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Help With Resisting Impending Aa Coercion


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Anyone who knows anything about AA knows it is a thinly veiled re-packaging of Protestant Christianity. There is, at best, tenuous evidence that it does anything. However, what it undoubtedly does do is reinforce Christian principles of hopelessness without god (or in their attempt at political correctness god can be "something", other than yourself).

 

Essentially I was arrested for possession or marijuana, and Alcohol. They told me that since it was my first time, that I had a good chance of having it expunged for my record, but in order to do so I must do whatever the judge decides. More than likely I will have to go to AA. Since I am well aware of this affront to first amendment rights, and of psychological manipulation which is taken directly from Christian coercive tactics, I am scared I will not be able or alert enough to deflect the manipulation, and will be sucked back into philosophies of inability and dependence, lack of self-confidence, and self-doubt as well as mistrust.

 

I need the help of you guys to come up with methods of self-defense and resistance to being convinced that I do not have the power that as a human, with my own will and intelligence, has. I don't want to enforce doctrines of doom and self-denigration.

 

Can anyone here help me?

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Only advice I can offer is just try to keep your mind sharp, question everything. You could try meditation or aerobic exercise. And in all honesty, the "war on pot" is fucking stupid. Better than smoking cigarettes. If I was a cop I don't think I could arrest a person for just carrying around some MJ.

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This is really weird, how is possession of alcohol a crime unless you are a minor.

 

If this was a DUI then suck it up.

 

Even when I did pot in my early 20's, I never carried it around. That's stuff you do at home.

 

The only ones here that get criminal records are dealers.

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Anyone who knows anything about AA knows it is a thinly veiled re-packaging of Protestant Christianity. There is, at best, tenuous evidence that it does anything.

 

I understand your reticence, but this is bullshit. The truth is that it isn't a one-size fits all - but it is successful for many who are ready to face themselves and their illness. I've seen it in action throughout my family. So you can dislike the higher-power aspect of it, but don't cast aspersions where it's not warranted.

 

Frankly, most of the recovering alkies I know *aren't* Christian. Some are Hindu, some are irreligious, or deist, a couple are atheist, where they simply look to nature/the universe as their *higher power* - I suppose that would be borderline pantheistic. Point is, they don't believe in some personal god - just that there is a power, even if it's just nature, greater than themselves. It's a means of bringing outside consciousness into the recovery effort so the alcoholic isn't just depending on the stories inside his head.

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@Living Life I am a minor.....I'm 19. I was not driving or anything, I was a passenger in a truck that got pulled over for not signaling while turning left, when we were headed to a party. She went a different way than everyone else.

 

I guess the culture has changed, nowadays it is completely normal to have pot at parties, in fact it is kind of strange if no one has any, at least from my experiences. In fact, it's helped my a lot in socializing. and no, I am far from a dealer, I only had 20 grams on me and that was all I had.

 

The big book, at least originally, was referring to the God of protestant doctrines. For instance, the idea that we are powerless, inherently sick, without "something else", was originally specifically referring to our personal helplessness without God (originally the Christian god), or something more powerful in the more politically correct version we have today. It reeks of the Christian doctrine of a fundamental "sickness" of man. Whether you believe in an outside consciousness or not, there is ample evidence that the things implied or explicitly taught in AA, such as personal inability without another power, are false and even counter-productive for many people. There are equal or greater amounts of individuals who quit of their own accord (with social and therapeutic help perhaps, but still of their own initiative). I cannot speak for the modern day institution, but at the very least I can say that it is religious, and unconstitutionally coercive when mandated by a court.

