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Unread 10-06-2009, 03:21 PM   #1
CarlyO
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Default Question for Rlee ??? "God" and AA

Hi Rlee - I hope things are going well with you I had been thinking about this issue and thought I would post it to you and if anyone else wants to weigh in on it, please feel free to do so.

We all know there are many forms of help for someone who wants to stop drinking. The information can be found all over this site and we provide the links to help people research the various options that may work for them .

However, a common theme continues to get posted is that 12 step programs require a belief in God in order to gain the tools a 12 step support group offers. However , for such people, there are groups such as Rational Recovery and SMART recovery designed with their concerns in mind. As well as counseling, peer support, online support.....
Anyway back to my question. I respect that people take issue with god, I am first in line for Separation of church and State so I would not want anything forced on me in recovery either. I just never encountered it as much as I do here. Maybe people are not speaking up in meetings as they may on a forum? I know it has been a popular topic in meetings but also I know many people that are atheists, agnostics, Buddhists, etc... and seem to do fine with AA. I just have never seen God being pushed on anyone . I have always known it to be a Higher power, whoever, whatever I choose, and specifically nothing to do with religion !

I want to ask you about this because one I know you attend more meetings than I do, I am lucky to make a few a month. Though, I utilize various forms of support - but I did get my foundation in AA, I would not trade it for anything. I do not know if it has more to do with the area where I live -
There are 2 great treatment facilities near where I live, so there are lots of meetings that are maybe "geared " for those in early recovery. Some meetings are 'hardcore" but there are plenty around here that are quite tolerant. Example..for me, my substances of choice were opiates and benzos, though I had a love affair with alcohol and definitely a binge drinker, I chose AA because I liked what I heard and as I said they were tolerant of people who were in treatment or as my case- long term residential Tx.

Do you see a lot of this in your meetings and with newcomers?
I need to ask you this because I see the " God " issue it come up often as a barrier to AA.
I am Not posting to champion that AA is the only way, or AA over any other method of support, I respect whatever works. But if you are without money, insurance, something is better than nothing, it certainly is a viable option, IT"S FREE and has worked for many.

Is it that people cannot accept a power greater than themselves? I never assocaited that with God, certainly not a God of Hellfire or anything remotely similar. If anything, AA expanded my Spiritual NOT religious growth as I enjoyed researching/ learning about different cultures, beliefs.... it still fascinates me. The God of my understanding is a variety of things.
I just wanted to ask this because I would think it a shame for someone to miss out on a solution just because of a suggestion, and they are suggestions. Right ? I know meetings vary, I have been to many where I could mention opiates, but that is ok, I respect it- those people had 20 plus years so I can oblige them and make my home group one where they are more tolerant to my issues.

Any input will be appreciated. Thanks : ) Carly
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Unread 10-06-2009, 09:12 PM   #2
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Carley, I just started to read this & my wife needs the computer for a class. I will get back tonight.
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Unread 10-06-2009, 11:03 PM   #3
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Carley, I was raised Catholic & educated in Catholic schools. At one time I wanted to be a priest. Then came my 1st divorce at 28. I broke the rules & committed a mortal sin by getting married again. I accepted the responsibility & expected to go to hell for my sin. About this same time Jackie Kennedy got permission to marry a divorced billionaire. I saw this repeated many times with the rich & powerful. I went from being an x catholic to an atheist. I was this way for over 30 years.

When I treid AA the 2nd time it was suggested to work the steps. I crashed with the 2nd step. I could not work any of the god steps. My sponsor explained that many come into AA as atheists. All I had to do was be willing to consider a higher power.

I fought the higher power option & bored many AA people at meetings with my higher power problems. Then it hit me. The human being can not be the highest rung on the ladder. Wow there must be somthing larger that a human. Problem solved.

AA is not a religious program it is a spiritual program.

The AA message is simple but it is not an easy program. You have to work at it.

I can honestly say I don't like saying the lords prayer at the end of the meeting. I don't believe in a after life such as heaven. I go along & say the prayer not as a hypocrite but I'm willing to go to any length & I don't want to be the cause of a commotion at a meeting.

Yes I do see the god thing as a problem with many new comers at meetings. I try to take them aside & tell them my story.

I don't believe that AA is the only way to get sober. I know that it saved me because I see AA as 1 alcoholic helping another & I was living proof I could not do it on my own.

