Are you a friend of Monica?

The phrase ” are you a friend of Monica?” was coined last night, as a more appropriate way for those of us who have left AA to identify each-other. It pretty much sums the situation, up as Monica brought a lot of different types of people together at her screening in Mayfair, who are all concerned with making recovery groups better and safer. Her film the 13th step was very well received in London, by everyone . We were all quite amazed by the reaction as in many ways this was a real true test of her film, as she was not on home ground and she attracted a broad recovery based audience (as well as members of the British Media Industry). There were people who had met online over the years on Blogs such as Stinkin-Thinkin who finally met each-other for real as well, as members of AA, who were complimentary of the film.

Monica Richardson Nick Moran

Monica left AA a few years ago after being a member for over 36 years but still clearly cares about the people who are still there, especially the women. She obviously has a difference experience to me. I only remained in the 12 step world for a short period and was what most people would consider a middle aged fairly low bottom drunk. She joined very young and in my opinion would have been better off elsewhere. This seems to be a problem with many people being channeled into AA when it is not really the appropriate place.

Reaction to the 13th step film

I was pleasantly surprised by the reaction to the film. I expected those who have experienced issues in AA, to approve of it, especially as Monica has an online following, I also felt that people such as myself, who have moved on from AA but are still grateful for the support we had when times were hard, would approve. I certainly consider myself pro choice and attempt to tell others about the other methods available that I have used along with those used by friends, and not somebody that wishes to attack every aspect of AA. What really surprised me was the reaction of the AA members who applauded with the rest of us and told Monica that this was a film that needed to be made. I feel these people represented the majority of people who are in AA to help and support others. They want the film to be put on Dvd and sent to people in the fellowship who have the power to change things. That impressed me, and showed a different side to the fellowship, compared to some of the petty minded people who get involved with idiotic arguments on the comments sections of recovery websites. These people want change, and realise it is needed. They have the interests of AA members in mind and are not opposed to change.

Some AA members do take action when people behave inappropriately in or around meetings, but others turn a blind eye, and in extreme cases can cause huge damage by giving poor advice to people who have suffered abuse, which can lead to disaster. AA was designed for low bottom drunks male drunks who had drunk through prohibition, rather that young women and the vulnerable who need therapy.

AA has a huge number of members compared to any other recovery group, and is the one that everybody has heard of, and so it is not surprising that a significant minority do cause problems, especially as people who have substance abuse issues often have criminal backgrounds or mental health issues. This film contains some bad stories and illustrates the type of issues that AA needs to deal with if it is to be able to move forward. It seems stuck in the past to me, and some active members are more interested in dogma and the religious side and not helping others with basic support and fellowship, which are the parts of AA that I feel can be effective if you are open to them.

It was also good to see people from the British TV industry who were present last night, who felt that this was an important issue. There were people who were not connected directly with recovery who gave up their time to do graphics on this film and Claudia Christian’s “one little pill“. There was the British feature film director and actor Nick Moran who came up with some good suggestions for Monica on how the film could be shortened for broadcast versions, which would bring these issues to a wider audience. There was a journalist from the prestigious UK Sunday newspaper “The Observer”  who are working on a piece featuring the blogger Jon Sleeper who is raising awareness of recovery issues in the UK, who again could reach a wider audience.

This was a great example of a wide range of people in the recovery community coming together to try and find solutions and was a great success. There was a chance for for people to socialise before and after, and get to know each-other.  That made it unique, and showed that people share a lot of common aims in the recovery movement regardless of the support method they chose, if any. I found that inspiring and it gives me some hope that changes can be made. There will be some that oppose change, some that simply want to argue, insult and cause trouble, but there are those out there who are really making an effort and investing a huge amount of their time and own money into making changes happen. They deserve everybody’s support in my opinion. It also showed me the worth of forming a new type of group where people can chat about recovery issues in a more general way and keep in touch with each-other. Perhaps this is something I should try and start!

