Here is a comment that John wrote about a recent post of mine:
Hi excuse me if I seem rude, but having had a little scan of the blog and some of the comments you've left on other blogs that I knock about on, I've a question for you.
You follow AA. You seem to have bought into it wholesale, but without being an alcoholic. You also say you weren't sure of whether or not your father was an alcoholic.
I understand that it must be difficult growing up in a household that is emotionally distant, and chaotic through drink. I understand how this leads in many cases to a life of addiction.
You seem not to be an addict, although you seem to have a predisposition to it with some of your behaviours.
If you are not an addict, why would you surround yourself with drunks/addicts and constantly discuss it? Don't you think you're just looking for an emotional crutch?
I've gone through NA, and I loathe it. I know it works for some, but I think it's phoney and cliquey, and substitutes psychobabble and Higher Power bullshit for actually living.
Surely you should be out living your life, and not worrying about recovering from a problem you don't actually have. I guess prevention is better than cure, but I think, perhaps, you're using AA to cover up some other issues.
I've no intention to offend, but I'd be interested in your answer.
I'll do my best to clear up an apparent misunderstanding regarding my affiliation in recovery. I attend Al-Anon which is for those who have been affected by someone else's drinking. My wife is an alcoholic in recovery through AA. I cannot call my father an alcoholic because he never defined himself as that. He may have simply been a heavy drinker. He eventually gave up drinking altogether. So I don't really think that he was a real alcoholic. Nonetheless there was alcoholism in the family since his sister and her daughter died from it.
The reason that I go to Al-Anon is because I have been affected by alcoholism for a large part of my life. I am neither an alcoholic or an addict. However, you are right in that I have exhibited many of the same behaviors of an alcoholic such as low self-esteem, control, fear, abandonment and anger. Those of us who have lived with alcoholism may have unmanageable lives, even though we are sober.
I am married to an alcoholic who does go to AA meetings. I occasionally attend open AA meetings which have helped me to have compassion for alcoholics. I like to hear the solutions in recovery. I am around people who are actively seeking those solutions. There is a saying in both AA and Al-Anon about sticking with the winners. The winners are those who are not enmeshed in their disease and who are living in the solution.
I have found that my life since being in Al-Anon is much more balanced than before. I used to totally focus on my career. Now I am enjoying a variety of activities without guilt. Life is definitely to be lived fully. I am doing that every day.
As far as your thoughts on NA, I have no experience. If you find that you are happy doing what you are doing and your life brings you contentment, then by all means go for it.
I read a bit on your blog and it seems that you are using heroin daily. If your life is good using, then you have found your solution. There are also those you are able to get clean without the help of NA. Not every one has the same journey.
John, I appreciate your comments. Perhaps I have cleared up some confusion regarding what Al-Anon is. For me, it is a life changing program.