Sunday, July 08, 2007


The 13th Step is more than just a movie...

As I’ve said, I’m an alcoholic, for whatever that’s worth. I spent a lot of time in 12-step meetings, and it’s been almost 20 years since I drank or smoked dope.

Sidenote: last summer I finally stopped using tobacco—that was the hardest, absolutely hardest of all to quit.

I don’t know how many meetings I’ve been in—I did the famous 90-meetings-in-90-days routine for about a year straight. It kept me busy, kept me from being bored, gave me a new social set to hang out with, blah blah. It worked—and believe me, I’m grateful it did. It doesn't always work for people, though.

Twelve step meetings are a world of their own. Most of you have seen enough movies or watched enough TV to know how they work. There are a lot of unspoken rules. But, because they’re unspoken, when they get broken that doesn’t get talked about, either. One of the most commonly broken rules involves something called “the Thirteenth Step.” Thirteenth-stepping is about hanging around with newly sobered or semi-sobered folks at the meetings and having sex with them. Usually, it’s men preying on women, but because it’s about damaged people, there’re a lot of weird dynamics. The rule against “thirteenth stepping” is a good idea. Just like the insistence on anonymity.

Here’s a story about that business (I think it's going to have a sad but predictable outcome) (and calling him "a counselor" isn't quite accurate—a Thirteenth Stepper is more like it, unless you want to say "predator"...):

The Huffington Post
July 8, 2007

AA counselor John Sundahl claims he is dating Britney Spears.

The recovered alcoholic says Britney chatted him up at their Alcoholics Anonymous meetings before asking him out more than two months ago.

Fooling the media was easy for the couple, Sundahl said. They simply used different cars and snuck into back entrances for romantic dinner dates shrouded in secrecy. And when he was recently in the hospital with an obstructed bowel, frantic Britney stayed by his side on all-night vigils.

"We are dating right now. I mean she is not moving in or anything but we are dating," the 38-year-old real estate developer said last night. "It is serious."

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