There has been a young inmate coming to meeting at the jail. He has a drug problem he wants to address. Our jail meeting is a open meeting. I explain that all you have to do is say you have a desire not to drink today & no one can ask you to leave. He said he does not think he has an alcohol problem.

This inmate is an atheist. He told us last week that he was disapointed in the meetings. He thinks it should be more like a bull shit session. I explained about cross talking & the meeting would be run in that manner. I also asked if he was the guy that shared at his 1st meeting that he can sit down & dring a half gallon of booze. He said yes. I asked would you sit down & drink a half gallon of milk.? He smiled & said no.

I thanked him for his input & asked him to look for the similarities & take away from the meeting what he liked & ignor the rest.

He showed up tonight & shared a little. I thanked him for coming back. He said the lords prayer at the end of the meeting along with me.

This is the kind of stuff that keeps me sober. I get as much out of posting here as I do at a meeting. I'm no expert on staying sober I'm just 1 alcoholic trying to help another. It keeps my mind from ruining my day.

Take care Carley. You are special in my recovery. R. Lee

Last edited by R. Lee; 10-06-2009 at 11:31 PM..
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Unread 10-07-2009, 01:54 PM   #4
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Thanks RLee . I knew you would have insight . Wow you wanted to be
a priest !!! : ) I am Not knocking Catholicism - just my husb had a similar experience, with the guilt factor.

I guess people have a tough time with separating higher power - misunderstanding that it means God, like you said AA is is a spiritual program. Spirituality to me isn't synonymous with religion, this disease affects our body via the damage it does, our minds, for which the effects can be assessed and treated ; then there is the soul. The soul is probably the toughest aspect to define, but for me it has to do with something beyond my physical existence, things like love, faith and compassion, and as you said - something I was told is to look for the similarities, whether in AA or even here! Take what applies and leave the rest.

I did not have the higher power issue, I was so beaten and broken and I will say again, there were situations that I like many had been in, that could have gone either way, within the blink of an eye. I had more than my fair share of close calls, like being locked in hotel room with some dealers that well... you can imagine... and the manager shows up at the door with the police just in time, was it luck ? Some may think so, but I believe otherwise.
But before I came to believe, I did believe that I could work the program my way, which lead me back to that brick wall over and over again.

Speaking of similarities, I agree we all bring with us a "religious history"it is discussed in We Agnostics. My husb had a similar Strict Catholic Upbringing. Then, he saw his Father divorce his Mother and she had to write to the Pope to have "permission" to marry again and she cannot take communion. He saw early on that the divorce was Not something his Mother wanted yet she was punished for it. That bothered him so he began a quest into Buddhism Taoism, he has consulted Shamans Medicine men, you name it... ..
I was raised that religion or faith is personal, but basically do right by others, fairly liberal as far as organized religion. We were never told one belief was better than another.
Now that being said Husb and I get into heavy discussions on how our son will be raised, he has been exposed to a variety of religions, beliefs, cultures - We are basically slap dab in the Bible Belt and we do agree that we want him to respect other beliefs and he is free to choose but I draw the line at Satanic worshipping ; ) I am scared, of the disease and genetic factors and just in general - kids grow up so fast and there is no guarantee what path he will take.
There was a lady who had 35 years who used to say " You can believe in that doorknob if you need to, but if you don't believe in something you'll fall for anything " That always cracked me up- but it is true, imo.

Anyway, this is an interesting topic, and as I type this I had my Itunes on Shuffle, the song "Man No Sober" by Steele Pulse , a reggae band - is playing. Ok - out of the thousand plus songs we have this one pops up ! Hmm : )

I wish you luck with your group, I have no doubt if the meetings help one person - you have succeeded and like you say it helps you to give what was so freely given to you . Glad you are here Rlee !!
take care, Carly : )
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Unread 10-08-2009, 01:22 AM   #5
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Carly,
Hi - I hope all is well.

Your question was timely as it intrigued me because I also questioned the role of God or a higher power as a means to my recovery.

I was raised Catholic, attended Mass every Sunday and promptly stopped attending church when I left my parent's house. Obviously I am not a 'good' Catholic as I have not attended church in some time but I do try to be a 'good' person. I do believe in God and for me a "higher power" and spirituality are synonymous with God. I am in awe every time I look at the multitude of stars in the night sky. Every time!

