That's the meme which resonates in the memory banks of the members in good standing (long-term sobriety) at the 12-step program AA. But it doesn't necessarily hold true for millions who have also struggled with substances and had gotten on the other side of all that - without AA. AA is not for everyone.
Yet, given that human beings tend to need the illusion of safe harbours by clinging to absolutes, those who do not find what they assume they need in AA tend to bellow out in pain. An example is Chelsea Carmona's opinion-editorial in THE WASHINGTON POST. Since it has, at this time, 88 comments, I have to assume it's touched a nerve.
Carmona's beef is that her problem was pills, not booze. The recovery experts told her to attend AA meetings. At the meetings, she contends, she was bullied into identifying herself as an alcoholic. That made for a piece controversial enough to get published in WaPo. The kid did well. The reality is that, as every recovering lawyer knows, AA is an organization, like all entities in societies, with its rules. Carmona bumped into one she didn't like. Since she believes she will die if she exits AA she's stuck there. When I was stuck working as security guard in a big box when my business crashed in 2003, I mined the experience for lessons the universe might be teaching me. At the top of the list, I figured out, was not to get into the financial pickle I was in ever again. I haven't. What lessons might Carmona learn?
Incidentally, lawyers who don't learn lessons in AA or by leaving AA for another kind of healing frequently do wind up dead. Usually at the young age of 50.