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Author Topic: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid  (Read 14704 times)

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Offline CalvinC

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Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« on: February 26, 2007, 09:12:50 PM »
Hello all

I've been back, lurking.....but nothing to contribute, save for this.

I noticed that Ann, one of the moderators, has a link under "Addicted?" to a group known as Sexaholics Anonymous (SA). While the purpose of any twelve step group is commendable--recovery, and a spiritual life--gay men and lesbians may not find SA very hospitable. Why? In SA, sobriety is defined within the strict parameters of a heterosexual relationship, ie, they believe that sex is admissable only between spouses, and they define a spousal couple as "man" and "woman." Obviously, there isn't a lot of room for gay people here.

I would recommend instead a far more inclusive group, SLAA, the largest 12 step group of its kind with that specific mission, a group that states in its literature that gender or sexual orientation is irrelevant. The website might be found at http://www.slaafws.org/

Andrew

(ps. I did bring this up with Ann, but I got no response. As a result, I thought it germane to post.)

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2007, 09:28:25 PM »
Thanks for that post. I am leery of many 12 step programs mainly because they were not scientifically tested until quite recently. The notion of abdicating control to a higher power proves a stumbling block to many atheistic or alternative people, and insofar as Sex Addicts, I wholeheartedly agree that the notion of heterosexual fidelity works only for heterosexuals.

And to be fair, sec addiction is not ever the cause of the problem. It is invariably a symptom. And only a professional counselor - or a professionally MODERATED group therapy session stands a chance of making a real and lasting change.

In AA and NA and the like, the groups are as healthy- or as sick- as the most charismatic person in the group. And given the deceptive nature of most addictions, my money is not always on the "healthy" when dealing with the group leaders.

A combination of cognitive behavioural therapy, the correct medication, and personal committment to real - and realistic-  change is the best best for recovery.

Because it's not the drink. Or the drug. Or the sex. It never is. And removing the anesthetic sets a person up for a terribly painful, and often lonely period.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2007, 09:31:31 PM »
I have to agree with JK. I consider 12 step programs extremely dodgy to say the least. All that "give yourself to a higher power" shit sounds like a total cop-out to this little white pervert.

More than that, I have serious doubts that such a thing as "sexual addiction" even exists. Nothing more than latter day buzz words for those in search of a "condition" to validate their pointless lives, I suspect.

MtD


Offline CalvinC

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2007, 09:43:42 PM »
Well, Matty, nothing like nay-saying. Should we assume that your "insight" comes from experience?

First off, "sex addiction" simply denotes what might in a psychiatrist's office be called "intimacy disorder." As Jonathan states, it's not about the sex (or the drink or the drugs); it's how it is used in order to mask life's other problems/issues/bruises. In any case, all 12 step programs address the addiction itself in the first three steps; the remaining steps are based on the need for spiritual, intellectual, emotional and physical stability. So perhaps these people have had pointless lives. Might there be anything wrong in trying to indeed find a point?

12 step groups define a Higher Power as not necessarily a deity, nor does it presume a relationship of subordination. (The higher power can be the group, the literature, whatever; "god" can mean "Good Orderly Direction."

There's nothing "dodgy" about 12 step groups. Invariably, as with any organization, there may be bad apples and the like. But again, as with any organization, these get weeded out.

A<

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2007, 10:03:17 PM »
Well, Matty, nothing like nay-saying. Should we assume that your "insight" comes from experience?

First off, "sex addiction" simply denotes what might in a psychiatrist's office be called "intimacy disorder." As Jonathan states, it's not about the sex (or the drink or the drugs); it's how it is used in order to mask life's other problems/issues/bruises. In any case, all 12 step programs address the addiction itself in the first three steps; the remaining steps are based on the need for spiritual, intellectual, emotional and physical stability. So perhaps these people have had pointless lives. Might there be anything wrong in trying to indeed find a point?

12 step groups define a Higher Power as not necessarily a deity, nor does it presume a relationship of subordination. (The higher power can be the group, the literature, whatever; "god" can mean "Good Orderly Direction."

There's nothing "dodgy" about 12 step groups. Invariably, as with any organization, there may be bad apples and the like. But again, as with any organization, these get weeded out.

A<


Sigh. Is it International Pissy Bitch Day today or something? No, Matty the Damned has no experience of these groups from a members perspective nor does he consider his life pointless. He thinks that people who believe in things like "sexual addiction" and "intimacy disorders" lead pointless lives, but he doubts SA can help them.

First up, I've never bought into this "the higher power" is whatever you want it to be rap that the Anonymous Cultists prattle on about. It quite plainly suggests that you have to buy into the notion of a supreme personality that controls all things. I don't accept that. Nor do around 6% of my countrymen.

But don't believe me. Check out the 12 Steps on the SA site that Ann links to. They have copied them directly from AA (and they say so) and God (with a capital G) figures prominently. Same with the 12 Traditions, that they have. There's even a "Fellowship Approved Literature List".

Now what does that remind you of?

The important thing here is that I don't think people who want to participate in these creepy organisations should be stopped from doing so. If these things float your boat, go for it. I say the same about Mormonism or Roman Catholicism or your local Lord of the Rings Re-enactment Society.

I do have a problem when groups like AA, NA or even SA become part of mandated treatment courses. I dispute that 12 step programmes are effective for a significant majority of people.

But what is "sex addicition" or an "intimacy disorder" anyway? Are these labels that we apply to people who don't conform to societal norms when it comes to private sexual behaviour between consenting adults? I suspect so.

And I think it distasteful to compare certain sorts of sexual behaviour to established medical conditions such as alcoholism and substance addiction. These are not the same and it's ignorant to suggest otherwise.

MtD

Offline CalvinC

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2007, 10:11:15 PM »
Pardon me? "International Prissy Bitch Day"? Is this meant to be funny?

My defense, as it were, of 12 step programs takes its cue from your own bitchy comments, if I might put so fine a point on it. Really, if you don't have anything more constructive in your commentary that amounts to little more than sticking out your tongue and saying You're Stupid, then kindly start your own thread. And here's a title for it: Just Jerking Off.

If you aren't interested in the thread beyond spreading your negative brand of superiority, kindly take it elsewhere. Go live one of those pointful lives that you, the arbiter of what is pointless, must have.

Good grief.

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2007, 10:11:27 PM »
I don't mean to be argumentative, but any group meeting that ends with the "Lord's Prayer" espouces a singular agenda.

A cursury research into the history of AA will show you that it was formed without any scientific input other than the verbiage and philosophy of one recovering, Christan alcoholic and a singular physician... in the 1920s, before the advent of psychoanalysis and modern mental health counseling.

And all other "anonymous" programs are based on that same model ... a model that has been  that has been proven to be largely ineffective (except, I imagine for, devout Christian heterosexuals)

At best, the only psychological basis for 12 step recovery is Jungian in theory, as one of the two recovering alcoholics (Dr Bill W) consulted Jung in the early years of his decision to begin a program.

