Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Gift...

I was meeting with a sponsee this morning and we found ourselves again talking about the gift of desperation.

Something shifted for me recently.  I've been spending some time looking into and thinking about the varying statistics that are offered for explaining how successful the program of AA is.  I have found a great deal of discrepancy for claimed "success rates" for AA: ranging from factions in AA who boldly proclaim 80%+ success rates for those who follow "their way" of working our AA program to AA detractors who claim that AA's success for long term recovery is less than 10% or, about the same success rate as doing nothing for recovery - just quitting through will power alone.

If you look at even the most credible and statistically valid studies of how alcoholics recover, you can still find huge variations in the success rates and, worse, huge discrepancies about biases and and assumptions and caveats.  It seems that for every study, there are at least 2-3 folks who will explain why the data is not accurate.

I was talking this morning with my sponsee about why some of the folks in his circle, and particularly his sponsee, don't find in AA a successful solution for not drinking and creating a life without drinking.  This discussion wound up with the same conclusion that I had observed in my recent study and my over-all AA experience.

AA generally seems to work with a certain class of desperate alcoholics.  For others, it seems to not be effective.

...but, for he and I, AA has been 100% successful and given us a life beyond our wildest dreams.  For him, for 1-1/2 years, for me, 25+ years.

...and, for today, that seems to be the only statistic that we can really vouch for.

What a gift!!!


Mary Christine said...

I heard a radio ad this morning for a treatment center that said "you don't have to lose everything..." and thought - no wonder our program doesn't appeal to people. Our program appeals most to those who have lost the most. Not necessarily materially, but those most desperate. I thank God every day that I was and I am.

Gabriella Moonlight said...

What a gift indeed!!! Great post and so true, it's turning it all over for me; once I hit the point that I cannot define, I knew I had to be best thinking got me to AA and I am ever so grateful!

xo Gabi

Syd said...

If you are one of the statistics that is helped by the program, then it is a great thing. God's grace can be the only explanation.