We Admitted We Were Powerless

16 Feb

Here’s what an AA meeting is like.

First to get your question out of the way: yes there is pussy. Top shelf pussy. The pretty girl is there. The perfect girl. Distant and cold seeming in the way perfect girls are. But she’s not important. Because the girl one notch below her is there, too. That’s who catches your eye. She has to sit in a room once a week with that pretty girl. She is second best and she knows. Fucking happens when a girl is second best and she knows.

But there’s no way you’re getting anywhere near that girl. You’re all raw nerve and there’s a weasel gnawing at your heart. She can go fuck herself. Unless she has a superpower where she turns into a pint of Christian Brothers brandy, at the low cost per fucked up ratio of six ninety nine at Royale Junior Liquor Mart. Passed from behind three inches of Lucite by a smiling man from Calcutta like a fireman handing a mother a baby from a burning house. Fuck her. She won’t make you feel better. Only the sweet precious booze will make you feel better… sweet precious booze… get a hold of yourself man.

You go up to some building. Church, community college. It’s night time. One door is open and lit. Outside, nervous bearded men smoke. One pulls another aside. Can I talk to you for a second. They go behind a dumpster. Murmur. So and so relapsed. They found him in his car inside a school with a family’s bloody scalps lodged in the hissing radiator grille. Just wanted to give you an update.

You go in. The same cafe au lait colored metal folding chairs, always. Ninety per cent of them taken up with a pack of camels, always. One of them is yours. You placed your pack in the chair where you can see the side of the prettiest girls face and the top inch of the the second prettiest girl’s ass crack.

A person speaks. The secretary. The secretary introduces the leader. Two white vinyl sheets on the wall. Twelve steps, twelve traditions. People read from them. Then a chapter from the writings of Bill W., founder of AA. Bill W. filibusters about God. He’s a godawful writer and complete cretin. Simple words but the sentences are still obfuscatory. The group really is a miracle, in that his rape of the English language doesn’t inspire his readers to guzzle 55 gallon drums of ethanol. Some mush mouth reads. You think: Jesus Christ. What the fuck am I doing here. This is a cult. These people are idiots.

Someone speaks. Tells a story of how bad they were drunk. Now they’re not that way anymore. Three act structure. The way it was, what happened, the way it is now. The way it is now is: I found God and AA is great. The Big Book is the best and everyone come to AA, stay in AA, etc. Sales pitch. My dad beat me so I drank a fifth every day. One day I beat my wife. Then I went to AA and it’s a new life and God God God. Applause. A cult, you think. They’re brainwashed.

The secretary asks: does anyone want to share. The room is quiet for a second. Then people raise their hands. Nancy, alcoholic. Hi Nancy. Bob, your story really hit home with me. When you beat your wife it reminded me of this morning. The copier was broken. My boss snapped at me. I snapped at him. It reminded me: I really need to work on my emotional sobriety. Get back to the Big Book. Work the steps. Thanks Nancy. Steve Alcoholic had a hard week. So has Barbara Alcoholic and so on. But they are gonna study the Big Book and work the steps. They stagger through stupid bland stories and you are trying not to laugh. Thanks Steve. Thanks Barbara. Trying not to fart. You think: God, what the fuck am I doing here. I should leave and go to the liquor store.

Then one old guy with a white beard and fake leopard coat pipes up. ”Patrick, Alcoholic. Jesus fucking Christ. All I’m hearing tonight is everyone bitching about other people. Never yourselves. And God, God, God. Work the steps. You sound like you were fucking brainwashed into a cult and you’re giving a sales pitch. Why don’t you chickenshits just admit you want a drink. You want a drink and you can’t have it and you’re one raw nerve and a weasel gnaws your heart and it’s fucking fucked up and terrible,” he says.

No second act. That’s it.

Thanks Patrick. Everyone applauds. You the most.

AA sucks except there’s always the one guy. That’s why you go back. I’ve been to a bunch of them now. And it all sucks except fifteen seconds out of the hour is perfect. Plus the ass crack.

And it does help you not drink. I don’t even know why I’m not drinking anymore. Five days in and looking back, drinking doesn’t seem so bad. Sure I’d spend money. Almost get my ass beat. Scream at cops. Sexually assault women. Wake up three days a week at noon in my shoes. But is that worse than this? Three mornings a week used to suck. Now every second is a thousand lifetimes.

But it works. I don’t know why I don’t drink. But I don’t drink.