Thing is, given the strong judeo christian (particularly protestant) bent of the recovery program, it seems that only those already leaning towards that belief system (and many gay men and women have HUGE problems with the concepts involved with the Christian religion) stand a chance of beating their addictions using that program.

some sources:
Keith S. Ditman, M.D., George G. Crawford, LL.B., Edward W. Forgy, Ph.D., Herbert Moskowitz, Ph.D., and Craig MacAndrew, Ph.D. (August 1967). "A Controlled Experiment on the Use of Court Probation for Drunk Arrests". American Journal of Psychiatry 124 (2): pp. 160-163.

^ Brandsma, Jeffrey, Maxie Maultsby, and Richard J. Welsh. Outpatient Treatment of Alcoholism. Baltimore, MD.: University Park Press, page 105.

To the best of my knowledge, ALL 12 step groups follow this same formula, which to me is disengenuous considering the VASTLY different natures of addictions to alcohol, cocaine, meth, sex, and the like.

Perhaps converting to an evangelical paradigm helps some people to convert their energy into a positive, or at least a community-supported resource. I submit that for most people, as proven by the statistics insofar as recidivism is concerned, the very notion is anethema to many people here.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline Lis

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2007, 10:12:49 PM »
not only are 12 step groups dodgy... but they are full of incest... (thank you 13th step)... any philosophy that says i have no control of my life is flawed...

only my opinion!
poz 1986....

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2007, 10:17:08 PM »
Pardon me? "International Prissy Bitch Day"? Is this meant to be funny?

My defense, as it were, of 12 step programs takes its cue from your own bitchy comments, if I might put so fine a point on it. Really, if you don't have anything more constructive in your commentary that amounts to little more than sticking out your tongue and saying You're Stupid, then kindly start your own thread. And here's a title for it: Just Jerking Off.

If you aren't interested in the thread beyond spreading your negative brand of superiority, kindly take it elsewhere. Go live one of those pointful lives that you, the arbiter of what is pointless, must have.

Good grief.


Look Calvin, I've said my bit and I've said it in my own inimitable way. If you don't like the tone, well so be it.  If you want to focus on my rough edges rather than accept that I've addressed the issues from my perspective that's fine too, dear.

By the way luvvie, I said "Pissy Bitches" not "Prissy Bitches". ;)

MtD

Offline Lis

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2007, 10:23:59 PM »
I'm a pissy bitch... are you guys making fun of me?     
poz 1986....

Offline AlanBama

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2007, 10:40:33 PM »
I was a big drinker back in the 80's.....(and probably a major contributing factor to acquiring HIV) ...I went to a few AA meetings; seemed more like a pick-up place to me.  We always went out to eat, or to the gay bars afterwards....and everyone watched to make SURE you were only drinking 7-up.

In the end, I was the only one who could "fix" me.   I never actually tried doing the 12 steps, but I do know people who swear that it worked for them.

Those were the days!   Now, two glasses of wine and I am ready for bed......
"Remember my sentimental friend that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others." - The Wizard of Oz

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2007, 10:41:33 PM »
For the record, I am speaking as one who attended such a program in the early 90s,  and who then attended schoolto become an LPC. And my eyes were opened at both junctures. I do not want to interfere with whatever works for anyone else. I can only state with certainty that the science is fairly clear about unmoderated religious-based group therapy.

And make no mistake, the 12 step recovery program depends, relies on the spiritual. And the concept of letting a higher power control one's destiny is, in my opinion, a cause of, rather than a cure for, an addiction.

Whether it is Jesus or Gin, the concept of AA is simply that we are neither in control of nor responsible for our destinies, that we must surrender to a higher power. Isn't that precisely what a drug addict does?

Givng anyone or anything the power to control one's destiny is, IMHO, the antithesis of takign personal repsonsibility. Powerless over alcohol? Not really. Because even when that drink was not taken, even when that "sobriety" asserted itself over time, the underlying problems would remain intact, and the pain for which the substance provided an anesthetic remains largely unaddressed.

For the people for whom the 12 step recover system works, I have nothing but respect and awe for you. It is simply not scientifically quantifiable, and for those whom spriritual development is a sore spot or an intensely privatge experience, it is actually a danger.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline jkinatl2

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"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline mjmel

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2007, 11:09:16 PM »
 ??? Now I understand why ANN didn't respond.
Ever heard two tom cats fight in an alley?
Good grief, Charlie Brown! What's all the ruckus about? 

P.S. only my opinion (good idea Lis!)
« Last Edit: February 26, 2007, 11:12:10 PM by mjmel »

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2007, 11:27:10 PM »
Sorry to have offended your sensibilities, Mjmel.

*edited to add:

I find the above comment flamebaiting and not at all conducive to rational debate or conversation.

« Last Edit: February 26, 2007, 11:38:47 PM by jkinatl2 »
"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2007, 11:46:45 PM »
Quotes from the AA Big Book about agnostics or atheists:

"To one who feels he is an atheist or agnostic such an experience seems impossible, but to continue as he is means disaster ... To be doomed to an alcoholic death or to live on a spiritual basis are not always easy alternatives to face."
(AA cofounder "Bill W." on page 44)

"But after a while we had to face the fact that we must find a spiritual basis of life -- or else. Perhaps it is going to be that way with you. But cheer up, something like half of us thought we were atheists or agnostics."
(AA cofounder "Bill W." on page 44)

"But [the newcomer's] face falls when we speak of spiritual matters, especially when we mention God, for we have re-opened a subject which our man thought he had neatly evaded or entirely ignored. We know how he feels. We have shared his honest doubt and prejudice. Some of us have been violently anti-religious."
(AA cofounder "Bill W." on page 45)

"...as soon as we were able to lay aside prejudice and express even a willingness to believe in a Power greater than ourselves, we commenced to get results..."
(AA cofounder "Bill W." on page 46)

"Do not let any prejudice you may have against spiritual terms deter you..."
(AA cofounder "Bill W." on page 47)

"[We] often found ourselves handicapped by obstinacy, sensitiveness, and unreasoning prejudice. Many of us have been so touchy that even casual reference to spiritual things make us bristle with antagonism. This sort of thinking had to be abandoned.... Faced with alcoholic destruction, we soon became ... open minded on spiritual matters.... In this respect alcohol was a great persuader. It finally beat us into a state of reasonableness."
(AA cofounder "Bill W." on pages 47-8)

"If you think you are an atheist, an agnostic, a skeptic, or have any other form of intellectual pride which keeps you from accepting what is in this book, I feel sorry for you."
(AA cofounder "Dr. Bob" on page 181)

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline Boo Radley

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2007, 12:49:25 AM »
I was required to attend several AA meetings in the 80s when I went into institutionalized rehab very briefly.  My psychiatrist suggested I attend AA when I first started seeing him.  He stopped suggesting it in the first year of our acquaintance.

