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How religious is Alcoholics Anonymous?

(7 Posts)
couchplato Wed 21-Oct-15 22:42:40

I'd like help with my alcohol problem.
AA seems the most common place for support but they seem to make use of an element of spirituality or belief in a higher being that I don't have.
Does anybody know if my atheism would be a hindrance to getting help from AA?

restie Wed 21-Oct-15 22:48:22

Higher power can be anything, the strength of the group itself, your dog or I read that someone used their ceiling?! I would give it a bash and see how you isn't as religious as it is deemed to be.

tsonlyme Wed 21-Oct-15 22:48:50

Most AA members will say that it's not a hinderance to be atheist and that's true in that your higher power can be anything of your choosing, including the power of the group as a support tool if you choose. A complete lack of spirituality or resistance to anything of that ilk might be more problematic as there is a fair bit of soul searching which by its very nature is spiritual.

I'm ex AA btw, I learned an awful lot and it helped enormously even though I no longer attend (for complicated reasons) and one of the most important things I learned was a sense of spirituality and finding a balance in my life so although it's no longer for me I would always encourage people to have a go if they need help. If you find its not for you you don't have to go back.

couchplato Wed 21-Oct-15 23:13:31

Thank you both very much for your helpful responses.

tsonlyme Thu 22-Oct-15 07:47:56

I could write reams on AA given half a chance but as my view is entirely subjective I don't know how useful or helpful that would be to someone just starting out on their journey.

I will say that you should treat it as you would any meeting of strangers and follow the usual common sense rules of safety, ab it like online dating I suppose. I knew more than one woman who invited newly met men back home in the mistaken believe that these men just wanted to help, not wise!

If you decide it isn't for you because of the spiritual element there are other less well known organisations, for example Smart Recovery which is an entirely non religious, scientifically based programme. There are fewer meetings around but check out their list to see if there's a meeting near you.

Good luck smile

FusionChefGeoff Sat 31-Oct-15 22:53:27

I was in a very similar position to you - so I gave it a shot, steered away from the more traditional views of a higher power and am now approaching 2 years sober.

I have a much more open and spiritual life but it is not more religious in any way.

Good luck

Malamutes Tue 10-Nov-15 22:29:33

Just back from first ever AA meeting. I'm not religious. Found it so supportive, friendly and listening to people's recoveries and set backs make me even more determined to be sober. Give it a go, nothing to lose a lot to gain.

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