A good article on the BBC today about what happens in an AA meeting – well worth reading. By Bright Eye|104 Comments Share This Story, Choose Your Platform! FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle+Email About the Author: Bright Eye 104 Comments Comments navigation Older comments Patrick 21 March, 2015 at 12:10 am - Reply AA has been around since the late 1930’s. Do you think it would still be around if it didn’t work. It ONLY works if you WANT to get sober. You do not have to believe any religion. You can believe in anything you want. If you had read the “chapter to the agnostics” you would know that. The main reason the recovery rates are now low is that AA meetings are full of people court ordered to be there because of drunk driving laws. Many do not want to be there and may not even be alcoholics. People have also watered it down, and don’t work the steps. AA was created by, and for, people that would die if they didn’t stop drinking. People that would “go to any length” to get sober. AA has saved the lives of millions. It may not be for you, but you shouldn’t criticize it because you don’t understand it. I personally know an atheist that has been sober 20 years because of AA. I’ve got 4 years sober, and I love it. AA has saved my life, and my son has his dad back. Dan C 5 September, 2013 at 4:35 am - Reply You don’t have to believe anything. In all my years of big city AA not once have I heard someone tell someone they have to believe. All I can say is I believe now because of the change in my life. Dan C 5 September, 2013 at 4:31 am - Reply 12 Steps saved my life and countless others. ” AA is not allied with any sect, denomination, etc” Liz 4 February, 2013 at 9:13 am - Reply Hi – I tend to agree with you. I attended one AA meeting and found it very uncomfortable as I don’t do religion. The 12 steps just make me shudder, hence I’m trying forums etc where I can say what I want without fear of rejection. Finally after 5 years (since the death of my father) decided I can’t kick my binge drinking on my own so looking for the support of others (alternative to AA). malcolm 15 May, 2013 at 7:12 am - Reply AA is categorically a christian concept ,it has a very low success rate. Having attended AA meetings for an alcohol problem I found it a ridiculous concept. Having had an evangelical christian background the similarities were 99% the same as sitting through an evangelical meeting. You sit around and hear everyone talking about alcohol, their ‘sin’ in drinking again and their helplessness. Not a positive model! CBT and hypnotherapy help because they look at the reasons behind the drinking and offer a positive solution. well it worked for me nearly 4 year without a drink…I know never say never, BUT I am not in a negative spiral of saying I will always be an alcoholic!!! Kevin 29 January, 2013 at 5:36 pm - Reply In my opinion AA is a ruse for Churches looking to add new members. In the town where I live there is only one meeting not held in a church, and even one of the two buildings that are not churches are owned by a church. I find a striking correlation between the twelve steps and the Christian recipe for what they call salvation. The “Big Book” is held in the same esteem for AA members as is the Bible. They will read passages, comment on what that means to them, and actually hold the writings up as though they were delivered from a “Greater Power”. Consider the twelve steps 1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable. Christian version – You are a sinner 2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. Christian version – You must believe in God 3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him. Christian version – Jesus can save you if you believe in him 4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. Christian version – confess your sins 5. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings. Christian version – Be Born again 6. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all. Christian version – Be forgiven for your sins 7. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. Christian version – More of be forgiven for your sins 8. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it. Christian version – Become a new person 9. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out. Christian version – Your prayers will be answered 10. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs. Christian version – Go forth and share the good word I was an AA member for 6 months – during one session when I refused to accept the “higher power” concept, I was told outright that believing in a higher power is the foundation for AA and if I could not accept that AA might not be what I needed. I never went back. Mark 22 February, 2013 at 12:38 am - Reply This reinterpretation of the 12 steps I find very reassuring. I’ve attended four AA meetings now and couldn’t understand the 12 Steps until I read this. I’m not religious so I just substitute the Universe wherever I see God Highrr Power. No one hassled me yet to go to mass. What I like is there are people just like me with my troubles giving me some vocabulary and frameworks to gain a perspective on my boozing. I shared in a meeting i thought they were drunks and full of shite. i wish someone asked me to leave. No one did. I repeated the same rant at several other meetings in other places. Nothing happened. jarred 27 January, 2013 at 11:08 pm - Reply I’m jarred and I’m 22 I stay witout drink 4 the whole week bt as the weekend comes I change and party. Drink just go wild I try and stop. But get bored and well go with my friends. I wana stop drinking cause its really mess`ing with ma future and make`n me do things I’m not proud of the next day TiaMaria 28 January, 2013 at 12:02 pm - Reply Jared, it is hard to not pick that drink up when you are bored. If you get together with your friends you already know where its going. Sounds like you already know what you have to do. You already are able to not drink during the week so at least you are not physically dependant yet-but its the mental dependancy that has you stuck. You already know what you have to do. Drinking too much alcohol alters your brain chemistry by depleting it of neurotransmitters-which can worsen depression. There’s lot of info on the internet-look it up for more information on that. Think about how good you feel in the morning after a few days with no drink. Maybe next weekend you’ll be “sick” and unable to go out with your friends. Make sure you have something to do, like a movie, reading, anything that will keep you good and busy. See how you feel that next day-you will feel terrific. You will know you are taking care of yourself. No one else can do that – only you. TiaMaria 26 January, 2013 at 2:37 pm - Reply Louise, it sounds like your