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Peikoff on Alcoholics Anonymous


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#21 Michael Stuart Kelly

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Posted 23 June 2009 - 09:09 AM

I am watching with great pleasure the views on this thread increase without much discussion.

Good is happening and I like that.

I don't believe in God, but doing as Rand did when talking about the USA, let me say, "God bless any and all of you who are seeking help."

You matter...

Michael

Know thyself...


#22 Ripside

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 11:35 AM

Hello all - I'm new here.  I'm glad I ran across this, and Peikoff's thoughts, on AA. I've been struggling with finding so many aspects of AA troubling, almost offensive at times, but the "fellowship" and having other people around who understand addiction is very helpful.

 

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one trying to reconcile atheism and objectivism, with Alcoholics Anonymous.



#23 Michael Stuart Kelly

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 12:50 PM

Ripside,

 

Hang in there.

 

I don't know what stage you are at, but I learned that the problems of addiction change over time.

 

In the initial stage, you have to stop using. You just have to stop. I wish there were a different way of saying this, but there isn't. Stopping can take time, and it can be complicated, but it is what it is. We don't get to choose the laws of reality. (God knows I tried to pass new ones. :) )

 

And you need to learn to listen more than you speak. (God knows I did. :) )

 

You also need to be around those who root for you to do just those two things as they accept you as precious. AA and NA are great for that. I have nothing but praise and gratitude for them.

 

After that part settles, though (which takes time, lots of time), if you are a person like I am, the social component of AA/NA starts becoming a drag. I realize that I am not the only kind of person that exists, so I say that with reservations. There are plenty of people who resonate perfectly with the social part. There is no right or wrong about it.

 

To give an example of why the social element in a later stage of recovery didn't work for me (but let me emphasize that the first stage not only did, it helped save my life), I am a loner rebel at heart and I like to build things. Something inside me pushes me to go after the big brass ring. That's true even recently, when I have slowed down to a stop and have little but this forum to show for it. The fact is I am studying for a new career and to do it correctly, I had to stop networking.

 

What happened at AA and NA is that back then, I was still quite active in my profession (music and film). When it came to my turn to speak, I would tell of the stuff that was in my heart and what I was doing about it. That involved visiting TV producers, film directors, music studios, video companies, artists, etc., and my hopes and fears and insecurities and tears about getting my dreams accomplished.

 

The result? Did I unburden my heart and take another tiny step in the direction of emotional clarity and sanity?

 

Yes.

 

But at the end of the meetings, I would, also, get a line of people asking me for a job. So that part didn't work out too well for me. :)

 

I actually got entangled with some dumb-ass projects, too. They tell you do not date anyone from AA or NA if you are there trying to deal with your addiction. Since I am a very stupid person about things like that, I not only dated one, I also did some business with others.

 

I cannot blame the disasters that ensued on anyone but myself--and boy were there some spectacular train wrecks! :)

 

I am literally lucky to be alive.

 

Anyway, I am pleased you spoke out here.

 

But note. OL is not an addiction-meeting kind of place. There are even some people in our subcommunity who have very LOUD AND HOSTILE misunderstandings about the reality of what we go through. (Screw 'em, but still realize they are good people.)

 

So, please, speak as much as you are comfortable with. You are not alone. And don't take any negative feedback as anything but the personal opinion of the poster.

 

If you need more, feel free to contact me offline. (I'm not asking you to. I'm merely being here--extending the hand that was given to me.)

 

Best you you.

 

You matter.

 

Michael


Know thyself...


#24 jts

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 12:05 AM

Here is a huge amount of thumbs down stuff about AA.

http://www.orange-papers.org/

 

Here is Dr. Alan Goldhamer on the pleasure trap. He explains the dopamine theory of addiction.

1 hour



#25 daunce lynam

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 01:58 AM

One hour? Make mine a double.



#26 Ripside

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 09:50 AM

Thanks Michael.  

 

I'm one month into my sobriety. Things are good, no burning desires, my mind is sharp again and life is good. The hardest part has been my lack of patience for any type of trust and forgiveness by those around me I negatively affected by my behavior.