 

I know from personal experience that telling yourself you are powerless, or a victim, is a (negative) belief; a belief that is detrimental and self-defeating, not to mention false. If I had kept praying for a higher power to heal me of major depression, instead of starting to believe in myself, I would have probably ended up never healing, or established the coping skills which have kept me alive. It was me that did it, I had help, of course, but it wasn't a higher power, it was me with the tools, people, and medicine that helped me. I guess I could label CBT my higher power, but I doubt that would be a respected definition of "higher power". Also, why reject the power of yourself while accessing this higher power? Why downplay your own inherit power? Teaching someone that alcoholism is a disease that cannot be truly cured, and their chemical dependence is an integral part of a person which will plague them for their whole life, is morally wrong as well as false (It is fixable, assuming you also help them with their underlying issues)

 

I have absolutely no problem with spirituality, or spiritualism in the sense of connection, or belief in something, I have a problem with teaching others they (even with professional help) are inadequately equipped to save themselves, and must appeal to something "higher" while rejecting their self as "diseased"; it teaches them to shrug responsibility while simultaneously teaching them they are weaker than they are, exacerbating issues of insecurity or hopelessness, while offering only the one way out. This is not some arbitrary hatred. I know that I would probably have killed myself, or never persevered through my episode of severe depression, if I had not been told that I have the ability to help myself. I see that in instances, even ones which are not of your control, that relying on something else rather than yourself and your own ability can very easily lead to insufficient coping skills (which is probably a large factor in why an alcoholic turns to alcohol in the first place).

 

I'm not saying it doesn't help anyone at all, but there is little to no evidence to support that AA is the only way, much less the best way, to help those who suffer with alcoholism; yet we still treat it as such (Approximately 97% of rehabilitation facilities use it as a primary, or even exclusive, method). I must also say I have no issue with you personally ToonForever, I just reject the idea that AA is a, as an efficient the many many individuals, who were not helped by AA and who were the worse for believing what they were told in those meetings. Maybe I am confusing the original tenets with modern practice, but it can't be denied their is an inherit bias to some amount of religious belief and a significant component negative self-denigration.

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There are groups that do not follow the religious model, not sure about your area. Also try searching for non-religious aa.

Here is one group http://www.sossobrie...ings/states.htm

 

Thanks, I actually heard of them, the only thing is they are no where near me :/

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@Living Life I am a minor.....I'm 19. I was not driving or anything, I was a passenger in a truck that got pulled over for not signaling while turning left, when we were headed to a party. She went a different way than everyone else.

 

I guess the culture has changed, nowadays it is completely normal to have pot at parties, in fact it is kind of strange if no one has any, at least from my experiences. In fact, it's helped my a lot in socializing. and no, I am far from a dealer, I only had 20 grams on me and that was all I had.

I forgot in the US it is 21. Here it is 18 but they have been making noises of upping it to 21 with huge opposition from those that make a shitload of money from late teens.

 

Just a general question. In the country of my birth, the minor laws were redacted if you got married. IOW (usually due to shotgun weddings) once married and had a kid and all, they could be served alcohol kinda like if you old enough to be married you are old enough to drink (usually at hotel terraces and beer gardens). The age of consent was 16 so (usually for the females) it was not uncommon to have a 17something mother being allowed to drink while the age was still 18. This held true for PG18 movies. This was similar to guys that volunteered at age 16+ for military duty, they were allowed to drink in the confines of the barracks at the mess (2 beers per day max) and would be served in a pub if in uniform.

 

It is also not unusual here to have minors working in a bottle store as cashiers.

 

I guess the other aspect is that our traffic cops have no rights other than to enforce traffic laws. Whenever we have a roadblock with aspects of looking for drugs and illegal weapons, the actual police would be there with the traffic cops and do the searching etc. Obviously a traffic cop can make an arrest of say a wanted criminal but they may not search your vehicle w/o real police being present.

 

It is kinda lame the lengths US cops go to in "managing" alcohol abuse, perhaps a holdover mentality from the prohibition era?

 

Back here, kids can only get their driver's license at 18+ and learners at age 17.

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dude, you guys know I have belonged for 22 years. Forget fighting it. It's established (much like the church) and will probably not fall apart for a long, long time, unless we have the energy to start something new. You cannot go in there and buck the system.

 

I have lived by one thing at AA for a long time. Tradition 3: ''The only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking.'' That's it in a nutshell for me. I turn a deaf ear (as best as I can) to all the other stuff about god. Yeah, it gets on my nerves.....the whole world believes in god, so no matter where you go - we will fight this as non-believers.Wendyshrug.gif

 

I let them have their belief - it keeps them sober and off the streets. There are hundreds of great people at AA and most of them are not fundamentalists. ''Regular believers'' who believ in the universal 'power'. AA has worked nicely for many, many people. It's a great social network and a lot of fun-loving people. That's what I keep my eyes on. Remember, all these people were party amimals!!You can't have better fun than with an ex druggie or alcoholic. Our stories are too insane!!

 

What I focus on now as a non-believer is that everyone who goes there, has the common problem of abusing alcohol. Same reason I come here everyday....I have depended on all the people here at EX -c to help me deconvert. We all have that common denominator of questioning the christian god..

 

My 'higher power' is the people there. I have named 'the group'' as my higher power, (they don't know this nor do they really care ) Yeah, you will get your share of christians.. but I have been just keeping my mouth quiet with them. I don't tell them much.

 

I think the biggest question you will have to make is..... Do you have a desire to stop drinking? Cause if you don't, it will never work...neither will therapy or any other secular type of AA group which has no belief in god........ No one can force us to give up anything. We must want to.

 

The big book does have a lot of wisdom in it - much the same as different parts of the bible.....good 'bits' to live by. One sentence in the Big book' says:' If you have decided that you want what we have and are willing to go to any lengths to get it, then you are willing to take certain steps.............

 

You must WANT to go to any lengths and that will include concentrating on why you are there and turning a deaf ear to all the god stuff.

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You know at the age of 19, imbibing booze was a way of building up courage to approach girls and plying them with booze in the hopes they would let down their guard.

 

None of that works really and is temporary, kinda the times when I did get lucky but was too pissed to shag or romance the panties off the lass. You live and learn and grow up and then have more success with less alcohol.

 

Being a minor, usually stuff like this was given to the parents to deal with as below 18 you were usually still at school.

 

I really cannot see a typical 19 year old having an alcohol abuse problem. Looking back to when I was that age, my tolerance to alcohol was low and ended up speaking to the big white telephone more often than not, usually binge drinking and doing down downs.

 

Later in life it was not uncommon for me to imbibe up to 8 beers or equivalent spirits a day and still be relatively sober. That was more of a risk of me getting into a dependency mode, plus I could afford it.

 

I really cannot see if you were on your way to a party that this can be seen as a alcohol problem.

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I really cannot see a typical 19 year old having an alcohol abuse problem.

 

I really cannot see if you were on your way to a party that this can be seen as a alcohol problem.

 

Wendytwitch.gif Living life......FIRST time I ever disagreed with you in over a year!!! (first time for everything wink.pngbiggrin.png )

 

You want to see the youngs ones coming in the dooors of AA!! They are screaming for help. I sit there and watch them cry like little children.They have been drinking since age 12-13!! They are raging alcoholics at 19! Their dear lives are a mess and we have to help them.

 

And yes, for a lot of young ones (or older) driving on your way to any party can always be a bad sign that one is headed for trouble. For instance - will they drive that same vehicle home??

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Margee, not denying that happens, my assertion was more the typical teen which I was at one time.

 

I only started drinking at 17-9mo when I started earning a salary. Prior to that it may have been a beer or two at a older relative or a party. Plus back the, scholars had short hair and only once you left school (70's) did you grow your hair. Maybe a different era but I don't think too much has changed looking at my own kids of 19 and 23.

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Margee, not denying that happens, my assertion was more the typical teen which I was at one time.

 

I only started drinking at 17-9mo when I started earning a salary. Prior to that it may have been a beer or two at a older relative or a party. Plus back the, scholars had short hair and only once you left school (70's) did you grow your hair. Maybe a different era but I don't think too much has changed looking at my own kids of 19 and 23.

 

The sad thing is, that we don't know who is more susceptible to alcohol. I know kids just wanna have fun. I was never a drinker in my very young years. They would call me, ' miss goodie 2 shoes!! I gave my life to the lord at 19 and never touched booze. 7 years later - I felt like a peice of shit in the church and left ........ and rebel I did.............. I went right out in the big, bad world of partying.....

