Here is One of Many Solutions

By Bob T.

Although a Brit, I got sober in Kyiv, Ukraine, in March, 2006. Fifteen years of abusing benzos, booze, marijuana – and, in my younger days, LSD – had left me with hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, insomnia, and out-of-body experiences. Panicked, I decided to leave my wife, fly back to the UK, and get myself committed. I longed for the rubber room, the professionalism, and especially the meds that would bring peaceful oblivion. My plan, however, was short-lived: I soon realized that I couldn’t fly in such a state and I went to AA instead.

There were only two people at my first meeting: a Christian and a Jewish guy. The former had been in AA around 20 years and had been sober 18 years, the latter for 3 years, with just 3 days. Both espoused allegiance to the god of their own understanding, and both praised AA. I was acutely mentally unwell, and a restoration to sanity was all I wanted. I no longer cared for alcohol or drugs, I just needed something to hold onto – something to stop me from becoming irreversibly insane. In my despairing, broken state I erroneously concluded that god was the ONLY way to do this.

Twenty minutes before my second meeting, I found myself in an Orthodox church before a Cross and an Icon of Christ – I “came to believe,” or so I thought. Instead of marking what I assumed would be the end of my despair, this moment actually marked the beginning of a tumultuous journey that culminated in my rejection of the core tenets of traditional AA: the powerlessness, the 1930’s medical hypothesis, the label “real alcoholic;” and faith in a Higher Power. But more of that later.

I threw myself into AA boots and all. I worked the Steps multiple times, sponsored (locally and nationally), established new meetings, donated literature, started a hotline and website for English speaking visitors, and served as English Group Rep. I soon became an AA Nazi, pursuing people after meetings who failed to see recovery the Big Book way. I earnestly quoted the literature at every opportunity, and espoused strict adherence to the Steps and Traditions.

I retranslated the Russian Big Book (unofficially), as it was in my eyes a poor translation that would produce an inferior recovery. (I completely overlooked the fact that people were recovering just fine.) While I was doing AA, however, my marriage was falling apart, and I had become addicted to porn, sugar, caffeine, clubbing, and adultery, none of which I’d had indulged in prior to getting sober. I was living a lie. The rote sayings of “Easy does it,” “At least you’re sober,” “It gets better,” and “Don’t leave before the miracle happens” were of little help, and just confused me. Surely addiction in any form was bad, and how could I possibly say I was sober? Why was this happening? I was doing everything right, AA-wise, but heading yet again into utter despair, only this time it would be accompanied by near suicide.

I clung tightly to AA and desperately tried to believe in a god, but even at my staunchest, I had real doubts. I just couldn’t seem to believe, and essentially faked it, and never made it. I studied the Bible, Buddhism, Hinduism, the Quran, and Taoism. I read Williams James’ The Variety of Religious Experience, and all I could about Carl Jung. I became obsessed, yet no matter how hard I tried to find a god of my own understanding, my efforts bore little or no fruit. The only thing that proffered hope was a story in the first edition of the Big Book called “The Unbeliever.” It addressed many of my doubts, and suggested that I make god “just a Power that helps.” Problem solved – for a while, anyway!

This back and forth between believing and not believing lasted the entirety of my AA membership. Finally, one night in November 2014, I poured myself a glass of wine. No guilt, no shame, no “belly full of booze and a head full of AA,” no fear. There was no obsession and no out of control drinking. AA, or rather some of its members, had promised that alcoholism was a progressive disease, and that I would pick up where I had left off. But this did not happen to me. From the moment I’d first imbibed as a 15-year-old, I had drunk everyday (give or take) to blackout, unconsciousness, and loss of bodily function (often all in one sitting). But when I resumed drinking in 2014 none of this happened. I was able to drink “normally.”

In the time since I had stopped drinking in 2006, a number of occurrences had chipped away at my wavering faith in traditional AA. First, I came across a book on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and immediately connected with the principles it espoused. Here was something I was unable to argue with, which negated the god issue, and challenged AA’s ideas about so-called alcoholism (what is now referred to as Alcohol Use Disorder) and recovery. Second, I was diagnosed with Post Prandial Hypoglycaemia. This explained my sugar and caffeine dependence, as well as my mood swings, depression, obsessions, anxiety, physical weakness, shaking, and palpitations. All of which I had been led by some AA members to believe were the result of fear and my lack of faith. This diagnosis precipitated yet another lifestyle change, and for the first time in four years of sobriety I started to feel well. 

