Sober in AA without believing? In short, the answer is yes. The real question is how? How can you get sober in AA without believing in God?
Get Sober In AA
The great news about Alcoholics Anonymous is that it is all inclusive for anyone who has the desire to stop drinking and stay sober. The subject of God comes up a few times in the Big Book of AA, but you can really get a better understanding of the “Higher Power” concept as it relates to your personal beliefs in Chapter 2: There Is A Solution and Chapter 4: We Agnostics.
I could write all about it, but I feel that these two chapters speak so perfectly to the subject that I would do it an injustice. Take the time to read it and then take the time to go over it with a sponsor or another member of Alcoholics Anonymous that has experience with staying sober. In the meantime, I would like to share some experiences that will help you understand how you can still get sober in AA without believing in God.
God Can Be Anything
God is simply a name that many people choose to call their higher power, so stop taking the word “God” so personally. Their concept of God and your concept of God can be totally different. In fact, you don’t even have to believe in a higher power to take the first steps into recovery. You can believe in the group of AA as a whole, in the belief of others, or simply in the belief of the steps because others told you the steps worked for them. Stop putting a limit or expectation on who or what God is, and allow the process to unfold through the steps with your sponsor.
There Are No Rules
There are no rules in AA that tell you that you have to believe in God – there are simply suggestions that have worked for others. If those suggestions work for you, then use them; if they don’t, don’t use them. I have a friend that I have known for several years in recovery. He does not believe in God, but he does believe in the program of Alcoholics Anonymous and the magic that is in the rooms. He does engage in prayer and meditation, but his prayers are more spiritual in nature rather than in an all mighty being. That is his experience and that is what works for him. He shares his experience with others who also have the same belief. That is how it simply works – we only share our experience, strength, and hope with others.
Letting go of old ideas and beliefs can be difficult, especially when it comes to those who cannot or will not accept a new way of life. The disease of addiction wants to separate you from recovery, so it will tell you that you are different from everyone else in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous. In 2015, there were an estimated 2,089,098 members in AA. It would be near impossible to believe that all those members share the exact same belief in God.
It would also be impossible to believe that somehow I am so unique, that I wouldn’t be able to find at least one member that shares my belief, and who can help me through the steps to sobriety. The disease of addiction would like me to believe that I am alone, but if I am willing to let go and trust the process of a program that has been working since the 1935, then I will get and stay sober. If this is true for me, it can and will be true for you provided you are willing to take just a few simple steps.
Written by your sister in sobriety.Tags: AA, Alcoholics Anonymous Promises, God