Step One of Alcoholics Anonymous discussion.
Here is another podcast about recovering from alcoholism. This one talks about the good and bad side of Step One of AA and is the first of a series of discussions with Jon who has his blog at https://jonsleeper.wordpress.com about the 12 steps which make up the core of the AA programme and are described in chapter 5 of the Big Book. Jon was an AA member for many years but has also done CBT type therapy and read a lot on other solutions. He has helped take people through the steps and has many years of continued abstinence from alcohol. At one time he thought that AA was correct in all its ideas, but has modified his views over time. I was always cynical of the religious side of AA and just accepted it was from the mid west of America in the 1930’s and really made use of the fellowship rather than the steps. I always used to dislike chapter 5 being read out in meetings and always felt the need to take personal responsibility for my recovery. Despite this I felt that step one was really helpful when I started attending AA. My life was certainly unmanageable and it did feel like I was powerless over alcohol as I had many failed attempts at stopping behind me.
Critics of AA always say that powerlessness is a dangerous idea and I can see that some people do become affected in a negative way by it if they drink. When AA members relapse they often have worse binges than people making use of harm reduction solutions. I think it can be a useful idea at the start of recovery but I prefer a more CBT type solution where the person starts to view themselves as empowered was more help as my own recovery progressed.
I hope to go through all the 12 steps with Jon over the next few weeks and then discuss all kinds of approaches to alcoholism and addiction recovery in the future. I have collected all the alcoholism podcasts together here http://www.alcoholism-recovery-radio.com and you can also subscribe to them on itunes and on Soundcloud if you find them interesting.Google+