Thirdly, in August, 2011, I moved to Australia. I was immediately disappointed with AA, not because there was anything fundamentally wrong with it, but because it seemed so mundane compared to what I’d experienced in Kyiv. The fellowship there had been fluid and unpredictable, and you never knew who would turn up from week-to-week.

I made friends from all over the world, was exposed to different cultures, gods, and ways of working the program. I relayed 5th Steps in the hotel rooms of people I saw only once, and whose names I can’t even remember. I acted as tour guide and translator, transported visitors to meetings, and helped them address the many issues that often arose in Ukraine.

After almost every meeting we’d all go for coffee or a meal, and chat about our vastly different and respective lives. In Australia, however, I was just another pom (the Australian equivalent of limey), and although I heard some amazing stories of recovery, meetings felt lacklustre and monotonous. I became intolerant of the “I’m a grateful recovering alcoholic sober by the grace the god” spiel, and the long-timers’ insistence that god and the Big Book were the ONLY path to sobriety. Despite my misgivings, however, I persevered with AA for about two years out of fear of relapse, and, I now realize, a lack of identity.   

My move also changed my career. I became a Community Support Worker, mentoring people who experienced severe mental illness, as well as Alcohol/Substance Use Disorder. This was the final nail in my AA coffin, for a number of reasons. First, I was introduced to a multitude of other recovery frameworks, methods, up-to-date science, training, and tools. Second, after spending the whole day dealing with people’s problems and talking recovery, going to a meeting where I’d hear much of the same was very unappealing. Lastly, the company for which I worked didn’t care much for its staff. Being exposed daily to acute suffering, suicide, child rape, overdose, and domestic violence, while lacking professional guidance and support, I acquired burnout. I became disillusioned and depressed. My diet — the primary treatment for managing hypoglycaemia — worsened, and I was sick of anything related to recovery. Any vestiges of hope and faith in AA were gone. 

I experienced a death of sorts. A whole way of life which I had practised for eight years (however imperfectly), seemed unattainable and lost to me forever, leaving a huge hole in my life. I didn’t realize it at the time, but my whole identity – my whole world – revolved around me being an addict. I defined my very self around this concept: prior to getting sober, I was an “active addict,” and then I was an “addict in recovery.” I filtered the world and all my experiences through the disease model of addiction. Whenever, I screwed up, didn’t practise the program, or acted-out on a so-called character defect, I would tell myself and others, “I’m such an addict!”  And having lost all hope in the concept of the recovering addict, I hadn’t really left myself anywhere else to go, and so I chose to relapse.

My relapse lasted eight to ten weeks. I suffered one hangover, although this was a result of hypoglycaemia, not alcohol. I didn’t drink every day, and although I looked forward to it, if something prevented me from having it, that was OK. After a while, however, I became quite unwell, and had what I call a hypoglycaemic hangover, the cumulative effect of prolonged exposure to sugar, poor diet, and, in this case, alcohol.

I woke up one morning, and just felt antsy. I thought that perhaps a tot of brandy in my sugar-laced coffee would perk me up; it didn’t, because I poured it down the sink – a moment of clarity! In my early recovery, I had denied being a morning drinker. First, I rarely woke before lunch so the first drink of the day technically occurred in the afternoon. At the same time, I had not considered whisky diluted by tea to be a real drink. The memory of this denial cleared my mind. What the hell had I been doing? I quit then and there.

I immediately embarked upon the ketogenic (low carb) diet for two weeks, acquired a SMART Recovery manual (I’d been introduced to SMART at work), and got back on track. I haven’t had a drink since. Neither have I attended a meeting (AA or otherwise), or worked the Steps. SMART in turn introduced me to Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy (REBT), the precursor to CBT and the foundation of the SMART Recovery program, and I haven’t looked back.

REBT aims at fostering long-term philosophic change, and therefore encourages the challenging of one’s belief system, as opposed to one’s general thinking. It posits that most of our “issues” are caused by “mustabation” – the tyranny of should, must, ought, and have-to. It avoids labels, and promotes unconditional acceptance of self (as opposed to improving one’s self-esteem), as well as unconditional acceptance of others and life conditions. It, acknowledges, however, that perfect acceptance is not possible because we are fallible human beings, and that being accepting will not necessarily make us happy.

