I want to talk about a comment that I got about Alcoholics Anonymous, it was talking about one of the benefits of Alcoholics Anonymous. I’ll read you the quote…
“I think that Alcoholics Anonymous brings a fellowship, have a whole new group of friends and support people that are on the same journey as you. Yes, you have to leave your drinking buddies behind you, but you adapt to a whole new group of friends that want the best for you. How can that be a bad thing? I found my best friend of a lifetime in Alcoholics Anonymous. So I really recommend it, has not only saved my life, but has given me a new life. Thank you, brother, and I will continue to watch your videos.” I think is a common misconception. It depends on where you start out on this journey. For me, you’re equating two different things, your friendship with Alcoholics Anonymous. I’m not saying that you can’t meet friends within the group, you can.
But it’s just the same for me as meeting friends, while I was on my journey of drinking, most of my friends were all based around alcohol, that was the core foundational thing of our relationship. So, once you have that as a basis, then you take away that alcohol or you take away one thing that’s holding that friendship together, and you’ll find that a lot of the other things will disappear, a lot of your friends will disappear. Because there is no commonality between the two people, that comes about with a lot of groups.
One of the problems that you will find with AA and anything like that is when you have a group of friends, especially when you’re heading down a certain path is, “I’ll describe my journey. I mean, you’re saying that we’re on the same journey.” I’m not on the same journey as anybody from the AA because we start out from different places, and we’re heading to different goals. Somebody who starts out believes that they’re an alcoholic, that they have the disease, that they’re out of control, they need to give their control over somebody else. There’s even parts of it that say that you have to bring back your sanity within the 12 steps, which means it basically says that you’re there’s a certain level of insanity.
Every time you go into the journey, every time you go into this to a group meeting, or you discuss something with somebody who’s in the AA, especially when you’re in a meet, and it’s going to go back to alcohol over and over and over again. I find people who have been away from alcohol for 10, 15, 20, 30… I have one more insane, 40 years, on the Facebook comments says that they’re still in that mindset of one drink away from alcohol. Now, compare that with majority, which says right from the beginning that, “This is only a habit that I am in complete control, I’m the only one who stops to control the flow of alcohol and that I’m moving forward in my life to something differently, and I’m leaving alcohol in my path.” That’s the difference between the journey now.
Just because you have one commonality with somebody doesn’t mean you can’t develop all the things that you have in common. You know, I’ve had friends who were drinkers who also shared my love for science fiction, movies and books. Now, the problem with one commonality like AA, where the theme that you have in common is that you live by those principles of that you are diseased, you’re an alcoholic, this is a disease, it’s something that’s going to stick around with you for the rest of your life, your conversations around those subjects are going to be confined around that narrow limitation, right?
If you decide that, “Well maybe I don’t think that way, maybe I think in a different way”, and you start to bring this up in a conversation, there’s a possibility that the other person will go, “No I’m not there, I still think of these things.” Maybe then you think, “This is the best friend of my life and I don’t want to bring these things up. This is going to leave me a direction where it may risk that friendship, so I’ll keep my mouth shut and I’ll keep going along with what I’ve been saying all along, this idea that we’re alcoholics…”
The commonality of the relationship keeps the ideas in place. And that is the fellowship. And you find that over and over again, it becomes almost a religion. When your friends are in a closely knit community with ideas, and they’re based around ideas, once you try to stray away from those ideas, then the friendships themselves will start to fracture. So that’s why they call it a fellowship.
So whereas my friendships now, some of them are based around people who are also based on that. Everyone that knows me, knows that I don’t drink alcohol, so I can turn around and go, “Look, you’re drinking your lives, I’m going, I’m gonna do something else.” It’s a different way of doing things. My values are based on the things that I do in my life, what I want to see in the future, what I want to get in the future.
I’m not trying to diss your friendships and stuff like that. But I’m just saying that you can’t base your ideas around Alcoholics Anonymous because you found a good friend there. If you take a look at AA and what they stand for, and I said that earlier on with the alcoholics and the disease, and that’s every time you go there, there’s an alcohol, and then you compare it to Habits Unplugged, our community, where people are starting out with the idea that they are the ones that are empowered, that they are the ones that are empowering themselves to make changes happen, that everyday they’re moving further and further away from alcohol, they’re leaving alcohol in the past, I hope you can see the difference.
And I’m not trying to say that our system is the best way around. But it’s a forward looking system where forward looking people, where forward looking community, we’re trying to get people to move away from that basic idea that there’s something wrong with them. And towards the idea that there’s something wrong with what they were doing. Something wrong with what they were doing to themselves, something wrong with the way that we’re living their lives.
It’s a completely different aspect, in terms of how you view yourself, your self image, your self confidence, your self control, how you view your self control. This is all about expectations, and good expectations and bad expectations.