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Old 09-20-2009, 04:18 PM   #21 (permalink)
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And this gets back to your original post... where are the sponsors?

You are in Miami, Good God!! There has got to be a bunch of NA meetings around... Go early, stay late, get to some people there.... and let them get to know you... you'll find a sponsor...

Get inside your first and second steps, post over in the substance abuse 12 step forum... in steps one and two...

This higher power thing is do-able (second step), but you might need a better first step...

What was your drug of choice?

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Old 09-20-2009, 04:19 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Crack.
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Old 09-20-2009, 04:22 PM   #23 (permalink)
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OK, you are not alone... I might bow out and let some others with experience get in here... maybe you should post in substance abuse?

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Old 09-20-2009, 04:30 PM   #24 (permalink)
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The more I post here, the more I think that 12-steps are not for me. I have spent years trying to believe in something. But my experience in rehab really destroyed that possibility.

And without getting those first three steps, I will not get to the fourth one where you finally get to work with a sponsor.

The more I post the more I think that 12-step programs are not for me. I need more one-on-one and some practical help with this. There are so many rules in the fellowships for what is the right way to recover. I do not really care--I just want to recover. If it having a friend sit with me keeps me from calling a dealer, I do not want a sponsor or a meeting telling me I was wrong to do that.

Being honest helps me and when I am honest about where I am and cravings at meetings, I am told that I need to share more strength and hope. And I could put a positive spin on everything like the others do. But that does not help. I think a lot of people go out because they only share upbeat versions of their experience rather than really describing the difficulties they go through.

No one at a meeting wants to hear that you are having difficulty staying clean. And I really need to be open about the difficulties.
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Old 09-20-2009, 04:35 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Not many rules, really... just, if the program is gonna work, you gotta get a higher power...

Good luck man... Only the 12 step sections are NA or AA specific, all the others are multi-recovery equal opportunity.... so...

Keep posting!...

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Old 09-20-2009, 04:40 PM   #26 (permalink)
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No hard feelings.

Better you find somebody f2f anyway maybe.
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Old 09-20-2009, 07:45 PM   #27 (permalink)
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In my opinion, not having a higher power and being in AA are NOT mutually exclusive and I don't think it is right to say that. For many of us, SMART and the other secular alternatives do not exist in our communities. Maybe they do in Miami but for where I am at, I need AA whether or not I believe in God or not, because I can't work a recovery program alone. The third tradition is pretty clear, AA membership is limited to those with a "Desire to stop drinking" not "Desire to stop drinking and believe in God."
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Old 09-20-2009, 07:51 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Maybe try some other meetings. Often the older guys make early meetings. Yesterday the meeting I attended had about 75 people and about 40 raised their hand,,, so maybe shop around...
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Old 09-20-2009, 08:07 PM   #29 (permalink)
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The third tradition is pretty clear, AA membership is limited to those with a "Desire to stop drinking" not "Desire to stop drinking and believe in God."
The Third Tradition states, "Our membership ought to include all who suffer from alcoholism. Hence we may refuse none who wish to recover. Nor ought A.A. membership ever depend upon money or conformity. Any two or three alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an A.A. group, provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation."

So, it's true you don't have to believe in God to be in A.A. and/or do steps. You really really don't have to believe in God. Those steps are suggested. The suggestion on Step 2 is that you merely become "willing" to believe there is a God. But... God shows up again and again. You're asked aka suggested to make a decision that God is...everything. You're asked to make a decision and take responsibility for seeking God and following a few simple rules... writing an inventory, sharing it, asking God to remove a few things, make those amends, some prayer and meditation stuff... Being a channel for God once you get your pipes cleaned out...

That's A.A. But... I'm sure you can find a meeting where the actual doing of the steps is often talked about but seldom done.
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Old 09-20-2009, 08:15 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Hendershot... While you don't have to believe in God to benefit from the fellowship of AA... And I agree that the 3rd tradition does not mention God...

Lot's of the steps, well most, do mention a higher power... It is a spiritual program. To fully benefit from AA, a person would want to work the steps, do the work.

Miami is finding that he is so powerless over his addiction that he can't even talk about his DOC without being triggered. He can't even manage a meeting for this reason. The fellowship is not enough. Since he is unable to work the actual program because he cannot believe in a higher power, or is uninterested in doing so, then NA is not going to help. In fact, it's making him worse because he wants to use.

That doesn't apply to you, because you are able to take what you need from the fellowship and recover. That's great, really.

So the fellowship and a lack of faith in a higher power, not mutually exclusive. The program, not so.

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Old 09-20-2009, 08:30 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Step 2 says "We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity." There is nothing about "willing" in it. It is not a decision. It is something you have or you don't. That is why it is one of the steps you cannot work---it is given to you.

It has not been given to me and I think I have given it a fair chance. Even after all these years, my sponsor says it may come....but I doubt it now.
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Old 09-20-2009, 08:41 PM   #32 (permalink)
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It has not been given to me and I think I have given it a fair chance. Even after all these years, my sponsor says it may come....but I doubt it now.
Going to be tough here but....

Who died and made you God? Why are you correct and God is told, sorry, you had your chance..

Maybe just don't expect it, just enjoy the day.. Enjoy every thing larger than yourself.

