Mr. O, recovering Atheist.

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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.

the "steps"

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.

 

Thoughts please.

 

 

mr. O

"Whoever feels predestined to see and not to believe will find all believers too noisy and pushy: he guards against them."

Friedrich Nietzsche


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Because people can't

Because people can't possibly be doing it themselves.


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mrOriginal wrote:The title

mrOriginal wrote:

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.

the "steps"

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.

 

Thoughts please.

 

 

mr. O

Hi Mr. O. I conducted substance abuse groups for a company called Georgia Recovery for 10 years.  I did incorporate 12 steps into my groups. Quite frankly if I remember correctly AA, NA had about a 17% success rate whereas groups had about a 33% success rate.  I am impressed that you chose logic for your higher power. I have had people choose bracelets or door knobs since they were atheists.   Depending on the size of your town you may find a better group without bible thumpers or you may take it upon yourself to start up an atheistic NA group.  AA was really a veiled religious program from the start.  Groups from when conducted right can be more effective than 12 Steps.

"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whip cream."--Frank Zappa

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mrOriginal wrote:I hope

mrOriginal wrote:

I hope those of you in the forum won't judge me too harshly for being a junkie  

Abusing yourself that way was more than enough.

Overcoming the odds like that, on your own, makes you a warrior.

 

No harsh judgment from me. Just kudos.

Nevermind what the 'happy people' are trying to sell you. It's a placebo.

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris


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I guess you can say you came

I guess you can say you came up with an ORIGINAL solution


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I find that a remarkably

I find that a remarkably encouraging story, after hearing so many times how "God helped me overcome my problem", and similar.

So your experience suggests that that is almost dead wrong, at least the attempt to 'prove' that only dedicating one's life to "God" can really get you out of such a hole. That the truth is that a more enlightened approach, free of such dogma, may well work better.

Wow...

I haven't had any such addiction experience, altho I have recently gone thru a financial crisis where I was on the edge of depression, and managed to pull out of it. Obviously with no thought of 'God', I'm so far past that I can't honestly imagine what it would take to get me to even consider an appeal to something like that.

But again, that is so great to hear, both for the message it conveys, and for the turn-around in your own life.

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

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 Keep up the good fight

 Keep up the good fight dude!

My biggest addiction was smoking.  Growing up in Eastern Europe, you had to have had severe asthma to be a nonsmoker.  By the time I was 14 I was smoking almost every day, by 18 I was close to a pack a day, and by 22 I smoked a pack a day.  Quitting was probably the hardest thing I have done in my life, and I did it through sheer teeth grinding and will power.  You take it one day at the time, and don't give in.  I'm sure what you went through was more devastating, I'm not trying to equate our experiences, just throwing my two cents in. 

I know people that quit for a few weeks, then have that one smoke... for old times sakes and then, back to a pack a day.  Like the old saying "Quitting smoking is easy, I do it 3 times a week."  The one thing that drove me was the fact that I hate weakness in myself, and self pity disgusts me.  I'm just as guilty as anyone else from feeling it, I think it is an almost evolutionary advantage to pity ourselves, but I try and catch and kick myself in the ass before I go too deeply in self pity.

It all comes down to critical reasoning, question your actions, try to apply logic as objectively as possible and usually you find the right answer.  You definitely seem to have found a way.  Involving a god may help superficially, but the god that helps you, may also forgive you if you screw up.  If you have only yourself to hold responsible, aside from it being the reality, is also a powerful incentive to stop fucking up.

Anyways, I like to type... keep up the good work, and remember, they're the deluded ones that couldn't do it on their own, and you have yourself to thank for your success.  Who's the better person?

"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc


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couple of things

I am not a recovering person.  I am too much of a control freak to give myself to anything or anyone that might gain control over me.  That said, my dad is an alcoholic, my brother is a recovering alcoholic, my uncle is a recovering alcoholic - you get the drift.

