Not a big fan of AA... What else could I do?

Old 01-28-2016, 08:26 PM
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Thumbs up Not a big fan of AA... What else could I do?

Hi everyone! I'm new to this forum. Just Hoping to get some good suggestions from all of my fellow alcoholics and/or addicts. I'm sure this topic has already been gone over, however it's been on my mind a lot and I don't have to patience to search through all the threads. Haha.

So here's my issue. I'm atheist/agnostic. And the way AA uses God in all of there teachings confuses me and frustrates me because it's hard for my brain to focus when God is mentioned every other word.

I just started reading the AA Big Book. I was actually enjoying it somewhat, but I was especially looking forward to the We Agnostics chapter, so I could finally get some clarity on the whole "God" aspect of their ideology. But what I read just frustrated and confused me even more. They say to think of God in a different way: instead of God, call it a Power Greater Than Yourself. I understand what they are saying, but I have no way of relating that to my own life for some reason. I believe there are powers greater than myself out there. Sure. But what do those have to do with getting me sober? And I struggle to use spirituality or have spiritual experiences, and I just don't feel like a very spiritual person.

The reason I'm posting is because AA isn't working for me. I've been to meetings, had a sponsor, started on the big book, etc.. And when I mention that I don't want to be in AA or NA to my counselor, she always gets disappointed. She keeps pushing it and pushing it because she says it works. I know it works, I just can't do it. And it's hard for her to understand. But look, I've gotten a lot of tools in my toolbox being in rehab the past two months and from my previous 2 rehab experiences.. I just need to supplement these tools with "recovery work" throughout my day that doesn't involve AA.

This is where I was hoping ya'll could help, because I just moved to a new city and I have no one else to really talk to (which sucks). So does anyone know of a way to stay sober without going to AA? Maybe like a different program or something. This is my 3rd time in recovery and I'm fed up with this addiction. But I'm still scared. Extremely scared. And I need some help please. Any and all suggestions will be greatly appreciated everyone.

Thanks for letting me share!
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Old 01-28-2016, 09:21 PM
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Hi and welcome RingOfPower

There's many different approaches and methods of recovery around - here's some links to some of the main players, including but not limited to AA:

I recommend you visit the Secular Connections forum if you think you may benefit from a non 12 step approach.

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Old 01-28-2016, 09:28 PM
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I read a book called Rational Recovery which focuses around Addictive Voice Recognition Technique (AVRT) and it was very helpful for me. It's not the only tool I use but it's been a very helpful one. I suggest checking it out as an alternative to AA. As Dee pointed out, there are lots of options out there so read up on a few and see if any speak to you.
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Old 01-29-2016, 12:37 AM
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I quit drinking and decided never to drink again as it was killing me and making me self centred, miserable and sick .
I come here and find support and share how we all deal with life sober .

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Old 01-29-2016, 12:48 AM
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Welcome ROP
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Old 01-29-2016, 07:30 AM
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Hey, welcome ROP. You've found a great place here. That's a good start. The posters you will find are very supportive, very few politics, and always willing to offer an opinion. Keep coming back and poke around the forums.

Speaking directly to your question - I too struggled with some parts of the AA program. Enough said.

Your recovery "security blanket" will probably look more like a patchwork quilt than anything else.

Most successful people I have discovered here have assembled their own unique approach to their addictions - taking pieces from MANY sources (Smart, Rational, SOS, therapy, Sober Recovery and AA) and then leaving the rest.

So, in order to do that - you will need to become a student of your own addiction and research all of these methods and take from them what you want. It's got to work for you!

Once you start assembling your "patches" then you have to stitch them together with one common thread: Take drinking TOTALLY off the table. It's not optional.

Hope this helps.
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Old 01-29-2016, 07:46 AM
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i've never understood why the god thing in AA drives so many athiests or even gays and lesbians away etc.. We have a lesbian at my group and she said she ws really apprehensive that she'd be driven away but was estatic how welcomeing everyones been. I dunno maybe I got a decent group.

For me my problem with aa is my own dang problem. I'm stubborn. I dont want to be accountable to others.. I dont want to work some by the book "program" i've never been a by the book person at all. I always have to do things the hard way. I have issues socializing with people so then this holds me back in an AA type setting. I also originally had this idea in my head that AA was nothing but a bunch of old men with drinking problems that blabbed once a week hence and i certainly was not old ... or did i have a drinking problem... (this is what i thought my first year sober) so i never went. I wasnt about to be seen with ahem THAT crown no no not MWA.