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Old 09-20-2009, 08:50 PM   #33 (permalink)
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After eight years of trying, I do not think I am likely to become a theist. My housemate in rehab killed himself, two other people I knew died after less than a year in recovery, people in my group were molested and molested their children. I had never known any addicts before then and did not know how bad it could be for people. And in recovery I lost everything and saw other parts of life I did not know before. I do not see any beneficent higher power at work. Maybe a cruel unfeeling one.

Eight years of trying and I have not recovered any faith. I do not think that feeling that makes me "god." Maybe an amateur psychologist if you want to insult me, but god????
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Old 09-20-2009, 09:06 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Step 2 says "We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity." There is nothing about "willing" in it...
Ummm... we use the whole book up to page 164.

There's a chapter called We Agnostics. It says,

Quote:
Originally Posted by what We Agnostics says with regards to "willing"
We needed to ask ourselves but one short question. "Do I now believe, or am I even willing to believe, that there is a Power greater than myself?" As soon as a man can say that he does believe, or is willing to believe, we emphatically assure him that he is on his way. It has been repeatedly proven among us that upon this simple cornerstone a wonderfully effective spiritual structure can be built.
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It is not a decision...
No, it's not a decision either. The decision comes in the 3rd Step. But instead of reading the short form wall scrolls, look at pages 60 to 63. So if the 2nd step starts on page 44, it must go all the way to page 60... if you want to look at it that way. Then step 1 would go from title page to 44. There's actually a recap for Step 1 on the first paragraph of page 44. There's also a paragraph on page 52... for those of us that want to go it alone... without God. So... you want to be an atheist, that's what you get.

But even if you want to believe that God is everything, that alone won't get you sober, clean, whatever. If that was the case, the A.A. book would be a one-page pamphlet that said, "God Keeps you Sober! Have a good day."

But it doesn't. We... have work to do.
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Old 09-20-2009, 09:08 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Just a quick FWIW. Technically tradition 3 does not specifically mention the word "God" but that let's no one off the hook. The tradition goes on to say that "any 2 or 3 "Alcoholics" gathered together for "Sobriety" may call themselves an AA group provided they have no outside affiliation."

Therefore the tradition states you must be "Alcoholic" and you must be there for "Sobriety"
"Sobriety", by AA definition, is "the freedom from alcohol through the teaching and practice of the twelve steps"
So, there is no "Sobriety" in AA without God.
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Old 09-20-2009, 10:26 PM   #36 (permalink)
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I actually have a sponsor, work the steps, as well as benifit from the fellowship. I pray, even though it feels hollow to me, and I try. I have also found that many people in AA are in the same boat as I am, or at least at one point they were. You are all really missing the point of the program. Bill W. did not start with a higher power. There is so much of the program catered towards people having a spiritual awakening as a RESULT of the steps. You don't have to come in believing in ANYTHING. You guys seem to have a blind prejudice that is not in the AA literature at all. I don't think it is cool to get all sidetracked on these debates when Miami is clearly in need, so I apologize. I just think that anyone, including you Miami, God or not, can benifit from AA.
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Old 09-21-2009, 04:27 AM   #37 (permalink)
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Hendershot. I don't understand your concern.

Miami has worked with the program and cannot get his head around the higher power. He has tried, for 8 years. Perhaps he should look for another. You, on the other hand are trying and willing to find a spiritual awakening. There is a big difference.

Maintaning the integrity of the program of AA or NA is not being prejudiced. If it is not working for someone, for whatever reason, but especially the spiritual, then, unless a person is willing to keep trying, it seems reasonable to suggest that person look elsewhere. We shouldn't change the program!

I believe Miami is benefitting from this discussion. It would do him a great disservice to keep trying to keep him in the 12 steps if he can't or won't believe in a higher power. Especially because for 8 years.... It is not working.
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Old 09-21-2009, 04:50 AM   #38 (permalink)
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Well, I'll share what happened to me: I was stuck on step two for months on end. In the process, I challenged my own definition of spirituality. I did some real soul searching and returned to my childhood dislike of organized religion, especially the RC church and ultimately rejected it.

Which sent me off on a journey to find a spirituality that I can understand and it led me to buddhism: which is not based on diety worship and is a philoshophy I can relate to and I have incorporated it into my 12 step work. Other people have done the same and I use Kevin Griffin's book: "One Breath at a time, Buddhism and the 12 steps" to ground myself further in the step work.

But I could just as well followed another path with step two. I could have chosen the fellowship as my higher power, as many have done.

It seems to me that your rejection of step two is based on assuming that it requires an acceptance of organized religious beliefs, both western and non-western.
It doesn't have to be that way.

Look at step two:
"Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity". I found a lot of philosophical wiggling room in that phrase, and maybe you can too. I know you are not an alcoholic, but the NA steps are similar to AA.
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Old 09-21-2009, 04:56 AM   #39 (permalink)
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Cubile75--

This discussion is helping. I have not had much chance to discuss recovery since rehab, so this all means a lot.
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Old 09-21-2009, 05:27 AM   #40 (permalink)
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Cubile75--

This discussion is helping. I have not had much chance to discuss recovery since rehab, so this all means a lot.
Thanx Miami!! SR is an awesome place. I find that it is just this kind of spirited discussion that make this place really truly worthwhile and valuable. It was a couple of threads like this that made all the difference for me.

When you are ready to tell us where you are at, come back and share... it's your thread...

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