AA stuff, I wanted to be able to claim I' had a morning drink to make my story better. I went to the worst bar in town, that opened at 6 in the morning. There was a chronic drunkard out back who was clearly still intoxicated from the night before. There were also a few normal-looking people in the bar. My drink was a Bloody Mary. I tried it. It was gross. I couldn't have more than one sip. But I would never have gotten the idea to do even this, not ever, except for what I had heard in AA.
There is a disservice done to young people when the ordinary revels of youth are treated as evidence of an incurable, progressive disease that leads to things like drinking in the morning. Before I went to AA I didn't even know that a person could be drunk all day, or even stay drunk for days. The notion hadn't even occurred to me that a person would do that. But I came to see how a person with some sense of shame about drinking, who would wish to at least appear moderate, could be changed into a person who saw just two paths ahead: one of total abstinence in AA and the other of uncontrolled boozing.
That person, believing that his drinking days are numbered, might start drinking without inhibition as a result of fears acquired in AA itself. He might treat each night of of drinking as though it were his last. He might want to go out with a bang and then quit. He could acquire all sorts of ludicrous ideas by hanging out in those magic rooms.
Before I went to AA, there was only one person I had ever met in my whole life who had been in jail. The son of a family friend had told me that he went to jail for one night and I thought it was rather scandalous. However in AA people talked about going to jail like it was a rite of passage. They clearly imagined that my future included some Jail time because they had been to jail and assumed that I was like them.
These people were so fascinating and so weird, I just had to stick around.
And what was that book they were so interested in...?
Mon, 09/03/2012 - 03:28
like you mentioned, going jail. My sponsor told me about an AA member at the local bar who recently killed another man in a bar fight. He treated it like a lesson for me, but that doesn't ring true at all for my situation, for several reasons (I drank only at home for years and had no issues with aggression). I was surprised about a homicide occurring just down the street from me, or even in this small town; the idea that "this is what alcoholism will do to you" just seemed to fit into a convenient narrative.
One thing (mentioned many times on this forum): AA's zero-sum game, all-or-nothing mentality is apparent in how "time" is tracked. Some lie repeatedly about how much time they really have; but that isn't just about being "constitutionally incapable of being honest" but rather (in part) a byproduct of the idea of having to "Start over" after every "relapse" (regardless of the amount of alcohol consumed, over what period of time, and so forth)--and that leads to binge drinking, as has been observed. (Can't point to the studies right now, sorry.)
Being in a meeting and admitting you "relapsed" doesn't always feel safe--sometimes it ISN'T safe--but that's a situation (one of many) in which someone really needs AA to "work" for them and it doesn't. (For some it does, granted.)
People can be at their lowest point (or close to it)--at their weakest--and they can be treated more like stereotypical "alkies" instead of individuals. They may be fortunate enough to have people there who can offer them real support, but many are not so lucky. I wish I could be more specific, but I'm tired. These issues come up a lot in OPF posts (like in recent posts from YM). So I know I'm saying nothing "new."