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comment by tacocat
tacocat  ·  81 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: April 5, 2017

Notes on rehab

My personal feelings about AA

I don't really like AA. It's pop psychology. I've had personal bad experiences. It's designed around the inmates running the asylum. It's religious even if they deny it. The "Higher Power" is clearly meant to be the God of Christianity no matter how they phrase it or try to dance around the issue with newcomers. Most meetings end with the Lord's Prayer.

That said there's a lot of good stuff in the program. There's practical advice and philosophy anyone can use. The inmates running the asylum is a feature not a bug but it can go awry and does. AA basically invented group therapy. I appreciate it more now than I did before I went to this last rehab. But I have to watch what I says because I refuse to blindly follow anyone and questioning anything might result in someone telling you you're going to die. Honestly I think anyone who develops a method to quit anything that works for them can get the same method to work with other people if they follow the instructions exactly. It's like a fascist approach to behavioral psychology. It arrived at the right time and gained attention which turned it into the 800 pound gorilla of recovery. I have to do it or at least go through the motions if only to build a support network.

Kleinbl00 mentioned Refuge Recovery which is pretty awesome in my opinion but there's only one meeting in my area and I can't go. It is nontheistic and requires confidence, not so much obedience. SMART Recovery is probably not terribly effective to be honest but I like the meetings so I'll hit them up.

My recent rehab experience

I was pretty pumped to go to rehab. No one wants to go to rehab but some people want to be there because they know they need it and I was with a lot of those people when I got there. They said it had a family vibe which I was skeptical of at first but it really did. The staff was all great and there out of a desire to help people. The techs who do most of the day-to-day stuff were all in recovery. I got pretty close to a few of them and love all of them.

I wish I could tell all the stories and little anecdotes I accumulated over 30 days of which there are a surprising amount. Put 20 crazy, chemically dependent motherfuckers under one roof and it gets interesting.

I feel like I need to go into detail about one event though. There was one resident who arrived the same day as me. He was really depressed when he got there but he opened up in a week or two. He was pretty weird but I just thought he was a big dorky kid who had some awkward confidence after entering the real world and not being picked on anymore. He was really upset about cheating on his wife and "losing his faith" after the Episcopal church wanted to make him a deacon instead of a priest. I noticed he was kind of a lech around the women, he was rubbing one girls leg on the couch one day, a general attitude that didn't seem very respecting, but brushed it off because I assumed the women could handle him. I was in a family session with him where your loved ones address you directly about how you've wronged them. His was a shitshow. This wife he was so concerned about had a laundry list of awful shit he did to her and my mom said he didn't know what color her eyes were (you have to compliment your family member in a segment of the session). I came away thinking, "OK, it seems like he hates women," and resolved to stop conversing with him because I don't tolerate that shit. The next day my roommates were talking about him before bed. One of the other residents read his journal and it talked about torturing animals when he was a kid and maybe raping two women. Also he was being very inappropriate with most of the women in the house, moreso than I realized. Me and two girls got together with some of the techs to tell them about him and they decided to talk to the lead counselor. But first he got told in a meeting so there was a girl pow wow. He told some of this stuff to someone and, after sulking in his room for a day, interrupted a meeting he was passing through to yell at the guy he talked to for betraying his trust. I firmly told him to shut the fuck up, don't turn this shit on the group, that he is the problem. He disappeared for most of the day then was fucking liar in a group with me and I called him out again. Loudly and directly, fucking furious that he was ignoring the fact that everyone knew his shit. Then we had a whole group about his shenanigans and he was a goddamn piece of shit again, gave a disingenuous apology and only one girl spoke up about his behavior. I was livid hearing him brush off his actions like kissing a relative stranger or rubbing her leg is appropriate but I was told not to speak or at least control myself. After the meeting I intentionally tried to intimidate him while he smoked, just staying in his general vicinity because he knew I was pissed. After everyone went back inside I asked him if he felt he should leave, if he thought he was going to get better in two weeks and told him that every woman in the house was uncomfortable around him. I asked him if he thought they ever had a meeting like that before and he said no, that it was about rumors about him. Which blew my fucking mind that that was his take-away. I mostly washed my hands of the situation after that but I tried to poke at him when I spoke in group if I was given an opportunity to subtly allude to it.

I'm doing good

This rehab was a great experience. The group got a lot less positive a week or so before I left but I met a lot of good people dedicated to recovery. Two of the techs live near me so I can go to their meetings and they can help me meet people and get a sponsor.

I really fucked up my life pretty good and other people would have a panic attack just considering the financial situation I've created. I'm not concerned about that though. I'm in love, in a way that seems deeper, healthier, mature and more genuine than any other love I've felt. I rarely get cravings, when I do they aren't bad and I didn't feel the need to drink after I lost my shit at that psychopath. Life is pretty good. I'm generally happy which is not a familiar experience.

Thank you hubski for putting up with me and supporting me.

Calm water don't make good sailors.

-Chris




someguyfromcanada  ·  80 days ago  ·  link  ·  

There is a group of truly agnostic AA meetings in my area.

AA was initially welcoming but delisted them from their meetings directory 3 years ago, apparently making them much harder to find.

So "AAA" sued AA under the Human Rights Act claiming that they were discriminated against on the basis of creed. AA's defence was, get this, that they were exempt as a religious group who could restrict participation to the faithful.

A court did not decide on the merits of whether AA is a religious group as a settlement was mediated, but in the end AAA is listed again.

tacocat  ·  80 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think the US courts ruled them to be a religious group so if you're sentenced to meetings you can go to Smart or any other recovery group. Which almost always means all AA or mostly AA. Tricky little loophole that ruling.

someguyfromcanada  ·  80 days ago  ·  link  ·  

You are right but IIRC AA argued in those cases that it was not a religious group because the modern drafting a the 12 Statements (?) had moved away from the original wording to be inclusive to atheists. In the Toronto case they didn't even bother to pretend that was the case.