You say a prayer, all holding hands. You hold the pretty girl’s shaky left hand and it’s weirdly delicate. Like holding a baby sparrow. They make church announcements and then you leave. Hang out on the sidewalk after. Nice people smoke and tell me it gets better. They seem happy. Yeah, but what about the God shit, I want to ask. And who gets to fuck the girls. I keep it to myself. They’re brainwashed but I believe them. I’ll give it a month. See what happens. Serenity, you cocksuckers.

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21 Responses to “We Admitted We Were Powerless”

  1. Anonymous February 16, 2014 at 2:16 pm #

    its weird, because it does help you not drink. somehow. at first. but the 3 act structure issue is exactly what will break you down. and after that it is really really hard. because where else can you go? and by the time your intelligence takes hold, the repetition has printed this story of inevitable doom, death, shame, and failure–if you leave, after leaving.
    you still want to address the drinking, or to quit. but you can’t afford intelligent therapy. alternative, science based, physiological care. and you can’t talk about it. because aa told you it was permanent–and everyone believes that in society–that if you once went and since have left it then you are a sad story of a lost cause. believe me, that shit hurts.
    the internet has made post AA critique or conversation better. There are finally forums that confront the controversy and contradictions. But it is still the internet–and then the money for personalized approaches. obama care has raised the bar on requirements for preventative care including depression and addiction treatments–but done nothing to sanction versions of that care that fall outside of psych meds and aa. acupuncture, quality counseling (by people with independent brains and PHD’s), thorough blood testing with nutrition counseling, rehabs with “OTHER” approaches, etc. this is all still only for the wealthy.
    so there is a great abyss of suffering intellectuals.
    thank you for mentioning bill’s deplorable writing skill.
    have you ever read the big book? it is worse than reader’s digest, or highlights for kids.
    see dick drink
    see dick be a dick
    see dick don’t drink

    don’t you ever dare see dick think. because that is an arrogant interruption of god’s basic plan.

    basic works.
    so did the lobotomy.
    or so it seemed to appear to the others.

    • Anonymous February 16, 2014 at 2:20 pm #

      all that said, i once went to an “ARTISTS ONLY” meeting in SF.
      and that was amazing.
      they recognized that their personal strengths, their positive qualities, their reason for a ‘desire to live/not drink’ was fundamentally their deconstructive, analytical acuteness. They gain nothing by silencing cycles of intensity, fevered inquiry, or thier thirst for unpacking thought and structure.
      it was a very fresh approach. unique. different. better.

  2. Anonymous February 16, 2014 at 2:42 pm #

    For fuck’s sake, stop whining and stay sober.

  3. Fredulous February 16, 2014 at 2:42 pm #

    I like to think my comment on your ‘Write Her a Lovely Message…’ post from two weeks ago is the sole reason for you frequenting these meetings.

  4. Lex February 16, 2014 at 4:00 pm #

    For fuck’s sake, quit going to mixed meetings. Stick with closed mens meetings. Pussy is always a distraction.

    And get a goddamn sponsor already. Ask Patrick. If you end up hating him, you can tell him to fuck off and ask someone else later.

    • Anonymous March 16, 2014 at 12:43 pm #

      “Stick with closed mens meetings.”

      Faggot.

  5. phillipseymorhoffman'sghost'sheroinstash February 16, 2014 at 11:32 pm #

    The title says it all. Are you really powerless?

    It seems to me you’re trading one ego crutch for another.

    Life is too hard, better get drunk.

    You know its bullshit. It doesn’t matter, because its easier to bullshit and be smugly satisfied being a greater bullshitter than the rest of the bullshitters because you’re too afraid to confront the bullshit.

    Responsibility is too hard, better attend AA.

    You know its bullshit. It doesn’t matter, because its easier to call bullshit and be smugly satisfied being more versed in bullshit than the bullshitters because you’re too afraid to confront your own bullshitting.

    One of you ends up shooting enough smack and hating yourself such that you die miserably.
    One of you ends up copping enough jesus chips and lying to yourself that you die miserably.

    The genius that is in DT lies in your ability to balance the extremes and rise above the bullshit.

    Sobriety for a term seems appropriate to refocus, but what kind of man will you be if it takes the cognitive dissonance of relying on a schema you know to be a joke? What kind of man will you be when idiocy of AA becomes an excuse to return to E&J binges?

    Anyway, your fault is your externalization of your agency and your genius is in your ability to analyze yourself and your environment in a humorous, objectively critical manner. Find your peace, by all means, but “we admitted we were powerless” becomes “I have become powerless” pretty easily when you allow the agent of power in your life to be something other than yourself.

