10 Types of People You’ll Meet at 12-Step Meetings

In recovery meetings you’ll encounter a cross-section of humanity with seemingly nothing in common except their addictions. There are, however, a number of stereotypes that exist in the 12-step world, and they exist largely because they are true.

Do You Recognize Any of These Types?

  1. The 13th-stepper – This man makes a sport of exclusively dating women who are in their first 60 days of sobriety. Not unlike the older man/younger woman paradigm, vulnerable ladies new to recovery are much easier to impress with smooth talk and after-meeting “coffee dates” than an old-timer who can see through a 13thstepper’s game. Recognize these guys by their perfect hair and multi-chip key chains.
  2. The Book Thumper – These folks recite passages by rote from The Big Book, often dropping them into casual conversation. “I was headed for a case of road rage and then I remembered, it says in the Book, ‘And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today,’ page 417, fourth edition.” The Book Thumper is known for her ability to quote a Big Book phrase on any theme. Also fluent in “12 & 12” and As Bill Sees It.”
  3. 10 Types of People You’ll Meet at 12-Step MeetingsThe Meeting Hound – There are 48 recovery meetings a week in your area and somehow this member is present at all of them. AA, NA, DA, CMA, SLA – the Meeting Hound is a permanent fixture at all. Recognize him by his coffee breath and fondness for the greeting, “Haven’t seen you at a meeting in a while!”
  4. The Forever-on-Four – This guy is always in the middle of his fourth step. He’ll tell you how the fourth is kicking his ass and how difficult it is to “get honest.” He’s always searching for a new sponsor he can trust, who really “gets” him. Know him by his willingness to start the steps over every few months, while still never getting to five.
  5. The Catchphraser – This “Friend of Bill W’s” tosses out recovery slogans as if she penned them herself. She likes to remind others to “suit up and show up” and “live and let live.” She lives life “one day at a time” and is known to “expect a miracle.” She “keeps it simple” and “it works for her, if she works it.” Recognizable by her affection for sobriety circle-triangle jewelry and her Ford Fiesta’s “Easy Does It” bumper sticker.
  6. The Day Counter – This addict has a sobriety calculator app on her iPhone and can’t wait to introduce herself by her name, her addiction and the number of days sober she has. She will congratulate those celebrating a recovery anniversary with a shout out of “Three years? That’s 1,095 days! Woot!” Related: The Minute Counter.
  7. The Pink Cloud – This guy has 42 days and he’s feeling fantastic! Sobriety has helped him get his life together! He’s learning so much about himself! The obsession to use has been lifted! He has found a higher power and meetings are the greatest! Things have really, never, ever, been better! You will know him as the enthusiastic greeter at the door who doesn’t have a sponsor yet.
  8. The Texter – Often a newcomer, you know the top of this woman’s head well, since her face is always directed down towards her phone. She taps furiously before meetings and during the break to appear busy and avoid making direct eye contact or meeting new people. Find her at IfIDontLookAtYouThenIAmInvisible.com, #Scared, #EarlyDays and #DontTalkToMePleaseTalkToMe.
  9. The Crier – She will cry and nod through the reading of “How it Works.” She will sob during the speaker’s pitch. Her nose is red and running through the shares and anniversaries. They might be tears of joy or tears of sadness, but they are tears and she has an endless supply. Find The Crier by following the trail of wadded up tissues leading to the doughnuts.
  10. The Old-Timer – He has more years sober than Dr. Bob was alive. He’s seen know-it-all kids like you before and suggests that you “take a seat in the front, shut up and listen.” He’s the guy who is happy to “Call you on your BS.” If it’s your first meeting, he tells you, “Congratulations, if you stick around and do what you’re told, maybe you won’t die.” His motto is “You’re new ‘til you’re 10.” You will recognize him as the guy you used to be afraid of until he saved your life.

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198 Responses to 10 Types of People You’ll Meet at 12-Step Meetings

  1. Avatar
    RichE April 27, 2015 at 4:50 pm #

    thanks, i think i will pass on meetings

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      Ricardo May 5, 2015 at 2:25 pm #

      Stupid. Not true, or even funny. Move on to cancer jokes.

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        Guido November 9, 2015 at 8:11 am #

        Lighten up Francis….

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        Iffy April 4, 2016 at 9:31 am #

        Dude it is true. You must not make many meetings

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        heather May 22, 2016 at 12:12 pm #

        i was thinking the exact same thing.everyone always asks me whats wrong with my nose and i get to say skin cancer.thank god someones got a label for me and has me all figured out

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        Quieter October 7, 2016 at 1:14 pm #

        AA is a cult and you can leave a meeting and come back and the same sad sacks are
        Sitting there commiserating! This list is more than funny, it’s spot on!!

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        Turnerswife October 12, 2016 at 5:31 pm #

        Honestly I can see the 10. I was the forever in 4! I guess I’m the old timer now. But that is the dynamic of any support group I have been in

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        Joe o October 16, 2016 at 6:41 am #

        Know most of them. Old timers assailed by newcomers , who have just started another great book on recovery .

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      Jai May 11, 2015 at 8:04 am #

      I think that is basically true. I like it

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      MikeR May 11, 2015 at 9:18 am #

      It’s true but not ALL people are like 1-9, there are those who do turn into 10. To me some of these people I do avoid in personal life.

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      larry lamson May 11, 2015 at 2:31 pm #

      why,same people r at the store,work,diner,everywhere…the meetings teach us how 2 deal with them out there..

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        mark antonioli May 27, 2015 at 5:28 pm #

        Excellent Larry, you’ve gotta admit that some are pretty funny

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      Silver Damsen May 13, 2015 at 9:25 am #

      I’m Anti-AA now, but when I was AA and still at meetings, I heard people re-count with absolute joy how wonderful it was that everyone was a type in AA and that there were only so many types, because after all the Big Book did say that “all alcoholics” were nearly identical over and over again. I’m sensing that the person who wrote this is probably in AA now, and not Anti-AA, because an Ant-AA would have been more scathing. Yes, all of these types are clearly not in touch with their emotions and are semi-insane. However, this is the nicer side to these people. I don’t see anything about the women who intentionally trigger other women with PTSD and tell them that they can control their PTSD if they worked a good Program, and other kinds of viciousness (clearly part of my story and why I am Anti-AA). I would also say that 13th stepping is somewhat more complicated than presented here as well. The convicted pedophile who was trying to get in my pants and was also our club President, as well as a few other male predators in AA, but more successful with adult women than the pedophile, worked hard to get me to see that if a woman died drank or committed suicide after being emotionally destroyed by her 13th Stepper and then abandoned by the other women that it was all her fault. This is because God supposedly shows who he loves the most in AA by keeping them sober despite their acts. Thus, in a weird way a person who commits the most foul acts in AA and yet stays sober is considered extra special spiritual…. I only wish I were kidding.

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        Niels Bißgaard Larsen May 13, 2015 at 1:51 pm #

        I was to some degree all of these types during my 10 years as a believer of the 12 step religion. I find they all are roles many take on as yet another attempt to get the happy life and everlasting serenity most members claim again and again at meetings, often using almost identical phrasing, like: “Even the most terrible day as sober are 1000 times better than my best day as active.” “As long I go to meetings, call my sponsor, do the steps and stick to the truth, I feel fantastic….” “…. without the program i would have been dead for years now….” bla bla bla….
        In reality most of the ones doing steps, feel like shit most of the time,on top of that they feel stupid and wrong, being told at any given chance……”the program cannot be wrong, so if you feel bad, it is probably (always) because you do something wrong and/or feel sorry for yourself, but you should feel chosen because every single addict without the program will die(so will the ones with,but most tent to consider this fact as a minor issue) if they somehow survive they will go to jail and should they somehow not, they will for surer loose their sanity and die while eating shit in a mental instutution, the predictions for the ones who not knowing of aa,na ect are also what will await the ones who leave or relapse, no true addict/alcoholic, will ever be able to live without steps and meetings and must always remember not to trust them selves, all with this horror disease, will try to lie and cheat and steal to get us to drink or fix again, no matter how long since you stopped, Also stated as common knowledge and indisputable fact your sponsors brain can be trusted, the sponsor are so filled with spiritual wisdom, that you can do without, those ignorant doctors of the mind and body they are the same as street pushers, just having worse taste in clothes, giving you all the drugs they can think off but the program have given us pure truth and insight we now know that any substance or object making you feel the slightest relief or calm, are illusions and fake. If you are under the influence of anything else than your higher power you are incapable of giving love and joy to others, even if you say different, we know you only love the drink and drug, ready to sell your family and friends for one more.
        The 12 step movement tell us that, by meeting with other fuck ups, and constantly battling in being the best at killing your ego, hate the side in you seen as broken even without moral.
        they have convinced most that they care about helping the ones in dire straits, but many of the ones(to few) who got out can reveal another side. IT is a terrible cult, coursing more dead and break downs than drugs and drink ever have since the beginning of time, also it is governed by the ones who care only about being admired by the ones who are feeling so desperate, they will do whatever to feel a little better, but many of the ones staying….. old timers haven’t changed anything some might be sober and abstinent, but you wont be wise just by quitting and certainly not just because you have stopped longer . But in the program you are almost a demigod, if you have more than 5 years no matter if you haven’t done any thing else than surfing porn and drinking latte while sharing how fantastic it feels to be humble and caring for others before yourself, and how hard a battle it was to let go of the ego, … just a human(like Jesus was)

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          Ali Barret May 14, 2015 at 8:24 pm #

          I can only laugh at your complete and utter inability to grasp the simplest of spiritual principles encompassed by the 12 steps. These principles are the basis of the program & come directly from the beatitudes in the Bible. Your comment literally sounds as though it was written by a schizophrenic. And because your contradictory ramblings shows evidence of a VERY sick person, the only thing I can do is pray for you. May God Bless you and keep you safe.

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            Chris Williams May 15, 2015 at 1:44 pm #

            Be nice ! Where is your acceptance patience tolerance and compassion ? By you rebuttal you prove her point.

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            JT August 12, 2015 at 10:46 pm #

            Excuse you, I am schizophrenic and I live by these principles daily, sponsor people, and am actively involved in service. I’m also in college with a high GPA. The rooms are filled with people with mental illnesses, you should think before you spew your ignorance and make fun of them. What kind of program are you working?

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            Susie September 12, 2015 at 6:03 pm #

            Well me myself i tooted it and I ate it for probably about 30 years 10 years smokeless but the best thing that I found for recovery was the fact that my children told me I could no longer see my grandchildren until I stopped I’m glad I didn’t have the problem that a lot of people do have I quit sometimes I get the urge but my grandkids are so much more important and I feel a lot happier now I feel like I’m worth something and I know that there are people out there that really need me and I want to be capable of being there for them love to all of you everybody has their own opinion and I respect that

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            realist August 6, 2016 at 5:00 pm #

            But anyone who blindly believes in the beatitudes of the bible is just as ignorant and just as incapable of living in reality. We can only laugh at Ali’s complete and utter inability to grasp the simplest of truths of modern, sane, reality.

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          Russal May 15, 2015 at 12:06 pm #

          Sounds like you went to a few meetings. The fact that you refer to the 12 Steps as a religion when it is actually a spiritual principle, suggests that you didn’t hear anything. Especially the one about taking the cotton wool out of our ears and putting in in our mouths. Just sayin.

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            Susie September 12, 2015 at 6:06 pm #

            Should have said smoked it for about 10 years

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          Chris Williams May 15, 2015 at 1:58 pm #

          In ten years you were all those except the last one. You show exactly how little you learned. You didn’t try to live an honest life. Nor a life with Hope , compassion, empathy, humility. No wherein any approved literature does it tell you not to think for yourself. No where. I can even show you where it says for the sponsor to dismiss the sponsee . AAll the steps are , are perfect ideals. If the 12 step movement as you call it was so evil why is the same concept used for cancer patients, divorce etc. It is nothing more than people with a certain illness using mutual support . No where dies it say you have to do this step to be a member.You must be a fan of the orange. Who also went to AA. If you only lived the principles behind the steps would that not maybe make you a better person . More able to contribute to society( which by the way is the actual purpose if AA . l

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          Jason May 20, 2015 at 12:20 pm #

          Hating AA is a waste of time. You don’t seem like a very happy person. I really believe in the concept of Live and Let Live. Why go off on some diatribe about how messed up AA is. If it’s not for you, move on. Life’s too short for all this venom.

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            Joyce Edgar February 16, 2016 at 11:55 pm #

            Great response.

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            PC August 9, 2016 at 11:41 am #

            I totally agree! I’m often amazed at the amount of energy people will put into criticizing AA. What works for one person may not work for another. Recovery is such a personal journey…..why not let people discover for themselves whether AA will work for them?!

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          George F October 24, 2015 at 1:21 pm #

          Talking about blah blah blah I’m so sorry that you got kicked out and kept on using but that’s okay. I respect your opinion I hope you keep on living that positive life your enduring and may God bless.

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          Joyce Edgar February 16, 2016 at 11:57 pm #

          Great response.

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        Jess May 14, 2015 at 3:24 am #

        Wow I am so sorry that your experience looked like that. There are all sorts of illness, disorders and disease in the world and therefore in any given meeting, I’m grateful for the people who continue to focus the meetings on what they are truly intended. To be and for those who are rigorously honest (like you) about their experience. I’m sorry for your suffering and hope that you’ve found relief from your PTSD as well. I think many people in AA aren’t alcoholics but rather people who used alcohol to calm other issues and find a bit of relief in some of the positive affirmation of those who really are being helped by AA or in the environment of focus on solutions and then hopefully are able to get additional outside help for the real issues. PTSD is a terrible disorder and I’m glad there is more awareness now. God bless!

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        Timothy Kendrick May 14, 2015 at 7:24 am #

        You nailed it!!

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          Kathy May 20, 2015 at 6:53 am #

          You are so right. There are people like that @the meetings. In all meetings. That’s where you learn to pick out the winners & stay away from the ones who aren’t. I’ve been doing this for 26 years but have 5 years this time. Not a lot of relapses but some. This last time I had to do things differently. The people you mentioned are the ones who want you to think they are working this wonderful program but in reality they’re not. Those are the people I had to eliminate in my life. I opened my eyes & had to see what was really important which was my sobriety & staying clean & not hang with the “popular” crowd. One of my character defects…. Wanting to be the popular one. Now being clean & sober is my way of being popular.. With myself….. I don’t think the writer was meaning to say that all 12 steps are like this. Just in every meeting there are always @least one.

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            Paul Heft February 9, 2016 at 1:29 pm #

            That is so true Kathy you have those who say there working steps but they are not and very miserable. You weed those people out the want drama in there life’s. Keep up the great work.

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            Eileen Hudson June 22, 2016 at 4:11 am #

            Totally agree with all that you wrote..

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        Chris Williams May 15, 2015 at 1:41 pm #

        Unfortunately you had a bad AA experience. I would have whole heartedly advised you to seek counseling /therapy in regards to PTSD and any issue not related to alcoholism. There are a lot of idiots in AA. I don’t usually condone reliance on gender specific meetings , but wherever you were needed one. In my 29 years I never once dated or slept with any woman with under a year. And have asked newcomer women to avoid the overly friendly men. How ever , whether in AA or not , YOU are still ultimately responsible for your actions and choices. An AA club is not AA.
        If you read the Big Book and not listen to twisted interpretations there of. I don’t see how people call it a religion or even a cult. It doesn’t really fit the definition. Some meetings approach cult like rituals. I have never told anyone the steps hurt doing them. I reiterate that all I was doing was looking at what I already knew . There was no new sudden revelation of my past.
        AA is not a fix all solution and isnt supposed to be. But with the growth of treatment centers in the mid 80’s the message I wonder how many people with negative stories ever read and studied , The Big Book, 12n12 , Dr Bob and the Good Old timer, Pass it On, and AA comes of Age and really learned how it was supposed to be and where it really came from.
        I dont put down any other way to get clean or sober. How ever you want to do it Great ! But you and most people that have gone to AA and left but are still sober or got sober Guess what ? You gained something ftom the exoerience , be it if only the hope .

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          Ellie April 15, 2016 at 6:50 pm #

          Have you told the overly friendly men to stay away from the women?

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        Jason May 20, 2015 at 12:22 pm #

        Why are you ANTI-AA? Why not just not be in AA? Seems like you’re wasting your time hating an organization that may not have been a good fit for you. Live and Let Live. Life’s too short.

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          Dave August 2, 2016 at 9:04 am #


          Thanks. A succinct and tolerant comment.

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        Ramona Faulkner June 2, 2015 at 2:43 am #

        I’m sorry for your bad experiences. I have not had success bonding with local women in the fellowship. I found a private group on FB and met my sponsor online. She lives in New Jersey, I live in Iowa. We meet weekly on Skype and talk whenever we need to for five years now. She has added a lot to my recovery. In fact, most of my support group are not local AA’s.
        I let “personalities before principles” run me out of AA with 14 years of sobriety and without the support of meetings and not keeping my recovery current, i relapsed. Fortunately I made it back and realized that my recovery is up to me and to do whatever I need to do to have a healthy emotional, physical, and spiritual recovery. I will be nine years sober December 30th and had to be willing to totally surrender to the process. Every day. I wasn’t able to stay sober without meetings, a sponsor, and step work.

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        HowrdSternFan July 17, 2015 at 2:06 am #

        I really Like your Honest…True wonderful multipulaters in AA Twisting the truth…All about exposing the Truth.. Use your Illusions you will need them ..You always need the ..”Truth”…Thanks

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        Paul Burr August 14, 2015 at 6:02 pm #

        That’s not the AA I know. I have been Clean and Sober for 18 years. The people who helped me are Kind and highly Intelligent. They taught me how to live sober and be happy with what I have and for who I was. They did all of this for Free.
        I will forever be grateful for Alcoholic Anonymous It’s easy to tell the assholes and or posers in AAA just like in the outside world. We just dont hang with them We hang with the winners Thousands of us The rehabs and Clinics are helfull to get clean and sober but when your money runs out they kick you to the curb and tell you to go to AA There are over 300 different type of 12 step programs out there because they can’t find anything that works better than human trying to help another without being paid to do it and no other motive that to give back out of love and gratefulness.

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          frank p April 18, 2016 at 7:57 am #

          Best. Reply yet..AA offers the. Tools..willingness and. Action make it. Work

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        Nsn August 15, 2015 at 5:43 am #

        I’m sorry you had these bad experience, s in your meetings, maybe if you tried other meetings, you would’ve found one with more compassion. AA did and does continue to save my life. When I got resentments from meetings in the past I drank. Just because Alcoholics are in recovery, doesn’t make them nice. Good luck staying sober.

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        JT in SD September 6, 2015 at 11:54 am #

        This is a scathing remark and I wish you were kidding too. I am saddened to think this is your experience. There are many women I know that would give those predators a smack down and rally around the women who get hurt. I hope you have found people who understand you, that you have recovery and community.

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        Tlynn October 20, 2015 at 4:46 pm #

        I agree with you that it’s way worse than the basic 13 step description. However, the people that are described are some of the many different types that show up in AA that I have seen in the 21 years I have been a member. I don’t let anybody run me out of meetings, including myself. However….. That is my personal decision. I don’t judge people for leaving meetings. Everyone has their own path to take.

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        pam April 13, 2016 at 8:04 pm #

        Omg so true iv stayed continually sober for 13 months there are so many screwed up people with long term sobrity . in aa. Most cant stayvin relationships they gossip and some steal and justify it. I got sober to better my life and be more loving kind honest work harder and do next right thing o ya and be financialy more secure. I do have one friend with 10 years who really is good person most are not

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        Jennifer September 17, 2016 at 8:12 am #

        My heart goes out to you. I was also 13 stepped in AA, many years ago.

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        Leila September 21, 2016 at 3:57 pm #

        Me too

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        Leila September 21, 2016 at 4:03 pm #

        So sad but totally fucking true honey that’s why I’m out

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      Dellarobia May 28, 2015 at 8:52 am #

      The commonality of all 12 step programs is sobriety.
      Criticism however well meant, only serves to destroy the efforts of a group or individual. Sarcasm (From Latin origin “to tear flesh”) is often cloaked in humor.
      It serves no purpose and we are taught to regard it with the same tolerance as we extend the sick and suffering addict.
      This piece reveals more about what the authors defects are, and are limited to her subjective discomfit with herself.
      NA -“if you can spot it-you got it”
      Humorous intent-to appear superior by fault finding others says how insecure in her personality she is and ultimately her recovery, if any will fail. Self-criticism is the only acceptable form of this activity.
      True love and tolerance are our guides.
      So to be funny in an obtuse way, generalization in “top ten blog-speak” reminds us what sick newcomers see, and how real recovery requires tolerating and understanding them.

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        Christopher November 12, 2016 at 3:53 am #

        I think you missed something.

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      Dellarobia Turnbow May 28, 2015 at 10:49 am #

      Lisa Rosenberg Writes”People who identify and rectify a problem are to be respected – regardless of their socioeconomic status, education or appearance”

      Grandiosity, putting others down to avoid self appraisal is the mark of someone on the road to relapse.

      Shame on you Lisa

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      Dennis S September 8, 2015 at 12:29 pm #

      I AM WITH YOU! I love my church, the hell with Bill Wilson’s crap religion.

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      Mark K December 21, 2015 at 7:13 pm #

      I’ve been a member of AA and sober for 24 years. The biggest Point to understand is whoever ” Lisa Page Rosenberg” is. Apparently she’s a tv writer that now works for the corporation that owns this website. Their agenda is to charge thousands of dollars claiming they can help you. I read what she wrote. Did she mention that millions people have recovered through AA FOR FREE in in over 170 countries? I got sober at nineteen years old, and have stayed sober. I have met thousands of people on my journey 95% of them have been wonderful. Many of the people I have met are like family members. There are sick/bad people everywhere, Priests, Doctors, politicians, lawyers, construction workers, nurses, teachers and mothers who act immorally. Why is it shocking that some men, and women do it too, will lie for sex or companionship? It is deceitful and slanderous to list those people who are less than 1% of AA’s as the first example of you’re make believe list. I learned in AA very early to question motives of myself and people I don’t know. Especially A TV Producer-writer that works for a treatment center.
      AA does not require you to believe anything, pay anything, or do anything to be a member. I was an angry, hostile 19 year old that was adopted at age 5 and humiliated and abused. I was beaten almost daily with 2×4’s ,frying pans , shovels, thrown down stairs and literally kicked across the basement floor and yard dozens of times from age five to eighteen. When I was 14 I learned if I was drunk the beatings bothered me less. At 12 I tried to kill myself because I thought I was ruining my parents lives. At 15 I was caught with a gas can and i lighter planning to pour the gas on my sleeping mother and set her on fire so she couldn’t beat me anymore. I was a pretty horrible person. AA is a set of principles to live by honesty, hope, faith , courage,integrity, willingness, humility, brotherly love,justice, perseverance, brotherly love, spirituality and service to others. I use those principles to govern my life, I have found wholeness and peace, without resentment through AA. I have no doubt there are people who have had bad experiences at meetings, I hurt for them when I think meetings were not a safe place for them. It has worked for me and thousands of people I have met through the years. I put $2 in the basket when I go to a meeting 2-3 times per week. At a voluntary cost of $312 a year, freedom from my childhood experiences, alcohol addiction having a peace of mind I had not known was possible is well worth The $0.85 a day.

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        Northern_Guy March 16, 2016 at 9:42 pm #

        Not true. AA requires you to “find God, may you find Him now.” If you don’t find GOD you’re doomed according to AA. Don’t tell me AA has no requirements. It requires total submission to the group-think and total rejection of ANY and all other things which may help one recovery, and there are many. The only thing AA offers, which works for a select few, is strong belief and a cult-like setting in which to make it all happen. Sober 20 years without AA myself, call my a “dry drunk” or use other cult shaming language. I have alcohol in my home and haven’t had a sip in 20 years. Your “hats are off”? Nonsense. You shame and ridicule people who try anything BUT AA, and truth be told I’d rather be dead in an alleyway than be a cult member.