 

http://alcoholism.about.com/od/non/Non_Step_Support_Groups.htm

http://alcoholselfhelpnews.wordpress.com/2007/04/07/atheists-agnostics-and-alcoholics-anonymous/

Yeah, I know, but there is a lot more research on alcoholism than drug addition.

http://www.cephas-library.com/psychology/psychology_an_analysis_of_AA_prototype.html

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2746399/

http://scienceblogs.com/terrasig/2010/07/exposing_quackery_and_abuse_in.php

This is intended in support of your efforts.  We are rooting for you.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

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Mr. O., I don't think you

Mr. O., I don't think you have to worry about being judged here. Personally, I think you deserve a great deal of credit for persevering in that hostile environment, without succumbing to the temptation to give up your freedom of thought to a delusion.

I participated in AlAnon (not AA) for a bit. I do know that various different groups differ in how religious they are, and it also very much depends on where you live. Here in Canada, it doesn't seem so bad (actually quite liberal and open), but I've heard horror stories from AA/NA in the States, especially in the south.

I believe I've also heard that NA is worse than AA or AlAnon, having more of the hard-core religious types.

First off, check out SOS (Secular Organizations for Sobriety (CFI), and Secular Organizations for Sobriety (wikipedia)).

Next, realize that AA-style organizations actually have very little evidence supporting their success rates. It is not scientifically collected information, and is surely biased.

The success you are finding is because of who you are, and what you are getting from the support of other members of the group. That's the closest thing to a 'higher power' I could identify (certainly a group of people is 'larger than myself').

But dude, your answer of logic is awesome. Never thought of that one.

The last thing I wanted to mention is that chemical addiction is a physical thing, not a 'spiritual' one. It involves actual, physical changes to the brain. This has been studied extensively by actual scientists.

So, the AA-style groups actually have a real point when they say that addiction is a disease. That is actually a scientific fact, especially chemical addiction, which is likely the case for most people in NA.

The problem with the AA-style groups is that, given that addiction is a physical condition, the solution *cannot* be a non-physical, spiritual solution. And it certainly won't be found without the use of the scientific method. If there is a solution to addiction, it will be found the tried and true way of the scientific method. Or, failing that, the next best thing is trial and error based on using whatever works for you personally. "Use what works." That is also some useful advice that most AA-style groups endorse (as far as my experience was).

So, getting to the point of my comment: At long last, the most effective solution to my own issues turned out to be getting help from the evidence-based professionals of the mind, namely doctors (psychiatrist and/or psychologist, or at least a well-educated social worker using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy). It turns out that I was barking up the wrong tree going to AlAnon. I was finally diagnosed with ADHD, and only then was I able to put my own personal puzzle-pieces together to start getting effective treatment. 12 steps cannot treat ADHD. No diss on 12 steps, it's just a fact.

AA/NA/AlAnon are good for the social, group support, and the literature which often contains good practical life lessons and inspiring stories. But if you can find a way, I highly recommend seeking additional professional support and help. I know this can be difficult for many people in the US, due to lack of public health-care, but depending on where you are and what organizations you belong to (e.g. a university/college/school, or a job with health insurance), you can often find programs specifically to help people with addictions. Some of them are even free, again depending on where you are. It can't hurt to look around for extra support, anyway.

Keep up the good fight, man. It sounds to me like you will find a way to stay clean. If you need moral support from fellow free-thinkers, don't hesitate to let us know. We'll cheer you on! By the way, if you want to make a post specifically addressed only to free-thinkers, and also in a semi-private forum (which is kept out of google search for privacy), you can make posts in Freethinking Anonymous (haha, just noticed the appropriateness of that name, given the topic of your post).

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mrOriginal wrote:The title

mrOriginal wrote:

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.

the "steps"

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.

 

Thoughts please.

mr. O

I think you have the inner strength to do whatever you set your mind to do.

When I decided to quit drinking, I didn't want to go to AA and be in a room with a bunch of drunks so, I became a zealot instead.  Traded one crutch for another but, after being sober for about 4 years, the god crutch simply went away on it's own.

I don't know if I could have quit without 'believing' all I know is that I did.

So, those other folks that you meet with may need it, too. Hopefully, if you continue to show them it's possible to exist without a god, one day they will be able to get rid of that crutch, too.

Good luck and keep up the good work.

I decided to quit drinking the day my granddaughter was born, and she'll be 10 in October.

'Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.' A. Einstein


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Respect, Mr O.

 

Keep on being logical.

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Good for you and kudos from

Good for you and kudos from me. I was recently reading about the problems that AA and NA have had in terms of levels of relapse coupled with a lack of proper study comparing them to other programs that use different methods. What amused me, or somewhat worried me, is that a friend who was in Al-anon which seems to be a support group for family members of substance abuse victims connected to AA seems to have come away from the meetings with the idea that he should be more selfish and care less about the family member.


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NA and the prison system,

NA and the prison system, cranking out religious nuts for over blah blah years.


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I think this can be enough

I think this can be enough motivation without god

 

 


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Joker wrote:Good for you and

Joker wrote:

Good for you and kudos from me. I was recently reading about the problems that AA and NA have had in terms of levels of relapse coupled with a lack of proper study comparing them to other programs that use different methods. What amused me, or somewhat worried me, is that a friend who was in Al-anon which seems to be a support group for family members of substance abuse victims connected to AA seems to have come away from the meetings with the idea that he should be more selfish and care less about the family member.

 

Sometimes, that is the only way you can cope.  I haven't spoke with my alcoholic dad in over 15 years.  I have no intention to change that.  My dad refuses to acknowledge his problem.  Even after numerous DUI's.  He used to hit my stepmother who would then call me at 2 am and not 911.  Even after her arm was broken.  Sometimes, for your own sanity, the only way to cope is to stop caring.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


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Religious Outreach

TGBaker wrote:

AA was really a veiled religious program from the start.  Groups from when conducted right can be more effective than 12 Steps.

That's how it started and that's what it is. There is a section in the Big Book (the AA users manual) on Atheists... or agnostics, I can't remember. It goes to great lengths to enforce this idea that God is the only way. The more one reads of that book the more the intent is quite clear - religious outreach. It is just another Catholic mission to pray on the minds of those who have nothing else to lose and are most likely to relent to their suggestion.

People relapse because addictive personalities are difficult to regulate. The reason groups work at all is because there is a social support network (which humans need on a fundamental level) and because the work involves dealing with shame over the things we've done in the past. There is no magic to it, claiming such is the same as Wowzers1 claiming that his god teleported the cancer out of his grandmother.

Best to you, MrO. I don't know how you can put up with all of the overt Christian conversion going on in those groups but if you have found a balance that works for you, that's great news.


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:I think

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

I think this can be enough motivation without god

 Tooo funny!!!


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marcusfish wrote:TGBaker

marcusfish wrote:

TGBaker wrote:

AA was really a veiled religious program from the start.  Groups from when conducted right can be more effective than 12 Steps.

That's how it started and that's what it is. There is a section in the Big Book (the AA users manual) on Atheists... or agnostics, I can't remember. It goes to great lengths to enforce this idea that God is the only way. The more one reads of that book the more the intent is quite clear - religious outreach. It is just another Catholic mission to pray on the minds of those who have nothing else to lose and are most likely to relent to their suggestion.

People relapse because addictive personalities are difficult to regulate. The reason groups work at all is because there is a social support network (which humans need on a fundamental level) and because the work involves dealing with shame over the things we've done in the past. There is no magic to it, claiming such is the same as Wowzers1 claiming that his god teleported the cancer out of his grandmother.

Best to you, MrO. I don't know how you can put up with all of the overt Christian conversion going on in those groups but if you have found a balance that works for you, that's great news.

Yeah, I think you're right about the addictive (obsessive) personality... which I am. The key is to find a creative, constructive outlet for these tendencies to replace the negative, harmful ones.

'Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.' A. Einstein


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Fixing It

Sandycane wrote:

Yeah, I think you're right about the addictive (obsessive) personality... which I am. The key is to find a creative, constructive outlet for these tendencies to replace the negative, harmful ones.

Totally, there are lots of ideas out there for how to deal with destructive personality issues, some of them work and some make the situation worse. Unfortunately everyone is different and there are very few solutions which can be applied across the board. Heck, even having the solution beemed into our brains by the guy who created the universe doesn't seem to be able to fix it Smiling

I'm glad to hear that you have found a solution that works for you.


