Can AA actually work for me?

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chickentendies
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Can AA actually work for me?

Post by chickentendies »

This is my first post, and I want to say how appreciative I am of joining this online community. Please forgive a lengthy post, but I thought it proper to be thorough.

After an alcohol-related legal incident, I made the choice to admit myself to an inpatient rehab program. It was the best thing I could have done for myself, and I feel like a got a great deal out of the experience. After my successful completion, I began attending an IOP program that I will be completing on Monday, followed by a weekly outpatient (via videoconferencing, of course) program as my lowest level of rehab-related care. I have not relapsed, and have currently been sober for 76 days. I see an addictions councilor and psychiatrist and both have told me that I'm making solid progress towards long-term sobriety.

HOWEVER: There is one aspect of recovery that hasn't quite "clicked" for me, which is - you guessed it - Alcoholics Anonymous.

I mean no disrespect and I'm not disputing the effectiveness of the fellowship for a great many people, but I'm starting to feel like it's just not "for me." The biggest issue I have, as a skeptical atheist, is the spiritual component. I've been told many times that AA has no religious affiliation and only requires submitting to the will of "God as I understand him." But to be honest, I don't even have that. While I respect those of faith, I don't have a spiritual bone in my body and am convinced that the universe can be understood in material terms. I know many people who may not subscribe to belief in an overt God, but are nonetheless somewhat spiritual and believe that the Universe has a plan for them. I am not among such people.

To conclude, I suppose my question is this: Is there any way Alcoholics Anonymous can work for someone who not only doesn't believe in God, but doesn't believe in any sort of higher power, purpose, or divine plan? Is it simply a no-sell for someone of my particular ideological makeup?

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avaneesh912
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Re: Can AA actually work for me?

Post by avaneesh912 »

In the book "Power of now" Eckhart Tolle mentions we have to use the words has pointers. And thats what we suggest in AA too. We could replace those words something like "the process could restore me to sanity". First of all, we encourage people to understand what they mean by powerlessness and un-manageability. How are they related. So many stories in the big book to illustrate them. You will find yourself in one of the stories. See what they did to overcome this hopeless state of mind and body. See if it can help you.

Personally I like Bills Story. You will see how hits the bottom, what he did and finally the best part what he did to bring AA to the world. Very inspiring. It will take just less than 1/2 hour. Spend some quite time.
Show him the mental twist which leads to the first drink of a spree. We suggest you do this as we have done it in the chapter on alcoholism.(Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

DaveP1951
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Re: Can AA actually work for me?

Post by DaveP1951 »

Can AA actually work for me?
The AA book the Twelve and Twelve states “some of us won’t believe in God, others can’t, and still others who do believe that God exists have no faith whatever that he will perform this miracle.”I feel that it is the “others can’t” that pertains to your question. Why can’t some people believe in the existence of a God or supreme being of any kind. I believe thru my own experience and studies that some of us are more logical and much less emotional than others. We lack that magical/mystical component of our mind that others seem to have so much of. And, it is that mystical part of the mind that is necessary for a belief in a God of any sort. Without that it just isn’t going happen. It is very much a part of one’s personality. You, perhaps, should use your aptitude for logistics as the foundation for sobriety. My logic tells me that in order to stay sober I need the support of others that I find in AA meetings. These people in AA and an acceptance that alcohol will destroy me if I don’t change my lifestyle and way of thinking are the key components of my sobriety. At this point in my sobriety (40 years) I find that a belief in a Higher Power is not necessary to stay sober. Good Luck and give this group a try.

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Spirit Flower
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Re: Can AA actually work for me?

Post by Spirit Flower »

Check out appendix II to the big book found here: https://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/en_bigb ... diceii.pdf

Pay attention to "an unsuspected inner resource..."

Also pay attention to the explanation that spirituality is a process. I can say that what I think of a higher power has changed many times over the decades I've been sober.
...a score card reading zero...

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PaigeB
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Re: Can AA actually work for me?

Post by PaigeB »

chickentendies wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 3:14 pm
To conclude, I suppose my question is this: Is there any way Alcoholics Anonymous can work for someone who not only doesn't believe in God, but doesn't believe in any sort of higher power, purpose, or divine plan? Is it simply a no-sell for someone of my particular ideological makeup?
I am A-Theist... I have no capitol "E" Entity that is in charge of humanity or anything. At times I think I might be a poly-theist - believing in every molecule as it's own piece of the ultimate HP, something higher than a universe of molecules or past lives or whatever.

