The Athiest

The 12 Steps are the AA program of recovery from alcoholism.

Re: The Athiest

Postby PaigeB » Sat Apr 29, 2017 1:17 am

Always interested to hear from people speaking a slightly different spiritual accent on the same path of recovery.

I like that. Thanks for sharing.
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Re: The Athiest

Postby bbqking » Sat Apr 29, 2017 11:02 am

What worked for me initially, "higher power", "him", and "god", those words meant some kind of faith and hope to me.

As I listened to the various ideas, thoughts, and opinions of other sober happy people, I realized it can be whatever I want if it works for me.

And it can mean whatever you want it to mean if it works for you.

For me, having some "faith" that it was possible for me to have a different life was all I needed in the beginning. Having some faith that there were steps, actions, and people that could help me figure it out and change my life got me started on that path, and with that I was well on my way.

Our take on spirituality can change over time too, and mine has to a degree. I've been happy with my take on it and have never felt threatened by anyone else's opinion or ideas because a woman shared at a meeting something along the lines of:


If deep down you are truly happy with your decisions, your life, your beliefs, and the direction you're headed, you won't need anyone else's approval.


I had that feeling, but she put it into words.
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Re: The Athiest

Postby Blue Moon » Sat Apr 29, 2017 12:27 pm

Mary wrote:It is my perception

Alcoholism is a disease of perception.

If you have a problem with atheism, it's your problem, no?
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Re: The Athiest

Postby mini33 » Fri May 05, 2017 10:06 pm

it was suggested in one of the meetings that I went to that you "have a power greater than yourself" rather than look for God straight away if u r struggling with this. so what is greater than yourself that is good and you can believe in? kids? humanity? or just the simple good in the world that u want to uphold and look to.
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Re: The Athiest

Postby ezdzit247 » Sat May 06, 2017 1:38 pm

mini33 wrote:it was suggested in one of the meetings that I went to that you "have a power greater than yourself" rather than look for God straight away if u r struggling with this. so what is greater than yourself that is good and you can believe in? kids? humanity? or just the simple good in the world that u want to uphold and look to.


Enjoyed your share. Thanks!
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Re: The Athiest

Postby kdub720 » Mon May 15, 2017 8:21 am

This is a giant Topic.
I loved everyones responses to this. I think even athiests can find harmony in the universe. I like how some or you mentioned believe in science, or restructure and find a new look. These are great. Being open minded is the key to change. Be an open minded atheist and suddenly you will see a change. This is a heavy topic that will have me thinkin all day.
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Re: The Athiest

Postby desypete » Tue Jun 20, 2017 1:13 pm

for me there is no god as such, i can not believe in a god like so many others do in aa as it seems based on there belief that a god somehow saved them, i can not get my head around that as to me it is clear what saved me and it was the day i walked into an aa room and met the people in the rooms who helped me so much and they carry on helping in more ways that i ever thought or dreamed of
i came to aa with a life in tatters thanks to the drink and how it progressed in me to take everything and everyone away from me, yet i still clung on to the drink until one day i just couldnt do it anymore
i had come to the end of the line, and i NEEDED HELP hence i had done step one without even knowing about it i had come to that point in my life were i was beaten i had given in
i was ready now to go to aa and ready for there help
i came to a power greater than me for help, i couldn't do it anymore on my own

the only difference is i dont see i gave in to a god i gave in to my alcoholism and me being an alcoholic and believing it

this is what i said by some who say they did the first 3 steps the moment they came to aa and gave in but they just didnt come to see it yet

today i fully accept i can not do this on my own and that i need help and guidance but not to stay away from that first drink anymore but more so in just how to try to live a peaceful life
again i dont pay homage to a god but i do pay homage to aa and the spirit of aa and its people who have all helped me one way or another to see myself or help me with suggestions i would never be able to think of on my own
it works for me and i do live a peaceful life as i really dont want the washing machine head or the trying to control and manipulate people places or things anymore

my life is more focused on others than myself which is amazing when i look back at all my life i never once really did anything for anyone unless there was somthing in it for me
well working that 12th step has given me a new lease on my life but its the same old saying we have to work for it and put the effort in that is needed

but again i do not believe in a god type of being that has pulled my strings or directed me, i do believe i came to aa and i have as a result found a new way to live my life without the need for booze and i am free from it