AA attendees almost always talked about the strength god gave them.  The scariest (and last) AA meeting I attended was a GLBT group and their 12 steps specifically stated "god" instead of "higher power."  Early on I stated I was uncomfortable relying on a god I didn't know to exist and could not believe existed but no one replied.  There were just a few seconds of awkward silence.  At the end we all formed into a circle and joined arms and chanted some womb prayer or other goofy crap and I hightailed it out as soon as the first "Amen" was uttered. 

I will never attend any 12 step (or other) program which requires one to submit to an alleged "higher power," "god," or anything else.  I may need help but other people or medications can help, not the Tooth Fairy.  My prejudice aside, if AA works for others more power to them.  Like religious matters I want the right to believe as I do and I will not proselytize and I ask the same of everyone else, including organized religion, but that is another thread...

Boo
String up every aristocrat!
Out with the priests and let them live on their fat!





Everything I do, say, think, excrete, secrete, exude, ooze, or write 2007 Sweet Old Boo, Inc.

Offline ndrew

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2007, 02:47:02 AM »
It is always best to replace the power of getting high with a higher power...

Drew

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2007, 02:55:25 AM »
It is always best to replace the power of getting high with a higher power...

Drew

I firmly, yet respectfully disagree. As I do with many or most bumper stickers.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline sweetasmeli

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2007, 03:09:45 AM »
I checked out GA for a friend I know with a habit, but as soon as I saw the references to god/a higher power in the 12 step plan - knowing he is an out and out atheist - I dropped the idea. I will however have a browse through the links that JK provided, for what its worth. I say "for what its worth" as I realise that I am indeed pretty powerless to actually help my friend; in the end he has to want to change and if/when he does he will seek the help himself.

As far as 'higher powers' are concerned, I view my own ability to choose how I behave and respond to everything  that happens to me and around me as the highest power in my life.

Melia 
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Yeia kai hara (health and happiness) to everyone!

Offline Boo Radley

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2007, 04:06:30 AM »
It is always best to replace the power of getting high with a higher power...

We're free to think what we want but declaratives including words like "it is always best" should be scrutinized very closely by readers, unless the statement is in obvious jest.  If your word-play is in jest I misunderstood and apologize.

"It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt."

Am I referring to myself?  Quien sabe?

Boo
String up every aristocrat!
Out with the priests and let them live on their fat!





Everything I do, say, think, excrete, secrete, exude, ooze, or write 2007 Sweet Old Boo, Inc.

Offline skeebo1969

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #21 on: February 27, 2007, 07:15:14 AM »



   I cannot dispraise the benefit of AA and NA meetings.  I was a 16 year old crackhead and there were three very important things that occured because of my attending the meetings.   1) Where and who had the biggest rocks.  2) Lis mentioned the 13th step, which helped me lose my virginity.  3) Vulnerable people to rip off.

  Praise Jah!  Haile Selassie ;)


   
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline mjmel

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #22 on: February 27, 2007, 07:52:28 AM »
Sorry to have offended your sensibilities, Mjmel.

*edited to add:

I find the above comment flamebaiting and not at all conducive to rational debate or conversation.



Hey jkinatl2----> :-*

Offline bocker3

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #23 on: February 27, 2007, 08:09:39 AM »
For the record, I am speaking as one who attended such a program in the early 90s,  and who then attended schoolto become an LPC. And my eyes were opened at both junctures. I do not want to interfere with whatever works for anyone else. I can only state with certainty that the science is fairly clear about unmoderated religious-based group therapy.

And make no mistake, the 12 step recovery program depends, relies on the spiritual. And the concept of letting a higher power control one's destiny is, in my opinion, a cause of, rather than a cure for, an addiction.

Whether it is Jesus or Gin, the concept of AA is simply that we are neither in control of nor responsible for our destinies, that we must surrender to a higher power. Isn't that precisely what a drug addict does?

Givng anyone or anything the power to control one's destiny is, IMHO, the antithesis of takign personal repsonsibility. Powerless over alcohol? Not really. Because even when that drink was not taken, even when that "sobriety" asserted itself over time, the underlying problems would remain intact, and the pain for which the substance provided an anesthetic remains largely unaddressed.

For the people for whom the 12 step recover system works, I have nothing but respect and awe for you. It is simply not scientifically quantifiable, and for those whom spriritual development is a sore spot or an intensely privatge experience, it is actually a danger.

I will first admit that AA is NOT going to work for everyone.  However it HAS worked for many, many people over the years.  I for one am sure that I would be dead and probably would have taken some with me were it not for AA.  Let me be very clear here -- I did not ever "find religion" or become overtly "spiritual" through this program.  I did NOT give up responsibility for myself either -- quite the opposite happened.  I began to stop blaming the universe for my problems and realized that it was all my doing.  I faced my biggest "demon" at the time -- that was the closet.  I flung open the door in my first year of sobriety and have not look back (of course most people were more surprised with my alcoholism than my being gay   ::) ).  So what is all this "powerlessness" about?  It's about realizing that I can not have 1 drink and not want more -- it about realizing that I can't change other people, or places or things -- all I can do is to change ME.  I am living proof that one does not need "god" (with a capital G or a little g) to do this.  I do not trust in organized religion and keep my distance from it.  The only "prayer" I ever say -- in an AA meeting or out of it -- is the Serenity Prayer.  The point of that one is to help me remember that I can only change me and my attitude, not anyone else.
One can take quotes from the book "Alcoholics Anonymous" to prove any point you want -- just like many take quotes from bible to "prove" their point.  It is a bit unfortunate that one would use their own bias to denigrate a program that has literally saved the lives of thousands.  I don't know what "scientific data" you are looking for, but I personally have seen hundreds of anecdotal examples of success -- including over 10 within my own family.
The most wonderful thing about AA is that there is only 1 requirement to become member -- that you area an alcoholic and wish to not be.  Yes there are "bad apples" in AA, just like in any group.  Yes, there are some who hook up with others when, perhaps, they shouldn't (the 13th step, mentioned earlier).  Of course, I met my partner through AA and we are still together 16 years later, so I guess it's not all bad.
So, in closing -- if you don't like AA, then don't go, but please don't paint it as a failure, because it is most definitely NOT.  Will I ever drink again??  I have no idea, but I have not had a drink since Oct 29, 1989 -- and my next goal is to not have one today (this has been my daily goal for over 17 years now). 

Mike
Atripla - Started 12/05
Reyataz/Norvir - Added 6/06
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Offline alisenjafi

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #24 on: February 27, 2007, 08:25:38 AM »
IS there an organization for those addicted to god?
"You shut your mouth
how can you say
I go about things the wrong way
I am human and I need to be loved
just like everybody else does"
The Smiths

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #25 on: February 27, 2007, 08:35:42 AM »
For sure there is not going to be unanimity in opinions about 12 Step programs as we're seeing very clearly here. Like psychoanalysis and many forms of therapy, Steps programs are are a tool if you will which are not for everyone.

