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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.

Members: 120
Latest Activity: Mar 19

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

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 Wall


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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
Comment by Ian Mason on May 26, 2010 at 1:17am
Sounds good, Joe. I'd be grateful for chance to read them. The paragraph you've posted sounds very promising and hits a lot of nails on their heads.
Comment by Joe S. on May 25, 2010 at 9:32pm
Friends: I am fortunate to take part in a local AA group for non-theists. We have taken it upon ourselves to alter some of the wording in the steps - removing the notion of god - for our own purposes.

I'm happy to share our meeting format and step adaptation with anyone who might be interested.

"In this group, we don’t consider any part of our literature infallible or sacrosanct, and we recognize the historic and cultural context in which AA initially developed. We are grateful for those founders and their passionate dedication to helping other alcoholics achieve sobriety. We simply prefer to focus on the tangible, measurable actions and attitudes contained in the steps."
Comment by Ian Mason on February 10, 2010 at 9:07am
Hi Tom, and welcome.

I can't believe either. Commen sense says that this "Higher Power" malarchy is a form of visualisation, a technique know to psychotherapy for years. With that in mind, I've adopted the figure of Sisyphos from Greek mythology as my hero. He was the one who had to push a rock up a hill every day, only to have it roll down again every night. This helps me stay sober and do my best in my fight against depression.

Once again, welcome and good luck.

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