To A.A. or not to A.A

I don’t go to AA meetings because I think they are judgemental and sort of focus on the past. In my local area, there is ASPIRE. I enjoy group meetings at aspire, because we check in (say honestly how our week has been) we discuss topics of recovery (dealing with cravings etc etc) then we check out and say if we found the meeting helpful and positive. It’s nice to know that I’m not alone in my recovery.


Meetings arnt for everyone for me they saved my life i got a sponsor and he guided me onto the program today i sponsor wish you well Jenni1985 i went to my first meeting in 1986 great journey

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What a great question! I have been going for about three weeks now - three times a week. I had gone to an outpatient program first - that is when I really needed help. When I finally went to AA, I had about two months sobriety. But I haven’t met anyone to sponsor me yet. Am I supposed to ask them? It seems like such a big step, and have been going to meetings mostly to meet others that are quitting alcohol like me. I definitely feel I am missing a huge part of the program. One meeting everyone talked about how AA changed their life, and, having not worked the steps, I had no clue…

Your question is eye-opening for me.


Id say ask a few people who you connect with. You can say, Im ready for a sponsor or how do I get a sponsor? You can always switch or move on from a sponsor.

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I have never gone to meetings. I’m 226 days clean. I asked my private therapist once if it was possible to go to meetings and not do the steps and she gave me a response something like, “it would be like going to church and not believing in God.” I thought to myself, “well that’s okay. I know people who do that. They like the peace they find there.” I used to go to church with my friends when I was young because it was something different and everyone was nice. My therapist then told me she meant it in a negative way, that I wouldn’t find anything there that I was looking for. I don’t see her anymore, for reasons similar to this.

I’ve been lucky because where I live we have a place called CPCDS, (center for psychiatric and chemical dependency services) and I did my auxiliary outpatient detox there, followed by an AMAZING IOP, as well as the best psychiatrist and dual diagnosis therapist I could ever ask for! I’ve also worked the steps under different names and appearances over the last ten years for mental and behavioral health issues.

I can’t and won’t say I won’t ever go to meetings, they are definitely a tool I keep in my back pocket for severe days, but I’ve a couple of sober acquaintances who do meetings pretty regularly who tell me that they love the program, but agree that if something else is working, keep doing it! I do wish there was another way to meet people because I don’t really meet many through CPCDS. In the end that may be the thing that takes me to meetings.


thats a tuff one!! when i first realised my drinking was out of control and needed help i tried AA. i went to 4 open meetings a week. i didnt have a sponser and never done the 12 steps, however the things i learnt there have been invaluble to my soberity… and ive tried many times…for me just realising i wasnt alone was enough. i didnt say alot but i took in alot and was inspired by the people i met there…


Last night I asked this question to the ladies at the Women’s meeting I was at and shared my thoughts and feelings on it, same as what my post said. I got a lot of really great feedback and now am meeting with one if those women tonight to talk more about sponsorship and the steps. Shall see what happens! :grin: Good luck to you and your journey!

For many years she was an incredible therapist. She taught me more than almost everyone else I know combined. I started to question things when she started questioning how I was handling my recovery. I’ve done really well! No relapses, using my coping skills like I’ve never done before. But when I finished my IOP and went back to work everything changed. My second appointment after back to work she said that I had to start being honest with her about why I was drinking again. I wasn’t drinking. She said she smelled booze coming out of my pores. That wasn’t true either. My therapist and I at the CPCDS decided it must be the smell of three shots of espresso in my mocha. I went back to the private therapist one more time to see if there was anything I could do to change her mind. There wasn’t. Ever since I got clean I had this feeling that she was waiting for me to relapse. I felt like because I was doing things MY way instead of HER way she didn’t think I could succeed.

I’m not going to lie, this was a very traumatic event and after that appointment when she said she KNEW I had started drinking again I found myself passing the turn to go home. I was driving straight to the bar. As soon as I realized it I took the next turn towards home and went straight there. I honestly can’t believe I didn’t relapse that day. I was completely shocked and emotionally destroyed. I was supposed to go back and try to work things out with her but I decided that things were too toxic, and that I didn’t deserve to have to defend my success against someone who had already made up their mind.