When it comes to recovering from Alcohol/Substance Use Disorder, REBT does not espouse the disease model. It acknowledges that several factors may contribute to substance abuse, such as environment, heredity, and psychological make-up, but sees addictive behaviour as mostly a choice, and therefore aims to empower the individual to take responsibility for his or her decisions and actions.

REBT didn’t free me from booze, it freed me from the trap that the 12 Steps had become for me. I no longer believe I have a disease called alcoholism, or that I’m powerless over alcohol. I don’t believe that I’m a “distinct entity,” as stated in the Doctor’s Opinion on page xxx of the Big Book, that the root of my problems is selfishness and self-centredness, or that (probably) no human power could have relieved my so-called alcoholism.

I don’t believe in character defects, and I no longer label myself an addict, for labels are gross overgeneralisations and belong on jars, not on people. Quite simply, I am a fallible human being who sometimes behaves in a self-defeating and/or anti-social manner. This has nothing to do with, as I once believed, my being inherently alcoholic, merely my being inherently human.

My identity no longer revolves around my being a so-called addict, and I no longer live in fear of a “cunning, baffling and powerful” adversary. This doesn’t mean that the occasional thought of drinking doesn’t cross my mind, but there is a big difference between a thought and a compulsion! I experience many thoughts about many things. Indeed, if thinking unhelpful thoughts were a crime, I’d have been locked up long ago. Thanks to REBT, I’ve learned that thoughts are not to be feared, merely rejected if deemed unhelpful, and embraced if they help me achieve my goals. I don’t practise REBT in fear of relapse, but simply because one of my core values is self-development.

While traditional AA had once convinced me of my powerlessness, REBT has re-empowered me. I choose not to drink, choose not to abuse porn, sugar, or caffeine, and I choose to remain faithful to my partner. I have no need to make such choices on a daily basis, however, for the myth of my addiction has been dispelled, and I can’t remember the last time I experienced a craving or an urge for any of them. I am sober today because of my own volition, NOT the will of a Higher Power or adherence to the 12 Steps.

All of this, of course, has not been easy. I have found it difficult to relinquish some of the beliefs I acquired in AA, and living in accordance with my new philosophy has had its own challenges. In many ways, I feel like an apostate. Indeed, when I find myself entertaining “old ideas” (usually the AA refrain of the self-centredness that was supposedly the root of our troubles), I often listen to stories of people who had a crisis of faith and left their religions, or I’ll surf the web and read articles by people who have left AA. It was such a search that led me to AA Beyond Belief, and thus to this article being penned.

Although Alcoholics Anonymous didn’t work for me long term, it really did save my life, and for that I am exceptionally grateful. I am certainly not anti-AA, although I have had my moments, because it has, in some ways, impacted me quite negatively. But it really does work if you work it, however one actually works it. I’ve learned, however, that ANY framework of recovery works if you work it, and that AA does not have a monopoly on recovery, and that neither does god.

This has been proven to me time and again both in my professional and personal life. I’ve been exposed to many recovery models such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, CBT, Mindfulness-based Cogitative Therapy, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy. I’ve also attended and participated in many forums and workshops about addiction (what is now referred to as Substance Use Disorder). Having had such experiences, I can’t help but think that chapter two of the Big Book would be much better titled, “Here is one of many solutions.”

About the Author

Bob, a self-proclaimed former AA fundamentalist, left the AA fellowship following a relapse after eight years of continued abstinence. Having once believed that a slip would be catastrophic, it actually turned out to be his salvation. Bob’s sobriety date is February 28, 2015. He currently resides in sunny Queensland, Australia, with his fiancée and two dogs. Bob recently started a blog, aa-apostate.com, detailing his experiences with AA, relapse, and apostasy.

Artwork

The images used for this story were created by Kathryn F. 

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  1. Jean December 4, 2017 at 6:29 pm - Reply

    Thanks for a very educational article. I learned a lot about alternative approaches.

  2. Jack Blair December 3, 2017 at 4:48 pm - Reply

    Thanks Bob for a heluva good article so well written.

    This site, for me, fills the need for community. I read pieces here that exactly describe the feelings and thoughts I have daily.

