When I first heard some of the recovery jargon sayings like “One day at a time” and ”Love yourself” or so much other inspirational crap, I would just stop in my mind and try to savor it by listening to what was being said; thinking that it was something special only to be heard once. I would try to memorize the saying so I could use it later perhaps when speaking to someone or when I got down.

Little did I know that these sayings are ubiquitous. They become the whole topic of the meetings. It’s like people race against each other to see who can fit more of this crap into their sentences while speaking. If Alcoholics Anonymous was my only choice in recovery, I bet I could just go into one of the meetings and keep on talking using only their recovery jargon without disclosing anything personal about myself; that’s how I always feel when I go there.

I thought it was ironic when this girl was telling her story at the alcoholics anonymous meeting

She mentioned growing up in a Christian family. How she’d learned from early on how to act like a Christian. She said all she needed to do was pretend and say the right things. She eventually mastered all the right words even though she never believed in them. She admitted she was a faker; I wanted to raise my hand and ask her, “Do you think this time is different?” and “What makes you think that you are not pretending here, in Alcoholics Anonymous?”

Of course I never asked those questions. It would have been fucking rude. I bet I would have been thrown out of that meeting forever. Banned.

I meet so many people who are frustrated, they all know AA jargon but it doesn’t make them stop drinking, they relapse. Frustration is very understandable. Alcoholics Anonymous makes sobriety seem like a miracle. You need to have a spiritual awakening! – but they almost never mention that the guy who founded AA had his awakening while under the influence of drugs, hallucinating.

I failed 90 meetings in 90 days

I was scared back then of relapsing after I left in-patient rehab, that made me open to any program. I would do as much as 3 meetings per day trying to make myself accept the ways of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Eventually I felt that it had become pointless because all I was hearing in every meeting was the same jargon with different combinations.

It honestly started making me depressed. I thought: “Is this how my life is going to be now?” I guess what made it worse was not understanding some of their sayings. I became so tired and I felt empty.

 

Definition of recovery is listening to recovery jargon and reading inspirational quotes

It’s not only AA. It’s everywhere. Look at Twitter for example, when it comes to recovery it’s all inspirational quotes. I am becoming allergic to them, seriously. If you excuse me, I have to go vomit. Why is there nothing else?

I am so thankful for this buzz word: “mindfulness”

Because my recovery can be anywhere, anytime. If I wish I can just sit in a dark quiet room thinking about nothing and once I am done I can proudly say: “I have been working on my recovery.” It’s all about conscious choice to do something in the name of helping myself stay sober. Being aware of myself and monitoring my feelings, that’s all it takes, there is no need to be locked in the box where only the same old sayings and inspirational quotes are available. Getting in touch with myself and finding meaningful ways to experience this world have shifted my thinking to open possibilities..

Why does nobody talk about meaning?

It is rarely addressed. Mostly because it’s complicated? I don’t know but no one talks about meaning. People get sober, most of them actually do know how to stay sober but they choose to go back. Could it be that the real problem to staying sober is lack of meaning? Isn’t it only when we find meaning that we can endure pain and make sacrifices? I noticed one thing in Alcoholics Anonymous is that people who have long years of sobriety are religious about preaching how good AA is; it’s like it has become their life’s meaning and purpose.

I find that my own sobriety depends on finding meaning. Too bad there are no freely available groups where you can discuss this matter. It’s like a taboo subject.

Rehabs give you the tools on how to stay sober, but they never address why you should keep being sober, instead they just throw a bunch of inspirational quotes and recovery jargon at you. I feel like it’s a fundamental mistake to not take time and talk about this very complicated subject of finding your own meaning.

After writing about this, I guess I am not alone who feels this way

 

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