Through the decades since the founding of AA and evolution of the principles of that program into other areas many seem to have found them to be helpful. And as we can see from reading here for others they just don't work and/or are downright objectionable.

Some have become concerned about the tone of exchanges. I'll just caution here that if you have something you want to say about the subject, please keep the conversation respectful of others who see things differently. And remember, this exchange is not about "winning" or "losing." It's a discussion.

Thanks,

 
« Last Edit: February 27, 2007, 08:43:10 AM by Andy Velez »
Andy Velez

Offline koi1

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #26 on: February 27, 2007, 09:23:35 AM »
I have mixed feelings about 12 step groups. I had a friend who stayed sober for a very long time while attending AA meetings and then went back to drinking when he stopped.

He is a firm non believer in God but for the most part was able to take the positive from the group experience.

I agree that the groups are only as good as the members in them. What is clear to me is that there are people who cannot just have one drink. The minute he said that he did not agree with not drinking anymore, I knew there was trouble ahead. I believe he knows that now and has been sober for a few months.

I have never been physically addicted to alcohol so I don't know what it feels like. However, I do know that these groups work for some people, even if they end with the lord' s prayer. I don't believe in God myself, but I don't think that the soley by believing int him/her makes people evil or stupid or both (but it can). :D

rob :D
diagnosed on 11/20/06 viral load 23,000  cd4 97    8%
01/04/07 six weeks after diagnosis vl 53,000 cd4 cd4 70    6%
Began sustiva truvada 01/04/07
newest labs  drawn on 01/15/07  vl 1,100    cd4 119    7%
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Offline Bartro

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #27 on: February 27, 2007, 09:38:48 AM »
I went through the twelve steps for an addiction not  yet mentioned.  I didn't care for the group meetings, they made me depressed, so I went through the steps on my own with a therapist.  I too had trouble with the "higher power" thing.  The therapist suggested I could use whatever I felt was my "higher power".  I decided it was already inside of me.  My intelligence, the part of me that knew that I was on a destructive path, the part of me that I had lost control of over the years.  This was my higher power and I needed to reconnect with it.  I have had a few relapses over the years but have managed to regain control each time.  Twelve step programs certainly aren't for everyone but they can be tailored to meet the needs of many.
Rusty

Offline jack

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #28 on: February 27, 2007, 10:01:01 AM »
12 step programs work for many people. That is a fact. It doesn't work for some people. That is a fact. What is the fucking problem? The "lords prayer",please, give me a break. If people are able to better themselves,go for it.

I read the book "courage to change" many times in my attempt to quit drinking. It is a collection of stories about famous people we all know and people we have never heard of who were able to conquer their alcohol addiction through 12 step programs. The book is inspirational and I recommend it to anyone who is having addiction problems. Several of my Friends with drinking problems have quit after reading this book.
I did not attend any 12 step programs, I am too much of coward and would never be able to bare my soul and many faults to any group of people or any person. The fear of telling all to a bunch of people and almost dying from drinking too much vodka while in a horrid Crixivan trial was the catalyst that enabled me to quit drinking. I was an alcoholic the first time I drank a beer. I still remember how wonderful it tasted and great it made me feel. I was a functioning(very well)alcoholic from age 15 to 44. I have been sober 10 years and i am not ashamed to say I prayed to God many times every day to give me the courage to stop.

I can understand a gay person hating organized religion for its belief that a person chooses to be gay. We all know this is not true. I have found nothing in the New Testament from Jesus about gay people. I do see much about tolerance and loving our neighbors. Organized religion is made up of humans who make mistakes,just like all other humans. I just can't see walking away from the whole concept of a Higher Power cause some fuckups run a church like politicians run our government,for their own benefit.

Offline ACinKC

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #29 on: February 27, 2007, 10:45:48 AM »
* Note- I havent read all the responses yet.  Just decided to post MY STORY.

I was in treatment for sex addiction for about 75 days.  It was an outpatient facility so I could go home at night which was good.  I had just been diagnosed HIV+ and in the beginning stages of divorce procedings.  FUN FUN FUN!

Anyway, it was STRONGLY suggested to me that I enter SA.  And when I say strongly, one of the counselors brought it up to me daily and informed me that 95% of those who DON'T go to SA relapse and sink back into old habits.  Now it didnt help that this was the same man who was advising me to seek a balance with my spiritual side.  Which I continually informed him, I DONT HAVE A SPIRITUAL SIDE!  So it kind of felt like Catholic school all over again with him force feeding me his logic and me defiantly standing my ground.

Well I broke.  I went to ONE meeting.  OMG.  I am not one to follow the crowd, or blindly vomit up passages from a book in a specific order.  I just do NOT do well with that type of autocracy in my life.  And THAT is what SA was all about.  Which is very effective for ALOT of people.  And i am not discounting that.  It enables them to not have to think about alot of decisions and this works for a majority of people.  Not for me.  I'm proud to say im one of the 5% that made it (so far) on his own will power.  I don't have to surrender myself to ANYONE.  I got myself into this mess and I'll get myself outta this mess.  Granted I will have help but I aint giving credit to the big douchebag in the sky for making me all better!  Otherwise he'd have to take all the blame too now wouldnt he! 

They did abdicate no sex outside a hetero marriage and the one thing that KILLED it for me, no beating off!  YEAH RIGHT!  Might as well tell me not to breathe!  The other problem I had was that the group I went to see didn't have anyone I would want to "be like".  You know.  As a mentor, no one I could look to as someone I wanted my life to turn out to be like.  And i KNOW that is judgemental and I feel sorta bad about it as I know not everyone in life has been as lucky as I have.  But it just wasnt going to work for me.

So long story short.  Im all better now.  Well, I guess that's a matter of opinion now isn't it.

Edited to add.... I am a firm believer of whatever works for you.  And do not judge others for going their way as I have gone mine.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2007, 11:46:30 AM by ACinKC »
LIFE is not a race to the grave with the intention of arriving safely
in a pretty and well-preserved body, but, rather to skid in broadside,
thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming--WOW! WHAT A
RIDE!!!

Offline ACinKC

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #30 on: February 27, 2007, 10:55:06 AM »
I have to agree with JK. I consider 12 step programs extremely dodgy to say the least. All that "give yourself to a higher power" shit sounds like a total cop-out to this little white pervert.

More than that, I have serious doubts that such a thing as "sexual addiction" even exists. Nothing more than latter day buzz words for those in search of a "condition" to validate their pointless lives, I suspect.

MtD



I call it that cause its seems most appropriate.  Sex was interfering with my life in untold ways.  You can call it whatever you want, depression or whatever, it still means something was CLEARLY wrong in my life.  As I had lost the ability to make good decisions.  I, through help of a few others, regained that ability.  I give credit to no one but myself in this as it was ME that put myself into the depths of shame and it was ME that brought myself OUT.