The 13th step trailer

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  1. “The 13th Step” is a challenging, shocking and touching documentary that details numerous accounts of horrific abuse in AA – many of which are largely unrecognised and unacknowledged … until now. It felt like a real privilege to see it at it’s first UK screening, and I’d very much like to view it again. One of the most interesting elements of the experience was watching the film alongside other former AAs who had once, like myself, been deep into the programme. The shared recognition of how the steps and the fellowship shape your thinking, ostensibly in a good way but also in a manner that in my view is not ultimately a healthy one, was very interesting. At some points the reactions of people in the room were almost as fascinating as the content of the movie itself … which is saying something because this film is a fast paced and genuinely ground breaking polemic. In fact “The 13th Step” makes a great many powerful points in it’s relatively short run time – but perhaps the crux of the argument is that AA, an organisation which benefits immeasurably from widespread media endorsement, must now do something to acknowledge and protect those who enter it’s doors seeking care and guidance at what is by definition an extremely vulnerable time in anyone’s life. Monica Richardson is the Michael Moore of recovery. Best wishes, Jon S. (Friend of Monica)

  2. I was also looking around the room at a few points to check reactions. Most films that are critical of AA do not have the same balance as this, and that is hard to achieve. If she can get good distribution and some publicity it will certainly provoke discussion in and around AA meeetings and that could provoke change. It could have a palce at AA conventions, if the right people see it.

    It was great to see you again last night, i didn’t get to talk to you as much as I wanted as there were a lot of people from my original site and other blogs there, as well as people from the industry I knew which was a pleasant surprise. It would be good to have a proper dinner sometime soon for the “friends of Monica”.

    I used to get asked to help people with films in AA and they were all rubbish, Monica’s certainly was not.

  3. Just to chip in with your excellent post here and your comments. It was great to meet you both, and to meet people from ‘One Little Pill’ and from SMART Recovery, as well as other bloggers. It meant so much more to shake someone’s hand or give someone a hug without having to ‘explain’ or type things out all the time like we do online. I spent some time talking to the observer journalist whose eyes were like saucers when the penny finally dropped at how all consuming AA can be! Hearing myself explain it also brought it home to me how absurd some of it sounded! Notably, the stupid vision for you, ‘six suggestions’ – seriously, what were we thinking?! Good [big] question!

    Count me in as another member of the ‘friends of Monica’ or ‘No longer a friend of Bill’ dinner club! As Jon and I joked today, provided dinner has nothing to do with peeling a freaking onion, I’ll be happy!

    I agree that the film was balanced, I don’t know what other reviewers were complaining about at all – the AA supporters and members in the film were not cranks, or nutters, or weridos, they sounded like pretty much most AA members I’ve met, and they gave detailed, nuanced answers to why they were in the fellowship and their thoughts on this subject. I thought she captured the way AA is romanticized in our culture, particularly in US films and TV shows very well indeed – and that for me was a big part of why I got into AA (that and reading a chick lit Novel the year before I joined called Rachel’s Holiday by Marianne Keyes, and seeing 28 days with Sandra Bullock, which really feminized recovery for me, with lots of touchy feeling stuff about ‘self esteem’ when really like you say, the whole thing from the culture, to the literature, to the treatment of women, is quite masculine and about rock bottom gutter drunks http://www.mariankeyes.com/books/rachels-holiday – Marian Keyes has since spoken publicly about her alcoholism and her membership in AA but I didn’t know that at the time).

    I too would like to watch this film again, as last night, part of me was trying to also stay aware of the audience, many of whom knew NOTHING about AA, and also it was a bit strange to try and see AA from the ‘outside in’ and not from the ‘inside out’ – seeing as Monica was in AA for 36 years, she hasn’t created a film that is a ‘rant’ but is a serious documentary.

    For me too, being with other ex AAs was highly validating, if not a little strange. What WERE we doing, staying in that place so long??? I still can’t quite answer that question!

    Monica also need to be thanked for her generosity providing such an awesome venue, great hospitality, and such a warm welcome, all free of charge. It was hugely, wildly generous.

