Mr. O, recovering Atheist.
The title of this post needs to be explained. I have been clean for over 3 years now. I attend 12 step NA meetings. I feel I can bring this issue up because none of you know my real name, so my anonymity isn't being busted.
I am having a theist versus Atheist problem withing this little circle.
Some background of groups like this, so you all know what you are dealing with, because I want input from the forum.
The 12 steps of NA are adopted from AA, that came from the Oxford group, that all have an origin in the Bible. NA, and AA do not affiliate themselves with any religion technically, but the word God appears all over their texts and their "steps". They get around "religion" by letting anyone believe in what they sneakily call a "higher power" aka God. They call morals, "spiritual principles" so as not to align themselves with any denomination.
1. We admitted we were powerless over our addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will, and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. We asked God to remove all our defects of character.
7. Humbly as him to remove our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them, or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, seeking only for knowledge of his will for us, and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to addicts, and practice these principles in all our affairs.
Here is what I have a problem with. I am the ONLY atheist out of a group of over 200 or more persons in recovery.
I have been told that I can't succeed in life, that I will always be a drug addict if I can't admit, or come to believe in God.
Yet, through my own willpower, I continue to succeed. Without God.
I am looked down on, cursed out, and have been asked to leave many of the rooms of Narcotics Anonymous because I don't give in to this indoctrination.
However, I have made many friends, and have the respect of few in the group, and recently, a young man came to me and said he doesn't understand what god has to do with any part of this process, giving me hope that I have found at least one person our of my fellowship to talk about and recover with.
I hope those of you in the forum won't judge me too harshly for being a junkie, but I feel like I have every right to make my life better, and not give God an inch of credit for what I have accomplished in the past few years.
The thing that kills people the most, is that I keep showing up, and I keep recovering, why they keep relapsing. How, I've come from jobless, homeless and strung out....to getting an education, a home and enduring sobriety from my using.
When asked what my "higher power" is. I tell them logic.
There are some people who stay clean for 30 years or more, and give all the credit to God in the meetings, when all they did is stop being a fucking loser and did something with their lives.
I try and explain to them that no Imaginary being feeds me power through a telekinetic link to keep me from using drugs.
I tell them that I overdosed and was dead on the table. The doctors brought me back, and that there was no light at the end of the tunnel, no god, no out of body experience.......they look at me like I am crazy.......a bunch of people who make up Gods.....
I'm not sure why I am still going to these meetings, but there are certain non- religious aspects that would take me all night to type that truly help me.
I will try to have everyone relate to this struggle and......Take one look at Charlie Sheen and tell me that man isn't sick as hell. It is damn hard to set this shit down and come out unscathed....
I am sick of these bible gripping pricks parading around brainwashing sick, vulnerable people, who are at the end of their rope and will believe in damn near anything that can bring them relief from drugs.....its sick.
So, I will continue to fight, and when I say who I am, it comes out as "mr. O, recovering Atheist", and I watch everyone squirm, and frown.
"Whoever feels predestined to see and not to believe will find all believers too noisy and pushy: he guards against them."