Go Back  SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information > Secular Recovery > Secular Connections
Reload this Page >

Discussion thread for those without a HP recovering from substance abuse

Blogs


Notices

Discussion thread for those without a HP recovering from substance abuse

Old 07-31-2006, 05:19 PM
  # 1 (permalink)  
alconaut
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Motor City
Posts: 729
Arrow Discussion thread for those without a HP recovering from substance abuse

Ah..... there's no place like home.





ETA: Those without a HP who consider themselves "recovered" also welcome! (Gee, I can't think of anyone beside Don S.)
Autumn is offline  
Old 07-31-2006, 06:06 PM
  # 2 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: The Big Woods
Posts: 521
For entertainment/ keeping my mind occupied this HOT evening, with a root beer on ice I read through today's posts here at Secular Connections. So much transpires in a day. I love it.

Unclear quite what you meant in this thread Autumn, until seeing this post far down the line in another thread here:
Originally Posted by up&downjj
????? Debate Thread ??
Wow...this has my brain swirling....
What ever happened to Keep it simple ???
It was a far-reaching thread, sometimes tangential, sometimes obscure, sometimes delving deep. Spectacular!

My posts have occasionally received similar 'keep it simple' responses, and I understand the directive behind that. Yet, I also surmise that those of us here at Secular, in large part because we're relying on our own mind/ reason/ intellect/ thought processes to determine our behaviors (as opposed to a higher power or religion or group-minded program), feel compelled to explore all angles of every thing we encounter. Unwilling to follow blind faith or believe anything anyone else says or trust anything external to guide us, rather, we're relying on our ability to think, reason, process, explore, examine in full the complexities of it All. If we keep it simple we'll probably overlook something important. Keep it engaged.
aloneagainor is offline  
Old 07-31-2006, 06:10 PM
  # 3 (permalink)  
alconaut
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Motor City
Posts: 729
More recently than ever, I have been reaffirming to myself how important it is to be able work through the myriad of problems that life presents without a HP, be that HP a group, a tree..... whatever.

Spirituality is inviting, and may even figure as part of my future, but it's just too uncertain a solution at this point. In fact, I don't ever want to rely on a HP as a solution for anything. Solace maybe. I'm in the pursuit of some good guided meditation CDs or DVDs. Meditation is a fabulous outlet for the stress and chaos of everyday living, and puts us in touch with our inner-most selves (and even gets us "outside" ourselves at times).
Autumn is offline  
Old 07-31-2006, 06:38 PM
  # 4 (permalink)  
alconaut
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Motor City
Posts: 729
Thanks for your response Alone. Keeping it simple - that's what this thread is all about. Call me your average simpleton burnout, but this forum has me on stimuli overload. There's just too many ideas coming from too many directions, and the debates are redundant and seldom evolve. Too much in the mix.

If it's just me, it's just me. I'm cool with that though. I'm right where I need to be.
Autumn is offline  
Old 07-31-2006, 07:00 PM
  # 5 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: The Big Woods
Posts: 521
Originally Posted by Autumn
...how important it is to be able work through the myriad of problems that life presents without a HP...
Spirituality is inviting, and may even figure as part of my future, but it's just too uncertain a solution at this point. In fact, I don't ever want to rely on a HP as a solution for anything.
Spirituality and Higher Power...one in the same?

Spirituality, in my understanding of it, is about the inextricable interconnectedness that unites all things. It is the energy that comprises the Whole. It is about recognizing my place in it. About being respectful and mindful of my environment and all that surrounds. So I call my "higher power" Interconnectedness. Not centered in some-thing or some-one or some-belief or some-program-religion-doctrine, rather, based on reasoning out how it all works. Focus on understanding inter-connections (patterns, natural law, natural order, evolution) to me is deeply spiritual. Because it removes me from the center, outside of my own ego. It's not about ego, it's about seeing how things connect. I've been using drugs to foster that detachment for me, and that did serve to get me out of my mind, but that only did half the job. It wasn't working through anything, it was not a solution. I SO understand your unwillingness to rely on a higher power as a "solution" to anything. I don't think that such a solution exists. I think the solution is found in engaging reason, in the observing how things work, in the seeking, in recognizing our place in the grand scheme of things.

Alright, this root beer is long gone and the ice cubes have all melted.
So, I submitted this post and then read yours that came in right before this, and I see I completely misinterpreted your intent! Funny, I've read your posts and you're right there in the mix with all the rest on constant stimuli overload. You're clearly not an "average simpleton" Autumn.
aloneagainor is offline  
Old 07-31-2006, 08:10 PM
  # 6 (permalink)  
alconaut
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Motor City
Posts: 729
Originally Posted by aloneagainor
Spirituality and Higher Power...one in the same?
If one relies on a HP through spirituality or religion, they are the same to me in the context of recovery or life in general. I do realize the basic differences, however, which is why I would lean toward exploring spirituality in the future, perhaps; it's about "interconnectedness" as you describe below. At this point, I don't view my recovery as individual to me (as peer support is a major component), nor as a spiritual experience.

Spirituality, in my understanding of it, is about the inextricable interconnectedness that unites all things. It is the energy that comprises the Whole. It is about recognizing my place in it. About being respectful and mindful of my environment and all that surrounds. So I call my "higher power" Interconnectedness. Not centered in some-thing or some-one or some-belief or some-program-religion-doctrine, rather, based on reasoning out how it all works. Focus on understanding inter-connections (patterns, natural law, natural order, evolution) to me is deeply spiritual. Because it removes me from the center, outside of my own ego. It's not about ego, it's about seeing how things connect. I've been using drugs to foster that detachment for me, and that did serve to get me out of my mind, but that only did half the job. It wasn't working through anything, it was not a solution. I SO understand your unwillingness to rely on a higher power as a "solution" to anything. I don't think that such a solution exists. I think the solution is found in engaging reason, in the observing how things work, in the seeking, in recognizing our place in the grand scheme of things.
Alright, this root beer is long gone and the ice cubes have all melted.
So, I submitted this post and then read yours that came in right before this, and I see I completely misinterpreted your intent! Funny, I've read your posts and you're right there in the mix with all the rest on constant stimuli overload.
Yes, I am opinionated. It drains me of energy that I could best utilize toward recovery and helping others. Categorically, this forum is out of bounds. Adherance to a higher power in any form is not secular. An individual who lives any aspect their life in accordance with a religious code is not secular.

If one wanted guidance in how to work the 12 steps or other program without relying on a god, one can visit a 12-step forum (been there, done that). I have received the best of advice, for which I am indebted and sincerely grateful. I'm not alone in that experience, I'm sure. Newcomers who arrive in the 12-step or Alcoholics/Narcotics forums will surely need the same guidance.

You're clearly not an "average simpleton" Autumn.
I have a very difficult time remaining focused.

Thanks for sharing.
Autumn is offline  
Old 07-31-2006, 09:59 PM
  # 7 (permalink)  
Member
 
Bobbybanned's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: head
Posts: 54
Just some thoughts

