Ameriholic's Anonymous

05/25/2011 12:05 pm ET

Will you join me in the Serenity Prayer?

Common Sense, Art, Science, Literature and Nature: grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen.

Hi. My name's ________ and I'm an Ameriholic.

(crowd: Hi, _________.)

Thanks for letting me share. Gosh, I've been sober only a short time now and it's weird, yeah, not being held in thrall of Amerihol. I had the shakes for a while. Bad. Alternately laughing and crying out of context. Couldn't make a decent poop for days. All that bile, I guess, bunging me up. But finally when I kicked, it was like I woke from a garish dream. Everything suddenly smelled and tasted so strong, so pure, as if my senses had spent years being anesthetized or something. I stopped watching television. That was weird. That's like, the first thing my deprogrammer had me do. Went into a media lockdown sorta thing. Started me reading books again. History. Yeesh. We had a major fist fight that ended in tears, me being held like a baby, rocking, sobbing, gulping air. My vision slowly cleared. I felt reborn. Raw. Like a person again. But that was just the first step.

After a few days I ventured out into the world. Colors were so vibrant. The crunching of my shoes on the asphalt seemed almost deafening. And then the stares from the other Ameriholics who don't even know they're Ameriholics. They walk in such a way that you could tell their fields of vision stopped about five feet in front of them and were blinkered on both sides. They had the look of someone who suspected they were under the control of an unseen hand but were trusting nonetheless. Because they knew they had to do one thing and one thing only: consume.

I heard that word a lot when I got sober. "Consumers," people are called. Consumers by name and consumers by nature. Like that's what we've become after millions of years, that's the purpose we serve? Not dreamers or hopers or doers or thinkers or feelers. Consumers. Goes in one hole, comes out another. And they're everywhere. Like earthworms.

It's a whole lifestyle choice, believe me. You have to break old habits, which can be tough. It's about activating dormant parts of your brain, you know? But of all the habits to break, my major hurdles (and we here all know they are different for everybody) were caffeine, sugar and patriotism. I have to say I miss 'em all but in the end none of them were anything like they started out as being in the first place. But someone saw how people reacted to them and I guess they just added more and more to whatever people were eating or drinking or reading or hearing and bang! Hooked. And that last one -- patriotism -- brother, that 's the worst of them. Tough to realize what a hold that particular substance has on you. Look at the effects on the poor bastards it has in its stranglehold, the soulless leaders who bought and bullied their way up the ladder and believe their lies with such wild-eyed fervor that they'd sell their own human values down the river -- for profit. Sell their own mothers and grandmothers and sons and daughters down the river. And do it all under the guise of patriotism. And it would be maddening if it weren't so sad. Because really it's the Amerihol talking. It's not their fault. Deep down, people want, need guidance. They want to believe. But the unscrupulous, profiteering peddlers have chemically tethered themselves to us, making us crave their pretty sounding, spirit-corroding substances. Being an Ameriholic means never facing reality, never absorbing the hard fought truths of your predecessors, never having faith in your fellow man, xenophobia coursing through your veins. And most destructively, Ameriholism induces an insane and unquenchable lust... for money.

(takes a drink of water)

I know I sound like a classic "reformed whore" kinda person. But I've had enough of the brimstone and treacle that's been dished out and called nutrition. I was scared all the time. My faith had become an ornate thing. My scriptures weren't in The Bible or The Koran, they were on I was a lemming, believing I was ascending to heaven when I was really plummeting into the abyss. But I want to tell everyone who is struggling that the time has come to break the habit, throw off the yoke and live as our, dare I say, Founding Fathers intended us to live. Expected us to live.

But you have to fight for sobriety. You have to be strong. I know it won't be easy. There are temptations everywhere. Threats. But the good thing is, our group is getting stronger every day. Our ranks are swelling with the newly sober. And we will help each other to live again as real, healthy, vibrant, free-thinking, caring Americans. Because we were once slaves to Amerihol ourselves. And we know what that's like. We'll be here for you. Just like you were here for me. Thanks.

(sits down)