Another sad suicide due to Alcoholism, and crazy conclusions on web forums. Audrey Conn (Audrey Kishline)

I am always sad to read about somebody taking their own life after a battle with alcoholism. Many alcoholics battle with inner demons, and the suicide rate for those with alcoholism is high, especially for those who used drink as a way of blotting out the reality of life, so they did not have to deal with it.

suicide

I was really sorry to see that Audrey Conn  (Audrey Kishline) who founded “Moderation Management” committed suicide before Christmas. I did not know her in person, simply online. Audrey was involved in a fatal car crash after drinking in 2000, killing two people and this was often used against those who try to push moderation as a solution for problem drinkers. She had actually rather courageously told moderation management members that she was leaving the group, to follow an abstinent based solution which in her case was AA. She was an AA member at the time of the crash and the small group of “keyboard warriors”, or “trolls” who are anti AA, and who spend their time flaming AA members, (and anyone else who disagrees with them) on any internet forum still open to them, often claim that it was AA’s fault that she relapsed. This is a conclusion, they have come to as a result of prejudice against AA, and not one based on any facts. The pro AA type trolls like to mention she was the person who talked about moderation for so long  and founded moderation management, as a justification for her not being abstinent at the time of the crash. It ends up with two groups of people with narrow minded views attacking eachother and ignoring the effect of alcoholism.

The guilt after the crash in this case, must have been terrible, especially after being seen as a key figure in a recovery organisation. She served prison time and had trouble getting her life back together afterwards. I am sure all these things contributed to her making the sad choice to end her own life, rather than some of the ridiculous reasons being pushed on comment boards who will use any tragedy, as a method to bash a recovery solution that did not suit them, or one that they followed. These “keyboard recovery commentators”are always ready to blame a recovery solution, rather than themselves and their choices, for any problems they face in life. This is an unrealistic view. AA is certainly not psychotherapy, but some people are going to suffer serious depression, whatever recovery support they choose, as a result of reacting to situations in their life.

Recovery is always going to throw up some big challenges, and many people will not be equipped to deal with them, or may have to learn by their mistakes. There is also a lot of poor information about recovery which sometimes influences those that need better help, and some groups are not doing enough, to attract people to join them. I think things will change, and the internet will bring alternative ideas that can really help people change. One of the big problems in getting change to happen is getting people in the recovery industry to embrace other approaches, and that will only happen when they read about the success of a method, not a string of negative comments about a group, that more than two million people choose to attend, because they feel it helps them.

Unfortunately, the internet also brings out the worst in some people, who feel empowered to attack or flame others at any opportunity. The flaming generally does not impress most people, only the a tiny group, that get a little feeling of power, by annoying somebody else. This can have an unfortunate backlash, such as, people may well be put off attending a “Smart Recovery” group, when the way they discovered “Smart Recovery” after it was mentioned in passing, by some idiot, ranting on about AA being a religious cult with links to the Nazis, on some “recovery” message board. I certainly would not have wanted to sit next to a person like that in a meeting, when I was starting out! I dread to think what some people who are new to recovery think if they find some of this rubbish online that is driven by emotion. It probably put them off investigating some of the more rational solutions out there, and actually plays into the hands of AA members who call people who do not follow their spiritual path “dry drunks”.

Gabrielle Glaser Piece.

Here is a link to a good write-up about the Audrey Conn story by Gabrielle Glaser, who I would describe as generally critical of AA and the 12 step solution, but not a basher. That is similar to my own view, which is based on my own experience of AA, which had good and bad sides to it. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/01/11/addiction-drunk-driving-and-suicide-the-bizarre-life-of-audrey-conn-founder-of-moderation-management.html

Audrey Conn

She talks about the effects of depression in the piece, especially how it affects women in recovery, and gives a balanced view of the background leading to this tragedy. She uses quotes from Andrew Tatarsky, who is a MM board member and who has written some great books, as well as Scott Stern, a Manhattan Psychotherapist, who was a friend of Conn’s. Both of these people have made it clear in the past, that they are not people who wish to be seen as AA bashers, although they both obviously treat people with different methods to 12 step, that are evidence based.