 

When I set out at 27 to do some drinking (I was in a rebellion stage against everything including god) I didn't know I was going to get hooked on the stupid stuff - I just wanted to party!! happydance.gif8 years later, I totally destroyed a perfectly good 17 year old marriage, lost a huge business and didn't know who the fuck I was........ went back to church to repent and had to start all over. I am still paying for this today.

 

I've experienced hell on earth because of drinking that one fucking bottle of wine one night. 22 years later, I am still trying to recover all my loses. Some of them,you never do..........

I watch the kids... makes me so sad because alcohol can make one feel so damn good!!!woohoo.gif

 

Here is an article about why so many classify it as a 'medical' condition (disease) Some people's bodies just simply get 'hooked' faster than others. Many articles will explain how some bodies just react differently. It's not all about just partying too much. I think they are proving that now.......

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disease_theory_of_alcoholism

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Do you even have a drinking problem? Yes you broke the law, but to have you join a group for real deal alcoholics when you're just a 19 year old kid who just wanted to party doesn't make any sense.

But if you got to go to avoid a blotch on your record it might be worth it. Just play along with their silly game.

Hearing the stories from people who have thrown away so much to alcohol clinging to Jesus for redemption won't make Christianity very appealing.

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That's terrible about being arrested like that. I agree, pot just doesn't seem like it's so bad compared to other stuff. But I'd gently suggest (since you're asking) that it's pointless to rage against what should be--for now anyway--and concentrate instead on what you do know and what you can do.

 

AA's wormed its way very deeply into the court system here, too. And yes, its religious aspect is coming under fire. But until that gets changed, you know you're not the only person who has trouble acknowledging a "God" out there or even a woo "higher power." My BIL joined AA and turned into Ned Flanders, though my husband insists he was always sort of Christian before, and he's quite gung-ho about his recovery. An ex of mine joined as an atheist, though, and decided his "higher power" was our relationship. My dad was in AA too, and I can tell you for 100% sure that he didn't go fundie as a result. Thankfully, AA seems pretty flexible about just what the "higher power" is.

 

Don't get too caught up in worry about the situation until you know more. If you're "sentenced" to join AA, ask the leader of your group for advice about how to work with its requirements. You won't be the only person in your situation. If they aren't flexible, ask your court officer for help--tell him/her that you're happy to do it, but you want to be in a meaningful group that will really help you and you don't feel the local AA group is working for you--is there anything else you can do instead? Act contrite and act like you definitely want help; don't be reluctant or angry. If there's no other way out, know that the AA philosophy mean lean heavily toward Christianity, but it's pretty watered-down. If you're well-educated about the Bible's many issues and its philosophical thorns, there's little chance you'll get lost. Who knows? Maybe AA can help you with the self-medicating issue you've got going on there (pot for social anxiety). Good luck :)

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'Essentially I was arrested for possession or marijuana, and Alcohol.'

 

Be more discreet with your drug use to avoid detection. :-)

 

I read an article which documented the results of several studies saying that AA is no more successful than any other program. If someone is ready to quit, they quit on their own. Yet if someone is in a treatment program and they manage to quit for good then they will give credit for quitting to that program. If they have gone through several programs and finally successfully quit, they will attribute their success to the last program they attended. Fascinating stuff.

 

I think it might have been this article. This one looks familiar. http://www.orange-pa...ectiveness.html

 

If you have to go to AA and they mention a higher power or god, replace god with mickey mouse (in your mind) or some other nonsensical character, then laugh inside. Don't speak unless you absolutely have to. Dont reveal your religious belief or non-belief to them. Do the bare minimum to get through. Read carefully what the court order says. If it says you must attend, then be attentive but silent. Or just bullshit 'em. Tell them how great Jebus is and how great AA is...then laugh your ass off when you get home. :-)

 

Or ask the judge for a non-religious program. If you are concerned that there is a separation of church and state issue with a judge ordering you to attend AA then try appealing his decision....

 

Sounds easier just to bite the bullet and pay a fine. It is interesting that religious indoctrination is used as a punishment..lol

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I've been to a sizeable number of AA meetings, and while they do have strong religious undertones, nobody has ever been pushy. Other than being forced to go, participation can be as limited as you want it.

i'm still friends with my former sponsor.

