Truth in recovery

Old 02-16-2013, 11:32 AM
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Truth in recovery

Hello all, my name is Brian and I am a recovered alcoholic. I'm writing this because I have seen a trend in the recovery community around my home town of Detroit. It seems that there is a common opinion that mentioning the importance of a higher power might scare off newcomers. My experience is that people are going to continue on whatever path they're on until they've had enough and become willing to try something else. So why avoid emphasizing the importance of a higher power. I am currently launching some independent meetings that put ones' conception of God in the forefront. Not a religious based group but one that doesn't dance around the importance of believing in something greater than ones' self. I take recovery as a matter of life and death and although not everyone may have gone to depths I did, I believe that the solution is always the same. I am wondering, is this an issue anywhere else. When I got sober my sponsor told me to pray about evrything. He always stressed the importance of a higher power and I am very blessed today because he did. I am looking to build a community of people who want to discuss the solution. I would appreciate any feedback i can get. Am I delusional? Is anyone experiencing the same issue in their community?

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Old 02-16-2013, 11:45 AM
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Hello Brian.

I'm just over the bridge and about 30 miles into Canada.

Yes, for most of the alcoholics that I know God was the last "person" they wanted to see.

AA recovery is spelled out very simply and straight-forward in How It Works (Big Book, Chapter 5)

"Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter to the agnostic, and our personal adventures before and after make clear three pertinent ideas:

(a) That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives.

(b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.

(c) That God could and would if He were sought."

I hated the above statement in the beginning ..... but that didn't alter it's truth.

Good luck with your new group(s) .

All the best.

Bob R
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Old 02-16-2013, 11:45 AM
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As with all things addiction, there is some truth in it. The real question would be whether it would chase away more newcomers than it would attract, and what your primary goal is for the meetings. There are some groups that are strictly higher power based, some that are strictly secular, and some that are mixed. There is room for all and all have some degree of success and failure. I'd say, just set up the group you want and see how it works.
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Old 02-16-2013, 11:46 AM
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Welcome to SR Brian

I live in an area which is not very religious at all and most speakers I have heard have mentioned how they balked at the concept of a higher power at first. As a newcomer I found that reassuring. It seems that for many people here their concept of a higher power is not a creative god. In typical English style when anyone talks about their HP they are apologetic if it differs from other people's concepts. I think it is nice that people emphasise that lack of faith is not a barrier to recovery x
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Old 02-16-2013, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by cole1022 View Post
My experience is that people are going to continue on whatever path they're on until they've had enough and become willing to try something else.
Hi, Brian.

I don't believe in god, and was able to quit just fine without AA or a higher power. So I think maybe you might want to realize that your experience is just that—your experience. I'm glad you found something that works for you. I would hope you'd respect the fact that I and many others have had great success while having very different experiences. "Truth" is in the eye of the beholder.
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Old 02-16-2013, 12:35 PM
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No, I wouldn't say you are delusional. In fact, if you think AA in your community is lacking this kind of focus that was helpful to you, then I think you would be doing a service to provide a meeting that has that kind of focus.

Every group determines for itself, by group conscience, the structure/format of the meeting. So you could certainly gather a group of like-minded AAs and get one started. You could talk about how you want to address your focus in your opening, for example.

I think what you have to be careful about is to avoid criticizing other groups for not sharing your focus. One of the great things about AA that has kept it alive for so long is a spirit of tolerance and a recognition that not everyone approaches the program in the exact same way. We might wish we could get everyone in line, but that isn't how AA is set up, and experience shows that it is best to leave the groups to do things as they see fit.

But I say go for it--pick a good name that will signal that you take the importance of a Higher Power seriously. Be patient and tolerant of others, but speak your own truth. Good luck!
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Old 02-16-2013, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by cole1022 View Post
I am currently launching some independent meetings that put ones' conception of God in the forefront.
Here is my advice:

You will need to find a handicapped-accessible meeting place. You will have to break your anonymity to do this. You will need to be sure there is someone there for every meeting, even if there is a foot of snow and no power.

It is also nice to have the support of an international community, websites, crisis lines; and reliable secretaries, treasurers, and other servants. You might want to consider having a weekly agnostic meeting for those who have differing opinions.

Phone list, sponsors, literature,...

Coffee, cookies, monthly pot luck and birthday meeting are also popular.
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Old 02-16-2013, 01:21 PM
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Brian, you are not delusional. The 21st century world is getting more and more secular by the minute and good for it. I attend AA meetings regularly and go for the fellowship, to be with sober people. I participate, say the serenity prayer at the beginning of the meeting and the lords prayer at the end. Addiction to chemical substances is absolutely physical, and it has nothing to do with being spiritual or secular. You could argue why a god would let there be such a thing as addiction to begin with. Whatever you do to stop using will be just fine. Rootin for ya.
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Old 02-16-2013, 01:32 PM
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Welcome to SR Brian

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Old 02-16-2013, 01:55 PM
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Welcome to SR!
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