Burning Desire to Share

2369 replies [Last post]

Jim, It is comforting that we old "oletimers" can find
some common ground. I am still mobile and am able to
get to meetings every day. I hope the same is true for

RE; "conference approved"

"Each GROUP has the right to read whatever it wants", not
one or two members. You are not the group. The GROUP, in
a proper fully informed group conscience meeting, decides
what is to be read at an approved A.A. meeting.
(not wishing to lose sight of our primary purpose by
getting into the publishing business). Works Publishing
was vital in the formation of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Doesn't anyone else recognize this? Where are
you? Corey, Jim, Mike, Dennis. ANONYMOUS

RE: conference

The 24 hr. Book: You never liked the book? Personally,
you would have rejected it? And you do not think it was
rejected because it was considered offensive. Bill and his
friends refused to accept the book when it was offered to
A.A. in the early 1950's. Many A.A. members wanted it approved and brought it to the conference after Bill died.
In my opinion, Most alcoholics approaching us are just
not ready for that kind of religious teachings. Many
have already tried religion and it has failed. When
they see that A.A. is just another religion they
quietly walk away. Unless they "get a sponsor" and
join the cult. Stop reading the 24hr. book at meetings.
Stop reading "How it Works". Thanks for the platform. Anonymous


And where do they quietly walk away to? I tried AA. I tried no AA. I learned I could go to AA or drink.

RE: "conference approved"

Mel B. was the writer of an article in the Grapevine
a few years back where he wrote that about two million
members are all we ought to expect. If he is still with
with us I wonder if he still holds that view. That
opinion certainly did not come from an open-minded AA
Member. IMO.
Take a good look at the "AA Thought of the Day" and
the daily meditations in the 24 hr. book. I love that
book and always have loved it. It was given to me at
my second A.A. meeting in 1970, not by the group, but
by an individual member who thought it would be helpful.
I have kept it near and dear for over four decades.
YET: I consider the acceptance of the 24 hr. book into
A.A. meetings to be a serious perhaps fatal mistake. I base my belief on the simple IDEA offered to Bill W. in the
spring of 1935 by Dr. Silkworth. Bill wrote several times
that without that IDEA, A.A. could never have been born.
It took me thirty five years to "figure it out". My mind
was not just closed, it was locked. I thank God for
opening it, as painful as it has been. ANONYMOUS
YOU made a point of reading something... That does
not sound like a GROUP CONSCIENCE decision to me.

re: group approval of reading

"ANONYMOUS YOU made a point of reading something... That does
not sound like a GROUP CONSCIENCE decision to me."
So does each reading need to be approved by the group before it is read? No, each group can decide whether it wants to restrict readings to certain AA published books or not. If they want to allow reading the 24 hour a day book, great. Mel B's "101 Meeting Starters," that is their choice. My current favorite meeting has no reading at all - rather we simply have a topic, from acceptance to gratitude to one day at a time. I sure hope these topics are okay for discussion, that they would be "AA approved" topics, as we surely wouldn't want to commit any doctrinal error.

Joined: 2013-05-23
The Grapevine

Ask the bleeding deacon to show you a list of unapproved AA material at your next meeting.


Simple: Any material not on the conference approved list would be unapproved. Otherwise what would be the point?
It is really not that complicated. Rose

Jojo life is great

Iam sober three months and could not have wished for better health, enjoying simple things and loving waking up in the mornings, but why do i repeatedly hear " be careful you will soon come down from your fluffy cloud"? Am I not allowed to feel this way? Dont get me wrong i have my bad days, but my life was such a sad one that i can only feel joy in my sobriety!!

Pink Cloud

The pink cloud is mentioned in the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions book. It refers to those who work step 1 and are so excited about finding the AA group, they jump straight to Step 12 and start evangelizing. They don't work steps 2 through 11. They soon fall off the "pink cloud" because they have no depth of understanding. They haven't done the work. (They are referred to as "two-steppers.") The pink could phrase/concept is wildly misused and misunderstood today. It does not suggest that we must expect to have negative consequences when we stop drinking. (Reference the promises.)

re Jojo

My understanding of the pink cloud is a state of surrender. When I took step one and really meant it, I had an incredible feeling of release. I know I had finally surrendered because I suddenly had the willingness (defined as cheerful readiness) to take the remaining 11 steps of AA. I didn’t know it at the time, but those 12 steps are ego deflating. Practicing the 12 steps has kept me in a state of surrender for almost 21 years. The pink cloud you are experiencing ends when our ego returns, we begin to think this world owes us, we get frustrated and even if we don’t drink, we go on emotional benders also known as a dry drunk.
Those who warn you about falling off the pink cloud are those who surrendered and stopped or never did work our steps. I know, because I had a few pink cloud( surrender only ) sobrieties before I found continued sobriety through AA’s 12 steps.
I hope that helps,
Good luck to you and God bless you!


I was so happy to find sobriety and a new life. I wrote
joyous letters to my family who lived in a distant state.
I had never been a happy person, and they were surprised.
Some thought I sounded a little balmy. But I was happy
and I am still happy. Admittedly, some times have only
been reasonably happy. Someday I hope to be supremely
I did have that three month pink cloud period of
grace, although not every alcoholic has that "high".
I believe that is the way it had to be for me. I needed
that three months to settle in.
We do have to be careful, always. But not in the
fear that this is going to be taken away from me. One
drink and it will be taken away. Or do I chose to give
it up? Not today.
I have heard that anyone who is always smiling is
either on something or up to something.
Become responsible, face reality and live a sober
life. I found a life beyond anything I had ever hoped
for. I love that movie "It Can Happen to You". It
has happened to me. Better than any Lottery. ANONYMOUS

re life is great

Thanks for sharing, good topic.
Many of us used alcohol to take care of feelings we didn't know what else to do with.

Embarrassed? drink
Sad? drink
Lonely? drink
Scared? drink

Early sobriety can certainly bring the rewards you mention (and will continue to).

On the other side of the coin, what do I do when I feel scared, or lonely or tired now that I don't rely on alcohol? Most of us don't have a collection of good tools to deal with them, in fact we have a lot of experience doing the opposite. Such as "I don't like talking to people. I don't want to bother anyone. I never did that before. In my family we didn't do that."

For many of us these unresolved feeling mount up. Thirty days, ninety days aren't unusual for an eruption. Then we really have something to deal with we never had before.

The good news? This is exactly what AA's program of recovery is all about. Learning to deal with life on life's terms. I've never seen it come automatically for anyone. It is learned behavior. Revelation and repetition.

AA's book "Living Sober" is one of the best places to start in addition to "Alcoholics Anonymous" and "Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions". I see on online forums and face to face meetings a stream of misinformation passed off as AA. Why wouldn't there be? The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking insanely. That's not much of a resume. To get it right, I go to the source.
Welcome and good luck.

Joined: 2011-10-24
Being "In AA" and not "Around AA"

I'm looking for feedback on the topic of Being In AA and Not Around AA..... what does this mean to you ?

Being "In AA" and not "Around AA"

It's was said in Doctor Bobs LAST letter as he thanked the people IN A.A and Those OF A.A - Many people in A.A belong to the religious outside sponsorship system that has to administer A.A's free gift to them, these are people IN A.A - The people OF A.A relies on God ONLY BUT FOR THE GRACE OF GOD THEIR GO I and taped an unsuspected enter resource that intuitively handles situations that use to baffle them and need no religious person IN A.A to administer it to them as they truly Let Go and Let God and are part of a true fellow ship not followship. I am OF A.A most of my friends are in A.A.

