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Where else can you get fellowship without steps?

Old 02-23-2010, 11:54 PM
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Where else can you get fellowship without steps?

Is the fellowship or the steps (or both). The steps IMO don't make sense, how can I appeal to a 'higher power', I'm an atheist and, sure there's greater power than mine (say atomic energy or wind power, or maybe a lion or something), but I don't get how can appealing to a non-sentient energy source help me to stop drinking, I just don't get it.

Anyway, I do get the fellowship thing, I've been reading here every day for the last ten days and I feel refreshed and renewed by everyone. But maybe a live group/social organisation that was sober focused by possibly non-steppie would help?

I'd love to hear your thoughts, thanks for reading my post!
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Old 02-24-2010, 12:20 AM
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Welcome to SR....

Since you have been reading here you may have noticed
many members who are successfully staying clean
and sober without a 12 Step program.

I am AA recovered alcoholic but I do know AA is not
for everyone. There are various secular programs
Some have meetings....they might be available in your area.

Have you tried any structured program yet?
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Old 02-24-2010, 12:40 AM
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I've gotten stuck on the higher power thing too... Hel#, I get stuck on the giving up control part. It helps for me to think of it more like....the universe is larger than my ego and me... not suggesting that there is a "higher power" ... just saying... i'm insignificant relatively. I don't know if that helps or not.
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Old 02-24-2010, 12:48 AM
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Mrs.Floppy,

Welcome to SR! My take on the 12 Steps is that it's a business plan for getting and staying sober. I guess my best understanding of a Higher Power is more of cosmos sort of thing. I do believe in a cause and effect action.

There are a Secular 12 Steps. You might like to check out the Secular Recovery section here at SR. You can be an atheist and work the Steps.

Have you checked out Rational Recovery? Or SMART?

Again, welcome!

Love,

Lenina
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Old 02-24-2010, 12:50 AM
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Hi Mrs Floppsy

There are many paths up the mountain...here's some of the major ones.
http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...resources.html

D
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Old 02-24-2010, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by MrsFloppsy View Post
But maybe a live group/social organisation that was sober focused by possibly non-steppie would help?
Just try AA. In many cases, you'll find exactly what you describe.

And many people can stay sober on that fellowship, Sober Elks Club, sort of thing. And many can not.

It's just like SR, really. Many people join this site, find the support and understanding they are looking for, and stay sober. Many others join here and have had to make some very sweeping and overwhelming fundamental changes in their reaction and approach to life in order to stay sober.

And many, many more visit here for a while, or don't register at all, and can not get sober. They return again and again and are told that all they need is some support and a place to talk about their problems. They are told things like 'just hang in there' and 'stay strong'.

I can only speak for myself. I had to have a vast re-working of my beliefs and views before I could stay sober. I found that through AA's 12 Steps. Others have taken different paths, but the end result is similar.

Support is great if it supports you in doing what you need to do in order to stay sober. Support is harmful if it supports you in not doing what you need to do.

Trouble is, how does any of us know what we need to do?

I looked to other people who were successfully sober and did what they needed to do. They drank like me, thought like me, and couldn't get sober like me. And somehow they found a way out and were successful demonstrations of enjoying life sober. I had to do what they did to have the same result they did.
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Old 02-24-2010, 09:36 AM
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Mrs, I agree with giving secular groups a try if you have a really rough time with certain phrases.

The "higher power" isn't that bad for me anymore, I think of it as "my sense of hope." The last thing in the Pandora box of ourselves. I wonder if that is the root of why cultures have religious thought to begin with.
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Old 02-24-2010, 09:45 AM
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Hi MrsFloppsy and welcome to SR.

For me when i got sober I didn't want nothing to do with the "god" steps. So I use the Group as a whole as my Higher Power for a while. God can also mean "Good orderly direction" or "Group of drunks".

And like the others said, there's the secular recovery forum on here.

Glad your here with us. Keep reading and posting.
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Old 02-24-2010, 09:52 AM
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MrsFloppsy there are a ton of aethiest & agnostics in AA that have taken the steps and stayed sober long term. Some of them use AA as a whole as thier HP, others their home group, the universe or what ever works for them.

