Just a quickie before I get around to some deep (hopefully) life affirming thoughts :-)
I'm on a couple of 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 their 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
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'tmind 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."