To In and Around AA

To me, the whole question is pointless. Does going to meetings everyday make someone "In" AA? In my experience, a person can still be "Around" AA even though they think they are "In" AA. Its easy to believe one is "In" AA by memorizing and quoting the Big Book or their sponsors. By going to step meetings everyday and impressing the new person with empty words heard long ago one may think they are "In" AA. Even someone who is sponsoring tons of people can still be "Around" AA. Everyone is either "In" AA or everyone is "Around" AA. In my opinion, if I have to spend time wondering who in my group is "In" AA or "Around" AA than I am avoiding looking into my own darkness and facing the demons there. I imagine its easier to point our fingers at the "Around" people than to look at the things we need to change.

re in and not around

An old grapevine article explained being in AA and around AA perfectly. The author compared it to a ham and eggs breakfast. The chicken was around and the pig had another level of commitment!
For me, I feel I am in AA. I have worked the steps out of the big book with my sponsor and continue to apply the steps in my daily life(I’m really getting better in that respect). Those I sponsor, I take them through the steps as my sponsor did with me. On Monday nights I either chair a jail meeting or go to a big book meeting with some guys I sponsor, on Thursdays my sponsor and I take an AA meeting to our local detox, and on Saturday morning I attend my home group meeting and I am the group secretary until someone else is willing to take the job (I am willing to let the newer members take those positions). When I attend an AA meeting, I always look for the newcomer and make sure I offer my phone number and a message of hope. I make myself available to go on 12 step calls with wet drunks or any other 12 step work that I can do. That may be making coffee and setting up chairs, giving rides to meetings, speaking at our local treatment center, or simply going to AA meetings while out of town to see how AA works in other areas. It seems like a lot, but really isn’t. I just try to put at least half the effort into AA as I did into drinking.
I think the most important way to be in AA is to know the facts about myself as an alcoholic and to be able to carry the message of AA through my own experience to those who still suffer.
I am also thankfull for those around AA. They often come to meetings after a relapse to tell us it gets worse not better. I have yet to hear anyone stop by to say " hey, I've been drinking again and it's really getting better!"
Thank you for suggesting the topic!

Joined: 2011-12-20
In and Around

I was around AA for 6 weeks before I hit a bottom. I went to a few meetings, and read the Big Book. That's all.

August 14, 1990, I came in AA. I became willing to do the things outlined in the Big Book. That first month, I attended 5 meetings a week, started on the steps, got a sponsor and a Home Group, and started reading the Big Book and 12x12 in earnest. I began developing the most honest relationship I could with my Higher Power.

Today, I continue to work steps, still have that sponsor and the same Home Group. I'm the treasurer. I've been an area officer, been part of a prison meeting, made more coffee than I'll ever drink, and tonight I gave another AA member a ride to a meeting. I continue to read the literature (like my online Grapevine subscription) and I have a morning and an evening program. I do more than just meetings.

The feeling of being part of AA came to me heavily after Step Five, many others have shared that experience. Right now, I'm looking for the willingness in Step Six to overcome sloth...progress, not perfection. I will always have room for spiritual growth.

Re-Being "In AA and not "Around AA"

Why don't you expand a bit more and talk about your thoughts on the topic? You brought it up after all. We would enjoy reading you take on it and sharing ours.

Think, think, think?

