I gotta ask about AA groups
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07-10-2012, 07:04 PM
RE: I gotta ask about AA groups
That's generally what I hear. There really are other ways to fix problems besides submission.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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07-10-2012, 07:52 PM
RE: I gotta ask about AA groups
You could always try a Secular Sobriety group if there is one in your area.

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08-10-2012, 06:55 AM
RE: I gotta ask about AA groups
You may have noticed that I believe in evidence-based reasoning and not woo.

I have been sober for over 22 years and AA is what worked. It is a spiritual program and does not require religious belief. Good thing as I'm an atheist.

As was pointed out, AA is not organized, or more accurately it is organized from the bottom up. Groups vary widely in their approach and effectiveness. A common statement from the podium at the end of a meeting is "If you didn't hear/get what you needed here, try another meeting/group".

I've left meetings because they were too religious or had too many vocal woo believers; that shit just wasn't helpful for me. I stuck with meetings and groups that had a majority of intelligent, open, and accepting people. I have formed strong friendships with others in recovery. I make no secret of my atheism.

There are cultish and cliquish groups but I just avoided them. I haven't been to an AA meeting in some years, but it works well for many. I would have tried one of the rational groups, but there weren't any around when I needed to get sober.

Interestingly, I met an atheist minister in one of the groups, very Erxy-like, except skinny.

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08-10-2012, 07:55 AM
RE: I gotta ask about AA groups
(08-10-2012 06:55 AM)Chas Wrote:  I've left meetings because they were too religious or had too many vocal woo believers; that shit just wasn't helpful for me. I stuck with meetings and groups that had a majority of intelligent, open, and accepting people. I have formed strong friendships with others in recovery. I make no secret of my atheism.

There are cultish and cliquish groups but I just avoided them.

You wouldn't like it over here, Chas. If it were a multiple choice, I would have to tick the 'all of the above'.

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08-10-2012, 11:57 AM
RE: I gotta ask about AA groups
I asked a friend about AA after he went... he said that their was absolutely no mention of a "higher power" at any of the groups he went to around here...

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08-10-2012, 11:59 AM
RE: I gotta ask about AA groups
(08-10-2012 07:55 AM)cheapthrillseaker Wrote:  
(08-10-2012 06:55 AM)Chas Wrote:  I've left meetings because they were too religious or had too many vocal woo believers; that shit just wasn't helpful for me. I stuck with meetings and groups that had a majority of intelligent, open, and accepting people. I have formed strong friendships with others in recovery. I make no secret of my atheism.

There are cultish and cliquish groups but I just avoided them.

You wouldn't like it over here, Chas. If it were a multiple choice, I would have to tick the 'all of the above'.

Sorry, Cheap, I don't understand your response.Consider

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08-10-2012, 12:20 PM
RE: I gotta ask about AA groups
Here's a great version of the 12 steps. They approach alcoholism with a healthier approach. Modern psychology shows us that surrendering responsibility can be detrimental to recovery. Regardless of what you decide your "higher power" is, you will, by AA standards, be expected to surrender to it. This takes responsibility out of your hands. A healthier and potentially more effective approach, especially for an atheist, is to accept responsibility, and then to accept help from others.

http://www.sossobriety.org/12steps.htm

AA has helped many people. But even the amount of people AA has helped is often very skewed. They talk about people being dry drunks and whatnot, and the implication is that someone who is not drinking, but also not taking the 12 steps is not actually sober, but instead, just not drinking at the moment. This can diminish the feeling of accomplishment the alcoholic feels when they abstain, and often makes them feel as though there is no accomplishment at all.

The fact is, AA is the answer for some, whether they are religous or not. But it is not the only answer, as many groups would have you believe (I dare say, most groups would have you believe that). In the end, if you find something that works for you, do it. Seriously. Do it. Just keep in mind, if something doesn't work for you, there ARE alternatives.

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08-10-2012, 12:25 PM
RE: I gotta ask about AA groups
(08-10-2012 11:59 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(08-10-2012 07:55 AM)cheapthrillseaker Wrote:  You wouldn't like it over here, Chas. If it were a multiple choice, I would have to tick the 'all of the above'.

Sorry, Cheap, I don't understand your response.Consider

Oh, sorry! I see where I screwed up. -_-!

The meetings held in my city are heavily influenced by Christianity. There are so many vocal woo believers, to the point of cross-talk. Literally. My first and last sharing at a meeting was because a woman started to pray aloud and cross herself when I said I had no religion. Prayers happen at the beginning middle and end. The droning - somehow needed to give the message better. The klaxons where screaming in my head by that point.

The cliques are there, too, with no age bias.

Maybe it's not always like that. Maybe there are some places in the world where it's not as bad. But this city certainly gave me the impression it's religious, and not a spiritual program.

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08-10-2012, 12:34 PM
RE: I gotta ask about AA groups
(08-10-2012 12:25 PM)cheapthrillseaker Wrote:  
(08-10-2012 11:59 AM)Chas Wrote:  Sorry, Cheap, I don't understand your response.Consider

Oh, sorry! I see where I screwed up. -_-!

The meetings held in my city are heavily influenced by Christianity. There are so many vocal woo believers, to the point of cross-talk. Literally. My first and last sharing at a meeting was because a woman started to pray aloud and cross herself when I said I had no religion. Prayers happen at the beginning middle and end. The droning - somehow needed to give the message better. The klaxons where screaming in my head by that point.

The cliques are there, too, with no age bias.

Maybe it's not always like that. Maybe there are some places in the world where it's not as bad. But this city certainly gave me the impression it's religious, and not a spiritual program.

Thanks for the clarification.

Where are you, someplace like London or Brantford, Ontario? Or maybe La Belle Province?

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08-10-2012, 12:43 PM
RE: I gotta ask about AA groups
(08-10-2012 12:20 PM)Stark Raving Wrote:  Here's a great version of the 12 steps. They approach alcoholism with a healthier approach. Modern psychology shows us that surrendering responsibility can be detrimental to recovery. Regardless of what you decide your "higher power" is, you will, by AA standards, be expected to surrender to it. This takes responsibility out of your hands. A healthier and potentially more effective approach, especially for an atheist, is to accept responsibility, and then to accept help from others.

http://www.sossobriety.org/12steps.htm

AA has helped many people. But even the amount of people AA has helped is often very skewed. They talk about people being dry drunks and whatnot, and the implication is that someone who is not drinking, but also not taking the 12 steps is not actually sober, but instead, just not drinking at the moment. This can diminish the feeling of accomplishment the alcoholic feels when they abstain, and often makes them feel as though there is no accomplishment at all.

The fact is, AA is the answer for some, whether they are religous or not. But it is not the only answer, as many groups would have you believe (I dare say, most groups would have you believe that). In the end, if you find something that works for you, do it. Seriously. Do it. Just keep in mind, if something doesn't work for you, there ARE alternatives.

Those sound a lot like the way I used the 12 Steps. Yes

There was a fair amount of internal friction and cognitive dissonance for me when I was getting sober in AA, but I had the help and support of rational people.

For anyone reading this thread that thinks that alcohol or drugs are a problem for them, you're probably right. AA is not the only place for help, and possibly not a good place if you're an atheist. There are alternatives.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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