But I assure you matty.  It was a very real hell for me.  Granted others have it worse, but living through it was no picnic.  That being said.  i wouldnt trade it for the world.  Check the sig line.
LIFE is not a race to the grave with the intention of arriving safely
in a pretty and well-preserved body, but, rather to skid in broadside,
thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming--WOW! WHAT A
RIDE!!!

Offline Florida69

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #31 on: February 27, 2007, 11:04:43 AM »
Honestly, you guys it is whatever works best for you.  If you suffer from alcholism or drug addiction there are many programs and rehabilitation arenas to pursue.  In my opinion we all have to do what works best for us.  My issue is I am not a quiter, but with that said I have never and I do mean never been in the place where I could not say, you know I have had enough.  We are all in charge of our own future and sobriety.  When you are hurting yourself it is one thing, but watching someone you love and care about is another issue all together.   If you really love this person, you will do anything, accept anything to get them the help they need.  I did scan the entire conversation before I wrote. I have to admit that I am really confused here as to why some of the members continue to attack each other for their points of view.  We are all different and that is what makes us special.  Take care, D
Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'Press On' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
Calvin Coolidge

Offline aztecan

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #32 on: February 27, 2007, 11:42:18 AM »
Just to add my 2 worth here,

Jonathan wrote,
Quote
Whether it is Jesus or Gin, the concept of AA is simply that we are neither in control of nor responsible for our destinies, that we must surrender to a higher power. Isn't that precisely what a drug addict does?

This is my problem with 12-step programs. I attended a couple of AA meetings with my ex, who said he wanted my support.

From what I could tell, many simply had traded one addiction for another. They now have religion rather than booze, or whatever.

I'm not saying this is necessarily wrong. If it works for someone, more power to them.

I thought I could never surrender control of my life to anyone or anything. The found there was an exception - smoking. Thta is something I am now addressing because I cannot tolerate the feeling I have lost control over it.

Regarding sexaholics, I have trouble accepting it is an addiction. I think it more likely applying the label of sexaholic provided a legitimacy to something hitherto left undiscussed.

Whether it is or isn't, addictive behavior in itself is simply a symptom.

I have seen it countless times during my life - people self medicate to soothe some underlying pain. This is especially true in the gay community, where ostracisation and other societal repercussions are a way of life.

Alcoholism, drug addiction, sexual compusiveness, whatever, all masked the underlying problem. Unfortunately, in the U.S., were are very good at treating symptoms but not nearly as good at treating the underlying problems causing them.

Whether you mask the pain with god or gin, it is still just applying a bandage, not curing the cause of the wound.

HUGS,

Mark
« Last Edit: February 27, 2007, 11:44:16 AM by aztecan »
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline AustinWesley

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #33 on: February 27, 2007, 11:52:56 AM »
IS there an organization for those addicted to god?

LMFAO....... What say everyone?  Is there?  

Hmm, I figure if AA is your deal and works for ya then great.   I'm not religious and I think it's sad that people are forced to go to groups which have another agenda.  

I think people often switch addictions.   Personally, I'd rather date a raging alcoholic than a 12 stepper strung out on some sort of delusional mass hysteria.   There is a cult like element to most of these groups.   Just like this group, I'd say take what ya need and leave the rest.

There are other programs out there like Rational Recovery etc. that J mentioned.   These aren't widely advertised so unfortunately many seeking personal intervention are stuck with no other options.  

And I also question the success of these groups.    Hell, that stupid bitch who founded MADD has herself had two DUIs so ya gotta wonder where her "Higher Power" was hiding.

I've been to a few of those meetings.   Those were enough to drive anyone to drink.   I respect anyone attempting to improve their life and work on their own issues whatever they may be.   Some people need help from others, some do it on their own.  

I would never agree that one is "Powerless" and think it's asinine because it's self defeating.   Everyone has the power to stop drinking or drugging or whatever.    And you don't need to give yourself up to God, Buddha, or Benny Hinn, or James Jones to accomplish your goals.

When I found this group I can tell you I breathed a big sigh of relief when I learned it wasn't some faith based disaster.   At least so far it hasn't been and I saw nothing in the "Terms of Agreement" about giving myself up to God.   Then again, I didn't read them  ; )

 

Diag. 3/06  Infected aprx. 2 mo. Prior
Date        CD4   %      VL
4/6/06     627    32    36,500     NO MEDS YET!
6/7/06     409    27    36,100
8/23/06   408    25     22,300
1/2/07     354    23     28,700
2/9/07     139    30     23,000  Hep A Vaccine same day???
2/21/07   274    26     18,500 
3/3/07    RX of Truvada/Sustiva Started.
4/5/07    321     27      Undectable 1st mo.  
5/16/07  383     28    Undectable 2nd mo.
8/10/07  422     32   UD <48 on new scale!

Offline jack

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #34 on: February 27, 2007, 12:27:33 PM »
I remember when I used to think people who believed in God or people who sought help from therapy were weak. Pussies, all of them. Get them out of my life. LOSERS. Lead,follow or get the fuck out of the way.
Life has a funny way of making a fool of you,no matter how rich,powerful,or cool you are. I wish I could monetize the difference between how smart and cool I thought I was and how smart and cool I really was.
I quit booze and drugs without a 12 step program and without giving up my whole being to a higher power, but I did pray to my God every day for years, as I was trying to quit, and trying to change my life. I am still a work progress as most here are.
I have to say this, if you haven't prayed to someone or something for help from an addiction, than you probably haven't been addicted or aren't smart enough to realize you are addicted.
Anyone who prefers spending time with a raging alcoholic than someone who believes in God obviously hasn't spent much time with an alcoholic and is probably under 30. We are all invincible under 30 and maybe even 45,but sooner or later reality catches up with all of us. I have seen alcohol ruin some of the strongest,smartest,and best people I have ever known.  Very few of the people I know who have recovered have done so without prayer or some type of spiritual transformation. I am talking CEOs,Physicians, PHDs,artists, athletes. These are not dumb or weak mutherfuckers.

Offline AustinWesley

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #35 on: February 27, 2007, 01:04:00 PM »
I remember when I used to think people who believed in God or people who sought help from therapy were weak. Pussies, all of them. Get them out of my life. LOSERS. Lead,follow or get the fuck out of the way.
Life has a funny way of making a fool of you,no matter how rich,powerful,or cool you are. I wish I could monetize the difference between how smart and cool I thought I was and how smart and cool I really was.
I quit booze and drugs without a 12 step program and without giving up my whole being to a higher power, but I did pray to my God every day for years, as I was trying to quit, and trying to change my life. I am still a work progress as most here are.
I have to say this, if you haven't prayed to someone or something for help from an addiction, than you probably haven't been addicted or aren't smart enough to realize you are addicted.
Anyone who prefers spending time with a raging alcoholic than someone who believes in God obviously hasn't spent much time with an alcoholic and is probably under 30. We are all invincible under 30 and maybe even 45,but sooner or later reality catches up with all of us. I have seen alcohol ruin some of the strongest,smartest,and best people I have ever known.  Very few of the people I know who have recovered have done so without prayer or some type of spiritual transformation. I am talking CEOs,Physicians, PHDs,artists, athletes. These are not dumb or weak mutherfuckers.

