The drug, not the addict

One reason I was apprehensive of AA is dealing with all the higher power and powerlessness talk. Those of us with alcohol problems aren’t special in any way. We might have used it to cope with some problem or another, I know for me it seemed like the magic cure to social anxiety and having a great time.

Alcohol is a dangerous, powerful psychoactive drug that society has normalized. It should be up there with heroin and crack. We socialize with something that kills people and destroys family. With a controlled poisoning.

Over time, never right away, your brain is changed by the drug as it’s associated with a neurochemical rush. That is the craving. Being warped by this drug doesn’t make you a powerless sap. The key is recognizing deep down that drinking is disgusting. Truly, sincerely believing it. How can you be tempted by drinking gasoline that turns people into idiots?

I’ve done a lot of self brainwashing lately and it’s helped. I play The Naked Mind and fall asleep to it. There can’t be an urge if no part of you accepts alcohol as normal and okay.


What AA actually talks about is that addicts and alchoholics have an allergy to narcotics that triggers the phenomena of craving/mental obsession that is so powerful that we lose the power of choice when we pick up(powerlessness) and that we lose touch with reality when this happens because although we admit we are causing harm to ourselves we can’t tell the difference between what’s real and what’s isn’t(such as oh I’ve only had a few beers I’ll be ok to drive or whatever/insane behavior) and the higher power aspect of it-well many things can be considered a higher power technically but if your talking about directly the concept of God and struggling with that aspect of it you should know that there are athiest in AA…


12 step programs have saved a lot of lives


We aren’t powerless until after we start drinking and drugging…then we lose the ability to say no—that’s what AA talks about friend…

The Doctors opinion in the big book is definitely worth a read. Once I did read it, everything suddenly made sense and I have been able to see the illness for what it is now and I am grateful to have discovered it as my life has completely transformed and I am back in control with the help of my higher power, don’t ask me what my higher power is as I don’t understand and I don’t really want to.


I don’t doubt it’s helped many people but it’s good to know there are alternatives. AA is great for community but the tenants aren’t for me, god or not. We aren’t powerless. Asking for help isn’t powerless. Using your resources and taking a brutal, honest look takes work but begging the abyss to fix me wouldn’t work.

SMART is a bit closer as it forces you to examine how you think. It makes you examine cravings but never really addresses why you have craving in the first place. Anyone who drinks enough will develop a psychological or physical craving. It’s the nature of the substance.


I am reading this book right now, russell brand’s Recovery where he speaks highly of 12 steps. It took me by suprise because Russell is not a guy for endorsing organised systems… Anyhow, he explains 12 steps and it makes sense to me! Im still early in my book and really enjoying it :slight_smile:


For me, admitting i was powerless over my addictions is what helped. I stepped out of denial and was ready to face what I had been numbing. If you feel so strongly that it isn’t something you need. Just make sure you’re working a program that works for you and not doing it alone. AA is about a community founded on principles that helps to guide the addict towards healing and recovery. I’m in a Christian based recovery program and I love it more than AA. You have to find what works for you and work it.

Once again I think there is a misunderstanding in the language my friend- in AA we do examine our thought process that’s what steps 4-7 and 10-11 are all about-if you don’t have experience with actually working all 12 steps then you probably don’t really understand the process…You don’t have to prefer AA s way of doing things but a suggestion is to actually have a full understanding of something before speaking on it…that would save you some trouble and keep misinformation from spreading

In AA our theory is that the craving doesn’t come until after we take the first drink…we crave more and more…there’s a saying that goes -you don’t need a drink until you’ve had one…up until then you just wanted it…
As addicts and alchoholics we drank for many reasons so when we get sober and we actually have to feel some shit that’s uncomfortable so what’s the first thing we want to do-not feel it or go back to our pacifier…,the problem with most people who don’t get it is they refuse to let those feelings pass and do some real work around the core issues…in steps 4&5 we identify that root cause -FEar of rejection and fear of failure are the most common among addicts…so we use our “defects of character” to manipulate the world around us which ends up only causing harm and trouble 6&7 steps -in 8&9 we go around and right the wrongs we have caused to not be at odds with the world anymore and in 10&11 we have another inventory were we keep an eye on what’s going on with us daily and how we should act vs what we normally would

