I am an alcoholic. I am not the least bit ashamed to say so. My father and uncle also have a long history of loving the bottle. I have attended some AA meetings through the years. I have read their "big book" front to cover and despite their claims to be non religious I have found the organization to be very religious. Scary religious. Many of the beliefs and messages expressed at meetings do more harm than good to their members. For me the attraction to AA has nothing to do with searching for an answer or a cure for  alcoholism. I know addiction is a physical disease. Instead of the genetic code for diabetes, breast cancer, or multiple sclerosis the roll of the DNA dice predisposed me to drink in excess. In order for diabetics to maintain good health they either limit or exclude sweets and other carbohydrates from their diet, likewise, if I want to be healthy I can not drink. My attraction to AA has been based on a desire to associate with other people who are also alcoholics. The same reason I seek out atheist groups, I like to associate with people who share the same beliefs, goals, and life experiences that I have experienced. The problem is the ONLY group of recovering alcoholics is Alcoholics Anonymous.In the Northern United States agnostic groups exist, however, the AA central office and many of their members refuse to acknowledge these groups as apart of AA. In Canada several agnostic groups where criticized and removed from the meeting schedules they distributed. I live in the deep south, rural Georgia. (No I do not like country music, yes I have all my teeth) The message from AA  seems to be "we are here only to help the religious or those willing to become religious".  Atheist alcoholics seeking support are out of luck, especially in the southern states. For several months I have searched for a true non religious group of recovering alcoholics and have come up empty handed. So I have decided to be honest about my atheism within the rooms of AA. What I realized is my presence and continued success at not drinking will disprove the popular belief in AA that only "God" can keep you sober. I can not be the only atheist alcoholic on the planet! If no place in Georgia exists to offer peer support for the recovering alcoholic who is also an agnostic/atheist then I will just create a place. Wish me luck!

Denise  

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