I can recall, very vividly, my uncle screaming at me, “Don’t eat my fucking Lucky Charms.” It was the only food he could stomach while wasting away on my grandmother’s couch, dying from cirrhosis of the liver. My dad was an alcoholic, so was my grandfather and many others. All these men attended AA and followed the 12 step program. Here’s where I have the problem, a theistic program, pushes someone who is already down into thinking they just can’t it without god–I’m a firm believer in the power of one’s self. I really hate that people are duped into believing some distant invisible being is bestowing them some magical power to quit the bottle, or anything, for that matter. You put in the time. You put in the effort. You did it. Why give credit to something else? Doesn’t that morally release you from responsibility if you fall off the wagon, “God took away my strength!” God is unnecessary. I used to think my prayers and faith carried me day to day, but it wasn’t. I no longer write off my personal choices to the whims of a silent god. And it should go without saying, ancient mysticism isn’t a cure for a serious addiction.