 

The club I attend is notoriously less religious than others in the area - yet I'm constantly reminded that the program won't work with half measures, or if I don't turn my life over to my higher power, and let him do the thinking for me. 

 

According to their doctrine, I can either "come around" to their way of thinking and have God in my life - or I can expect failure. The chapter We the Agnostics in the Big Book spells this out clearly. Even your family will "come around" eventually according to the gospel according to Bill.

 

After last night's meeting, it was suggested that I sing "Jesus Loves Me" when things get hard, and to let Jesus take the wheel - and stop thinking I could control this problem through sheer willpower. I was, and extended a warm "thank you," but I felt like a phony, and made a hasty exit before anyone else could push their religious beliefs on me.

 

AA claims to be open to those of all beliefs, but I think that's deceptive.  There is the long term expectation that you will "come around" if you want to be successful. That you'll hand your life over to the collective and let God guide your actions.  

 

 

I'll keep going to their meetings - but with the knowledge that it's not a long term solution.  Meanwhile, I'm looking into other organizations and groups who specifically exclude any religious aspect from their program, such as the Secular Organization for Sobriety.

 

If I can't find one, I'll organize my own secular group for those in recovery and apply objectivist philosophy, where rational thinking is applied, and the strength within one's own self can in fact lead to continued sobriety.  One where the individual is given credit for their successes rather than the collective group or a higher power. One that doesn't become a crutch, or a replacement addiction.  



#27 PDS

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 02:47 PM

One hour? Make mine a double.

 

I miss Carol! 



#28 tmj

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 09:40 AM

Addiction sucks, not sure why god ever invented it. Facts are objective , but experience is subjective. I think support from ,' fellowshipping' with, former addicts is very beneficial for those seeking to end an addiction, on various levels and especially on a an emotional one.

Jack Trimpey's book "Rational Recovery: The New Cure for Substance Addiction" discusses addiction from a structual model and not the 'popular' disease model that most programs are based on. I highly recommend this book.



#29 Selene

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 09:51 AM

Jack Trimpey's book "Rational Recovery: The New Cure for Substance Addiction" discusses addiction from a structual model and not the 'popular' disease model that most programs are based on. I highly recommend this book.

 

Here is their website:

 

https://rational.org/index.php?id=1

 

A...


"Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice..and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."

#30 PDS

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 11:01 AM

It is a rather nice, synchronistic coincidence that Trimpey's theory of addiction recovery is consistent with the theories of Julian Jaynes

 

HIs theory also coincides with one of my favorite songs

 

The beast in me
Is caged by frail and fragile bars
Restless by day
And by night, rants and rages at the stars
God help the beast in me
The beast in me
Has had to learn to live with pain
And how to shelter from the rain
And in the twinkling of an eye
Might have to be restrained
God help the beast in me
Sometimes it tries to kid me
That it's just a teddy bear
Or even somehow manage
To vanish in the air
Then that is when I must beware
Of the beast in me
That everybody knows
They've seen him out dressed in my clothes
Patently unclear
If it's New York, or New Year
God help the beast in me
The beast in me

 

It would be nice if this song didn't hit home quite so hard with me...



#31 Michael Stuart Kelly

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 11:02 AM

I miss Carol! 

 

David,

 

I agree.

 

She's addicting.

 

:)

 

Michael


Know thyself...


#32 Michael Stuart Kelly

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 11:11 AM

Rational Recovery is great for those who resonate with it.

 

So far, the only universal I have found in addiction recovery is you have to stop using. That will cure you. But, boy, did I not want to hear that when I was active. :)

 

How you get to abstinence is another matter.

 

My advice to addicts (and believe me, I love every one of you) is to try out the different methods and approaches and see which one makes you feel better as you get used to not using. Then go that way.

 

And don't pay any attention to the bashing one group does to another. They all mean well. But their problems are not your problem, which is to get out of the downward spiral you are in before you kill yourself--and learn to love being alive (without using) again. You loved like that as a child. You can do it again.

 

Michael


Know thyself...





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