Is AA really for alcoholics?
That sounds really, really strange doesn’t it?
How could someone say such a thing!?
Well then… who is AA actually for if not for those people who know they’re alcoholics? Who the hell is it for then?!
This is what I think. This is only my own opinion.
It is my belief that AA is for those people who have…
a desire not to drink anymore.
The thing is… my problem is this. Can anyone actually diagnose alcoholism? They say it’s a disease, and I don’t disagree with that, but no one can put a label on who has it and who doesn’t. I mean… really. Who actually has alcoholism and who doesn’t? What’s the criteria for having alcoholism? Even the medical community is baffled about how to diagnose it. The fact is… no body can diagnose it!
I was only 25 years old when I came to the doors of AA. I was young!! I hadn’t had any of what AA calls the ‘yets’. None! True, I was drinking a fifth a day on an empty stomach, but I’d managed well enough to go to work and so keep a roof over my head. I didn’t have to steal my booze, and I stayed out of trouble. I drank at home… alone… so I didn’t drink and drive; didn’t get any ‘drunk in public’s; didn’t bother anybody. But I went to AA because I didn’t want to drink anymore. Eventually I decided that I had ‘alcoholism’ but it took a very long time for me to feel like I actually had it.
But is having alcoholism what AA is about anyway? Isn’t the program all about not wanting to drink anymore?
Here’s the crux of the matter. Those who actually are a part of AA are the ones who don’t want to drink anymore. AA has no rules about how much you drank or what kind of trouble you got into because of drinking. It has no criteria to use to label someone as alcoholic or not. I know people in AA who drank more than one sherry a day and felt badly about it. They wanted to stop the sherry, so they came to AA to stop. And they were fully accepted as members of AA.
There are many, many people who come into AA who definitely could fit into the category of ‘alcoholic’….. “By their wreckage you will know them.”….. They could fit into the alcoholic category with room to spare. But are they a part of AA? Definitely not. Does this sound harsh? I don’t think it is. I’m trying to make a point here. Because what AA is all about is…
not wanting to drink anymore!
It’s not about having ‘alcoholism’ whatever that is.
Knowing you have alcoholism could be helpful in your quest to stop drinking. But if you feel like you’re on the outside perimeter regarding having the disease, please, please, please… don’t worry about it. If you want to not drink anymore, then you are definitely a member of AA.