I like the final comment on the piece by Scott Stern

It is important to note that the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration lists MM, in conjunction with a web-based program calledmoderatedrinking.com, in its national registry of evidence-based treatment programs. A.A. is not included.While neither MM nor A.A. worked for Conn means only one thing: they didn’t work for Conn, Stern said. “There’s a spectrum,” Stern said. “It’s not that you’re either this or that. What this tells us is that we should put more effort into creating more choices.”

Define yourself by which recovery group you go to, and hate all others!

Some people do actually seem to almost define themselves by which recovery group they have chosen to use and despise all others! They also put other people into categories and generally look down on others who use a different solution, to try to beat the same problem. This is not a healthy outlook in my opinion, as situations change, and recovery approaches often need to be modified along the way. Some of these people spend a lot of time on online message boards rather than taking part in normal activities, and end up with a pack mentality that is often far from reality. There are certainly issues with groups such as AA, but they are not generally as dangerous as a few would like to make out. Most people are capable of making a rational choice of leaving or staying quite quickly, depending on if it suits them. I had dinner with a former AA member last week, and it was obvious that being an AA member for over ten years, was one of the things that had kept him sober. It is also true to say he faced problems in AA similar to my own, which had hit me much earlier in my journey, and we have both done something about it, and changed approach. All the arguing, finger-pointing and flaming gets in the way, of people putting forward good ideas that would appeal to a wide range of people regardless, of which approach they take.

Many people make really poor decisions in early recovery (and sometimes later on), that can cause dreadful problems. These problems are normally bigger if the person has relapsed or is drinking a lot. These people need support and not to be held up as examples of people who have failed, because they used a particular recovery method, by ignorant members of an “Anti AA” forum that has little support. That is a cruel response, but a common one, if you read any of the many ridiculous comments by people on the Gabrielle Glaser piece or this in “thefix” http://www.thefix.com/content/remembering-audrey-kishline. It is shame that this hatred that festered on poorly run internet forums, that are ignored by most intelligent people who can see through the conspiracy theories and ignorance, has spilled out elsewhere. I am glad I do not have rely on type the people who use a tragedy, to score points off each other, for support in recovery. They are not out to help others in recovery, but are simply people with a twisted view of a support group, that several million people have found beneficial, which they wish to destroy, because it did not suit them.

My thoughts for what they are worth.

I’m certainly no health professional, just somebody who has been through the recovery process and come out the other side living a better life. A suicide is always dreadful, but this one brings home the message about how vulnerable we all are, if something in our life happens that we are not equipped to deal with. For me, the most tragic thing about this is that Audrey certainly knows so many good people in the recovery world, and has attended various types of recovery groups, both evidence based and spiritual, and still could not find a suitable solution. That puts the dreadful statistics for recovery in perspective.

I have felt dreadful at times, and it took me a long time to make much progress. Many in the “Anti AA” world feel that everyone will do better if they follow a CBT type solution from the start. That was not actually my experience. I tried one on one CBT counselling when I was thirty, and did not really understand what it was about and was resistant to many of the things being suggested, such as fitness and general wellbeing techniques – I carried on smoking and distanced myself from healthy groups. I did not really make progress with CBT until 10 years later, after a year of attending AA, which I was rapidly viewing as a short-term thing for me, and was prepared to make changes to my life. I feel that I am lucky to have found a way that suited me. Some people are not so lucky, and others do not have the necessary motivation to change.

A link to another post about trolling here  https://www.recoveringfromrecovery.com/internet-addiction-trolling-recovering-substance-addiction-problems/

A link to an earlier piece on depression and AA after the death of Robin Williams which also resulted in some bad comments on certain websites. I do link to a rather disturbing AA piece in this but do not blame every suicide on AA likee some people choose to.

https://www.recoveringfromrecovery.com/depression-addiction/

 

 

 

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  1. I actually think many of the comments on The Fix were very good. I think most admitted that there is so much we do not know what happened towards the end of her life it is hard to say what her triggers were. But she was a famous person who was one who credited AA with her sobriety that apparently was not the case. We do know that AA can be harmful and can cause suicides. It makes sense that people could speculate how the harmful slogans etc could have hurt Audrey in her depression.
    By discussing it can help flush out the pros and cons of a program she was a member of. Now I did see some pro AA members harassing others, but that seems normal in the comment sections.

  2. John Carroll January 28, 2015 at 7:38 am · · Reply

    You have a point ANTIDENIAL. This only shows that not treatment programs can be effective for every drinking problem. There are still cases that alcoholics need a different approach when it comes to their recovery program because everyone is unique and requires treatment that is suitable to their addiction.