also i belive i have a mental illness that can only be arrested and never cured as its just part of my personality my ism for short, i have had to work the just for today card into my life and do those things it suggests, my recovery has taken years and i am still growing
the one thing i have ever got right about it all is that i still keep on coming back not out of desperation but because i love it and its my life now
and for any new comers who come around i let them know its all ok if you dont believe in a god as the program can and will work for anyone so long as they really want it and i still want it 11 years on
i guess i have come to believe in a power greater than me and i base that belief on what i see hear and touch in the rooms of aa, its there for all to see a happy bunch of people who dont drink anymore and who have come from all walks of life, the one thing they have in common is there all sat around the rooms of aa
that is all the proof i need to know it works and it gave me hope and today i know it works from the bottom of my heart
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Re: The Athiest

Postby PaigeB » Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:52 am

Thanks Pete! I love it when people tell my story! :wink:

One part I just got in my gut while reading the Big Book with my new sponsor... (yes, I am going thru the Steps again) it's on page 34 in More About Alcoholism. "... the question is how to stop altogether. We are assuming, of course, that the reader desires to stop." My sponsor calls it the 'Step before the Steps'.

I have recently been talking with a gal who had substantial time in the program. She worked the Steps years ago, but for about a year after her father passed she really struggled. Before that, there was a great flood here which took a lot of people's homes and belongings. She has a loss there too which she never really resolved. I watched as she refused to let go of martyrdom and take back living in the moment. She got further and further from the program on both her insides and her outsides and she drank. She tells me she is drinking moderately. It has been over a year of her coming in and out of the program with false starts and it is really breaking my heart. We have both seen people die "out there" but she has that great obsession of every alcoholic that someday she will control and enjoy her drinking. That one day she will have a good relationship with the booze. Lately she has stated that she is going to do this and that and then she will surrender on her day of choice. I am supposed to meet her at the specified meeting and give her the token of a white poker chip. She has this all planned and "under control". I do not know if she will finally surrender because I do not know if she has taken this 'Step before the Steps'.

I will help anyway I can but I know she also has to help herself. I do not believe there is an entity that will reach down and snatch her from her disease. She is going to have to want to do some work.
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Re: The Athiest

Postby Mary » Sun Jun 25, 2017 3:20 am

I believe in God. God did not save me from alcoholism. My belief in God saved me and continues to save me. This distinction is often lost on Atheists. That's great for you people for whom the rooms or the people or a door knob or a tree is enough. It would not be enough for me though I believe God is in all these things.
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Re: The Athiest

Postby Brock » Mon Jun 26, 2017 7:54 am

It would not be enough for me though I believe God is in all these things.

More and more I am coming to see this, good spiritual writers like AA's friend Richard Rohr, speak and write on this extensively. But at meetings I believe we must tone it down a little, not to the point that the word God is not mentioned at all, which I believe is what some folks would like to see, but in keeping with what Bill says here, from As Bill Sees It -
A very tough-minded prospect was taken to his first A.A. meeting, where two speakers (or maybe lecturers) themed their talks on "God as I understand Him." Their attitude oozed arrogance. In fact, the final speaker got far overboard on his personal theological convictions. Both were repeating my performance of years before. Implicit in everything they said was the same idea: "Folks, listen to us. We have the only true brand of A.A. -- and you'd better get it!" The new prospect said he'd had it -- and he had. His sponsor protested that this wasn't real A.A. But it was to late; nobody could touch him after that.

But it was to late; nobody could touch him after that.

The 'God talk' however, should not always be blamed if someone backs away from AA, my experience is that of looking for an excuse to leave, both in my own case and others I have seen. If they didn't hear anything about God, they might just as well have found another excuse, but as excuses and atheists go, God is #1.
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Re: The Athiest

Postby avaneesh912 » Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:10 am

An agnostic works the steps and finds something and remains sober,
An atheist works the steps and experiences something and remains sober,
A believer works the steps and gets closer to his/her HP and remains sober.

And those with twisted/conditioned mind who don't want to work the steps is still out there.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: The Athiest

Postby PaigeB » Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:44 am

avaneesh912 wrote:An agnostic works the steps and finds something and remains sober,
An atheist works the steps and experiences something and remains sober,
A believer works the steps and gets closer to his/her HP and remains sober.

