Leaving AA & the 12 Steps Behind
Increasingly we are helping people leave AA, Steps, Meetings, and the other life-denying, demeaning, and diminishing aspects of “in recovery” behind.
This came about almost accidentally.
We have always made deprogramming from the AA mythology which pervades our culture, and hence our thinking, a part of our work with you. It’s necessary to dispel the false notions which lead to anxiety about what giving up the misuse of alcohol really means.
These false beliefs include:
- “It’s a disease!”
- “AA is the only way!”
- “You must go to Meetings forever!”
- “You can never drink again!”
- “You are either an alcoholic or an alcoholic in denial!”
All of these are unsupported fear mongering dogma designed to demean and indoctrinate you into the AA cult – and keep you there.
So we refute these commonly believed notions with reality. Only very rarely does compulsive alcohol consumption lead inevitably to death in a fashion which mimics an actual disease. These are people whose affinity for alcohol overrides all other considerations and they will drink until they die. But this pathological drinking is not usual and if you were so inflicted you’d be drinking, not reading this.
AA has about a 5% long-term success rate whether you go voluntarily and for free or pay for it via residential or out-patient “rehab”. At least two dozen approaches are more effective and less debilitating.
You can leave alcohol abuse behind without Meetings and your life can be enhanced, not diminished by either alcohol or AA.
people, and we accent “most,” may return to some level of “normal” drinking at some point if they so choose. Many prefer not to, some find they can’t. Again, we don’t dictate outcomes.
Most of you who are misusing alcohol are neither “alcoholics” nor “in denial.” Most of you don’t fall into the “dependent” stage of the DS-5’s Alcohol Use Disorder and, even if you do, AA isn’t apt to help.
So, having dispelled the common myths, I will move onto the special case of those of you who find yourselves trapped in the cult but afraid to leave.
AA and traditional rehab are based on a model which prays on your temporary vulnerability, fear, isolation, and regression.
Alcohol is not only a depressant but a regressant – it causes you to function at an emotional and psychological level lower than your actual maturity.
As the research again shows, AA “works” for people whose emotional and psychological development was arrested at or before the age of 12. But yours wasn’t. You have only temporarily regressed yourself to that state by excessive alcohol use.
What do you suppose happens when you stop drinking? Naturally you begin to return to your normal developmental levels and you, quite literally, outgrow AA.
For some people there is no problem. They just quietly slip away and return to their normal life no longer troubled by either alcohol or AA.
For others, who have been bullied and brainwashed, the thought of leaving creates such anxiety that you continue even though you know that you are being harmed more by AA than you were by alcohol.
It’s a horrible conflicted state, one that bedevils you to the same extent that your drinking drove you to AA in the first place.
But now the difference is that you can see the possibility of a life free of both alcohol abuse and AA. It’s a terrifying leap to just do it.
That’s where we come in. We hold your hand for the months it takes to regain your confidence, appease your spouse and others, discover all of the benefits of leaving the cult, and, yes, dealing with the anger of having been seduced and abused by the cult that was supposed to save you.
Instead, it helps to be glad that AA provided a brief respite that allowed you to recover yourself, and gave you the motivation to regain your full life. You only need 2 Steps, one step to dry out and rebound, a second to leave and live your own unique but normal life.
We’re happy to be the vehicle that gets you there.