  3. We might never find out, but it was stated that she was on different meds and different treatments at some point and time, so it would interesting and helpful to see what went wrong, and what if anything could have been done to prevent this tragic end.

    Even though it was said she tried different treatments, were they still 12 step based or was she still referred to 12 step programs for aftercare? What kind of meds was she taking? What was her diagnosis? We do know many people in AA are not properly treated for their mental health problems. Was she getting mixed messages from a therapists and then a sponsor? How was she getting bottles of vodka while not working or driving?

    It is very very tragic what happened to Audrey and the way she decided to leave this world at Christmas time. It is shocking to many people, and it is only natural that people want to and even need to talk about it. Maybe we can learn from it and help to prevent more suicides in the future.

  4. You cannot blame all suicides that are done by depressed alcoholics who are members of AA on AA. People are free to attend the type of support group they choose and Audrey was in a position to go to pretty much everyone available and had a large understanding of the problem compared to some of the people who know very little and are attending AA.

    Many of the the comments on message boards are simply trying to use her death as a way of justifying extreme views about AA in the same way this was done about Robin Williams etc etc. They are just a small bunch of people jumping to conclusions that most people find ridiculous. Alcoholism is hard to recover from. Most people do have periods of relapse, periods of depression whatever method they use and suicide rates are high. Most people in the harm reduction world realise this and acknowledge it. I was certainly no fan of AA and the spiritual steps, but as I was taking responsibility for my life, and attending AA was an attempt to do that, I looked at other solutions and found my own way which is what most people who are motivated to stop drinking do. Sadly many lose the motivation, and end up with dreadful problems even though they have access to a wide range of solutions.

  5. Well I am not blaming all suicides on AA. But it is important to discuss and see how and if AA could have played a role in an effort to prevent future suicides. AA does cause suicides, we know that. There is nothing wrong in seeing what correlation between Robin Williams or Audrey and there involvement in AA could have played a role in their depression and ultimate suicide. By discussing it, brings to light how AA’s very harmful belief system that tells people they are powerless and defective can be lethal. You cannot say that AA did not play a role in Audreys suicide. It makes sense that it could have. I do not understand why we should be silent and not explore why it could have, and explore how it can relate to other people who are depressed in AA, and how to possibly avoid buying into AA’s dangerous philosophies and quest to quash progressive methods to overcome addiction and mental health problems.

    Many discussions about the crisis in addiction has to do in exploring where the failures are in our systems. AA is one huge factor. Many people who are not famous just become a number when they die. When a famous person dies people will talk about much more. This is healthy and normal. There are over 30K suicides a year in the US. How many are discussed in the media? Not many. Let us not silence the discussion, so we can have better insights to the causes and implement improved preventive measures.

  6. A small number people are simply using a tragic death, as an excuse to sling mud at a few other equally stupid people. It has nothing to do with the reality of alcoholism but is simply trolling although those in the anti AA world do not see themselves as internet trolls.

    Very few people in the harm reduction world seem to support the anti AA stance, although they certainly don’t use the steps as atreatment method. Nobody is discussing anything much on these threads, simply attacking other people over and over again. AA is certainly not suitable for everyone, and I never take that stance, but I’m not so bigoted or blind that I cannot see that many people enjoy being part of AA, and that it helps them. I do not try to invent reasons for somebody with alcoholism commiting suicide, so that I can blame a support system that I made the choice to join and then decided to leave.

  7. Maybe that is true, but your article seems to paint a broad brush of all anti AA commentators. I am one of them as you know.
    Actually I have seen a lot of support from harm reduction supporters for anti AA ers, because most harm reduction supporters are anti AA as well for the most part. When dealing with AA and suicide one does not have to invent anything to discuss a possible correlation between the two. There is a reason AA is a huge failure and is harmful to so many. Because it helps some people does not take away from the harm it has brought upon others. Audrey Kishline was a key figure in Moderation Management and then she went to AA. That was newsworthy in the addiction circles. Her suicide is newsworthy as well, and I think we should not be so hard on people trying to figure out the possibilities of what happened for her life to end so tragically. By having these discussions it can hopefully aid in the prevention of similar outcomes.

