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Thinking I might need some AA Support

Old 09-21-2017, 04:34 AM
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Thinking I might need some AA Support

So, as many of you know I've been around and around with sobriety, and always in the past at some point my alcoholic brain convinces me that I'm 'cured' and the odd drink won't hurt! You all know how that works out.

So this time, I'm figuring I need to get a support structure around me. I'm at the 6 month point, which history teaches me, is entering my danger zone.

I've looked at a bunch of youtube vids about AA meetings, and they all seem to focus on a religious aspect to the program, which if that's the case is going to turn me right off right from the get go.

I really just want a group of people that I can talk to, call if things get sticky without any baggage of God & praying!

I live in South Dakota, so I worry that 'God' is gonna figure everywhere I go

So should I expect that? Are there totally non religious meetings?

I need something, just I'm struggling with something that will work for me.
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Old 09-21-2017, 04:40 AM
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Good morning- great job on 6 months.

First - I am an AAer and I generally find that videos, movies, TV etc don't give an accurate picture of what AA really is. It's a place where the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. Or, for you - stay stopped.

"The God thing" is often portrayed in the celluloid world as THE central part of AA. It is not. Step 3- belief in a power higher than ourselves- can mean just that- ANY power. Something beyond ourselves. The original AAers- Bill and Dr Bob- wrote the text decades ago - mid 20th century- so "normal" language at the time included the pronoun "he" for the alcoholic, and "God" based on their orientation and typical Judeo-Christian "leaning" of society.

I would very strongly encourage you to try meetings. I say that in the plural because they are all different- and one reason that "90 in 90" (meetings in days) is suggested is so that the newcomer (you) gets used to meetings, learns, and really gives AA "a chance."

You are smart to recognize that this is your "usual" risk time - and think about getting additional support to get through it and keep going well beyond.

I went kicking and screaming into AA- not because of religion, for other reasons that basically amounted to wanting to keep on drinking- but you have a clearer head at 6 months sober. IME, sitting and listening, looking for the people who have what I want, and looking for similarities- a version of looking for why AA does work for those who want sobriety enough- not differences - all of these things were great suggestions people gave me at the outset - and they are still things I focus on today, at 19 mo exactly.

Keep going. Keep learning- you can do it this time.
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Old 09-21-2017, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by RapidMan View Post
I need something, just I'm struggling with something that will work for me.
anything- ANY program- will work for you if you work it.
in all honesty, this statement has me thinkin ya want recovery to happen on your terms.

howz about ya start going to meetings and find out for yourself? go to different meetings and do it for a while then determine for yourself?

i didnt like venison the 1st time i had it.
then had it cooked a few different ways. took a few different ways cooked before i liked it.
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Old 09-21-2017, 07:31 AM
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AA is a spiritual program, not religious. If you find the literature to be out-dated, I suggest reading the NA basic book and step guide. I feel the heart of the program is realizing that a spiritual awakening is necessary to cure alcoholism. I am an atheist--God is not necessary for this program, but a higher power is.
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Old 09-21-2017, 08:59 AM
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If you go into meetings looking to be turned off by the mention of God then God talk is all you are going to hear. If you go in with an open mind looking for support and a path to peace and serenity you will absolutely find it there if you give it a chance.
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Old 09-21-2017, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by RapidMan View Post
So should I expect that? Are there totally non religious meetings?
.
actually, yes.
they are ALL non religious. it would be hard to say any meeting is religious when there can be a catholic,athiest,christian,buddhist, agnostic, hindu, and a jew all at the same meeting.

i know man whose HP is a squirrel, one whose HP is a tree, a woman whose HP is the universe, ...........................


AA preamble

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.

The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. A.A. is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.
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Old 09-21-2017, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by RapidMan View Post
So, as many of you know I've been around and around with sobriety, and always in the past at some point my alcoholic brain convinces me that I'm 'cured' and the odd drink won't hurt! You all know how that works out.

