The AA group had already ran over time, past that one hour mark that usually concludes such meetings. Maybe I should have simply declined the invitation to share given that fact. I’m not exactly comfortable speaking in front of people I know well, let alone those I’ve only met for the first time. Yet, I felt compelled to share a bit of the how and why I ended up at this AA meeting since asked. Abruptly, in mid-sentence, I was cut off, asked, “But why are you here today?” Feeling rejected and a little confused, I don’t even remember how I responded, just that the meeting ended shortly thereafter with the Lord’s Prayer, polite goodbyes, and a foggy sense that I really needed to get out of there. My next moment of clarity came with the realization that I was already about half-way home and every part of me was pissed-the-fuck-off. It’s rare we’re all in agreement. Back-tracking a bit, I filled in the gaps, nothing dramatic, just the usual BS.
Today, I made a decision. No more Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). I’m done with it. After 50 days of internal conflict over this program, I’m saying, “No more. I’m done.” It’s neither where I need to be, nor does it reflect my beliefs. Recovery is as much an individual process as finding one’s spiritual path, one that does not require combining the two or subjecting myself to biases that are irrelevant to my life. I also have a problem with anyone sowing a seed of doubt in my already frail sense of self (something I’ve worked very hard to begin rebuilding after years of what feels like a shattered existence). That small amount of faith in myself is precisely what has allowed me to survive as long as I have. I’m ultimately rejecting AA for a great many reasons, the ones listed above and in my previous post being the most fundamental reasons. No amount of social support is worth betraying who I am as a person or the self-acceptance to choose what is best for me. And AA just isn’t it.
Update: I realized after I posted this, there is something else I need to say about my experience at today’s AA meeting. My solution to the mental health issues and addiction problems that I face is to talk openly and freely about my past with whomever will compassionately listen. I hung my head in shame for 17 years due to self-blame and religious persecution from “well meaning” Christians who judged me and criticized my life and my choices. For 17 years I kept everything bottled up inside of me without a voice to express my deepest pain. No one believed I was raped. No one believed that the baby I carried for 9 months was a product of that second rape 4 months later. I learned to shut up after the first rape. I learned never to trust again after the second. I’m only now starting to release that pain, and I truly believe that the only freedom I will ever have from it will be in finding my voice again and talking about my past as often as necessary until I purge it from my system. So forgive me if my solution is not suitable for your little club. I was searching for a place to fit in when I found AA, and I will continue searching until I find a place that accepts me for me!