    I didn’t get chance to speak to the AAs (I had thought the fellas from AA Cultwatch might turn up as they’d been talking about the film for a while) but I’m really pleased to hear that they understood. I agree that there is a largely silent, moderate majority in AA (laying aside whatever you think about the modality or its effectiveness or whether AA’s programme itself is inherently emotionally ‘abusive’) who are not malicious, not out to hurt people (they may inadvertently do so anyway, like you say) but they are not ‘bad’ people and I applaud Monica’s efforts to hold AA accountable not only for those injured but those people still in it. They deserve to be safe too.

    I think as Jon said, this might be the beginning of something medium sized! LOL. Let’s hope it snowballs along as it deserves to be HUGE. This film matters, no matter what the trolls say, and thank God for Monica’s thick skin and determination.

    Girlscout
    x

  4. All home save and sound.
    So lovely to meet you all.
    What struck me was the reaction of people who are strangers to this, erm, movement.
    (Big wave to hs if she reads this)
    X

  5. Ah ha, hello there people, I trust you all got back to your respective homes safely.

    The film has been more or less constantly on my mind since the other night. In spite of it’s title ‘The Thirteenth Step’ it really covers a whole lot more ground – not just the sexual predators but the financial ones, the people who don’t even drink that are just palmed off there by the courts, the court mandates, the number of ‘outside issues’ – it’s not even a group to help people stop drinking/drugging when you get to the nitty gritty – “I have a living problem” – heard that one so many times.

    I thought the Q&A was great, if not a bit short, I think would could have gone on for at least another 15/20 mins.
    What I’m finding astounding is the backlash Monica is getting from the ‘antis’, it’s a bloody disgrace. I don’t know who’s been rubbed up the wrong way about what but if they’re really that p***ed off about the film, go and make yer bloody own!

    Getting/trying to get over maladaptive drink/drug behaviours is bloody hard enough without coming up against walls of iuno what… infighting, arguing, childishness.

    Anyway, I’ll perhaps have some more watches of the film and do a review, I’ll be looking out for The Observer article on it.
    Great to meet you all and yes I am a friend of Monica’s, for sure, what a woman!

    nieko xx

    • GirlScout May 29, 2015 at 7:50 pm · · Reply

      Hi Neiko!!!

      Fantastic to meet you, really enjoyed talking to you! It was great to see the film and I totally agree, it is a DISGRACE, the back lash. I thought I was an ‘anti’ but actually after meeting you guys, blogging here and seeing the utter shite that is going on supposedly from the ‘same team’ I am more than ever, ‘pro choice’ and ‘pro empowerment’ … there are many people in XA (like we are) who are nice, good, decent people who a) deserve to be safe and protected from predators and b) as concerned as we are about the crap going on and c) have NO IDEA that there are other options that might fit them better. They might be misinformed, but they are not malicious, and they deserve our support as much as those hurt and harmed and coerced and forced.

      The more I read, the more I learn that substance over use is such a complex issue – and the people suffering deserve well researched, effective, COMPASSIONATE solutions and a way out of their unhappiness. None of that will be achieved by shouting, trolling, bullying.

      I care about addicts – let’s be honest they are hardly a high status segment of our population (which is why predators target them, who gives a f**k about women like Britney in the film? No one! It’s also why Governments don’t really spend any money on them) and I care that there are valid options for them. This film makes a very important contribution to this debate. It needs to be talked about, it’s important.

      Anyway, great to hear you and good to meet you.

      Girlscout
      x

      • Hey there GirlScout,

        Great to meet you too and chill out in the swingy chairs! I’m liking what you’ve got to say on pro-choice and pro-empowerment. I think it’s really important that people know what they are getting themselves into. I still know a lot of folks in NA where I live and it seems to help them. If people want to go to XA fellowships they have a right to know what they are letting themselves in for.

        I was very touched by what you wrote about meeting ex steppers and your ‘me too’ comment. That little voice inside me always felt there was something wrong I just didn’t know what it was and why the conflict.

