We've all seen and experienced the fanatical Alcoholics Anonymous member. From the 90 day wonders trained in 12 Step Rehabs at about $1000 a day to the court coerced members who do it to avoid jail time, to the sociopath and psychopaths who turn to the internet to get their internet EGO fix, the fact is that you can easily overdose on Alcoholics Anonymous and spend the rest of your life defending the scripture of an adulterous traveling salesman pretending to be a stock broker called Bill Wilson.
Due to the requirement of the confession cult of Alcoholics Anonymous, spawned from the Oxford Group that was banned in many churches and countries worldwide to continually go to meetings and search out "prospects" per the definition of Bill Wilson and "pigeons" per the definition of Dr. Bob, it is obvious that the obsession that Alcoholics Anonymous trains people with obsessive compulsive disorders (OCD) to hunt for new prospects in all of their relationships. When does it become too much? Often started as 90 meetings in 90 days, the narcissistic members of Alcoholics Anonymous often attend many more that the 90 rituals and ceremonies of Alcoholics Anonymous and start to stalk their prey to grow the ranks of the cult of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Can You OD on AA?
Going to meetings every day and sponsoring a bunch of newcomers is fantastic—until you realize you’ve overdone it.
Though Bill was a successful lawyer with offices across the country bearing his name, he finally had to concede that there was something about his life that didn’t spell success: his drinking. At the age of 52, he came into the program of Alcoholics Anonymous and went after it with the same zeal he had applied to his business life. Not too long after, he began to feel burned out.
As he explains, “I’m not saying this recovery thing isn’t for real—it’s a profound change in living—but I do feel that I’ve come to a love-hate affair with AA. In my first year, I did about a dozen meetings a week and after a while, I just began to feel like I was hearing the same things. I think a lot of that worked when AA started and was this low-bottom group of drunks but life has evolved and AA really hasn’t.”
This type of disillusionment can be common for people getting sober, in and out of the 12-step programs. As addiction psychologist and researcher Dr. Adi Jaffe explains, “Like with anything else in life, people can get burned out. Devout 12-step followers may disagree but going to so many meetings in a short period of time can lead to a certain leveling off in their commitment.” Jaffe adds that he had a client “who was going to multiple meetings every day and was relapsing but when she broadened what she was doing—incorporating therapy and other healthy behavioral choices—she seemed to have more positive outcomes and has remained sober since.”
Despite his many meetings, Bill found that it was difficult to find a sponsor in the traditional sense so he asked his therapist to help him to balance out his initial over-commitment to AA. “I have a wonderful therapist, who has 12 years in recovery herself and works with those dealing with addictive disorders,” he explains. “We have worked through a program which would be like the steps but which spoke to my own circumstances. And in that, I began to see that I didn’t have to be defined by the group. I could do AA like a gentleman.”
Dr. Jaffe continues, “Alcoholics Anonymous loves to use the Einstein quote, ‘Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results’ but the irony is that that same principle can be applied to AA.”