The Search for Self-Esteem

In Crowd

By Bob K

One needs to be a certain age, I expect, to be familiar with the 1964 Dobie Gray classic The “In” Crowd. Perhaps younger folks have heard it on the oldies station.

I’m in with the in crowd, I go where the in crowd goes
I’m in with the in crowd and I know what the in crowd knows
Anytime of the year, don’t you hear? Dressing fine, making time
We breeze up and down the street, we get respect from the people we meet
They make way day or night, they know the in crowd is out of sight
I’m in with the in crowd, I know every latest dance
When you’re in with the in crowd, it’s so easy to find romance
Any time of the year, don’t you hear? If it’s square, we ain’t there
We make every minute count, our share is always the biggest come out
Other guys imitate us, but the original is still the greatest, in crowd!
Any time of the year, don’t you hear? Spendin’ cash, talkin’ trash
I’ll show you a real good time, come on with me, leave your troubles behind
I don’t care where you’ve been, you ain’t been nowhere ’til you’ve been in
With the in crowd, with the in crowd, in crowd!

AA members of various ages are likely to have encountered any of a number of “in crowds” within the broader spectrum that is Alcoholics Anonymous. These rabidly enthusiastic guys and gals are easily recognizable, albeit the identifying markers are generally, but not always, somewhat more subtle than foaming at the mouth. The snappy patter gives them away. They tend to be “on fire”, and they tend to be very much on script. There are physical characteristics to be observed – eyes that are glazed over, broad, Jehovah Witness-like smiles, and an ever present dark blue book at the ready.

Dobie Gray: “I’m in with the in crowd and I know what the in crowd knows”. (Click to listen.)

Their missals are distinct, uniquely annotated, the bearers removed from the ordinary, the day-to-day, the mundane, the average. Code words and phrases are underlined or circled. In the margins are magical notes, phrases, terms and chants that have been passed down from leaders to sub-leaders, to sub-sub leaders, then on to the latest missionaries to be sent forth to enlighten those who dwell in darkness.

The newly trained deacons and novices are spared the burden of needing to self-generate answers, thoughts, or words. In some cases the uniquely altered texts are carefully withheld from the criticizing eyes of the uninitiated, the unknowing, the skeptical, and the perhaps unredeemable.

Among themselves, there’s an intimacy in the knowing nods that are exchanged. Perhaps there are secret handshakes. While on recruiting missions in the midst of the uninitiated, there are wry smiles and disapproving glances. There is the quiet confidence of those who communicate with the infinite – God’s knights and bishops in a chess game of life and death.

I’m in with the in crowd, I go where the in crowd goes
I’m in with the in crowd and I know what the in crowd knows.

To the cynical, it all comes across as more than a bit robotic.

Who Aarrrre These People?

Good question, Jerry Seinfeld.

As the Christians have amongst their ranks Lutherans, Baptists, Anabaptists, Methodists, Anglicans, Congregationalists, Calvinists, Charismatics, neo-Charismatics, neon-Charismatics perhaps, Evangelicals, Pentecostals, Pietists, Mennonites, Troglodytes, Harbor Lights, stalagmites, stalactites, and oh so many more, (deep breath), there are multitudinous variations of the ONE TRUE WAY-ers within Alcoholics Anonymous.

Returning to the Christologists and their endless denominations – from the difficult to spell category, we have Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Raelians, Romulans, Pastafarians,  and the Anthroposophical Society of Rudolf Steiner – THAT’S a mouthful. Swallow it; here’s another – the Samavesam of Telugu Baptist Churches. YIKES!! Yosemite Sam, Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs, Sammy Sosa, Slammin’ Sammy Snead…. Ladies and Gentlemen, keep an eye out for our next act, Sammy Davis Jr.

There seems to have been a certain amount of inbreeding across the ages leaving us with the Congregational Methodists, the Old German Baptist Brethren (those are the guys you want at your next party), the Arian Catholics, the Christadelphians, Jews For Jesus – you get the idea.

The United Church, the Unitarians, the Unity Church, the United Seventh Day Brethren, the Unification Church, the United Church of God, the United Apostolic Church, and the Universal Alliance are all remarkably un-allied. Similarly is it so with Western Union, Western saddles, Western Savings and Loan, the Western Hockey league, Country and Western, and a toasted Western.

“What are the two best things about Country and Western music?” “Dolly Parton’s ____”. Oh never mind. It’s probably not true any more, anyway.