    • Atlanta Man February 18, 2014 at 12:39 pm #

      Semymor might just be right . When I cannot get wasted I spend hours in the gym, and all night in a marajauna and video game haze. But no hangover and I still get all my shit done everyday. So instead of getting passed out drunk, I get something positive, but still another habit just less destructive.

  6. Evil Steelrat February 17, 2014 at 12:24 am #

    You should check out NA – they aren’t so freaky cult like with the big book, the chicks are way hotter and heaps sluttier (cokewhores > winos) and you won’t have God rammed up your ass all day. Other than that it’s the same basic thing

    • Anonymous February 17, 2014 at 9:43 am #

      Imagine–for a second–a woman in recovery. She gets to be a cokewhore or a wino pussy. And she knows that’s what you think of her.
      Fucking deplorable bullshit guys.

      • Evil Steelrat February 17, 2014 at 4:49 pm #

        I’ve been clean in recovery a long time. Calling a cokewhore a cokewhore is like calling the sky blue, it’s not something we can have a debate about, it is a simple fact. Having fucked hundreds of them they all sort of blur into the same personality in my memory. The personality defect which makes a cokewhore a cokewhore, a wino a wino, or a junkie a junkie… doesn’t miraculously disappear when said cokewhore stops using coke.

  7. russ February 17, 2014 at 11:20 am #

    Get a sponsor and go to NA or men’s group instead. The wino whores aren’t worth the trouble (you WILL get fucked up with them). There’s plenty of regular vanilla whores out there.

    As for a sponsor, it should be a man who is either smarter than you, or harder than you. A man who has actually stayed sober for more than a decade, and doesn’t go all-in for the god shit.

    You really just need a basic framework for how to be happy while you avoid fucking up your life and slowly killing yourself.

    Even if you later on decide you’d rather retch ethanol and bile for the rest of your short life, the groups are great inspiration for a writer.

    Probably preaching to the choir here, but get money, hit the gym, and fuck fat booty Mexican teenagers with no condom. Not being a drunk shit stain will make all of that easier. You live in the golden era of latin SoCO pussy, make it count.

  8. Lucky February 17, 2014 at 1:43 pm #

    I’m going on two weeks sober and I’ve been going to AA meetings every day for the past week (I’m in rehab and it’s part of the treatment plan). This is completely accurate, except at my AA meetings we only get a “Patrick” type of guy ever other meeting and I’ve only seen one cute girl the whole week. The meetings suck ass for the most part.

    Still, I have greater clarity of thought and I’ve never written so much in my life. Keep it up man.

  9. Fake Eric Cantona February 17, 2014 at 7:40 pm #

    People generally seek out that which reflects their self value. That by seeking out the second best, you say that you are not worthy of the best. You have thus insulted the object of your desire. Maybe try to win the perfect girl, knowing that she is an intimidating unicorn, surrounded only by orcs who think they are good enough to ravish her. You can be the hero that mounts that unicorn and rides her into the sunset. Reality is for people who have given up. Live your dreams.

  10. Atlanta Man February 17, 2014 at 8:29 pm #

    DT I just want you to know if you slip up it is OK just get back up and keep trying. I am vehemently against AA and believe one on one counseling with a professional is better but you are a grown ass man so do it your way. I am a firm believer that marajauna usage can blunt your alcohol cravings but will cause weight gain, so go to the gym to mitigate it if you try. I know you do not know me but if you need to talk email me whenever, or don’t, just keep moving forward and keep writing. A lot of people give a fuck about you, good luck.

    • Can I Get A Refund On This Rape-Whistle? February 18, 2014 at 11:14 am #

      Thanks for the message the other day, Atlanta Man.

      So, you’re in “USMLE Step 1 Hell” now. My condolences. Only 2 more USMLE Hells to go, then you’ll be in “Residency Hell” and afterwards possibly in “Fellowship Hell” if you decide to specialise. You have my admiration, because not many people have the stomach for the amount of work involved in the profession you’ve chosen. You are Fucking Ace for even attempting what few dare to try, and I wish you all the success in the world.

      I should still be here in August, if you’re not busy. As it stands, you’re like a lot of the people I “know” here in Atlanta. They’re well-intentioned and decent enough, quite likeable… but everyone here seems to be Extremely Busy All The Time. This makes it difficult to maintain a circle of friends when people can only meet on occasion.

