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Old 01-21-2020, 07:58 AM
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Leaving AA

Ive been in AA for almost a year now, I've been sober for a year and 3 months. AA has been a constant struggle for me. Since my very very 1st meeting where a fella looked at me and said about himself, "Im a real alcoholic". From that moment on I have questioned my intent in AA. I have a great sponsor and have met some great people but there's a lingering feeling of this just ins't working. To be honest, i really don't feel alcoholic until I'm in a meeting. I feel I've become attached to the thought of "having a disease". Even though I feel I don't fit in, i feel guilty if I don't go to meetings or I'm not up to date with my sponsor, I lagged through my steps because my amends list was actually really small. I appreciate what AA has done, which has allowed me to look at myself and bad habits that ruled my world. Im more in tune with my decisions and I am thankful for my sobriety that AA helped me with. I feel it stops there though. I want to be able to function without the need of meetings, shares and sponsors. Daily reminders of what "a terrible person I was". Any insight would be great and thank you in advance.
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Old 01-21-2020, 08:43 AM
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hi Jd,
i haven't found AA to be about daily reminders about "what a terrible person i was", though i have been to meetings and met many whose focus seems to be entirely on how sick we all are and continue to be and will always be.
i am quite well. applying the principles has to a great degree gotten me there.

it is entirely up to you to decide/know if you are an alcoholic in the sense that identifier is used in AA or dealing with bad habits.

if i were in your position, i would likely examine these guilty feelings to see what they are about, ask myself guilty towards whom? am i doing something wrong? who am i hurting? am i afraid, and if so, of what? am i trying to avoid something?
and i'd sit with those in my way of being with my "HP".

for me, "fitting in" is a different thing than saying that AA is not for me; fitting in has been a lifelong thing, the feelings of NOT fitting in. so, for me, that is not an indicator of anything much

you say you have questioned your intent, from the moment you first went. that might be a great place to get some clarity - your intent.
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Old 01-21-2020, 11:40 AM
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My first thought was why you needed to tell US? Could be plenty of answers, and I'm not being snarky - it's just that this is exactly the stuff to take to your sponsor.

Things like the disease model, spiritual malady, things we did not being that bad...all common to balk at or find "don't apply" to us, so that's behind working the steps.

No reason you HAVE to do AA, but just from what you've shared, it doesn't sound like you have committed to the program to see if it will work for you. Which isn't going to meetings and having a sponsor. So that's an option.
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Old 01-21-2020, 02:56 PM
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There seems to be some step 1 issues here. If you don't think you are an alcoholic ok. Sounds like AA has helped you and if you decide to stop attending meetings that's a good thing to take away from the experience. If you think there is any chance that you are in fact an alcoholic I'd put off that decision to end your participation... at least till that question is resolved.
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Old 01-21-2020, 05:05 PM
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I honestly feel that if Iím going to be sober, I personally need to be able to achieve this outside AA. So far the responses have been what im doing wrong. Which seems to be the AA response. I failed AA but why not assume aa failed me. I donít mean that in a negative light but maybe the AA program is just not meant for me. I donít want to be scared that I might drink again as aa says. I want to be confident and not guarded. I donít want to live in a room of drunk a logs and resentments for the remainder of my sober life. I want to use the tools aa has given me and feel free. I donít feel free in aa. I feel constricted in body and mind. Iíve been interested in refuge recovery. Iíve taken the precepts in Buddhism and have read the 12 steps through Buddhism. This, I feel is more me and search for a sound mind. I like this route because it doesnít dwell in alcoholism as Aa does, it goes deeper into finding your true self.
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Old 01-21-2020, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by JdA23 View Post
I honestly feel that if I’m going to be sober, I personally need to be able to achieve this outside AA. So far the responses have been what im doing wrong. Which seems to be the AA response. I failed AA but why not assume aa failed me. I don’t mean that in a negative light but maybe the AA program is just not meant for me. I don’t want to be scared that I might drink again as aa says. I want to be confident and not guarded. I don’t want to live in a room of drunk a logs and resentments for the remainder of my sober life. I want to use the tools aa has given me and feel free. I don’t feel free in aa. I feel constricted in body and mind. I’ve been interested in refuge recovery. I’ve taken the precepts in Buddhism and have read the 12 steps through Buddhism. This, I feel is more me and search for a sound mind. I like this route because it doesn’t dwell in alcoholism as Aa does, it goes deeper into finding your true self.
Right. AA might not be a good fit for you.

There is no right/wrong answer.

You can always return to AA at another time if you so choose.

The door is always open.
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Old 01-21-2020, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Ken33xx View Post
Right. AA might not be a good fit for you.

There is no right/wrong answer.

You can always return to AA at another time if you so choose.

