AA - Atheists and Alcoholism
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12-02-2017, 11:10 PM
RE: AA - Atheists and Alcoholism
I went on a bit of a rant talking about how I always thought believing in God is stupid at AA tonight. I really attacked a bunch of the shit they often say. It's what I really believe but I think I was being a little manic. The way I said it was pretty harsh. No one seemed offended. Most everyone there are just getting their papers signed anyway.
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13-02-2017, 06:58 AM
RE: AA - Atheists and Alcoholism
(12-02-2017 11:10 PM)ImFred Wrote:  I went on a bit of a rant talking about how I always thought believing in God is stupid at AA tonight. I really attacked a bunch of the shit they often say. It's what I really believe but I think I was being a little manic. The way I said it was pretty harsh. No one seemed offended. Most everyone there are just getting their papers signed anyway.

Yeah, that was probably too harsh. When I make the point of my atheism in AA, I keep it to me. I don't tell others that their beliefs are <insert negative judgmental words here>, I keep the focus on me and hope that the message of "it's OK to be an atheist in AA" gets through to those who need it.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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13-02-2017, 07:16 AM
RE: AA - Atheists and Alcoholism
Part of what set me off is hearing that when you learn to be honest with yourself you'll find your higher power and it's ok to use the group as your higher power until you get to know the real higher power. I said how would you like it if it the message was you can use the group as your higher power until you're restored to sanity and stop believing in things that don't exist.

Like you said and I even said it was too harsh.

But if it was pent up in me maybe I needed to say it. Once is enough though. I made my point. I'll leave it there.
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21-02-2017, 12:52 AM (This post was last modified: 21-02-2017 12:42 PM by TheMrBillShow.)
RE: AA - Atheists and Alcoholism
Very happy to have found this thread! I am an alcoholic and have been sober since April 2, 2012.

I've attended AA since 2005 but it's only since 2012 that I've been able to maintain sobriety. I spent a great deal of time trying to figure out what "Higher Power" meant to me. I struggled to find God, or indeed, even a vague notion of "spirituality" that made any kind of sense to me. As a result, I'd head on back out and resume my drinking. I could put together weeks or months of being sober (I had a year clean at one point) but nothing really stuck, I had no real tools at my disposal and I would always return to drinking, staying away from AA for weeks, months, or even years.

How have I been able to stay sober since 2012? First of all, I did finally hit a bottom which found me suicidal and on the verge of losing absolutely everything. I couldn't bullshit myself any longer about what I was and what I was doing. The other key factor was realizing my unbelief. Thanks to a great deal of reading and YouTube vids (Hitchens, Harris, TTA podcasts, several others), I came to realize I am a non-believer. All that time and effort I had spent searching for a Higher Power (in a supernatural or mystical sense) was mere ghost hunting. I was chasing after nothing. Once I let all of that shit go and relied on the people around me, it started to work for me and I've been able to maintain my sobriety.

I am not open about my atheism in AA. If asked directly I won't lie and say I'm a theist of any kind but I'm not comfortable openly volunteering my status as a non-believer. I will ponder the wisdom of this decision from time to time and I do suppose it will "come out" at some point but for now, I mostly avoid the subject entirely. Most of the meetings I attend do end with the Lord's prayer. While I don't recite the prayer I will hold hands and join in the circle as it helps to remind me that we alcoholics are in this together and we don't get through this alone- important reminders for me because I was big into isolation and drinking alone.

I have had experiences where very sweet, well-meaning people talk to me about God or Jesus or some such and I generally listen and thank them for their time and input- even if I'm refuting every point of dogma they're giving to me in my head while they are speaking. I figure there isn't anything to be really gained if I started a hardcore theological or philosophical discussion about my (lack of) belief in that kind of context. And if them telling me about God or Jesus in a non-bullying or overly proselytizing manner helps them with their sobriety, I figure what's the harm?

Anyway, best of luck to those who wrestle with alcoholism. It's a fucking bitch but it is manageable. It can be done and you need not suffer alone. No God required.

There is no "I" in "team" but there is a broken and mixed up "me."
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21-02-2017, 06:33 AM
RE: AA - Atheists and Alcoholism
That's cool man

As long as it's working for you

It ain't about making a point it's about staying sober
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27-02-2017, 08:09 AM
RE: AA - Atheists and Alcoholism
Just found this thread. Suppose I need to look a little harder though the forums huh?

I just passed five years sober. Here is the thread that I created before I found this one. Congrats to all that have recovered and are recovering. It truly is a better life.

I get to decide what my life looks like, not the other way around.
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27-02-2017, 08:16 AM
RE: AA - Atheists and Alcoholism
(21-02-2017 12:52 AM)TheMrBillShow Wrote:  Very happy to have found this thread! I am an alcoholic and have been sober since April 2, 2012.

I've attended AA since 2005 but it's only since 2012 that I've been able to maintain sobriety. I spent a great deal of time trying to figure out what "Higher Power" meant to me. I struggled to find God, or indeed, even a vague notion of "spirituality" that made any kind of sense to me. As a result, I'd head on back out and resume my drinking. I could put together weeks or months of being sober (I had a year clean at one point) but nothing really stuck, I had no real tools at my disposal and I would always return to drinking, staying away from AA for weeks, months, or even years.

