That's a bigger question than one answer can
address, but let me start by saying that there
are a myriad of options.
All health concerns are improved by
addressing all components of an individual's
life; harmony is required in the areas of
physical, mental, psychological, emotional,
chemical, and spiritual well being. Isolating
just one--proclaiming it to be the only area
in need of nurturing--is disingenuous and
All of our humanness is interrelated;
we are adversely affected in many ways
if we are not taking care of ourselves
by keeping up proper nutrition, exercise,
psychologically fitness, rest properly, etc.
This is given some minor lip service,
almost as an after-thought, in AA when
they reference the HALT model for
determining individuals' healthiness.
(The wellness field coined the acronym--
which stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely,
Tired--to help people keep track of key
points of interest that are crucial
to good balanced health.)
In other words, if you find yourself going
without food, not getting enough sleep,
etc., then you need to STOP and do some-
thing about it, because missing out on
certain things is a slippery slope for leading
into other destructive behaviors. Our minds
become altered and more susceptible with-
out proper food, rest, companionship, and
These are things we must proactively
take steps to address, not simply pray about.
Now, avoiding becoming angry is touchy,
because there is such a thing as healthy
anger. It's an emotion that serves us well
in the correct time, place, quantity, and
method of release. It's when we hold on
to anger and seethe and manifest vengeance
and are adversely affected by it that it
is an issue.
One thing I notice in AA is that most
people are so busy trying to impress
everyone with how tolerant and spiritual
and 'godly' and benevolent they want to
appear to be, they shut down the naturally
occurring upset that takes place in life.
If you aren't honest, if you don't release
anger in a healthy and productive manner,
it doesn't simply dissipate; it simmers and
comes out in other areas. It can be more
detrimental to pretend you aren't angry
when you are.
There's also nothing at all wrong about
seeking a good counselor (no, not a priest)
to guide you through your psychological
Again, not as a guru or a source of depen-
dency, but as part of a larger framework
of positive outlets. If you choose to use AA
as your shrink, you are going to be sorely
disappointed (unless having your business
spread all over the group and the town is
therapeutic to you.)
You can and should explore other options
of sources of strength as well as spiritual
paths, treatment of chemical addiction,
sources of alcohol abuse, and more.
Knowledge is power, despite what AA
Just because people smile and say you
can trust them doesn't mean it's true.
Remember; these are sick alcoholics who
believe that being a lying, manipulating,
thieving bastard is all part of their identity
and make-up, unavoidable even. Even if
they are 'working on' improving, that's not
a ringing endorsement. Maybe other drunks
can empathize with a drunk's problems
best, but as for helping you to get better?
That's why they do have qualified medical
Unfortunately most of them have been
convinced by either the insurance companies,
the courts, or social pressure to believe AA
is a cure-all. I wouldn't ask a crazy person
to tell me how to stop suffering from bi-polar
disorder, no matter how pulled together they
may appear for an hour a day. Explore. Ask
questions. Investigate. Your well being is
certainly worth it.
Here are some other sources for other
means of help, and I'll have more to follow.
You can also search most of these organi-
zations on youtube for video presentations.
http://www.rational.org/(or you can search 'Rational
Recovery' on wikipedia)
Most of these sites or non-profit, but I
included a few for-profit because the
information on these sites is good
and can give you some insights even
if you don't have the funds to participate.
There are also a boat-load of online
forums where you can visit and speak
with people who don't require you to
submit to their dogma in order to get
well. I've never had a doctor tell
me I had to speak and act and think
like him/her in order to get
rid of a kink in my back. Funny, that.
AA's trademarked phrase of "If you
don't do it our way and keep coming
to meetings, you'll 'go back out' and
you'll die!!" is not only fictitious,
it is alarmist, purposely misleading,
Think for yourself...and allow others
to do the same.
Independence is power; dependence is death.