Are the Waldensians fans of Henry David Thoreau and small bodies of water? Do the Arnoldists revere Horshack from Welcome Back, Kotter ? Are the Taborites worshipers of Zsa Zsa, but poor spellers? Do the Simonians think little of Garfunkel? Do the Valentinianists get to eat a lot of candy?

Some, like Christian Vegetarianism and Green Christianity, are New Agey. Other groups seem to have militarized –  the Legion of Mary, the Army of Jesus, the Holy Army of Christ, McHale’s Navy, the Salvation Army. “Onward Christian soldiers/ Marching as to war/ With the cross of Jesus/ Going on before.”

Here’s one for you. Scientology is a religion, and Alcoholics Anonymous IS NOT!! Chew on that for a while. We may need David Miscavige running the General Service Office. Perhaps Toronto Intergroup’s crack legal team could get the job done.

The One True Way

Which of all these, and the hundreds more, represents the one true way?

The True Jesus Church, perhaps. Looking elsewhere, we find The Church of Truth and The Home of Truth at separate addresses. Does The True Catholic Church have a true pope, and true confessions? The True and Living Church of Jesus Christ of Saints of the Last Days will have sign makers battling to land that contract.

Skeptics perhaps see science as religion’s adversary, and yet is there not amicable coexistence in Religious Science, The Church of Divine Science, or Christian Science? Mary Baker Eddy needed neither microscopes nor telescopes for her research.

If we could understand God, we would BE God. Ours is not to reason why; ours is but to do or die. My, my!

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm. William Cowper (1731-1800)

God, and His Book

When Moses descended from the mountain carrying the stone tablets on which the ten commandments are etched, few noticed his carpenter’s belt with the hammer and chisel still warm from a brisk workout. Mel Brooks, as Moses, brought the Lord’s 15… OOPS!… 10 Laws of God for all to obey.

History of the World Part 1 (Mel Brooks) – Old Testament – Moses – Ten Commandments

Religions are in competition with other religions, religious leaders with other religious leaders, faiths with other faiths, the followers of ABC with the followers of XYZ. How do we make our truth THE truth?  How do we lay claim to the one TRUE way?

Ooooo! Ooooo! I know!! Ask me!!! Ask me!!!

We transfer authorship of our book from a shepherd, a farmer, a roaming mendicant, a carpenter, or a drunk to the Supreme Being, the Spinner of the Orbs, the Ruler of All Realms, the Penner of Perspicacious Prose.

“Hasn’t that been done to death?”

“Sshhhhh. Never mind that! Bill Wilson was an instrument of the Lord His Own Self!!!” “Did St. Boniface write the book, then?” “No, but that’s not a bad thought. We’ll use that one later on. But for now, STFU!!”

The tremendous benefit of divine authorship is that the content is thus rendered unquestionable, inarguable, beyond all debate. “But, after the Angel Macaroni delivered the Big Book to Bill on golden plates, wasn’t there a bunch of disputation among the members and advisors? Wasn’t the sacred text significantly amended? Didn’t we, in effect, edit God? That can’t be good, right?”

“SHUT THE HELL UP ABOUT THAT!!! Look, maybe the editing was divinely inspired, too.” “So, the Creator divinely inspired Bill to write a flawed book, then divinely inspired a bunch of drunks to do a divinely inspired re-write in order to fix it? Is that about how we see it happening?” “It’s the best we’ve got, so we’re going with it.”

Anytime of the year, don’t you hear? Dressing fine, making time
We breeze up and down the street, we get respect from the people we meet
They make way day or night, they know the in crowd is out of sight
I’m in with the in crowd, I know every latest dance
When you’re in with the in crowd, it’s so easy to find romance
Any time of the year, don’t you hear? If it’s square, we ain’t there

One Hundred Interpretations Needing No Interpretation

Dr. Bob, the “Keep It Simple” guy, saw the steps as needing no interpretation. Of course, a Bob-written big book would be a 20 page pamphlet (tops) available for 10 cents. He had no entrepreneurial bent. On the downside,  God, for the good doctor, also needed no interpretation. The Bob pamphlet would contain a liberal dose of references to Christ, and footnotes citing biblical passages. “God is God, young man.”