  8. I don’t think that the majority of harm reduction supporters are anti AA and many are fed up with certain people sabotaging any cause they get involved in. Smart Recovery is certainly not anti AA as many members use both groups for support. Many in the Harm Reduction community are appalled at many of the comments and conjecture linked to this suicide. It is my impression that most people simply click away from any discussion online that is derailed into another anti v pro AA argument. That is based on the many emails that I get from people in the Harm Reduction community, that are attempting to motivate alcoholics and addicts to change their behaviour and not try and destroy the largest support group out there. AA was not for me and many feel the same, so I talk about alternatives. If you can create a demand for other methods, they will grow like AA has in the past. At the moment every online message board is getting swamped by about 10 people with extreme views, that are generally ignored.

  9. Hi Anti Denial and Mike,

    AD, I agree with you on this. I didn’t see any blogs or forums where anti AA’s were blaming AA for Audrey Kishline’s suicide, but I could have missed them. The ones that I did read offered condolences and expressed how sad they were.

    There is nothing wrong with bringing it up though, and exploring the idea, especially since one of the biggest problems in anything related to AA is that people have been too hushed whenever discussing a negative AA attribute (or possible one). That is likely one of the reasons AA has gone on unchanged and until recently practically unchallenged.

    I’m not trying to start an argument at all but point out that it’s gas-lighting to call people “stupid” and that they are “mud slinging Anti AA’s” when they comment about the negatives of AA – just because they oppose AA.

    Mike, many are aware of the distaste you have for “some” in other forums. That point has been driven home. Besides that small group that you had a run in with, there are thousands more that feel the same way. AA can be harmful in many ways and you know this. It’s not over the top to suggest the possible negative impact it may of had in noteworthy cases. It’s natural.

    I get that there are people that like AA and get something out of it. I listened to it for many years. I never got the chance to say how I really felt though, and I imagine many others suffered through that same frustration. Many people come and go (hopefully get on with life), many of the complaints are similar, so those will sound repetitive and boring for those of us that are involved with any kind of recovery movement campaign.

    • I did actually write this some time ago when there were only a few comments on the fix thread http://www.thefix.com/content/remembering-audrey-kishline
      before it turned into a flaming contest, but reflected for some time before putting on here. I am aware that some of Audrey’s collegues and friends read this site, and did not wish to offend them. With the exeption of your comment and antdenials most people seem to think I am reasonable and some have thanked me by email, and via social media.

      If you select oldest first under disqus you will eventually get to people blaming AA for this suicide. You can also see the poster Mona Lisa who you may remember from stinkin thinkin being flamed for making avery reasonable point, and this sadly sums up what annoys me about the flaming which is done by both sides, which I point out in my piece. I agree that people who have left AA did not have much of a voice but I feel that the type of commenting here and on many other posts is out of hand. That is one of the reasons I started my own blog, as it gives me a place to put forward my ideas.

      As you know I did comment quite a lot on Stinkin Thinkin during its early days and am still friends with many of the people from that site. I moved on from there when I felt it got a bit out of hand but was sorry to see it go. I was also an original member of the orange forum, but left fairly early on. I have never been convinced by many of the arguments on the main site, although I do agree with some of what is there. I do find his views extreme and I feel his lack of concern for people using his forum and others has led to any of the petty arguments and general crazyness. That has been detrimental to the arguments being made against AA, many of which are valid (although my personal opinion is that many are exagerated by the group/pack mentality of online forums). I feel that many people who would have once regarded them selves as broadly anti AA have moved away from any discussions because they have no wish to associated with those who identify themselves as anti AA from that site.

      I do not generally have a go at the anti AA world, I leave it alone, but I did put up a post about why I do not go to anti AA sites on an early blog page, and linked to the Steven Slate piece which I feel makes good points, because I did not want this site to simply be another venue for flaming and attacking people. I made big mistakes with the previous version of this site and am glad it is gone! I had to deal with one total nutcase and one very distressed person as a result of other people stupidity shortly before I shut the site after realising I could not trust all the people that were involved.

      Appart from a couple of pieces by members of the harm reduction world and the actress Claudia Christian who contacted me, all the posts on here are by me and reflect my views.