How have I been able to stay sober since 2012? First of all, I did finally hit a bottom which found me suicidal and on the verge of losing absolutely everything. I couldn't bullshit myself any longer about what I was and what I was doing. The other key factor was realizing my unbelief. Thanks to a great deal of reading and YouTube vids (Hitchens, Harris, TTA podcasts, several others), I came to realize I am a non-believer. All that time and effort I had spent searching for a Higher Power (in a supernatural or mystical sense) was mere ghost hunting. I was chasing after nothing. Once I let all of that shit go and relied on the people around me, it started to work for me and I've been able to maintain my sobriety.

I am not open about my atheism in AA. If asked directly I won't lie and say I'm a theist of any kind but I'm not comfortable openly volunteering my status as a non-believer. I will ponder the wisdom of this decision from time to time and I do suppose it will "come out" at some point but for now, I mostly avoid the subject entirely. Most of the meetings I attend do end with the Lord's prayer. While I don't recite the prayer I will hold hands and join in the circle as it helps to remind me that we alcoholics are in this together and we don't get through this alone- important reminders for me because I was big into isolation and drinking alone.

I have had experiences where very sweet, well-meaning people talk to me about God or Jesus or some such and I generally listen and thank them for their time and input- even if I'm refuting every point of dogma they're giving to me in my head while they are speaking. I figure there isn't anything to be really gained if I started a hardcore theological or philosophical discussion about my (lack of) belief in that kind of context. And if them telling me about God or Jesus in a non-bullying or overly proselytizing manner helps them with their sobriety, I figure what's the harm?

Anyway, best of luck to those who wrestle with alcoholism. It's a fucking bitch but it is manageable. It can be done and you need not suffer alone. No God required.

I've been sober for about the same amount of time as you. I went to AA for a while and while I certainly take nothing away from the program, it just wasn't for me. It's a wonderful program and If you can get past the first step I highly recommend it. I could get to the first step and admit I was an alcoholic but releasing it to a higher power was just not in the cards for me. I was much like you and had to hit my "rock bottom" before I could get my feet back under me and stand back up. I wish you continued success my friend.

I get to decide what my life looks like, not the other way around.
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27-02-2017, 09:29 AM
RE: AA - Atheists and Alcoholism
I was sober for 10 years until 2013 when events in my life which are not appropriate to share on an open forum meant I picked up again. This time round instead of being a continual top up drinker like I was before I tend to binge, stopping is not the problem for me its staying stopped. Last six months or so since my fathers death have been particularly difficult, the binges have been longer and I've basically been lying to all my family and friends and also my doctor but the jig is soon to be up as my doctor has ordered blood tests following the removal of a small local skin malignancy which are most definitely going to be abnormal. I've been putting off going to have the blood tests done but that cannot continue indefinitely. To be honest the future isn't looking too bright for me but I have no one to blame except myself. Stay sober guys, you really don't want to end up like me.
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27-02-2017, 09:34 AM
RE: AA - Atheists and Alcoholism
(27-02-2017 09:29 AM)adey67 Wrote:  I was sober for 10 years until 2013 when events in my life which are not appropriate to share on an open forum meant I picked up again. This time round instead of being a continual top up drinker like I was before I tend to binge, stopping is not the problem for me its staying stopped. Last six months or so since my fathers death have been particularly difficult, the binges have been longer and I've basically been lying to all my family and friends and also my doctor but the jig is soon to be up as my doctor has ordered blood tests following the removal of a small local skin malignancy which are most definitely going to be abnormal. I've been putting off going to have the blood tests done but that cannot continue indefinitely. To be honest the future isn't looking too bright for me but I have no one to blame except myself. Stay sober guys, you really don't want to end up like me.

My friend I wish you the best. I don't think anyone here would ever look down upon the struggles you are facing. It is a constant struggle and sometimes the struggle is more than we can bare. I wish you the best and hope you can find your way back soon. If you ever feel the need to get anything off your chest or just vent a PM is all you need. I'll always listen.

I get to decide what my life looks like, not the other way around.
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27-02-2017, 09:39 AM
RE: AA - Atheists and Alcoholism
(27-02-2017 09:34 AM)RearViewMirror Wrote:  
(27-02-2017 09:29 AM)adey67 Wrote:  I was sober for 10 years until 2013 when events in my life which are not appropriate to share on an open forum meant I picked up again. This time round instead of being a continual top up drinker like I was before I tend to binge, stopping is not the problem for me its staying stopped. Last six months or so since my fathers death have been particularly difficult, the binges have been longer and I've basically been lying to all my family and friends and also my doctor but the jig is soon to be up as my doctor has ordered blood tests following the removal of a small local skin malignancy which are most definitely going to be abnormal. I've been putting off going to have the blood tests done but that cannot continue indefinitely. To be honest the future isn't looking too bright for me but I have no one to blame except myself. Stay sober guys, you really don't want to end up like me.

My friend I wish you the best. I don't think anyone here would ever look down upon the struggles you are facing. It is a constant struggle and sometimes the struggle is more than we can bare. I wish you the best and hope you can find your way back soon. If you ever feel the need to get anything off your chest or just vent a PM is all you need. I'll always listen.

Thanks RVM, that's much appreciated.
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