Book fundamentalists see no need whatever for interpretation of the “clear-cut directions” “to show other alcoholics precisely how we have recovered.” Other than their own, of course. All of that would be exponentially more credible were the thumpers to agree amongst themselves, but, like the hundreds of Christian sects stemming from a single set of books, we have many variations of the one true way. Perhaps some sort of ecumenical council is called for? Yes, precisely.

AA’s 12th Tradition sets as a standard “that we are actually to practice a genuine humility.” Ours is a society of equals, essentially leaderless. It’s surprising to see on YouTube and on the websites of their treatment center employers, certain of the circuit speaker leaders of AA mini-cults unanonymously sharing AA talks, speaking schedules, workbooks, t-shirt offerings, etc.

Supposedly, in the interest of the greater good, and t-shirt sales, these honorable messengers sacrifice their own anonymity and humility.

Thus do we have the Primary Purpose, Pacific, and Atlantic Groups. We have Back-2-Basics, the Midtown Group and the Q-Group, Joe and Charlie, Moe and Larry, Harpo and Chico, The Reamer Brothers Travelling Circus, Joe Hawk, chicken hawk, pork hock, a ticking clock, and other schlock. Some sects have a national leader, while others have built sponsorship families around a local guru. There are Bookers, Hookers, Muckers, Truckers, Shuckers, and F%$kers.

There are commonalities. All are pretty Godly (Big “G”) All are fans of the Aquinas notion – “Homo Unius Libri” – especially those who have no idea who Thomas Aquinas might be. (“What’s his home group?) The single book idea (crayons included) is yummy.

John Wesley (1703-1791) wrote, albeit in reference to a different book: “God himself has condescended to teach me the way. For this very end He came from heaven. He hath written it down in a book. O give me that book! At any price, give me the book of God! I have it: here is knowledge enough for me. Let me be homo unius libri.” (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

There are hundreds of big book study groups allowing locals to lead assemblages of their own creation. Some of these have stunning websites. Some operate extremely well-orchestrated meetings. All build the esteem of members with insider knowledge, nearness to God, divine insight, superiority to the great unwashed. From lofty hilltops (totally in contravention of AA principles), they look down upon the pitiful unenlightened hordes, and they decry the ignorance of the unconverted.

They give windy lectures about a book that promises no lectures.

There is a great satisfaction to be had from the knowing of ALL the answers. Black and white thinking is so… well… it’s so black and white. Unambiguous. Clear-cut. Sober atheists are mere hard drinkers. The meeting makers also are not “the real deal.” Others are dry drunks. Those appearing to be cheerful are masqueraders, faking it ’til they make it. The 12 + 12 is for misguided half-measure artists. Living Sober is the spawn of Satan.

Tautology 101 – “Never have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path…” Of course, the relapse is, in and of itself, falling off the path. “Never have we seen a person fail who has never failed.” Smoke and mirrors. Nevertheless, it sounds so good, falling trippingly from the tongue.

Esteem rockets when one is in with the in crowd.

Other guys imitate us, but the original is still the greatest, in crowd!
Any time of the year, don’t you hear? Spendin’ cash, talkin’ trash
I’ll show you a real good time, come on with me, leave your troubles behind
I don’t care where you’ve been, you ain’t been nowhere ’til you’ve been in
With the in crowd, with the in crowd, in crowd!

Bob K. is a member of Alcoholics Anonymous in the Toronto area.

In 2013, he co-founded the Whitby Freethinkers Group and in 2015, his diligently researched Key Players in AA History was published by AA Agnostica.

YouTube Audio

30 Responses

  1. Justine G. says:

    “Dolly Parton’s ****”. How is this reference relevant or respectful of women who read your article? It’s just showing off to the old boys club – the in crowd. If you have to bleep it out, it’s sexist. Websites like this need to call out contributors on their sexism and refuse to print sexist comments.

  2. Joe M says:

    Carlinesque. A little levity is good for what is, rightly so, a serious matter.

  3. Bob K. says:

    I was going for a nonsense vibe. If it was all a bit over the top, mission accomplished.

  4. Diane B. says:

    A bit too heavy with the alliterations and word salad rants, giving it a slightly nonsensical feeling. But maybe I’m just too angry with the “If you’re not with us then you are defective” Bible Thumpers out there. Otherwise, great article.

  5. Diane B. says:

    Time to get god-ism and sexism out!