And those with twisted/conditioned mind who don't want to work the steps is still out there.

I like this!
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
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Re: The Athiest

Postby Roberth » Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:54 am

The 'God talk' however, should not always be blamed if someone backs away from AA, my experience is that of looking for an excuse to leave, both in my own case and others I have seen. If they didn't hear anything about God, they might just as well have found another excuse, but as excuses and atheists go, God is #1.


Well first off let me state 1. I am an atheist. 2. I don’t believe in pushing my beliefs on anyone else. 3. I do believe in supporting people who have beliefs other that mine.

I have been doing this AA thing for a while now and it has been my experience the a lot more people back away from god talk not because they are non-believers but because of the experience with their childhood religion.

I have opened my doors to many asking advice when I tell them what I would do I have heard more than once that they weren’t that spiritual.

My answer to them is simple. You don’t have to spiritual to do the right thing, doing the right thing is of spiritual nature.
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Re: The Athiest

Postby desypete » Sat Jul 08, 2017 11:41 am

Roberth wrote:
The 'God talk' however, should not always be blamed if someone backs away from AA, my experience is that of looking for an excuse to leave, both in my own case and others I have seen. If they didn't hear anything about God, they might just as well have found another excuse, but as excuses and atheists go, God is #1.


Well first off let me state 1. I am an atheist. 2. I don’t believe in pushing my beliefs on anyone else. 3. I do believe in supporting people who have beliefs other that mine.

I have been doing this AA thing for a while now and it has been my experience the a lot more people back away from god talk not because they are non-believers but because of the experience with their childhood religion.

I have opened my doors to many asking advice when I tell them what I would do I have heard more than once that they weren’t that spiritual.

My answer to them is simple. You don’t have to spiritual to do the right thing, doing the right thing is of spiritual nature.


that is the sort of thing i had to learn in the fellowship as i got really hung up about this god thing, the answer seemed easy, find this god and you will never have to worry again in you life, find this god and you will be happy joyus and free for the rest of your life always on cloud 9 happy

so thats what i wanted and i set about trying to get.
i had Jehovah witness people round my house doing bible studys. that didnt work i got fed up of them in 5 mins flat.
next i had Mormons call around and it was much the same thing, i was wanting an instant flash of white light and then i would be changed in a blink of an eye

it was like banging my head on a brick wall trying to find this thing that others said they had and that i must get if i am ever going to be free etc

until i started to see some of the cracks in people who were making these claims, some had gone back out and drank again, yet these people were in the rooms telling me how much they had changed, how much there god saved them etc
the only thing i had got right even though i was not very happy at the time about being sober and more worried that if i didn't go to aa then i might drink again but i did get that part right i kept on going back

then there would be people who were happy one day and utterly depressed the next once a problem came along in there lives, it seemed to be that while everything was good in there lives they were able to be happy joyus and free and tell others how perfect there being sober and there brand of sobriety really was etc

so i like i say once i had been around awhile and i started to get to know the people in the fellowship and see there characters in the rooms i could also see myself in them as they would be just like me at one time or another

anyway with the help of a great sponsor who went to get lengths with me i finally came to see the truth and its not what the people say in the rooms that matters its how they conduct themselves, the ones in aa who you find are always the first out with there hands to help others always seem to have more peace in there lives than those who are only happy when there on show in the rooms able to tell the rest of us just how its done etc

anyway i came to a point where i came to see it didnt matter what anyone else believes in the rooms of aa its what every individual member believes for themselves what is the key
hence a door knob can work or a blow up doll called sid ? =biggrin they use the term a god of your own understanding which is the part i never fully understood until the last few years when i would look at my growth and try to find out just how on earth have a i grown ? all i did was keep on coming back its as simple as that, to never let go of aa in the same way as those who believe in a god would never let there god go as they believe it and that is all that matters, it doesnt matter that i dont believe in there god
we get our own but it certainly is a hard job or for me it was to finally come to see the meaning of a power greater than myself and one that i could trust and believe in
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Re: The Athiest

Postby Soberguy27 » Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:46 pm

As an atheist I don't believe in any gods. I was still able to take the steps I just had to re word them in my head. Also what works for me is when people talk about god I understand that they are talking about their experience which may be different than mine. I can still get a lot out of peoples share if I look for the similarities and not the differences.
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