There is so much I could say, so much I want to say, but then again, I wonder sometimes what gives me the right. You see, when it comes to these higher power's, spirituality, and all the like, I find myself perplexed how people decide to define them. Which is what has to do with my uncertainty of speaking up. The last thing I want to ever do is suggest that someone should not think as they do or to imply they are foolish or be offensive in any way, shape or form. I want to make friends, not enemies. I guess I say all of that as a means of providing anyone who reads this with my intentions. Which are to simply share my thoughts, with the understanding that I respect the thoughts of others that differ from mine. Ah, I know, I'll just refer to myself and my ideas rather than making direct comparisons. There! Of course I may need to reserve the right to make vague, indirect comparisons, but only as a means of reference to make a point...which may not even become necessary. Anyway...
Spirituality, to me, does not exist. The reason I came to that conclusion was because of the definitions involved with it. Of course I do recognize the word when I see or hear it. I have a reaction to it as well. At best, I conclude it as an idea, an interpretation of an individual. It is something that individuals refer to as a means of connecting or maybe identifying with some sort of realm that seems ideal to the harmony, solitude, understanding, (you name it) they desire in their lives. Spirituality is an idea that seems to be an emotional reaction to all that doesn't make sense, or furthermore, all that is chaotic in what we are able to comprehend.
In addition to those comments it is important that I add how intently I have considered various explanations of spirituality, and there are many. Most of which, in their unique ways, seem very noble to their cause, their purpose. But I am usually left thinking that the explanation fails to apply. For instance, it may be suggested that spirituality is what connects each and every thing to everything else, or it is the essence of our souls, or the recognition of a higher power, or whatever the case may be, nevertheless, all of that fails to provide anything that is useful. I realize that comment may have put me in dangerous waters a bit, so allow me to ellaborate. Whatever people believe spirituality provides them, can in fact be provided without it. It truly can, without any mystery. The reason we should conceren ourselves with the minimization of mystery is to elliminate any confusion or doubt that we all naturally find troublesome in our daily lives. It is not healthy when a person relies on a higher power (for instance) and is feeling positive and very spiritual and then something occurs, something bad, and bam, they just may feel effected by the occurence. It creates a conflict. Because life happens and life is not always pleasant as it happens.
So, what have I done? After years as a christian, after years of being agnostic, after even convincing myself (with the persuasion of N/A) that I could find a higher power within my group-mates, after spending years as an atheist, (which I now am) I finely concluded that I couldn't tolerate the conflict that all of the imagining was creating within my head. I decided I was comfortable with good old fashioned reason. I don't want to feel spiritual, I want to feel positive. I don't want to rely on a higher power, I want to rely on me and people who I can talk to. I like knowing that if I make a bad decision that I will pay the conseques and if I achieve something I am the one who deserves the credit. This position I have adopted allows me to live the life I am living directly, as an accountable participant. Someone may suggest that the philosophy behind all of that is spiritual, but I don't understand the necessity of applying the word.
It is true that I am very logical, rational, calculative, and as result, I have been accused of being cold-hearted and unemotional. Those accusations had pained me too, as the reality of it is that I have decided to attempt, as best as I am capable, to experience. To do that, I must understand what it is that allows me to experience. My emotions. They are the key to all of our experiences. They are why we do what we do. They are in fact why we want to be spiritual. It provides an emotional reaction that is appealing.
Emotions are the platform that provides quality to all that there is. They are something that exist in my brain. They are the very thing that make me unique. They are the fabric of our being and since they were there before our ability to reason was, we learned to reason based on our emotional experiences. Which has much to do with why many of us became addicts. but anyway, I may be getting a little to far into this.
All I know with certainty is that I never saw a God. I was born an atheist, just like the rest of the population of the world. None of us knew of anything that resembled a God until we were taught it. Spirituality, well, it's a cool word. I am glad that people find something in the word. But, as a whole, a people, a world, I wonder if we would be better off if we just considered how simple we truly all are and looked to ourselves and became accountable for every single action we do and don't take. Who knows, a person just may wake up one morning, look in the mirror and realize they are staring at their higher power.
Bobbybanned is offline  
Old 07-31-2006, 10:15 PM
  # 8 (permalink)  
Member
 
Bobbybanned's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: head
Posts: 54
Not that I am an expert, but....

Originally Posted by Autumn
Spirituality is inviting, and may even figure as part of my future, but it's just too uncertain a solution at this point. In fact, I don't ever want to rely on a HP as a solution for anything. Solace maybe. I'm in the pursuit of some good guided meditation CDs or DVDs. Meditation is a fabulous outlet for the stress and chaos of everyday living, and puts us in touch with our inner-most selves (and even gets us "outside" ourselves at times).
Meditation, from what I understand, is an incredible method that does wonders. I haven't done much of it because I am too lazy. That's funny, too lazy to sit still and relax. But yeah, your comments about it has got me thinking (again) about it seriously. I believe much of what I have read and heard about it. It is something that a person can do for themselves when the need is present and provide an effective result in many ways.

Be Good, Bobby
Bobbybanned is offline  
Old 07-31-2006, 11:14 PM
  # 9 (permalink)  
alconaut
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Motor City
Posts: 729
Red face

