Steve Chandler's iMindShift Blog
BEWARE of the MAKE-WRONG MACHINES
April 25, 2016
My path to recovery was definitely 12-Step. And I know that will anger a lot of people (because it already has) who think such a path is wrong and antiquated.
Books I enjoy and respect about addiction, like Amy Johnson's The Little Book of Big Change, advocate for Jack Trimpey's Rational Recovery which is a marvelous and effective approach except for one thing. It feels it has to make 12-Step wrong for RR itself to be credible and right.
Joseph Bailey's The Serenity Principle does the same thing. It creates a ridiculous caricature of AA and 12-Step in order to make itself seem more sensible and enlightened.
This attempt to create superior competing systems is not as helpful to the still-suffering alcoholic or addict as the authors may think. Trimpey's books are dripping with scorn and sarcasm about 12-Step programs that have saved my life and the lives of so many of my dearest friends and family members.
Religions do this too. Mormons say they have the only truth about spirituality. If I am happy and feeling spiritual and loving God in my Catholic way, well, I am just wrong and deluded and pathetic. I am to be pitied. My happiness is inauthentic. I'm not really happy. I couldn't be.
Catholics say the same about Mormons. LDS is just flat out wrong and we, ourselves, are the only true lineage from the disciples to you! Trying to trademark God. Patent pending.
I've written about this dark alley in my previous books. The need to make others wrong in order to bolster my own feelings about being right. Soon I become a vicious, snarling, snarky make-wrong machine. I ridicule those who don't agree with me. I become more and more distant from them. Now I am an island. A human speck of disconnect.
But right! Oh, I am so right. So right I can barely stand it.
There is lucidity and hope and magic in the books by Trimpey and Bailey, which is why I am listing them in the back of this book as recommended reading.
But I also offer this important heads-up: what they say about AA and other voluntary, non-profit 12-Step programs (that cost you nothing to attend) bears no resemblance whatsoever to my 30-some years of experience attending those meetings. All the things they imply that AA "makes you" do and believe about God and yourself are just a total misreading of what really happens.
I am for anything that gets you clean and sober and gives you a second chance at life. Anything. There is no right or wrong where that is concerned.
Like the song in West Side Story says, "When love comes so strong. . .there is no right or wrong. . .your love is your love."