Sunday, March 11, 2012
The Many Faces of AA
It might seem, at an AA or NA meeting, with
everyone scurrying to be on the same page
and show off who can act most 'godly' and 'spiritual,'
that it's all about the conformity. And naturally,
the 12 Steps would be nothing without conformity.
But there are actually a handful of very specific
'types' that make up the regular attendees of most
12 Step programs, and here's the breakdown!
1. The Fanatics.
The die-hard, actual honest-to-God believers.
The Big Book is divinely inspired, alcohol is a demon
that possesses souls, Bill W. was a saint, etc.
The cult of A.A. becomes a lifestyle choice which
they can adopt and memorize. Safety, comfort, dogma.
2. The Predators/Managers/Con-Artists/Super Stars/
Perpetrating a fraud by adapting all the mannerisms
and dogma of the Program. Potentially indistinguish-
able from Fanatics....at first glance. These are the
sociopaths and psychopaths that are adept at mimicking
emotions and seducing people with their lies. Perfect
fit with the dependence of 12 Step. Wolves in the fold.
3. The Ambivalent. meh. Take it or leave it. Likely
to not make waves, just blend it, steer clear of conflict
and controversy. Never make any real poignant comments
or draw attention to self. It's a place to go.
Nonconfrontational, and very vanilla in their shares
(if they share at all.)
4. The Peeps.
Looking for someone to lead them; willing to do or say
whatever they need to. Malleable. No real personality
of their own other than following. Blank slates and no
real boundaries. Needy and desperate; will do whatever
makes others happy and gives them a 'home.' Sheep.
Victims for the wolves, and the primary target demo-
graphic for AA.
5. The Partials.
They kind of believe some of it, and the rest is sort of
insignificant, so they just figure 'why split hairs?' and
go along for the ride. A lot of people are in this boat;
they like the companionship and having somewhere to go,
and there are some ideas they agree with, but there's just
as much that they're at odds with. Constant back-and-forth
and ambivalence about the conflicting ideologies.
6. The Characters/Antagonists.
Controversial, need to be heard. Cranks. Attention
seekers. Make threats against people, cuss, act
outrageously, start conflicts with people. On-again,
off-again attendance. Contrary, defensive, instigators,
advice-givers, show boaters. Nowhere else to go.
7. The Lonely.
Not necessarily any use for AA one way or another;
just lonely. May even feel that the only way to get anyone
to spend time with them is to go where you (supposedly)
can't be asked to leave. May be committed to sobriety or
have no interest in drying up, but they have no place else
to go. (May not even have an alcohol problem, self-confessed
or otherwise.) Willing to overlook the rigidity of program
for a hug and a cup of coffee.
8. The Attemptors.
Trying desperately to mesh their own beliefs with the
groups even though they are diametrically opposed.
Trying to accommodate the bullshit they hear. Trying to
'take what they like and leave the rest.'
Typically, these folks don't last long; when they end up
realizing there's no one else trying to compromise and
met them halfway. Finally it's ingrained that with 12 Step,
or at least the dogmatic disciples who run most groups,
it's 'their way or the highway.'
For them, the facade of the program's integrity has been
shattered beyond oversight.
Despite AA protocol, the groups are run by nothing
but personalities, and when petty dictators who have
been looking for a hole to roost in get their heels dug
in, it's Katie-bar-the-door.
Point being, there are a lot of hurting people who are
willing to try anything and everything to fill the void.
he fact that people attend AA by the masses in not
indicative of anything working. It's a sign of people's
loneliness and desperation. Nothing more.
What if we could teach them all to not drink, based
solely on the power within them? Oh, right...then they
wouldn't be dependent on coming back over and over.