The key to overcoming alcoholism and early recovery is massive action. I harp on this a lot because taking massive action works so well for so many different problems. If you want to see some good results then you should take massive action and it will pretty much insure that you get great results. If you just take a modest effort to overcoming alcoholism then you will actually get terrible results. It is all or nothing when it comes to recovery (because a single drink spells disaster!).
I have a lot of unique ideas about long term recovery and most of them do not mesh well with a 12 step program. But in early recovery, a 12 step program makes a lot of sense and I would urge anyone to take advantage of the free support. AA meetings are free and widespread and the people in them are genuinely willing to help you. What more could you ask for in early recovery? You need to take massive action in order to recover and I would suggest that you use that fellowship as a foundation to get started with all that action.
For example, you could go to several meetings every day during your first of sobriety, and thus get a ton of support and also a lot of new knowledge about how to live sober. You could also find a sponsor and work the steps and get into the literature. If an alcoholic does these things but only puts in a modest effort into them then he will most likely relapse. But if you dive into these sort of activities head first and take massive action in doing them every single day, then you have a much stronger chance at staying sober.
Do you have to go to meetings and get involved in AA in order to make it through early recovery? No you do not. Many people have made it through early recovery without AA and without relapsing. But if you do not use AA then you need to find something else that works for you. You need to find a way to take massive action and do positive things every day in order to recover. And you probably will need to find a way to help other people in your recovery, especially other addicts and alcoholics. If you can reach out and help others in some way then this will do a lot to strengthen your own recovery.
So the solution is not in the steps you take, but in how you take the steps. You don’t have to go to a 12 step program necessarily. But you do have to take action, and you have to put in a massive effort. If you are not going to go to AA or NA then what is your solution going to be based on? You need an answer to that question. For some it might be: “I am going to meditate and exercise every day.” For others it might be “I am going to help others in recovery.” But you have to find your own way to make recovery work for you.