The door is always open.
thank you for that response. I wonít know if AA is right for me unless I step away. Thatís is something that I do like about AA is that I can come back and I know I would be welcome. I feel I need to do this sooner than later, I definitely donít want to resent AA or loathe going to meetings. Mostly I just donít want my sponsor or fellow home group members to worry and that I feel confident in this decision.
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Old 01-21-2020, 05:44 PM
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“Consider the eight-part program laid down in Buddhism: Right view, right aim, right speech, right action, right living, right effort, right mindedness and right contemplation. The Buddhist philosophy, as exemplified by these eight points, could be literally adopted by AA as a substitute for or addition to the Twelve Steps. Generosity, universal love and welfare of others rather than considerations of self are basic to Buddhism.” Akron Pamphlet “Spiritual Milestones in Alcoholics Anonymous” edited by Dr. Bob
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Old 01-21-2020, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by awuh1 View Post
ďConsider the eight-part program laid down in Buddhism: Right view, right aim, right speech, right action, right living, right effort, right mindedness and right contemplation. The Buddhist philosophy, as exemplified by these eight points, could be literally adopted by AA as a substitute for or addition to the Twelve Steps. Generosity, universal love and welfare of others rather than considerations of self are basic to Buddhism.Ē Akron Pamphlet ďSpiritual Milestones in Alcoholics AnonymousĒ edited by Dr. Bob
thanks for sharing that! Basic Buddhist principles do fall in line with the 12 steps. And to be clear, the steps do not bother me, they are a very practical way to approach self awareness and helped me tremendously.
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Old 01-21-2020, 06:18 PM
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Hi Jd,
It seems we have something in common.
I'm 435 days sober. I enrolled in a clinical 1 year outpatient alcohol treatment program in November, 2018.
Clinical participants are required to attend AA meetings (signed attendance cards), submit to random testing and attend madatory classes and meetings at the medical facility. I successfully completed the program in November 2019.

During the program, I was apprehensive about the many AA meetings I was required to attend (5 per week minimum, for the first 6 months, then 3 minimum).

I, too, felt I never really clicked with AA. I went to different meeting locations and tried meetings held at various times. Folks were always nice, welcoming, and I met several friends to say Hi to. But...it just wasn't what I personally needed. I never did get a sponsor. I didn't formally do the steps. It just didn't appeal to me. But, folks in the rooms accepted that decision and I became a regular.

I attended AA faithfully for 1 year to complete my clinical program. I received my 1 year chip and my clinical completion certificate.

I stop by my old meeting location maybe once a month just to say Hi.
So, AA did help in my recovery...not really in the traditional AA sense, but I learned a lot from simply listening to others at meetings. Just my two cents...
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Old 01-21-2020, 06:55 PM
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Jd,
sorry my post came across as saying you are doing something wrong. that is not what i was trying to say; i meant to encourage you to question your intent in going, since you had alluded to being uncertain about it, and to see if you are an alcoholic in the sense that the term is used in AA.
when you describe your experiences, it does not sound like what you are hearing is the solution as offered by the program of AA.
in addition to checking out refuge recovery, you could also see if you can find some solution-focused meetings.
and i would encourage you to check out the AVRT threads in the secular recovery forums farther down to see if that is useful to you.
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Old 01-21-2020, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by fini View Post
Jd,
sorry my post came across as saying you are doing something wrong. that is not what i was trying to say; i meant to encourage you to question your intent in going, since you had alluded to being uncertain about it, and to see if you are an alcoholic in the sense that the term is used in AA.
when you describe your experiences, it does not sound like what you are hearing is the solution as offered by the program of AA.
in addition to checking out refuge recovery, you could also see if you can find some solution-focused meetings.
and i would encourage you to check out the AVRT threads in the secular recovery forums farther down to see if that is useful to you.
i appreciate the input and advice. I will definitely check out the avrt threads as well. I donít ever want to speak bad of AA. it has done wonders for me along with many others that Iíve met. Everyoneís experience is different and I do want to make the right choices. Thank you!
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Old 01-21-2020, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by ZIP View Post
Hi Jd,
It seems we have something in common.
I'm 435 days sober. I enrolled in a clinical 1 year outpatient alcohol treatment program in November, 2018.
Clinical participants are required to attend AA meetings (signed attendance cards), submit to random testing and attend madatory classes and meetings at the medical facility. I successfully completed the program in November 2019.

During the program, I was apprehensive about the many AA meetings I was required to attend (5 per week minimum, for the first 6 months, then 3 minimum).

I, too, felt I never really clicked with AA. I went to different meeting locations and tried meetings held at various times. Folks were always nice, welcoming, and I met several friends to say Hi to. But...it just wasn't what I personally needed. I never did get a sponsor. I didn't formally do the steps. It just didn't appeal to me. But, folks in the rooms accepted that decision and I became a regular.