So you see my issues wiht aa are basicly all my own dang nonsense. I had to get over it all. Realize that its a resource available to me a free one thankfully in case i need it. I go once in a while that is that. and I gain a lot from it when i do go.

I've also realized that ya know I dont HAVE to do it the hardway simply because i'm hard headed and stubborn... I could try and get over myself. this has been a good lesson for me.

so my point is. dont totally brush it off it off. least its an option. Read some books. keep sobriety part of your daily routine ie reading and such. keep posting here meet some other people on this journey and get advice and such.

AA isnt the end all be all.
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Old 01-29-2016, 08:12 AM
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Love Dad 23's post.

Just add two things -- on the AA front, I would read the Spirituality of Imperfection before giving up on it. I don't go to AA, but I loved the book and like most things that are as old as AA, its all in how you look at it.

Second, check out the Hip Sobriety website -- she has lots of great ideas.

But mainly keep coming back here...
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Old 01-29-2016, 08:14 AM
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I got sober with the help of my addiction counselor and daily visits to SR. I no longer see the counselor but still come here every day. It's been keeping me sober over six years now.
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Old 01-29-2016, 08:48 AM
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Welcome trop! I feel ya. When I do go to meetings I try to translate to "good sense" where applicable. When folks speak of their own invisable father figure, I translate " I am my own parent to would I best guide a mini-me? " Other than that I get most of my support here and reading secular recovery materials. Truly my Buddhist practice helps me most as my addictive nature is just one of a myriad of attachments to observe, decide if needed, and let go of (sometimes with claw marks). Lotsa great resources right here in our secular section. RR is the most-used tool in my hammer if you will (I'm a carpenter).
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Old 01-29-2016, 08:56 AM
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Check out ''LIFERING '' I am in AA and I have been posting on Lifering for near 9 years they also have meetings in some countries so check it out , no steps/higher powers in their recovery method .

Regards Stevie. recovered 12 03 2006 .
words are easy music is much harder .
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Old 01-29-2016, 12:03 PM
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Have you tried Rational Recovery? Or Smart Recovery (like the former but it has the advantage of group meetings). I was helped by an AA Agnostics meeting. But AA isn't for everyone. There are several paths up the mountain of recovery. It helps not to climb those paths alone. Helps a lot! Try not to be scared. Be resolute. Believe in yourself once more. You can do it! Others have. You can!

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Old 01-29-2016, 12:25 PM
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I'm atheist and read "We Agnostics" as well. Wish I could be of help to you.. but can't. Only can relate.
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Old 01-29-2016, 01:39 PM
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Welcome to the Forum RingOfPower!!
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Old 01-30-2016, 05:22 PM
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Dear Ring of Power,

Your post inspired me to write to you. I love AA and have been in this program many years. I took to it immediately as I really needed to believe in a power greater than myself when I was in despair about my addiction. The people welcomed me with open arms and only wanted to help and guide me if I asked. It was suggested that I make a commitment to myself to give it a try for 90 meetings in 90 days. Some people do that with 3 times a day and others pick up a lot of meetings on the weekend. I was astounded that anyone would make that commitment. I couldn't see how in the world that was going to help me but I found out there was a Miracle in those rooms. The Miracle was I felt better that I had in years and I was sober. The people in the rooms were, for the most part, happy, joyous and free. I came to believe that a Power greater than myself had begun to restore me to sanity. I started to believe I could stay sober for a long time if I practiced the simple Steps and kept going to meetings. The people there loved me until I could love myself. I ended up loving to go to meetings. I began to understand how the Alcoholic mind works, to a degree. I learned a good lesson too: If it works don't fix it! All the people before me with many years of Sobriety must really have something. To this day I just don't question why AA works but know that it does. Because of a health condition at this point I keep coming back using the online access with SR and it is a tremendous resource.

I wish you, TheRingofPower, all the best and hope you will give AA a little more of a try. I found it to be the easier, softer way to get and stay sober. At times I have been out of touch and find I feel instantly better by checking in and seeing what others are saying and doing. Good Luck and I'm praying that AA will work for you as it did for me. I hope to hear from you soon.
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