Originally Posted by Bobby4444
There is so much I could say, so much I want to say, but then again, I wonder sometimes what gives me the right. You see, when it comes to these higher power's, spirituality, and all the like, I find myself perplexed how people decide to define them. Which is what has to do with my uncertainty of speaking up. The last thing I want to ever do is suggest that someone should not think as they do or to imply they are foolish or be offensive in any way, shape or form. I want to make friends, not enemies. I guess I say all of that as a means of providing anyone who reads this with my intentions. Which are to simply share my thoughts, with the understanding that I respect the thoughts of others that differ from mine. Ah, I know, I'll just refer to myself and my ideas rather than making direct comparisons. There! Of course I may need to reserve the right to make vague, indirect comparisons, but only as a means of reference to make a point...which may not even become necessary. Anyway...
Spirituality, to me, does not exist. The reason I came to that conclusion was because of the definitions involved with it. Of course I do recognize the word when I see or hear it. I have a reaction to it as well. At best, I conclude it as an idea, an interpretation of an individual. It is something that individuals refer to as a means of connecting or maybe identifying with some sort of realm that seems ideal to the harmony, solitude, understanding, (you name it) they desire in their lives. Spirituality is an idea that seems to be an emotional reaction to all that doesn't make sense, or furthermore, all that is chaotic in what we are able to comprehend.
In addition to those comments it is important that I add how intently I have considered various explanations of spirituality, and there are many. Most of which, in their unique ways, seem very noble to their cause, their purpose. But I am usually left thinking that the explanation fails to apply. For instance, it may be suggested that spirituality is what connects each and every thing to everything else, or it is the essence of our souls, or the recognition of a higher power, or whatever the case may be, nevertheless, all of that fails to provide anything that is useful. I realize that comment may have put me in dangerous waters a bit, so allow me to ellaborate. Whatever people believe spirituality provides them, can in fact be provided without it. It truly can, without any mystery. The reason we should conceren ourselves with the minimization of mystery is to elliminate any confusion or doubt that we all naturally find troublesome in our daily lives. It is not healthy when a person relies on a higher power (for instance) and is feeling positive and very spiritual and then something occurs, something bad, and bam, they just may feel effected by the occurence. It creates a conflict. Because life happens and life is not always pleasant as it happens.
So, what have I done? After years as a christian, after years of being agnostic, after even convincing myself (with the persuasion of N/A) that I could find a higher power within my group-mates, after spending years as an atheist, (which I now am) I finely concluded that I couldn't tolerate the conflict that all of the imagining was creating within my head. I decided I was comfortable with good old fashioned reason. I don't want to feel spiritual, I want to feel positive. I don't want to rely on a higher power, I want to rely on me and people who I can talk to. I like knowing that if I make a bad decision that I will pay the conseques and if I achieve something I am the one who deserves the credit. This position I have adopted allows me to live the life I am living directly, as an accountable participant. Someone may suggest that the philosophy behind all of that is spiritual, but I don't understand the necessity of applying the word.
It is true that I am very logical, rational, calculative, and as result, I have been accused of being cold-hearted and unemotional. Those accusations had pained me too, as the reality of it is that I have decided to attempt, as best as I am capable, to experience. To do that, I must understand what it is that allows me to experience. My emotions. They are the key to all of our experiences. They are why we do what we do. They are in fact why we want to be spiritual. It provides an emotional reaction that is appealing.
Emotions are the platform that provides quality to all that there is. They are something that exist in my brain. They are the very thing that make me unique. They are the fabric of our being and since they were there before our ability to reason was, we learned to reason based on our emotional experiences. Which has much to do with why many of us became addicts. but anyway, I may be getting a little to far into this.
All I know with certainty is that I never saw a God. I was born an atheist, just like the rest of the population of the world. None of us knew of anything that resembled a God until we were taught it. Spirituality, well, it's a cool word. I am glad that people find something in the word. But, as a whole, a people, a world, I wonder if we would be better off if we just considered how simple we truly all are and looked to ourselves and became accountable for every single action we do and don't take. Who knows, a person just may wake up one morning, look in the mirror and realize they are staring at their higher power.
This is one of the most beautiful things I have ever read (and I'm keeping it). I'm really touched. I thank you so much for taking the time to share. It's as if you plucked the thoughts, feelings, and motives right out of my head..... and that's very validating.

It takes me so much time and thought just to type a simple post when it's something personal. I don't mean to offend anyone. I love people so much. This is a painful position to be in, when really it shouldn't be. I'm just getting by like everyone else.

Thanks again neighbor. Welcome to SR.
Autumn is offline  
Old 08-01-2006, 12:02 AM
  # 10 (permalink)  
alconaut
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Motor City
Posts: 729
Originally Posted by Bobby4444
Meditation, from what I understand, is an incredible method that does wonders. I haven't done much of it because I am too lazy. That's funny, too lazy to sit still and relax. But yeah, your comments about it has got me thinking (again) about it seriously. I believe much of what I have read and heard about it. It is something that a person can do for themselves when the need is present and provide an effective result in many ways.
It is incredible. You know how you said there are things to provide a substitute for spirituality? Meditation is one of those things that qualify. I'm way out of practice, however, and need to start over. Once you get the hang of it, you can be in a meditative trance within seconds. It can be really hard to sit still and relax in the beginning (I understand what you mean by lazy tho. It seems that way).
Autumn is offline  
Old 08-01-2006, 12:40 AM
  # 11 (permalink)  
Member
 
equus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: uk
Posts: 3,054
I za cummin.....

Just need to finish me cuppa first and have a shower...
equus is offline  
Old 08-01-2006, 12:49 AM
  # 12 (permalink)  
alconaut
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Motor City
Posts: 729
How's it going with your quit smoking plan Eq? Did you set a date yet?