Maybe the Grapevine editor or an archivist can help. What I have heard is that between September of 1956 and February 1957 the AA Grapevine published one slogan per month on the inside back cover of five issues and the last one was "Think, Think, Think." Again, it would be great if the Grapevine could validate.
For me early in AA, I asked my sponsor what the slogan meant. It did seem contrary to what I was hearing in meetings. He said it means to think drinking through. If I drink well then what? I’ll be drunk. Then what? I’ll loose my job again. Then what? My wife will through me out again. Then what? I will be homeless. Then what? Ect. I think he was right. Being alcoholic, I have a built in forgetter. I can walk out of a jail and think it’s ok to drink, I can walk out of a treatment center and forget I just spent 6 weeks and thousands of dollars and get drunk on the way home. So think, think, think definitely has it’s place in my recovery.
Just for fun I looked up how many times think is in the big book and 12x12 at www.164&more. It came up 130 times!
Personally, I read big book pages 84-88 as part of my daily 10th & 11th step. On page 86, the second paragraph should put the thinking issue to rest. It says, “On awakening let us think about the 24 hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking………Under these conditions we can employ our faculties with assurance, for after all God gave us brains to use. Our thought life will be placed on a much higher plane when our thinking is cleared of wrong motives.
So if your not thinking, your not working step 11 as outlined in the big book. To me that means you are working your program instead of AA’s program and that is your business, not mine.
By the way, AA is celebrating 78 years today! Amazing! When AA was 58 years old my sponsor taught me the steps in the big book, when AA was 48 years old his sponsor taught him out of the big book, when AA was 38 years old his sponsor taught him out of the big book. This method goes all the way back to Cleveland where they used personal sponsorship and the big book to work with newcomers with a 90% success rate!
Feel free to stay sober any way you want, that’s your business. For me, I am going with the high percentage play, the one that started it all 78 years ago today.
Good luck to you and God bless you,

RE: Think, think, think?

Some people in A.A think their thinking got them here so they get institutionalized through the outside sponsorship system
People of A.A know their drinking got them here and when DRUNK had trouble thinking and asked God for help.

Think before you take the first drink
Think where you have already been
Think where it will take you

Your past is your greatest asset not someone who was not even their !!!


Corgey said, "Feel free to stay sober any way you want, that’s your business. For me, I am going with the high percentage play, the one that started it" Go for it! However the recovery rates are much lower than you think! 90% is not evidence based but hearsay. We can do much better. Many groups have caught up with the times but, there are a few that still think its 1935. I personally like 21st century AA which offers smoke free rooms and a healthy air of love and tolerate not the 20th century kind which still smells of cigarette butts and close minded people. But you keep doing what you are doing and we'll meet at the end of the AA rainbow one day. Thanks

Re-anonymous re-think

If you have something that works better than the 90% rate that was documented in Cleveland,let us know, we will change what we are doing and do it your way if your sobering up better than 9 out of ten.

since last fall, I have taken 4 sponsees through the steps in the big book. One had been going to meetings since 1983 and couldn't stay sober longer than 90 days. He has over 9 months now and doing well. Anyway, In my little corner of the AA world 4 out of 4 hopelss drunks sober this year is 100% not hearssay. In fact, I don't recall anyone who I have gone through the steps with as outlined in the big book relapsing. On the other hand I have seen a steady stream relapsing doing it the don't drink and go to meetings way.
Please elaborate on this 21 century AA, I would like to hear more!

RE-Anonymous think

90%? I’m all for offering the newcomers hope but let’s at least be honest. I’ve been attending big book meetings and sponsored many people for years and I can attest this figure of yours is not accurate. I’ve seen people study the book at our meetings and work the steps and still drink. The books and steps are a good start as any and a safe-base for the newcomer. But you can’t stay on the base forever. There is more to recovery than sitting in a room and reading a book. Eventually, for me I had to make a run for it and face life on life’s terms. In doing so, I learned more about recovery than I ever could by sitting in a big book meeting studying about how someone got sober in 1935. I never put any alcoholic on a pedestal even the founders. I’ve doubled Bob’s time and nearing Bill’s. Isn’t the wisdom I’ve accumulated over the years just as important to the newcomer as theirs? Or should it be thrown out because it was not written in the book? “Our book is meant to be suggestive only. We realize we know a little,” and then they added the “God will constantly disclose more to us” This tells me the first members were humble enough to realize they didn’t know very much and had the foresight to see their ancestors would one day. And we have. Living in the AA past does not show much progress. “Progress not Perfection” Are we still trying to perfect something written years ago or are we advancing the founders vision by sharing our wisdom obtained by staying sober one day at a time? I choose progress, Hence, the 21st century as you or someone termed it.

