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Forum Home > Healing After Leaving AA > Do NOT feel guilty about leaving "The Program"

Rolf Ankermann
Member
Posts: 14

I'm on a couple of other various on-line recovery groups and on one of them there was a really nice person who was feeling extreme guilt about the prospect of leaving AA even though she was now convinced of it's cult like methods and damaging messages. She had "commitments" and didn't want to let anybody down. That and the fact that most all of her friends at this point are in AA and it has pretty much become the only social (if you really want to call it that) outlet that she has. Anyway, here is my reply.....

"Please, please, please lose any semblence of "GUILT" that you are entertaining feeling for leaving your "so called" friends and the cult. Just wait and see how many and for how long any of these fantastic friends will want anything to do with you once you leave. They'll drop you like a brick. Granted, women do tend to form closer bonds in AA than most of us guys but then again I think that's true outside of the halls as well. The AA world will not crumble if you leave.The kingdom of sheepdom will continue just fine without you.

Who cares what they will "think" or will "say" about you when you're gone. They will summise that you either are either drinking again or that you are a dry drunk who is absolutely miserable and mean. That's there only fallback because for them to admit that people can leave and be happy would would be to blow a shotgun through their whole belief system of "one day at a time" for LIFE and that death, institutions or jail await.

If AA has become your whole world then, yes, you will face a period of lonliness. It won't be easy but you have to do it. Start recreating yourself with new interests, hobbies, etc... For me, I decided to get healthy and started playing tennis again. It started with just me and the big wall near the courts because I had NOBODY to play with. I kept at it and low and behold one day a guy walks by and says "you want to hit a few with me on the court?" So that's how it started and now I know a core of about 10-15 regular players and I never have to play alone unless I want to, which by the way, I still often do because I don't mind my own company. I've even been known to now ask the "stranger" playing against the wall if "he wants to hit a few". So again, just an example but the point is that you have to try and connect with new people on new levels. It takes time and requires patience which is something that most of us aren't particularily good at. I'm still not but I'm getting better. It's a process you know. Learning, connecting, evolving, etc.... Give it time but in the meantime just GET THE HELL OUT. You don't need any pomp and circumstance to it; No formal announcement. Just leave and don't come back. It really is that simple. It's a choice just like putting the bottle down was. Not easy, but doable and necessary."

Peace out,

Rolf Ankermann

thefreedomtorecover.com

 

June 19, 2013 at 12:37 AM Flag Quote & Reply

The Librarian
Member
Posts: 171

Hi Ron, Great Post - All of it.  My female friends in aa have dumped me because I won't go anymore.  That's fine.  I'm now rebuilding like you described.  I'm going to a gym, joined french classes.... etc.

 

What I find hard are evening.  Now that my hubby has passed my kid has gone to university, it's like the old days.... alone.... but this time around there is not booze. 

 

You've cut a clear path to show how to live and begin making friends outside the doors - it just takes time.  And by the way... I don't mind my own company either. 

 

GG

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September 11, 2013 at 11:35 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Live_free_or_die
Administrator
Posts: 851

The Librarian at September 11, 2013 at 11:35 PM

Hi Ron, Great Post - All of it.  My female friends in aa have dumped me because I won't go anymore.  That's fine.  I'm now rebuilding like you described.  I'm going to a gym, joined french classes.... etc.

 

What I find hard are evening.  Now that my hubby has passed my kid has gone to university, it's like the old days.... alone.... but this time around there is not booze. 

 

You've cut a clear path to show how to live and begin making friends outside the doors - it just takes time.  And by the way... I don't mind my own company either. 

 

GG

If you have any interest in talking we have some members that Skype quite often.  Just let me know.


 

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Pro Empowerment - Engage & Enable


September 12, 2013 at 5:42 AM Flag Quote & Reply

mamameow
Member
Posts: 1
Hi everyone. I just got my 13 yr token and want OUT! Glad these forums are around. I have been only going to mtgs 2x mo..and my closest AA friend is so on my last nerve and I am afraid to tell her I am leaving AA. Truth is...she has no other engagements out of AA and I want to jab my eyes out when I talk to her. There is no point in prolonging all of this yet I still have not taken that final leap. Its so awful to sit w people who continually self sabbotage via AA. I dont want it anymore...I want to be free yet have fear. I am trying to build friends outside of AA and just moved to another state where my obsessive AA friend of 10 yrs lives. How did u guys break ties w peolple in AA u may have cared about yet who eventually stifled you? Thanks for this forum and for all of u (Rolf I will read your book) who have taken the leap away from AA.
September 13, 2013 at 7:23 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Live_free_or_die
Administrator
Posts: 851

Well, congratualtions on 13 years.  And, welcome to the forums.  Hopefully others will offer some advice on the breaking ties question.  I personally was never "in" AA.  I was mandated to meetings for DUI.  I only attended open meetings and not many of those.  Got my attendence documented and left.


I can tell you that for me, at my first AA meeting, when I heard some of the ideas, I knew AA wasn't for me.  Ain't had a drink in over three and a half years now, without AA, or any program, really.

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Pro Empowerment - Engage & Enable


September 13, 2013 at 8:53 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Not Born Yesterday
Member
Posts: 11

When I relocated to the Midwest a few years ago and had an horrendous experince in the local 12-Step recovery groups, I stopped going to all meetings. I was already beginning to lose my fascination with AA prior to moving here, so it wasn't hard to stop going to meetings. However, I guess I had hoped that the 12-Step groups here would comprise as large amount of my social life here as it had on the East Coast, but, since I no longer attend meetings my social life is basically naught. The really sad part is that I am honest with my AA friends on the East Coast whom I try to stay in touch with but I can sense how they are slowly drifting away from me becausse I no longer attend AA. I am currently down to one friend here in the Midwest, another former AA member, and a few people on the East Coast who are either not in AA or accept me as I am. So yes, the social loss when we leave AA is felt very deeply and poignantly. I am surviving but plan on moving back East where even if I don't attend AA I think I will find more social outlets. I know it can be done and I have had some success with social activity, but I am still alone 90% of the time and that is excessive. Thanks for addressing this highly important aspect of leaving AA.

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Born Again, but, Not BornYesterday.

September 17, 2013 at 7:52 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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