I Am 90 Days Sober but Am So Annoyed at Some of Things I Hear in AA Meetings. Why?

Question by mike r: I am 90 days sober but am so annoyed at some of things I hear in AA meetings. Why?
Don’t get me wrong. It saved my life. I was drinking a handle bottle of booze everyday and smoking heroin and shooting oxycontin. I was on a quick road to death. But, there are a few things that annoy the crap out of me in EVERY meeting I go to. The use of such words as ‘normie’ and ‘I’m a grateful alcoholic’ and ‘in these walls’ or ‘in these rooms’ and when the literature person tells the meeting that there is reading material they can pick up from the rack and the whole group says ‘nice rack’ like it is funny or something. Or when the secretary asks if anyone can help clean up after the meeting has concluded and a bunch of nimrods all yell out ‘that’s the secretary’s job.’ I can’t forget to mention how many people overuse the ‘this disease is so cunning, baffling, powerful.’ Last, but certainly not least, is when they close with the Lord’s prayer and the person says ‘who’s father?’ then the group starts the ‘Our Father who….’ Anyway, I’m just rambling on and on but I wish people didn’t have to be so stereotypical AA dorks. It gets so annoying. Have some originality and quit being a robot like everyone else.

I’ll end by saying, again, I like the program. It has worked wonders for me. But, there are so many meetings I will not step foot into anymore because of everything I mentioned above. It is just way too annoying & really shows what huge followers some of these people are. I’m hoping the few meetings that are free of the crap will not be infested by other AA members that enjoy being a robot so I can continue to stay sober.

If you go to AA and can answer my question as to why so many people say the same thing and can’t get an original thought in their head I would appreciate it. Thanks.

Best answer:

Answer by Tink
Youre new – and you can be as irritated with it as you want….(and trust me, everyone is irritated with it at first – however, as you gain more time, the ones who are intolerant of it stop going, and go back out – and things get worse)

Have you “worked” the steps yet? or are you just going to meetings and still suffering?

What do you think? Answer below!

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3 Responses to “I Am 90 Days Sober but Am So Annoyed at Some of Things I Hear in AA Meetings. Why?”

  • essentiallysolo:

    over time, alcohol causes brain damage…. I’d have more compassion for them than you seem to show, they probably cannot help what they do. Find yourself some other meetings if you have so little compassion, but don’t expect a lot of compassion directed toward you if you have so little for others.

  • S.K.:

    Mike, first up, congratulations on saving your own life.

    Second, I’ve heard a lot of similar complaints from in-person and online friends who did the same thing. Many bristled at the group-speak and in-words, the people who seem to think they’re clever or funny or deep or have the answers and feel compelled to speak their minds aloud, the religious overtones.

    Some found different meetings had a different vibe–what happens at your typical meeting might be completely different from another location’s typical meeting. And some found that other stay-sober programs worked better for them than AA.

    In the end, even if there’s a huge and grating level of AA dorkdom you cannot escape, you can still be grateful they helped you reclaim yourself. Consider them the way you do relatives–accepted despite a host of annoying traits.

  • raysny:

    I no longer attend AA, partly because of some of the things you’ve mentioned. Another big reason is that I’m an atheist. I’m of the opinion that faith can be a tool for sobriety, but it shouldn’t be the only tool. Folks in AA told me that I couldn’t get sober without belief in a Higher Power (that everyone calls God). I was never able to stay sober for more than a few months while in AA, I now have 9 years sobriety on my own.

    Powerlessness and the disease theory remove the blame, but also make people helpless. If you don’t believe you can do something, chances are you won’t be able to do it. I had to take responsibility for my addiction so that I could take responsibility for my recovery.

    A few years ago, I went to a meeting on my fifth anniversary. The chairwoman was droning on about how she would have 19 years at the end of the month IF God saw fit. It was as she had no choice in the matter, it was being worked out between her Higher Power and her disease. AA doesn’t teach coping skills, it teaches powerlessness and fear. The people in that meeting for the most part seemed shaky and scared, they had nothing I wanted.

    I had five years and so now it didn’t matter if I was an atheist, they could always use another success story. They wanted me to join, guess they needed a token atheist, someone they could point to and tell the newcomer, “See, AA works for everyone.”

    I’ve attended hundreds of meetings in 5 different states, the differences I’ve found from one meeting to the next has been vast as the differences from one MacDonald’s to the next.

    AA seems safe because you’re surrounded by others who are trying to stay sober, but if you ask them how they stay sober, all you get is slogans. Robert Jay Lifton would call these slogans “thought-terminating clichés”.
    The uneasiness you describe is cognitive dissonance:

    The truth is everybody gets sober on their own and some of them happen to be in AA at the time.

    The NIAAA’s 2001–2002 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions interviewed over 43,000 people. They found that people who met the criteria for alcohol dependence found in the DSM-IV:

    “* About 70 percent of affected persons have a single episode of less than 4 years. The remainder experience an average of five episodes. Thus, it appears that there are two forms of alcohol dependence: time-limited, and recurrent or chronic.
    * Although 22 is the average age when alcohol dependence begins, the onset varies from the mid-teens to middle age.
    * Twenty years after onset of alcohol dependence, about three-fourths of individuals are in full recovery; more than half of those who have fully recovered drink at low-risk levels without symptoms of alcohol dependence.
    * About 75 percent of persons who recover from alcohol dependence do so without seeking any kind of help, including specialty alcohol (rehab) programs and AA. Only 13 percent of people with alcohol dependence ever receive specialty alcohol treatment.”

    AA has about a 5% success rate, the same as quitting on ones own, except that AA has a higher mortality rate. George Vaillant, former Harvard professor, researcher, and AA Trustee, set out to prove that AA worked. Instead, he found, “Not only had we failed to alter the natural history of alcoholism, but our death rate of three percent a year was appalling.”

    If the slogans and repetition are bothering you now, can you imagine a lifetime of them? People can and do recover from alcoholism every day, without AA.