I take it that was for my benefit ; )  I'm flattered you think I'm under 30 as well.   So, are you suggesting that age is the defining factor of wisdom? 

Clearly, the analogy of being with a raging alcoholic was sarcasm.  Oy, I've not referred to anyone as losers as you have.   Who knows?  HIV may take my mind one of these days and I'll end up with dementia and have my own spiritual transformation, but I wouldn't' bet money on it!
 
Diag. 3/06  Infected aprx. 2 mo. Prior
Date        CD4   %      VL
4/6/06     627    32    36,500     NO MEDS YET!
6/7/06     409    27    36,100
8/23/06   408    25     22,300
1/2/07     354    23     28,700
2/9/07     139    30     23,000  Hep A Vaccine same day???
2/21/07   274    26     18,500 
3/3/07    RX of Truvada/Sustiva Started.
4/5/07    321     27      Undectable 1st mo.  
5/16/07  383     28    Undectable 2nd mo.
8/10/07  422     32   UD <48 on new scale!

Offline bocker3

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #36 on: February 27, 2007, 01:19:40 PM »
I want to clarify the point of my earlier post.  It was definitely not to say anyone was wrong in their beliefs about the usefulness/effectiveness of 12 steps program (well, really AA, as I've not attended any other).  What I was trying to point out -- and it seems to have gotten lost -- is that there is absolutely no requirement for a believe in God.  AA takes no position on organized religion at all.  Yes, you can find quotes in the Alcoholics Anonymous book that will lead you to believe differently (read the whole thing, not just selected quotes please), but I assure you that I am speaking the truth.
I only entered the conversation because it is important to let people know that AA is not synonymous with religion -- many folks who might be helped may never try it if this is what they think.  Some people do become very spiritual via AA, others (like myself) do not.  What I gained was an understanding of MY RESPONSIBILITY in my life and some tools and tricks for living one day with a drink.  Please, please feel free to give your opinions without painting such a broad-based assumption that all people need a religious epiphany to be 'successful' here.

And on another note -- while I agree that alcoholics may pick up that first drink due to a whole host of issues, so that drinking the first drink may be a "symptom" -- I am an alcoholic because I have a disease -- alcoholism.  It is a disease all by itself -- not a symptom.  Once I start, I can't stop. 

Thanks for listening.
Mike
Atripla - Started 12/05
Reyataz/Norvir - Added 6/06
Labs - Pre-Meds
Sep05 T=350/25% VL98,559
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Offline penguin

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #37 on: February 27, 2007, 01:23:04 PM »
No group, no god, no medication, no partner/friend/family member "saves" you. You save you, with every molecule of strength & basic survival instinct you possess - n that certainly isn't my definition of powerless.

Over the years, I have come to distrust anyone, or anything which attempts to diminish or otherwise take credit for the sheer awesomeness of this achievement.

kate
« Last Edit: February 27, 2007, 01:30:11 PM by penguin »

Offline bravebuddharich

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #38 on: February 27, 2007, 01:25:16 PM »
I'm not surprised at the level of defensiveness - most gay men belong at SLAA meetings. Most gay men just dan't look at their destructive behavior patterns, and how they hurt themselves and others. I know this seems harsh, but it's so true!!

I know my distorted thinking about sex and love is why I am HIV positive. I understand fully that I was influenced by what gay male culture was telling us at the time, which I wish I had rejected and been stronger then. One of my difficulties on these message boards is that so many still endorse the insanity of gay male selfishness. No names here, just something to think about - if you are defensive about it, it's something to take a serious look at for yourself - and for the well being of others, too!

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #39 on: February 27, 2007, 01:35:24 PM »
My only two points, lost perhaps in rhetoric, are simply:

There is no empirical evidence that AA works as well or better than therapy combined with chemical intervention.

There IS evidence, gathered from court-ordered AA followups, that the concept carries a roughly 95% failure rate.

Moreover, the passages I quoted were not "out of context" or nonsensical. They are acornerstone for the program. You cannot, CANNOT be an atheist or agnostic and pull off the steps. The Big Book is VERY clear on that. From my personal experiences, anyone who is not devoutly Judeo-Christian is going to be lumped in with atheists and agnostics as soon as they decide not to use the word God, or say the Lord's Prayer.

Whatever works, I salute the people involved. But I refuse to give credit to a theocratical and unscientific method which seems more like a cult than a recovery program. It has never been extensively studied outside the court-ordered arena due to thr anonymous nature of it's members, and as such there is no actuale vidence that it carries more than a five percent efficacy rate for any period over six months.

There are far better, in my opinion far more appropriate programs and services out there for addiction management and treatment. WHat spooks me is the amazing devotion it's members have, to the point of antagonism towards anyone who dares to question Bill W.

And those quotes from the Big Book? Trust me, more where that came from. I spent years studying it.  I don't know an awful lot, but I do know that phenomenon, having tried to live it - and failed simply because

A) I was 13th stepped at my most vulnerable
B) I was ostracised because I was not Christian
C) I was explicitly told that there were NO OTHER options, when in fact there were and are.

If my words can save ONE OTHER person from the slippery slope of despair and low self esteem I endured during that dark passage, well, I don't really care who I piss off. People get HIV thanks to such messages of failure and worthlessness. People get raped. People drink and drug themselves to death.

It is, in my opinion, as dangerous and scientifically disproven as the ex-gay movement.

Having exhausted my ability to articulate for the moment, I respectfully withdraw from the conversation.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline jack

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #40 on: February 27, 2007, 01:53:24 PM »
Austin, I was merely referring to the age when I chose to spend all my time with raging alcoholics rather than people who did not drink. I couldn't stand to be with people who weren't drinking or people who would have just a couple. Fucking losers.. Little did I know.
And yes Wisdom does have lot  to do with age, if you learn from your mistakes. Don't you feel you have more wisdom today than you did yesterday,a month ago, a year ago, or  a decade ago? If you did not gain Wisdon as you aged,what would be the point in living at all?

