29 Nov ‘Alcoholics Anonymous saved my life, but now I’ve lost my faith’ Podcast
Today the Observer newspaper published a piece about Jon Stewart and his 14 years in AA. You can now read it here http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/nov/29/alcoholics-anonymous-saved-my-life-but-i-lost-my-faith . I feel it is a well balanced piece about Alcoholics Anonymous and some of the more modern alternatives such as Smart Recovery or the Sinclair Method. I know Jon well and have recently done some podcasts on the steps of AA which you can find on this site. We decided to have a quick chat about what he had said in the interview that was done a few months ago, and also mention some of the comments that the online version of the piece received.
As you can see from many of the comments, opinion is very divided about AA and if the piece is good or not. This does not surprise me at all and I feel it shows that not everyone is going to do well in AA despite the claims and that people do need to be helped to find a solution that is going to motivate them, rather than a solution that somebody who now works in a treatment center has been through. There are many ways to recover but AA does tend to be resistant to change and will not acknowledge problems. There is resistance from some in AA to any criticism such as the film, The 13th Step Film which was made by Monica Richardson, which is mentioned in the piece. There is also resistance to discuss any other solution such as The Sinclair Method or Smart recovery, which means newcomers do not find out about solutions that could save their lives.
The comments are interesting as there are many people who are like myself, who have made use of AA and then moved on. You tend not to hear from these people as they do not have a voice, and many members of AA believe that you cannot stay sober without meetings. They only meet the people who come back to meetings after relapsing rather than those who are living good, sober lives. AA does help those who enjoy being part of it, but it is not for everyone and it can cause problems and Jon talks about his experience in later recovery where things get tough for him until he leaves and learns about CBT. Jon has his own blog https://jonsleeper.wordpress.com and does many talks on the subject.