        Anyway, great to see everyone on here, I need to get some sleep so I’ll review in the a.m.

        All great stuff and what a wonderful evening 🙂

        nieko xx

  6. Librarian May 29, 2015 at 3:27 pm · · Reply

    Hello Nieko,

    I think it is important to focus on the positive and ‘Carry-On’ in the face of the actions/ words of a very few very people difficult who are on both sides. The word ‘Troll’ comes to mind and they must be treated accordingly. Don’t feed them – particularly when they do something shocking.

    Librarian

    • Hi there Librarian,

      There sure is a whole load of positive, it’s certainly a story that is long overdue in the telling in film format, have you seen the film yourself yet?

      There were some VERY brave people telling their stories, I was especially struck by a young girl named Britney, horribly, horribly mistreated/abused in AA, I will even admit to welling up as she talked about her treatment by someone with time in the programme. From the way she described it he was a serial offender taking in young girls and pretty much treating them like slaves. Dreadful.

      Monica has also injected some humour in there with a pop at ‘equine therapy’ or whatever on earth they call it. It reminded me of ’28 Days’, the movie with Sandra Bullock, once she connects with the horse and lifts it’s leg up, SHAAA NAAAA, she’s cured, unbelievable!

      I’ve read elsewhere that people appreciate the balance Monica has attained in interviewing people from AAWS or similar getting opininons from aa as well as programmes such as SMART, SOS etc. Balance is a word that has come up repeatedly in a lot of what’s been written so far. With Monica’s own story woven into the movie she reflects on her time in aa in Hawaii in the 70s and does get pretty choked up when talking about the old school AA people that helped her on the begining of her journey. That bit was touching for me too when she acknowledeged that there were benefits at least to her earlier years in AA. To me it translated that it wasn’t all awful and she did meet some good, genuine people who did look out for her. Not everyone in XA is awful and she doesn’t hold back from saying that again, balance.

      One thing I do take issue with is the idea of XA being entrenched in the movie industry, now I don’t live in Hollywood so I’m going to go out on a limb here and say Monica has a much better idea of the landscape than I do when it comes to depictions of anon groups in TV and Film. However there is a reference to Breaking Bad and as much as I love that show I’m not sure what research went in to their writing of the meeting scenes. The clip shown in ‘The Thirteenth Step’ is taken from a part in the show where Jesse (the main protagonist’s sidekick for those who don’t know) has done drug rehab and stayed clean apparently on his own or with at least with minimal meeting attendance he certainly hasn’t found god and started banging the recovery drum, he’s still cooking meth as a job!
      There are no steps posted on the wall and the group appears to be facilitated by a guy who encourages people to talk, they don’t declare themselves as addicts and there are instances of ‘cross-talk’. Back on point, the scene depicted is actually where Aaron Paul’s Jesse character has decided that he has a potential new set of customers ready and waiting at these meetings. I’ve heard it myself that people have been known to attend NA meetings to score drugs.
      I’ve heard Monica get angry about the way recovery is portrayed in films and TV however I’m not sure how that one would work out, let’s have a go:

      Person A: Okay, I’m off to my SMART meeting now
      Person B: What’s a SMART meeting?
      Person A: Why Self management and recovery training
      Person B: Why don’t you just go to AA?
      Person A: Because the success rate is terrible, there’s nobody in charge and last time I went everyone tried to sleep with me.

      Would it work? I don’t know. The writing would need to be tight. I would think that when the general public at large see people sat in a circle talking about the problems their drinking/drugging has caused they’re going to think AA even with other literature, no steps etc. Realistically to change the Hollywood standard of a mutual aid type meeting whatever flavour it may be there’s a whole lot of ground to cover. Films such as ‘The Thirteenth Step’ are good ground to make a start on AA’s monopoly on the recovery industry…

      Anyway, I never meant to write so much! I was out walking and thinking about what you wrote and whilst I don’t want to feed into any negativity I couldn’t help but acknowledge that it was there. Monica has undoubtedly done a fantastic job and this is just the beginning. I’ll certainly be giving her all my support in whichever way possible.

