Hate AA but keep losing sight of the goal

Hi all,

First up to be clear, I’m an not saying anything bad about AA. Having sat in many meetings now, I can see the benefits for many.

Not for me though. I cannot accept that alcoloism is a disease. I believe it is an addiction. I believe it’s mostly a psychological addiction though.

I refuse to believe I need to go to meetings for the rest of my life to ensure I don’t drink again.

I quit smoking earlier this year. 3 months now and don’t even consider for a second I will smoke again. I stopped smoking many times in the past. They say nicotine only stays in the body for about 3 weeks. I had been nicotine free for more than 3 weeks many times and yet picked up that cigarette.

What is different this time? I didn’t have the brainwashing as Alan Carr calls it. I was ready to go through the 3 weeks of chemical addiction without the brainwashing caused by slow addiction convincing my mind that I liked something so bad for me. I trained me mind to believe that nothing positive comes from smoking. Takes time but eventually I got there.

I see alcohol the same way. After many years of using it to calm my mind and de-stress, the pychological addiction is hard to get over. But it’s not a disease as claimed in AA. This can be fixed without a life time of going to meetings.

Feeling pretty low today. I started strong after discovering this app. 67 days without a drink. I was happy. Felt good. A few low periods but generally more positive about life without the booze. But after that first reset it went down hill. Now a reset is not as big a deal.

for those on this forum that agree that overcoming the psychological addiction is key, please help me get back on track. I need to get this sorted. I’m not going to spend a lifetime going to meetings. I agree that once a drinker always a drinker. I don’t want to be a normal drinker. I just need some encouragement to stop.

Thanks for reading.


Hey buddy, you can do it! You aren’t alone.
I’ve been looking into SMART, they have physical and online meetings that focus on the behavior and not the substance. I might register for an online meeting, see how it goes.


Thanks. I’ll have to look into SMART.

I don’t believe in a higher power to resolve an issue. I believe we are responsible for our actions. But our psychological drawbacks can be our worst enemies.

For example, there are a few members on this forum that have an issue with cutting themselves. Could we call this a disease? Of course not. It’s a relief mechanism just like alcohol. Just a different form of relief.

Our minds are super powerful. Once they are used to a certain way of thinking it’s hard to change. But not impossible. Our brains can be retrained the same way a person that suffered a stroke learns to walk and talk again.


Oi mate, think your on the right track. In my opinion, the 12 steps of AA are just that : analysing your addicted mind and freeing it from the need of that addiction.
The “forever” part should be in that same context. We will always have some insecurities, fears or resentments that van trigger us.
Therefor we should remain critical to ourselves the rest of our lives.


Yep! Neural pathways can be entrenched but can also certainly be circumvented.

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I have been to a few different AA meetings arou d Sydney. Every single one of them has been mostly people that have been there for 20+ years preaching that I need to keep coming for 20+ years. Freaks me out. I look at them and think to myself they are still addicted, maybe not to alcohol anymore, but to talking about their addictions.

I cannot imagine myself living this life. I can imagine a life alcohol free. Just not a life talking about it.


Legend. I’m interested. This group seems to focus more on the psychology of the addiction. I’ll give it a go. There is one in my suburb.


Hi you might be in “the wall” I recognize this fase as I am feeling somewhat similar after 63 days of my substance.

I will share a video link later can’t find it now.

What happens is a sudden withdrawal of dopamine due to the body resetting the systems.

Yeah I heard about that. I failed climbing that wall unfortunately which meant my first reset. Problem is every reset after that was not as big a deal.

I’m reading about SMART and will give that a go. Pisses me off that I know it’s a psychological addiction and yet I keep failing. CBT is promising.

Don’t give in my man. That first attempt gets more and more powerful the longer you go. From what I hear get to 90 and it will pass.

Your prob right. With the psych thing.
Please go easy on yourself since the physical recovery of the mind takes longer.

Mine is completely different. There’s step 1 and 12. Admit your problem and keep working on it in a group. The rest is voluntarily.

Personally I do understand the belief of going on forever though, for complete healing is only achieved by helping others get healed as well. Karma, give back what you have been given. I like that view.

I do not agree to the appraoch though, like everything is carved in stone and 100% the same to everyone.
Use what fits your beliefs, just keep in mind alcohol may always remain a risk. Even after many years something may trigger us.
I believe that’s the main point of “forever alcoholic” and having to work on it forever - to remember ourselves we are never finished, never in a position where alcohol is not a risk anymore.


In other words, I’m not calling myself an alcoholic for the rest of my life.
But I will never say I’m not either :wink:

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I’m with you. I’m 4 and half months sober only attended AA 5 times. I don’t do anything specific for drinking/drug use other than this app. I don’t think about using at all really, if I get the odd urge it is just a minor fleeting thought, and no problem to deal with. I think the main thing is relaxing/freeing your mind over this whole process. I notice it seems to consume many people, it’s all they think about. I was like this too for the first month. That just heaps so much pressure on ourselves.

We’re gonna have ups and downs, at the beginning if I was feeling down I’d be telling myself ‘oh shit, I’m feeling down that means I might drink’ those sorts of thought patterns just stressed me out, in reality there was NO DANGER of me drinking. I know that now, so if I’m feeling down now it is what it is, I’ll consider why I’m feeling down but the thought of using drink or drugs doesn’t come into my head. I completely understand drink/drug use it not medication and will only make me feel worse.

So yeah, I’m completely with you on the AA, it works for many and that is great, but it’s not essential and don’t stress yourself out feeling you need to go if it doesnt resonate with you.


I totally agree @mallen , I have a brother in AA 27 years ,happy for him, n proud of his recovery. But everything is about AA . I’ve been to a couple meetings over the years n had the same feeling. Talking to people, some coming few times a week for 30 years. Reliving the past n the guilt. I stopped for 5 years on my own, found self love n inner strength n belief in myself , refusing to let the past define me or live with regrets n made it through the worst loss n pain in my life. I have since fell off track. Now I’m back 6 days n thankful for finding the strength n this group, give n receive support judgment free. Not putting down AA, I’ve seen it work for many. Including as I’ve posted, my brother who’s been going 27 years n living alcohol free n never relapsed.
Just not for me.


Why does it matter if it’s called a psychological addiction or a disease? I think sometimes we can get a bit too hung up on the way things are described. Like I never considered myself to be an alcoholic but it really doesn’t matter, because a lot of the things that help people who do call themselves alcoholics also help me.

If you believe that once a drinker, always a drinker, what is it that you oppose to the idea of keeping on going to meetings? I think one of the main things AA has going for it (as someone who hasn’t ever been to a meeting) is building a network of sober people to socialise with. But I’m sure different meetings have different vibes, that’s the nature of things organised by groups of volunteers.

It sounds like what you are looking for is a quick fix… I think whatever you do now to help you overcome your psychological addiction is something that you will have to keep on working on, for a long time if not the rest of your life. That’s what I’m expecting to have to do anyway.

There may be some medical approaches that are different, more of a short term intervention. I saw a recent thread about the Sinclair method but I haven’t looked into it so not really sure what thats all about.


Well done on 67 days a lot to say about AA ,thats your opinion i accept that maybe smart meetings might help . as for meetings in Sydney i was at a few a couple years ago when i was on holiday and i never experienced guys talking AA they asked me were i was from and had a good non AA talk but i wish you well and keep us posted on your journey

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In my opinion, if one is trying to argue the point on what it is. Then acceptance has not been achieved.
Why fight about what it is?
Spend the energy on getting oneself sober. However we do it!
Nice to see you back @siand. I’ve missed your posts.:grinning: