Lately I’ve been seeing posts on Facebook urging people to go to 12 step groups, or even just promoting 12 step groups, everywhere. And, there are lots of posts too and comments on Facebook and other social media sites where people are talking openly about their 12 step experiences. It even happened on one of my community groups on Facebook: a guy put a big post up about his experiences with SAA and promoted the program. In that group, this was quite inappropriate, and he got a lot of heat for it. Still, why are we seeing so many people pushing others these days publicly to go to 12 step groups and breaking their precious “anonymity” in public groups or on the internet?
It seems to be a growing problem, and not everyone is supportive of people who do this. As I said, the guy who promoted SAA on the community site got made fun of quite a bit for doing so. Still, I saw a woman reaching out for help with drinking in a support group for one of my physical health conditions and in the end a guy on there convinced her to go to AA, even though she stated that she was too busy to go. I found that kind of sad, because she obviously said no, but then the guy pushed and she ended up giving in. It was classic 12 step pushing too, such as, the guy quoting that it saved his life, and then threw in a few more AA phrases. Other people such as myself suggested alternatives to AA but in the end it looks like she got sucked in, unfortunately. And I know that AA isn’t always a good place for people with health problems like hers so I feel for her. I can only hope her the best.
On a personal level, though, it bugs me to see 12 step, especially AA stuff, everywhere. Because of the ritual and emotional abuse that I went through by abusers that I met in AA (they used AA phrases as part of the abuse), it’s triggering when I see stuff about AA, especially AA phrases. So I hate the fact that every day while scrolling through Facebook it seems as though someone finds a way to promote AA somewhere. It’s like a battlefield for me.
I’ve signed up for a few yoga classes this month at a local yoga studio and my biggest fear is that I’ll run into someone from AA and they’ll get all over me about leaving, or be really abusive, like so many in AA are to other “alcoholics”. This fear of mine of running into people who go to AA can sometimes keep me isolated and from leaving the house. I really don’t want to deal with any more blame and shame. Hopefully there are no 12 steppers in these classes, and if there are, hopefully they will leave me alone. And if they don’t know that I used to go to AA, I’m not going to say anything. I don’t want to be a target again.
I don’t think that everyone knows how damaging AA can be for some people, especially those with PTSD and other health problems. This means that a lot of the time, I don’t get the sensitivity that I need when it comes to AA triggers. It’s frustrating.
I am starting to get de-sensitized somewhat to seeing people promote AA because it’s everywhere, even though it is still triggering to me. Hopefully I can work through my fears somewhat, too, of running into 12 steppers. We’ll see.
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