You won’t see me say a negative word about AA or any of the 12 step programs. It’s saved my life. But I think as you try to explain it you loose some of those who don’t attend. Let me be honest there are cravings! And there’s the compulsion! And truly after the first drink is where you are powerless to addiction. So in my daily walk I accept I am powerless to alcohol before my first one. I agree I will stand up for the program that saved me but to tell everyone that it’s exactly like this or that serves little purpose. As folks who practice the principles we need to be stewards for the program. Just my two cents. And yes I get annoyed when someone spreads false information on AA but I might include myself and you in on this.

I think this has always been a split in the Get Sober realm. The reality is that whatever works for you or someone else is what you do.
“AA has a cult like component”. Ok, but being a drunk will kill you slowly.
“I don’t believe in a Higher Power.” Yeah, but if you are an addict, there’s a power running you now.
“AA isn’t for me.” Cool, but find something.
I didn’t do AA. Mine was Divine Intervention. No Moment of Clarity, No lightning bolt, no arrest, no fight, I just looked at the bottle in my hand and said, “I don’t think I need this anymore.”
What I didn’t realize was that God was stopping me because 14 months later my son would suffer an intracranial aneurysm and go into Children’s Hospital of Atlanta for eight months. I wouldn’t have survived those 8 months or losing him had I been drinking. I really wouldn’t have survived the ensuing two years and two months had I not been able to reassure myself that those last 14 months he’d seen me sober.
It’s different for everyone. The important thing is that we get and stay straight. The “holes” in AA or someone else’s path are not anything I even touch, bc it’s theirs, not mine, and their Sobriety far outweighs any thought I have in the subject.

1 Like

I understand that…

1 Like

Thanks for the feedback everyone, it helps me understand the thought process. For me, my first thought about hearing that I’m powerless is “who cares then, guess this is my fate.”

Friendly to atheists or not, I can’t conceive of any higher power that will cleanse the addiction I developed. I have no doorstep to put it on. I had to differentiate the thoughts stemming from the drink and how it fried my brain from what thoughts are Central to my character and in my best interest.

Awareness and a brutal look at your life are the keys… Where does the HP come in?

Well first I will not try and convince you of anything. But that being said do you think you control everything that happens to you in a day? Or when you decide things are going to go a certain way and they turn upside down do you think it’s something you had control of? See I believe that something is bigger than me. I’m not so important when I leave this world you guys will continue on. So the thought brings me to the concept that I play a very minute part in this world so something has to be more important than me. So I choose to seek guidance from that. It brings me comfort to know if I ask for forgiveness and help and humbly accept it as it may come then in turn I can find peace. And after all that is all I want in life is peace in my soul. So when I pray I accept it on his time not mine! I humbly have asked for assistance in guiding me through all of life’s challenges. This is where the HP comes in. Knowing I’m not the center of the universe or my own universe. So if you can see that you are not the most powerful thing in your daily function then what is? And there’s a difference between spirituality and religion. So grasp what you can and find peace. For the record I’m certain my higher power is God but I’m not here to push my beliefs on anyone. It’s your choice. Just because a word gets said somewhere doesn’t mean you are going to catch religion like a cold. It’s a way of life for me. Do I fail…YES but the emphasis is on trying to live a righteous life. There that is my attempt at helping a person accept the higher power of the 12 steps. Is that the only program not at all. Does CBT work maybe truth is I don’t know because what I’m doing is working for me. So if you are determined to try SMART and it works for you I’ll be here cheering you on. If you struggle constantly I might mention it’s time to reach out of your comfort zone and try a different approach. The goal for our board is recovery, it’s that simple. Find the resources you need to in order to be healthy. Best wishes. I know we have debated this before it ends badly. But I won’t attack your beliefs so I just ask the same in return.

1 Like

What is SMART?

Use the search function on the forum. It’s a recovery program that teaches cognitive behavioral therapy

1 Like