Yet I struggle with the thought that I need to turn it over to God to be successful in recovery. I can sympathize with Rambyte’s post regarding God and recovery because I share his position. I don’t blame God or anyone else , including myself, for my addiction. I do believe it is ultimately my responsibility, and mine alone to stay sober. I cannot reconcile how my faith in God, or lack thereof is connected to my sobriety.

Any enlightenment you or others can provide for me on this issue would certainly be appreciated.

Regards
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Unread 10-08-2009, 03:34 PM   #6
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Hi Saint,
Hope all is well with you !
I have always remembered your descriptive post about looking up at the multitude of stars , it has stayed with me, and I take more time to truly appreciate the amazing world around me. Isn't that funny how someone out in cyberworld has such a positive effect on another : )

This is a tough topic. It was not just Rambyte's concerns, I have seen the dilemma, barrier, whatever one chooses to call it. It is not that I am trying to push AA over any other form of support but that I would hate for someone to misconstrue the God Vs Higher power and assume that that had to be a Bible Thumper to be an addiction survivor, or even be a part of AA,NA, CA etc.. That is the furthest from the truth.
And whatever works... counseling, peer support, medication to help someone who is struggling - I am 100% for it and I use all of the above myself !

As far as 'turning it over to a higher power" I believe when we are at our lowest point, having something greater than ourselves to cling to, faith that I can survive, can make a huge difference, it does not mean I am NOT responsible, I still have to do the work.

Like my goal is of course to not drink, misuse substances, and I want to have serenity, peace of mind, I know that there are certain things I need to do to maintain that serenity. That to me is staying in touch with my spirituality, which needs to be fed by positive things.
Junk in Junk Out , so to speak.
I used to use the group as my higher power, it was astounding to me, looking around the room, we were alive ! Some were even happy, a strange notion to me at the time, others had overcome the most insurmountable odds, and surviving one day at a time.

The power of one person helping another amazes me, I see it here, it is equally awe inspiring ! I am seeking my truth just like anyone else, I gain so much from each person here. I wish I had better or more answers but I truly believe it is personal journey.
Saint, You seem at peace with life lately, yes? So maybe you are finding your way one day at a time ? Take care, Carly : )
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Unread 10-08-2009, 11:40 PM   #7
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Carly,
Hello once again.

I am O.K. I am still adjusting to life without alcohol. The initial euphoria of being able to stop drinking and being successful at it has passed. I have been tired of late and feeling down. Not sure why but my wife thinks I am depressed. I tend to agree with her : ) . I’ve been keeping an eye so to speak on how I’ve been feeling so if my mood doesn’t improve I’ll seek some professional assistance. I promised my wife I would. I had to, promise that is, because otherwise I wouldn’t even if I should. It’s not that I couldn’t or can’t, I just wouldn’t, unless I really had to, because I should . I hope I was clear on that .

I’m feeling better already.

I am finding my way one day at a time and yes, I am much more at peace with myself and others than I have ever been. Thank you very much for asking.

And thank you for responding to my question. It is a difficult question but I believe I understand more now than before.

Carly, R. Lee, Magda, Jerry and all the other posters - you’re words here are inspirational. Keep up the great work - if you enjoy it, all the better!


Regards
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Unread 10-13-2009, 01:54 PM   #8
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Hi Saint,

Sorry just getting back to you on this. I was having aggravating internet connection issues.

Anyway, You sound like you have fallen off what some call the "pink cloud' - it happens, like a blah feeling, like in limbo. And I am guessing from your promise to your wife that she is sensing something is going on with you.

Which brings up a relevant issue, the effect this all has on our loved ones. Sure we seek to treat our issues for ourselves, "they" say don't do it for your spouse, parent, child, because those are sometimes short lived motives, like getting a parent off your back, a nagging spouse ... etc...
I agree we can only do it for ourselves, but I had a counselor that said to me, I don't care if the sight of your young child brought you to the point of seeking help in earnest , that is ok, now do the work. He admitted when his son was born, he was drunk, he saw what his life would be like as the son of an alcoholic himself, he knew he had to do something and he did.
I guess I am just throwing this out there, because our choices affect our loved ones.

Anyway, I am glad you are keeping an eye on it, most times it is suggested when we hit that plateau to step up the positive actions, stay a step ahead of it.
And if you have ever had a history of depression or think you may be depressed, always discuss it with your doctor as you would not want to risk picking up alcohol to alleviate what could be something that is often easily treatable via counseling and /or medication. Are you opposed to options such as counseling or medication if a professional thought it would help ?

