My therapist has recommended I regularly attend AA meetings. While it's true I quit drinking nearly 4 years ago, and alcohol had been a prevalent and destructive force in my life at that time, I have never experienced anything like a craving to drink in all the time I've been sober. My M.O. has always been a, "Eh, I'll have a drink when and if I ever feel like it. Which will probably be never, because I love this clear-mindedness!"-sort of thing. The therapist is treating me as a patient "in recovery". Fair enough: She can use whatever approach she sees fit, but now I'm entertaining the idea of AA and simultaneously questioning whether the therapist is a good fit for me. Yes, there are more details.
posted by little_dog_laughing to Health & Fitness (46 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a woman, nearly 34-years-old, and I started seeing Anna (*fake name) last January because of general unhappy feelings w/r/t relatives. Anna and I did some good work together, meeting 2-4 times per month. The last two sessions, however, have been really uncomfortable for me, and I've been thinking about it to death-- Am I uncomfortable because the hard work is starting? Is she testing me...?
So, to boil this down to a question or 2, I'm wondering how beneficial it might be for me to go to AA meetings, and I'm wondering (again. Sort of been here before) when to end it with a therapist and not feel like I'm a quitter; self-destructing by doing so?
I went to an Open Discussion AA meeting earlier this week, and I've been to maybe 5 or 10 meetings in my life, when other non-drinkers encouraged me to check out a meeting with them because they swear it works really great and if I keep coming back I will see that AA works really great.
I don't doubt that AA works really great, or that it's nice to experience that kind of fellowship and support. I do seriously question, however, if it's the best way to spend *my* time, personally, because staying sober-- Staying sober isn't really a Thing to me. I neither struggle to stay sober, nor care if I do, I just quit drinking, you know? Yes, I relate to every single story I've heard in AA. The folks in 'the halls' and I have a lot in common.
My therapist has told me that I'm an overall healthy and well individual. But, that the issues I most struggle with are the direct result of my using alcohol and pot for a lot of my life (age 13 to 30). She's used the term "emotionally stunted" to describe how I stopped developing and maturing at, basically, age 13. So, she recommends I get support from attending AA or NA meetings, and has established "clinical boundaries" that anything she and I discuss in session has to strictly fall outside the category of alcohol-related. Which, if you follow, she says everything in my life is. Everything in my life is related to previous alcohol use and abuse (she says. After all, I'm "emotionally stunted" and all my issues reflect my emotional underdevelopment). So, the last two sessions has been a lot of meta-talk. Talking about how we can't talk about anything.
I'm 99% sure that I want to do the following: I want to thank Anna for the great work we've done in the past six months, and terminate treatment on account of our relationship having run its course. Attend weekly AA meetings, because to give it a real fair shot I have to tell my story; open my mouth and actually participate, and after a real fair shot I can determine if it's worth pursuing. And, finally, seeking fellowship elsewhere. I'm hardly a social person. We heal by telling our stories, and currently I barely talk to real people about personal things, so-- rather than AA 4x a week, I can find other means to connect with, you know, other people.
My fears and questions: Is it fraudulent (or just fkng stupid) to hang out at AA meetings with neither a commitment to sobriety or a need for help to stay sober? Am I being stubborn and pig-headed here, where this shrink is trying to help me and I'm just not letting myself be helped? Thanks for reading.