A Few things I know today that I didn't know when I was under 30, which i consider to be wisdom.
People who tell you how much they make are usually lying.
People who claim to "break even" in Vegas are always lying.
People who brag about all the pussy they get are usually lying.
Sell when others are buying and vice verse.
People who cheat at golf are never to be trusted. NEVER,EVER.
Never ever judge a person by the auto he drives or house he lives in. Chances are they are living payday to payday.
I don't need to have sex with someone every day of the week.
Do everything in moderation
Never drink champagne after more than 7 Black Russians
Drinking a bottle of Nyquil or doing quaaludes to come down off Acid is not very healthy
Being bald is so much better than having hair,especially since I couldn't get laid in a whorehouse with a handful of hundreds in my present condition.
Houston is more Texas than Dallas, and Austin is the best city in US.
Fuck, i have gone off topic again.
I love my wife more than I did yesterday and she is better looking today than the day I married her.  I really don't know if I would be alive today without her strength.
Golf is more addictive and more expensive than any other addiction.
I love kids.

Offline ACinKC

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #41 on: February 27, 2007, 01:57:58 PM »
Jack.  FISHING is by far more expensive.  Boat.  Lures. Poles. Bait.  I am a golfer and my father in law is a fisherman.  He outspends me 10-1.  Even WITH a CC membership.
LIFE is not a race to the grave with the intention of arriving safely
in a pretty and well-preserved body, but, rather to skid in broadside,
thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming--WOW! WHAT A
RIDE!!!

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #42 on: February 27, 2007, 01:58:04 PM »
<< What I was trying to point out -- and it seems to have gotten lost -- is that there is absolutely no requirement for a believe in God>>

This is patently untrue, as the Big Book explicitly states in the chapter "To The Agnostic." I respect that you got a lot out of your interpretation of the AA program, but rest assured that yours was not an officially sanctioned interpretation. Not by a long shot.


jack, you said:

<<12 step programs work for many people. That is a fact. >>

Please provide scientific evidence for this fact.

Here are my sources, as I am loathe to use my anecdotal experience as fact - something I notice AA members do with impunity.

http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-effectiveness.html

"For many years in the 1970s and 1980s, the AA GSO (Alcoholics
Anonymous General Service Organization) conducted triennial surveys
where they counted their members and asked questions like how long
members had been sober. Around 1990, they published a commentary on the
surveys: Comments on A.A.'s Triennial Surveys [no author listed,
published by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., New York, no
date (probably 1990)]. The document has an A.A. identification number
of "5M/12-90/TC". The document was produced for A.A. internal use only.
It has a graph on page 12 (Diagram C-1) that shows that newcomers drop
out, relapse, leave, or disappear at a staggeringly high rate.8

Averaging the results from the five surveys from 1977 to 1989 yielded
these numbers:

* 81% are gone (19% remain) after 1 month;
* 90% are gone (10% remain) after 3 months,
* 93% are gone (7% remain) after 6 months,
* and 95% are gone (5% remain) at the end of one year. "


Australian General Service Conference 1994
Chairman's Opening Address

"Our 1992 Survey showed that only 5% of newcomers to AA are still
attending meetings after 12 months. This is a truly terrible statistic.
Again we must ask 'Where does the fault lie?'"

Dr. Ron Whitington -- Chairman, General Service Board.

1994 WORLD SERVICE MEETING
HIGHLIGHTS
COUNTRY REPORT
AUSTRALIA

... The survey was a well conducted professional study involving 1,425
members from 123 of the country's AA groups ...

http://www-gatago.com/alt/recovery/aa/24656969.html

More sources for those so inclined to research:


10. Imber, S., Schultz, E., Funderburk, F., Allen, R. and Flamer, R. The Fate of the Untreated Alcoholic. J. Nerv and Ment. Dis., 1976, 162:238-247.
11. Cahalan, D., Cisin, I. H. and Crossley, H. M. American Drinking Practices: A National Survey of Drinking Behavior and Attitudes. New Brunswick, Rutgers Center for Alcohol Studies, 1974.
203. Kissin, B., Platz, A. and Su, W. H. Social and Psychological Factors in the Treatment of Chronic Alcoholics. J. Psychiat. Res., 1970, 8:13-27.
235. Bailey, M. B. and Stewart, S. Normal Drinking by Persons Reporting Previous Problem Drinking. Quart. J. Stud. Alc., 1967, 28:305-315.
236. Kendall, R. E. and Staton, M. C. The Fate of Untreated Alcoholics. Quart. J. Stud. Alc., 1966, 27:30-41.
238. Lemere, F. What Happens to Alcoholics. Amer. J. Psychiat., 1953, 109:674-675.
268. Cahalan, D. Problem Drinkers: A National Survey, San Francisco, Jossey-Bass, 1970.
269. Goodwin, W. W., Crane, J. B., and Guze, S. B. Felons Who Drink: An Eight-Year Follow-up. Quart. J. Stud. Alc., 1971, 32:136-147.
Treatment of Drug Abuse and Addiction -- Part III, The Harvard Mental Health Letter, Volume 12, Number 4, October 1995, page 3.
(See Aug. (Part I), Sept. (Part II), Oct. 1995 (Part III).)
Outpatient Treatment of Alcoholism, by Jeffrey Brandsma, Maxie Maultsby, and Richard J. Welsh. University Park Press, Baltimore, MD., page 105.
Bebbington, P. E. (1976). The efficacy of alcoholics anonymous: The elusiveness of hard data. British Journal of Psychiatry, 128, 572- 580.
Cross, G. M., Morgan, C. W., Mooney, A. J., Martin, C. A., & Rafter, J. A. (1990). Alcoholism treatment: A ten-year follow-up study. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 14(2), 169-173.

Alcoholics Anonymous and the Counseling Profession: Philosophies in conflict     Christine Le, Erik P. Ingvarson, and Richard C. Page, Journal of Counseling & Development, 07-01-1995


and one ofmy favorite books when I was in training to be a counselor:

Narcissism, Denial of the True Self     Alexander Lowen, M.D.
Macmillan Publishing Comany, New York, 1983, and
Collier Macmillan Publishers, London, 1983.
ISBN: 0-02-575890-X
LC: RC553.N36L38 1983
LCCN: 83-18794

Thing is, I DO agree that chemical dependancy is a real issue. It must be addressed both singularly and through the community. I do not agree with Bravebuddharich that the fault rests solely in the gay male community. It rests in the socoety as a whole. The gay community might magnify or otherwise distort the views, but they certainly neither invented nor improved upon them.

ok, NOW I withdraw. Sorry, I felt bad that I did not do adequate research to back up my supposition.

I would like to leave the conversation with a quote from Senator Patrick Moynahan:

Everybody is entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.

I base my assessments, indeed most of my important chocies, on empirical quantifiable evidence. I tend to give far less credibility to anecdtoal evidence, even my own.

Sorry if I ruffled feathers here.




"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline jack

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #43 on: February 27, 2007, 02:04:54 PM »
Going off topic again. I wish all of you who doubt the ability of religious based organizations to change peoples lives for the better could see the work done by the Star of Hope Mission here in Houston. I have had the good fortune to attend their yearly charity event. Yeah, I get put off by the people standing up shouting "praise the Lord", and I hate Christians panhandling for cash but the good this org does brings tears to my eyes every year. An incredible organization that is run some of the smartest and most successful business people in Houston. Amazing people.
Of course none of it can be scientifically proven.

