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  • Writer's pictureMike and Glenn

When AA is not enough

Alcohol addiction is a complex disorder, as is depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. There is much that science has come to understand and more that is still undiscovered. The good news is that advances are being made daily, and people are healing as this blog is written. The bad news is that what works for one person does not guarantee success for another.

If we told you that we figured this thing out, we would be so far from the truth that we would be parked much closer to grossly negligent deception. The simple fact is that nobody has the global answer to the cure question.

This post is more of an emotional plea than a concrete statement on addiction treatment.

The appeal is to not give up on hope. The petition is to approach all recovery options available aggressively.

The Legend of “the pill” (Mikes Story)

Sleep was not my friend. We have had a tumultuous relationship for almost my entire life. From being unable to get to sleep to staying asleep, the malady drained my waking hours of all energy. I became entirely dependent on sugar, caffeine (and alcohol) to function. I tried everything the market (legal and illegal) had to offer but found no relief.

Working with several doctors for decades, we finally found a non-addictive prescription combination that did the trick. I have used this blend successfully for ten years plus, and like clockwork, I get seven and a half perfect hours of deep sleep per night. (and yes, I take a bathroom break but resume blissfulness immediately after)

Elated by the success, I became an evangelist for this life-changing mixture. No seasoned drug Rep could have done a better job educating and expanding market reach than I did in my mania. Whenever somebody would complain about their sleep pattern, I quickly stepped in with a message of hope and a cure for their quandary.

Though my marketing was super effective, and most ran to their doctors with orders to duplicate, the product failed miserably in the marketplace. The bottom line is that the combination that was so effective for me was ineffective for others. The mystery of why that is is left to those paid well above my pay grade.

AA doesn’t work for everybody.

We have seen first-hand that the most highly recommended remedy for the drink problem is Alcoholics Anonymous. We have also witnessed an extremely high failure rate, which saddens us beyond description. We are sad for the hurting. We are sad for the families of the hurting.

Why 100% of the people who try AA don’t find immediate and then continued relief is the topic of much discussion. Hard-liners suggest self-will and ego cause failure. The spiritual implies not enough spirituality. Some say surrender is necessary, and others advocate service as the answer.

We can say on this point that there are many variables when it comes to a recovery approach. And, like a golf swing, all those variables need to be on for the swing to be effective. Dissecting an addict’s healing method and touting an only-one-way message is not the purpose of this writing.

One person’s sleep remedy doesn’t work for everybody, nor does AA work for everybody.

Our testimony, our personal stories, of the reprieve we found in AA should encourage the hurting to give it a shot – but failure to embrace and succeed, having given it a full-out try, should not be the end of any story.

We remain open to other similar programs such as SMART Recovery, SOS, Lifering, Celebrate Recovery, Women for Sobriety, and Refuge as viable options. And, though we disagree with certain elements of those solutions, one should look to every available option before throwing in the towel.

WE ARE NOT PROFESSIONALS. We are just a couple of guys on the road to recovery. Our story has a happy ending, and so should everybody’s.

We hung on to a sliver of hope and found freedom from alcohol on the other side of desire. For us, we found it at our stop at AA.

Where will you find yours?


Thoughts and ideas for this blog post were taken and built upon from a podcast #14 God - "As I Don't Understand Him"... Cary joins to ponder God… the episode dropped on 9/15/2021 Click here to hear the podcast.

Photo by Miguel Bruna on Unsplash


Alcoholics Anonymous and AA are registered trademarks of Alcoholics World Service. Inc. References to AA, the 12 steps, and 12 traditions does not mean that AA has reviewed or approved the contents of this publication nor that AA agrees with the views expressed herein. This publication is intended to support personal growth and should not be considered a substitute for healthcare professionals' advice. The author’s advice and viewpoints are their own.


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