      I am certainly not a fan of many of the things in AA and am clear about that – the steps for example, subjegation to a higher power, the culty meetings, the no meds cranks, 13 stepping and I feel I do my bit to warn people about that. However I do feel that attending meetings has value for many, and feel that the dynamics of being in a group where people were aiming to stay alcohol free helped me. I also learnt things and realised things about myself from people’s honest sharing and I’m very thankful for that. I will keep this short but will attempt to come back to the subject with a longer post about how my views differ from many in the anti AA world. I do not think that AA should simply be blamed for every suicide that a drunk who attends AA commits or every bit of depression. Many have so many problems and drinking is only one of them. Alcoholics have a huge suicide rate, most people recognise that, some people are going to do it. AA is the easiest group to find and those who have mental problems may well not find alternatives. I do agree that some can be badly affected – I do not think as many as some want to make out. This is a real shame, I feel sorry for anybody who struggles but feel that many will not do well with any method, they do not have motivation to stop, that is really sad.I am certainly no fan of 12 step rehasbs or the people who rip people off for treatment.

      I think many people have become caught up in a pack mentality on anti AA forums and have become much more extreme over time. They feel empowered to troll any post that talks about AA and flood any site that allows them with to, in the same way that that the couple of proAA nutters do on the forums they like. When they don’t have a troll to attack they attack each other. They have no feeling for actual people and this is evident in some of the comments to do with this suicide and others. They do not care who the offend or if they know any facts. Anything remotely related to AA is fair game to them. I feel this reflects badly on the majority of people who have got on with their lives after leaving AA, either going it alone, or making use of other resources. Many of the arguments are simply about God and there is little discussion about the helpful side of being in a group, which helps a lot of people. This is reflected in the size of AA which attracts more people than any other because people choose to take part and get meetings going. They start meetings for the same reason that Audrey started moderation management – they want to help people with drink problems. They have motivated people to change by doing this. I would like to see a greater choice available to all, and have made use of many methods myself. I am critical of some the things and idea presented by AA but aknowledge that other like it.

      I think the whole idea of using an alcoholic or addict’s suicide as a method to attack a support group is a poor decision, and one that is counterproductive. Thankfully I do not think many “normal “ people in recovery read comments sections of blogs or online articles these days, especially if they are poorly moderated, or full of flaming. There is no discussion on these sites, and nobody is being helped as a result.

      When the first comment on a piece called remembering Audrey Kishline, The founder of moderation management is an attack on AA, something is very very wrong! http://www.thefix.com/content/remembering-audrey-kishline Some people have no decency!

      Sorry if I ramble a bit – really tired after work and typing fast

  10. Actually I see a lot of support from Harm Reduction advocates online, because again they do not like 12 step dominance in the addiction arena. Please name who is not. Just because some might not be in agreement with all of the anti AA people, does not mean exposing AA and offering options is frowned upon by Harm Reduction. In fact if you look at comments online and on Facebook they are very much in alignment. I do not see any HR people embracing AA, as ii totally flies in the face of Harm Reduction. Also I would like to point out that you are in a different part of the world. It is my understanding that AA is not forced on people to the extent it is here in the US. The UK is more secular in general. Maybe the rapes, murder and spiritual abuse has not impacted you the way it has so many in the U.S.

    Audrey was a US citizen and I am very interested in her life story all the way to her tragic ending. You cannot be sure to what extent AA did or did not play a role in her death. We just do not have enough information. But it is not a stretch to speculate on how it very well could have. What is wrong with that? If it can bring to light how dangerous 12 step programs can be, maybe family members can in the future intervene and prevent a suicide of their loved one.

    It is shame with all of the hard work that anti AA ers do to expose 12 step programs and how much progress we have made in the media, that the focus of this article would focus on a few on the fringe of the anti AA cause. What we are doing is very important work that should not be thwarted. It is actually AA that has silenced these discussions for decades. We will not be silenced any longer. So please do not judge all of us working hard on this because of a few extremists. I dare say there are thousands more stepper extremists trying to squash the progressive growth of addiction treatment. I would focus on AA’s members denial that AA does contribute to suicides. AA as an organization already has admitted to it.

    • You are one of the people this piece was partly focussed on – you have caused a fair bit of offence to some of her friends and collegues with your attempt to link this to AA.

      There is a big difference in being anti AA (ie wanting to destroy AA) and suggesting people use other methods.

      I consider your comments sick! Especially the one on the first Fix piece.