Thankfully I had my therapist at CPCDS. She doesn’t do the same type of thing as the other one, but she’s great in her way.

I don’t know if she was a recovering addict. I know she specializes in addiction and recovery. Clearly I won’t be referring anyone to her. She obviously doesn’t have faith in people who seem to find their own unique way. Fuck her. I’m proof that people can find happiness in a sober life in many different ways!

Sorry. I think I needed to get that out. Thanks for listening, or reading. :kissing_closed_eyes:


Oh yeah, she was a Gestalt, EMDR, and addiction specialist. The Gestalt was cool as shit! EMDR was interesting too.

Please keep us posted!

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Thanks! I appreciate it. Since it happened I’ve put a lot more stock in myself and my sense of pride has swelled. I’m doing this for me first and foremost. Validation from others is great, but my own validation is the most important thing. Or something like that, haha.

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Very happy to know that your sober, did know how much it helps when you have support by other, it like your not alone🤩.
Hang in there.

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I’m new to this, because of some individual responding to my log, It Made Me Stronger for not drink this week and at this time it’s day 9 I’m happy :sweat_smile:.


Glad to hear youre sober. One day at a time my friend. Are you able to make smart meetings? For me, doing pretty good but feeling anxious today. Gonna keep going to meetings, classes, etc. That stuff helps me.

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Congratulations on choosing a sponsor. It was the best move I’ve made this time around. I was 6 months without a sponsor. Thought I was living a peaceful and happy life… I was, but now I’m even more peaceful and happier. I see things I didn’t see before thanks to the steps. Blessings to you and yours.


I know people with long-term sobriety who’ve never gone, some who went at first and now never go, some who went alot at first and only intermittently now, and others who go all of the time. Most of these people have had sponsors or mentors and most of them still do.

That’s no advice, of course.

I go because all of my other attempts were nothing and, over time, I was just heading the same damned direction, hell or high water. I am three and a half years in and, though sometimes the WHY of it working for me doesn’t seem all that rational, it’s the only variable that’s changed this tine around. So I’m going to keep going back.

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You ever wonder if its because you are doing God’s good work?

Maybe you being there… even if you really nothing more than that extra face in the crowd.
That extra face may just be the thing a new comer needs to see to feel comfortable or relate to.

I am still working to understand. And it very well could be that faith thing I will never fully understand.

But I do think it has something to do with God’s desire for us. To be of service to each other.

More specifically

  1. Love and accept him
  2. Carry his message of hope. More especially to those who still suffer.

I cant escape the thought that:

  1. Some how its part of a plan for me to be here right now, totally involved in this thing that delivered me from the gates of hell.

  2. That I just never would have appreciated these feelings of gratitude, joy and serenity… had I not been tormented by the horrors of alcoholism for so long.

The part that makes this difficult to fully comprehend is that I do not believe suffering is a part of God’s plan for anyone. So its difficult for me to tie all this together. But I do think I am on to something here…


Absolutely, Michael! Yes, you know, there were several solid ideas I carried with me everywhere except with my drinking. I became “good” at, as the Basic Text calls it, selective reasoning.

In the rest of life, I understood people to be the fingers and hands of my higher power. That, when asking for help, I would most often receive through others. And that, when other people had been asking for help, it sometimes came from me.

But I exempted my drinking problem from this idea, even though I begged and pleaded for help from my higher power. I just turned all people away if they were trying to get their “judgmental, puritanical” hands in my business.

In the program, I learned the beautiful irony of not being able to fight until I gave up.

I do have a sense of why the program helps me most of the time. It’s only in those moments where i might look around at my motley crew and think, “How the fuck does this help me so well?:joy:

But I have no trouble now receiving help that sometimes defies my understanding. I don’t need to understand every durned thing in an instant. If it’s working – hell – why change it?!

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I’m not a fan of aa…but I got a sponser and am working steps…its the only thing I havent done in the past. A lot of the steps seem just common sense to living a decent life. I enjoy Refuge Recovery more. Whatever works for you. Recovery is a path all of your own. Just be honest and help others when you can.