Atheists, Addictions, 12 Step Recovery, and Alternatives


Atheists, Addictions, 12 Step Recovery, and Alternatives

Trouble with drugs (including alcohol) or other potential addictions? Tried 12 step recovery and found it wanting? You're welcome here.

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Latest Activity: yesterday

Desiderata (Revised)

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.

Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars, you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with it, whatever you conceive it to be.

And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

Discussion Forum

Drug addiction isn't a disease

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner yesterday. 0 Replies

Recommended reading

Started by Seth R. Mar 19. 0 Replies

New in recovery

Started by diane sholly. Last reply by Barbara Blaney Jan 29. 8 Replies


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Comment by William Brown on January 26, 2013 at 9:26am

Welcome Jonas,

      Glad you were able to keep pushing. May I suggest NA? They seem a lil more openminded to the atheist in that fellowship. If you would like to know how this works for people like us, please feel free to read my previous posts, or just send me a message on here, and we can talk. Keep up the good work my friend.

Comment by Jonas Clausen on January 25, 2013 at 11:28pm

I am so relieved to have found this forum. I got dry with A.A. a few years back and "went back out" because I wasn't done drinking and using (cannabis is my other main addiction, although I've been addicted to pretty much everything except heroin). I gave up weed a couple of months ago and then the drinking started ramping up. One beer a week became three beers once a week. Basically, I'm not good at sticking to just one beer, and any excuse is a good excuse to drink. Anyway, after a particularly rough bender where I ended up puking out of my car, passing out in my car next to the police station, and then driving home drunk, I checked myself back into A.A. I ran into my old sponsor and he had some good advice for me. So I started going to meetings again, two or three times a week. The same schtick again, 90 in 90, get a sponsor, dogma, and some hope. But the fear tactics and the threats of relapse are weird. Why would I want to recover from alcoholism if it means living in fear all the time? Not to mention becoming dependent on a faith-based group. 

So I checked out Rational Recovery and the AVRT method. Seems pretty cool, but I still want a place to go and share my troubles in dealing with my transition from active addiction to a new way of life. So I came here. My problem with the Higher Power thing in A.A. was forefront. I let other people have their god or HP or whatever. I that is what works for them, who am I to judge? But the moment I say that my Higher Power is my belief that their is no god, about half of the other members attack me. They say that I will have to change in order to get and stay sober (threats!). Others say that with time in sobriety I will "come to believe" in a god. Very few are not judgmental. Anyway, I was raised Mormon and had a very deep connection to god growing up, and when I figured out that it was a crock of isht, the whole house of cards came crumbling down and there is absolutely no way that I will ever be able to even fake believing in god again. It would be like trying to unlearn what colors look like or like trying to forget how to walk. It just isn't going to happen. It is nice to vent my frustration here. Thanks. I look forward to discussing my journey and listening to all of yours, too. Here's to getting high on godlessness. 

Comment by William Brown on December 9, 2012 at 2:04pm

My name is bill, and I have posted here before I believe, but Im sure it has been a while. I also am in NA, and I am an "atheist" as far as the program is concerned, and I have mulitple years clean as a result of applying principles to my life. I used the steps as outlined in the program, before I was turned on to an "alternate version". If anyone is intrested in how I do this, please feel free an ask. I have never kept my beliefs in the "closet". I stand sure in who I am and always will, now that I have proof, which presented itself to me with the very beginings of applying principles to me life with 26 steps, 12 traditions, and 12 concepts under my belt, Im even better informed on how this works. I will include the alternate version of the steps below. Any questions please ask.How%20it%20works.docx, just click on the link, and you will see how it fits into the "How it Works" reading.

Comment by Peter Shorts on December 9, 2012 at 11:52am

Hi group..I'm new to the neighborhood and exploring freethinking and recovery as I develop my individual path to abstinence. I continue to learn tolerance despite what appears to be ignorance and self absorption of others.  I don't have to be wrong and the majority be right. It's nothing new as a college educated, multiracial child of the 60's. Just looking for how others navigate recovery, making connections with others to support the peaks and valleys of the journey, and what tools you use to stay in the boat and not drown in the sea..

Comment by Ian Mason on October 15, 2012 at 12:44am
Comment by Mike Supan on January 11, 2011 at 9:57am
Bob, you might try this link. I haven't connected with anyone like this yet, but this may be a step in the direction you wish to go.
Comment by Erin O'Neil on August 15, 2010 at 10:24pm
I have been a member of NA for 23 years, and have been an atheist all that time. I didn't really realize it until a few years in, as I was striving to stay clean, and was being constantly told I needed some form of "higher power" to do this. I went through the whole gamut of spiritual concepts, and even adapted a version of the Eightfold Noble Path of Buddhism to better fit my progression in recovery. I frequently found myself at odd with the "old-timers", even when I had substantially more clean time than some of them. I refused to talk about "the program", and instead discussed "my process". It took me years to come completely "out" and talk openly about my atheism at meetings, and I still sometimes struggle with the sanctimonious drivel many people in meetings spout when I tell them I have no higher power. It seems they think that, despite my being able to remain clean for 23 years, it is imperative and inevitable that I will find a higher power someday. I will freely admit to finding it hard not to be judgmental sometimes. The neat thing is, I have stumbled upon a number of fellow atheists who also attend NA. I find that the fellowship of other recovering addicts is extremely beneficial to my continued recovery, and have a number of very close friends who are also in recovery. Although I still take issue with a large portion of the Basic Text, as it either directly discusses a higher power or implies dogmatic adherence to spirituality, there are some parts I have found very helpful. Hell, if Jefferson can do it with the bible, why can't I do it with the basic text?
Comment by Joe McCarthy on June 17, 2010 at 3:03pm
I had so many tiffs with my aa group people cuz of HP crap that I drankk. First for the wrong and addictive reasons but life chnges when you get older and people depend on you. I am sure I have the etoh'ism gene being descended from bog trotter still workers but so what. Have a snort and do what needs to be done.
Comment by Cindy E on June 17, 2010 at 9:55am
Hi. Looking for a non-theist codependents' group. Any ideas?
Comment by Joe S. on May 26, 2010 at 7:51am
Here are links to our meeting documents:

Meeting Format

We Agnostics How It Works

Meeting Flyer

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