It’s no secret that I am emotionally charged and borderline irrational, but I really must vent a bit about the arrogance and oftentimes blatant rudeness of some self-proclaimed “old timers” I am encountering in online AA forums. And don’t be offended if you are one. Obviously I’m not talking about all of them.
I’ve repeatedly mentioned that I am not new to AA and that I’ve done this before and I’m being spoken to by certain individuals like I’m a five year old. One told me, “Wait until your my age and you’ll see what I’m talking about.” That’s odd because I don’t recall ever disclosing my age and I haven’t alluded to anything that would date me. Also, there are so many cryptic and self-aggrandizing answers that these people are giving in response to my very real, fair, and simple questions. For instance, I explained some of the physical responses I’m having in my first 2 weeks sober. I talked about what ails me, what is getting better, and how I feel overall physically. I then asked others what got better for them over the first few weeks. One person said, “What got better? I GOT BETTER.” That’s it. That’s all they said. Well no shit. And thanks for the fellowship and making me feel like you understood what I was experiencing.
Look, I totally respect and admire people who have gotten sober and have years upon years to show for it. But the last thing a newly sober person needs is a chastising grandfather that acts like I should be bowing down to the God of recovery and giving thanks for the incredible amounts of wisdom they are imparting upon me ESPECIALLY when they aren’t imparting any wisdom at all and are instead just being a smart ass. The truth is, I came to this on my own. I came before I lost my job, my family, my license, and my ability to walk or talk or speak clearly. I didn’t come as a result of some catastrophic bottom and I’m thankful for that. I understand and comprehend what is going on here. And I don’t think it’s productive or healthy for the sober folks with dozens of years on me to address every newcomer with the same glib and snide remarks as if I just walked in from a gutter without being able to remember my name.
AA allows seemingly anyone to declare themselves a leader in the name of service. But let’s be honest. Not everyone should be.
Sometimes it feels like some people in the AA world aren’t even actually listening to the words coming out of my mouth. Like they have this bag of preprogrammed responses that they just spit out. I think that’s the problem I’ve always had with AA. While I totally understand why it is important, I never seem to be able to get over the fact that it all just seems so staged, repetitive, and formulaic.
I’ll keep going though.