I attended AA faithfully for 1 year to complete my clinical program. I received my 1 year chip and my clinical completion certificate.

I stop by my old meeting location maybe once a month just to say Hi.
So, AA did help in my recovery...not really in the traditional AA sense, but I learned a lot from simply listening to others at meetings. Just my two cents...
thank you for sharing. I think thatís what Iím looking for. Iíve met a lot of great people and I donít want to pull a Houdini. Just looking for for my place in this sober world. Thank you!
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Old 01-21-2020, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by JdA23 View Post


thank you for sharing. I think thatís what Iím looking for. Iíve met a lot of great people and I donít want to pull a Houdini. Just looking for for my place in this sober world. Thank you!
You're very welcome. I'd encourage you to look around for a meeting that fits. I really enjoy just listening and taking away some tidbits of information I find useful. Plus, their coffee is actually pretty good
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Old 01-22-2020, 02:59 AM
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I do not think that a person fails AA or that AA fails the person. For some it works very well and for others it's not a fit.

If you think AA is not for you try something else. But do keep doing something to feed your recovery. I have observed folks who say that AA is not for them and so they stop being active in AA and stop working on their recovery. They do not look for a replacement recovery program. That is not a recipe for success.
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Old 01-22-2020, 03:16 AM
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I too had the issue that AA was a constant reminder and I could not move beyond. I met great folks and gained and gave a lot, but I stepped away and am content. I have dropped in a few times over the years, "just to see", but it just wasn't for me.
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Old 01-22-2020, 03:25 AM
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I don't know what it means to anyone else when they say it, but when I say "My name is Eddie and I'm an alcoholic" I am acknowledging that though it's been a decade since my last drink I am convinced that one drink will lead to the next, and ultimately (likely in a matter of days, not months) right back to the night I considered the relative merits of suicide versus sobriety.

I still go to several meetings a week (at least two, and often four) and I understand that at times meetings may seem unnecessary. But I usually feel far more grounded after even *meh* meetings and I've seen way too many folks stop working their sobriety and meander back to where they started. If you need a change, make a change - but do it with eyes wide open and conscious of what you are changing TO rather than FROM. TO is where you are heading, and where your future happiness lies - don't leave that to chance.
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Old 01-22-2020, 04:05 AM
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Originally Posted by JdA23 View Post
I honestly feel that if Iím going to be sober, I personally need to be able to achieve this outside AA. So far the responses have been what im doing wrong. Which seems to be the AA response. I failed AA but why not assume aa failed me. I donít mean that in a negative light but maybe the AA program is just not meant for me. I donít want to be scared that I might drink again as aa says. I want to be confident and not guarded. I donít want to live in a room of drunk a logs and resentments for the remainder of my sober life. I want to use the tools aa has given me and feel free. I donít feel free in aa. I feel constricted in body and mind. Iíve been interested in refuge recovery. Iíve taken the precepts in Buddhism and have read the 12 steps through Buddhism. This, I feel is more me and search for a sound mind. I like this route because it doesnít dwell in alcoholism as Aa does, it goes deeper into finding your true self.
It's obv completely fine if AA isn't for you - finding what does is what matters most.

However, what I highlighted is the opposite of what AA the program and its promises tell us we can find, as others have done.
I'm in no way saying anything is your fault, but I am suggesting that actually working with a sponsor who can guide you in what this simple program of suggestions that those roughly 100 people developed IS about.

The freedom from obsession, from fear of people/places/things is exactly what we can find.
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Old 01-22-2020, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by totfit View Post
I too had the issue that AA was a constant reminder and I could not move beyond. I met great folks and gained and gave a lot, but I stepped away and am content. I have dropped in a few times over the years, "just to see", but it just wasn't for me.
Thank you for the post. I can't say that AA wasn't for me because it did provide a lot insight that I probably wouldn't have found on my own. But I can say is that AA isn't me. I can't force it and I can't be convinced I'll be drunk as soon as I walk out door. That's a decision I have to learn to make on my own. I sure I will drop in because there are good people there.
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Old 01-22-2020, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by August252015 View Post
It's obv completely fine if AA isn't for you - finding what does is what matters most.

However, what I highlighted is the opposite of what AA the program and its promises tell us we can find, as others have done.
I'm in no way saying anything is your fault, but I am suggesting that actually working with a sponsor who can guide you in what this simple program of suggestions that those roughly 100 people developed IS about.

The freedom from obsession, from fear of people/places/things is exactly what we can find.
Thank you for responding, what Ive highlighted in your comment and what was said in the previous post above yours is what I'm trying to avoid, I believe. That's what scares me it's been a decade since my last drink I am convinced that one drink will lead to the next, and ultimately (likely in a matter of days, not months) right back to the night I considered the relative merits of suicide versus sobriety.
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