    As many say here, AA needs to be updated or it will collapse under the weight of the fundies dogma. And here’s the good part; it’s BEING updated and re-written! Right here. And at secular meetings. By people who are open to new and different concepts.

    I no longer advise newcomers to go to AA meetings. Only to secular meetings where the new and different recovery methods are at home.

    Again, thanks a whole lot Bob.

  3. Gerald December 3, 2017 at 3:17 pm - Reply

    Keto – yes! 🙂 I’ll get right back to that topic, but first I just quickly want to say that I relate to the ex-pat AA experience. In the psychological profiles, if you will, of “Third Country Kids” (please google it), I found some helpful exlanations for my loneliness – grief, loss, & mourning – in Stateside AA. When I returned to provincial & insular Middle America from Tokyo in ’03, well, it eventually came out as anger, resentment, etc., feeling different from & not a part of … I needed the c.o.m.m.u.n.i.t.y. part of the AA experience more then than ever, but that’s precisely the time in my recovery when I couldn’t find understanding community, not because of atheism but because of Third Country Kid issues.

    And that brings me back to ketosis because this was also the period of my recovery journey when I realized that the BB and 12&12 didn’t have enough answers for me. At fifteen years sober in AA, I was so frustrated by my inability to recover from lifelong depression that I was considering going back onto Prozac, which had saved my sanity the first two years of my sobriety in AA (’93-’95). I just wasn’t beating the depression by the 12-step methods, neither AA nor ACA. Long story short, I was introduced to very low carb & ultra-low carb dieting, and *BOOM* I was instantly relieved of my lifelong depression, and that makes eight and a half years now, not a moment depressed.

    Let me wrap this up. Bottom line: I believe that substance abusers are individuals who are unlikely to be well nourished on traditional agricultural diets, the “food” addicts being the most extreme examples of substance abusers who are not well suited to agriculture; just consider what they’re always addicted to: Man made foods, never God made foods, and you know I’m saying this tongue in cheek with this audience, but those Man made foods from the Dawn of Agriculture & Civilization, basically grains, beans, potatoes, and sugars including milk sugar, etc.. And of course, table sugar, etc..

    But alcoholics like me, who have never experienced any kind of dis-ordered eating, are still likely to be people who experience a dis-ordered digestion of agricultural carbohydrates – but not pre-agricultural plant foods, not the God made ones, just the Man made ones.

    Plus alcohol, Man made, it goes without saying, and I did experience a dis-ordered digestion of alcohol as well as the dis-ordered drinking of alcohol 🙂

    So, I think much of the “restless, irritable, and discontent” that so many recovery alcoholics continue to experience years & years into recovery is simply due to the malnutrition that results from a dis-ordered digestion of Man made carbs (a malnourished body = a malnourished brain = a malfunctioning mind) … and they’ll never learn the truth u.n.l.e.s.s. somehow, some way they are lucky, really, really lucky to learn about such topics as hypoglycemia, Paleo dieting, ketogenic dieting, the gut-brain connection, etc..

    I look forward to visiting your website.

    Thanks,

    Gerald, in Japan again

  4. Jack December 3, 2017 at 12:42 pm - Reply

    Great article. I encountered similar limitations and I suppose error in AA and the Christianized version CR through encounters beginning in the 70s, 80s with AA and just with CR recently because I am coming off of serious prescribed narcotic pain medications I’d needed over the past 10 years. Now that I am retired I am able to mitigate the pain alternatively. The limitations I experienced were perhaps opposite of those expressed in the article. In AA I couldn’t give my higher power a name, in CR it has to be Jesus but that’s not the problem. The problem is when we get religious about it and that includes intellectual zealots every bit as much.In the step programs we are told our disease is incurable, our higher power is to much a wimp to take care of us. Imo this makes whatever higher power one might imagine seem pretty impotent. These things are tools to help us, use them wisely. The steps are not bad, they work, the principles of confession, forgiveness and restoration are priceless and the depth one can reach through journal work can be profound or wacky, you won’t know til’ you try.My response to the limitation we encounter is not “beyond belief” but “beyond recovery”, victory, progress, growth. Rise up, do good.Do you want to see what I mean? I’ve posted 30 days of my recovery adventure at ez36.net

  5. life-j December 3, 2017 at 11:54 am - Reply

    Bob, thank you for this. The best story I have read in a long time. Really brings home how the whole field of addiction needs to be opened up with more tools, more openness, and how AA in many cases is a hindrance rather than a help.

