Grapevine Online Exclusive

Published November 2011.

Web Exclusive: Finding God in AA

She came into AA as an atheist. Or so she thought.

"A day doesn't go by when I don't pray and thank God for Alcoholics Anonymous."

My family is Jewish and although we celebrated Hanukkah, I only sporadically attended temple or was exposed to religion when I was growing up. We rarely spoke of God. I knew my family believed in God, but when I pressed for more details, I'd invariably get the same response: "I believe because I do."

As a result of this upbringing, God seemed very foreign to me. Not unlike Santa Claus, he seemed like a made-up tale told to keep people in line. As I got older, I began to see how all my friends had to go to church every Sunday and follow all these rules and pray and I resented it. It felt forced. At the same time, I felt lonely, depressed and ashamed of who I was. The older I grew, the more I likewise grew to believe there was no God, no divine power. No rhyme or reason or purpose to this thing called life. Believing in God was for weak people who couldn't, or wouldn't, put in the effort to solve their own problems. How sad I was to see the wool pulled over the eyes of so many friends. If only they knew the truth, I thought, they would be set free; as it turns out, if only I had known the truth!

-- Stacy G.

Evanston, Illinois

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