re anonymous think

To be frank, if your not getting the 90% results, your simply doing it wrong! I have yet to meet anyone in 21 years who drank while working AA’s steps. Anyone who is working step 10 from the big book is well aware of our “daily reprieve”. I am sober today based on actions I take today. Someone once posted on this site that you can starve reading a cookbook. The same thought applies to the big book. If I read and study it, I will get some knowledge, but I have to apply that knowledge to gain sober experience.
Take a moment and read the rest of page 164. If you’re working with newcomers and not getting the results they had in Cleveland, remember obviously you cannot transmit something you haven’t got. I am amused with your talk of humility after stating you’ve been sober longer than Bob. Good one!
I especially enjoy the summation Of AA’s steps on 164. Abandon yourself to God as you understand God(2&3). Admit your faults to Him and your fellows (4,5). Clear away the wreckage of your past(8&9). Give freely of what you find(12) and join us.
I like the out of context “progress not perfection” quote. For someone who doesn’t seem to like big book talk, you sure like to misquote it! Take a moment and read page 60 where the quote comes from. “The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection”. This comes after the 12 steps are listed. None of us can work the steps perfect. They are spiritual principles. That’s why I will never outgrow them. How can I outgrow daily surrender, self-examination, restitution, meditation, prayer, and helping others? The day this drunk thinks he’s outgrown those steps is the day my humility is gone and my ego has returned and my next drink or dry drunk is right around the corner.
I have yet found it necessary to fix what isn’t broke. Over the last 20 years every single sponsoree of mine that has worked the steps out of the book is still sober today, that’s 2-4 a year. In my small world that’s a whole lot of recovery. The ones that drank usually were unwilling to take step 4, 5, 9, or didn’t see the importance of working 10,11,and 12 on a daily basis. That’s repeated recovery for those that worked the steps and lots of drinking and death for those that didn’t. That is my experience, not theory.
Please elaborate on this 21 century sobriety. What are the results of those doing it, whatever it is and how do you apply it? Have you helped one person a year for thirty years get and stay sober? That's only 30. I have two friends in AA with 35 plus years of sobriety. neither sponsor or have a sponsor but have been dry a long time. neither have sobered up anyone in all those years. whatever they are doing works for them but kills whoever has tried their way. If my son came to AA I would not suggest he do it their way, I would suggest the big book way.

re-re-think cleveland

Great! Sounds like you are on top of things. I too have a 4 out of 4 record. I've sponsored 1 agnostics and 3 atheists throughout the years and they are still sober despite my beliefs! All came into the rooms in the late eighties and early nineties. So go figure. This demonstrates the beginnings of 21st century AA thinking, which is all-inclusive, open-minded, flexible and tolerant of others beliefs or non-beliefs. We nod our heads and salute the founders but, today we have learned a lot more about addiction and recovery. The fact that we know it is not necessary to believe in God to experience the joys of sobriety was foreign to them or else they would have done a better job with the “We Agnostics” chapter. For me, I was given the freedom to shape the picture of my recovery and I allow others the same freedom. I don’t have to get bent out of shape because the member sitting next to me is an atheist or a big book thumper. They have the same right as I do to figure out what will lead them down the path to recovery and to experience its many joys even if it’s not the suggested one. And that’s okay in the 21st century. I will never tell a member to get lost because I do not approve of their recovery. It was suggested to me years ago to not judge members or take their inventory.

Joined: 2011-05-21
Happy Founder's Day!

Yesterday at an Area quarterly business meeting, our Grapevine subcommittee Chairperson encouraged all members & officers of the area committee to come to this portion of the web site and post. So, here I am. Thanks to the wonderful service Grapevine provides in many ways.

