How I Stopped Drinking Without AA

I’ve never been very good at following the rules. I don’t actually intend to be rebellious I just always seem to go my own way. When I knew that I needed to stop drinking and found that I could not do it on my own, the biggest reason I didn’t go to AA wasn’t my rebellious nature but simple practicalities. I don’t have options where I live. There is one English-speaking AA group in my city that meets once a week at the church where I used to teach Sunday school. Anonymity in that situation was hopeless so I didn’t even try.

But it was also the steps. Which read like rules to me. A routine or discipline that has been tried and tested by many over the years and works. But they are never-the-less RULES.

I did google AA online a few years back and I started reading the Big Book.

I remember thinking about downloading it and printing it out but I just couldn’t. Although I was worried enough about my drinking to start reading the Big Book and I saw myself in those words, I could not admit to myself much less my husband that my drinking had gotten “that bad”. I was ashamed to imagine having a copy of the AA Big Book on my bed side table. I was ashamed of the stigma of alcoholism.

In a desperate, guilt ridden, hung over state I did Google AA and I did read a bit, but I walked away.

Not yet… not that bad… yet…..

The thing is I saw myself very clearly in the words of the Big Book and in a way it made me feel safe to read those words. I felt like “YES!” out there in the world there were other people like me. People who understood! People who knew how to stop!

But I had trouble with the idea of following the rules.

Because I am not a joiner, not a rule follower, not someone who is ever comfortable being categorized or classified or pigeon holed in any way. Because I am so decidedly independent I struggled mightily imagining working those steps in the AA Big Book.

Ultimately for me stop drinking turned out to be all about breaking the rules. It is the single most rebellious thing I have done in my life.

Throughout the early months of my sobriety I did have a lot of help indirectly from AA. I read stories of people who had worked those steps, followed the rules, and found recovery. I had mentors from AA in my blogging group who I sometimes agreed with and sometimes debated with. But whether or not you follow the rules of AA or follow your own path the choice to stop drinking and the discipline to stay stopped has to come from within.

There has to be a moment when you look at the glass in your hand and accept 100% that once you start drinking you give up control and nothing is more important then NOT doing that anymore.

In AA I think they call it humility and surrender.

I accepted that I do not have control after the first glass and that it is a matter of life or death… and than I surrendered to a 100% commitment of my energy to stop No MATTER WHAT.

I ACCEPTED that once I start drinking I CANNOT control how much I drink

I accepted that self abuse is NOT self care

I surrendered to knowing that sometimes I simply need to rest and that’s OK.

I made a commitment to never drink again No MATTER what.

I found a community of people who will support and encourage me to do just that.

I reflect on how I’m feeling and what I’m thinking and who I am without the blur of mind numbing, sensation blurring, energy sapping nightly binge drinking.

I ask questions, bare my soul, see myself reflected positively or not in the stories of others .

I offer support and inspiration at every opportunity.

Every day for the past four years I have been

Conscious, Aware, Alive


If you’re drinking too much too often Rethink the Drink. You don’t have to follow the status quo. Alcohol is the only drug that people will question you for not using. Come talk to us in the Boozemusings Community BOOM. We are a Private, Anonymous community forum tucked away from the busy noise of social media on Mighty Networks. You can Download the Mighty Networks app for free, find us there at BOOM Rethink the Drink, and have a supportive community at your finger tips where ever you go.

Related Posts From the Boozemusings Blog :

Guide to your First Month of Sobriety: Why and How to Quit

If AA Were Invented Today

Un-Drowning – Rising Up From a Legacy of Alcohol Addiction

Just Don’t Drink the Rest Will Follow

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