The hardest thing some folks find to believe about AA is that it is not religous.

This is part of "Bill's Story"

IT WAS ONLY A MATTER OF BEING WILLING TO BELIEVE IN A
POWER GREATER THAN MYSELF. NOTHING MORE WAS REQUIRED
OF ME TO MAKE MY BEGINNING. I saw that growth could
start from that point. Upon a foundation of complete
willingness I might build what I saw in my friend.
Would I have it? Of course I would!
This is out of the BB as well:

When, therefore, we speak to you of God, we mean
your own conception of God. This applies, too, to
other spiritual expressions which you find in this book.
Do not let any prejudice you may have against
spiritual terms deter you from honestly asking yourself
what they mean to you.
One of my first sponsee's started off as an agnostic, he now professes to be an aethiest! We went through the steps and he is going on 3 years sober now.

If the steps are not for you, don't do them, I know 2 folks with over 10 years sober that have never formally taken the steps, they just go to meetings, if you find that AA overall is not for you check out other programs, keep in mind that the fellowship is and will always be there for you whether you work the steps or not.

I was one of those who needed to take the steps to stay sober. Am I religous? Nope, but I do have a connection with a Power greater then me of my choosing and my understanding & things are going greeat for me for over 3 1/2 years.
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Old 02-24-2010, 11:09 AM
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Tazman, thanks for pointing out all those things. I didn't know you could attend meetings (for long) without going through the steps.
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Old 02-24-2010, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by MrsFloppsy View Post
Is the fellowship or the steps (or both). The steps IMO don't make sense, how can I appeal to a 'higher power', I'm an atheist and, sure there's greater power than mine (say atomic energy or wind power, or maybe a lion or something), but I don't get how can appealing to a non-sentient energy source help me to stop drinking, I just don't get it.

Anyway, I do get the fellowship thing, I've been reading here every day for the last ten days and I feel refreshed and renewed by everyone. But maybe a live group/social organisation that was sober focused by possibly non-steppie would help?

I'd love to hear your thoughts, thanks for reading my post!
Welcome to our little community. I too would like to find such a group. I have some of the same issues with "the steps" as you. There are ways around that issue that some here have already expressed, but, for me, it just didn't work. That said, I really did enjoy the fellowship of AA and NA meetings. I compare it to going to church. I enjoy the fellowship I experience in church, if it just weren't for the God thing. I feel a bit like I don't belong in either situation, as I am not really buying into either program.

I'll be interested if anyone can come up with any suggestions. There are a number of secular based recovery groups out there. Lifering, SMART, and SOS to name a few. If you are interested you can check out the secular forum here for more info, or just do a google search on any of those. Generally speaking they are most available in larger cities, especially in the Western US.

Anyway, good luck on your search, and if nothing else, stick around here. This site is truly a "big tent". We have everyone from staunch "Big Book thumpers" to secular programs, to hybred programs (pick and choose from everything and see what works), it runs the whole spectrum of recovery. Best of luck and Welcome again. Take care.
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Old 02-24-2010, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Tazman53 View Post
If the steps are not for you, don't do them, I know 2 folks with over 10 years sober that have never formally taken the steps, they just go to meetings,
I also didn't know this was an option. Thanks Taz.
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Old 02-24-2010, 01:59 PM
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Don't get too hung up over the steps if it's gonna make you drink again. Remember that staying sober has to be No1 priority IMO. Do what you gotta do to stay sober. That seems to be overlooked by a few who I see at AA, Newcomers can often be scared off by too much rhetoric and talk racing ahead of the current day that they are living in. Just what I have personally witnessed over the last 9 months.

Take what you want and leave the rest is a saying that helped me a lot at AA. I know when AA meetings start to be more of a head-f*ck and a hinderence to my sobriety than a help. SO I take weeks away from meetings and work on my recovery using other means. When I can 'feel' the time is right to go back then I go back. I still keep in regular contact with others still attending but I have to do what is right for me and my sobriety.