You may be at the proverbial fork in the road, you know where the path of drinking again will take you... think it through and decide what will be different this time, what will give you success and longevity?

Thanks for sharing what is going on with you Saint because it is real, like ok I am not drinking , now what ? I hope you will push past this phase, do what it takes. Also, Jerry posted some helpful info on PAWS ( post acute withdrawal syndrome) maybe some of those symptoms apply to you, I will give you link if you are interested.
I better wrap this up before I lose internet, take care Saint, keep us posted,
Carly : )
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Unread 10-13-2009, 10:05 PM   #9
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Carly,
Hi, How are you today? I trust all is well with you and your family?

Last week was tough for me. I¬ím certain I fell off the ¬Ďpink¬í cloud (why pink?). I¬ím feeling better this week , physically and mentally. I would still appreciate the link to PAWS. I looked through some of Jerry¬ís posts but was unable to locate it myself. I too was wondering if some of those symptoms applied but was uncertain of the timeline.

I feel like I’ve passed that fork in the road you speak of. I have no desire to become reacquainted with alcohol regardless of what life or daily events may bring. It just isn’t worth it too me to go down that road because I do know what that will bring and it isn’t good.

I am not adverse to medication or counseling, I’m just seeing if this mild depression will clear on it’s own. As I mentioned before I’m feeling better so I am hopeful I’ve turned the corner. Time will tell. On a scale of 1 to 10, today I’m a 6, last week a 4!

Take care.

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Unread 10-14-2009, 06:08 PM   #10
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Default Hi Saint, link to PAWS....

Hi Saint , Thanks for asking, all is well with us !
I am so frustrated I wrote out a long post as I tend to do and poof it is gone! So I will just give the links and come back after I get my little one started on his Tiger Scouts project ; )

Here is the link that Jerry had posted and another one. PAWS symptoms and the length of time ( some articles report from 6 months to up to 2 years ! ) but I think like anything else, it depends on the substance, the person's general mental and physical health and many other variables.

PAWS is discussed frequently on the opiate forum and I have read where many people find that vitamins, exercise and a common sense approach to overall good health can have a positive impact on the effects of PAWS. Esp with sleep, stress, depression, and fatigue that seem to common issues.

Hope this helps, glad you are feeling better, maybe keep posting/talking about it, continue educating yourself and keep an open mind..hopefully soon you will feel a solid 10 plus !

Take care and be back later , Carly : )

http://www.squidoo.com/postacutewithdrawalsyndrome

http://www.hopelinks.net/addiction-t...ithdrawal.html
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Unread 10-14-2009, 10:10 PM   #11
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Carly,

Glad to hear you and the family are well.

Thanks for the links. I browsed them briefly but I've got another early day tomorrow so it's gonna have to wait. I definitely can identify with some of the symptoms. I was having trouble with sleeping through the night, waking every few hours but I am starting to get some good nights sleep recently. A good nights sleep makes everything sooo much easier.

I would love your or anyone elses recommendations on good books regarding recovery / addiction etc. Separate the wheat from the chaff so to speak.

Carly - thanks for caring. You make a difference. Now get back to your family.

Regards
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Unread 10-20-2009, 02:26 PM   #12
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Hi Saint,

Books.... hmm.. It would depend if you wanted to go with the 12 step route, such as literature from Hazeldon ... either way you are right to weed out, as there is a plethora of books out there.
Mediation books are a good way to start the day.
If you did go the 12 twelve step route, the Big Book is actually a good read no matter how you may feel about 12 steps. My favorites are the personal stories, the old ones and the new updated ones, like mini biographies. You can find the Big Book online and read it without purchasing it.
My counselor had me reading and doing work from REBT workbook.. ( Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy... ) Very practical approach especially when I applied it to relapse prevention a way to handling thoughts and actions.

A friend gave me books by Eckhart Tolle - the men especially liked "The Power of Now " it was good, very spiritual.

I will ask around and get back to you.
Hope all is going well ! Take care, Carly : )
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Unread 10-20-2009, 11:13 PM   #13
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Carly,

I am well, thanks for asking.

This Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy was authored by a Dr. Robert Ellis? Trying to separate the wheat from the chaff so to speak.

