23 Comments

About

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I am a beautiful 50something woman with a lot to say about the world around me.  Stay tuned!

Laura Tompkins was born and raised in Las Vegas to a casino family. She holds a BA in Sociology from Regis College. She also holds a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Delaware’s Professional Theatre Training Program. Finally, she has a Master of Arts in Addiction Studies from the Hazelden Graduate School for Addiction Studies. She is also a stage manager, director, actor, and one hell of a cook. She is a certified addiction specialist with a private practice in Pacific Palisades, Calif.

23 comments on “About

  1. http://drasurvivors.com/paris-jackson-to-be-sent-to-diamond-ranch-academy/

    Is it really true they will send that young girl Paris jackson to the diamond ranch academy after her suicide-attempt? I cannot imagine that this one is the right school for her, it sounds really abusive, if I read through that link.

  2. Life coaching in Pacific Palisades. How cush. Thank you so much for “looking into” the July poster’s inquiry. Really impressed with your response.

  3. Thank you for reading and commenting. One of the first things you learn in school is to meet the client where they are at. How can you do that when you believe all they need is the 12 step cult?! You also learn to do no harm and yet, with the exception of group camaraderie, this cult disempowers members, replaces one addiction with meetings and instills fear in them so that they can never leave. If that’s not harmful, I don’t know what is! I spend most of my time now helping people to deprogram from 12 step indoctrination.

    You are absolutely correct. It is not professional to shove a cult down the throats of people who need and deserve real evidence-based help. Hey, if a client finds this cult helpful, they are free to go. However, at some point, most of them want to be EMPOWERED, not disempowered. That is what everyone wants from life, is it not?

    Thank you again for writing in. I appreciate your support very much.

  4. Hello Beautiful,
    Love your blog. Thanks for having the courage and moral compass to do the right thing when I’m sure that 95% or more of the people in your field are AA cronies. You’re awesome, keep up the good work!

    • You are more than correct. I have lost friends/colleagues over this … Many in fact. Heartbreaking personally but only further proves the extreme indoctrination which this dangerous cult religion commonly known as the 12 steps provides. Even so-called professionals are susceptible to the BILLshit shoved down the throats of anyone unfortunate enough to be in a vulnerable place. No one is safe. If a counselor only has the 12 steps in their tool box, clients should run quickly for the door.

      Thank you for the acknowledgment in a sea of disciples, predators and lazy counselors … Not to mention lawyers, judges, parole officers, the media, the TV and film industry, etc, etc. Charlie Sheen is correct, the only debate I have with Charlie is his claim to have tiger’s blood. “Sorry Charlie, only tigers have tiger’s blood.”

      Please share my work wherever you choose. It’s especially nice to get your comment today as I am hiking the Italian Alps right now! Arrivederci!

      • I have been in SLAA fir 2 yrs and working on step 4. I cant seem to grasp the program and feel very depressed. I think this program is making me sick. I feel like I have to constantly tell soinsorand recovery friends what im doing. My self esteem is in the floor.

        • Dear Patti – You are in a precarious position and must take action outside of these supposed ‘recovery friends.’ These people will suck you dry of any self-esteem you have left and simply move on to their next victim. You are absolutely correct, this program is indeed making you sick. That is precisely what it is designed to do. Render the members ‘powerless’ and the program all-powerful with the threat of never a cure but just an ‘arrest’ is not only false but damaging to your emotional health. The idea that if you do not attend SLAA meetings will cause your ‘illness’ to get worse, never better, is a set up for disaster. This will exacerbate depression and render the member powerless — a self-fulfilling prophecy if there ever was one.

          Practice saying this until it feels comfortable. Say it with a calm and assuredness that takes your power back. “The work I am doing for myself is my business and only my business. If and when I wish to share what is working for me with you or anyone else, I will certainly let you know. For now, I wish you well and ask you to leave me alone. This 12 step program is the opposite of what I need and I will no longer participate. Good-bye and good luck.” And then walk away or hang up the phone. If someone persists, document their harassment (for that is exactly what it is) and let them know you wish them to stop contacting and harassing you. They may be brainwashed to think they are helping you but once you tell someone they are not helping you and they persist, they are abusing you. Do not ever allow anyone to abuse you — no matter what you may have done in your past. Your past does NOT define who you are today.

          In the meantime, seek professional counseling from a non-stepper counselor. They are out there. You are interviewing anyone for which you seek help and if you ask a therapist if they believe or recommend the steps to clients, thank them and move on. Take your power back. You are FULL of power. You took the chance of reaching out to me today. That is power. You are still capable of listening to your innate ability to take care of your emotional health. That is power. You can admit that right now your self-esteem in in the floor. That is power.