So this time, I'm figuring I need to get a support structure around me. I'm at the 6 month point, which history teaches me, is entering my danger zone.

I've looked at a bunch of youtube vids about AA meetings, and they all seem to focus on a religious aspect to the program, which if that's the case is going to turn me right off right from the get go.

I really just want a group of people that I can talk to, call if things get sticky without any baggage of God & praying!

I live in South Dakota, so I worry that 'God' is gonna figure everywhere I go

So should I expect that? Are there totally non religious meetings?

I need something, just I'm struggling with something that will work for me.
We're very happy you're here, amigo.

Why don't you just go to some meetings, get a sponsor and work the 12 steps?

It sounds like you are in a real danger zone.

I would be open-minded about possible solutions and not arbitrarily rule them out before giving them a fair chance.

Alcoholism is a life or death matter.

We're not talking about whether to make some other desirable life change (e.g. losing weight, exercising, etc.).

We're talking about whether you live a horrible alcoholic existence and die a painful alcoholic death or whether you get your life on a track of recovery and have a good life.

I didn't like my first few AA meetings at all, but I was rather light on options so to speak because my job depended on my getting sober.

So I kept going back.

And then I started liking it.

I have people I have gone to AA meetings with for many years, and I don't know their religions (if indeed they participate in organized religion) or even their last names.

But we have gotten and stayed sober together.

And tomorrow will be 29 years that AA has worked to keep me sober.

It can for you as well.

We hope that it is.
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Old 09-21-2017, 10:36 AM
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Some folks talk more about spirituality than others. No one is going to FORCE you to believe anything. The only thin that can defeat you is a closed mind. See WHERE people are right...not that they ARE right..but WHERE are they right? Just try it out....try a few meetings, find one that clicks with you. I work for a scientific institution and many of our scientists are "agnostic" and still attend AA.
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Old 09-22-2017, 04:52 AM
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I've been to hundreds of meetings in & around my area, and only once or twice have I heard members talk about "God" as part of their belief system. Mainly, people keep their spiritual beliefs between themselves and their sponsors.

I'm a hardcore atheist, and no fan of organized religion. But spirituality is altogether a different thing IMO, and is necessary for me to stay grounded in my sobriety.

I can't speak for meetings in your area, but if you go to one and it turns you off, try another. And then try another. Different groups can have different "vibes", atmospheres, etc. The trick is to have an open mind, and look for reasons to stay, rather than looking for reasons to leave.
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Old 09-22-2017, 05:29 AM
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Originally Posted by RapidMan View Post
So, as many of you know I've been around and around with sobriety, and always in the past at some point my alcoholic brain convinces me that I'm 'cured' and the odd drink won't hurt! You all know how that works out.

So this time, I'm figuring I need to get a support structure around me. I'm at the 6 month point, which history teaches me, is entering my danger zone.

I've looked at a bunch of youtube vids about AA meetings, and they all seem to focus on a religious aspect to the program, which if that's the case is going to turn me right off right from the get go.

I really just want a group of people that I can talk to, call if things get sticky without any baggage of God & praying!

I live in South Dakota, so I worry that 'God' is gonna figure everywhere I go

So should I expect that? Are there totally non religious meetings?

I need something, just I'm struggling with something that will work for me.
That might well be the case but as was mentioned try going to various meetings. Imo, the key is to find similarities. Many meetings have a religious flavor but certainly not all and you aren't required to believe anything. However, by the same token it is important to respect the views of others in the room. If they believe God, a higher power or a door knob call the shots.... it's all good.
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Old 09-22-2017, 05:45 AM
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The basis of AA is establishing and growing a connection with a power greater than one's self. Those AAs who've gone through the steps come out different and that different person who emerges is much closer to the type of person they've always (perhaps secretly) wanted to become.

