So far it’s been 119 days since my last drink. Since then I’ve had various people ask if I’m in AA, if I’ve thought about AA, etc. (The asking if I’m going to meetings does kind of defeat the purpose of the “anonymous” part though, doesn’t it?)
I haven’t been to an AA meeting (yet) and right now don’t have any plans to. I respect what they’ve been able to do for a lot of people and I’m not ruling out attending, but so far I’ve been able to manage my sobriety with support from family, friends and weekly sessions with a therapist. We discuss the sorts of situations where I want to drink, the sorts of scenarios that trigger the anxiety that I used to relieve by getting drunk, etc. We discuss alternatives to drinking, how to avoid certain scenarios, etc. One example of an alternative is my occasional cigar. Sometimes when other people are having a drink, it’s nice to have something other than a club soda.
Another way I’ve been dealing with the drinking is to change some of my routines. I used to come home from work everyday and either crack open a beer, pour a glass of wine or fix a cocktail. Now when I get home from work I go for walks or work out. I’m out of the house, away from the booze and doing something positive for my physical health to boot. By the time I get home all I really want is water.
But to be honest, there’s another reason- AA seems to me to be very tied in with religious/spiritual journeys. Whether it’s the prevalence of meetings at Churches, the recitation of prayer, spiritual awakening, etc., I’m turned off as someone who tends to be on the more atheistic side of agnosticism. There was a New York Times article about AA for folks who don’t believe in God, but a web search of local meetings didn’t really reveal any of this type of group (at least not in any obvious way). I’m not opposed to the idea of a 12 Step program per se, and again, I understand it’s been a powerful force that’s helped many people. I’d love to get some other input or feedback about other experiences with AA (particularly with any of these secular groups).
Anyway, that’s why I’m not in AA or attending meetings right now. Maybe I will someday. But for now I’m on my own, but not alone, thanks to my family, friends and therapist.