So "W" Whatever is my HP I guess. I could never be able to describe such a thing in words even if I am good at words. I am not the Best at words - but even those who are cannot adequately explain the Epic Immeasurable Power. It is based in the totality of my experience and yet outside my experience. Somewhere in my "inner-most self" (pg 30 BB)

So I keep it simple. It is Whatever I think it is at the moment. I can't put it in a box. Today let's use my home group meeting. The totality of those good women in AA. The AA Fellowship as a whole. I know what is heard in a meeting is BIGGER than me. I can always find Peace between the prayers of an AA meeting. I can rest easy in that kind of Knowledge today.
Cling to the thought that, in God's hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have - the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them. page 124 BB

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PaigeB
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Re: Can AA actually work for me?

Post by PaigeB »

My sponsor says that the chapter called We Agnostics is about ALL of us. WE are all agnostic.

Here's the definition:
a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena; a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God.
Cling to the thought that, in God's hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have - the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them. page 124 BB

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dralius
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Re: Can AA actually work for me?

Post by dralius »

I don't have an argument to make. As a scientific atheist I suggest that you check out this website.

aa agnostica
(link removed in accordance with Forum Policy)
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Db1105
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Re: Can AA actually work for me?

Post by Db1105 »

I’m an atheist and AA has helped keep me sober for 42 years working the 12 Steps. Just as I accept that I am not the supreme being, it has worked. I find talking and helping other human beings is easier to put into action than believing in some ghost.

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dralius
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Re: Can AA actually work for me?

Post by dralius »

dralius wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:51 pm
I don't have an argument to make. As a scientific atheist I suggest that you check out this website.

aa agnostica
Unfortunate that AA recourses can't be posted.
"There is no greater disaster than discontent."
-Loazi...

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Jojo2
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Re: Can AA actually work for me?

Post by Jojo2 »

AA resources are frequently posted. Links approved by our links committee and anything from AA approved literature is most welcome.

Some non-AA resources are presented to appear to be AA resources and these, of course, would not be approved.

DanielStone
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Re: Can AA actually work for me?

Post by DanielStone »

If you are serious and really give it a chance it will help you for sure.

chickentendies
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Re: Can AA actually work for me?

Post by chickentendies »

dralius wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:51 pm
I don't have an argument to make. As a scientific atheist I suggest that you check out this website.

aa agnostica
(link removed in accordance with Forum Policy)
This is a silly aspect of forum policy. Dralius, can you please PM me the link you posted?

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Jojo2
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Re: Can AA actually work for me?

Post by Jojo2 »

chickentendies wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 2:14 pm


This is a silly aspect of forum policy.


Feel free to look for a site without guidelines or a Links Policy.

Our guidelines and links policy are agreed by the group conscience, to promote civility among contributors, to keep topics on point, to protect our users and to adhere to our Primary Purpose.

‌• Links to other sites are not allowed, and will be deleted, exceptions are those with the following domains: aa.org and other country GSOs, e-aa.org, aa-intergroup.org, aagrapevine.org and al-anon.org.




I earnestly advise every alcoholic to read this book through, and though perhaps he came to scoff, he may remain to pray.

The Doctor's Opinion. William D. Silkworth, MD – Pg. xxxii.

Big Book Online: https://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/alcoholics-anonymous

chickentendies
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Re: Can AA actually work for me?

Post by chickentendies »

Not big into prayer, thanks.

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Jojo2
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Re: Can AA actually work for me?

Post by Jojo2 »

Prayer is just speaking and meditation is listening ~ just words for communicating with our Higher Power.
Prayer can take many forms – It is generally assumed that prayer means getting on your knees and speaking to your Higher Power. If that is what prayer means to you and you are comfortable with that, then pray in that manner. Don’t feel bad, though, if it doesn’t. The content of your prayers is more important than how you say them. Speak to your Higher Power as though you were talking to another person. Tell Him or Her about what is troubling you, ask for guidance, and express gratitude for the assistance you have received in your life.


To us, the Realm of Spirit is broad, roomy, all inclusive; never exclusive or forbidding to those who earnestly seek. It is open, we believe, to all.. 

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