thanks to Amy, I literally spent 2 full days this weekend reading every single comment on Roger Ebert’s really amazing post about alcoholism and AA. I made a list of the most outstandingly thoughtful quotes and bits.
Ebert: My own best efforts always ended in drinking. I needed to learn from those who had my problems, or sometimes much worse, and were staying sober. For me, the meetings accomplished for me what I could not do on my own.
I like the phrase “my best efforts” … i think what he’s saying is that on his own, using his own way of thinking, in his best attempts to find a solution, he still ended up drinking. So he had to learn to listen to other people who had figured out how to stay sober.
This made me think of my feelings of NOT being terminally unique. And about mentors. As a person who is NOT going to AA, i’m super wowie excited glad happy amazed elated thankful grateful for the sobersphere. Newbies asking intelligent and scared questions. And people with LOTS more experience than me pointing out tree roots that i’ll need to step over, and warning about weird faulty logic that MAY spiral out into weird faulty actions.
I know this online thing isn’t the same as AA. and i know that not everyone’s problems can be solved by blogging and reaching out and asking for help and taking advice and learning to resist urges and trusting other people. I get it. I’m lucky. AND I’ve worked to get to where I am now, and i’m freaking proud of it … “I needed to learn from those who had my problems…” Learn from. Not just listen to and then ignore. I had to Learn From. I had to let someone else’s learning inform me. I had to learn from.
i think that’s why lots of people don’t go to AA, and don’t reach out for help, and lurk, and keep drinking. They think they’ve got it figured out already. they don’t want to learn anything new … That’s not you, though. You’re here, you’re reading this, you’re online, you’re reaching out, you’re learning.