      • “You are one of the people this piece was partly focussed on – you have caused a fair bit of offence to some of her friends and collegues with your attempt to link this to AA.”

        Mike,

        You said “you” but weren’t specific who you were talking to (me or AD). I never posted on the Fix about this. I posted once and it was in a FB group. Also, I didn’t mention AA causing it (RIP, how tragic this was) although I shouldn’t have to explain myself that extensively.

        I remember that on one Fix article a while back you assumed another person posting was me (Avo). I told you that it was not . If you were talking to me, please apologize. Also, please apologize for assuming that SallieMae was me and that I posting under a different handle. I haven’t gone through SallieMae’s posts and interactions she had with you, so I don’t know what was said. But I do know that you have jumped to the wrong conclusions about this (and other things) and it is so not cool.

      • Somehow I missed an earlier post that was directed toward me. Now it’s me that needs to come back later to respond to your comment, since I didn’t see your post before I wrote my most recent one.

  11. Hi AVO- I agree with this part of your statement in particular. ” There is nothing wrong with bringing it up though, and exploring the idea, especially since one of the biggest problems in anything related to AA is that people have been too hushed whenever discussing a negative AA attribute (or possible one). That is likely one of the reasons AA has gone on unchanged and until recently practically unchallenged.”

    AA has been able to get away with so many abuses for so long. AA does not work for the majority who attend. That is why 95% of people leave. Scientology also I am sure has people that say it works for them. Just ask Tom Cruise. Neither Scientology or AA is going away. But AA should go away as part of our court systems and Employer mandates as well. AA is religious and they have no safety guidelines.

  12. What if indeed AA was a contributing factor leading to her suicide? You do not think that should be discussed? AA is a contributing factor in other suicides. Does the public not have a right to make informed choices and know the pros and cons of a support group? AA is known to tell members to go off of meds, thus causing suicides according to AA headquarters. It is possible Audrey felt conflicted on taking her meds is a possibility. Whether it was or was not, it still points out that others should be cautioned about dark side of AA. I think just letting people know of options is not sufficient when there are many dangers to women and children going to these meetings. Actually it is dangerous to men as well. WHy should they find out the hard way?

  13. AD,

    It is quite possible that Mike is seeing an AA in England that is different and not taking into account the differences in the U.S. They aren’t controlled by New York, for one. They also don’t get memberships by way of the court system, or at least near as many. I don’t know much about AA overseas but have heard that their membership has dwindled to a mere % in comparison to what is here. The coercion here is very strong and for many it’s not so simple to decide you don’t like it and just leave to find something else. For example I was locked in a psych ward and my family was told that I was in denial and unwilling of treatment, when really I didn’t want 12 step treatment or meetings. I was also “forced” to meeting attendance by having privileges to visit with my children taken away. There is much more to how the system works here and against people that don’t want AA or NA. For example, having a doctor call your spouse and suggesting that they have their spouse arrested to learn a lesson – that they need the program. Some psychiatrists won’t treat patients unless they go to those meetings. Same with therapists. Same with half way houses. Some are denied medications unless they go. In other words, it’s a huge struggle to get help for some issues, even when it isn’t substance abuse related (the need to work on the “addiction” first, etc).

    I’ve stayed away from discussing the suicide issues being XA related for a long time. Not that I don’t think it’s possible in many cases though. I just think it’s too hard to determine, and it’s depressing to think about how many people die after 12 step treatment or membership. By suicide or an overdose. I do wish that some kind of authority would look into these matters though. It’s quite possible that some incidences are related to the dogma, and what being around professional wannabe’s talking down onto the lives of struggling peers. Ignoring the possibility is careless and maybe, just maybe people that contemplate it will get noticed and awareness to the issue will get raised. There is so much more involved in getting well then simply putting the substance down. Different people need different things and non-trained evangelists mentoring addicts/alcoholics can lead them away from their best path.

  14. I have been to AA in USA – I used to spend a lot of time there.

    It seems you think that attacking AA is more important than respecting somebodies memory. From what I can understand, hardly anyone reads the comments on the websites you frequent. If they do they scan through it. Most people can see through the fantasies,and the crazyness. Take a look at any recovery forum that is not full of Anti AA members and you will normally find a lot of people trying help each-other and give a bit of friendly advice. Then take a look at the mess on any site where the antis are allowed to troll and notice the difference. You probably encourage people to go to AA.

