Saturday, August 4, 2012

The (Broken) Heart of Things

I realized, just this morning, one more thing about AA that rubs me the wrong way: it’s the degree to which they have embraced the Victim Mentality, as specifically stated in their core documents: “I admit that I have no power over alcohol...”

Perhaps this is what’s bothered me the most about them, all along. Because for me, this is not the case at all. I am not the victim of alcohol: I am its deliberate abuser. I turned to alcohol relatively late in life because I can’t stand myself, because I don’t want to think about being alive, because I can’t think of one single reason for my continued existence,  and because drinking, while I am / was doing it, takes me away from those feelings.
Does that sound to you like I am alcohol’s victim?
Even now, when I desperately want a drink, it’s not because of the abstract craving for a substance that has its biological grip on my system. On a purely biological level, I can do without alcohol just fine, and do, every day. No, when I want a drink, it’s because self-loathing and a sense of pure worthlessness are so strong upon me that it feels as if gravity has been turned up to the tenth level; as if I cannot move or breathe; and I know that the simplest, easiest thing I can do to feel human again -- and which also brings with it eventual Oblivion (another plus) is sit down and receive the relief of Vodka.
This is the opposite of being victimized by drink. If AA addresses the issues of self-hatred, false hope, wasted time and dashed aspirations at all, it does so only tacitly, and then only by substituting alcohol with other avenues of escape: in their case, the extended family of AA members, and God.
But that’s where it falls down for me. I feel no kinship with their “family,” and I want no part of their God.
-- Freder.

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