      I’ve found that, as far as friends, girlfriends, one-night stands and good old-fashoned immoral entertainments are concerned, getting the hell out of Atlanta metro and visiting places where the people are considered more “rednecky” or “ratchety” has served to entertain me far better than any entertainment venues in neighbourhoods such as Buckhead. I prefer my entertainment with a dose of sleaze, sketch, skeeze, scouse, and general fucked-up-edness. To me, that IS entertaining. Just avoid the crackheads and the methheads, and you’ll do all right.

      And I really loathe Buckhead. Jesus H. Christ in a chicken-basket.

      You mentioned using marijuana in lieu of alcohol. I’m on the fence here; not sure this is the best approach for someone whose primary problem is alcohol. I’ll admit marijuana seems to be less of a health risk than alcohol. On the other hand, I think it affects everyone a bit differently. I’ve spent enough time with people who are the opposite of what you’ve described; after a few puffs, they want to start drinking (and continue smoking). Maybe some personalities are simply more addiction-prone than others? However, I’m not about to write it off completely, as I believe enough evidence exists to show that moderate marijuana use may in fact benefit some people. In the alternative, it may injure other people. Not everyone is going to respond the same way to the same treatment, is my point.

      Again, best of luck to you, Atlanta Man.

      El Tano Pasman

  11. Can I Get A Refund On This Rape-Whistle? February 18, 2014 at 10:04 am #

    Mr. Tacos, thanks for this excellent story. You’ve had your first glimpse of the world of “principles before personhood,” where embracing one’s own “powerlessness” is paramount. Never mind that the need to avoid personal responsibility and deem oneself powerless is probably how most of the people you met the other night became alcoholics in the first place.

    My feelings about the AA thing are mixed. On the one hand, something within you – conscious or unconscious – has issued the ultimatum that you need to change how you do things. It’s you that has said to yourself, that after years of being more or less immune to the worst consequences, you’re now starting to feel the weight of outcomes that don’t mesh with your desires, and you want out. That mentality I can understand.

    On the other hand, I have to wonder if the act of sitting in a circle of chairs in the basement of some church or community center and listening to one sordid tale of inebriation, realization and redemption after another, one “this is how I found God” story after another… if that’s really going to get you to where you want/need to be.

    Writing is a skill, and if this many people are telling you how you possess beaucoup skill in that area, I’d say believe them. Continue to hone your writing. But it seems what you really need are other projects and things going on in your life, other ways of self-developing and learning and accomplishing things that will use up those durations of time that you’d otherwise want to use to get pissed as a newt. A stand-in activity that replaces drinking. Maybe discovering another of your skills is what you need, and not a bunch of meetings.

    Because ultimately that’s all 12 Step meetings do. The meetings become the “stand-in activity” in your life that supplants drinking/drug use. All that unconditional love and total acceptance inherent in the group structure. All the “Keep Coming Back” chips and the mentality of “Gotta keep goin’ to meetings! I gotta beat this thing! Keep goin’ to meetings so I won’t wanna drink!” Lots of times, I’m afraid it ends up being one addiction (meetings) supplanting another (inebriation).

    Mr. Tacos, do what you feel you need to. Use AA for as long as you need its presence in your life. I have friends who’d be dead without it, I’ll freely admit. But you may reach a point when you no longer need it because you have found something that else supplants it, some other Mode of Being that you can give most of your time to, so that you don’t actually need the other one. No matter which path you choose, I wish you all the best in life.

    Oh, and be sure to tell any hot Latina mami you meet: “My name is [your name]. But the vatos call me El Elegante.” And then you show her your pair of gold-plated Beretta 92FS’s with the words “El Chingón” spelled out on each pistol’s grip in chips of diamond.

    If that doesn’t work, you may actually have to learn Spanish,

    Regards,

    El Tano Pasman

  12. Sol February 18, 2014 at 1:25 pm #

    Time to grow up and stop acting like a f*cking twat!

    • livingwell February 21, 2014 at 5:01 pm #

      Hey, mr sun, fucking shame game does not work on the intelligent. take your shtick elsewhere.

  13. livingwell February 21, 2014 at 5:09 pm #

    Moderation is the key. In the US, it’s all or nothing. Go for balance and leave the religious AA alone.

  14. Anonymous July 28, 2014 at 10:56 am #

    I’m with you, in spirit, if nothing else. The 20 minutes I had to wait for the liquor store to open was a hell of a lot longer then the last two hours.

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