I have no use for "special interest" groups. I see no point in segregating men, women, straight, bi, gay, Spanish, etc ad nauseum. If we actually practiced the 12 steps, 12 principles and 12 traditions in AA meetings there would be no need to segregate would there?
I have done all kinds of mood altering stuff including alcohol, drugs and other stuff I'm not even sure could be classified. I could go to every 12 step meeting around and identify on some level. I even did that in my early recovery. Hell I was going to so many different 12 step meetings I couldn't remember which one I was in half the time.
Then one day I went to an AA meeting and did my typical introduction "my name is Andrea and I'm an alcoholic, addict, sexaholic, overeater, etc." After the meeting an old timer pulled me aside and asked me what my MAIN PROBLEM was, what was the one thing in all the plethora of things I used that if there was nothing else left I would find. I told him alcohol. He then said:
"Well instead of trying to fix everything at once and risking relapse as a result, why not try just focusing on alcohol and just be an alcoholic when your in AA meetings? See we have this slogan KISS Keep It Simple Stupid. If you keep it simple, just focus on AA, get a sponsor and work the steps all that other stuff will take care of itself. Oh and by the way we define sobriety as not using ANY mood altering stuff including alcohol and drugs."
That old man pissed me off at first and still for a while I had my long intro at meetings. He never said another word to me about it. A few weeks later I found myself thinking about relapsing and that man's words came back to me. I went straight to an AA meeting, introduced myself as just an alcoholic and have ever since. I stopped going to 10 different recovery programs and focused solely on AA. Funny, all those other issues took care of themselves thru working the steps with a sponsor.
I have 28 years of continuous sobriety today. I owe Harold Inman, God rest his soul, credit for my sobriety. He had enough courage to tell me the truth and it set me free.