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I am not an alcoholic...I only drink at parties. Even I don't really like drinking too much, because I know it can cause cancer and is way worse for you than weed ever would be. This is why I like weed. I wasn't even drinking that night, I had a taste of 3 types of whiskey (like a small sip) to taste them and didn't even drink the beer I had, the cops are just obsessed with weed. I even talked to the police about how alcohol is more dangerous than weed, in fact, weed has never been shown to have any long-term physiological affects. The few people who become "addicted" to weed, have an "addiction" tantamount to my addiction to soda, cigarettes result in a greater addiction severity.

 

The war on drugs, specifically weed, is purely ideologically and politically driven. Paper companies and other such kinds of corporations have a vested interest in suppressing hemp as an alternate source of industrial material. They have made an entire car out of hemp, and "hempcrete", yes, concrete made from hemp (mixed with other things, of course). For reference, hemp is not exactly the same as marijuana, but of the same strain, it is a very efficacious resource which could cut back deforestation. Corporate interests know that if hemp was legalized, or pot that they would take a severe cut in their revenue, and that is the ONLY reason hemp or weed is lobbied against in our society. It is supported by prolific propaganda and Christian religious undertones.

 

@Margee, I don't deny that some people are prone to addiction, but alcoholism itself isn't some intrinsic disease. Some people are more prone to addiction because they have improper coping mechanisms, or have biological propensities for dependence because of untreated mental disorders, which in turn makes them turn to alcohol. Alcoholism is NOT a disease because it is a behavior, there is no such thing as an involuntary behavior. It is a biochemical dependence, brought on by the individual drinking excessively in the first place, or drinking to self-medicate. There are many socio-economic factors, as well as the individual's propensity for putting off seeking help for emotional issues. This is shown in the affluent's larger numbers of drinkers and likelihood to drink, but LOWER levels of alcoholism than other oppressed or impoverished groups. Alcoholism is a symptom of cognitive and biological dynamics, not a predisposed "disease". Saying you are an alcoholic is like admitting you have issues, but like any other issue, it isn't inevitable, or incurable condition".

 

I am happy you found help, but I will give you the credit for quitting. Sure you had help and support from those around you, but it was still based on your own desire to get help and fix the problem you had. I do NOT mean to demean your experiences, as they were no doubt horrible and difficult to surmount, I merely assert that it was not overcome for you, you did it yourself; granted you did it with help, but it was still because of you. The same goes for the people who say that they were saved by some outer-force; they were saved by themselves and the help THEY sought and THEY obtained, not by God, not by a mystical force, but by their own initiative. Any attempt to diminish the power or role the alcohol abuser has, or had, played in his/her recovery is counter-productive and an abhorred undermining of the person's accomplishments or self-esteem. YOU were powerful all along Margee, nothing is more powerful than you and the people who support you, or counseling when you need it. I have experienced personally that therapy and belief in yourself, combined with medication accompanying as necessary, is more powerful than any "higher power". Undermining that self-assurance is an extraordinarily insidious and powerful tool used by those trying to convert someone who has problems, not to mention repulsively manipulative and evil.

 

PS Don't worry Akheia, I am not that impudent, I am merely reaffirming my personal security and beliefs, before I am subjected to the inevitable psychological coercion... I am horrified we still force people to attend these things, and even more so that we have not replaced them with obviously more effective treatments. My biggest fear was that I would not be sharp enough to deflect or subvert the manipulation and would become, as you say, a "Ned Flanders".

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Lie about it. Pretend like you're one of them. Make it a game for yourself. How good can you pretend to like their bullshit? Imagine being a model AA person, but actually knowing its all bullshit. It'd be such a good feeling. Stick it to those fuckers.

 

Besides, there will be other super stoners there too, just hang out with them. Not everyone that comes out of that program becomes religious.

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I am not an alcoholic...I only drink at parties. Even I don't really like drinking too much, because I know it can cause cancer and is way worse for you than weed ever would be. This is why I like weed. I wasn't even drinking that night, I had a taste of 3 types of whiskey (like a small sip) to taste them and didn't even drink the beer I had, the cops are just obsessed with weed. I even talked to the police about how alcohol is more dangerous than weed, in fact, weed has never been shown to have any long-term physiological affects. The few people who become "addicted" to weed, have an "addiction" tantamount to my addiction to soda, cigarettes result in a greater addiction severity.