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marcusfish wrote:Sandycane

marcusfish wrote:

Sandycane wrote:

Yeah, I think you're right about the addictive (obsessive) personality... which I am. The key is to find a creative, constructive outlet for these tendencies to replace the negative, harmful ones.

Totally, there are lots of ideas out there for how to deal with destructive personality issues, some of them work and some make the situation worse. Unfortunately everyone is different and there are very few solutions which can be applied across the board. Heck, even having the solution beemed into our brains by the guy who created the universe doesn't seem to be able to fix it Smiling

I'm glad to hear that you have found a solution that works for you.

Thanks.

I still have to be careful though... even the creative obsessions can be too much at times.

I love jigsaw puzzles but, I don't dare start one unless I know I have all day to finish it... I can't get my mind on anything else until it's completed.

I've found a working solution but, it's not a cure.

'Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.' A. Einstein


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 Thanks again for the

 Thanks again for the support all of you.

 

I did go to a 30 day treatment program ran by professionals who gave me the 411 on all the science behind addiction.  It does change the brain.  Aristotle once said that "We are, what we repeatedly do." 

I live in Virginia, in Jerry Fallwells area actually.  So the Christian presence is overwhelming in our groups.

There are many friends I have that are ok with my position, and help me quite a bit.  I did some research and found a Secular Recover Group that is interested in getting a foothold in this area to give people a better solution without God and the need for 12 steps.  Just a support group with no string attached.  I will have to do some more digging around to see if it is worth starting up in my area.

 

I woke up one day, tired of who I had become, and what I had lost.  Drove myself to the program for a month.  Never looked back.  God had nothing to do with my choice.  Hence the logic aspect coming into play.  I realized that I was hurting myself and wanted better.  The problem with these groups, is that they paint the picture that everyone is weak, and powerless, hence the need for an outside source (god) to give you strength.  So, we blast you about how weak you are until you believe it???? 

 

I would rather empower myself than find myself weak, and lacking....  An imaginary diety will not ever give me the strength neccessary, just a vigilant attitude for success.

 

 

mr. O

"Whoever feels predestined to see and not to believe will find all believers too noisy and pushy: he guards against them."

Friedrich Nietzsche


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 Keep up the good fight Mr.

 Keep up the good fight Mr. O.

 

I had a really close friend who had a heroine addiction, so while I don't have any first hand experience, I saw how it ultimately destroyed his life and how difficult getting and staying clean can be even if you really want to. 

I always thought it was kind of foolish to use religion as a means to get off of an addiction. What happens if you began to doubt in your religion? The whole reason for you being clean goes out the window and you probably relapse. There are plenty of rational reasons for staying clean, hold onto them. 

As far as NA goes, I can see the benefits of being around people who are struggling to beat the same problem you are. At the end of the day, they are the only ones who can truly understand. If the religion thing gets to be too much for you, perhaps you can find or start a secular version of NA. Or attempt to be a changing force within your local NA yourself. I'm sure there are several atheists who go to a meeting and are turned off by the theism right away. I can imagine how you could be a very positive influence in helping atheists who might otherwise abandon the whole idea. Whatever you do, make sure it is something that helps you stay clean. If you can help some others along the way, that is a great benefit. 

And if you ever get too sick of some bullshit the theists are spewing you can always vent here. Have a seat at the bitchin table and bitch away.

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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mrOriginal wrote:
I did some research and found a Secular Recover Group that is interested in getting a foothold in this area to give people a better solution without God and the need for 12 steps.  Just a support group with no string attached.  I will have to do some more digging around to see if it is worth starting up in my area.

Start it up man. Odds are there is someone who would benefit from it and maybe they're asking the same question "would it be worth it?" In your area it sounds like the standard posture for an atheist would be to keep quiet and suffer - making the assumption that there are no more of you out there.

Regarding the 12 steps. There are some very valuable lessons to be taught in those steps which I would be hesitant to throw out without serious consideration. The idea of doing the personal inventory, apologizing for previous transgressions, and maintaining a more honest and responsible posture when dealing with people in the future are positive things. I wonder if there are a set of recovery steps which capitalize on some of these aspects without bringing imaginary super-wizard zombies into it?