      There’s a girl in my city that got a guy in NA to pay for her breast implants – perhaps that’s where I should begin, get her to watch it…

      Nkz 🙂

  7. Hi there Librarian,

    There sure is a whole load of positive, it’s certainly a story that is long overdue in the telling in film format, have you seen the film yourself yet?

    There were some VERY brave people telling their stories, I was especially struck by a young girl named Brittney, horribly, horribly mistreated/abused in AA, I will even admit to welling up as she talked about her treatment by someone with time in the programme. From the way she described it he was a serial offender taking in young girls and pretty much treating them like slaves. Dreadful.

    Monica has also injected some humour in there with a pop at ‘equine therapy’ or whatever on earth they call it. It reminded me of ’28 Days’, the movie with Sandra Bullock, once she connects with the horse and lifts it’s leg up, SHAAA NAAAA, she’s cured, unbelievable!

    I’ve read elsewhere that people appreciate the balance Monica has attained in interviewing people from AAWS or similar getting opinions from AA as well as programmes such as SMART, SOS etc. Balance is a word that has come up repeatedly in a lot of what’s been written so far. With Monica’s own story woven into the movie she reflects on her time in aa in Hawaii in the 70s and does get pretty choked up when talking about the old school AA people that helped her on the begining of her journey. That bit was touching for me too when she acknowledeged that there were benefits at least to her earlier years in AA. To me it translated that it wasn’t all awful and she did meet some good, genuine people who did look out for her. Not everyone in XA is awful and she doesn’t hold back from saying that, again – balance.

    One thing I do take issue with is the idea of XA being entrenched in the movie industry, now I don’t live in Hollywood so I’m going to go out on a limb here and say Monica has a much better idea of the landscape than I do when it comes to depictions of anon groups in TV and Film. However there is a reference to Breaking Bad and as much as I love that show I’m not sure what research went in to their writing of the meeting scenes. The clip shown in ‘The Thirteenth Step’ is taken from a part in the show where Jesse (the main protagonist’s sidekick for those who don’t know) has done drug rehab and stayed clean apparently on his own or with at least with minimal meeting attendance he certainly hasn’t found god and started banging the recovery drum, he’s still cooking meth as a job!
    There are no steps posted on the wall and the group appears to be facilitated by a guy who encourages people to talk, they don’t declare themselves as addicts and there are instances of ‘cross-talk’. Back on point, the scene depicted is actually where Aaron Paul’s Jesse character has decided that he has a potential new set of customers ready and waiting at these meetings. I’ve heard it myself that people have been known to attend NA meetings to score drugs.
    I’ve heard Monica get angry about the way recovery is portrayed in films and TV however I’m not sure how that one would work out, let’s have a go:

    Person A: Okay, I’m off to my SMART meeting now
    Person B: What’s a SMART meeting?
    Person A: Why Self management and recovery training
    Person B: Why don’t you just go to AA?
    Person A: Because the success rate is terrible, there’s nobody in charge and last time I went everyone tried to sleep with me.

    Would it work? I don’t know. The writing would need to be tight. I would think that when the general public at large see people sat in a circle talking about the problems their drinking/drugging has caused they’re going to think AA even with other literature, no steps etc. Realistically to change the Hollywood standard of a mutual aid type meeting whatever flavour it may be there’s a whole lot of ground to cover. Films such as ‘The Thirteenth Step’ are good ground to make a start on AA’s monopoly on the recovery industry…

    Anyway, I never meant to write so much! I was out walking and thinking about what you wrote and whilst I don’t want to feed into any negativity I couldn’t help but acknowledge that it was there. Monica has undoubtedly done a fantastic job and this is just the beginning. I’ll certainly be giving her all my support in whichever way possible.

