Now I do want to make one thing clear: AA is by no means the only way to get sober, or even the best. There is no “best” way.The best way to get sober is how you got sober.
Norcross wrote a couple of articles on Medium in defense of Alcoholics Anonymous against the random studies that come out claiming AA is a cult or ineffective, as well as his personal story that led him to joining AA.
I’m more indirectly connected to AA. My dad, at times it seems, was a member that, if you were counting, would not be considered a success. Then again, a lot of things were unsuccessful in his journey against the bottle1.
Despite my dad still drinking himself to death, despite the AA coins in the dresser drawer for the occasional milestones he was able to hit at times, I hold absolutely nothing against AA.
My dad was an alcoholic. The only person that can take responsibility for that is him. For better or worse, despite seemingly wanting to stop and falling short, AA didn’t fail him.
He failed himself.
AA is not a cult. It is not a miracle. AA is what it is: a self-guided non-professional support group for people who want a self-guided non-professional support group to help them in becoming the master of their addiction.
There is no silver bullet. It doesn’t matter what programs exist, they won’t be able to help everyone. I don’t know the science enough, but there is something with addiction that doesn’t make it as easy to drop as simply showing up to a few meetings and calling someone if you find yourself staring into a bottle of vodka.
Some people need AA. Some people need to just decide they’re going to stop. Some people need in-patient help. Some people don’t want to be sober. Some people never find what they need to empower themselves enough to figure out how to stop it.
Thank you, Andrew, for sharing.
- I still recall vividly Christmas when I was five or six being celebrated at home with the family along with Dad’s chaperone from the in-patient rehab at the AFB hospital. ↩