Offline jack

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #44 on: February 27, 2007, 02:25:01 PM »
Jk, I know Science is your God, but I know people who have benefited from AA. Anecdotal but it is a fact. I have read several books with many contributors who were helped by AA. I am an alcoholic! That is a fact but it cant be proven scientifically. Do the surveyors ever think that maybe people weren't returning because AA worked?
Do I need science to prove to me that smoking cigarettes is suicide? NO, I have seen several people in my family die very young, who smoked. I have the fucking God given common sense to know cigarettes kill. I don't need a survey from the government to prove it to me.  If I see the Sun come up everyday for fifty years do I need science to prove that the sun comes up everyday? If I see people who have become sober through their involvement with AA should I tell them they haven't because there is a survey that says it can't be?
 My grandfather was swindled out of several million in the 50s by his AA sponsor, so not everyone benefits. But to go on surveys? I hope most are more truthful than I am with the morons who call me every night.
Saw Pat M  a few months before he died. He had a stack of papers and books and was getting hammered as usual in the restaurant owned by the now infamous Abramoff in DC. The waiter told me he, Paddy spent every afternoon shitfaced in the same seat.

Offline Lwood

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #45 on: February 27, 2007, 02:35:05 PM »
I rarely enter Heated Discussions like this one, but after having tried out one of these programs I feel qualified to throw my .12 in......

I immediately  have /had an issue with anything that requires me to "Admit that I am Powerless...."  doesnt that just kill it right there ??   I just dont roll that way.  
Support groups can be invaluable to a point, but at the end of the day, all they do is give you what you need to help Yourself.  
 Dont You think that the  whole  "12 Step " model should be considered version 1.0   : a good idea, in part,  but seriously in need of some upgrades if not a complete rewrite.

 

"Fortunately, I Keep My T Cells Numbered For Just Such An Emergency"
  -Either Foghorn Leghorn or Johnny Cash

Offline AustinWesley

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #46 on: February 27, 2007, 02:42:53 PM »
Jack,  I'm truly puzzled by your push for religion here.   I find most tend to get upset when discussing it cause they've no clue what they are talking about, not suggesting you in particular.

I think that it's great if you have gained something beneficial out of your faith.   But why not give yourself a little credit?   Why is it everytime when people accomplish something it's "by the Grace of God"?

Since I'm not running for a political office here I don't feel the need to lie about my beliefs based on not just experience, but beliefs based in science, logic, and good ole fashioned common sense.

I'm absolutely stunned that a majority of Americans claim to believe in God.   If that were true, then we'd have teachings of "intelligent design" and "creationism" in our school systems.   Fortunately, we've been spared from that nightmare to an extent.

Why does religion have to permeate every single unrelated subject known to mankind from the Oscars to rehab to presidential elections?

As Kate said, the only one who can "Save" you from an addiction is YOU.   Well said Kate!   If others choose to credit a largely disfunctional system it's their choice, but I'd say pat yourself on the back and say Fuck Yeah, I did it!
Diag. 3/06  Infected aprx. 2 mo. Prior
Date        CD4   %      VL
4/6/06     627    32    36,500     NO MEDS YET!
6/7/06     409    27    36,100
8/23/06   408    25     22,300
1/2/07     354    23     28,700
2/9/07     139    30     23,000  Hep A Vaccine same day???
2/21/07   274    26     18,500 
3/3/07    RX of Truvada/Sustiva Started.
4/5/07    321     27      Undectable 1st mo.  
5/16/07  383     28    Undectable 2nd mo.
8/10/07  422     32   UD <48 on new scale!

Offline jack

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #47 on: February 27, 2007, 02:57:20 PM »
Austin, I am not pushing religion on anyone, I am just saying it aint all bad as you guys say. There is much good done and bad to, but how is that different than anything else. I haven't read any scientific studies on the subject and am only going on my own experience.  I couldn't give a rats ass if you are an atheist or a mormon. Its your personal choice. What I am against, is people attacking organizations for no other reason than they are faith based.
Good luck to all you fuckers with addictions,you are on your own.
I don't understand your shock that most people believe in a God of some type. 
« Last Edit: February 27, 2007, 03:15:46 PM by jack »

Offline NycJoe

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #48 on: February 27, 2007, 03:09:31 PM »
I understand that everyone has different beliefs and that's a good thing.  What I don't understand is this intolerance and hatred of religion.  If you don't like it..hey that's cool that's your choice.  But why condemn others for it or condescend them.  Are there bad religious groups?  HELL YES.  Are there good ones.  Hell yes.  Just like any other group.  Remember that diversity is a good thing.  I have a great group of friends ..one jewish one atheist one protestant and a mix of a few others and we all get along great and don't ever judge or put down ones beliefs. Its called respect.  Its okay to disagree without TRYING to make someone else feel like a dumbass for their beliefs.

Offline Strayboy74

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Re: Ann's link "Addicted?": a place gays may wish to avoid
« Reply #49 on: February 27, 2007, 03:16:19 PM »
I find myself sadly disappointed by the ignorant, illinformed and braggartly polarized judgement I'm reading on this matter.

There are millions of people for whom this program has worked.  Millions of people, mind you, despite diametric opposition to the very concept of God, manage to surrender to the idea of prayer and give honest attempt at using the guidelines of the program offered by NA, AA or any other A in order to help them live a more fulfilling life in the face of the compulsive urges that have driven them.

Isn't prayer of any kind just really a hope?  Allowing oneself to give hope in recognition of surrender that some things might possibly be beyond one's control?  That's the way I see prayer.  I don't believe there is an omnipitent entity supervising my existence with finalizing decision.  However I do believe that there is goodness in this existence and my prayer is this hope that things outside of my ability to influence will find themselves at a positive outcome.

I believe I understand Ann's choice in remaining silent.  As with any strong belief there will develop zealots - People compelled to push their beliefs on others at any cost.  Since the program of AA and NA dissuade this pracice through its principle of attraction, not promotion - Ann or any other, in defense of this outline for living ones life, might be at risk of being labeled as a zealot.  Unfortunately, zealots of this program DO exist and for a long time they kept me from finding good experience in this program.  And, worthy of mentioning are the sick individuals that prey upon others (i.e. the 13th step) who have become so broken down by their obsessive behaviors that they are willing to look anywhere for help.  Yes, these people are out there.

However, it is unfair to stand in judgement, contrary to the fact that it HAS worked, and CONTINUES to work for multitudes of people.  Especially with the only considerable shred of experience being sad statements justified in self-delusional guise that someone can know what it's all about just because they've attended one meeting - or had one negative experince, or even think that it was just too depressing to continue.

One day of orientation at a University does not earn you the degree.  It's something that must be worked for.

And with that, I pray that people find their way.

-joseph

(who is mortified that he, to some degree, agrees with jack)
 

 


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