    The reason AA works at all is of course, simply put, that if we honestly commit to changing our life, and this can be done within AA of course, even if in spite of its philosophy rather than because of it, then our lives will in most cases change, regardless of which way we do it.

    But these new ways such as CBT, more rooted in psychological science are of course likely to be more effective than a whole bunch of god & guilt stuff.

    I have to agree with many of the comments, especially Lance’s that the bottom line is we need a community to recover in, just because we in most cases need help from others in recovery, and thus, while AA is probably the least effective, and the most ornery, it is the most prevalent, and thus in many cases the place to go by default. And though in the long run we may have to allow AA to die a fundamentalist death, our best option at present seems to be to try to reform AA in a secular direction, especially for those of us who live in small communities where there aren’t many other options than AA.

    Anyway, thanks again, really good stuff

  6. Pat N. December 3, 2017 at 10:17 am - Reply

    Thanks for the article, Bob, and thanks for the help you’ve given, in and out of AA, to many brothers and sisters with substance abuse disorders in Ukraine and Australia. I’m delighted you finally made it to sobriety, as I am for myself.

    I choose to remain in AA (secular version) because I see it as the likeliest recovery route that many addicts will ever be exposed to, and as we “radicals” continue our efforts to secularize it, it will become a better recovery vehicle for fellow nonbelievers. And I do NOT mean the common version with its religious crap, especially “How It Works” (which isn’t for most, IMO).

    I agree that rational approaches to changing one’s life are essential to recovery. I’ve attended SMART meetings in  Victoria, B.C., and found them positive and helpful to the attendees, mostly newcomers. Same’s true for LifeRing. The problem remains that in 2017, both are rarely available. I choose to spend my efforts trying to create more secular meetings within AA.

    What is missed by many AA fundamentalists is that the common, essential element of all the productive approaches to recovery is that they are groups of people, not isolated individuals. I could not have gotten well by just reading AA stuff or self-help books. I needed people who understood and accepted me face-to-face, and who could give me good examples and practical ideas. I needed folks who could demonstrate that the life I wanted required honesty, hope, humor, and love. The exact same people could have led me to sobriety even if I’d met them somewhere else, such as a church, a SMART meeting, or wherever.

    Today, I choose to introduce myself in AA meetings as someone who “used to be addicted to alcohol”, because it’s true and it’s a description not a label. It also reminds me that I’m brother to those who struggle with other addictions.

     

     

  7. Lance B. December 3, 2017 at 9:16 am - Reply

    Thank you Bob.  Your willingness to write this descriptive and comprehensive article adds to my understanding.

    We had a psychologist move to our small community a few years ago who had been involved with SMART recovery.   I heard about it and from a distance with no knowledge of what it was, guessed that it was probably just a money making activity trying to steal AA members.  After a while I managed to get to one of their meetings and found it full of the counselors anger management clients and only one person (of the 8 present) I’d ever seen in an AA meeting (and I had attended probably 50% of all AA in this city over the last 20 years).   Most or all the SMART group were meeting court obligations.

    What was even more off putting was that at least 3 of the first 4 times I showed up at this meeting, the leader did not show up and nobody had any idea of what to do or say.  So we stayed and then whoever was there wandered off.  Finally the founder decided she was too busy to keep the meeting going and it disbanded.  In the 3 meetings I’d attended, she did introduce what I now believe were most of the core concepts.  I wish it were still active–but, alas, we must somehow make a somewhat inadequate AA daily or NA twice a week or Al Anon twice a week work for us as a group addiction therapy.

    And there’s the rub.  In smaller places like the one I live in we must somehow make AA adapt to our needs.  Or drive hundreds of miles in order to find a secular meeting more to our liking.  Even in Brisbane, QL where I found a lone woman at the only listed secular meeting way up north nearly to the end of the train line trying to found a meeting near the beach.  Took me 4 hours to get there from central city and nearly did not catch the last train back after that.

    It is in my interest to keep AA vital or to start a similar group under other banner like SMART.  And then be present every week if no one else chooses to show up.  I do that within the AA framework now, and somehow have been able to find someone who will see to the doors are open to the weekly secular meeting even when I’m going to miss one or several of them.  Like last night, just in time for my trip to Phoenix for the secular workshop down there, a returnee agreed to open while I’m gone at least 2 Sundays.  I expect he’ll show up this morning and get his key after our 300 mile trip last night to an AA conventional celebration in Billings MT.