My experience is like most everyone I know who's pondering AA and even most ppl in AA - that I tried to fix my life on my own, with the help of family and friends, and sometimes with professional help....... and I was still left feeling like something big was missing - I just wasn't happy drunk or dry, not for long anyway.

I suspected it was all BS and that AA was not for me but I was so frustrated with the way my life was going I guess I was finally ready to set down some of my prejudices against AA and "spirituality" and give it a try.......even though I didn't think it would work.

The program of AA is basically guaranteed to work, however. In 10 years I've yet to see it not work 1x. That said, going to a meeting isn't necessarily "doing AA" anymore than walking into a gym makes one strong and ripped. Just like the gym, there's some work to do, some weights to lift, some miles to run if you want those guarantees / results.
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Old 09-22-2017, 04:42 PM
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It can't hurt to give it a try I reckon RapidMan

D
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Old 09-22-2017, 04:50 PM
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So, as a follow up.

Yesterday I went to a meeting. Didn't speak just listened. Wasn't close to being like those youtube vids I'd watched, although a couple of people did veer off that way.

In some ways made me feel little better about myself, even being the chronic alcoholic I am, my life is and always has been pretty good. There were some pretty sad screwed up folks in there, I counted my blessings.

I talked to a few folks afterwards, and they suggested I check out some of the other local meeting which they figured I'd probably fit in with, and thats the plan for next week.

So all in all, thanks for all your advice. No, it wasn't half as bad as I feared from watching youtube, and from the experience of my first meeting pretty sure there will be enough in there to help me continue my ongoing 'navigation' of the icebergs of sobriety!
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Old 09-22-2017, 05:58 PM
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xa-speakers.org

listen to recorded speaker meetings!
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Old 09-23-2017, 05:53 AM
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Great to hear. Hope you keep coming back.
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Old 09-23-2017, 08:30 AM
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The "God" stuff kept me sick for another decade, because I hated it, refused to be open minded to it, had my pre conceived notions I refused to put to the side, etc.

Then I learned that "God" doesn't have to be religious but spiritual.

I wish someone said this to me: "Every time you hear someone say the word "God", replace it with "Higher Self". Then I would've been ok with it. Because there's a higher self and a lower self in us, and now it all makes more sense.

I'm one to talk about God a lot in meetings now but it's only because of where my step work took me. I can't explain it, it was my experience.

But don't let the God stuff bother you. The meetings that talk about God are the healthiest meetings because alcoholism is a spiritual malady. Just don't let the word "God" throw you, it has nothing to do with religion. How can it, when you have people in the rooms who come from every single different religion, but we don't talk religion in AA.

Sorry if that confuses you. Just go with it. ;-)
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Old 09-23-2017, 08:52 AM
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The biggest hurdle I've seen for many who struggle with AA has been the religious aspect. When one hears God being used regularly and meetings end in the Lords Prayer it's difficult to pretend it doesn't exist.

Nevertheless, its worth at trying to find a way around such a dilemma.
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Old 09-23-2017, 08:57 AM
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In AA there is talk of God (occasionally) but, seems each has their own understanding of God.

No one is pushing their God on another there. I know many in AA that seem to have no (true God). Have also in AA heard several say they don't believe in god and no one tries to convince them that there is one.

M-Bob
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Old 09-25-2017, 12:58 PM
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I've looked at a bunch of youtube vids about AA meetings, and they all seem to focus on a religious aspect to the program, which if that's the case is going to turn me right off right from the get go.
AA's big book says "God as you understand him/her." I'm sober almost 26 years and am an agnostic. My higher power: God = group of drunks. It's made up of individuals who sometimes bring their personal religion to the meetings and I'm against that. Just go and you'll find others like you.
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Old 09-25-2017, 02:54 PM
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Rapidman, glad you went. AA is all inclusive, never exclusive. Try different meetings. Find one that works for you. There's always going to be someone or something not right or to complain about--that's the disease wanting you to stay away.

You are worth whatever it takes to recover.
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