Mom and Dad are trying to help you-by not enabling you any longer. My Mom and Dad are both gone now-Mom for 8 years and Dad for 4 years and they spent the last 15 years of their lives completely consumed with their youngest daughter’s alcoholism. There was nothing they could do-but they couldn’t cut her off for reasons we really never understood. I am sure part of the reason was they always thought they would do or say something that would get through to her. Nothing ever did and she kept doing her own thing. My two older sisters and I always knew that our youngest sister was heading down a disastrous path. We always knew one day or night we’d get a call. The call came last May 26 when we heard she had been taken to the hospital the night before. Long sad story short-we kept getting conflicting stories, we didnt’ know where she was taken, we didn’t know if she was alive or not. Eventually, I found the hospital where she was taken and I was directed to the Intensive Care Unit. I didn’t see her name on the whiteboard and knew what they were going to tell me. She left behind a 17 year old daughter and 3 sisters who miss her so much-and loved her-something she really couldn’t experience in this life. She took herself away from life by drinking her life away. There was nothing anyone could do to make her stop-she had to want it for herself. Life is precious. We get one shot on earth. Please find that part of you that wants/needs to stop and hold onto it and nurture it with dear life. Do what makes you happy-find out what makes you happy and hold onto it. Reach out to those who will help you, in person and on-line. Wishing you strength and peace. LouiseC 26 January, 2013 at 9:50 am - Reply I am an alcoholic have been for the last 20 years. Had enough of drinking but cant seem to stop. have had a lot of trauma in my life and just dont know where to turn anymore. My parents have told me that if they smell booze on me or if I keep drinking they will abandon me. I just dont know what to do anymore, no matter how much I try and stop drinking I just cant stop. Sometimes I try but only lasts 5 days, I do feel better for giving up in that time but then i get withdrawal symptoms and just have to reach for the bottle. Are my parents doing the right thing by saying they will abandon me? Someone please help, I just dont know what to do anymore 🙁 SuziQ 21 January, 2013 at 6:09 pm - Reply So far my experience of AA is that it’s a cop out and a sect that cannot reach out to those in real need. La la cuckoo land. SuziQ 21 January, 2013 at 6:03 pm - Reply Hi Kevin. Isn’t it funny they have all gone quiet when given an opportunity to truly help someone in distress? You obviously need some help and not one of the people posting on this site has offered encouragement. So, this begs the question about AA – is it a cultish thing if you can be part of the group? Or does anyone really give a shit about anyone except themselves? AA is about being selfless no? So, where are the comments to help this man in his hour of need? For this reason, I am not going to attend AA and the twelve steps. It is obviously a CULT. And, one that is contradicting itself. kevin 10 December, 2012 at 12:42 pm - Reply its costing me everything… i dont wanna say oh i need to go to a meeting. i need more help than aa.. can give. couseling to find my woes? what is actual therapy about.. what does it cost? well i guess that doesnt really matter cause im spending my money on something thats killing me. pretty sure i wanna live. i will never get back what i lost.. a nice family, job ect. i get so bad drunk i fall down n go boom.. have been to the hospital half a dozen times.. but its the shakes, intense painful vomitting, im bleed internaly and the days it takes to get back from it. body shuts down. cant get the batrooom so just pee myself. if you only new. im still havin problems walking from the last binge. if i close my eyes in the shower down i go. then everyone thinks im drinking again. its a balance problem now. just wanna here some feedback. maybe a story or two. whats workin for you folks??? TiaMaria 27 January, 2013 at 11:07 pm - Reply Dear Kevin, Please see the response I wrote to Louise. You need to reach out and find help wherever you can find it and do it now. If you don’t want to attend AA find another group. Reach out to one on one counseling-most centers will charge on a sliding scale if your insurance won’t cover it or if you have no insurance. Dig down and find that part of you that wants to get better. Surround yourself with people, places, and things that will support your new lifestyle. Don’t put yourself in positions where you will drink. Life can be good. Wishing you peace and contentment. Teazy 2 October, 2012 at 10:08 am - Reply Hi Mary, thanks for sharing that, i think i do get scared of the whole aa thing, plus my husband thinks its ridiculous that i even went there. In fact he told me off, saying i was going to draw trouble on us etc, anyway its different for us all, but i do find theres good and bad info on the net and im still too worried of what i will lose if i DO go… Mary O 30 September, 2012 at 8:39 pm - Reply Hi I didn’t reach rock bottom – still had a house and a job – but I did wake up one day and realise that it had to stop. I went to AA – I don’t find it cultish at all – it has it’s foibles – but personally I find it a supportive happy place to go. There are some people I avoid but that’s life. I think it saved mine. Nobody follows me home, knows where I live or taps my phone or empties my bank account. AA has given me more freedom than I ever had when I was drinking. What is there to be frightened of? AA works for a lot of people. Give it a try. Believe me if you want to stop going nobody is going to kidnap your kids or lock any doors! I listen to people who drink again and those I’ve heard are not singing and dancing with happiness. That’s why I keep going back. Teazy 19 September, 2012 at 12:10 pm - Reply Yes i also believe aa members become addicted to meetings, ive heard ppl share things like ‘i had to come at lunchtime, couldnt wait until tonight’ and then not share anything but how wonderful recovery is! i also believe aa works better the more alkie you have been, for us moderate seekers it seems like sheer lunacy! but i can see how it is applicable if you have been the rock bottom sort of drunk. Jack 7 September, 2012 at 5:41 pm - Reply All; If AA works for you, use it and stay sober and healthy. To me it’s just a new addiction, a better one for sure. I’ve been addicted all my life and want what is left of it to be free of all addictions. We all have to find our own way, if it works and you are happy, go with it. Comments navigation Older comments Leave A Comment Cancel replyComment Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.