Home Discussion Forum Why is Al-Anon / Ala-Teen so religious & spiritual? Is there a...

Why is Al-Anon / Ala-Teen so religious & spiritual? Is there a non – religious alternative?

Okay I don’t want to bore you with my life store But…I am the 18 year old daughter of an alcoholic. I am not the only one in the family who knows about the problem – we all know. but for some reason I am the only one who this really is taking a toll on (besides my mother obviously) My dad knows & it bugs him but he won’t do anything constructive about it & it almost slips his mind (or he just acts like nothings wrong) for a while till its brought to his attention again. & my brother is too young to understand and I don’t want him to worry. It tears me up inside to no end.
I decided to try ala-teen to help how bad it hurts me etc but its sooo darn religious! I don’t belive in god or any of that spiritual stuff. please don’t judge. I went to one meeting & most of it seemed like a bunch of churchy nonsense… I cannot relate to alot of the the 12 steps or twelve traditions b/c they don’t mesh with my beliefs and are too religious.
1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
11. Sought though prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
-Reprinted with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.
1. Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. unity.
2. For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority – a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
3. The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.
4. Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole.
5. Each group has but one primary purpose – to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.
6. An A.A. group ought never endorse, finance or lend the A.A. name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
7. Every A.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
8. Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever non-professional, but our service centers may employ special workers.
9. A.A., as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
10. Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the A.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
11. Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio and films.
12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.
is there a non religious alternative? I mean what does “god” have to with my mom being a drunk? She refuses treatment and I just need a some support without being so religious about it


  1. There are many, actually! The 12-steps didn’t work for me, and haven’t worked for many others I know. I understand where you’re coming from – they are ultra-churchy and largely against science. In fact, they made me want to drink, because they made the struggle seem so pointless and futile. SOS helped me quit drinking, and I’ve been sober for many years now. Good for you, though, for taking care of yourself and seeking support.
    Try: SOS, secular organization for sobriety
    Lifering is another good one
    All of these organizations offer services for family members of the addicted. They are much different than AA/NA, and in my mind, far more positive. They ecshew the “terminal disease” model, and give you some hope. You can find locations of meetings in your area at their sites. If it works for you, you may consider mentioning them to the family member who is still suffering.

  2. Hi, I don’t know where you live but you might try an adult children of alcoholics Al-Anon group since you are 18. I felt the same way about religion and God–I didn’t want anything to do with it. My life was such a mess and if there was a God, why were so many awful things happening to me.
    I also didn’t know what spirituality was either or understand the difference between spirituality and religion.
    Here’s what helped me and finally got me to go to a meeting–the Al-Anon member who took my phone call told me that my Higher Power or the God of my understanding could be anything–a pair of tennis shoes, Superman, a tree-, or even my Al-Anon groujp-just as long as it wasn’t me or another person.
    When I got to my first meeting, members told me don’t worry about the God/Higher Power thing. Don’t look at all of the Twelve Steps or the Twelve Traditions. Just start on Step One–acceptance that I cannot control another person’s drinking but I can control my reaction to it and the unmanageability of my life–which was sheer chaos. I was enraged and almost killed my husband about three times because he wouldn’t stop drinking. I hated my father (also a drinker) and didn’t respect my Mother because she kept my father in our family life–she even divorced him and then remarried him five years later.
    I was so used to feeling alone and isolated that it was such a relief to find other people in Al-Anon who knew what I was talking about. It takes awhile to get used to Al-Anon but I did. I just let go of the the God and religion stuff and began at the beginning.
    If you stop coming, the disease of alcoholism will continue to trash out your perspective on your life and your relationships with your parents. It only gets worse.
    I’ve been a member for 32 years now and after about two or three years, I was able to have a Higher Power whom I choose to call God–but I am not practicing my religion at all. What happened .


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