Many of us come to W-Anon, a group dedicated to helping you get over the George W. Bush years, filled with despair and hopelessness. And many of us would not have voluntarily walked through the doors if we were not in some sort of crisis or pain that forced us to seek help. Though we may not have labeled it this way, we come to W-Anon because our lives have become unmanageable -- and we come seeking relief. W-Anon's 12 Steps to Recovery (based on the tenets of Nixon Anonymous) are listed below:
1. We are not alone. Millions suffered silently along with you, though some, like Bill Maher, suffered not so silently.
2. Accept and admit to ourselves that we voted Bush into office. Twice.
3. Understand that, first and foremost, Bush is a politician. One symptom of this vocation is an uncontrollable desire for power; and the longer Bush continued to rule, his desire for power increased.
4. Being a Bush is a family disease. If one member is afflicted, then the whole family suffers.
5. Put your needs first. Because when we don't we allow the president to put his needs first--namely, going into Iraq so he could kill the man who tried to kill his father.
6. We tried to condone Bush's behavior and now are trying to make up for it or excuse it. But we know only have ourselves to blame and feel emotionally disturbed ourselves.
7. Humbly ask the world to forgive us for our shortsightedness, selfishness and isolationism.
8. Make a list of all the people (Muslims) we allowed to be detained without due process, and ask for their forgiveness.
9. Agree it's a good idea to have direct talks with the Middle East, except when to do so would be unwise.
10. Learn to accept the things we could not change (Bush) and focus on the things we can (ourselves).
11. Know that electing Democrats into office is the only way to restore to this democracy to some sort of sanity.
12. Have a cultural awakening as the result of these steps, and try to carry this message to the rest of country by supporting the policies of Obama and the Democrats.
Members share Experience, Strength and Hope
Scott McClellan, former White House press secretary:
"When I came into W-Anon, I was involved in a special relationship with Bush, whose temper often erupted unexpectedly and inappropriately. I'll never forget going to work on a Saturday morning, getting called down to the Oval Office because there was something he was mad about. I had on khakis and a buttoned-down shirt, and I had to stand by the door and get chewed out for about 15 minutes. He wouldn't even let me cross the threshold. It took a long time to understand I had no power over Bush. Only Cheney did. And as my days in W-Anon turned into weeks and the weeks turned into months--I realized things would never improve. And with W-Anon's help, I was finally able to quit and write a tell-all book about my experiences for a very large advance. And my life has drastically improved."
Follow Emily Bracken on Twitter: www.twitter.com/emilybracken