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          Pat May 4, 2016 at 1:06 pm #

          what part of “God of your understanding” did you not get? Not everyone has the same God. Not everyone’s Higher Power is the same thing – or is any version of God. Sorry that stumbling block blinded you to the program. It has worked for countless people, but does not work for everyone. I don’t think one single approach could. I tried many different approaches and stayed drunk.

          My feeling is – whatever it takes to become whole again. AA worked for me and for that I am grateful.

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      Vox April 7, 2016 at 8:37 am #

      I was thinking the same thing… WHAT A BUMMER TO READ! I’ve never been to an AA meeting but would like to go to one and I KNEW some people who were less fortunate than I am who should have gone and maybe they really would still be alive today. However, if they read this, they would be sure not to go to one. I am not a prude. However, there are some things that you just really should not make jokes/fun of. BOO!!!

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      RJ P. May 2, 2016 at 5:28 pm #

      I am totally a #9 and proud if it! This article was HILARIOUS and SO TRUE

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      albert May 19, 2016 at 3:34 pm #

      These are very good examples of sterotypes in AA…Every group has people that characterize phases in the group realization….These are just phases some people get hung up on… If you learn to think you soon realize that service, spiritual expression, and tolereance of others is the high road in any organized group of people, including AA. This was funny but not to be taken seriously!!!!

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      GARY June 18, 2016 at 10:05 am #

      Excellent examples. You are right on the nose. There are phonies in AA just as in other organizations.
      I had a sponsor who said pot was ok because he loved it.
      Another sponsor that I called twice told me to only call once , he will get the message. I called once- nothing, called again the next day he was golfing. I fired both of these assholes. In AA people love power over others. There are control freaks in AA . Some people think they are hot shit with 20 years in the program, when in fact they are miserable, controlling, liars, who want power, and who love to see other’s misery.
      Seems time is a factor in AA. it ISN’T RECOVERY, OR ALTRUISM, these people are on the clock for someone – I don’t know who- to get time in and talk about it.
      I had another sponsor who was a put down artist- he would say that I can’t think, my brain will be screwed up for a year, I shouldn’t make decisions.
      I came to AA to move forward, and be progressive and optimistic, not to be insulted, put down, shunned, and made a fool of.
      People do those sort of things in a bar at 2 am.
      I respect people, and live by the 10 commandments.
      These 10 commandments trump AA’S 12 steps.

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      Greg June 20, 2016 at 3:48 pm #

      Lisa knows a lot to be able to categorize millions of AA members like that. Lisa might benefit from doing a thorough inventory of her resentments before she speaks for all of us in AA.

    • Avatar
      g g August 19, 2016 at 12:14 am #

      Me too

    • Avatar
      Andrea October 18, 2016 at 7:12 am #

      What do you call a chronic relapser

  2. Avatar
    John April 28, 2015 at 6:40 am #

    I question this article. Even the image is off putting. It looks like something you’d see in a church…which is not how meetings are at all. I understand that humor was the intent but it’s not very helpful to bash people or meetings on a site that is supposed to encourage recovering alcoholics and addicts to reach out to others in sobriety and listen to their “experience, strength, and hope”. The author should think about the term “principles before personalities” with regards to this article. Meetings are an important part of recovery and literally save people’s lives.

    Btw, I’m about to have 1 year sobriety and I have my sobriety counter in my Big Book app. I don’t check it as often as I did in early recovery but it is still very important. Every single day sober counts. Sobriety has changed not only my life but my family and friends live as well. Tracking your progress is encouraging in early recovery.

    Also, the Daily Reflections on the Cassava app have only been updated 1x at launch. These are helpful…they do t have to be so long but they are helpful and ii’d like to encourage your website to update then. Thanks.

    • Avatar
      Sharon Lewandowski May 9, 2015 at 6:16 am #

      I am an ACOA member. A family member is in Alcoholics Anonymous. It has been the turning point for this person. I used to go to Open AA meetings for support. It is a wonderful program, actually, the best program to treat Alcoholism.

      I have to admit that sometimes, if you are not in AA, it gets to be repetitive. You certainly do have to look out for the right people to help you. Basic rule seems to work: Men helping men; women helping women. The person in my life and the many people I have met would not be here today if it wasn’t for this program.
      Maybe it is not for everybody. Some people stop in their own way, be it church, activities, etc. No judgement there.

      But like many other organizations, it helps millions of people all over the world. Why would you be so critical of a program that works. I hope there is no one reading this that might need AA. Your opinion could do harm to a suffering alcoholic who is reaching out for help.

      • Avatar
        Vox April 7, 2016 at 8:44 am #

        I was thinking the same thing… WHAT A BUMMER TO READ! I’ve never been to an AA meeting but would like to go to one and I KNEW some people who were less fortunate than I am who should have gone and maybe they really would still be alive today. However, if they read this, they would be sure not to go to one. I am not a prude. However, there are some things that you just really should not make jokes/fun of. BOO!!!

    • Avatar
      mark May 9, 2015 at 10:15 pm #

      Whatever dude. AA is full of kooks and weirdos. You need to lighten up!

      • Avatar
        Andy S May 17, 2015 at 2:59 pm #

        .Remember what is said about AA and dating…. The odds are good but the goods are odd.

      • Avatar
        MIR August 12, 2015 at 6:32 pm #

        Thank you for this balanced post. I have attended AA meetings in support of s family member and have found them to be encouraging. There is love and honesty at those meetings. Thanks again.

      • Avatar
        Barry Allen November 24, 2015 at 9:54 pm #

        Last time i used AAA…was from a guy in AA and i had a flat tire from him sticking it with a knife! So thats the extent of my AA travels! I also can say a 2 step program is better! Just “STOP IT”

    • Avatar
      Jason May 15, 2015 at 7:19 am #

      Congrats John! 1 year is a big deal 🙂

    • Avatar
      Turbo terry July 30, 2016 at 10:08 am #

      I’ve been in AA for 30 yrs I was a teenager when I came in and it gave me a structure and hope.It also taught me how to relate to others.I am forever grateful to the fellowship and the friends I have made over the years.The downside of AA is ones perception and expectations.For me I had to stop loving my experience through a 12 step lense.Its like always reading a menu at a restaurant and never tasting the food.I have suffered from an over reliance on AA meetings and step work to bring peace into my life.What I have found is that connection to others after active addiction has ceased is part of the answer.If you get that from AA give it the light touch and keep going.AA really at its best is a take what you may need and leave the rest deal.A bridge to living a life and acting as an adult is not available in isolation nor is it available if you just stay in 12 step coffe house land.Long may AA continue warts and all it gives community to the dispossessed and a place to go for the lost and lonely world of addiction

  3. Avatar
    BH April 29, 2015 at 1:45 pm #

    For someone who is at meetings quite a lot it is a cute and friendly nudge at our residencials. I’ve been quite a few of these and hopefully will be the 10th in some future day. No one is being made fun of here. If you feel so, take it up with your sponsor 😉

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    SGG May 1, 2015 at 3:30 pm #

    She is not making fun of the 12 Steps. She is making fun of cliches found at 12 Step meetings. She is not calling anyone out by name. I have been to a ton of meetings. All of these stereotypes exist. I am sure I have exhibited a few of these at one time or another.

    If we cannot laugh at ourselves, we are doing something wrong.

    • Avatar
      Todd May 8, 2015 at 2:55 pm #

      Well said SGG!

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      Richard G. May 8, 2015 at 8:41 pm #

      Well, I found the article to be disparaging and obloquious… It is certainly not within in the spirit of Rule 62 (as she is not laughing at herself). Her comments are also not within the spirit any of the 12-step principles to which I am familiar.

      -Richard G., San Diego, CA

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        Sane August 6, 2016 at 5:54 pm #

        Her comments are just part of another article in the long list of articles she’s written, intended to catch readers’ interests and sell, regardless of whether it’s true or not, just marketing by a professional writer. Not what’s true, but what gets attention. Creating a list of personality stereotypes in AA is not founded in reality, since every individual is unique, it’s founded in creative writing, like the names of Snow White’s seven dwarves. Don’t get caught up in it, people, she’s just a writer trying to make a buck with her penmanship, not someone trying to help people in recovery.

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    tamaria May 2, 2015 at 12:42 am #

    I have to say it’s true I’ve seen these people at meetings, but they forgot the I’m better than you attitude, I’ve encountered that one as well…

    • Avatar
      Richard G. San Diego, CA May 12, 2015 at 11:58 am #

      Yes, you have encountered the “I am better than you attitude” right here in this article. Actually everyone who read this article witnessed that very judgmental attitude from Lisa Page Rosenberg. I hope she reads page 60-61 (actor & director) and pages 84-88 today.

      Richard G., San Diego, CA

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    jimmie May 4, 2015 at 4:53 pm #

    LMAO! Spot on. I must say I have been in the rooms for awhile now and Yes every type accounted for. And I’m sure there are more. It’s so Nice to see rule 62 being actively used. As for anyone who has any issue with this I say work a step write about it and listen to ur sponsor chew u a new one when u tell him or her how much a little article upsets u. Please don’t drink over it. Lol!!!!

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    Ricardo May 5, 2015 at 2:24 pm #

    Stupid. Not true, or funny.

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    Jules May 5, 2015 at 3:10 pm #

    Tbh I know plenty of woman 13 steppers ! So why have you just mentioned men ! Bit sexiest really !

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      Shazbat May 9, 2015 at 7:38 am #

      Jules, I disregarded the “he” or “she” labels to just consider the characterization as gender neutral. You are absolutely correct that there are plenty of predatory female 13th Steppers. They’re frequently trading their bodies for other objectives beyond just sex, usually financial gain.

      How can you tell when two AA’ers are on their second date? The U-Haul truck pulls up at the house.

      • Avatar
        Katie B. May 12, 2015 at 7:39 am #

        Yes! Gender Neutral would have been a lot better. I have been sober in AA for 5+ years, in AA and I can relate to all these “types” I think people who are in AA or a different 12 step program can relate. The people who aren’t in program might be put off by it, but screw them… AA works.

    • Avatar
      Deady May 11, 2015 at 7:30 am #

      Hey Jules, if a woman with more time than you picks you up and seduces you; that’s not a thirteenth step… it’s a spiritual experience, brother.

    • Avatar
      Mike May 15, 2015 at 10:58 pm #

      thank you! Just sayin…

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    phil L May 6, 2015 at 1:00 am #

    Great for early days as i needed them but thankfully I found CBT
    In my opinion 12 step keeps
    you in the problem
    And yeah you see them all in the rooms and I think this is very funny

    • Avatar
      Clarabelle12 May 9, 2015 at 8:33 am #

      Yeah, if you stay there. I find it gave me the solution to stick with.

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    Grateful May 6, 2015 at 6:13 am #

    Yes, seen ’em all, and probably been many of them. Let’s also mention the quietly humble types who are there, doing jobs at meetings and other commitments. If you take the time to get to know a bit more about them, you’ll find that they went from being very non-functional to having solid success at jobs, friends and relationships. They will be contributing members of society, not expecting breaks or pity, just doing their work gratefully and willingly helping others. They work the steps, sponsor and fit it all in. I have friends like this. They don’t brag, their lives speak for themselves.

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    Becky May 6, 2015 at 7:02 pm #

    Spot on. Everyone should lighten up. I attend meetings regularly and I think the writer was pretty accurate.

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    Danny B May 7, 2015 at 3:50 am #

    All so true. Just one disagreement. Thirteenth step is when an individual dies clean and goes to in victory. We need to call number 1 what it is so that its not so easy to hide behind the 13th stepper label. I was once a scavenger who preyed on newcomers and been on the other side of it as well. When some one finally called me out for what I really was doing I had to look at it and change my ways. Now I do what I can to protect newcomers and teach them how to respect themselves and others.

    • Avatar
      Sally May 9, 2015 at 1:55 pm #

      Step 13 = 1(I am powerless=wtill sick) plus 12 (and wanna pass it on to you) = 13

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    Carey May 8, 2015 at 1:33 pm #

    Hit the nail on the head! This writer must have some personal experience with 12 step meetings. I’ve met them all. I did notice that the anda is missing, and let’s not forget the girl on the skin tight/ cleavage showing/ or short skirt that makes a lot of trips to the coffe pot.

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    Nora May 8, 2015 at 8:23 pm #

    People will always just be people…in and out of the rooms.

