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#420804 - 01/03/13 08:50 AM 12 Steps
CdnDW Offline


Registered: 08/24/12
Posts: 105
Originally Posted By: CdnDW
I would love to know if there are any programs that do not rely on the individual having a spiritual belief. I find it hard to find solace in these programs because of this common aspect. I know they have tried to water down this aspect to make it accessible to all, but my overly rational brain keeps stumbling over this part because it is really key to the "letting go" of any sense of control. I have always argued (with myself) to be self aware of the path I make for myself. I do not believe I am destined to be happy or sad, succeed or fail. I believe I control these choices and am fully responsible for my wrongs to others. This keeps me grounded and honest so to speak. This is my moral code. How do I marry this fundamental belief that I am fully responsible for everything that happens or does not in my life with a 12 step program that rely's on a relationship with an external power?


This is my post from another thread. I really would like to know if anyone has found a way to overcome this. Someone said to get past my stubborness but I can honestly say this is not a factor. I was raised catholic, have no specific, personal issues with god, religion or spirituality. I have always wanted to believe and attended church long after I stopped having faith, but I simply don't. Unfortunately, it is not something one can fake or fool themselves into believing. I believe we are all connected and I believe their are forces at work that we do not yet understand, but I believe these are forces in nature, science, etc, and are random and follow only the laws of science... not an external force of goodness.

I WANT to believe otherwise so I can find some solace in the comfort of a god. I want to benefit from a 12 step program, but without this believe these remain inaccessible to me.

Has anyone else found something like coda or alanon that worked outside of this basis or has anyone found a way to make these programs work without a central faith belief?
_________________________
I am not your rolling wheels, I am the highway
I am not your carpet ride, I am the sky
- Audioslave

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#420821 - 01/03/13 11:00 AM Re: 12 Steps [Re: CdnDW]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 707
Loc: NJ
I am so with you on this.

But I found that this feeling was tied to my co-dependency more than anything else. I don't think it is an issue of faith as much as accepting that we don't control everything (an important step for a co-dependent).

Faith does not mean destiny for me. If you swap in your own personal power for the concept of the "higher" power in the 12 steps, you can imagine what that feels like. And sure, I can control me but I have ABSOLUTELY no control over anyone else and that, my friend, represents a major shift in my thinking.

For me, I know with 100% certainty, that resisting this component of the 12 step programs was my inner co-dependent fighting the destruction of the distorted thinking that made me feel like I had control.

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#420822 - 01/03/13 11:18 AM Re: 12 Steps [Re: CdnDW]
lucylives Offline


Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 364
The good news is for you that part of the steps is that one of the steps is "CAME to believe in a power greater than myself"

You don't have to go there believing. It doesn't happen overnight. For me, I saw miracles so I CAME to believe.

You also can be an atheist and go. The power greater than yourself can be your group. The power greater than yourself can be "your better self", so to speak. It doesn't have to be God.

I am also not a church goer, rarely, but I consider myself to have a strong relationship with God. I pray almost daily.

Go. Try. Have an open mind and watch miracles happen. If nothoing else by doing the steps you take the focus off everything but you and that is, in my opinion, the only way to survive this insanity.

I started with Alanon but moved to COSA and S'anon. It was at the latter two that I found my home.

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#420823 - 01/03/13 11:20 AM Re: 12 Steps [Re: CdnDW]
lucylives Offline


Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 364
Also, I too, am an extremely overly analytical person but I was in so much pain I was WILLING.

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#420868 - 01/03/13 06:23 PM Re: 12 Steps [Re: CdnDW]
Mountainous Buck Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 1626
Loc: Minnesota
None of the twelve step programs ask for a belief in God-per se.

And if your rational brain is enough to guide you- I'd guess you have no real need for admitting powerlessness or unmanageability. And no need for a deeper understanding of your behavior or a better way to live.

A higher power, Good Orderly Direction, awakening to a better consciousness, seeing greater intelligence in the path followed by other people. These are some of the "gods" that have helped many hundreds of thousands follow a path of recovery.

Step one is about admitting my own decisions and choices and attempts to run my life have failed.

Step two is about believing there is a better way out there being offered by others whose lives show me there is a solution. Can I be open minded enough to try a different Path?

Step three is making a decision to pursue this path and stop relying on self for answers.