I'll most likely pick up a copy of the Big Book. I hate spending my time reading in front of a monitor. I am old fashioned when it comes to books. You can pick them up and go wherever you like. No electricity or batteries needed.

Thanks again and take care.

Regards
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Unread 10-21-2009, 04:05 PM   #14
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Hi Saint !

My suggestion would be to try one of Ellis' books, I completed 2 workbooks that belonged to my counselor, one is by Wendy Dryden and the other was one called " Coming Back From A relapse" workbook, published by Hazleden, the latter of which was 12 step based somewhat.

"Ellis is referred to as the "patron saint of SMART recovery" - ( quote from the SMART Recovery website ) his life's work is extraordinary, very interesting, and imo since he is the founder of REBT - it would be my choice.

That is so funny, I am the same way about books, I do not know if I could ever buy a Kindle - ebooks and such. Getting rid of books is the hardest thing for me, so I lug them around everyplace I have ever lived.

Anyway, I hope this helps, maybe Magda will have some other suggestions since she mentioned she is currently studying /in college...

Good luck with your search : ) Take care, Carly
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Unread 09-09-2012, 12:23 AM   #15
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while not everyone believes the same, I know through my relationship with God, that He will see you through things. If you have faith in God, he will provide. Just like a parent will his child. If your own child came to you and asked for a piece of bread, would you give him a rock?

I may be stepping on feet by writing this. But I know that GOd will see you through if you just ask and believe that he will. The good thing too is that we can all be forgiven! Just listen to your heart
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Unread 01-01-2013, 02:16 PM   #16
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Hello Carly, i hope you are well?

I hope i am not above my station to think that i may have an opinion on this one.

I struggled for years with the issue of a higher power and a God. I am aware that i live in another Country to you all, but the issue is the same here. I have worked within the drug and alcohol field for a fair old while and the issue of AA/God/Higher Power, is never far away with newcomers and old timers alike. This is my take on it.

This is a bit embarassing, but because i am now on a path of truth i must share it. As a fully paid up alcoholic, at times i used to drink to and through oblivion. I became hospitalised often, and i was visited by an AA group within the hospital. Oh.....i'll get to the point......i used NOT wanting to believe in a Higher Power to allow myself to carry on drinking. I mean if i was to accept that little old me was infact not God Almighty, (boy that was hard!!!), that there was infact something "out there" that was bigger than me, i would have to seriously consider the addiction that was killing me. I only wanted to see GOD. I had the "oh, well if there was some sort of God, why has he/she let me do this eh?".....it was a simple delaying tactic on my behalf. It was an excuse to say...."see i can't be helped because i do not believe in God", "Ah well, i suppose i may as well carry on drinking" If you like it was a gorgeous example if ever one was needed of denial.

Now i am sober. I do not believe in God. However i do know that many people do. Just as i am, i do not judge anyone one way or 'tother, BUT, my experience of talking about God, sharing others experience allowed me to walk down a dimly lit road for me. As i walked it became brighter, i could "see" around me, i knew i could not believe in a fellow sitting on a cloud, but i began to realise, by looking into my heart, that there was something, who knows what?.....that is greater than me. These feelings are all relatively new for me. R Lee has helped me with this one months ago, he won't know it but he did.....why?.....because i became unreasonably angry at the suggestion, and then i thought....why i am so angry about this? Because the Higher Power issue got in the way of my bloody drinking!!!.... that's why!

My God is the one that lit up my dimly lit road. My God is the power, when i asked for help, enabled all of you to be here for me when i needed you all. My God allows me to not be frightened to look into myself, accpet who i am and to be honest with myself, the rest takes care of itself. I do not get on my knees and pray, i do not attend a Church. My praying is to go out into our world and try and give, my Church is now all the beauty that is around me.

So for me, when people say to me 12 step/AA is not for me because of God, i tend to wonder.....is it because they are not ready to know themselves yet?

Best wishes Carly
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Unread 01-01-2013, 08:40 PM   #17
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I feel a need to chime in after reading R.Lee

I was an Eucharistic minister and visited a nursing home to bring communion and I am in the choir. I believe because my dad took me out of the church (he was a union organizer and got pissed at the Jesuits of Fordham U because they went against the union) when I was 10 or 11. I came back 32 years later thus my view is way different however........

