View All Subjects

Thoughts on religion and AA

created by: Kelan 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Today is 76 days sober for me and 2 weeks ago I attended my first AA meeting. I had been hesitant to go cause I always associated AA with Christianity and my faith lies outside of the Christian god and Jesus.. I’m curious what people’s thoughts are on attending AA and studying the “big book” with different beliefs and religious practices. Anyone here have experience doing the 12 steps with different beliefs?

by: Kelan 3 months, 3 weeks ago
replying to Kelan

The Big Book is an instruction manual on how to recover . Recovery requires action . We can study as much as we want but there will be little results until we do the work required .
If you are fearless and thorough working the 12 steps guided by a sponsor who has had a spiritual awakening as a result of the steps, some amazing things are PROMISED .
Google the promises of AA then decide if you are willing to put your old ideas and beliefs aside and create your own experience of God . That's the beauty our its our own concept of a higher power and its something that can't be denied once we become

by: AussieDrunk 3 months, 3 weeks ago
replying to Kelan

Keep going to meetings and you will learn that there is a big difference between religion and spirituality. In AA, God is defined as a power greater than yourself that keeps you sober. finding and using those powers for me gives me quite a spiritual experience. I personally have many higher powers. awesome, it is just the group meeting, other times it is my my knowledgeable sponsors love, other times it is a meaningful purpose that gets me out of pity parties.

by: Surfer12 3 months, 3 weeks ago
replying to Kelan

Hi Kelan. I've had this app for almost two years now, solely as a motivational "sobertool" to count my days (and money saved!) but this is the first time I've felt a strong enough desire to participate in any forum. So thank you for that.

I am someone who has been in recovery, on and off, for twenty years now, and as I approach a 2nd 'birthday' for a third and hopefully final time, I thought I'd share a few of my own experiences in the hope it may help.

When I began there seemed to be only two options: go it alone or join AA. As a nonbeliever this was an onerous choice but like so many of us I held my nose and plodded along. Yes, I had some lovely sponsors, engaged in big book studies and "did the steps" but eventually the level of cognitive dissonance - being asked to be 'rigorously honest' while at the same time being required to believe and act in a way contrary to my core beliefs - became unbearable and I would leave. And, being that I have the disease of alcoholism, this eventually led back to full addiction.

The key for me so far has been truly accepting this: if I approach my recovery in the same manner in which I approached my addiction - doing the same thing and expecting different results - I will fail again and again. And so this time, after my first year and a half, I went to my traditional AA group and resigned. This, for me, was a 'spiritual awakening'. Instead of "Let Go, Let God" I simply "Let Go Of God".

I identified myself as a nonbeliever but I believe the same experiences of exclusion and pressure to conform apply to those of other faiths and spiritual beliefs as well. Orthodox AA does help a great number of people - and I met some wonderful people who truly saved my life - but ultimately it is a Christian temperance organisation, and is certainly not for everyone.

The wonderful news for me is that there is an embarrassment of riches in the recovery movement nowadays. I am very grateful to have discovered secular AA, which has grown exponentially over the past few years, especially with the availability of zoom meetings. There is SMART recovery amongst other non-12 step groups. A friend of mine attends Dharma Recovery, which is secular Buddhism. The approaches are varied and exciting!

Anyways, I hope this helped Kelan. I am happy for you that you're on this journey at a time when, unlike when I began, the options are wide open. The key is to find a community with whom you can honestly be yourself. That's the magic. Good luck!

by: JeffR 3 months, 2 weeks ago
replying to JeffR

Thanks Jeff. I’ve been fortunate enough to find a sponsor who has been sober for 26 years and is not a Christian so hoping that he can help me see through some of the foggy areas. I do enjoy the ideas of AA and the 12 steps, but having a hard time with very blatantly Christian base behind it. Even in the big book they describe the higher power to be however you feel it but it’s very hard to see past some of the Christian ideology. I’m not sure if the area I live in has any programs outside of the traditional AA but I will look into it and see if there are others out there in my community with more similar beliefs as myself

by: Kelan 3 months, 2 weeks ago

AA is not really about religion

by: let9222 3 months, 3 weeks ago

I will tell you the only way for you to stay sober and recover from all your hurts, habits and when you get to the root of why you usesd in the first place you are going to need Jesus.

by: let9222 3 months, 3 weeks ago
replying to let9222

This is exactly the kind of behavior that has kept me and many others away from AA. Don’t tell me I need Jesus. Yes I have spirituality, yes I want to be sober, yes I want to be apart of a sober community that understands me, but I’m not Christian and don’t need Jesus. I have my own faith and belief and I came here to see if there are others out there in this community that’s spirituality lies outside of the belief system of Christianity.

by: Kelan 3 months, 3 weeks ago

I am so sorry you feel that way.

by: let9222 3 months, 3 weeks ago

I hope that your eyes will open one day . You are in the dark .

by: let9222 3 months, 3 weeks ago