4 Ways I Stay Sober Without AA

Research shows that if you maintain these types of toxic relationships, your chances of relapsing are greater. To avoid relapse and remain sober, it’s important to develop healthy relationships. If PAWS is severe or if you’re experiencing prolonged symptoms, a medical professional can help you work through them and remain in recovery without relapse. Some definitions of sobriety call for complete lifelong abstinence while others focus on developing coping mechanisms that can reduce harm with the understanding that setbacks are common.

I still have the original papers I submitted to them w/ their nasty comments– I’ve often wondered about photographing and posting all over social media and detailing their sexist abuse, which would today have won me a lawsuit. Wretched was meant entirely compassionately, and if you read Bill’s book, the wretchedness of alcoholism is the very motive behind the 12-step program, and the objective of the program is best described as redemption. https://ecosoberhouse.com/article/why-is-my-vision-blurry-after-drinking-alcohol/ “I just want to wish everyone a happy new year and also to say I’m celebrating 47 years today of sobriety,” he said in the clip. “This is a message not meant to be heavy, but I hope helpful. I am a recovering alcoholic. And to you out there — I know there are people struggling.” In an essay for GQ, the singer revealed that when she stopped drinking alcohol in January 2021, that was “the most rebellious thing” she’s ever done.

Getting Sober Without Attending Alcoholics Anonymous

Establishing a stable and firm foundation in recovery is an essential part of maintaining long-term sobriety and AA can help people in recovery do that. As a program that focuses on improving character deficits in addition to problem drinking, the 12-Step Program also helps sober individuals develop productive habits, life skills, and maintain a healthy mindset in recovery. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) has been around since 1935 but despite its long-standing presence around the world, many people wonder if it’s actually an effective way to get sober and stay sober. Although the success rate for AA has long been debated, there studies that show it can be a very effective recovery tool for many people who are recovering from addiction. In his treatment, Willenbring uses a mix of behavioral approaches and medication.

20 years sober without aa

Also commonly known as the “12-Step Program,” these 12 steps provide a framework for self-examination and a guide for living a lifestyle of sobriety. At about the same time I grew very chary of identifying myself as an alcoholic, even to my doctor, who obligingly changed the language in my records. I said that I had never been diagnosed as alcoholic, nor received treatment. The attitude of personnel departments toward recovery seemed to have changed in the era of murderous downsizing, from benevolent acceptance to the possibility of using a past drinking problem to “trump up” a reason for termination. People with alcohol problems also suffer from higher-than-normal rates of mental-health issues, and research has shown that treating depression and anxiety with medication can reduce drinking.

Others’ experience of leaving AA

Dodes tells NPR’s Arun Rath that 12-step recovery simply doesn’t work, despite anecdotes about success. The average time of sobriety of successful AA members, as reported by AA, is more than five years. Since AA is a faith-based program, it would work better for those who have a devotion to religion. People, like atheists, may not benefit from this program. The core of AA is using a higher power to overcome AUD. EMDR is a type of psychotherapy, or talk therapy, that uses external stimuli to aid recovery.

20 years sober without aa

Unlike Alcoholics Anonymous, these methods are based on modern science and have been proved, in randomized, controlled studies, to work. I have been thinking similar thoughts for some time now, as a 28-year member of AA. AA “theology” teaches both social and psychological health.

Older studies

But he remained relatively quiet about his continuing sober journey until April 21, 2018, when he posted a photo of himself on Instagram holding up an Alcoholics Anonymous coin with the Roman numeral X on it. “Celebrated my 10 years yesterday,” he captioned the pic. The “Thrift Shop” rapper said on “People’s Party With Talib Kweli” in January 2021 that he “was about to die” at age 25 before his father, Bill Haggerty, paid more than $10,000 for him to go to a 30-day rehab. That’s not to be f–king dramatic — that’s just what it is,” Macklemore, who relapsed in 2011 and 2014, said on the podcast. “People were as replaceable as they had deemed me to be. Imposter syndrome had stiff competition against my self-hatred at that point.”

The actress revealed on CBS This Morning in December 2021 that she quit drinking alcohol two and a half years prior. “It was something I realized just did not serve me and my life,” she said, noting that she’s “been very private with a lot of struggles” because of social media. “12 and a half years ago I was in active addiction,” Bower tweeted in July 2022.

A.A. Can Support Professionals

According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), the relapse rate for drug and alcohol addiction is about 40-60%. I’d been sober for more than a year before I admitted to anyone that I was an alcoholic and sober for two years before I submitted the general public to that ugly news. Initial reactions ranged from actual tears of gratitude and relief to the girl at the bar I was managing who looked at me slyly, swaying on her heels and said, “So what would happen if you took just one sip? Today, my life is full of people whose lives don’t revolve around consuming booze.

Is it possible to stop drinking without AA?

Quitting drinking without AA

Surveys have found that about 75% of those who've recovered from drinking problems did so without the help of Alcoholics Anonymous. Many people, in fact, recover without any formal help at all.

There is no shame in admitting that you need to go back in your recovery! Sometimes, you need to take a step back before moving forward. Recovery can be a linear process, yet you might need to go back if you aren’t ready to move forward. For example, you might complete a sober living program yet do not feel prepared to get back in the real world. Having sober without aa attended meetings for years, I’ve heard plenty of stories from people with long-term sobriety who’d somehow started drinking again and stopped attending meeting until their drinking became unmanageable yet again. Now that you are sober, you may have discovered that some of your past relationships were not only unhealthy but downright toxic.

Redemption comes from within, or from god if that is what you believe (I do not), it is not something others can gift to you. I have been to so many meetings, going backs 35 years, and have many years of sobriety. My experience of contentious or disruptive speakers in the meetings is that they were quickly shut down by other, more experienced members. I think that is most cases, “AA Law” will prevail, and these people will either shut up and get the message, or quietly stop coming.

It has its own steps—nine of them—which the organization says can help followers to achieve balance and moderation in all aspects of their lives. The organization is upfront about the fact that 30 percent of its members go on to abstinence-based programs, if moderation didn’t work for them. If you’re worried but haven’t yet reached your bottom, it could be worth checking them out. Came to should be the same conclusion that we somehow reach as well.


Whether this is some sort of spiritual program, giving back to your community, getting involved in recovery activism, is all up to you. The reason that the 5 to 10 percent do well in AA actually doesn’t have to do with the 12 steps themselves; it has to do with the camaraderie. It’s a supportive organization with people who are on the whole kind to you, and it gives you a structure. And to its credit, AA describes itself as a brotherhood rather than a treatment. In this pharmaceutical era
that reminds us constantly that there is a medication to help with any problem,
taking a pill can seem quite normal. Medications that keep us from feeling physical or emotional pain, that help
us relax, or that enable us to sleep are the ones that can lead to abuse and
addictive use.

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