My experience. I came to AA as an Agnostic. I had no belief and no feeling about God. I had some anti religion bias, but this was based in ignorance and prejusice which is to say that unlike some folk who have had bad experiences of religion, I has no particular reason for being antagonostic.
I also was in end stage alcoholism, and if you think about AA's second step, Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity, I had a long list of things I had tried or had been tried on me that I had come to believe would achieve this result, but they had all failed. First and foremost was self reliance. As far as acloholism was concerned this was totally ineffective.
There was only one thing remaining I had not tried. AA. So I went to a few meetings and got drunk. Then I went for total immersion. Like a scientific experiment, I formed a hypothesis based on the evidence before me. I had a well defined condition, there were other people who had clearly been in the same place, they had applied a particular method and now were recovered. I hypothesised that if I was to perfom the exact method, I ought to get the same result. I did and I did.
When it came to the God bit, even with my partially opened mind I had walked out of a meeting that used the Lord's Prayer, I caught on to the idea that this was important, in fact it was the whole of AA recovery. They didn't have anything else in their tool box.
It said in the big book that facing an acoholic death or learning to live by spiritual principles was not always an easy choice to make. Surely there is a third option and anyway, how bad can an alcoholic death be?
Well there were not other options for me and I did actually want to live, so I made a deal. I am willing to believe there could be a Power greater than myself that would do for me the same thing it did for the other people I had met, but only as long as I got some evidence.
So, that was fine they said, the way to that is the same as hypothesised, through working the steps. So I began to look for the Power through working the steps. Before I was half way through I had an experience that chnaged my mind, gave me my proof.
I could have stuck by my non-belief, making that non negotiable, but I don't think the AA program works anyother way. It would have left me looking for a non existant alternative and, honestly, I was so close to the end, an alcoholic death was the most likely out come.
Perhaps your second step might read Came to believe I could restore myself to sanity ( mine did at one time). That is a fair enough choice, but it is a choice for something other than the AA path.
It is not change that is painful, it is the resistance to change
All BB quotes from 1st Edition.