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My Name is Roger, and I'm an alcoholic
Chicago Sun-Times ^ | Roger Ebert

Posted on 08/28/2009 1:31:53 PM PDT by RKV

In August 1979, I took my last drink. It was about four o'clock on a Saturday afternoon, the hot sun streaming through the windows of my little carriage house on Dickens. I put a glass of scotch and soda down on the living room table, went to bed, and pulled the blankets over my head. I couldn't take it any more.

On Monday I went to visit wise old Dr. Jakob Schlichter. I had been seeing him for a year, telling him I thought I might be drinking too much. He agreed, and advised me to go to "A.A.A," which is what he called it. Sounded like a place where they taught you to drink and drive. I said I didn't need to go to any meetings. I would stop drinking on my own. He told me to go ahead and try, and check back with him every month.

The problem with using will power, for me, was that it lasted only until my will persuaded me I could take another drink. ...

A.A. believes there is an enormous difference between bring dry and being sober. It is not enough to simply abstain. You need to heal and repair the damage to yourself and others. We talk about "white-knuckle sobriety," which might mean, "I'm sober as long as I hold onto the arms of this chair." People who are dry but not sober are on a "dry drunk."

...

(Excerpt) Read more at blogs.suntimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: aa; ebert
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To: RKV
Key symptoms - grandiosity, judgmentalism, intolerance , impulsivity, and indecisiveness which leads to mood swings, self absorption, detachment and escapism.

11th step isn't the only place he might need to do some work, guy also seems to have a problem with the 11th tradition.

Not that I'm taking his inventory or anything...

51 posted on 08/28/2009 2:23:14 PM PDT by Fido969 ("The hardest thing in the world to understand is income tax." - Albert Einstein)
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To: Ditter

Since you have NO IDEA of what you are talking about why do you feel the need to make stuff up out of whole cloth?


52 posted on 08/28/2009 2:23:40 PM PDT by the long march
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To: cripplecreek
cripplecreek said: "I wanted to give up the alcohol but not the friends."

In my case I tend to be pretty much a loner by nature and not very social. Drinking was an attempt, I think, to loosen inhibitions but it was not successful at changing anything for the better. Mostly it was just a lost decade. After I quit, life got increasingly better as each year passed.

Other posters have joked about waking up and knowing that this is the best you may feel all day. I actually appreciate the fact that I will never suffer another hangover.

53 posted on 08/28/2009 2:26:10 PM PDT by William Tell
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To: Sudetenland
I know people with as much sobriety as Ebert who still have a problem with the whole God concept. They have as good a sobriety as anyone I have ever met in the program.

YOu cannot judge another person's program. I personally don't see how you do it without a firm belief in God, but my experience is that some do it quite well. Growth in a spiritual life does not automatically translate to a stronger belief in God...again in my experience with others I know.

You are quite right.

One of the dangers of this type of anonymity break is that it does lead to confusion about what the program is and what it isn't. We hear of someone and we think we know them, or we think that if we disagree with them it's because of their program. But we don't really know much of anything beyond our own experience.

I am far more intrigued by the recovery/conservative line of discussion. Knowing what I now know about addiction, I can't imagine that anyone in recovery cannot recognize the similarities between the Democratic Party and drug dealers.

They make promises of easing their pain, all the while making the pain last longer. They create a dependency that only they can fill. And if you try another method, they turn on you like your a leper.

54 posted on 08/28/2009 2:27:30 PM PDT by Repealthe17thAmendment (Is this field required?)
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To: the long march

So......... that reply tells me it is a real condition and one that you are familiar with. Why don’t you tell me about it?


55 posted on 08/28/2009 2:27:40 PM PDT by Ditter
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To: the long march
And I hope the 12 traditions as well

Recovery - 12 Steps
Unity - 12 Traditions
Service - 12 Concepts

56 posted on 08/28/2009 2:29:00 PM PDT by Repealthe17thAmendment (Is this field required?)
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To: the long march
the long march quoted: "We are men and women who have lost the ability to control our drinking."

In my case, I don't think I ever had or could have an ability to "control" drinking short of abstinence. One of my motivations for quitting drinking was that I wanted to quit smoking. There was no way I was going to accomplish that while drinking. One drink would wash away any desire to give up smoking.

I have actually decided that part of my drinking was an attempt to prove to myself that my alcoholic father should have been able to quit. Since that time I have decided that he was haunted by demons that I have never met.

57 posted on 08/28/2009 2:30:51 PM PDT by William Tell
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To: gwilhelm56

I think those who were liberal when drinking tend to be liberal when sober and vice versa. The amazing thing is that cons and coms really CAN get along in an AA meeting because politics seems irrelevant next to the life and death battle against “the ism.”

(p.s. I have no idea, but this could explain how Cal Thomas and Bob Beckel became friends).


58 posted on 08/28/2009 2:31:47 PM PDT by ichabod1 (I am rolling over in my grave and I am not even dead yet (GOP Poet))
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To: Ditter
I think AA just wants to keep their membership up so they invented this term.

AA is so disorganized they don't even know how many members they have!

59 posted on 08/28/2009 2:32:13 PM PDT by Repealthe17thAmendment (Is this field required?)
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To: cripplecreek

**The AA model wasn’t for me. I went with a self challenge model for me and I did it on my own.**

GOOD FOR YOU. In the Book Alcoholics Anonymous, in several areas it alludes to the idea that we have no Monopoly on Recovery, and if you find a way that workse for you, our hats are off to you.(don’t have my book at hand to get the Exact Quotes)

Anyone tells you that AA is the ONLY WAY... RUN AWAY ..those people can be DANGEROUS!


60 posted on 08/28/2009 2:32:16 PM PDT by gwilhelm56 (Orwell's 1984 - To Conservatives, a WARNING - to Liberals, a TEXTBOOK!)
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To: Oldexpat

What..wake up every morning and know that you are never going to feel any better

I believe that phrase was first spoken by Oscar Wilde.


61 posted on 08/28/2009 2:35:50 PM PDT by hirn_man
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To: Repealthe17thAmendment

What LITTLE Organization AA has works from the bottom up. As AA considers it’s mission to help the individual who still suffers

too much paperwork and too much money to try to find out HOW MANY MEMBERS there are! So, the best they’ll ever come up with is only a “Ballpark”figure.


62 posted on 08/28/2009 2:39:51 PM PDT by gwilhelm56 (Orwell's 1984 - To Conservatives, a WARNING - to Liberals, a TEXTBOOK!)
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To: Ditter

AA is not like AARP

You don’t join. You just show up at meetings. There are no dues (except the ones that got paid drinking) or membership fees.

Each group is pretty much its own entity. There is a national org. but the local groups can pretty much do whatever they want.


63 posted on 08/28/2009 2:39:58 PM PDT by hirn_man
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To: Ditter

Not interested in doing so. Have already told you more than you will ever comprehend.

Go back to watching animals in the other part of the zoo


64 posted on 08/28/2009 2:41:46 PM PDT by the long march
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To: RKV

If Roger were a drunk it would explain some of the movies he recommended.


65 posted on 08/28/2009 2:42:19 PM PDT by x
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To: William Tell

I am always amazed by the stories of the compassion for our parents who battled on so many different levels.

Hope you have a long and successful path


66 posted on 08/28/2009 2:45:00 PM PDT by the long march
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To: ichabod1

I don’t want to hear politics during a meeting... it’s an “OUTSIDE ISSUE” and I’ve told MANY that Politics won’t keep me sober.. so save it for after the meeting.

“if you want to discuss POLITICS, that’s what 24 hour DINER’s are FOR!!!”


67 posted on 08/28/2009 2:52:32 PM PDT by gwilhelm56 (Orwell's 1984 - To Conservatives, a WARNING - to Liberals, a TEXTBOOK!)
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To: RKV

I actually read the whole thing, it isn’t bad.

That said, there plenty of sober assholes in the world.


68 posted on 08/28/2009 2:55:06 PM PDT by razorback-bert (We used to call them astronomical numbers. Now we should call them economical numbers.)
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To: Ditter
Did George Bush admit to being an “alcoholic”? Or did he just say he drank too much at one period of his life?

Not that I know of. I don't care either way.

I think AA just wants to keep their membership up so they invented this term.

LOL! Membership. You say that as if there are dues or something. Membership means going to meetings, staying sober and helping other alcoholics to achieve sobriety. How can you have disdain for that?

BTW, I think the people called Bush a "dry drunk" were simply were looking for any pejorative to with which to tarnish Bush.

Bush, in the end, didn't need any pejoratives about being a drunk from the left to describe how poor a president he turned out to be.

69 posted on 08/28/2009 2:56:04 PM PDT by raybbr (It's going to get a lot worse now that the anchor babies are voting!)
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To: the long march
I know a little bit about alcoholics, I married into a family of them 52 years ago. The only one in that family that didn't drink is the man I married. He hates alcohol. Our children are all adopted so they did not inherit what ever it is that made his family so self destructive. I am sorry you are having such a tough time, I really am. I don't think my freeper friends are zoo animals, if that is what you meant.
70 posted on 08/28/2009 2:56:18 PM PDT by Ditter
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To: the long march

In today’s society you would have to go live on a mountain like a hermit to avoid contact with alcohol.

Almost every gas station, grocery store, restaruant, and most hotel rooms have booze.


71 posted on 08/28/2009 2:56:41 PM PDT by hirn_man
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To: KarlInOhio

Hmm... I can see how one would resent the implication, but I don’t think that is what is meant. The Big Book itself says that AA is only one method for sobriety. In my own life, I’ve found nothing else that effectively helped me sober up and stay that way besides AA. Yet, each time I’ve had long term sobriety I’ve moved into other domains of maintaining spiritual health. Many would say see, that’s your problem, but I can’t really see myself hanging out with newly sobered drunks. Just can’t. I don’t operate well in that environment. I go to meetings, prn, but am not very active. More of a religious guy now.

But Religion doesn’t have a very good track record of GETTING people sober.


72 posted on 08/28/2009 2:58:11 PM PDT by ichabod1 (I am rolling over in my grave and I am not even dead yet (GOP Poet))
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To: RKV

I agree on the dry drunk theory, I know a few of them and I kind of like drunks better.


73 posted on 08/28/2009 2:58:38 PM PDT by tiki (True Christians will not deliberately slander or misrepresent others or their beliefs)
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To: cripplecreek

The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. Self-identifying AA “members” are not representative of the program as a whole. The program has helped MILLIONS get sober and stay that way. Many, probably most, slip and get drunk at some point. And some don’t come back and some don’t come back for a long time. But many of them wind up getting sober again and staying that way.


74 posted on 08/28/2009 3:01:08 PM PDT by ichabod1 (I am rolling over in my grave and I am not even dead yet (GOP Poet))
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To: devane617

dass some back bacon.


75 posted on 08/28/2009 3:02:10 PM PDT by ichabod1 (I am rolling over in my grave and I am not even dead yet (GOP Poet))
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To: hirn_man

Speaking as an recovering alcoholic, there is NO place I can go to escape contact with alcohol. As the book says, the main problem of the alcoholic is his mind. The mental obsession, which, in my case is kept in check by the maintenance of my spiritual condition.

I can go anywhere on this planet and not fear drinking/drugging. That’s not saying that I go to frathouse keggers and stripclubs, but the obsession to drink has been removed in my, again, by a spiritual experience which came as THE result of working the 12 steps.

FWIW...I was every bit as conservative before I got sober!


76 posted on 08/28/2009 3:03:01 PM PDT by highnoon (Forget the Birth Certificate....try finding the damn Constitution!!!)
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To: Ditter

I am not having a tough time at all. It is apparent from so many of your comments that you have no idea what you are talking about. I do not consider FR to be the zoo but you seem to be overly fascinated with us alkies. Go to open meetings if you wish or not. For the record I do not hate alcohol nor do I avoid it. Fatc is my life is better than anyone could ever have imagined.


77 posted on 08/28/2009 3:04:03 PM PDT by the long march
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To: hirn_man

And the desserts at all sorts of restaurants -——usually eat dessert at home unless I know the chef


78 posted on 08/28/2009 3:04:55 PM PDT by the long march
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To: cripplecreek

When I had finally had enough and told my husband to pack his crap, he promised to quit drinking...LOL. I laid down the law and part of the law was attending AA, he said he’d do anything if he could stay and NOT go to AA.

I just told him, “If you ever take a drink, don’t come home...ever, don’t call, don’t write, don’t send money, cuz I’m done.”

It has been almost 25 years and he did good, he was pretty unbearable the first year but as time went on it got much better.


79 posted on 08/28/2009 3:05:13 PM PDT by tiki (True Christians will not deliberately slander or misrepresent others or their beliefs)
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To: Diana in Wisconsin

That’s a fairly well-known symptom of “the family disease”. Sometimes in families with significant sobriety I’ve heard the drunk say he’s damn glad to be the drunk and not have to go to those “other meetings” because those women are CRAZY!.


80 posted on 08/28/2009 3:05:18 PM PDT by ichabod1 (I am rolling over in my grave and I am not even dead yet (GOP Poet))
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To: ichabod1

Very well said. The program is meant to be suggestive only. I take the other tact when it comes to working with others. I actively sponsor 2-4 people at a time. It was one of the suggestions made by my sponsor, and it keeps me close to my step one experience.


81 posted on 08/28/2009 3:06:41 PM PDT by highnoon (Forget the Birth Certificate....try finding the damn Constitution!!!)
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To: chesty_puller

AA itself doesn’t really have a voice, but it does have a book. The book says, if you can quit on your own, more power to you. Maybe you weren’t as far gone as some of us were - so far gone that nothing short of a spiritual experience would turn the trick.

As far as the dry drunk, I say that’s an “if the shoe fits wear it” sort of thing. Everyone should be doing SOMETHING to stay in fit spiritual condition.


82 posted on 08/28/2009 3:08:22 PM PDT by ichabod1 (I am rolling over in my grave and I am not even dead yet (GOP Poet))
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To: Ditter
I know a little bit about alcoholics, I married into a family of them 52 years ago. The only one in that family that didn't drink is the man I married. He hates alcohol.

Did any of them get sober? Did they get involved in AA? Did they stop drinking? Did you go Al-Anon?

IF the answer to any of those questions is "no" then you probably know nothing about alcoholics and AA - just that they drink too much and can be jerks either drunk or not drunk.

83 posted on 08/28/2009 3:08:27 PM PDT by raybbr (It's going to get a lot worse now that the anchor babies are voting!)
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To: tiki

I think the hardest part for me was not buying alcohol. I never got panicky about not having it but I couldn’t walk into a party store without buying it and once I had it I had to drink it.

It felt pretty good to drive away from the store with a pepsi in my hand. In fact it still does after all these years.


84 posted on 08/28/2009 3:09:57 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Seniors, the new shovel ready project under socialized medicine.)
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To: Repealthe17thAmendment
"...I can't imagine that anyone in recovery cannot recognize the similarities between the Democratic Party and drug dealers.

They make promises of easing their pain, all the while making the pain last longer. They create a dependency that only they can fill. And if you try another method, they turn on you like your a leper."
I mentioned this strange conundrum in my comment #32. Lately I have taken to asking them about that and mostly they just want to change the subject. Do tell. :)
85 posted on 08/28/2009 3:10:52 PM PDT by Sudetenland (Without God there is no freedom, for what rights man can give, he can take away.)
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To: alloysteel

Roger Ebert. The movie critic. Originally Siskell and Ebert.


86 posted on 08/28/2009 3:11:14 PM PDT by ktscarlett66 (Face it girls....I'm older and I have more insurance....)
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To: Diana in Wisconsin

I went to Al-Anon for about 6 years and I know it was a very special group, they didn’t allow that but I have been to some that were worthless. It was my Al-Anon experience that helped me to help my husband when he got sober but my husband had the same opinion of AA.


87 posted on 08/28/2009 3:11:25 PM PDT by tiki (True Christians will not deliberately slander or misrepresent others or their beliefs)
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To: the long march
Overly facinated with alkies? Have you ever seen me on an alkie thread before? No you haven’t! All the alkies that I ever knew drank and smoked themselves to death years ago.

You got your panties in a bunch because I didn’t seem to have the proper respect for your weakness or what ever you call it. Grow up.

88 posted on 08/28/2009 3:12:24 PM PDT by Ditter
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To: Fido969

3/31/01


89 posted on 08/28/2009 3:12:46 PM PDT by ichabod1 (I am rolling over in my grave and I am not even dead yet (GOP Poet))
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To: tiki

Well, you know what I mean, then. It doesn’t matter how people get sober, just that they do. :)


90 posted on 08/28/2009 3:14:16 PM PDT by Diana in Wisconsin (Save The Earth. It's The Only Planet With Chocolate.)
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To: William Tell
Other posters have joked about waking up and knowing that this is the best you may feel all day.

YEah, this may have something to do with why I'm a morning person now, but I do also enjoy coming home beat at the end of the day and falling into bed and relaxing. Sleep is my narcotic sometimes.

91 posted on 08/28/2009 3:15:12 PM PDT by ichabod1 (I am rolling over in my grave and I am not even dead yet (GOP Poet))
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To: Repealthe17thAmendment

Well, you should see how hostile people are to Christians in there. Look, there are some sick, sick people at AA meetings. I’ve never met one that wasn’t horribly, deeply damaged. I’ve thought some of them weren’t - sponsors, ones with significant sobriety, but when I got to know them they were some scr-ew-ed up people.

But... what does that say about meeee?


92 posted on 08/28/2009 3:17:42 PM PDT by ichabod1 (I am rolling over in my grave and I am not even dead yet (GOP Poet))
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To: raybbr

George W. Bush is a Great Man and was a Great President. I miss him terribly. If you doubt what I’m saying, take a look at the mess that’s in there now.


93 posted on 08/28/2009 3:21:36 PM PDT by ichabod1 (I am rolling over in my grave and I am not even dead yet (GOP Poet))
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To: hirn_man

In the Big Book, which was written in 1936, it says “about the only place on earth you could go to get away from alcohol would be the polar ice caps and even there an eskimo might turn up with a bottle of scotch and spoil everything.”


94 posted on 08/28/2009 3:23:34 PM PDT by ichabod1 (I am rolling over in my grave and I am not even dead yet (GOP Poet))
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To: Ditter

You know little of AA


95 posted on 08/28/2009 3:23:55 PM PDT by al baby (Hi Mom ;))
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To: highnoon

I feel guilty about not sponsoring, I admit that.


96 posted on 08/28/2009 3:25:38 PM PDT by ichabod1 (I am rolling over in my grave and I am not even dead yet (GOP Poet))
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To: raybbr
My father in law was a binge drinker and a very successful business man. All of his 4 brothers were winos, living under the bridge winos. If any of them ever went to AA I am not aware of it. I had very little contact with the wino brothers and most of the time my F-I-L was sober. Growing up in that family is what convinced my husband to never take a drink.
97 posted on 08/28/2009 3:28:59 PM PDT by Ditter
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To: al baby

I know NOTHING of AA.


98 posted on 08/28/2009 3:30:31 PM PDT by Ditter
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To: RKV

Not to make light of his substance-abuse problem, but there’s another program he needs to get into:

“Hi, I’m Roger, and I’m assholic.”
“HI, ROGER!”


99 posted on 08/28/2009 3:30:39 PM PDT by RichInOC (No! BAD Rich! (What'd I say?))
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To: the long march
Can't believe I had to scroll down this far to find someone with an insight into the traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Thank You!

100 posted on 08/28/2009 3:31:10 PM PDT by ImpBill ("America ... where are you now?" signed, a little "r" republican!)
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