Thank you notes
I don’t have a question — I just want to thank you for your work. You are a voice of reason in in a field dominated by medieval superstition and old folk wisdom. I am a fully recovered alcoholic (3 years sober) and ex-AA member.
It wasn’t until I discovered your books that I found an understanding of what addiction was like as I experienced it.
Everything that had been jammed down my throat at AA or by therapists always failed to tell the truth about addiction. It wasn’t a matter of me admitting I was powerless and praying to outside forces to rescue me or any other such nonsense. Instead, it was a matter of taking responsibility and having self respect for my well being. It was a matter of caring for myself and my loved ones.
Of course if I were to say this at an AA meeting I would have been met with “None of those things ever kept anyone sober” (is that so? according to who?), “You’re only a day away from your next drunk” or “Anything you put in front of your sobriety you will lose” (which may be the most twisted logic of any AA slogan), or some other devilish jinx.
Today when I say I don’t drink in a social situation, and someone asks if I am a recovering alcoholic, I say “No, I am a sober human being.”
Anyhow, thanks again Stanton. I love your work and respect your mind. You truly are decades ahead of many of your peers in your understanding of addiction.
I just had to thank you for your work and express my sadness that a good scientific judgement and even common sense can be controversial. All my experience with heroin addicts shows that you are quite correct in identifying the main causes of addiction. I also came to conclusion that an immense task of changing one’s life and oneself is unfortunately the only solution. How often is this possible is a different matter. This , as you can see, is not a question. All is too painfully clear.
About two years ago I was exposed to your writings. I want to tell you that I appreciate your point of view. Your writings have certainly forced me to rethink my beliefs about addiction.
I’m a regular visitor to your web site and enjoy your commentaries. I also, in all my classes where a presentation is required, give to my fellow students a copy of “Addiction as a Cultural Concept.” I hope it makes them think as much as it did I.
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Hello — My name is Brian and I have been sober for almost 2 years. Not having succumbed to the 12-step meatgrinder; I discovered you books Diseasing of America, and The truth about addiction and recovery. Thank you for two of the most important books I have ever read. Between your literary works and Rational Recovery, it is like finding a lighthouse amidst the churning seas of 12-step ridiculosity.
Thank you so much. I have not been able to find anything supporting my ‘gut’ reactions to AA until I ran some web searches and found you. Many addiction books in the stores, but nothing like this.
I will forward a longer note which may be of interest to you in light of my personal background as someone who grew up in a sweltering hothouse of therapy, Al Anon, Alateen, family group, counseling, ACA, AA, and so on.
I feel better feeling that I can be a subject with regard to my behavior rather than a label, a role. The articles have been breezes of clean sea air.
So, thanks again.
ps. I like your shirt too, but we need some animated gifs with the flowers moving and birds eyes shifting, some movement.
Thanks for your reply. I will be calling (the therapist you recommend).
I would like to say that one of the most helpful things about your writing is your ability to empathize without judgment and the encouragement you give to people who want to be self-reliant. A friend of mine came out of a crisis after reading your stuff! (He was caught between AA and a hard place: his family!) I also notice that you are far more open-minded than the AA zealots give you credit for.
This is a long overdue note from a fellow iconoclast to let you know how much I respect your stand against the disease/AA model in the tx of alcohol addiction. I am not a practitioner in this field and signed on to the APA subst abuse listserve just to get info on ephedrine abuse/addiction. Although I have not gained much info about my field of inquiry, I have certainly learned something about the abstinence vs controlled drinking controversy.
Ever since the first time someone told me “I am an alcoholic” (1976), I have been struck by a tx model that basically says you are hopeless and can never be cured. I believe there is tremendous power in the words that follow any “I am ——-” statement and so each time I hear someone in recovery tell me “I am an addict” or “I am an alcoholic” I shudder. I also cringe with the whole concept of being “powerless” in dealing with an addiction.
I must say I do respect the service AA has offered to individuals and I particularly appreciate the spiritual base of AA. I do believe that all addictions require deep soul work and I feel AA aims to get at this though I feel their are limitations in their approach. There is no question that. like any other therapy, what works for some will not work for others.
Well, I will close by saying that I plan to buy your Love and Addiction book and I will continue to cheer you on as you speak your truth. Our culture needs more “Davids” like you to take on the bullying Goliaths. I wish you love I wish you love and strength and courage in fighting the good fight.
All the best, Mary
I’m glad that you are on the planet, or I might have been doomed to a lifetime of AA tent meetings. Your book seemed to have started the revolution against the disease concept of alcoholism, and began the opportunities for people like me to be asked the real question: “Why do you drink the way that you do?”
Once the patient can answer that question, the cure can begin.
I’m just reliving some of my 12 step experiences, and I just wanted to say thanks for standing up to them. Your books have helped to deprogramme me, and as a result I’m getting alot better.
Once again, I want to express my deepest heart felt thanks for your work. Rather than feelings of dread and foreboding, I feel a great sense of hope.
Dear Dr. Peele:
Thank you for the voice of sanity amidst the cacophony of addictionology. I visit your website regularly to get connected. I have spent six years in Alcoholics Anonymous I don’t think they’re a conspiracy, a nefarious plot, as Jack Trimpey would have it. But it’s not where I need to be. I need to be in LIFE, with all its attendant problems and foibles. I think now that I have parked myself in some niche for six years, told myself that I am diseased, and excused myself from life. No, I have to live. And I am only as powerless as I allow myself to be.
Well. I have but to do what I know to do. Why is that so hard? Because I have been taught to distrust what I know. To discount my assumptions as the products of a diseased mind. My mind is not diseased. I claim my heritage as a sentient being. I’m not stupid, only misinformed.
Thank you for shedding the light!