          The opposite of power is admitting you are ‘powerless, insane and in need of a higher power’ in order to help yourself. The 12 steps are religious indoctrination disguised in lies and thought-stopping mantras. You do not need to write an ‘inventory’ and confess to a sponsor who has no place, credentials, training, anything advising you on anything in your life. You instinctually know this. Your instincts are your friend.

          Take your power back. Two years is enough. Re-word the idea that ‘you cannot seem to grasp the program.’ No Patti. The program is dangerous and you deserve far better. The only way to ‘grasp’ this program is to relinquish your power to it and blame yourself for everything negative that has ever happened to you. Guilt and shame are all part of the indoctrination. Reject it from this moment on.

          Thank you for reaching out. You are helping others who are not willing to reach out publicly. You are brave and you can change and grow with empowerment training, mindfulness work and meditation. Also, look into EMDR.

          You can also reach me privately at ldyluk47@yahoo.com

  5. Thank you for your response, I have sent a private message to you. I post this here for others to see. I have learned a great deal doing step work about myself. Funny thing is my therapist does not believe I am a sex and love addict. I started going because when my mother passed away I engaged in 2 extra marital affairs so automatically that qualified me. I also have problems when it comes to boundaries with friends/coworkers. I have been observing how non s and L addicts react to situations similar to mines. I have observed a few have had affairs, a few get depressed when they have disagreements with people, a few meet jerks. Wow they sound like me but they are not in a 12 step group. I have read what sex addicts do. Numerous affairs, with married unavailable people, lost jobs because of sex been arrested, I am no where near this at all. I know i have problems and I have to improve myself but I am not clear anymore this is the way. I think I have always been a self help person. I come from a background of severe physical and emotional abuse and I feel very different from other people. I have yet to meet a woman in this program or a man that is in the so called “healthy relationship’ that is what our goal should be. Either they are in a bad relationship and continue to compare it to the last one that led them to this program, or they have been years with no sexual or romantic relationships. I hope this will not be my future.

    • patti, you might read Out of the Shadows about sex addiction. I did and saw myself in the phase one, phase two range. I found it comforting to know that what I was experiencing was not abnormal and that there are ways to break the cycle. I did not find that I needed a twelve step program to help myself. i do not discount anything that works for someone, including prayer, or a 12 step treatment. Everyone needs a ‘magic feather’ sometimes before that they learn they don’t need the feather to make them fly.

  6. Thank you for following my blog. I want to comment on the 12-Step dilemma.
    Poor people in USA have 3 options:
    1. Try to handle their addictions alone – which often means relapsing.
    2. Work the 12-Step meetings – which are free but consume a person’s whole life.
    3. Use self-help books – which requires superhuman commitment.
    Free counselling or sliding fee is usually available in only really big cities, and then maybe for 6 sessions. I have found real help in online support groups and YouTube tutorials about the causes of addiction. I believe that revealing the emotional reasons that drive the addiction will create an end to the addiction.
    I look forward to reading more of your posts (:

    • I agree that revealing the emotions behind the using of drugs ends the need to self-medicate.

      I disagree that your three options are the only three options and your take on them. First of all, most people DO handle their addictions on their own with success and not constant relapse. In fact, about half drink in moderation successfully later when they learn to love themselves, which they could never in a million years learn in a 12 step group. Second, the steps do not only consume a person’s whole life, they dis-empower members to make any positive changes and keep you tethered to the ‘program’ for the rest of your life and promote binge drinking when members ‘slip.’ Self-imposed brainwashed incarceration. It’s criminal and the ‘rooms’ are filled with mandated criminals. A recipe for disaster. Also, self-help books do not require superhuman commitment. People just read and process a bit at a time and receive help in this way in their own time, as slowly or quickly as they choose. Finally, there are many, many (certainly more than your three) ways to get help. For one, Harm Reduction is always available and is enormously helpful.

      Thank you so much for commenting here. Congratulations on your success in finding real help.

      • It’s refreshing to meet an addiction professional who treats the person like an adult, expecting them/me/us to be involved in choosing their treatment. I hope it’s a sign of a cultural change in America.

        • As do I. I have lost colleagues/friends over this because they (so-called professionals) are steppers themselves. If they are so brainwashed and afraid to even consider the truth, they are not worthy of my friendship. It hurts but I would rather be on the side of actually helping people than sending them to a dangerous cult religion. I have been threatened with having my licensure revoked (only by crazy steppers) when counselors who send clients to 12 step groups are the ones who’s credentials should be questioned. It’s all bassackwards. Thank you so much for the sane dialogue.

  7. @Laura: When it comes to listing/promoting sites, it can be known as networking or reciprocating. I’ve become so fed up with sites I’ve promoted neglecting to mention mine that I’ve decided to unpublish it.

    • Are you requesting I put your blog on my blogroll? I just learned how to do that a couple of days ago and am looking for more to include. I just have not had a moment to find more. (I know lame but I am working on it.) ; )

  8. Hello — Do you have an email address that I could use to contact you? I am researching the history of alcohol treatment and in particular the rise of the disease theory of alcohol and would be very interested to talk to you about your experiences at Hazelden.

  9. I’m currently in the process of writing a philosophical book about Alcoholics Anonymous and the 12 steps. The philosophical approach is not for, but against everything that they teach. I am hoping that I can get your permission to quote some parts of your website regarding the damage that Alcoholics Anonymous does to the mind and to the spirit of every individual that joins their cult.

    • Please do! And please include the credit in your bibliography. I’d love to read it when you’re finished. Good luck!

  10. Hello,

    I’m reading with interest your blog posts. I’m a 36-year old woman from The Netherlands, who has been struggling with alcohol-dependency for a few years. I tried quitting by attending NA meetings for a few months, but it didn’t work for me and for a while I thought NA and AA were my only options. During my time at NA I relapsed a few times and having to get a beginner’s chip everytime this happened only disencouraged me.

    I never made it past step 2. The first time I relapsed (which wasn’t even a full-blown binge-like relapse; I had had one puff of a joint and two low alcoholic beers) my sponsor shook her head and told me that I had to start all over again.

    Although I do believe in spiritual things, during my time with NA I struggled with the idea of relying solely on a higher power; also the idea of having a “disease” didn’t feel comfortable to me, and this concept didn’t help me. Many other members seemed to be confused about the concepts and ideas provided by the program.

    I remember one of my last meetings there was a woman I hadn’t seen before. During the meeting she accused her former sponsor (who was also in the room) of stealing money from her during the time she was his sponsee and accusing him of being a hypocrite. At the end of the meeting my sponsor was quick to point out to me that “obviously she was still using and that she had come to the meeting to demand money so she could buy alcohol”. At the time I didn’t question my sponsor’s opinion, but now I’m thinking maybe that woman was telling the truth. Who knows?

    In February of this year I went into a rehab facility that worked with the twelve steps and one of the program’s demands was that you attend at least three twelve step meetings a week, next to the rest of the program they offered (which, funnily enough, included REBT, which seems to me to be quite contrary to the 12 step method). I still believed at the time that NA not working for me had somehow been my fault and that I hadn’t given it enough of a chance, that’s why I enrolled into this rehab. This particular rehab didn’t work for me unfortunately, I felt really depressed there and after each day that the program was finished I would retreat into my room to be alone, and this was frowned upon. When I failed to attend a few classes, I was given a “last warning”. I don’t like last warnings, I don’t like feeling forced, so I left after six weeks. Quickly after I began drinking again.

    A few days ago the idea popped into my head that NA/AA might not be the only option and when I searched the internet I found SMART Recovery. The things I read there made more sense to me and seemed more practical. I have already attended my first online meeting and what I like is that members talk about recovery being a journey and not a lifelong disease.

    I don’t know about sexual abuse happening at AA/NA meetings in my country. Also, I don’t know if there are court orders for offenders having to attend meetings.

    I’m only speaking about my experience with NA and why it didn’t work for me. I’m glad I didn’t spend so much time there and that I realised there are other options.

    L.S.

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to comment!

      The 12 step dogma only works for those who can force themselves to push down their own instinctual warnings. No one likes to be given warnings and treated as if their concerns are their ‘diseased’ mind talking.

      No one likes to chant harmful mantras and ignore common sense. This cult demands you deny your intelligence and push your innate power away. It only works when one becomes a disciple and does not question the ‘steps.’

      Having a ‘sponsor’ shake their head at you when you speak truth is abusive and counter-productive. That you came to her with your truth should have been a reason to praise you. Demanding that you then start over is only a way of keeping you tied to the cult for life. Since they brainwash you into believing you cannot trust your own ability to think, you need them and their perfect programme to do your thinking for you. Bollocks!

      The woman who called out her thief of a sponsor was undoubtedly speaking her truth and was dismissed. You can be sure that this man steals from all his sponsees and gets away with it with the help and support of the other ‘oldtimers.’ They are truly sick people.

      Six weeks is an admirable time to have spent in an abusive ‘rehab.’ You are far too intelligent for this nonsense. You can be proud of yourself for realizing very quickly that this indoctrination was not and will never be, for you. Life is far too short for this ridiculousness!

      You do not need a ‘programme’ at all but whatever you find helpful is your choice and your right! Don’t look back and keep progressing forward with high esteem for yourself. You can safely claim to be disease-free and powerful.

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