    It is obvious that somebody who is antisocial will not de well in a group context, but at least AA leaves its doors open for anyone that wants a place to go and sit down, and talk to somebody who has experienced similar issues. It allows people with mental problems to speak, they may be shunned elsewhere. Many find that some social contact helps which is why AA has several million members that choose to attend. Audrey chose to attend AA and other groups as well and certainly new some of the best treatment people in America. She still was overcome and that is the tragedy here which I have attempted to point out. Alcoholism can kill and probably played a big part in Audreys death. you wish to ignore this and blame everything on AA, which is something you have no proof about, just your own bigoted views.

  15. Actually by bringing up the possible correlation of Audrey’s suicide and AA is an important one. When you say people blame every suicide on AA is just a clear exaggeration on your part. Many people die every year of overdoses as well, yet it is suspected that actually many are actually suicides. It is important to talk about that so we can try and prevent suicides. You have no clue that AA DID NOT influence Audrey’s choice to end her life. You do know AA can and is very harmful to the point AA members actually so commit suicide as AA has even admitted to. So you act like there is no connection when you have no proof that there was not. Also by what was posted in The FIX that states AA admits to causing Suicides is true and it is relevant. By informing people of this truth and posting that AA could have been a contributing factor in Audreys death is a form of a public announcement to warn people of the dangers of AA.

    I feel very strongly about preventing more suicides by AA members and others. Audrey was a high profile AA member who chose to end her life in a very disturbing way by hanging herself after drinking vodka and taking pills. I think it would be irresponsible to not have the discussion. I am disappointed that you see no value in having the discussion that could help others, and you only have a negative take on it.

  16. It seems your still stuck with your nose in the air. You shouldn’t be surprised when some people don’t think your reasonable, since those are people you try to insult.

    “I am disappointed that you see no value in having the discussion that could help others, and you only have a negative take on it.”

    I never said that and I do think those discussions could help others. What I did say is that I personally don’t often discuss suicides as being AA related (anymore), because it is upsetting and so difficult to come to a conclusion when they aren’t personal friends. As far as other people discussing it, including you and AD, I have no adverse opinion of it at all. Regardless as to how it’s related to AA (or not). You misread what I said.

    I admire everyone involved in recovery change, regardless of the angle they attempt to challenge it. That includes you and AD and Orange and Gabrielle Glasser and Massive…. the list goes a long way, thankfully. I don’t agree with all of them but that’s easy enough for me to accept (it will be difficult to see the same as everyone else all of the time).
    What I don’t agree with is dragging others under the bus, which you do from time to time (your references to me, as I’ve seen against others, and now AD). – You confused me with someone else and insulted me, calling me names and then referred to it in your blog. Why? More importantly, why stay adamant that you “know”.

    I agree that many web comment’s go overboard. I too have cringed at the style and assault that I occasionally read. But as I said before, for many it is their only outlet. Since we do not “know” them or their experience, or current state of mind for that matter, it’s not for anyone to judge them so harshly (or assume they are the same people under different names doing nothing but trolling various sites).

    I do oppose AA and I doubt my feelings about that will change anytime soon. But I don’t “frequent” many blogs these days, although occasionally I still post on the opf – which is the appropriate website to do so since that hat is the topic of the papers. I tend to go through waves of posting – and not posting.

    We don’t agree on all of this and that’s fine (with me). I respect that you support other recovery models and I think it’s great. The underlying issue for many is that people get the help that they need. I barely got mine, but am grateful that I actually did. As far as an extreme dislike for AA, i’ll not clog up your blog with my opinions on that – only say that it runs deep and I’ve concluded that it is a healthy stance as long as I’m honest and don’t hurt others in the process. I work daily on uncovering what is still unknown about AA, so I remain in a constant awareness to those schemes (nice word). For the most part it has stayed within me and on my hard drive (for now); I don’t feel any need to brag about my accomplishments, drop names as if it’s a popularity contest, or brag about all of the letters I received after helping someone find their path.

    AD and I have squabbled in the past, sometimes more than what it was worth. But I know that she has accomplished good things in her neck of the woods – not an easy task. So I commend her for that. Now I’ve blathered on and most of which I didn’t intend to get into.