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    Carolyn May 8, 2015 at 8:55 pm #

    i think the entire article is stupid. Sorry I wasted any time reading it.

  16. Avatar
    alyson May 8, 2015 at 10:49 pm #

    Then theres those of us who are happy healthy contributing members in your community.☺

  17. Avatar
    charlie parkin May 9, 2015 at 2:56 am #

    good stuff. im a firm believer in rule 62. never take yourself to damn seriously. keep um comin

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    FATSAM May 9, 2015 at 7:08 am #

    some of the angry comments here are from the 11th kind you may meet…
    people who take themselves (and everything) a bit too seriously.
    ‘Rule 62 ‘

  19. Avatar
    Shazbat May 9, 2015 at 7:29 am #

    For those offended, get over your bad self. If you were like me, when I first came in, I believed everyone claiming to have worked all the Steps and a couple of years to decades of sobriety had fully embraced the “rigorous honesty” bit. Wrong. At 4 months sober, I was blindsided by a 13th Stepping slime ball predator, and again later by someone with 5 years. I lived through a phase of disenchantment with AA due to some who, despite their “time”, were still really, really sick jerks. These people did not deter me, but taught me what I did NOT want to be as a recovering person, and really brought home the Acceptance prayer.

    I’d add “The Drunkalog Sharer”. This is the person at discussion meetings who claims senior sobriety, often masquerading as an Elder Statesman, but who invariably go completely off topic and holds the Table hostage. They repeat for the umpteenth time their 10-15 minute drunkalog, masturbating their own ego, with no reference to the Solution, and eventually mumble the conclusion “but I’m sober today”.

    • Avatar
      Northern_Guy March 16, 2016 at 9:44 pm #

      A sober sociopath is still a sociopath. There are safer ways to recover from substance abuse than 12-step programs. Thank goodness professionals are starting to see the error of their ways!

  20. Avatar
    Cowboy May 9, 2015 at 7:46 am #

    Hey ya can’t mock a Oldtimer ! o5-18/1981

  21. Avatar
    brownie May 9, 2015 at 10:55 am #

    I’m in GA, not AA, and I can see how this would offend some people. Gotta have a sense of humor, I suppose! 1 thing I DO disagree with is that everyone needs a sponsor. I got in w/o one, and am approaching 15 years gaming free!

  22. Avatar
    patrick May 9, 2015 at 11:25 am #

    Too funny! Lol. This is pretty accurate. If you don’t think its funny then you’re probably one. I’ve been 11 of them and still probably am a few.

  23. Avatar
    Jacob P. Willis May 9, 2015 at 1:56 pm #

    I have 5 months Alcoholic Anonymous saved my life! I have a awesome sponsor that I’m going thru the steps with! I’m looking forward to the rest of my life one day at a time! loved it, made me laugh!

  24. Avatar
    neil May 10, 2015 at 2:40 am #

    How about the hippocrits? The ones who talk about how important service work and helping others is and when you ask them for help them hem and haw don’t return phone calls etc etc…after yrs of meetings it was the joke of a fellowship that killed any respect.i had. I’m still sober over 6 years but when I was at my lowest in sobriety all I got was bullshit replies and clichés. And it isn’t just the new comers on the phone….sing “old timers” buried in their phones until some idiot called on them then they go on and on about how wonderful the program is and how much it saved their life …..then go back to their phone…las vegas aa fellowship is crap…like those ads that just go on and on but wait there’s more and the people here do not deliver.

  25. Avatar
    michelle May 10, 2015 at 3:43 am #

    So true……and those who are offended….well maybe you fall under one of them…lol!!!!

  26. Avatar
    Kim Kuehnert May 10, 2015 at 5:59 am #

    I thought the article was quite funny. The writer has it down pretty good. We are not a glum lot. Lol

  27. Avatar
    Wilhelmina C May 10, 2015 at 1:53 pm #

    I have been to many meetings l have had the experience of meeting people that r just that busy. However my personal experience I have acted out on those behavior. Today I have grown n those areas.

  28. Avatar
    Wally B May 10, 2015 at 3:59 pm #

    This is funny. We all have seen or have one of these @ any meeting… If you disagree, step 1? We are about helping others, not getting defensive. If you aren’t, not or can’t have fun in sobriety…

  29. Avatar
    kenny May 10, 2015 at 5:25 pm #

    That’s 10 more reasons I never joined the cult! The goal is to RECOVER, and yes, everyone who wants to can. Don’t ever believe your not empowerd, dammaged or desiesed. Change the whole person, be in the moment and enjoy life! Pllease enjoy life. Relearn what you knew as a toddler.

    • Avatar
      Jim May 18, 2015 at 6:09 pm #

      Did Kenny mean “diseased” rather than “desiesed”? or is that some kind of malady only for people who never joined the cult?

    • Avatar
      Turbo terry July 30, 2016 at 10:14 am #

      This is the best advice I’ve heard in a long time.

  30. Avatar
    Julia M May 11, 2015 at 1:21 am #

    Nailed it!! The assessment of these stereotypes is spot-on.

    I’m a Big Book Thumper saved by Old-Timers.

    Much love.

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    sjk May 11, 2015 at 6:44 am #

    Guy told me- you’ll wear all the hats in AA before you’re done and most of them you will despise in hindsight. Good list

  32. Avatar
    Joyce D May 11, 2015 at 7:00 am #

    Rule 62 in practice! I’ve encountered all of these folks and it just goes to show that we’re alike no matter where we live. And he/she were used interchangeably-no sexism, just humor! Made my day!

  33. Avatar
    Los Angeles AA May 11, 2015 at 8:34 am #

    KILLER DOGMA GROUP IN LA: 20+ Years Sober
    Don’t forget “The Scammers”, the group in AA with 20+ years of “sobriety” in Los Angeles that use anonymity as a cloak for illegal behavior, not as a safe haven for new people to come clean. They use anonymity as a cloak to not to help people get sober, but to commit crimes they know are felonies – and which they would serve jail time for if they pulled in the work place or outside of AA – because they know the LAPD will turn a blind eye to anything that happens in AA. People in AA in LA like having a lawless society that puts them above the Los Angeles Police Department. For example, Timothy Brown, a Marina Del Rey businessman, beat up a woman in an AA meeting at the Pico Street Coffee Shop in Los Angeles, and got away with it because he lied to the police and coerced Michael Brown, a mentally disabled Army veteran with emotional problems and a history of harassing women in AA to collaborate with his story. Brown and White, even though White functions at a lower than normal level, still understands assault and committing perjury to the police. Brown knows his behavior would get him sued and put in jail outside of AA. He continues to threaten the woman that he beat up, knowing it will take a forensics report after he kills a woman before he is stopped.

  34. Avatar
    Kevin Sweeney May 11, 2015 at 10:35 pm #

    And then there is the judge, who can put the right label on everyone and only sees people as types

  35. Avatar
    Stian T May 12, 2015 at 6:07 am #

    Haven’t laughed so hard for a long time. I think there’s one step missing, and I call it 5b: We developed a sence of humour and learned how to laugh at ourselves. This reminded me. I also saw myself in each of the types. I’m soon to be 15 years clean.

  36. Avatar
    Martin Screeton May 13, 2015 at 12:40 am #

    Hilarious! Loved it! 😉 … and I have been a few of those categories myself… ha ha

  37. Avatar
    Roger May 13, 2015 at 1:34 am #

    So true….
    Friend of Jimmy and over 5 year cleen.

  38. Avatar
    Patrick Parker May 13, 2015 at 6:55 am #

    I have met each and everyone of these people. Great article. Thanks for the laugh.

  39. Avatar
    Diana D. May 13, 2015 at 12:27 pm #

    wow I looked thru the replies and I’m just gonna da..y’all should have known better..I thought it was funny..I either know or have been any of the above..like all comics over dramatized yet some where right on the money..most negative comments are by people with three to five yrs clean ..It’s the self righteous stage we all go thru it..thanks for the laugh..

  40. Avatar
    Alan Daggett May 13, 2015 at 12:54 pm #

    I resent the author for referring to 13th Steppers as exclusively male. I have sober been for over 34 years & have consistently attended meetings the entire time. I have seen plenty of women “grab” men when they are very early in recovery. Women may do it for a different reason (security) than men (sex), but women break this unwritten rule also. I know more men do it, but get your facts straight. Are you a member of a 12th Step Program or simply a Therapist who observes from the outside.

    One last comment, there is no such thing as a 13th Step. I know what it means, but it does not exist. AA & NA are TWELVE Step Programs.

  41. Avatar
    L. May 13, 2015 at 2:50 pm #

    HILARIOUS!!! I really did lol. One of my favorite recovery speakers is Scott R. He pokes fun at AA too but loves AA. I love AA and I can see the humor in our kind.

    “We are not a glum lot” big book pg.132

    Can you tell what number I am on the list? Btw, no self-respecting big book thumper would quote anything above page 164. Just sayin.’ Lol.

  42. Avatar
    george May 13, 2015 at 3:57 pm #

    I think it is accurate lol and funny. Listen people take offense to easy I been in NA for 5 1/2 years and it saved my life. I was the 13th stepper, the book thumper, a lot of those. But I grew I don’t know anyone after hardcore addiction who is just an amazing healthy person who makes all the right decision. The person who says I’ll pass on meetings lol have fun on your high horse and tell me how it works ouT and keep lookin for the indifference instead of the similarities. People kill me who say “im not going to a meetung this happens, or this, or they act like this. Meanwhile they are caught in the grips. Look get clean make mistakes lots of them but grow up, find purpose, and don’t let others put YOUR process down or belittle it.

  43. Avatar
    Niels Bißgaard Larsen May 13, 2015 at 10:28 pm #

    Hmm why can’t I see my reply from yesterday?

  44. Avatar
    Michelle May 14, 2015 at 3:39 am #

    Fails to mention the empty seats and all the dead souls who are more than likely lingering about self help meetings desperately wishing they had chosen to put up with the people in the meetings but couldn’t deal with them and went out to use…just one more time…but instead died.
    This addiction business is serious.
    Too many dead souls.
    For me, I put up with all these things I don’t like, because I’m not ready to die.

  45. Avatar
    Johnny F May 14, 2015 at 4:24 am #

    Isn’t it amazing: I can save myself the trouble of recovery by reading this and discovering the world of AA right here. I think the writer better get to a meeting and take her own inventory rather than everyone else’s. I most certainly don’t want what she has.
    This is foolish and counter-productive. We are all “something” at every moment of our lives. The goal is to be a “better something” than we were in the past.

    • Avatar
      Scott May 15, 2015 at 9:59 am #

      You’re being a real defensive and whiny little brat. The article is meant to be fun. We can laugh at ourselves. It’s a very true
      representation of the rooms of recovery, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Saved my life. Keep coming back, Johnny F.

  46. Avatar
    Tessa May 14, 2015 at 11:10 am #

    I truly believe that most people at these meetings are struggling to come to grips with so many issues that their heads are literally spinning. Are they easy prey? Absolutely, they are trying to overcoming the momentary weaknesses that follow them minute-by-minute and day-by-day. There is a place for lightheartedness but, little room for ridicule in this case. I believe Michelle (above) hit the nail on the head.

    This article is a disservice to humanity –

  47. Avatar
    Paul May 14, 2015 at 4:59 pm #

    What I like about Lisa’s description is that I’ve witnessed all these things at meetings, she has cleverly described them in a way that is truthful and playful. She’s left one out though – there is the loving, spiritual soul that listens endlessly and picks up the phone at 2am, gives rides to meetings and takes all negativity and changes it to a positive.

    I’ve read the comments here and so many folks are critical to the point of sounding angry or afraid. AA and recovery is a program for sick people to learn a new way to live spiritually and heal. If you haven’t found this love and spirituality, that’s not AA’s fault, it’s yours, because you haven’t followed instructions.

    There’s no problem with one of our own poking fun at us, there’s truth in it. The stuff that bothers me is folks who’ve never been to meetings and say crazy stuff. AA convinced me to abandon my way because the folks I met had something i didn’t have: hope, tolerance, love, empathy, and spirituality. They helped me long before I cared about anyone other than myself. Very grateful for this program and the people in it.

  48. Avatar
    Juliet Roxspin May 14, 2015 at 5:28 pm #

    Aside from some very accurate, amusing observations two of them are most jarring to read. Your first should have been to the point— as in, 13 Stepping is sexual harassment. It’s preying on a vulnerable person who is trying to get better. And AA has no sexual harassment warning, it is just some kind of joke in AA and it’s the only place I know of where “sexual harassment” is considered “harmless.” As though it should be expected. The crier… I was one! Oh my, my first few meetings all I did was cry because I’d just survived a traumatic experience with an abusive rapist — To add insult to injury, the women trying to help me in AA would tell me to surrender to the program, let go, and admit I was powerless. The first step of abuse is rendering the victim powerless, because if the person believes they are, the abuser gains control over their victim. But, kudos to an otherwise accurate listing of AA-types, many of which overlap or combine.

  49. Avatar
    Hello Austin May 14, 2015 at 11:58 pm #

    Good job on writing an article dissuading addicts who could actually benefit from a 12 step program. Sure, it’s funny and “omg so true!!”, but AA has helped me, and my family, recover from addiction. AA is basically a free hour of group therapy. Everyone is looking out for everyone else. Everyone wants to better themselves. Please don’t paint a successful and legitimate recovery program in a negative light. You’re doing more harm than good.

  50. Avatar
    Chelsea May 15, 2015 at 9:49 am #

    Some people are so sensitive…AA is a program of recovery from addiction. You have to be sick to get in. Of course sick people are going to exhibit sick behaviors sometimes. I don’t think the writer was uncharitable when she wrote the article; she was just pointing out some of our foibles as recovering people in a humorous way. She wasn’t saying that some people are more deserving than others or that some people are never going to get well. And no one is saying that AA doesn’t work. AA is not a program that exists for any function except to help people get to be well and because it is now and will always be a grass-roots organization run from the ground up, its very existence speaks to the fact that the people who choose to participate are continually getting something out of being in it. It works if you work it.

  51. Avatar
    Sue May 15, 2015 at 4:07 pm #

    Lovely playful skit on the characters & stages recovery can play in our lives.

    The overly sensitive people with comments of perceived hurt, might want to remember that recovery is difficult & soul stripping.

    If they &/or the new comers can’t handle this light introduction to our inner most ego aspects, then they sure won’t last in the real life version.

    Thank you writer for a laugh with parts of my fantastical ego traits.

  52. Avatar
    Allan May 15, 2015 at 4:31 pm #

    I prefer to look at (and after) myself… Not at others

    • Avatar
      Pat May 4, 2016 at 1:18 pm #

      So agree! My self inventory can be pretty time consuming – fixing myself takes even more time.

      I’m far too busy to be concerned with my perceived shortcomings of others

  53. Avatar
    Miguel Barrera May 15, 2015 at 9:10 pm #

    If I never find the balance to live most skillfully, to achieve and accomplish and acquire things or create a legacy, at least let me say I trusted too much. I forgave too easily. I fell in love too easy. I was too distracted by beauty and excellence. Let me say I was too kind, too generous, too loving.

    To demonstrate not just tolerance but allowing. To ease my suffering through generosity and forgiveness. To cultivate self-compassion. To react to life as it is, not as I wish it to be. To offer no resistance to fear, but to navigate it skillfully. To hold my attention here and not in past injuries. To react to change or no change with dignity. To strive to love without limitation. To help in ways that actually help. To be creative and passionate and spontaneous, even ambitious and competitive, while causing no harm. To respond to both doubt and certainty with curiosity and investigation. These are my sublime abidings.

    To discover who I am, find my purpose, accept my mortality, trust, risk, appreciate, be easily delighted, take nothing personally, delay gratification, react sanely to frustration, give myself validation, limit self-justification and serve without hesitation. These are the strivings of my human spirit, which I understand to be the functioning of awareness, understanding, insight and discernment. Unencumbered by conviction, I bring an attitude of maybe to all my understanding, turning towards all arising phenomena, not away from. This is my spiritual practice. This is the 11th type of person you can meet if your eyes are open. There’s at least one of us is in every meeting in SoCal. You might not notice us, because we’re busy not taking anything seriously.
    Miguel B. 44 years old, 27 years sober.

  54. Avatar
    Mike May 15, 2015 at 11:00 pm #

    How’s about we all focus on ourselves! What a concept! Just sayin…

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    summers May 17, 2015 at 4:50 am #

    Women can be just as guilty in 13 stepping as men in 12 step programs. Lets not forget they didn’t come to 12 step programs fresh from sunday morning chirch service, they are the best of the best scammers out there . imean they to mafe it out the game alive n canstill use their munipulating ways in 12 step. N look innocent doing it where men aren’t as clever while walking around in heat….lets not forget h ow damaged some are from a life time of using n drinking while walking into the 12 step rooms…..thats why we have good sponsorship n members to teach the newcomers. But like all religions, programs n places there is always the wackadoos, some who aren’t even addicts or alcoholics, but found a place to belong

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    Allan May 17, 2015 at 7:57 am #

    True, there are more lunatics per square foot at AA meetings than any place on earth, but so what. AA saved my life and no-one comes through the doors on a winning streak. Yeah, we’re a fucked up lot, but at least we’re doing something about it.

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    T May 18, 2015 at 8:00 am #

    ~ ALL ELSE IS NOT N.A. ~

    This was a saying that helped members of Narcotics Anonymous deal with elements that try to intrude on our way of life. The phrase -All else is not N.A.- helped to keep in focus the spiritual facts of the program, rather than the arrangements and activities of those who act on our behalf. It is easy for us to get these things turned around. When our Basic Text was written, this line was included under the Traditions. A few members in World Services, didn’t agree with the line and were in a position to exclude it. As a result, it was the subject of discussion and was removed from our Basic Text.

    All else is not N.A. doesn’t mean we aren’t grateful to those who serve us. It doesn’t mean we have an attitude towards anyone or anything not N.A. It does mean we don’t like bosses. It means N.A. members set up and are responsible for the meetings of Narcotics Anonymous. When the business concerns of N.A., or the committees that we form to serve us, began to get caught up in themselves, or when some of our trusted servants got out of hand, this handy phrase helped keep things straight.

    We need to stay aware of our spiritual responsibilities. Our trusted servants are responsible to serve us, not to control our actions or manipulate the information we are allowed to receive through service publications or otherwise. Trusted servants serve our group and fellowship needs at many levels. They are enjoined to avoid the error of thinking themselves governors, rulers or directors. This would be untrue and create problems. Our trusted servants have to keep faith with the members they serve.

    ImageWe have needs and functions that may involve collecting and disbursing sums of money, such as getting literature printed or putting on a convention. This is a scaled up model of what we experience in our groups. Never should our coffee chair feel more important than our member who comes to share the N.A. way of life, there can be no more important person for us. Confusing spirituality with morality would put us in the category of churches and other institutions. We are not a business and we are not a church. Worldly concerns are not the source of our disease. If we promise to provide recovery and various levels of assistance to addicts seeking recovery, we have crossed a line and risk spiritual bankruptcy.

    One of the greatest verities for us is that abstinence alone is not enough to keep us clean. Once the chemicals are taken away, our addiction stands intact and ready to deal with us if we do not find a way to deal with it successfully. The hole in the gut must be filled. Emptiness seems to result whenever we try to place something other than our spiritual needs at the center of our programs. We help others, we do for them what was done for us. Many of us believe helping others is the key to our ongoing recovery and was part of the reason we escaped the grip of active addiction.

    Once we learn to apply spiritual principles in a practical way, our lives improve dramatically. It is easy to slip back into spiritual laziness and let others deal with the things that we cannot, or maybe we will not. Will not, can lead to big trouble, if we expect to grow spiritually. Spiritual growth, a sense of emotional health, the ability to tolerate, and our increasing honesty are fundamental to recovery. Spirituality is shared human experience of what goes beyond the world and fills our need for a sense of well being.

    Our need for spiritual integrity will always be great. For our spiritual fellowship to survive, we need to look at our goals and our resources. Other goals must never come ahead of carrying our message to those seeking recovery. If we promise to share freely that which we were freely given, we can hope to live up to it. Those who have given this program their best have been surprised and amazed. Our actions and commitment to recovery reflect our gratitude.

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    T May 18, 2015 at 8:08 am #

    Thanks fir shareing

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    Dan B May 18, 2015 at 10:05 am #

    Pretty good and pretty funny and witty.

    You forgot one person: The one who has it together and the one that I’d like to be like.

    They are compassionate, understanding and best of all have a good does of humility in their life.

    If it was not for people like them I would have stopped going years ago !!!

    • Avatar
      Charley August 13, 2015 at 2:42 am #

      Yep. It takes all kinds-and I learn something from all of them-even the ones I dislike. And even then, I usually find something I like in them to. When I stop trying to force everything into my personal vision of what should be it gets a lot easier to accept it all as is-fauts and all…

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    Blaise May 19, 2015 at 5:02 pm #

    She forgot to mention herself- the condescending holier than thou know it all who pigeonholes people in order to puff up her/his wretchedly deflated ego -yes I can kinda joke about the article. But there wasn’t one really positive one -yeah I know the oldtimer will be claimed but that was also very pegged -is this junior high? Well some people like her may treat it that way and there’s those that don’t -it’s what you put into it -with crap like this put out there I can see how people could get driven out- & yes people wouldn’t need to be there if they were perfect like her

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    Jason May 20, 2015 at 12:25 pm #

    This is more of a list of how some people behave while in meetings. Nobody is defined by however they may act at any given time. I hope I’m not judged by my worst or most irritating moments. Luckily, most people recognize that I have ups and downs just like everybody else.

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    Don N July 15, 2015 at 7:39 pm #

    I’m a retired clergy person and recovering addict. In 1967 a book came out titled “Game Christians Play”. It was a take off on Berne’s “Games People Play.” It poked fun at the stereotypical characters found in most/all churches. It was like this piece only 124 pages.

    Look, every collection of humans–families, Lions Club, cycling groups, etc. often has a population of “types.” It’s because we are all one type or another–the class clown, the over achiever, the angry child, the controller, etc. etc. And many of these collections have predatory a*****es. My experience in 35 years of ministry and 25 years of sobriety (yes, I’m an old timer. Shoot me.), is that AA has its quota.

    I left AA because of a jerk. I returned after a long absence because of a friend. I’ve found people in AA to be as irksome and dangerous as people in church. But, personally, I’ve found the people in AA to be (by and large) more humbled, more grateful, and more compassionate.

    I’m sorry others have been wounded exactly where they should have been safe. That really does suck. It did in churches too.

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    Kell July 28, 2015 at 4:04 pm #

    hahaha, funny, also good luck staying sober Lisa.. best to focus on yourself as opposed to judging everyone else

    There are really only two types in AA sweetie – those who want it and those who don’t

    Which one are you Lisa? my money’s on that you are type 2

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    htgar July 29, 2015 at 6:08 pm #

    Funny 🙂

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    John M July 30, 2015 at 1:23 pm #

    You could also call this article “10 reasons why AA gets a terrible rep”. What about the ex-con that is required to go to AA and doesn’t want to be there? Where does he fit in all of this?

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      Charley August 13, 2015 at 2:35 am #

      many ot them get better. I Know a few I’d trust my life with. the rest die or go back to jail-How we get there doesn’t matter. Its what we do.

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    Allan August 8, 2015 at 3:01 am #

    Here I am at 2 in the morning looking to read different ideas on sobriety. Well, I stumble on this little gem. Been in the program for 4 years and had to comment…I’ve learned not to judge, and that was way before I ever walked into an AA meeting. Anyway, the ‘top ten’ list was fairly accurate. You could add many more types but those were enough to get everyone worked up it seems. You know, for some reason I took the time to read everyone’s comments and I really felt like I was in a meeting. Guess what, I didn’t have a drink. To me, that’s what it’s all about. Good, bad, or indifferent. Just don’t pick up a drink. So I’m thankful to have read all of these thoughts. Because it got me through another late night without alcohol….Sobriety ain’t for sissys

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    Ildike August 11, 2015 at 11:50 am #

    Come on guys why do you have to take this so seriously?

    Just try to get it: this is a joke, and if any of you is a little honest to himself, you will see; at least once or twice you’ve been acting like one of these types too. I know I did.

    The writer of this article get a lot of critizism here without any reason.

    Have a sense of humour ;).

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    JoJ August 11, 2015 at 3:48 pm #

    Come on now, this was funny. Stick around long enough and you’ll see pretty much exactly what the author described – and then some.
    What matters is if these counters, thumpers, hounds, criers, and such are staying sober and have happier, more productive lives than they did in active addiction (except for the 13th stepper. He/She is a douche)
    I have over 21 years clean (Would someone do the math for me? My app crashed). Some in, and some out of the rooms.
    As much of a kick as I got out of it, I hope these stereotypes don’t prevent anyone from at least giving the program a try. There are bad apples in every bunch, but far more of my fellows have supported me in my recovery than have done any harm. In my opinion, The Big Book and other literature is a guide. It certainly is not the be-all, end-all to life, but used properly, it saves lives.
    The slogans are there for a reason. They’re catchy. They remind us. They get us back on track. You know – repetition, repetition, repetition. No one makes it to the Olympics without throwing the javeline 85,000 times (give or take) first.
    Your recovery is what you make of it. Follow the suggestions, get a sponsor, read the book, do the steps, certainly; but we must also learn to live and function outside of the rooms. Although I wouldnt recommend anyone new to recovery straying too far, sometimes this means seeking outside support too.
    I’ve always appreciated a female sponsor. My true mentor, however, is a Native American man. A dear friend just announced his 29 years in days. He’s been accused of 13th steppin’ since I’ve known him. Listen closely though, and you’ll actually hear him directing the young ladies to the old-timer gals. He’s the first one I call for a 12 step because I trust him, and I know he didn’t get 10585 days by not workin’ it!

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    Todd August 12, 2015 at 10:56 am #

    It seems some people got sober and lost their sense of humor. Sad really.

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    Kimberly R. August 12, 2015 at 1:59 pm #

    BAHAHAHAHAAA. SO true!!!!
    I see all of them. Every week.

    But since when did 13th stepping apply only in the first 60 days????? That’s TWELVE MONTHS, my dear.

    And how funny is it the number of people who are ANTI-12-step but yet spending their time to read and comment on these posts?

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    Jen August 12, 2015 at 8:44 pm #

    Ha!! Coming up on 12 years this September and this list is hilarious. Love aa, love the list, happy to be closer to number 10 now but probably been all of them at one time or another 😉

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    Charley August 13, 2015 at 1:22 am #

    I had a choice. Stay isolated, wish I was dead, and keep using until I was. Or, go out and meet people who showed me I was not alone and offered their kindness and friendship. At 49 Im still learning. Simple questions have brought forth much enlightment about my PERSONAL condition, what led me to use, etc. I have some hope and look forward to the rest of my life-something no person, religion, Medication, or other remedy did for me. So yeah… these are my peeps. This is my family. I have a Masters degree from Columbia University and an Undergrad degree in musical performance. I have an IQ in the top 5 percentile. This works. Maybe its not for everyone, but I’ve seen miracles happen-if its not for you, that’s fine-best of luck to you. But please don’t belittle it for those of us whom have seen and have it working.

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    Charley August 13, 2015 at 2:30 am #

    Ok, so being honest-yeah thats a pretty cute characature. It isn.t the article that bugs me, its some of the responses. A meeting is a public event. There is no doctor, minister, cop, court officer or anyone else to guarantee your safety Nonetheless, if you really have a drug problem you no doubt learned to navigate much worse- and what about chronic victim syndrome? Recovery is hard. coming to terms with who we are and the shit we did to other people isnt easy. Success can be terrifying. all of a sudden we are at 20,000ft and its scary. Thats why so many people relapse close to anniversaries-to get back in their comfort zone. It is just as easy to play the victim and then blame the program. There is a reason it says stay out of relationships for a year. Are you a child? Were you forced? Are you retarded and mentally incapable of saying no? If not, and you went with him, you’ve only yourself to blame. Being the victim is a really convenient alternative to actually facing yourself head on.

    • Avatar
      Elisa September 16, 2015 at 5:38 am #

      Ugh, I wrote a few paragraphs a detailed take on where I stand. Let me cut right to it without establishing my views like they matter more than someone else’s.
      When a person allows themselves to be in the role of victim over and over, the vast majority of the time they are unaware of what they are doing wrong. Sure they should no better than to walk off with, just like we shoulda known better than to pick up using again…. Hopefully you get my implication. You can’t expect someone who is stuck in a cycle of destructive behavior to act differently overnight. An individual allowing themselves to be victimized is their responsibility to change on their own, but lack of attention to the abuse itself is why some people loose the opportunity to recover from it, because the reality their life might be way more damaged than they were aware of, is a fact that people understand only through pain and suffering. How can they heal of they can’t express their pain? Regard of what the trauma of the past might be, the underlying need to feel safe and comforted exists.
      So in short just cuz sow one is aware that they’re going to suffer as a result of something, even if they ask you to behave in a certain manner, it does NOT make the abuser justified in their actions. Please do not minimize the reality of their suffering justified or not. It literately will drive a person insane.

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    derek August 13, 2015 at 3:40 pm #

    23 years and still alive fucking awesome

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    Kevin O'Connell August 13, 2015 at 7:03 pm #

    A lot of truth to this but lacks a description of members who really do practice this program and that it shows by the way the handle life and it ups and downs. It’s not as if these behaviors only exist in the movement, they are abundant in all social levels.
    Rather condescending article standing on it’s own.

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    punkindrublik August 14, 2015 at 12:00 pm #

    Good god people, this is just meant as a laugh. We should all be able to laugh at ourselves, we have recovered from a hopeless state. At least those that have taken the steps and practice the principles. If the people at the meetings that you go to are so awful find another meeting. If that’s what you find at every meeting you go to then maybe you need to take a look at yourself. If the President of your “club” is a predator then how and why were they elected? Also, for the record a “club” is not AA. They aren’t sanctioned and they are for profit. Please try an actual meeting recognized by world services. I’ll bet you have a completely different experience. There are very good examples of the program at meetings and there are also very bad examples and frankly we need both. Just because we have taken the steps and practice the principles, it doesn’t mean we become perfect individuals. It is an ideal to strive for but if we were perfect we wouldn’t need anything. One thing is for sure, we will never rise above being a human being. I have been sober is AA for over 20 years, I have taken the steps more than once and try to practice the principles in all my affairs to the best of my ability. Some days are better than others!

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    Chevyfan1234 August 18, 2015 at 11:08 am #

    Just another example of the professional drug/alcohol recovery industry bashing 12 step recovery for which they can’t profit from. I wonder how many addicts reading this crap will be turned off from trying 12 step recovery because of hack articles like this. No mention of the millions that have recovered because of 12 step recovery is indicative of the lack of morals and ethics from the author and owners of this site.

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    Claire August 18, 2015 at 2:32 pm #

    OH MY GOD, this is so true it made me cringe and thank my lucky stars I was able to move on from these meetings and live a normal life. But you missed one…………..the psychotic who’s decoding the bible!

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    BRC August 28, 2015 at 2:12 am #

    Wow! I just can’t help it…its like passing a train wreck and not being able to stop staring. I’m embarrassing myself and going below my standards simply by commenting on this thread. I can’t help but contribute to the stupidity of it all. No matter what I say, I must recognize that since the content of my comment has been encouraged and motivated by what i just read, then it is innately just as pathetic, meaningless, and naive. So, rebute me as you will (and as you have been thru the whole thread), but know that I claim zero pride in what I have to say. The nature of my comment speaks to, and includes my comment, So what i say to you, i am saying to me; and, what i say about your post, i am also saying about my post. The wisest and smartest thing i could do would be not to comment at all. But I unfortunately my immaturity and rambunctious side wins and I choose to be a hypocrit and throw in my two cents.

    I literally just read every single comment, and I there is not one single comment which contributed at all in furthering your own poor cause or the cause of a previous comment. Your replies were exactly how what i expected. I’ve been completely disappointed, i feel like i just watched some low-budget horror film inwhich every scene was far too predictable. Most of the comments were written by the utterly blind and naive; whom, have cult-like beliefs irreversibly engrained in their head. You simply cannot fathom that you are brainwashed. You are like the sheltered child of a religious fanatic who has been programed to dedicate their entire existence to some psychotic manmade religion. Yes, you are that insane; all while believing you’re being lead to a closer version of sanity. You are like the special case we see on the news of a woman who has left her family, and everything she knows, just to folllow a new cult leader claiming to be the next Messiah. You will neither recognize the truth of your untruth, nor the untruth of you truth (how confusing). Unless the timing is right and your reason and logic return. You will deny the fact that you might just be wrong, that what you’ve been taught for so long may very well just be a bunch of bullshit. Its amazing how moldable and trainable the human mind is. You’re one of many in a herd of sheep unable to see past the ass of the sheep in front of you; blindly following in unwavering and unquestionable faith. Go ahead, question my faith, question my beliefs…attack me in clever, well-intentioned and ill-intentioned, witty rebuttals; but please, may i assure you, I’ve experienced life in a way too few are ever fortunate enough to experience. I’ve survived a hell I wish upon no one, but at the same time wish everyone could actually experience. What I’ve been through is what its took to obtain REAL clarity and experience TRUE serenity. Of which The 12-step programs so desperately try to synthetically recreate . Excuse me while I shootout to my past self and reluctantly refer use an AA motto: “But for the Grace of God.” Ooo, that just made me cringe; not because of its lack of truth, but because of your absolute misunderstanding, misrepresentation, and misuse of its content. Unfortunately, we as humans, are limited in knowledge and understanding, by what we’ve experienced so far in life. It is not your fault your comprehension is that of elementary school child (don’t be offended; used only as a means of reference/symbolism) in comparison to the eternal aspects of LIFE. You’ve only experienced what you’ve experienced, thus we can’t expect you to believe or think beyond your ignorance. You will either take a firm and unreasonable grip on your static existence, continuing to do and believe in the same things everyday (day after day after day), and remain ignorant and judgemental; OR you will finally break away from its grip and finally reopen your mind to allow new/more knowledge, new/more understanding, and new/more love of LIFE. “But for the Grace of God”. What does that mean? I hope one day you will truly understand. I have so much to say, but i regretably i must close it out. Read your reply, your comment, and when you read it, imagine it written in crayon by a three year old…that is the level of intelligence your reply contains. Although i don’t want to condone or promote of side of any part of this thread, the only authentic, admirable, and respectable comment is the original post itself. Thank God for the principle of anonymity, cause whether I’m actually a member or a nonmember, an active or an inactive member, I can disassociate myself from you AA members choosing to selfishly utilize your “membership” to promote your stupidity and your pride. If i was an AA member, i would hope that other AA members would make me proud to he a part of such a society. But unfortunately. If i was an AA member, if i am an AA member, i’d be completely embarrassed to be a part of what you’ve got.

    Choose growth, choose happiness, choose freedom; which come in all sorts of ways by all sorts of means; none the by same as it was for another.

    Give yourself the chance; think for yourself

    Holy shit, I can’t believe i actually wasted that much time of my life on something this ridiculous!

    Despite how my aforementioned references/writings are interruptted; I will gratefully pay the due respect to Bill W. He changed things for us humaniods 🙂 . Can you or I do the same? Can you are i have such an impact? Are you the ones messing up, misusing, and abusing his limited knowledge and experience?

    May i suggest that you be more like Bill W. and create a life for yourself, one of authenticity. Or, just go back and sit in the chair and remain the same…to grow up to be just like that old timer *wink*

    Be good to yourself, in all things, be good to yourself.

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    kathy Smith September 27, 2015 at 7:26 am #

    Before I begin, I have been to AA…I read “The Big”…..I have also been sober for 3 years. And then lost count! I do not consider my self an alcoholic anymore because the defect has been removed!! It was GODS WILL! Loving my life! But I guess I happen to be one of the few here who saw AA to be a group of disfunction. I wanted to change my life and i did. I do not need to sit around with others talking about how screwed up we all are. I am very successful in many ways, family, friends and money. I just saw no success sitting around talking about failure/sucess. If you want it then get it!!! Put your mind to it! We are humans…the greatest beings on the earth and we decieded we needed to pity those cursed with addiction. Those who can not succeed without AA clearly need more help. But thats why I say I am one of the few. I saw no good in getting close to someone else who has the same problems I have…..Can fall off at any minute. In reality those people are weak and dysfunctional. Want to notice true sucess in your sobriety? Try enjoying life sober and meeting less. Good luck

    • Avatar
      Lee February 3, 2016 at 7:09 am #

      Read your 9/27/2015– Please don’t see the people in Meetings as being AA. You’re over three years sober. That’s what’s important!

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    RWillowfish October 20, 2015 at 8:55 am #

    I’ve run into all these types. This is humorous. I’ve also, thank goodness, connected with genuine and good people who have helped keep me in recovery for 13 years. One that I want to add. The old timer who’s overly helpful, mauls you with hugs, and has 15-minute shares where she goes on about everything under the sun except alcoholism and the solution. In fact, you begin to realize that in all the years you’ve known her, you’ve never heard her drinking story. Hmmm. Makes you wonder.

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    Ellie October 25, 2015 at 7:49 am #

    I liked the article even though I felt it was judgemental. But some of the judgement was warranted. The old timer patting your knee in a meeting although you’ve sussed out his skeeviness in two seconds and avoid eye contact with is not your friend, has boundary issues big time. Yes, there is the compulsive hugger who enjoys getting a rise out of you. You don’t let his angry little kid B.S phase you & he’s really.dissapointed. that.he.couldn’t. Then there’s the guy who hacks your phone or email even though he’s over ten years sober. He’s just found a new addiction. I feel bad for the crying lady. Why is she crying so much. There’s a lot of sexism in the rooms, I’ve found. Guys getting pissed that I stick w/ the women. A “winner,” in A.A is some one honest, still sober, doesn’t constantly talk abt. Other people’s private lives, can stand up to a bully, and isn’t a fan of emotional ” Dumping, ” where a conversation is really a chance to vent, spew, and lie. I don’t judge other people’s sobriety, don’t gossip abt.who fell off, ( not my business in the long run.) I find meetings can be really repetative and emotionally deadening at times. I wish this wasn’t the case. Some speakers brave honesty at meetings has changed my life. To the sober people who mocked the authors chance at staying sober, you’re living up to her stereotypes. I liked the womans post about learning to think for yourself, I find slogans or sober phrases just don’t cut it for me anymore. I need more spontaneity in my life and the roteness of meetings often feels like emotional suicide. As some one who took up another addiction while faithfully going to meetings and working the steps, A.A just isn’t for everyone. I want sobriety, just maybe not the sobriety I’ve seen in some rooms. Things like beach meetings or outdoor meetings are a breath of fresh air, there’s few of them, maybe because that’s stepping outside the box. To the women in A.A who’ve picked the phone and offered support, real support, bless you. They know who they are. The lip service at meetings is pretty easy to spot now. Chest pounding displays of sobreity, one upmans ship, and guys who’d like to help – after they’ve finished hacking my phone or email, are pretty transparent. Easy to get on a sober soap box. I don’t repeat slogans mindlessly, and my concept of a ” Winner, ” is probably different from yours. I pray to God my advice hasn’t damaged people in the program, because I don’t repeat the party line – or at least not often. Sometimes writing endlessly about a problem doesn’t help me and I go right back out and repeat the behavior. It’s called human nature. I’ve told women to follow their hearts if they like a guy ( or girl ), life is for living and maybe that chance or experience won’t be there tomorrow. Maybe I didn’t know the whole story and that was my error… But ultimately our choices are our own. That woman accusing you of not working the program hard enough when you’ve driven w/ pneumonia to meeting maybe isn’t seeing your truth…here’s my advice, if you’re really ill and can’t make a meeting because of a virus, don’t go…I’m a little scared by the dogma when I nearly got into a car accident trying to religiously do 90 and 90 – and I still was told to repeat the whole thing when I missed a meeting or two – listings were outdated in the meeting list. This same sponsor would often take time to share really pwrsonal experience w/ me, people aren’t perfect. There’s no black and white, yet I feel the A.A meetings encourage that type of thinking. And we’re so dissapointed by no pot of Gold at end of sober work, be it finishing certain steps, tasks, group work, that some people kill themselves in the program. Or from falling off wagon. That is really scary to me. Ditto spooky God light emanating from some sober people’s eyes….it felt like Reverend Moonie time, I can’t lie.

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    Gemma November 11, 2015 at 11:23 am #

    Funny how no-one takes offense to Ealing disorders. Yet when anyone with a DRINKING disorder is mentioned, it’s a suddenly criminal. Of course I don’t condone alcoholism. It’s just that hypocrites are really choosy about which disorders are more worthy of saving. Alcohol addiction is just as important as any other disorder. Yet, people look down on alcoholics as if they’re scum. Alcoholism is an illness. I should know. Not that the public would ever care to listen.

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    Sarah.L November 11, 2015 at 11:50 am #

    At the end of the day, the person will only recover, if or when they choose to do so. No amount of forcing can help them. I think a lot of recovery workers, are very naive. I don’t understand how most recovery workers even got the job in the first place, because most of the time, they hardly really listen anyway. Then there’s that “think positively” bs that they like to throw out there, as if they’ve just taken a whole bottle of hypnotics. Try telling someone who’s been raped to just suddenly “forget about it”. Sufferers get used for profits and the service really doesn’t mind asking for donations. I know their game all too well. The same with cults who like to disguise themselves as mental health charities, who try to milk every single penny out of service users. I sure hope the C.E.O of Mental Health Matters is reading this. Not likely he is, but not like I will buy into these schemes.

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    . November 14, 2015 at 10:43 am #

    This is so bang on it’s crazy funny. Even funnier are the comments from the devotees.

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    Lori E December 12, 2015 at 3:07 am #

    Honestly The actual 12 steps work but for me ….are missing a vital pat of what is needed for true healing. I don’t even have the energy to share it right now you will have to go to one of my websites to read the solutions that worked for me along with AA. I have met some real mean people in the AA Facebook groups, real mean. The mask comes off and at the same time it’s on tighter than ever they are just free enough to allow their wrath to be projected onto me. Hurt people hurt people. I am sick of it. the same bs over and over so predictable, so much the same as the others. But these mean people were taught to be that way I guess. recoveryfarmhouse.com or .net

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    Johnnyrecovered December 30, 2015 at 11:38 am #

    Hahahahaha. .. I’m all of the above at one time or another … That’s what’s Great about AA … I don’t have to be perfect … a Bunch of F— ups … Trying to be less F—– by Helping others … I’m awake today to the Fact that God has Done the Miraculous within me … For one Purpose , that is to Help others … Thanks For Laughs… Great Read !!

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    Nathan January 3, 2016 at 3:16 pm #

    Too bad you didn’t sit in on an Narcotics Anonymous meeting.

    In NA we have fun, and tell it like it is. People die and people get lives together. The list is quick and easy down and dirty, what’s lacking is the truth of those that want to be there and live differently. Go past your lenses and everyone can benefit from the type of work the 12 steps are about. As I believe NAthaniel Brandon said, first step is awareness, then acceptance… then things can change.

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    Kenny January 21, 2016 at 4:27 am #

    Look at all you NA nazis. LOL. Saying NA works. That’s why everybody loves going and hanging around a bunch of liars who love lying about their lives to strangers. Yep, that’s DEFINITELY going to cure drug addiction. I love how at the end our meetings, everyone chants some BS about how coming back makes it work. All lies. I’d rather get high than live according to lies.

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    Lucy lubs February 4, 2016 at 11:18 am #

    WOW! This was just a humous article! Get a grip people ..(And a sense of humour!…. )…..Look at you all going into life stories and minute detail about your recoveries, waffling on and on and on about all sorts of 12 step issues totally unrelated to this…….almost sponsoring people commenting or preaching , yes preaching is a much better description …STOP THE PREACHING Jeeeez……All these serious comments and essays after a joke post, dread to think what you’d all be writing about something more serious….Typically self-centred addicts and alcoholics……..bet you’re family and friends have to drink just to put up with you lot droning on!

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    Mr. Arcularis February 5, 2016 at 3:38 pm #

    I’ve found that the “texter” can be anyone of any length of sobriety. Some people text each other in the meetings. I don’t think it’s okay but it happens. It’s their meeting too I suppose but I think it’s a waste of time to show up only to pay as much attention to the phone than the meeting. Now, in reading some of the comments I’m amazed at how some will always look to blame everyone else for their problems and characterize AA as being a bad program. I go to different meetings whenever I feel a given meeting isn’t working for me. Some people want to treat AA like group therapy or “opinions anonymous” and they get offended when we discourage them from whining and complaining about every little problem during their share. Go pay a psychologist if you want to use up an hour talking about things – I know I did and it was helpful but it also made me realize how selfish I was being by expecting the AA meeting to be centered around me. Get a sponsor and work some steps. It’s not hard and it yields results. But some people will work harder at NOT working the steps just to prove some kind of weird point that they are “sober” (white knuckling usually) just by coming to meetings. Yet they complain, criticize, and relapse – But rather than blame themselves for not taking some direction they blame AA ? Its a mind blower. Go to Passages in Malibu and lay out your 100K to do horse therapy and make pottery to get you sober – but they’ll complain and whine about that too. Some people just don’t want to get better.

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    punkin February 9, 2016 at 6:36 pm #

    this had truth in it. Even the lady that said she was anti aa because of the pedophile. And I must say that if a woman kills herself behind a man than she just didnt want to be here and deal with her. The whole point of coming to a self help group is to help yourself. However, all these types make the community within a community work. All of these things happen in the world and we can go somewhere and try to heal and grow. Remember, Alcoholism makes you negative and a potential quagmire victim. Go to a meeting and hopefully a rope will get thrown or you can throw one. You negative beeshes need to bring to a meeting what you want to recieve. ……………….. Get a life. then go to some more meetings…… and give a life.

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    Alan daniels February 23, 2016 at 12:59 pm #

    Huh funny. I do drugs. Don’t really drink much. Mostly weed and meth. But you know what? I don’t when I spend time with my kid, or when I go to work. And I go to work. Every day. I eat normally, don’t go days not eating. And I don’t do meth or weed every day. Sometimes it gets a little out of hand and that’s how I know to break for a month or two or three. Plus I keep my tolorance low so I don’t have to keep doing more and more to get high. I guess its what you call a functioning addict. I have a lot of friends that are amazed I manage, year after year. Some times I spend more then I should. But I get caught up. Usually pay all my bills 1-2 months ahead just to be carefully. That way if I fuck up I’m covered. I don’t rob people or any thing. If I don’t have money for shit I just wait till I get paid. This way I can actually enjoy doing it. Don’t love the chase. The chase for dope is bullshit. Drama. I understand most people can’t do what I do and still function like I can. I also understand most people loose themselves in there all too easily. But I also recognise that this is just his these people are. They loose themselves in recovery to the point that that’s all they are. Once an addict all ways an addict with a small percentage of exceptions of course. Some people have addictive personalities. Ever consider that’s just how God made them? I would never inhibit some one from seeking help IR trying to better themselves, but don’t trade one addiction for another then act like your better than me. Truth is we’re all nothing. I owe an explanation to no one but God. Courious how a place that’s supposed to be “a path to some thing better” is crowded with pedofiles, predator’s, ass holes, and people who blame the person who commits suicide but never the 15 other people who were there but did nothing. Yeah, I blame them, not the guy who caused the emotional turmoil, the ones who witnessed it yet did nothing
    Good luck explaining that to God.

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    Joel Denny March 1, 2016 at 11:28 am #

    I’m getting ready to have a year of what I coinsider real clean time for my circumstances (nothing except for caffeine & nicotine…oh yeah and I took ibuprofen twice) I’m a bright, attractive young man with over 15 years in and out of the rooms…my circumstances suck atm…well, because I’m a high level drug/alcohol addict who just got clean/sober 11.5 months ago…That’s to be expected, but I did it right this time…to good I think. I’ve tried meds in the past. I’ve tried getting into relationships to fast. I’ve tried a lot of different ways to exist and they just didn’t work…so on a kinda nice day like today 11.5 months ago I decided I was going to cut up and snort my last strips of the very serious drug I was prescribed (i got on alot of suboxone to get off of tramadol…damn I was smart)and give the fellowship another whirl, and here I sit completely clean for the longest time yet and it’s because of meetings, meetings and the fellowship. Yeah, I had to get rides with weirdos who I still think aren’t even drug addicts/alcoholics. Yeah I rarely go to meetings anymore because I just am not comfortable riding with just anyone anymore, because in my newfound age of enlightenment my ego/pride/self centered fear gets in the way (and I’ve been waiting to get my licence back…my lawyer said I’d have it months ago…sigh…acceptance) Yeah, I have mostly petty resentments against pretty much everyone in the fellowship because in convinced they’re all just haters anonamous and I’m not even going to celebrate at my home group (my sponsor said he wasn’t going to give me advice on celebrating or not…he’s a good sponsor for me…the three before him got fired for a reason) but guess what…those weirdos and haters and genuine clean/sober, addicts/alcoholics were there when I stumbled around sweating and filling every position of the 3 homegroups I GOT to be a part of when I first started coming around this time.

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    Bejazzled March 24, 2016 at 2:27 pm #

    My other half is a Catch-phraser don’t get me wrong I am so proud of how far he has come and how well he is doing but he is pushing me away I have even been referred to a ‘them’ as opposed to an ‘us’ and the phrases have either a tone of ‘I don’t give a shit’. or no support from him ‘I have to make my own decisions’ that’s true but don’t throw a catchphrase when your having a serious conversation as you will piss your significant other off. He has been sober for three years we’ve been together for nearly seven years.

    We’ve been engaged for over six years and most of that pretty symbiotic and it’s things like ‘One day at a time.’ This I can appreciate but you can still hope what’s over the horizon as well as living for the moment instead of letting watching your shoelaces as you walk the path of life take control. Sadly in his rush to propose to me he now sits back and procrastinates.

    Would I like to marry him from an absolute yes it is now a maybe. And although I really appreciate sponsors and their good intentions and his is one of the loveliest people you could meet having over heard conversations (Not with AA or Sponsor) I am starting to really distrust him as not only does he catchphrase but I think he is also heading for being a 13th stepper as he has even admitted to going for coffee with women usually after the meeting. the saying which has become true for many is ‘A shoulder to cry on becomes a d*** to ride on.’ sorry folks but it does happen.

    I trust him enough to think he won’t cheat but eventually he might himself be persuaded by a far more astute female version if the 13th stepper as he also admitted him and a mate from a meeting had buggered off into town before the meeting even started and done it a few times to find various places to eat and so on (This went on for weeks before he told me).

    I have even decided to move out maybe in the vain hope he will realise there is far more to life than the 12 steps and the procrastination that seems to go with it. I haven’t broken up with him and I don’t intend to unless I am pushed hard enough and he won’t stop quoting what I consider a self centred catchphrases from what I understand you do have to learn to love yourself and understand the addiction and where it will lead if you let it but I also understood it was also trying to live in harmony with others not use catchphrases to either blockade an opinion or try and give life experiences.

    Maybe too he needs to consider that instead of every other person on his list to make amends to he also needs to look closer to home. I admit I am hurting so badly right now I am not waiting for an apology I am hoping on real tangible steps forward together, I am not and never have expected to be put on some kind of pedestal but at the moment I feel like the last one staggering across the finishing line in a marathon when everyone else has gone and you then have to walk home alone.

    I have in open meetings also met some very lovely people and others as brittle as cold toffee (maybe because they don’t feel comfortable around ‘Thems’. but I respect that shyness and have no issue to people who react like it) I have never judged anyone and never disclosed anything confided I think it is brilliant for most people who try and follow the steps but for a few it is a path to either mending or completely destroying a relationship or potential future with a significant other.

    I hope you understand but a Catchphraser can be a hurtful fellow even if his heart is in the right place.

  96. Avatar
    Bill W April 1, 2016 at 7:35 pm #

    Enjoy your cult

  97. Avatar
    Michael April 16, 2016 at 6:27 am #

    I have a few hours logged so I can “share”, be it accurate on some level I look at it like this….I did not like everyone I got high with so I am not going to like or even respect everyone I meet in the rooms. It is simple, AA is NOT my life I attend meetings so I can have a life, and it does work that much I do know is true.

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    Zabelisa April 18, 2016 at 1:57 pm #

    To me AA is to recovery as to MacDonald is to food. It is cheap, quick and will relieve your hunger in no time. Then after a while yo realize it’s more like poison and if you continue, you will slowly kill what’s good inside of you. Clearly it can be a very temporary solution to find new friends who don’t drink but sooner or later you will have to face yourself. AA does not have dibs on honesty, service (?) and perseverance. It is the blind leading the blind(but I will admit that there could be a few decent folks like anywhere else I suppose). The main thing is to find someone you can trust to talk to. Just being listened to is already a great step because it is a connection and one needs t learn how to communicate effectively without an agenda.If the only advice i get is “go to a meeting” then anyone can be a sponsor. I really don’t see how a messed up person can be helped by a bunch of other messed up people. Sobriety is NOT an indication of success. Self-esteem and balance is. Start by eating real food and treating your body the way it should. Since the real problem is the lack of self-love and self-caring, we should immediately start to work on that – not become a little robot that obeys order – how are you supposed to get self-esteem from that? Those who say “AA works” are the kinds of people who like to be fed pre-packaged ideas and therefore don’t have to think for themselves. The 12 step program is a joke.. if someone is ready to take their life in their hands and really work on their bad habits, they will do it regardless or should I say in spite of AA. And since AA thrive on shaming, and scare tactics, those who are familiar with that will respond best, Have a spine and make your own path… and be sure to include nature, lots of it. Real friends and connections with people you actually care about. Meditation and yoga are great ways to address anxiety and depression, don’t afraid to attend these type of gatherings. Listen to music, dance, sing or play with your dog, all very therapeutic things to do. Choose what works for you and write down what bothers you in order to release it. Try not to keep things inside for too long. We don’t have to be perfect, if you care, you know you are on the right track. let not deny that we all have an ego, it is there for a reason. The higher cognitive functions can be expanded at any time e.g. seeing consequences, reasoning, perceiving and interpreting reality, assessing, analyzing, motivating, etc. Emotional maturity does not come in one day, it takes as long as the right connections are not in place. They say a new habit can be broken in 30 days but it can also form in the same amount of time. I have been in AA meeting and I can never feel good within that dark energy. Coffee, chain smoking and cake is not exactly my idea of the picture of a healthy life. At best, you have a moment of entertainment while listening to a story. 12 steps may only works if you are willing to submit – not my cup of tea.

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    CCain April 26, 2016 at 9:02 am #

    What a snarky article. I am married to an AA-er who is receiving his 25 year chip tonight who would agree that his fellow members have flaws like we all do, but he chooses to interact with them in love, tolerance and service. He has the sober life he does now because of the principles and support he found at AA. I have been to numerous meetings with him, and what I see are people who are dedicated to improving their lives. So sorry this writer missed that point.

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    Mags May 13, 2016 at 11:31 am #

    We all come in with baggage. Some more than others. I have been sober now for 23 years. How can anyone hate an organization where individuals are using spiritually means to try become better people. Doesnt mean we have made it . just means were working on it. If you claim to be the best of the best human being than cast your stone.

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    Briony May 20, 2016 at 1:50 am #

    I must of missed something.. Or perhaps it’s my sense of humour… But, Am i the only one who saw this as a joke?

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    Will Power July 23, 2016 at 12:45 am #

    Exactly the reason I made myself quit on my own..dont waste another minute getting bent out of shape about someone elses views or opinions just respect them and focus on what you want in your life.

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    Craig August 3, 2016 at 10:33 am #

    You seem like a negative person. Being critical does not always equal funny, I am not sure of your motivation to make this post, but hey, you done it, no worries.

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    TLO August 3, 2016 at 9:42 pm #

    I went to 12 step meetings for years. Not anymore though. I just drop in about 4 times annually now. I too found the folks there hard to be around sometimes. But just like in real life there are people I would choose to be around and some I wouldn’t. There are positives and negatives that go along with the program as well. I disliked the meetings for a lot of reasons.
    But the one major thing going to meetings did for me was give me hope. I was suicidal before my first meeting and off and on for awhile afterward. I thought to myself “Is this all there is for me?”
    So when I walked in through those doors and put my ass into a seat and saw people that were actually dealing with the same stuff I was dealing with. People that could relate. People who had stopped using.
    I knew there was hope for me.
    No counselor or psychiatrist that told me otherwise before the 12 step meetings had an impact on me like that.
    I needed to find people who I could relate to. Who had walked the same walk. And then I needed to see them actually living a life and being happy.
    And that is what I found in a 12 step meeting.
    And for that I will be forever greatfull. It is for this reason alone, I think that 12 step meetings have value.

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    JMA August 4, 2016 at 12:55 pm #

    Well all I can say is thank
    You so Much I hope you are incredibly proud of yourself have you any idea how hard going today for my first Aa meeting and I have to read this when looking for some advice. To think
    Someone is judging you and listing this shit when you need help and support is beyond me you nasty nasty person !! Words have consequences, consequences have action … I hope
    Your proud of yours

  106. Avatar
    Sherita Cohn August 16, 2016 at 6:55 pm #

    I am no longer positive the place you’re getting your info, but great topic.

    I must spend some time studying more or figuring out more.
    Thank you for great information I used to be on the lookout for this info for my mission.

  107. Avatar
    Mach August 23, 2016 at 7:32 am #

    I’ll make it easier for you there’s only one kind, people who should be avoided at all costs . Risks to your personal safety and mental health far outweigh any benefits. People who walk around saying they are spiritual not religious or have a disease and meetings are medicine, are vulnerable to similar ideas like the moon is made of cheese. All you can do is laugh.

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    Shelton September 13, 2016 at 8:57 am #

    For the most part it is true but your forgetting about the 2 % who honestly just want to help the newcomers get through the steps achieve lasting sobriety and watch them carry other newcomers through the steps. We’ve forgotten our purpose as recovered members of AA. To carry the message and that’s not easy does it, first things first and one day at a time unless your talking about cigarettes and coffee. What about the ones who honestly do work this program to the best of their ability. I’m not offended I just think this is a sad reality to look at that these 10 are our options if we want to fit into the label of 12 step fellowships. No where in this blog besides the title are the steps even mentioned

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    sheila September 25, 2016 at 8:18 pm #

    i have to agree for today I do not have respect for these people .

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    John Rabuse October 4, 2016 at 4:38 am #

    I dod get a chuckle out of the read and its stereo types

    But was triggered by the openly sexist misandrist comments at the beginning and would like to share
    ahhh the 13th step

    That was compared to the older man younger woman scenario of life

    You do realize that this is 2016 Blacks can date whites gays can marry older woman can date and marry younger men ????

    But God forbid a man beds a younger legal age woman he is a predetor

    I call bullshit and call hater

    As for the 13th step its only wrong if men do it if a woman say 30 and up seduces a newcommer of any sex

    Complete pass

    Ive seen it happen alot trapping new men with manipulation and pregnancy

    No one says a word men who do are labeled mysogynistic

    Theres the 11th type of person those who seperate the fellowship from the program we do recover

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    Richie R November 9, 2016 at 9:23 pm #

    The BB taught me a lot about my underlying issues. Ppl at meetings helped (still help) in many different ways. Not all meetings are created equally. Working the program as it’s laid out has changed a lot of lives (not just the drunks but the people around them) for the better. I’m a fairly typical alcoholic – program is effective for me. Those types above are funny though – and accurate. Meeting based sobriety looks to be an unfortunate burden but working the program in the big book works for this alcoholic. Like every walk in life you get a mix of characters, personalities, egos, extremes and attitudes. If AA isn’t for you, find your own solution that works. If you can stay sober on will alone and be happy, good for you – it’s likely you don’t need a program like AA anyhow. I have literally hundreds of meetings to chose from but go to the same few halls regularly. Not all meetings will work for you but they do for many. I’d hate to be sober and unhappy with untreated alcoholism though, which is where I was before I finally gave the program in the big book a real chance. Whatever works to keep you sober, safe AND happy…..embrace.

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