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My 2 Cents on Secular Recovery

Old 07-06-2008, 08:44 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Do you have NA in your area? While the word "God" is mentioned in the literature, I find that many atheists, recovering baptists (that would be me,) etc., feel more comfortable with it. No Lord's Prayer, and "Higher Power" can be anything you want it to be. A door knob, God, nature, WHATEVER. When I struggled with the idea of "a higher power," I was asked if I would stand in front of a speeding car. Obviously not, because that car had more power than I did. Couldn't argue with that.

IMO, people who say AA/NA is the only way have no right to say that. All I know is what works for me. And it has worked.

Best wishes with whatever you choose!
K
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Old 07-06-2008, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by kmsj75 View Post
Do you have NA in your area? While the word "God" is mentioned in the literature, I find that many atheists, recovering baptists (that would be me,) etc., feel more comfortable with it. No Lord's Prayer, and "Higher Power" can be anything you want it to be. A door knob, God, nature, WHATEVER. When I struggled with the idea of "a higher power," I was asked if I would stand in front of a speeding car. Obviously not, because that car had more power than I did. Couldn't argue with that.

IMO, people who say AA/NA is the only way have no right to say that. All I know is what works for me. And it has worked.

Best wishes with whatever you choose!
K
My NA meetings ended in the Lord's Prayer. That's one reason I started to go to AA. In fact, there were a lot more religious people in my NA meetings than AA. As many here in Secular know, I ended up finding AA/NA a program that did not work for me and use SMART as my program.

For those who don't know what Secular programs are out there, here is a brief list. Remember your recovery doesn't have to be "DIY" (do it yourself) if AA/NA doesnt' work for you. In fact there is a reason this Secular Forum exists...for those of us doing a secular recovery program!

There are many great secular programs. Here is an abbreviated list:

SMART and SOS/LifeRing are secular programs and both have F2F (face to face) meetings in large metropolitan areas. For those of us who don't have access to them, SMART has great meetings online. Some are typing and others are voice meetings. LifeRing also has several weekly online meetings.

Rational Recovery is another option. They do no have meetings, instead their program consists of a self-help program including but not limited to their book, pay-as-you-go bulletin board services and the Addictive Voice Recognition Technique® technique. They are very anti-AA.
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Old 07-09-2008, 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by HIPPYCHIC View Post
If any of you are interested,google...Orange papers AA...it pretty much sums up my ideas on AA.It works for some but I am not one of them...Hippy
Love the Orange papers! Concur - a bit aggressive, but definitely how I've been feeling!

Originally Posted by HIPPYCHIC View Post
Our way or you are doomed to Drink...
I've been attending AA meetings for over 6-months. I didn't have a problem with "God"; but I did have a problem with some members presentation styles.

After 5-months of sobriety, I found myself forcing to "find the message" in A.A. I was tired of listening to lectures about failing if you don't work the steps. I was tired of hearing the old timers lecturing "this is the only way" and the only book one needs is "The Big Book". One time - I shared this is a "suggested program of recovery." I emphasized "suggested" and shared "what works for one does not necessarily work for another."

My Case Manager has suggested several books for me to search out and read. The books are of secular nature and have been more helpful in my recovery than the Big Book.

By attending SMART and LifeRing meetings, I feel more comfortable. We discuss "Successes" and "Issues", cross-talk is encouraged, and no one feels guilty or discouraged when leaving the meeting.

Best to all in your journey of recovery.
~Laura
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Old 07-10-2008, 08:40 AM
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My Case Manager has suggested several books for me to search out and read. The books are of secular nature and have been more helpful in my recovery than the Big Book.
I'm always looking for a good book. Would you be willing to share the titles of the ones that have helped you?
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Old 07-11-2008, 11:58 PM
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I don't know, AA's pretty religious, to be honest. I've been going for a few months, and I can't really take the God aspect anymore. Sure, I believe in a LOT of powers greater than myself. Like gravity. And love. It boils down to this: I don't think God has a face. I don't think God knows my name. I don't think I'm any more important than an ant. I don't think I'm any less important either-- to me God is the air and the universe and the vacuum of space and honestly, I don't think "he" has anything to do with my recovery. The Universe does not care if I drink or not. I love myself, but I don't think I'm that important. And furthermore, I think I need to take responsibility for my actions. Sure, I might not be able to do it on my own. But I am responsible for finding help, then. It's the only life I have and I'm responsible for treating it with respect. Nobody, divine or otherwise, is going to stop me from squandering it.
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Old 07-13-2008, 05:51 AM
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I have to agree with everyone about the god aspect of AA.