  6. Anne says:

    Thank you Scott

  7. Scott A. says:

    For those who might be interested, there are a few online options. Obviously there is this site and AA Beyond Belief. A myriad of other secular AA face2face meetings have their own websites, some of which are packed with efforts to be helpful to the secular alcoholics. There are a couple of Skype (voice only) AA Freetinker meetings and at least one online meeting at In The Rooms that is backed by a secular AA meeting (out of Florida, I believe).

    I think Roger (here at this site), or maybe it is now at AA Beyond Belief, have a means by which interested soloists can connect with like minded secular AAers in their area, to help each other starts a local face2face meeting. Despite some of the predictable challenges of doing so, I have heard some good things from folks who have done so. Yet, I would always say, especially for a sober minded soul in recovery, “honor your limitations”. It is my impression that sometimes “the god botherers” will come nosing around to a new gawd~less meeting, which is only one of the reasons it might be helpful to have a “partner in crime” or two when “daring” to start a gawd~less meeting.

    Less interactive, but (like this website) available 24/7 are a few secular AA Google Groups … which are sort of “bulletin boards” on which people can post topics and others can response. The “Atheist and Agnostic AA” Google Group has one section that is devoted to a “weekly topic” meeting, where anyone can propose and speak to a topic, and over the course of the week others can post their “share.”

    I won’t claim to know what any particular secular sobriety “seeker” should undertake as part of their “program of recovery” (if you’ll forgive the expression), but for me, I do think that the more “tethers to sobriety” I have, the better chance there will be enough effective ones available on any given day (“come what may”) to help my mind remain connected to a sober (and usually “uplifting”) energy. I also think that by being connected with “my peeps” (secularists) it fortifies me to better being able to handle (and to “dilute”) the occasionally somewhat “toxic” words and deeds of “the god botherers.”

  8. Chris C says:

    Tribalism is a part of human nature. Even those who eschew it find it hard to root out of their behavior. Eric Hoffer wrote (though I can’t seem to find the book it came from referenced on the internet … and I read it so long ago I don’t remember which it was myself) something that I have observed again and again:

    Nonconformists travel as a rule in bunches. You rarely find a nonconformist who does it alone. And woe to him inside a nonconformist clique who does not conform with nonconformity.

    It is a tendency important to acknowledge and attempt to overcome within oneself, but I doubt there is anything that can be done to eliminate it as a group dynamic.

  9. Mark C. says:

    Hahahaha! Loved this fun romp! Keep it up Bob. 🙂

  10. Joe C says:

    “One Hundred Interpretations Needing No Interpretation”

    Loved that, Bob. Hadn’t seen it before but yes – that which we codify, we reify.

    Very poetic, educational and entertaining. THX.

  11. Bill G. says:

    Being an agnostic with strong beliefs I tend to piss off true believers and atheists both.

    Enjoyed the article but we owe all that show up at the tables suffering from addiction a helping hand no matter what there belief is or no belief. Many a person listed above that I don’t share a single belief with has helped with my recovery. Yes they have tore at it also. Open minds and different paths is my hope for all to find.

    Do you know how a true conservative, liberal, atheist, or believer stay sober? They don’t take that first drink even if their asses fall off. That way they have a chance to work on the other stuff!

    Billy G. Born again cosmic naturalist. Whatever that is!

  12. Dan H says:

    I think this is quite a bit skewed (and I usually like Roger’s stuff). I suspected an in-crowd mentality when I was new, but over time it dawned on me that what I had thought was the equivalent of high school’s jocks-and-cheerleaders at the lunch tables was really more a matter of people enthusiastically supporting each other and whoever wanted to join. Join what, you say? Join a group of lifelong outsiders, defiant nonconformists, and generally antisocial types who had found fellowship and service. Some babbled about God, some shrugged and said to relax. I went through my thumping phase and they laughed at me and welcomed me back. The only criterion for “winner” status in AA is love and its expression through action.

  13. Bob K. says:

    BINGO, Mr. Al!!! Thank you, sir.