It is a wonderful morning for gratitude as we celebrate the 78th year of our Fellowship. Having just attended the Northeast Regional Forum, my sense is that our General Service, A.A.W.S. and Grapevine, Inc. are in good stead. So, here's a shout-out to all who help carry the message or make it possible, "THANK YOU!" and may our Higher Power continue to bless us so long as we remain in humble service to the next sufferer who needs us.

A GV believer

I found NERF rather disheartening. The GSB & their numerous supporters from NY & NJ rather aloof & the clear questions raised not so clearly answered.
From what I learned about AA finances,I think wew should move out of NYC to a more reasonable clime.

dennikenn Happy Founder's Day

I wonder how much money is spent on Forums. I see that
the extra one is being deleted in a couple years. Would it
not make more sense to pay a little more to the churches
where we hold our meetings? Do the Forums serve any real
purpose? They do create business for the town where they
are held. I do wonder what this NERF cost us. Ned P.

1 month sober and stuck in her assignment

What does it mean write five qualifying questions of; on page 46 in the Big Book under "We Agnostics",the 2nd paragraph:1) lay aside prejudice and express 2)willingness to believe in a Power greater than ourselves,we commenced to get results, even though it was impossible for any of us to fully define or comprehend that Power, which God. 3)Our own conception, however inadequate, was sufficient to make the approach and to effect a contact with Him. 4)we admitted the possible existence and 5)those who seek Him.

re- month sober... be a tortoise not a hare

It doesn't mean much to me but, I guess it’s the cat’s meow with assignment giver. It's okay to say no and find another member to talk to. You don't have to accept this and drink over it. We can go at our own pace. I’ve seen a lot of hare’s race through recovery and out the back door while the tortoises stay in for years. Look for someone that walks the walk. Big talkers are plentiful. If you are an alcoholic than I would think the important thing is to not pick up the first drink for one day. You have already demonstrated this ability. Some people turn AA into another obsession or addiction by spending their whole lives in the rooms. But to me, the secret to recovery is to be found in the real world not hiding under a book; a coffee pot or tray of donuts. Take a break. If you can stay sober for one day than you know as much as anyone. Some members like to talk with angels and the gods while others enjoy conversations with their partners, children, neighbors and co-workers or some no one at all. Good Luck

Joined: 2012-01-18
Re: 1 month sober and stuck in her assignment

Who gave you this assignment? It doesn't sound like anything I've ever seen in AA literature. Maybe your counselor can explain it to you.


This was helpful to me when shared by my sponsor years ago.
He said the "We Agnostics" Chapter was not written by agnostics and atheists and it is likened to a conversion chapter. It doesn't reflect the agnostics and atheists who have reminded agnostic an atheist. He said it was not necessary to believe in god or a higher power for some members. AA has come along way since its early days when the members didn't know very much. They even acknowledged this. They believed only God could save us. This is fine to think but, its not true. We can be positive active members of AA whether we believe or not. If we put our hand out to the newcomer and share our experiences all will be well.

1 month

Beats me but I've only been around here for 25 years. Ask whoever assigned it to you. Maybe they'll know.

Fired for not believing but feeling alright thanks to i-Say

My sponsor fired me the other day not because I have a desire to stop drinking but, my undesired ability to believe in God. He said, “You can float around like a butterfly but eventually you have to sting like a bee” Does anyone know what he is talking about? That sounds silly. I have not touched a drop of alcohol for seven months and he’s harassing me to believe in God. He also said, “I let you get away with the not-god thing long enough. It’s time to grow up and get with God or die.” My heart tells me he is wrong to say that but, I am outnumbered in my group. It’s like 50 to 1. I’m glad I came to this site because there is a lot of support for members who are like me. In my group, I’m treated poorly. When I share some people shout, “It doesn’t matter if you don’t believe in God, because God believes in you. Someday you will get down on your knees and beg for his mercy.” I leave meetings sometimes feeling insulted and humiliated. I thought I was supposed to feel love and hope. I really wish there were more people like the ones on this site at my group. I wish there was a pamphlet to allow me to be the way I am so I can show those guys and tell them to back-off but there isn’t. If there was I wouldn’t be treated badly. I’m not going to drink because of them. I accept the fact that I have a medical condition, alcoholism. That means I am sick and my brain is wired for pleasure. Alcohol will kill me; my non-belief in God won’t. That’s crazy. I know I’m new and stupid. You can ask my ex-sponsor who belittled me to no end. What I’m saying is I am grateful for all the points of view here. If all of AA was like my group then AA would be a scary place. But, thanks to i-Say I feel I belong to something wonderful and I can see that AA is more with it than the impressions I get from my group.


