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Non-religion oriented support groups

  • 09-02-2022 9:35pm
    Registered Users Posts: 34 TryingNot2Lie

    Perhaps this question has been asked numerous times before but I'm interested in peoples experiences with non-religious alcohol support groups or programmes.

    I'm an atheist so a few of the steps in the AA 12 step program I can't complete. Yeah, I could pretend, but that would be lying to myself and lying to others, and I suppose you could say, step 1 in my support program is stop lying. I can't depend my sobriety on a program based on a lie.

    My doctor suggested LifeRing. Has anyone experience with that?

    Any advice is welcome.

    Thank you


  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 11,345 Mod ✭✭✭✭ JupiterKid

    Hello OP. Recovering alcoholic here, three years sober now.

    I have done both the AA and LifeRing groups and they were both very good on their own way. You don't gave to be religious to do the AA steps and programme, but if you really have an issue with the "higher power" concept LifeRing or Smart Recovery may be more for you.

    LifeRing have been in Ireland since 2009 and are mainly based in Dublin in terms of meetings, most of which are being done via Zoom since the Covid issues in early 2020. It is a very different format to AA - it's about empowering your sober self, being in control of your recovery and there are books on the LifeRing approach - Empowering The Sober Self is the main one.

    If you check out the website there will be a list of meetings (one most evenings) and links to the online ones.

    The meetings are relaxed and quite informal and everyone is encouraged to share. The setting is more intimate than most AA meetings and cross talk is allowed. They are also completely secular: there is no talk of God or higher power etc.

    I don't know much about Smart Recovery but I've heard it has helped many people in their recovery.

    Wishing you well in your recovery! 👍👍

  • Registered Users Posts: 34 TryingNot2Lie

    LifeRing had already been suggested to me and I've been looking into it, and I think thats the route I will go for now at least.

    I like the sound of the informal setting. My first AA meeting, the woman beside me was balling crying, and I said, while someone was talking something like "This woman is clearly upset", and to her "Are you alreight?", and was told abruptly, "Oh we never interrupt someone when they are talking". That alone kind of put me off the format.

    I'll chart my progress on this thread with LifeRing. It might help someone else.