  14. Dave J says:

    I suspect that Bill Wilson was agnostic. I think he
    he was greatly affected by Emmet Fox (the Eckhart Tolle of that era) and lifted chunks of Fox’s lectures which can be found in the Big Book. To be fair to Bill, he was doing the best that he could given the times, and he may or may not have recognized Fox’s material as brilliantly repackaged Buddhism. What he did do and is unfortunately the cause of all this nonsense today was to cram a Buddhist philosopy through a Christian prism and it doesn’t work. I think the reason Bill disappeared from AA in later years wasn’t entirely health, or celebrity issues. I think, especially after the acid trips, that he thought WTF have I done? Everybody is taking this way too seriously. By then of course, it was too late, the genie was out. If Bill recanted they would have called him senile just the way that Roger Revele the originator of the climate change theory was marginalized by Al Gore when he later admitted he was wrong about climate change. Fanatics are fanatics whether they believe Jesus got them sober or that the earth is heating up….hopefully we agnostic, athiest, freethinkers will not become incredibly boring god bashers and just as wierd as those we criticize.

  15. Wisewebwoman says:

    I was recently attacked at a meeting g for being a free thinker by a long timer Jesus man. My freethinking newcomer has been subjected to Jesus rants on the telephone. So yeah I get the heavy handed satire in this.

    But I also get the sexism vis a vis the comment on Dolly Parton.

  16. Kurt S says:

    Huzzah! I never managed to figure out how to get in with the “In Crowd”. Be they hipsters, dipsters or whatever. Liked the blog. For years I have described myself as a “more or less tolerant Agnostic” depending on who was talking at me determined whether or how tolerant I was. Left AA cause I could not stand the noise level.

  17. Al says:

    It’s not “using religion to get sober”. Go ahead!
    It’s insisting that others must go that route or will die. This is an outright lie. And it’s a dangerous one too.
    Human nature is too often one-upping. There are so many points in AA literature that address this and they get run over.
    To thine own self be true. Be TRUE!

  18. Norm R. says:

    Just downed a bottle of Sardonic and let ‘er rip, didn’t you, Bob? Maybe a tad over the top; but, all in all, I like it. Certainly, there are some to whom I’d like to send it. If you get time to write about the experts on Spirituality, I’ll welcome that, too. Had an Organization Man at our meeting the other night, effusing about the Spirituality at District and Area meetings!
    Keep writing, Bob!

  19. Al says:

    IF I felt my core (non)beliefs were respected by official AA literature, I would gladly extend the same courtesy. But they are not. I am labeled “perverse” in writing. And we never even dated.

    I was raised in one of those fundie cults and they self-defined as being superior and separate. It’s habitual and part of the rewards offered to whatever ‘chosen’ group forms. Innocently formed to ‘better myself’, my group becomes better than you.

    Have you ever heard of a missionary offering the third best religion? Missionaries’ MO is to come in, tell the heathens how horrible they are, threaten them with unprovable damnation and then sell/force the remedy. No wonder so many were swiftly eaten.

    So do you feel you must “respect” Flat-Earthers, Unicorn Devotees and Faerie Covens? Or just the entrenched or powerful fantasies? You OK with starting vicious, gruesome, endless wars over religious details?
    Tell the truth.

    Asking me to “respect” a parent who violently beats their kid “because that is what he believes” is not so far from trying to respect an approach to treating a serious medical condition, alcoholism, with insults, chants and hand holding.

    There is a LOT at stake here. People repulsed by piously insulting AA believers, told by their own doctors that this is ‘treatment’, can DIE.

    Thank dog we finally have “evidence based” medical standards in other areas.

    Many bullies mistakenly think that respect can be demanded. Nope. It is EARNED.

  20. Bill P. says:

    P.S. I see that a photo of the late Ernie Kurtz appears on this website. I much admire Ernie’s book, written with Katherine Ketcham, on the Spirituality of Imperfection (Bantam Books Reissue 2002), where, at page 5 of the Introduction, they recall Bill W’s later years where he had come to question not only some of the dogma of organized religion but also how some AA groups had been dominated by insiders who asserted that belief in God as a Higher Power is the only way to stay sober. Not only did Bill W “come to believe” that the only requirement for AA membership is the desire to stop drinking but he asserted that all of the Twelve Steps were merely suggestive and were not compulsory. This was a far cry from the early AA days when AA was heavily influenced by those in the Oxford Group.

  21. Bill P. says:

    Interesting article. Seems rather critical of persons who use religion to get sober. But,in fairness I assume that Bob”s major beef is with those who assert that it’s the only way to get sober. As to ‘insiders”, it has been my experience that most social service organizations have insiders who form a self perpetuating clique to maintain control and define wisdom. Not only AA and church groups but also dog show enthusiasts, professional dog handlers, medical “caregivers”. There are some pretty stressful rehabs, not only for alcoholics but also recovering heart patients. if you complain they are sometimes not compassionate but mutter among themselves that you are President of the PIA club (“Pain in the Ass Club”). If they think you are overusing the ambulance service to go to the ER the drivers have been known to say that you are a “frequent flyer” and/or that your primary caregiver is just practicing defensive medicine for selfish reasons, to avoid liability if something happens and results in an increase of insurance premiums.

