The Twelve Steps For Agnostics

How to get happily sober through the 12 steps without a belief in God



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.

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The Twelve Steps for Agnostics - Book Trailer

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Dear Friends,

Are you concerned about becoming involved with an overly controlling sponsor with a fundamentalist approach to recovery? Are you on mood-stabilizing medication prescribed by a doctor and are being told that the twelve steps won’t work for you if you keep “turning your will and your life over to the care of” meds rather than God? (Step three)

Perhaps you identify as an atheist, agnostic, or freethinker. Are religious fundamentalists telling you that you will not recover from alcoholism unless you believe in God? Although in the minority, cult-like splinter groups are also a reality on the AA landscape. Could this type of extremism damage the all-inclusive ethos of the fellowship?

I have written a book which I have called “You can’t be a real alcoholic if you don’t believe in God.” Please click the link below to obtain a copy of the E-Book on Amazon. I wanted to make it available, Gratis, but Amazon has set a minimum price of 99 cents.

Alternatively, you can download a free copy in PDF format here.. This short book will increase awareness, especially among newcomers, of the risks of getting involved with any fundamentalism, religious or otherwise, in twelve-step recovery.

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You can't be a real alcoholic if you don't believe in God

Several years ago, as a bilingual alcoholic, I started to attend online Polish-speaking AA meetings, and I loved them. The Poles are so enthusiastic and dynamic about their recovery. Sadly, although in the minority, religious fundamentalism is also a reality in the Polish fellowship. For this reason, I had the e-book “You can’t be a real alcoholic if you don’t believe in God” translated into Polish. It is also available on the website for free download.

In fellowship,

Andy F



W ostatnich czasach zetknąłem się z religijnym fundamentalizmem w AA. Uważam, że to fanatyczne podejście do zdrowienie z alkoholizmu jest zagrożeniem dla wielu członków naszej Wspólnoty, zwłaszcza dla, często zagubionych i zdesperowanych, nowicjuszy.

Fundamentalistyczne grupy AA praktykują wysoce kontrolujący, autokratyczny i zastraszający styl sponsorowania. Podstawowym ich przesłaniem jest: „jeśli nie uwierzysz w Boga, to umrzesz z powodu alkoholizmu”. Ci z nas, którzy zetknęli się z takimi grupami, zgłaszają negatywne skutki tych doświadczeń. Ja sam również byłem świadkiem podobnych praktyk.

Poczułem się w obowiązku do napisania tej książki, ponieważ AA jasno stwierdza, że jest programem duchowym, nie religijnym, a "miłość i tolerancja wobec innych jest naszym kodeksem postępowania” (Wielka Księga, "Do czynu", str. 84). Przyznaję, że fundamentalizm religijny może być skuteczny w przypadku niektórych alkoholików. Sądzę jednak, że w ostatecznym rozrachunku, niemożliwe jest doprowadzenie kogokolwiek do duchowego przebudzenia przez sponsorów stosujących przymus i manipulację.

Bezpłatną wersję książki w języku polskim pobierzesz, klikając poniższy link.

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Jeśli uważasz, że może być przydatna, podziel się nią z innymi.

W służbie

Andy F

You can't be a real alcoholic if you don't believe in God

About Me

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,

Andy F

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Stay in Touch

The book is now available to purchase via 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.

Andy F

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.