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7 Reasons Charlie Sheen May Hate Alcoholics Anonymous

7 Reasons Charlie Sheen May Hate Alcoholics AnonymousIn one of the myriad interviews he gave over the last week, Charlie Sheen said clearly that he hates AA.

A lot of people have trouble with Alcoholics Anonymous. AA is full of people and people can be messy and flawed.

The human train wreck formally known as Charlie Sheen is a common sight in the AA meeting halls. The only difference between Mr. Sheen and other self-absorbed, delusional, frantic addicts is the size of the audience to which they rant. These people do not last long in AA. They mock the Fellowship and the 12 Steps (PDF) as too religious or simplistic. AA is beneath them.

Here are a few possible reasons why Charlie Sheen might hate AA so much.

Reasons Why Charlie Sheen May Hate AA

  1. He would have to admit he is powerless.
  2. He would need to embrace Humility.
  3. Deep tissue Change would be required.
  4. He would have to be Anonymous!
  5. His Higher Power could not be Charlie Sheen.
  6. He couldn’t blame anyone else for his troubles.
  7. He would need to learn to be Grateful.

People can get sober without AA. It is not necessarily for everyone, by any means. Even so, I have a deep respect for it.

For a few years after getting my B.A. and before going to graduate school, I was a substance abuse counselor at the Substance Abuse Center of Johnson County, close to Kansas City, Kansas. What I learned there was worth five Ph.D.s. Not being an alcoholic, I thought it was important for me to know as much as I could about my clients’ experience. That’s why I attended as many open AA meetings as I could. It was an eye opener. The members made me feel welcome everywhere I went. One of my proudest possessions is my 30 day coin.

What did I learn? I learned that you can’t just go to one AA meeting and think you know AA. Every meeting, every location had its own kind of culture. There were the hard-core biker meetings, the white-collar professional meetings, the womens’ meetings, huge open meetings, more intimate closed meetings…. you get the picture.

There were also the religious meetings, yes, and the agnostic ones. I learned my higher power did not have to be God in the Judeo-Christian tradition, although a lot of people were comfortable with that. If I wanted my dog Snoopy to be my Higher Power I was encouraged to go for it, as long as I gave up my need to Control and was willing to give it to something meaningful outside myself.

I learned that AA was a great leveler. Everyone was the essentially same: the lawyer and the short-order cook, the doctor and the housewife. Each were equally brave. Each deeply respected for the courage it took to just show up.

Sadly, all this Mr. Charlie Sheen, gripped by his illness, cannot comprehend. It must be terrifying for him to imagine a place where he would no longer be CHARLIE SHEEN!

He would just be Charlie.

7 Reasons Charlie Sheen May Hate Alcoholics Anonymous

Elvira G. Aletta, Ph.D.

Elvira G. Aletta, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist, founder of Explore What’s Next, wife, and mom of two teenagers. Dr. Aletta is a writer whose articles have been featured on the New York Times Well blog, the Wall Street Journal Online, Parents magazine, NPR and the BBC London Radio. To learn more about Dr. Aletta and Explore What's Next, visit her website and blog, or follow her on Twitter!

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APA Reference
Aletta, E. (2018). 7 Reasons Charlie Sheen May Hate Alcoholics Anonymous. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 24, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018 (Originally: 5 Mar 2011)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
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