  22. Bob K. says:

    “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.”–Abraham Lincoln

    With satire, some will be offended. That’s how it works 😉

  23. Peter T says:

    So here is my problem. I agree with the underlying message, but it was delivered with derision and mockery. It pains me to be the killjoy since I am an unrepentant wise ass, but time and place matter. What we are talking about is respect for people’s core beliefs. That is worthy of serious respect. It was not a practical joke that an AA agnostic went to the HRC to challenge the delisting of the AA/Agnostic meetings. If you want to be taken seriously then act like an adult – make your pitch logical and even handed and without sarcasm and so called wit. If I were a member of the myriad Christian denominations mocked (Sammy Sosa, Slamming Sammy Snead??) I would give the article very short shrift. My plea is to all authors to show some respect of others beliefs, just as we insist that our beliefs are respected too.

  24. Jill B. says:

    I read the first 200 words and quit reading word-for word. You see I’m not in the invisible but oh so very present in crowd in the AA agnostics. I tried to fit in. I went to the meetings and hung out in the chat rooms. Attended a conference. AND I AM MADE to feel as a MISFIT even worse than in the Christian groups more often than not. I have had a couple of good experiences in Toronto meetings certainly. And some individual people are very wonderful to me.

    As a whole though, I don’t stay in anything in the “Community” otherwise known as the In Crowd. Atheists vocalize that I’m too stupidly and naively spiritual. Others of the In Crowd can’t bother to learn my name because I’m Mrs. And lest we forget – sexism and male privilege is alive and well. Again not so much in the meetings. But in the community? I had been asked to be a speaker then dropped from being by a speaker then grudgingly accepted as “Well we have to have a least one woman on the panel” attitude. I’m treated second class and a misfit because I’m married, a woman, and too spiritual for a number of you people and the in crowd as a whole. The same way my beliefs are way too crazy for the other kinds of groups.

    Please consider how exclusivity may be still within the agnostic community and how rigidity and fanaticism keeps any kind of non-conformist away with coercive compliance.

  25. Larry K says:

    Lol… love it Bob.

    So did groucho.

  26. Anne says:

    Thank you Scott. This will be an unconventional thought but I think the reasoning behind keeping people in the rooms with phrases like “meeting makers make it” is that essentially if we got sober and didn’t go back who would be there for newcomers. It’s a bullying thing to me BUT AA got me sober. There is the dilemma.

  27. Scott H says:

    The longer I am Sober the harder I have found it to stay in the rooms and listen to the preachers and the fundamentalists spew their version of the “Right Way” to get recovery. I warn newbies to be wary when someone approaches them with “the solution”. There will always be sheeply who need to be led like a horse with blinders unable to have independent thought.

  28. Anne says:

    One of the great turn offs for me was/is the smug attitude of the “in crowd “. I went in and out for years mostly I think because I couldn’t measure up to the “secret” which was finding a higher power. I was lucky enough to be in Asheville for the start up of an agnostic, atheist and freethinker meeting a year ago and the freedom I felt was enormous. I have 4 years again but a move back to Virginia last April where conservative aa is toxic to me has kept me away from meetings. Hearing the “Spouting of the same ole same ole” meeting after meeting does not keep me sober. Making and following through with the decision not to drink and reliving in my mind the final months of alcoholism DOES keep me sober but I wish there was an aaaaft meeting in my area.

  29. Thomas B. says:

    Thanks Bob — your article overflows with arching and arcing wit and aplomb !~!~!~

    Whenever I encounter one of the true believers, I smile and show them my 44 year coin. When they scoff and infer I must not be a “real alcoholic”, I smile again and suggest to them, “Well you weren’t there, when in despair I stumbled into the rooms, were you? So, you really don’t know, do you? You have an opinion, but one’s opinion is not necessarily THE truth, is it?”

    BTW, thanks for the trip down Dobie Gray’s memory lane, I too was once part of an in-crowd . . . 😉

  30. Anne says:

    Impressed with this!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Translate »

Discover more from AA Agnostica

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading