In meetings, I kept hearing revelatory things -- about how resentments were like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die, how rejection was God's protection and more that may sound clichéd now as I write but which literally changed my life. Basically, I fell in love with AA before I remembered that I hated it.
Some philosophers have argued that the desire to act in a way that is consistent with one's values and sense of self is linked to well-being. But others have argued that learning to express thoughts and feelings that obscure one's true inner state is an important adaptation for successful living. A team of psychological scientists has been working to resolve this issue empirically.
After the thousands of hours I've spent in recovery meetings, I can say I'm certain of only a few things. First, despite what many people believe, AA is not a cult. It's just a group of alcoholics trying to figure out how to stay sober by helping the next guy or gal stay sober. Two, no matter how shitty I feel before walking into a meeting, I always feel a little better after it's over.
Showing up to AA was like being surrounded by a bunch of happy-ass Whos -- all smiling and laughing and seeming like they didn't have a care in the world. Yes, I am convinced the closest place to Whoville is within the rooms of AA -- where there is a fellowship, friendliness and indescribable understanding that is unlike anything I have ever seen.
Some people tell me I should take that post down: What if someone finds it when they Google you? What if they see it while researching you for a job interview? All valid points. But I'm not taking it down. I need it there to remind me of where I was, of how close I was to killing myself, and to perhaps help someone else who might read it and resonate with it.