I went to AA, back in 2000 and was overwhelmed with god this & god that. No one seemed to be able to take any credit for their sobriety. It was all the grace of god.

I stopped going after a couple of months and stayed sober for 3 years.

However, I did start back after 3 years, as I thought I had licked it. So I am back in AA, 5 years after starting back. The reason is I am diabetic & eat like a horse when I drink.

I wish this site would have been here in 2000, so I could have used it.

I'll still go to AA, but I try & tune out the god stuff & listen to people's stories, which is what I go for. I get the most inspiration from their stories and none from the higher power stuff.
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Old 07-13-2008, 06:29 AM
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Welcome TheMaster...seems a bit odd talking about God in the Secular forum...lol

I tried to "take what I needed and leave the rest" but many folks at aa were all too happy to tell me that I was going to fail or insinuate that I was just "dry."

I absolutely do not believe God keeps me sober, I do that. Unfortunately that belief is unacceptable in aa and puts me in a position of being a blasphemer. Once I felt my sobriety was solid I left aa and truth be told I feel better.

If attending meetings is working for you and you can separate your beliefs from the aa ideology keep going!!!

Wishing you much success!
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Old 07-13-2008, 10:39 AM
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If you actually research the success rate of any form of formal treatment whether it be secular, religion based, psychitary, group therapy, SMART or any variant of AA the results are equally dismal and it seems that your chances of success are the same or even better with no treatment at all. Some studies found that people who were forced to attend AA by the courts actually did worse than a control group that received no treatment. This meant that AA had a worse than 100% failure rate in that study.
The numbers I found for AA in regard to people who stayed more than a year was less than 5%, meaning 95% quit the meetings. The success rate was about the same or worse than no treatment at all. What all this tells me is that there is no magic cure other than to simply not drink. I think the best treatment is whatever works for you. Overall I think these forums are great and AA meetings are a real asset in sharing your thoughts and ideas but you must go into it with the knowledge that just because a specific form of treatment worked for one person there is no guarantee that it will work for you.
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Old 07-13-2008, 01:58 PM
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Exclamation Don't Drink.

Originally Posted by mbachman View Post
Hello Everyone,

Why aren't these groups centered about sobriety, and not a) religion or b) debates?

So I've decided to split from both AA and RR, and I've created my own 12-step program. It's one-step, repeated 12 times. "Don't drink." Period. End of discussion.
If "Don't Drink Period" were a solution we would not need AA or any other support group. Most of us tried this white-knuckle approach as our first resort. AA is typically our last resort. We were all skeptical at first.

AA is not a formal religion in the sense that it has no official dogma. Some groups may be dogmatic but AA groups are truly independent entities.

In my area there are many different kinds of AA meetings - Big Book meetings, Open Talk meetings, Lead Discussion meetings and Barefoot meetings (no literature). Some of these meetings are close to religious and some are closer to complete Chaos.

Until you have tried at least a dozen meetings you have no idea just how Diversified AA really is.

As far as debates go - there will always be debates between people who take this subject seriously (which it is).
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Old 07-13-2008, 02:09 PM
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Thumbs down

Originally Posted by bugsworth View Post
Welcome TheMaster...seems a bit odd talking about God in the Secular forum...lol

I absolutely do not believe God keeps me sober, I do that. Unfortunately that belief is unacceptable in aa and puts me in a position of being a blasphemer. Once I felt my sobriety was solid I left aa and truth be told I feel better.

Wishing you much success!
BugsWorth;

If you find it so easy to stay sober why did you go to AA in the first place?
AA is for people who can not simply "choose" not to drink. For Gods sake don't rub our noses in the fact that there are some who find it easy to stay sober.