 

The war on drugs, specifically weed, is purely ideologically and politically driven. Paper companies and other such kinds of corporations have a vested interest in suppressing hemp as an alternate source of industrial material. They have made an entire car out of hemp, and "hempcrete", yes, concrete made from hemp (mixed with other things, of course). For reference, hemp is not exactly the same as marijuana, but of the same strain, it is a very efficacious resource which could cut back deforestation. Corporate interests know that if hemp was legalized, or pot that they would take a severe cut in their revenue, and that is the ONLY reason hemp or weed is lobbied against in our society. It is supported by prolific propaganda and Christian religious undertones.

 

@Margee, I don't deny that some people are prone to addiction, but alcoholism itself isn't some intrinsic disease. Some people are more prone to addiction because they have improper coping mechanisms, or have biological propensities for dependence because of untreated mental disorders, which in turn makes them turn to alcohol. Alcoholism is NOT a disease because it is a behavior, there is no such thing as an involuntary behavior. It is a biochemical dependence, brought on by the individual drinking excessively in the first place, or drinking to self-medicate. There are many socio-economic factors, as well as the individual's propensity for putting off seeking help for emotional issues. This is shown in the affluent's larger numbers of drinkers and likelihood to drink, but LOWER levels of alcoholism than other oppressed or impoverished groups. Alcoholism is a symptom of cognitive and biological dynamics, not a predisposed "disease". Saying you are an alcoholic is like admitting you have issues, but like any other issue, it isn't inevitable, or incurable condition".

 

I am happy you found help, but I will give you the credit for quitting. Sure you had help and support from those around you, but it was still based on your own desire to get help and fix the problem you had. I do NOT mean to demean your experiences, as they were no doubt horrible and difficult to surmount, I merely assert that it was not overcome for you, you did it yourself; granted you did it with help, but it was still because of you. The same goes for the people who say that they were saved by some outer-force; they were saved by themselves and the help THEY sought and THEY obtained, not by God, not by a mystical force, but by their own initiative. Any attempt to diminish the power or role the alcohol abuser has, or had, played in his/her recovery is counter-productive and an abhorred undermining of the person's accomplishments or self-esteem. YOU were powerful all along Margee, nothing is more powerful than you and the people who support you, or counseling when you need it. I have experienced personally that therapy and belief in yourself, combined with medication accompanying as necessary, is more powerful than any "higher power". Undermining that self-assurance is an extraordinarily insidious and powerful tool used by those trying to convert someone who has problems, not to mention repulsively manipulative and evil.

 

PS Don't worry Akheia, I am not that impudent, I am merely reaffirming my personal security and beliefs, before I am subjected to the inevitable psychological coercion... I am horrified we still force people to attend these things, and even more so that we have not replaced them with obviously more effective treatments. My biggest fear was that I would not be sharp enough to deflect or subvert the manipulation and would become, as you say, a "Ned Flanders".

You are no dumb fuck 19 yo with a post this well orated *applause*

 

You will be OK :)

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I had a friend of mine in college drive home drunk one night. He hit a car in an intersection and killed the driver. Ironicly, the driver was driving at night without her corrective lenses and made an illegal left hand turn on red. Totaled his car and hers.

 

With in the first couple of weeks after the accident he had checked himself in to AA and had already arranged restitution to the insurance company for the accident. When the trial came around, he already had a couple of months of at least weekly and sometime more AA meetings, the judge sentenced him to 5 years probation and like 1000 hrs of community service. All because he showed he was taking the charges seriously.

 

Now he didn't stop pot and drinking entirely. He only did it when he was at home and not going anywhere. I have lost track of him over the years, but the last I heard he was getting married and was off probation.

 

Now, I am not assuming you are not taking it seriously. All indication state you are. What I would suggest would be to take actions that show you are to the judge, before you are in court.