There is an excellent chapter in the book "Alcoholics Anonymous" addressed to those who struggle with the "God" idea- I'd recommend reading the first hundred or so pages in this book and investigating these questions.

It has worked for me.


Edited by Mountainous Buck (01/03/13 06:34 PM)
_________________________
We have to take responsibility for what we're not responsible for.

“It doesn't matter where you've come from,
It matters where you go" Frank Turner

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#420871 - 01/03/13 06:37 PM Re: 12 Steps [Re: CdnDW]
Mountainous Buck Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 1626
Loc: Minnesota
You also wrote:

"I believe we are all connected and I believe their are forces at work that we do not yet understand"

So what if that connection is a higher force working towards life and betterment?

I'd also check into some Buddhist philosophy - the principles are similar.


Edited by Mountainous Buck (01/03/13 06:43 PM)
_________________________
We have to take responsibility for what we're not responsible for.

“It doesn't matter where you've come from,
It matters where you go" Frank Turner

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#420873 - 01/03/13 06:48 PM Re: 12 Steps [Re: CdnDW]
Mountainous Buck Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 1626
Loc: Minnesota
From chapter four: AA


If a mere code of morals or a better philosophy of life were sufficient to overcome alcoholism, many of us would have recovered long ago. But we found that such codes and philosophies did not save us, no matter how much we tried. We could wish to be moral, we could wish to be philosophically comforted, in fact, we could will these things with all our might, but the needed power wasn’t there. Our human resources, as marshalled by the will, were not sufficient; they failed utterly.
Lack of power, that was our dilemma. We had to find a power by which we could live, and it had to be a Power greater than ourselves. Obviously. But where and how were we to find this Power?
Well, that’s exactly what this book is about. Its main object is to enable you to find a Power greater than yourself which will solve your problem
_________________________
We have to take responsibility for what we're not responsible for.

“It doesn't matter where you've come from,
It matters where you go" Frank Turner

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#420876 - 01/03/13 07:08 PM Re: 12 Steps [Re: CdnDW]
CdnDW Offline


Registered: 08/24/12
Posts: 105
Thanks Buck. Do you think this is where one should start? With the book I mean? I have checked for coda and alanon in my area. Coda is not local to me but alanon is... The have the following on their website though: "What Al- anon groups are not... Provide support for problems other than the impact of alcoholism upon the family members."

Is it common for these groups to be singularly focused on alcohol abuse? While my H has chosen not to drink because it stirs up a lot of negative hurts he can't really work with in a healthy way when intoxicated, I would not describe him as an alcoholic. I am looking more for support in determining my role as separate from him. Finding a path to my own health and happiness regardless of his recovery progress. Essentially breaking free of my codependency. So, CoDA would be perfect, but I cannot find a local group.

Many have suggested alanon as an alternative. Should I ignore the statement on their website?
_________________________
I am not your rolling wheels, I am the highway
I am not your carpet ride, I am the sky
- Audioslave

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#420882 - 01/03/13 07:25 PM Re: 12 Steps [Re: CdnDW]
Mountainous Buck Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 1626
Loc: Minnesota
I would ignore it and just show up and listen and read some of their literature.

In fact I use al-anon'a daily reflections book for inspiration and meditation almost every day. The principles, teachings, and tools are universal methinks- and applying them isn't limited to families of alcoholics.

They will discourage lengthy discussions of specific problems in our families- whether it is drugs or sex or gambling - most if the discussion is about a solution to living rather than other people's addictions in our lives.

Al Anon is the original program to help those of us who live with the "crazy making" of addicts.


Edited by Mountainous Buck (01/03/13 07:28 PM)
_________________________
We have to take responsibility for what we're not responsible for.

“It doesn't matter where you've come from,
It matters where you go" Frank Turner

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#420905 - 01/04/13 12:22 AM Re: 12 Steps [Re: CdnDW]
CdnDW Offline


Registered: 08/24/12
Posts: 105
Cheers Buck. I appreciate you taking the time to discuss with me. I must admit I am a little nervous about just showing up and listening, but I think this discussion has given me the "kick in the pants" I needed to get on with it.
_________________________
I am not your rolling wheels, I am the highway
I am not your carpet ride, I am the sky
- Audioslave

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