    There’s a girl in my city that got a guy in NA to pay for her breast implants – perhaps that’s where I should begin, get her to watch it…

    Nkz 🙂

  8. Mike and Jon and friends, I had the best time screening this film with you all in the audience. The kindness I felt from you and support is beyond words. The moment of our group hug of ex steppers was ah so …how shall I say…healing…making up for crap we all felt in AA. Again …thank you , each and every one who was there in London, and I hope to come back. What a great city. Cheers! Thanks Mike for a great site as well. Monica…:)

    • Thanks for everyone who has left such positive comments about the film here, because it really deserves them and needs to be seen. (Sorry about all of you that got caught in the spam trap – it seems to have a mind of it’s own, but as I have little time to run the site I have to leave it on.)
      Thanks again to Monica for her hospitality and everything she has done. This film could save lives and prevent some of the bad things that happen in AA simply by causing discussion about subjects that are often not discussed by groups. I really hope some people in AA have the guts to show it at a few conventions as that is the place that most people are together who could change things.

      It was so good to chat with people in person and socialise and I hope we can do more of this in the future. The conversation upstairs in the smoking area was serious, yet hilarious (and I will take care mowing the lawn) and should continue. I have a few ideas how to do something different online and will be in touch with you soon. It was very good to be with people who had moved on from AA yet who had not fallen in the way of life that is predicted by members of AA if you mention leaving. We were certainly not dead on Wednesday night – quite the opposite, full of life. Anyway thanks again, got to go as I am really tired after work!

  9. The lawn anecdote belongs to sleeperhatch who did get out.
    It was NOT a smoking area; it was a Cigar Room. £15!!!
    Brilliant to see you all an honour to meet Monica.
    I’ve had nine years of this bs so it was good to keep morale up.
    Triple lovebomb all round.

    See you all for coffee and cakes in Berlin.

    Pxx

    • But mowing your own toe off in the name of recovery – no matter whose story it is – HAS to be told!! Haha (unless you are the poor f**ker who lost a toe!). Which sort of proved our point about rehabs making the inmates do all the menial jobs and charging them seven grand a week for the privilege!

      12 years if this BS for me too, and as a ‘double winner’ (ie really sanctimonious arsehole who got to boast about being an AA, an Al Anon AND an ACOA) you have my sympathy!

      Good to meet you too. Kaffee and Kuchen in Berlin sounds Sehr Gut!

      GS
      x

    • I did not realise it was supposed to be a cigar area!Were there any other “areas” I missed out on! I don’t smoke any more but I might have been tempted with a cigar! It was really good to chat with another fan of the Stinkin Thinkin Site. It was a one off and I doubt anyone will capture the fun of the early days there, before things got out of hand. It must have taken up so much of their time to run, as they were coming up with things every day (and had quite a few idiots to deal with) . This site is small and slow moving in comparison, but still takes up quite a lot of time. Even checking the spam filter which often stops the wrong people can take up time. I might do a proper post about them soon and it would be great to have a few memorable stories mentioned. They were going to put the site back up as a functioning blog rather than an archive about 18 months ago, but stopped because of the crazy behaviour on other sites. Nobody should have to deal with that type of idiocy, but sadly it happens. I know that they assumed the same things as me at one time – that those who had left AA and thought the steps were crazy would act in a rational fashion, but sadly this is not the case. Lunatics attract other lunatics and aggressive people attract other aggressive people. I was warned to look out for the antis rather than the pro AA’s by the blamedenial people when I started my old site – they were right!

  10. GirlScout May 30, 2015 at 4:10 pm · · Reply

    You didn’t miss anything on the cigar front – I had a cigarillo in a moment of weakness and then after a few puffs remembered why I’d stopped smoking! Horrible! It was a lovely venue though, but that was secondary to meeting everyone. It’s so sad what is happening in the whole online world. The internet appears to be like the Wild West, I think we’ll look back in a 100 years and think we lost our reason! Which is why I think your idea for those of us reasonably sane people to get together now and then and actually talk like real human beings (where you wouldn’t DREAM of insulting someone for not sharing your view, you’d just have a conversation that went, ‘Hmm I hear you but have you thought of this?’) that would be so much more constructive. And now my anger is wearing off (or at least my global, non-directed, non-specific anger at just the whole thing) I’m more interested in getting stuff DONE ….and getting on with my life, which is the entire point really.

