Watch out for mainstream AA. The first time I was “12 Stepped” by someone at a local meeting was eye opening. I had just done my 5th, 6th and 7th Steps, and returned home from treatment. My sponsor told me to immediately start making amends or else… Or else what? Or else I would soon return to insanity and relapse.
But the AA guy gave me a mouthful. He told me that it was “way too early” to be making amends to anyone. He said I had no idea what I was doing and that I “wouldn’t be ready to make amends for like a year” or more. He also told me I probably went through the Steps “way too quickly”, and that I “need a sponsor”. The last thing he said was that all I should be doing right now is to “just keep going to meetings”.
If you’re an alcoholic or an addict new to recovery and someone accosts you at a meeting and says that, here is some sound advice: RUN the other way. If I had listened to this guy, my wife and my mother would have most likely buried me several years ago. If I had stopped making amends, stopped growing, stopped healing, stopped changing, stopped shedding my self will and selfishness, I would have soon lost my mind, sunk into a depression, cut the cord with God and become encroached by RID (Restlessness, Irritability, Discontent). Then I relapse. Then I lose everything. Then I die. Great advice.
So I looked at the guy and said, “It’s never too early to get better.”
Halfway through the meeting, he came over to me and apologized, and then left the meeting early. Boy, I hope that guy didn’t have a ton of sponsees. It’s a shame that this is the sort of watered down AA that so many newcomers get, only to continue suffering and struggling day after day. The end result is either relapse or untreated alcoholism, both of which ensure ongoing harm to all who surround the alcoholic. I’m not saying there is only one way, but if we’re talking about AA, the last time I checked there was only one program and it’s laid out in the first 164 pages of the Big Book.
God, please help us narcissistic addicts truly recover first before cluelessly chasing people around…