He did you a favor. Don't worry about the higher power/God stuff. It's quite alright to be a non-believer in AA. I actually became a non-believer after 6 years in recovery and that was 24 years ago. As long as you don't pick up the first drink everything will be okay. Unfortunately, there are unhealthy god people that will come after you. Many of the people that attacked me are not even sober today but, here I am years later. You don't have to be Mister Popular in AA. I bet you any money there are people like you looking for people like you. Things are different now in the rooms however some folks aren't open to it.

RE Fired for not believing but feeling alright thanks to i-Say

In A.A. sponsors are for people who believe in God but cannot rely on him - I think you quailfy

Re- fired..I think you qualify

Hi, thanks for commenting on my post. Can you be more specific? Your comment is not clear to me and it may be helpful. Thanks again

Re- fired..I think you qualify

Tried with no luck !

Stay Strong...

You're in the right place and just keep doing what you're doing. It is not my place to judge your group but we have to be accepting of everyone b/c we've all been in that hole we call alcoholism by ourselves until we found the fellowship. Your Higher Power is whatever you need it to be today to keep you sober and that's truly what's it's all about. Everyone's journey is going to be different and you're definitely strong to just listen and let it go.

Take care and happy travels through sobriety one day at a time.

re fired

“You can float around like a butterfly but eventually you have to sting like a bee”
It was Muhammad Ali's stated strategy for a particular fight. A fighter can dodge around for a while but he eventually he needs to start boxing to win a fight.

When I took an honest look at my drinking and unmanageable life, some of my very best thinking resulted in my car smashed on a utility pole. I was smart enough to make it through engineering school with a BS ME without much effort but trying to deal with everyday life sent me to the bar for solutions. Then that solution caused more problems. With a drinking history written out, I could see that I needed something or somebody else running my life. It’s a program of action. Saying yeah you’re probably right does not get results. Writing a first step got results. It was a somehow different man looking at step two then.

If I try to sponsor someone who rejects the steps for month after month I simply have to tell him the truth. I don’t have anything to help you. Thanks for helping me stay sober but stop wasting your time with me. We both need to move on.

re important to not

I don’t have a crystal ball and without one anyone is on a fool’s mission guessing who will stay sober and who won’t and why. I am a recovered alcoholic who has been alcohol (and drug) free for 33 years. I read Working with Others in the Big Book frequently to avoid the mistakes you report. Carrying AA’s message correctly is certainly contrary to the first thing I think someone needs.

The thing that really stands out in your post is how really important that not believing in a higher power is to you. Not a word of “I have really tried but get nothing”. AA’s program is one of action, a program of changing ideas and attitudes. I have read the chapter “How it Works” and the 12 and 12 many, many times about step two. I strenuously resisted steps two and three when I entered AA but AA changed me. I finally noticed that step three did not require that I become a missionary in a leper colony the worlds worst hell hole salaried at a dollar a year, praying on my knees all day on my day off. It simply tells me to take a moral inventory next. I did that. It was an eye opener. I became willing to read it to a Chaplin that swore like a sailor and said he didn’t believe much that was written in the bible. Six and seven started to look a lot better. Today the steps are useful tools to solve everyday problems.

