As a recovering alcoholic who has just celebrated seventeen years of sobriety and who still attends two meetings a week, I disagree with Mr. Judge’s conclusions about recovery. Having attended many AA meetings over the years, I have seen my share of horrifying “drunk-a-log” swapping and pity parties but that is why those with sober time under their belts should stick around, not why they should leave. The central idea of AA is that the most effective means of getting sober is one drunk helping another. While the point of recovery is reintegration into society as a whole, the recovering alcoholic should never lose sight of who and what he is. There is no graduation. Besides, how will newcomers ever learn the way out if everyone who has found success leaves?
It is the responsibility of those who have recovered to give back what has been so freely given to them, namely the experience, strength, and hope of those who have gone before them. They need to show the newcomer that there is life after alcohol and it is good. If I don’t like the tone of a meeting, it is my responsibility to steer it back onto recovery and to put the focus back on the solution rather than the problem. The most important thing my sponsor taught me is that my recovery is solely my responsibility but, paradoxically, I cannot do it alone. No one ever died because they sat through a “bad” meeting. However, many of us have buried friends who stopped attending AA, forgot what they were, and drank again. That is the real tragedy.p>Dr. Bob, the pragmatic half of the duo who founded AA, wrote about why he continued to go to meetings. To paraphrase him, he kept going because of a sense of duty, for pleasure, as payback for those who helped him and as insurance against the next drink. That answer works for me. In recovery, we speak of “trudging the Road of Happy Destiny.” Anyone stuck in a recovery cul-de-sac is doing something wrong. I have known alcoholics like James Frey over the years, posturing and embellishing their stories for effect and thinking they have everyone fooled. We simply look them in the eye, smile, and invite them to keep coming back. br> — Anonymous Alcoholic in Maryland /p>
There’s much truth in the piece by Mark Gauvreau Judge. Someone out there will relate to your story. To the witches brew of “One-Downsmanship” mix in a handful of repressed memories and a dollop of self-pity. Top off with a heaping spoonful of con artist bravado and voila—an instant best-seller!p>Despite Oprah’s condemnation, James Frey will continue to seek a market for his book. It’s scheduled to come out in paperback with only a slight modification of the title to: “Would You Believe 500,000 Little Pieces?” br> —
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?