inkwell.vue.488 : Sarah Hepola, Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget
permalink #101 of 111: Sarah Hepola (shepola) Fri 29 Jan 16 08:40
    
Thanks, guys. This has been a great experience for me. Everyone
asked really challenging questions, and I learned a lot, too. Way
too often, talking about the issues raised by this book is a one-way
street for me. Someone asks me a question, and I answer. But the
experience of hearing someone ELSE'S answer, or response to MY
answer, made for a richer conversation, IMHO. It's really hard to
talk about things like treatment, addiction, feminism, sex, body
image without people getting testy or defensive, because they touch
such vulnerable parts of us. I get testy and defensive too,
sometimes. But everyone involved in this conversation brought their
better selves. They were listening, and sharing relevant insights,
and that is how an online community should be! I'm not wrapping up,
necessarily -- I'm here to answer more questions if you have them --
but just wanted to say how much I enjoyed this discussion, too.
  
inkwell.vue.488 : Sarah Hepola, Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget
permalink #102 of 111: Paulina Borsook (loris) Fri 29 Jan 16 09:48
    

another AA-ish question i have always wanted to ask: a small but distinct
minority of us are BORN HATING GROUPS. we hate them/dont thrive in them/find
them oppressive + annoying (i believe this is a hard-wired thing). so how
would someone like that participate in AA? could that person immediate find
a sponsor ('drunks helping drunks') and avoid the group? seems like there
could be ppl who could use AA --- but would fined the group aspect
horrifying.
  
inkwell.vue.488 : Sarah Hepola, Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget
permalink #103 of 111: Peter Meuleners (pjm) Fri 29 Jan 16 10:27
    
The group is important to most people but the core tenet is one
alcoholic working with another alcoholic.  I personally favor a lot
of group participation for myself because even though I love and
trust my sponsor, I discovered a long time ago not to put too much
faith in what any one member of the group says.  We're all human, we
all presumably suffer from alcoholism, and we are all just doing our
best with what we have.  

That being said, some people hate large groups and much social
contact.  They tend to favor very small groups and spend most of
their time with their sponsors and a tight core of trusted friends. 
An AA group can range from 2-3 people to over a 1000.  To quote an
old AA saying, there's a wrench for every nut that walks in the
door.
  
inkwell.vue.488 : Sarah Hepola, Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget
permalink #104 of 111: Sarah Hepola (shepola) Fri 29 Jan 16 12:37
    
I agree with what Peter said. I would also add that AA is mostly
made up of people who hate groups (or did at one time). There is a
certain comfort in being cranky together. It's very common that
people's shares will mention their irritation with group dynamics,
or the discomfort they feel with people being cheery. Those shares
always get laughs; everyone gets it. Many of us hate groups because
they're forced upon us, we have to act a certain way, etc. AA says,
"You do you," with the knowledge that we're better when we are
regularly reminded that we're not alone. 
  
inkwell.vue.488 : Sarah Hepola, Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget
permalink #105 of 111: Paulina Borsook (loris) Fri 29 Jan 16 13:27
    

have participated in a few groups: gestalt feminist women's group, sibling
grief support group, a couple of alanon meetings --- and the groupness was
always a downside, reinforced feelings of 'i cant relate/these stories arent
mine/my dilemmas are different/i feel alienated and claustrophobic/i dont
find this helpful/makes me feel more all alone in the world'.

so i guess i still come down on the side of 'all groups are potential lynch
mobs' and 'i do much better in the dyad than in a group' --- but it's great
that the groupyness of AA is part of the secret sauce for many.

and good to know that someone seeking AA who is as anti-group as i am (we do
exist; probably introversion has a lot if not everything to do with this)
could find a way with a sponsor...
  
inkwell.vue.488 : Sarah Hepola, Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget
permalink #106 of 111: . (wickett) Fri 29 Jan 16 20:00
    

Or, one could just stand across the street and count the number of people
going in. If few enough, then one might consider peeking in.
  
inkwell.vue.488 : Sarah Hepola, Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget
permalink #107 of 111: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Wed 3 Feb 16 08:17
    
Many thanks to Sarah and to everyone who joined this great
conversation - though yesterday was the "official" last day, this
topic will remain open, so the conversation doesn't have to stop. 
  
inkwell.vue.488 : Sarah Hepola, Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget
permalink #108 of 111: Peter Meuleners (pjm) Wed 3 Feb 16 09:09
    
One of our better Inkwells, IMHO.  Not just because of my personal
interest, either.  The level of honest, respectful exchange between
people familiar with the subject matter and those who were not was
excellent.  I credit Sarah and Elizabeth for creating that space.
  
inkwell.vue.488 : Sarah Hepola, Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget
permalink #109 of 111: Renshin Bunce (renshin) Wed 3 Feb 16 09:16
    
Thank you, Sarah, for coming and talking with us, and good luck on
your book!
  
inkwell.vue.488 : Sarah Hepola, Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget
permalink #110 of 111: Frako Loden (frako) Wed 3 Feb 16 13:28
    
This was a model exchange--I really enjoyed and learned from it.
Thanks, Sarah and everyone who participated!
  
inkwell.vue.488 : Sarah Hepola, Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget
permalink #111 of 111: Tom Howard (tom) Mon 8 Feb 16 06:37
    
... all that, and thanks from here, too.
  



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