I was living a few days with a woman who is now my wife. This I suppose while not encouraged, not a reason to lose my positions as long as I confessed. (we are not very sexual at all for health issues but we are deeply in love)
So, I do what I think is right and get married but...She is a Christian science member, her mom is Jewish and she wanted to honor her by having it under a "Hoopah" with wine offering (yes I did wet my lips with a tiny sip I also took the blood of Christ in the form of wine and have no issue with that) I read from the bible she from 'Science and health by Mary Baker Eddy'

Well you know where this is going--yeah, I can no longer partake of the most important part of the Mass. However, I knew the "rules" an accept the outcome for one important reason. I am not always in the right! Maybe the church as off base as it seems is right and I'm in sin but I take my committment very seriously. I am very welcome in my church, well liked and still a member of the choir, in fact my Christian science wife sings with us from time to time (she is a professional)

Anyway, I am sorry you have forsaken the church we need good people. To be honest, i'm never 100% sure of God being real and sometimes pretty sure he is not. No one can be sure the Catholic church is the true church (I like to think his judgement is like it says about good people not followers of Christ who still will enter his kingdom) even further, I find it down right silly that some churchs say "if you say this simple prayer, you will go to heaven" I find the tele evangilist's much like what the bible warned us about antichrist's. But all in all I believe we will be "reborn" or somehow become pure spirit.

Why do I still believe, well sure part is wanting it to be true because the alternative seems really sucky! But moreover, I love the fact that science seems to have made it clear that we are not so much matter as we are energy or in another word-spirit or thought thru mind.

Lastly the fact that life here on Earth is so delicately balanced. In other words, we are the perfect distance for the sun, our atomsphere is perfect to deflect most harmeful rays, the water cycle exist's and so on. Throw one thing out of whack and
poof we are history! Lastly, the sheer beauty of the mountains and star lit nights.

Anyway, i'll meet ya on the other side and give ya a razzing for your non belief but happy to see ya!

Glen
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Unread 01-02-2013, 12:48 AM   #18
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Dear Try,
Sorry just now getting back to you- we celebrated the New Year at the Coffee shop and watched fireworks show - then today the sun actually came out so we took a trip to the mountains. BTW - I have no "station" have faced similar struggles. In fact I won't be around as much - so please keep offering your insight- that is what this is all about. I learn from each of you and am grateful for it.
This topic brings much discussion and your post is great especially imo - the last bit about whether or not people are ready. Good point and something to think about. We do recognize all forms of support especially for those who do not subscribe to the belief that AA is synonymous with a belief in GOD. I learned it is more about spirituality, about finding a higher power whatever that may be. Whatever the case some people are more successful with SMART, Rational Recovery, REBT, OP, IOP etc..
I respect whatever gets someone through the day, finding peace and serenity. In the beginning it was finding peace, gratitude, becoming teachable when i had no clue how to live without something coursing through me. I have been critical at times when we lived in a small town in the "bible belt" esp after I had a child and I did not want my child being taught that their way is the only way.Luckily, he is such an old soul and extremely compassionate. Not to generalize, as some of those very people with strict beliefs saved my a&$ when I began my journey and I remember their help with gratitude and much fondness.
Personally, I do believe in a higher power, like I posted before it was a bit easy for me as my family was spiritual. When I had doubts that I could survive, the people in my group suggested to look for the miracles, then maybe I would believe I was worthy, as I had much shame and remorse. I looked and continue to see people heal, find remission from addiction, including myself who have been staring into the abyss, very near to being swallowed up by the void. At the same time I am acutely aware of the suffering that also exists in this world we live in, tragedies.
I also respect people can call BS on what I choose to believe, that is their choice. I am just trying to maintain peace and serenity and some days it isn't easy, so I use the tools that work for me.
Thanks for your post, very insightful and good luck on your continued journey.Take care, Carly
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Unread 01-02-2013, 01:27 AM   #19
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Dear Glen,
I read your post After I replied to TRY. Regarding your last 3 paragraphs - WOW! I wrote in my reply about going to the mountains today as it was a clear day. On the drive up I was thinking how amazingly beautiful it all is, last night we had a clear New Year's eve in a city that usually rains and how we all were remarking about the bright stars. Coincidence, maybe? I think maybe the universe is talking to me via you ; ) I have "known" you via opiate for quite a while and you always are so helpful.
imo - This topic always offers insight and much to think about.
Take care and Happy New Year, Carly
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Unread 01-02-2013, 02:01 AM   #20
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How very sweet of you to say.