Some people have a 900 lb. Gorilla on their back and need the strongest possible solution. Some people have a 4 oz. Monkey on their back and just need a few psychological tricks & tips.
http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...ilies/a043.gif
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Old 07-13-2008, 03:06 PM
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Boleo, I am not sure where I said I found it easy to get and stay sober. I went to aa for the same reason others go.... I wanted to quit drinking...goal accomplished.

I don't subscribe to the aa philosophy of powerlessness...nor the notion that people lose their ability to choose to drink or not.

Me think it is the same gorilla just a different method for removing it.
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Old 07-13-2008, 03:33 PM
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Just a little reminder that this is a forum to discuss alternatives to 12 step recovery.

Alternatives to 12 Step Recovery
LifeRing-Smart-SOS, etc...

We also have a secular 12 step forum for those who are using that method.
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Old 07-14-2008, 07:24 AM
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Wow...how wonderful to hear some of the same things that I felt about AA! I know it works for some people...but I think it has to be the right mix of people you have at your AA, plus your personal beliefs. In my town, the AA is BEYOND religious! I didn't feel comfortable being forced to echo religious beliefs I don't know if i do or don't believe. I can't focus on theology at the same time as my sobriety! I didn't feel comfortable being told I could NOT do this without the other people. I didn't like looking around and seeing people who'd gone to these meetings every day for thirty years and wonder how it is that they don't see this as another type of dependency? If I can't do this for me, I certainly can't do it for other people in an AA meeting!

Maybe I was just at a bad one? I don't know, but I like this forum and will be using this in lieu of AA. My town doesn't have anything besides AA, plus there's no way I can go without having someone to watch my children...and that isn't possible for me.

I'm joining the 12 steps of "don't drink...and repeat 12 times". That way I'm not spouting stuff to other people that I just don't believe.
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Old 07-14-2008, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by dancinggirl View Post
Wow...how wonderful to hear some of the same things that I felt about AA! I know it works for some people...but I think it has to be the right mix of people you have at your AA, plus your personal beliefs. In my town, the AA is BEYOND religious! I didn't feel comfortable being forced to echo religious beliefs I don't know if i do or don't believe. I can't focus on theology at the same time as my sobriety! I didn't feel comfortable being told I could NOT do this without the other people. I didn't like looking around and seeing people who'd gone to these meetings every day for thirty years and wonder how it is that they don't see this as another type of dependency? If I can't do this for me, I certainly can't do it for other people in an AA meeting!

Maybe I was just at a bad one? I don't know, but I like this forum and will be using this in lieu of AA. My town doesn't have anything besides AA, plus there's no way I can go without having someone to watch my children...and that isn't possible for me.

I'm joining the 12 steps of "don't drink...and repeat 12 times". That way I'm not spouting stuff to other people that I just don't believe.
Dancinggirl, have you considered a secular program? For example, SMART Recovery has online meetings and a whole set of tools that help you to learn to live without alcohol and drugs. In fact, as Morning Glory said, that is what this forum is about "Alternatives to 12 Step Recovery
LifeRing-Smart-SOS, etc..."

Speaking only for myself the best thing I did to get in recovery was work a program. The fact my program is secular not 12 step based helped me to get clean. But at the end of the day, I still needed a program.
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Old 08-18-2008, 04:16 PM
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I quit drinking thirteen months ago and I have never attended an AA meeting. I stopped using the Rational Recovery approach. It made perfect sense to me and it worked.
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Old 08-18-2008, 05:08 PM
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I've been clean for 72 days-with no Higher Power in sight! I keep getting worried because NA does the same thing..."No HP, No Long Term Sobriety" is what I'm hearing. I am not religious either so I'm having a hard time with this.
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Old 08-18-2008, 05:12 PM
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Read some of the 'Keepers' thread. All the authors are people who have gotten sober without a belief in a HP.

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Old 08-18-2008, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by bugsworth View Post
I absolutely do not believe God keeps me sober, I do that.


My thoughts exactly! I mean, we don't say it's "Gods" fault that we DO drugs and drink, so why is it HIM that keeps us OFF drugs and alcohol? It is US-WE f'ed up and did drugs and drank, and now WE are doing the work to keep us clean and sober!
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