SlogansA colleague was recalling his stay in a residential rehab where he’d landed after many misadventures, including a week in the state mental institution. “I could look out the window of my room at the big religious cross on the mountainside. It gave me hope.”

“So that’s where you got sober?” I asked, which startled him. “No, no,” he corrected, “AA got me sober. The other was just something that happened along the way.”

I hear that a lot in my travels– many different things contributed, but it was through AA that the goal was reached. As to exactly how it works, that’s a matter of opinion.

“I made new friends, good ones, among people who were like me,” explained one young man. “It was a place where I could fit in when I didn’t fit very well anywhere else.”

“Good advice,” claimed another. “I had like three sponsors. My main one and then somebody else to advise me on my relationships, which was a real problem area for me, and a third that I trusted for other stuff. I didn’t plan it, that’s just the way things worked out for me.”

“I think it’s ultimately about working the Steps,” a woman said. “The rest of it is to get you started and  keep you going. Which is not all that easy.”

“AA was one place where I could go for an hour or two and not feel like such a failure,” revealed a police officer.

“At first, I needed somewhere to go in the afternoon because they wouldn’t let me back in the shelter til 6PM,” admitted another woman. “I went for the coffee and the air conditioning. It was months before I talked to anybody.”

When I first got into counseling, I had this sneaky feeling that it couldn’t possibly be that simple. But then again, maybe it is.

Please Comment Below


Check out John Kelly from the Recovery Research Institute. Some valuable info as to AA efficacy.

Comment by Becky Ryba — July 24, 2016 @ 8:04 am

A lot of polyanna stories and slogans, but no real answers on how to treat alcoholism. Most of the “addiction industry” including the court system is tired to AA propaganda. A so-called addiction program with no proven data to show it actually works!
Meanwhile, recovery and addiction centers are raking in the dough by loading up a van of ‘patients’ and dropping them off at 12-Step meetings where they meet G-d knows who and from which they are to choose an all-knowing Sponsor who is very often completely self-absorbed, and sometimes bat sh *t crazy.
AA was probably quite helpful to many alcoholics in the PAST. But since addiction became a low overhead, cottage industry, it is now nothing more than a FARCE!

Comment by USAFmedicVET — June 14, 2016 @ 10:38 pm

in reply to mr novak

I think it’s ultimately about working the Steps – work the 12 steps of AA is the answer !

it is a solution which can work if you work it –

Comment by nicholas lynn — November 18, 2014 @ 3:19 pm

Not one explanation of HOW it works. How many people get sober in AA despite AA? It’s not that simple and i have disdain for articles that make AA look easy, or proffer AA as the only or best solution for such a complex condition as addiction.

Comment by Charles Novak — November 17, 2014 @ 4:09 pm

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