How to Get Happily Sober Without a Belief in God
A recovery resource for Agnostics, atheists and freethinkers in twelve step recovery - A book that offers a simple, practical and highly effective method of going through the steps without the need to become concerned about the use of the God word as a higher Power.
Get in touch: email@example.com
My name is Andy. I am an alcoholic in recovery. I am sober today only with the ongoing love, help and support of Alcoholics Anonymous. In the AA program it is regarded as vital that if alcoholics are to be successful in their recovery, they should turn their will and lives over to the guidance of a higher power. This is usually referred to as the care of God ‘as we understood him’.
I am however an agnostic. In AA this has sometimes been an enormous challenge. For this reason, I have published a book entitled “The Twelve Steps for Agnostics”. The purpose of this website is to tell you about the book and my successful journey towards recovery as an agnostic in AA.
About the Book
I loved AA from my very first meeting. It felt like a real homecoming. Having grown up in foster care, I finally found the family that I never had. In my early life, I had some negative experiences with religion and religious people. By the time I arrived in AA, I wanted no part of any rehabilitation program that required a belief in God or any higher power. As a newcomer to AA, these two expressions meant the same thing. People at meetings were saying that this was a spiritual not religious program.
Dry Drunk - Untreated Alcoholism
I made the mistake of rejecting the twelve steps altogether. I continued to go to meetings but I wasn’t interested in being led through the program. I tried to stay sober on fellowship alone. This resulted in a painful dry drunk leading to frequent relapses. Although I was going to meetings every day; some of these relapses almost ended tragically.
Eventually, I fully admitted that I had no power over alcohol. My life was unmanageable drunk or sober. I was completely out of ideas about how to stop drinking and recreate my life.
Practical Alternatives to the God Word
When the pain of sponsoring myself became unbearable, my ego collapsed and I surrendered. With that surrender, I received what is known in AA as the Gift Of Desperation. I found a sponsor and for the first time in my life, I became willing to follow Good Orderly Direction. With my track record of relapse, he was able to convince me that I didn’t need to worry about the God word. He suggested that I make AA itself my higher power (Group Of Drunks). Please see chapter 4 in the book “The suggestions of early recovery”
I began to use these three acronyms for GOD as my new higher powers. They worked! My recovery took off when I became teachable. After so many years of relapse, I admitted that my very best ideas didn’t work to keep me sober. I owed it to myself to try some of the new ideas that I was learning in AA.
“Keep it Simple”
I am very excited to announce the publication of my first book entitled “The twelve steps for agnostics”. It’s an autobiographical account of my journey towards a contented sobriety. I share my experience of working each step as an agnostic.
I was helped enormously by being given simple and practical written assignments on nine of the twelve steps. This written work alleviated my concerns about the God word. It completely demystified the steps. As a non believer, I experienced a gradual non God – centered spiritual awakening. (chapter 18 of the book) It has revolutionized my experience of recovery.
If you have come to AA and are struggling with God or any conception of an invisible higher power, it is my hope that you will find the book a helpful resource. Whether you identify as an agnostic, atheist or freethinker, I invite you to explore this agnostic-friendly interpretation of the twelve steps.
In love and fellowship,
H.O.W. – an acronym for honesty, open-mindedness and willingness Not long after coming to AA, the alcoholic mental fog began to clear. I kept hearing people at meetings sharing about something called the H.O.W. of the program. I was soon told that H.O.W. is an acronym for Honesty, Open-mindedness and Willingness. Members at meetings were […]
Agnostics, atheists and freethinkers in AA When I was a newcomer to AA, I was introduced to two unfamiliar words. I heard them quite frequently at meetings. One was agnostic and the other atheist. I only had a limited understanding of their meaning. Some years later, the expression “freethinker” became popular in the fellowship. The […]
The agony of early recovery After putting down the alcohol, it didn’t take long to find out why I drank. The early days of recovery were deeply traumatic. Daily meetings were the only place in the world where anything made any sense. Getting sober was like tearing a band-aid off a festering wound. Without alcohol, […]
Stay in Touch
The book is now available to purchase via Amazon.com as a Kindle edition or paperback. Please subscribe to my website and stay in touch. In the meantime, stay well and stay safe. If you have just come to AA and identify as an agnostic, atheist or freethinker, then please don’t be put off by the ‘God’ word, or any other references to a ‘higher power’.
By going to plenty of meetings, you have already accessed a powerful treatment for your alcoholism. It works whether you believe in God or not. AA itself and your fellow sober alcoholics in recovery are most certainly a power greater than you.
Not For Profit
This book is a not-for-profit project. Any income generated from the sale of the book will be used to carry the message of recovery to the still suffering alcoholic. All proceeds from the book will go to helping low-income alcoholics to access residential treatment. There they will be introduced to twelve step support groups.