(Thanks for accepting my invite, btw.)


Autumn is offline  
Old 08-01-2006, 12:53 AM
  # 13 (permalink)  
alconaut
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Motor City
Posts: 729
And, I want you to know that I think you are one of the most humble people at SR who are non 12-step affiliated. You share your knowlege so generously and without any kind of pompous airs whatsoever. And, you can handle a debate with class! I so admire you Eq.

xo
Autumn is offline  
Old 08-01-2006, 01:14 AM
  # 14 (permalink)  
alconaut
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Motor City
Posts: 729
I think those who are truly secular - I mean, wholly, though not necessarily Atheists because I'm not - have heard all the arguments about 12 steps, HPs, etc. I was looking forward to a reprieve.

I hope that makes sense.
Autumn is offline  
Old 08-01-2006, 01:41 AM
  # 15 (permalink)  
Member
 
equus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: uk
Posts: 3,054
Hey - how did you know I was having a small day, you know the kind of thing I mean where I've got the urge to mutter quietly that I'm shrinking! I've never excelled at anything in my life from the age of 6 to 35 I've only ever come top of the class once and that was in subsid physics because D was teaching me. I do ok but it comes down to the work I put in, I read because I need to and I ask for feedback to try and improve.

The smoking thing.....

YUK! I honestly haven't the faintest idea whether it's an excuse or something genuine but right now at work I just don't want to spare the energy to stop. The working atmosphere feels intense, on the one hand telling myself I can achieve and on the other the little voice inside that screams arrogance. Inbetween it's trying to produce the best I can, trying to judge if I could offer it more, trying to grasp a concept deeper - and then going for a fag. It's like breaking the day up with moments of irresponsibility and less than best intent - before going back and trying to be confident while I ask whether I just look an ass!

At home we've stopped smoking in the house and at the end of October smoking, smoke breaks, etc will be banned in working hours. I'm letting the net close in round the habit and welcoming it.

I should be setting off to work - but I want another coffee first so I'm gonna be naughty and finish late instead!!
equus is offline  
Old 08-01-2006, 01:56 AM
  # 16 (permalink)  
alconaut
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Motor City
Posts: 729
Hey Eq - you'll quit when you're good and ready! You're getting there. It's great being nicotine-free. What a relief. Thanks for your post..... I'm gonna get some coffee too.



Have a great day at work!
Autumn is offline  
Old 08-01-2006, 02:07 AM
  # 17 (permalink)  
Member
 
Five's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: London
Posts: 1,229
I have learnt helplessness in recovery - and the idea of recovery 'without a HP, or a group' has often been nearly impossible to comprehend. But I do have faith, ironicaly, in reason (see CBT). Reason when I use it conciously and consistantly really gives me the tools that I need to survive. I also find great comfort and solace and growth in 'living healthily' - just making sure I am not putting my mind and body through a lot of junk. I am not really a 'goals, direction, success!!!' type, but I enjoy doing a nice days work, and moving slowly on. I think the 'art of living' is 'my recovery program' - just trying to lead a decent healthy life. I am through with the old madness and the big silly ideas in my head. I just like being alive and living with the uncertainty of not having a great big Father protecting me. I believe there is more to the meaning of life in a friendship than in a million prayers. Who needs a HP when you can go fishing?
Five is offline  
Old 08-01-2006, 02:26 AM
  # 18 (permalink)  
Member
 
Five's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: London
Posts: 1,229
Thanks Bobby, what a powerful and wonderful message that was to read.
Five is offline  
Old 08-01-2006, 02:59 AM
  # 19 (permalink)  
Member
 
BSPGirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Nowhere
Posts: 889
I consider myself recovered, all done by me only, the real 'HP' in life is the strenght the human race has to bounce back into shape.

Marte
BSPGirl is offline  
Old 08-01-2006, 03:10 AM
  # 20 (permalink)  
alconaut
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Motor City
Posts: 729
Originally Posted by Five
I am not really a 'goals, direction, success!!!' type, but I enjoy doing a nice days work, and moving slowly on. I think the 'art of living' is 'my recovery program' - just trying to lead a decent healthy life.
I agree with this also. Ironically enough, I am beginning to feel a great settling where my recovery is concerned..... no more tug-o-war, spare a neurotic turn every now and again. I just want a simple, clutter-free life..... decent and healthy. I'm grateful there's much to work with.
Autumn is offline  

Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:47 AM.