Friday, December 7, 2007

Sober Without God... Or AA

This post has been migrated to my essay blog. The new direct link is here

9 comments:

Patrick Alford said...

Your conviction and integrity are two of the things I admire most about you (that and your firm belief of the benefit of naps).

I obviously didn't know you in your AA days. I do know you now. And what I know about you is you are one of the most grounded, driven, intelligent and funny people I know. And for that I am bloated with gratitude.

It sucks that some actions require the burning of bridges be the catalyst for true change.

But remember, when one door closes... a liquor store opens.

Amen.

Dan Knutson said...

Hi, Jason -

Just reaching out to say Hi. I'm happy that you're sober with or without AA - whatever works for you is fine with me. Keep it up :-)

Dan

Sober Dissident said...

I am in the same boat as you. I tried to get sober with AA for years. I believed a lot of what was said in the meetings about inevetible relapes, that I was fundamentally different than non-alcoholics, that my 'disease' was a spiritual matter, etc...
Things became a lot clearer when I left all that stuff behind and got treatment for a depressive condition that runs in my family. Managing the depression without alcohol has left me very confident being sober. We are all powerful over these things. Getting sober and staying sober is all about accepting responsibility for ourselves and making the choice to live sober. Keep it up, there's a lot of us out here who are soaber and very happy without god.

fabulous non-librarian said...

Hi. I found you by googling "sobriety without AA." I'm sober seven days. Thanks for posting this.

macshizz said...

I Googled "getting sober without god," and here I am.

Trouble is that I've been sober for over two and a half years, and I've just recently (as you said) begun to think for myself again. And I've found the program of Alcoholics Anonymous wanting, because when I objectively assess our universe, I do not see a place for God. I do not seem Him as being the reason for my sobriety. I see a mental development and maturity issue that has now worked itself out. Do I still have a problem? Of course. Do I believe in God? No.

This has been an incredibly painful struggle for me, since I have so many friends in AA and have talked so fervently about the need for God in the lives of Alcoholics. I do not know what to do, really. I have a blerg, you can get in touch with me if you have any advice.

I wish you the best.

Anonymous said...

you were never an alcoholic to begin with....just partying with buddies does not make you one!!!

Anonymous said...

I, too, have struggled greatly with the concept of a "higher power" or "God" per se. It's not in me as a n atheist to surrender my life and my "will". The only reason why i say i have a god in my life is so I don't get ostracized within the group. Being around the rooms for a good bit I firmly believe the 12-step groups are religious cults.

Jason Herrboldt said...

@ Anonymous (3/21/11): Cults occupy a wide spectrum. AA is a weak cult when you compare it to Scientology or Heaven's Gate. They share some similarities, but not all. The most important thing is that I be honest with myself and with the people I care about. Those people can come from a book club, a cooking club, or a fight club. They don't have to belong to a sober club. These days it's quite easy to find other like-minded people nearby.

@ Anonymous (5/23/09): In my early 20s I was diagnosed by a licensed health professional as displaying symptoms of acute drug abuse. I used drugs (nearly) daily for nine years. I certainly fit the profile, and I partied harder than anyone else I knew. I'm not saying I was an addict for sure, but let's just say I was well on my way. I would horde, hide, steal, and lie nine ways until Sunday just to get high. The average "partier" doesn't typically display this kind of behavior. Also, it runs in my family, and there is some evidence to suggest that alcoholism and addiction may be hereditary. So it is quite important that someone in my shoes can maintain sobriety well outside the reach of any 12 step program. (It's been well over five years since I set foot in an AA meeting.) An active member of AA would doubtless describe me as a "dry drunk," which is a convenient way to shrug off any proofs by counterexample that their world view is pure fantasy.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely loved, loved this article, can't stress that enough. I too was going to AA and the more I learned about science I soon came to realize I didn't believe in god, a part of me had my doubts all along, but was too scared to say anything. I did the third step prayer cause I was told that would give me some sort of spiritual awakening, and I had to fake that I felt something when I felt nothing. I always use to hear people in AA say god has a plan for your life, it might not be what you want it to be, but he has a plan. Sometimes I felt like screaming bullsh!t, this is my life and I can make it what I want. Since I stopped going to AA and finally took control of my life and stopped pretending I believed in god things have gotten so much better. I left my piece of crap job, and will be starting nursing school soon. Though things aren't perfect, it's a lot better than waiting on something you don't believe in to guide you in a direction you don't want to go. Again thank you so much for this article, it said everything i've always thought.