    So I’ll leave you to it and just hope you at least hear what I meant to get across. Please stop making negative assumptions about me and referring to them here. I hope that you would stop doing such things against anyone, especially when you don’t recognize their good qualities.

  17. I have to apologize for confusing what was said and by whom. Anti Denial, I thought it was ‘loving-life’ that was posting to me, that he was disappointed that “I” didn’t think discussing the tragic deaths of people. I soooo got that confused and I’m sorry.

    “Loving-life”, the same to you. I apologizing for confusing that up and I wish I could change my response around regarding that quote. I’m afraid I got some posts and authors mixed up..

    Sorry for the confusion.

    I think that the rest of my most recent post was based upon the comments directed to me, from “L-L”, and just to be clear it was directed to “L-L”.

  18. I think it would be wise to not paint everyone who is exposing AA or anti AA with one broad brush. We all have are own style and issues with 12 step programs. For me the lack of safety in the rooms, impact on minors and the amount of suicides by 12 step members are important topics. I wish this information was public knowledge years ago, so people could have been better informed about their choices and thus be safer and and have a much better chance of actually becoming sober or learning to moderated.

    Mike I do not understand your logic at all. It would make sense to me if you were not “friends” with so many anti AA people exposing AA! You even write many positive things about people in the anti AA cause that have blogs, books and articles.

  19. Thanks for your comments AVO. I would like to add when it comes to suicide and AA is one thing is also very common in AA is the feeling of depression brought on from their negative experiences in AA that includes abuses from their sponsor. This depression leads to suicidal ideation. The internet is full of heart wrenching accounts of people that tried to commit suicide but survived or felt so suicidal that is living was hell. AA tells people they are powerless and pressures them to confess their sins and make amends even to those that harmed them. It is really very disturbing to read all of these stories of how 12 step programs made them suicidal. Letting the world know through social media that AA can cause suicides as well as suicidal ideation is an important message to get out to save lives.

  20. I agree with you on this LovingLife and appreciate your balanced views on the A.A./anti-A.A. thing. I’m sorry that I’d ever judged her based on the tragedy in itself and how it all ended.

    I would admit going into hatred for anti-AAers right off the bat and thusly got a bad attitude against all other forms of recovery that are not A.A. I hope to set that all aside going forward.

    I’m having a hard time leaving A.A. altogether because I belonged to a very small group and they say my absence hurts them. I say they should grow a bit to where they don’t rely on anybody so heavily. But, despite their polite invitations back, I am winding it down. The more I go to other groups and consider my own home group, the more I see how sick and dependent some folks are. Wow what a bunch of control freaks. I wanted to be the head of it all, but not a chance. The best way to describe the thing is from a term I’d heard and agree with from some anti-AAers, “I’m staying sober better than you are.”

    I truly think I can leave A.A. right now and live a God/Spiritual centered life. I lived in some fantasy that I would remain helpful to other A.Aers, but I’m seeing that’s not even true. They don’t need me. They don’t seem to take note of what I have to offer, until the minute I announce I’m looking for the door.

    Whether A.A. did it for me or not, I truly enjoy life now and have plenty to do outside of the rooms of A.A. I don’t care if someone else wants to become the Grand Poobah, nor do I have any desire to hang around and get voluntold into some ridiculous service position.

    If I was to accept an A.A. position now, I think I’d become a P.I. rep and do CPC work and beg the courts, probation officers, etc. to stop sending folks to A.A. and tell Treatment centers to stop charging folks for “12 Step oriented” treatment.

    • Thanks for commenting Mcgowdog. I really do think that blaming every suicide on an alcoholic who happens to be a member of AA, on AA is totally ridiculous and has no credability outside the Orange-papers and a couple of other extreme sites. It is certainly ridiculous in this case, where there are so many contributary factors.
      I think that it is a good idea to be a bit more independant of a recovery support group after a while if you feel strong enough. It is really up to the individual to find a solution that works for them. I think that some people are forced into a group that is not going to motivate them, but ultimately we all have to take responsibility for our own recovery and change approach if we need to.

  21. This is a heartbroken story about Audrey. She didn’t see life full of hope and purpose. Proper understanding on what’s the way out didn’t come to her that well. I hope this would be an awakening to the government and to the families that addiction needs to be defeated as soon as possible, not busy on their own businesses and personal interests. Life is worth more than money, gold or silver.

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