Do what you got to do to keep sober and grateful about this. There is no right or wrong answer to anything in recovery. Keeping gratefully sober is a good indicator to evaluate if what you're doing is working.

there are no rules as to what you must do, only suggestions as to what has worked for others. Of course you can go to meetings without doing steps. Read the steps and the big book and apply the principles of them in your everyday life. Listen to other share at meetings and how they apply the steps to their life and then share how you apply the steps to your life. Before long you may find that you have what the others there want!


peace
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Old 02-24-2010, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by tyler View Post
I also didn't know this was an option. Thanks Taz.

I have also seen those with long term sobriety in AA who have not worked the steps.

But they don't seem happy, joyous and free.

I want happy, joyous and free and everything that is promised in the BB when I have a spiritual awakening as a result of working all the steps.
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Old 02-24-2010, 02:18 PM
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To the OP: Thinking outside the box with regards to the concept of a "Higher Power", and how to conceive of one in order to reap the benefits of AA, if in fact that is what you so desire; I am reminded of an Alan Moore quote, which I will share here. Alan Moore, btw, is the writer of "The Watchmen" and many consider him to be very brilliant to say the least.

"Much of magic as I understand it in the Western occult tradition is the search for the Self, with a capital S. This is understood as being the Great Work, as being the gold the alchemists sought, as being the Will, the Soul, the thing we have inside us that is behind the intellect, the body, the dreams. The inner dynamo of us, if you like. Now this is the single most important thing that we can ever attain, the knowledge of our own Self. And yet there are a frightening amount of people who seem to have the urge not just to ignore the Self, but actually seem to have the urge to obliterate themselves. This is horrific, but you can almost understand the desire to simply wipe out that awareness, because itís too much of a responsibility to actually posses such a thing as a soul, such a precious thing. What if you break it? What if you lose it? Mightnít it be best to anesthetize it, to deaden it, to destroy it, to not have to live with the pain of struggling towards it and trying to keep it pure? I think that the way that people immerse themselves in alcohol, in drugs, in television, in any of the addictions that our culture throws up, can be seen as a deliberate attempt to destroy any connection between themselves and the responsibility of accepting and owning a Higher Self and then having to maintain it." ~ Alan Moore

Hope this helps.
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Old 02-24-2010, 03:23 PM
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I'm thinking again about the original post. About that desire to do what I want or do what I understand.

Originally Posted by MrsFloppsy View Post
Anyway, I do get the fellowship thing, I've been reading here every day for the last ten days and I feel refreshed and renewed by everyone.
I agree that it feels good, maybe even refreshing and renewing. But is it going to work for long term sobriety and happiness?

I just don't know. I do know that I can look up the Class of Whatever Month and see a bunch of people who all believed that they could stay sober by reading here every day. Most have not been able to stay sober on that alone. There are some notable exceptions. It feels good, it seems plausible, I understand it, but does it work?

Originally Posted by AA BB 1st
Almost none of us liked the self- searching, the leveling of our pride, the confession of shortcomings which the process requires for its successful consummation. But we saw that it really worked in others, and we had come to believe in the hopelessness and futility of life as we had been living it.
I saw that the 12 Steps really worked in others. I didn't care if I understood it or liked it or agreed with it. I saw that it really worked in others. And I was convinced of the hopelessness and futility of my life.

Whether on this site or in the rooms of AA, I have hundreds of examples of fellowship alone being wholly insufficient for recovery. So why does nearly every newcomer believe it will work for them?
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Old 02-24-2010, 03:32 PM
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I think it would be wrong to say all you need to do to stay sober is be around sober people - clearly we all have some hard work to do - I know I did, and still do, daily.

I've never done a 12 step programme tho - yet I consider myself happy joyous and free - so clearly, and with no disrespect intended to anyone, there are many other ways to get and stay sober too

Mrs Floppsy - my advice to you is to find that path which is meaningful to you - and then work it like you've never worked anything before.

If it's not right for you, go back to the top of the list and find another.

D
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Old 02-24-2010, 03:51 PM
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Like Dee, I have not followed a 12-step program, and I am happy, joyous and free in my life. There is a great sense of fellowship here at SR. And, as others pointed out there are secular meetings as well.
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Old 02-25-2010, 07:05 AM
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I'm in no way trying to steer you toward a 12 step program, but would like to share that i have several close friends in NA who are atheist and have experienced longterm recovery and happiness. Whatever you find, all the best to you.
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