    Where did I read last week asking if I might remember writing a very long and complicated idea on the internet and then just decided no one cared enough and just threw it away.  Didn’t I wish more people would do that?  Well, I didn’t this time–but your story really  did lead to many good ideas for this morning’s meeting of AA. Thanks again.

  8. Joe C December 3, 2017 at 9:05 am - Reply

    This is fantastic! – “I don’t believe in character defects, and I no longer label myself an addict, for labels are gross overgeneralisations and belong on jars, not on people.”

    I really enjoy the recovery-community-broader-than-AA editorial theme of AA-Beyond Belief.

    I find it’s a double-edged sword to get tribal. While it’s comforting to feel like a member of a community, finally understood, finally engaged with (a microcosm of) society, there is a flip-side to the comfort of community. While having the bond of identifying, it’s easy to see “others” everywhere. This “other”-ness is artificial. It’s also normal; we see it everywhere–abstinence vs. harm reduction, 12-Step vs, enthusiastic NOT-12-Step approaches, disease vs. behavioral models, and even inside each of these subcultures of recovery, there’s room for cliques and looking down one’s nose at inferior others. Honestly, there is something invigorating about feeling superior to others and even as an overcompensation,  it’s better for a while than the depression that resignation can sometimes inflict.

    As Bob articulated, many paths, unique journeys is a good way for me to look at things. I remember hearing AA described as “the last house on the block” and if that was ever true, there is a whole subdivision built at the end of the street now and it serves people like me who have been clean and sober a while, to check out some of the new digs. While there is zealotry in ever faction, there are stories of redemption that fuel enthusiasm.

    I hope the future finds more cross-pollination – at least until someone finds a formula that saves everyone from addiction’s tragedy. When that infallible methodology is found, let’s all do that. In the meantime, I for one will not eye alternative views, methods and philosophies with suspicion. I’ve found some kernel or noble truth in every nook and cranny I’ve explored; even the ones I denounced as misguided.

     

  9. Thomas B. December 3, 2017 at 8:12 am - Reply

    Thanks Bob for an enlightening and engaging essay. Though I still remain committed to being active, a day at a time, in secular AA, I admire your willingness to evolve and change in accordance with where your life’s journey took you. I totally agree that though AA throughout the 20th century may have been the prime model for addictive disorders, it is not by any means the only way to achieve a satisfactory, non-addictive life. It is valuable for those who adhere to its principles and precepts, but there are many other equally, perhaps even more balanced and effective ways, to achieve recovery and useful lives without addictive behavior.

     

  10. Rich December 3, 2017 at 8:06 am - Reply

    Great article , thanks! Alcohol Use Disorder or alcoholism, in my honest non professional opinion can have multiple ‘ causes ‘ depending on the individual afflicted. As in any other physical and /or mental health disease or disorder , a one size fits all approach treatment or recovery ‘ program ‘ is not always advisable . There is more than one way to skin a cat. A.A. , IMHO , certainly has some value in recovery , but it may not be the icing on the cake for everyone. Whatever works for one may not work for the next person suffering. Sometimes a multi faceted approach works in treatment and recovery. I think there are many different roads to get to the same goal . Again , well thought out article and thanks.

  11. Steve K December 3, 2017 at 7:40 am - Reply

    I too suffer with Reactive Hypoglycaemia, and looking back it explains the severity of my hangovers when I was drinking. I’ve also been involved in working in the alcohol and drugs field and so have become well educated in a broad sense in relation to addiction and recovery and the different theories that exist. However, I find that I’m still able to take what I like from AA philosophy and leave the rest. I disagree with many of the ideas in AA literature and think it needs a thorough updating to bring it into the 21st century, but I also appreciate some of the wise ideas promoted by the fellowship. I also know many who have turned their lives around due to AA membership and now live healthy and good lives as a result of the fellowship’s ideas and support. I think that if one can focus upon the liberal principles that underpin AA, it then becomes fairly easy to concentrate on what works for you and not be too perturbed by what others in the fellowship say or believe. In saying this good luck to anyone who feels better off persuing sobriety and growth outside of AA, “it’s not for eveyone”.

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