You are completely anonymous online. Why not spell out why resisting any kind of faith is so important to you? If you aren’t willing to do even that, I don’t see that AA has anything to offer you but bad coffee and more frustration. Good luck.

I guess what he's trying to

I guess what he's trying to say is, when you look in the mirror hopefully the image that's appearing is not God.

What Happens?

I ask people who claim AA membership who reject God and/or the twelve steps what exactly do they practice. What is their message? I haven’t received much of a response. Some have said sharing. Sharing drinking histories is certainly important to remind us what we don’t want to return to and provide a picture to newcomers that they may relate to. If that works, then what? He knows he has a problem, what’s the solution? Go to meetings? Why? A replacement for the bar, a safe house? Cure a deadly, progressive disease by going to a neutral corner for an hour a night for the rest of his life?

Say it is a mythical magical meeting – no God stuff or praying, or chanting, hand holding, advice giving, Big Book beating, down-the-throat-jamming or steps. What goes on in there? If you say sharing experience, strength and hope, you need to spell it out for me. I’m dense. What happens in that hour? Please don’t bother with an argument with one of the words I have chosen to use or some other evasive rant. That’s all been recorded here before. The question is - What happens in that hour?
Thanx in advance and have a great day.


I feel it’s important to mind our own business in recovery and not worry about how someone else is getting sober. I haven't detected the same hostility as you. Why not share your experience and have an open mind. Occasionally, I read a few aggressive and immature posts on both sides of the spectrum but, the majority show great love for the fellowship. What I gather from the reading the posts is there are some member who have an “Outside the 12-Step Box” recovery that want to be treated as equal members. I’m like most members who like traditional AA, the one you seem to be passionately defending. Are our recoveries that fragile that a few members will bust our peace of mind up? Honestly, AA doesn’t need any defending by the way. It’s bigger than you and I. A few posts here and there supporting different points of view will not bring it down. My sponsor is an atheist sober about three decades but, the majority of members in our group have no idea. He gets a kick when people say he’s the most spiritual person they have ever met! Are these kind words to him invalid because he doesn’t get sober like you or me? Think, Think, Think.

re: what happens

Each meeting I attend has its own "sense," as the Quakers might say. Meetings without those attributes you think are what make an AA meeting typically involve just what the preamble suggests, members sharing their experience in staying sober a day at a time while learning to "live life on life's terms," with or without belief in supernatural power. As Bill W. noted, when all else failed, work with another alcoholic helped keep him sober. Today, that work for me often consists of just showing up for a meeting. Last time I checked, there was no requirement that I accept or reject your god or anyone else's god to be a member.

RE: What happens??

We share honesty and freely without fear of judgment. We
care enough to actively listen. It IS mystical and magical.
We certainly do not reject God or the twelve steps. We
embrace them. We share about them, without pushing them
on each other, or anyone else. Dr. Bob advised us to keep
it simple. How much more simple can I put it. I hope to stay in that neutral corner, where it is safe. ANONYMOUS

Joined: 2013-06-04

I am only 8 months sober and am grateful for having found AA. I am having a problem with "sponsorship". My dear friend has been sober 2 yrs. and her sponsor insists that she must quit taking the medication for clinical depression that is prescribed for her. May I also add that she has been institutionalized more than a couple of times. Her life is finally coming together, family has forgiven her and she can hold her head up and shoulders squared and be proud of her sobriety. She is so awesome with the newcomers, the reason many ever step back in to the meetings. Most in our home group treat the newcomers as an annoyance. I find this ludicrous that a sponsor is attempting to play doctor. I love my friend and do not want to go back in to that dark hole she has struggled so hard to climb out of. Am I way off base? I guess I just don't understand.

RE: Sponsors

Listen to your God given instincts and develop them in the fellowship before you get diverted by the followship as you are warned about them in the Traditions and 3 pertinent ideas of A.A’s ABC’s Glad you are here my friend

I agree with you...leave

I agree with you...leave medication to a doctor!

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