 

I actually had driving without insurance charges dropped against me because of the actions I took. I only saw the inside of the court room for the initial proceeding to answer the charges. When I met with the DA the actions I took before hand convinced them that I was not screwing around with this. They dropped the charges even though I was clearly guilty of the infraction.

 

So just saying, that preemptive action is usually the best when it comes to the courts. If you start the meetings now, or something similar, then you might get off with a slap on the wrist, comparatively speaking.

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That's a damn fine point, Stryper. My husband had a similar situation regarding child support with an ex, come to think of it. Maybe that'd make a difference.

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Anyone who knows anything about AA knows it is a thinly veiled re-packaging of Protestant Christianity. There is, at best, tenuous evidence that it does anything. However, what it undoubtedly does do is reinforce Christian principles of hopelessness without god (or in their attempt at political correctness god can be "something", other than yourself).

 

Essentially I was arrested for possession or marijuana, and Alcohol. They told me that since it was my first time, that I had a good chance of having it expunged for my record, but in order to do so I must do whatever the judge decides. More than likely I will have to go to AA. Since I am well aware of this affront to first amendment rights, and of psychological manipulation which is taken directly from Christian coercive tactics, I am scared I will not be able or alert enough to deflect the manipulation, and will be sucked back into philosophies of inability and dependence, lack of self-confidence, and self-doubt as well as mistrust.

 

I need the help of you guys to come up with methods of self-defense and resistance to being convinced that I do not have the power that as a human, with my own will and intelligence, has. I don't want to enforce doctrines of doom and self-denigration.

 

Can anyone here help me?

Unless you've had problems with that type of thinking before, I doubt that it will be much of a problem. I have a grandfather who swears by AA and has been sober and active for thirty years now, but he's also a "card-carrying" member of the ACLU and has idly mentioned god maybe all of three times in the twenty-five years I've known him. I don't even know what faith he is or if he even has one.

 

My grandfather would be very upset to hear about you being forced into AA. He's made it clear to me that the program is not for problem drinkers nor for users/addicts of other drugs. Things may have changed in the past few decades, but he says that AA is designed for people that have crossed the line into full-on alcoholism and that the program works for them but makes no promises for other dependencies.

 

I take a slight issue with your statement (in a later post) that "there is no such thing as an involuntary behavior". While this may be true in the strictest meaning of "involuntary", people with real OCD can be so compelled towards a behavior that not acting it out is unthinkable. Behavioral therapy is a common treatment for the disorder

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Anyone who knows anything about AA knows it is a thinly veiled re-packaging of Protestant Christianity. There is, at best, tenuous evidence that it does anything.

 

I understand your reticence, but this is bullshit. The truth is that it isn't a one-size fits all - but it is successful for many who are ready to face themselves and their illness. I've seen it in action throughout my family. So you can dislike the higher-power aspect of it, but don't cast aspersions where it's not warranted.

 

Frankly, most of the recovering alkies I know *aren't* Christian. Some are Hindu, some are irreligious, or deist, a couple are atheist, where they simply look to nature/the universe as their *higher power* - I suppose that would be borderline pantheistic. Point is, they don't believe in some personal god - just that there is a power, even if it's just nature, greater than themselves. It's a means of bringing outside consciousness into the recovery effort so the alcoholic isn't just depending on the stories inside his head.

 

Other suggestions I can think of for "something that is bigger than yourself" or "outside your own head" is "society," or "good of others."

 

If you care about being a worthwhile and contributing member of society, then public opinion is going to be of considerable importance to you. You don't have to buy into every whim of the public (such as the need to be religious) but you can decide that the things society says about sobriety are worth striving for. After all, it gets you into major trouble if you don't.

 

Perhaps Freedom could be the objective to "worship" in this case--freedom from legal charges, fines, and worse. Freedom to walk the streets, parks, and back roads a free person with peace of mind.

 

Or if it means a lot to you to be of service to others, you're going to need a clear mind to discern how best to serve them. Making the world a better place, good of others, or something along that line, can be your goal for life. In that case, Love (of humanity as opposed to romantic or erotic love) might be the objective you wish to "worship."

 

FYI, the idea of worshiping society is not original with me. One of the early sociologist (I forget which one) said religious people worshiped society.

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