    • I understand people are angry and many have had bad advice in AA or other problems. It is easy to feel angry after leaving if suddenly change your views. I realised after a while that I was angry with myself for believing what I did, and actually feel sorry for many of the people I left behind in AA. However, most of them seem happy there and are better people that before they went. I am as well, I look back with embarrassment at some of the things I did when drinking and take responsibility for the things I did. I do feel that AA was part of my journey and although I have issues with it, and wish that I had bothered to take time looking at other solutions in the early days which would have been more appropriate for me, I realise that it was helpful in helping me break the cycle of drinking dangerously every day. I was told that I would be dead by now if I did not stop, and I believe that is true.

      These days I am happy most of the time and can get things done without drama. I don’t suffer fools, and am not going to get into pointless arguments with people who I have nothing in common with. The people that influenced me in AA were not the hard core 12 steppers, or the people showing off, but the ones who were honest and would give others their time. There were people in the rooms with a background like mine yet they were healthy and getting fit and happy. I was none of those things when I joined AA, and I only really reached a similar state to those people I originally admired after I left the rooms. We all have our own journey, and while it is important to point out potential pitfalls in recovery groups such as AA, or say that I have recovered without using a higher power etc, or if you can’t do abstinent, there are great new solutions such as the Sinclair method, it also not fair in my opinion to attack others who use a solution we have rejected. It is easy to jump from one dysfunctional group to another in recovery, and a lot of the people who are intent on wrecking any meaningful discussion with their over the top posting and aggression have fallen into that trap. I have better things to do that argue with somebody I have no interest in ever meeting on an internet site. I have changed my views over time, and they have been influenced by other people and books that I have read. Having this site has actually helped as I am in contact with so many good people from all over the world. It is my personal site, not some service that I am providing, so I’m not going to turn it into a battle ground. I take a step back, and if people start to annoy me or waste my time I put them into a moderation category, and then only read the first few words they write and make a decision about reading the rest! It is easy to get dragged into something unpleasant, and I have had my fill of that! Things got out of hand on a couple of Anti sites then it spread to any venue where people who had been banned could argue. There is nothing constructive in what they are doing, they are just causing themselves stress. Some are socio-paths and others are plain stupid. They are not a great advert for the recovery movement.

  11. I have a few reflections that I would like to share offline.
    Xx

  12. Please count me in as another FRIEND OF MONICA!!!
    But you wouldn’t believe how many times I had to read that before I grasped what it meant!! lol

    I’m very happy you completed the documentary, am looking forward to it coming out on DVD, and hope I can meet you in person sometime.

    🙂

    • I think she has a lot of friends at the moment and the numbers are growing. I think she needs to make a few small changes to the film and then it will come out. These things always take a long time when dealing with distributors etc. I think she will continue to show it in America so she may be near you at some point. She did a good question and answer session in UK and I will hopefully put a piece about it on http://www.addiction.com soon.

  13. Hi all…..thanks Mike and everyone who I have met. Yes one last clean up edit and make more DVD’s for film festivals. Yes I am getting many emails from distributors and we are doing another round of Submissions for Festivals around the world.

    I promise that Even if I don’t get normal distribution , I will do a National Tour with the film to probably 10-20 cities. Please write to us at http://www.the13thstepfilm.com and request us to come to your city or tell us you want to buy the film and when its made into DVD’s we will make a big announcement . AT that time The donors from Indiegogo will also receive their copies.

    • Good to know you are still showing it, so I will make a quick change to reflect this on the addiction.com piece. You could aslo put it out on pay per view on vimeo or iTunes which is a good way of reaching people today. I thought it would benefit from an audio session as well, if you have any budget left – I guess you are massively over already with the huge amount of work you have done!

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