You know it is very hard to prove the existence of a higher power or God, but reason also tells us that this God may very well not want us to see Him in 3D or in better terms, see Him with our corporeal sense's.

Heck if we did we'd pretty much be forced to do what He tells us to do. You know what I mean like (this is gonna sound silly but I'm trying to make a point) Say He comes from the sky and is 1,000 feet tall and breaths fire and the ground shakes, in other words if he does stuff that only an all powerful diety could do, so fill in the blanks as to what would prove to you that He is He. If he says, stop this and begin doing this or indeed you will suffer beyond your greatest fear, well we'd be hard pressed to not at least try our best to uphold His wish's.
I guess I'm talking about faith without sight and free will. I'm sure R. Lee is living a just life and not breaking too many of the commandments and just because of the unbelief, it is hard to think a loving God would kick his butt for an eternity.
Same thought as to all of us sinning-He gives us human failings and urges and suggest we do not fall into their temptation? Sounds kinda cruel? How many of us believed we were sinning by our drinking etc yet felt powerless to stop? Of course most if not all of us. This leads me to believe He is good or as St. John said-"He is Love"

Yes it is sad my Church speaks so much of Hell and dammnation but my guess is that it is to get our attention. Would we have a moral compass or code if there was no bible? I believe so but the bible or if you will, the word of God kinda puts the "official" stamp upon it. Then again, thousands of years ago maybe we really did have to be told not to Kill or steal etc. Then over time we just evolved to accept it. That of course cannot be answered due to it's chicken or egg came first quality.

Yeah, if we are not special beings unique in this universe as I believe, why no proof to the reverse? Heck the universe has been here billions of years and to think no other beings have the capacity to send radio waves or vessels? (No I do not believe the UFO stuff because other then stories and flimsy photo evidence, I see no evidence of ET.

Ok in the end maybe I'm wrong but this is my best guess at the reality of a creator. As said before, until He comes again or I leave my mortal coil, I cannot be 100% on any of this.

Glen
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Unread 01-02-2013, 08:46 AM   #21
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This is a great thread, very interesting stuff but I read something that bothered me. Carly, you mentioned you won't be around as much.... I feel like I have a good friend that has decided to move a long distance away. It saddens me to hear that even though that is selfish of me. Wherever your journey may take you know that you have made a significant impact on my life, for the better ; 0 . You are an amazing woman and I wish you continued good health and happiness.

With love,
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Unread 01-02-2013, 02:06 PM   #22
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Oh I wil still be around - just not as much. Saint, I feel the same way, it so ironic that in cyber world I have felt so connected to everyone. And I remember your journey very well and could not be more happy for you ! I was fortunate to do this for as long as I have. Peer support is amazing! I started out just like everyone else, happened upon the opiate site where people like Glen ( all the members on opiate) and of of course Nancy, saved my hide when I had my relapse. I only mentioned it here on OT so that all of you will continue to carry on supporting each other.
And yes, this thread has always been one of my favorite discussions, very insightful posts.
So, I will be around - how could I not be among you fine people.
Take care and Thank You Saint : )
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Unread 01-14-2013, 11:35 PM   #23
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Glen, I just now saw your your response to something I had written sometime ago. Thanks for your concern.
I still can not define my Higher Power. All I know is that it is not me.
Knowing that there is a Higher Power I can now let things go. I can make plans & do the footwork but not plan the outcome.
If there is a afterlife I feel I will be with the good guys.
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Unread 01-15-2013, 08:34 PM   #24
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Lee, IMO - You are one of the Great Guys !
Carry on : )
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Unread 04-20-2013, 10:10 PM   #25
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CarlyO, Where are you? I know many of us are worried. As an alcoholic my squirrel cage can spin wondering where did Carly go?

We love & miss you, R. Lee
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Unread 04-20-2013, 11:05 PM   #26
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Hello RLee

I re read this thread and have to add something to it and I hope I'm not hijacking the thread.

You said that you accepted that you'd be going to hell because of the divorce and remarry. I hope you were overstating this for effect rather then you actually believed this?

As I wrote in January, I have been told to no longer partake of the Holy Eucharist and it hurts to be honest. I cannot accept a loving God that would want to hurt me because I married a good woman for good reasons and do not feel as you did back then that I'd be going to hell. The Pastor and I get along well and while I cannot take communion or confession, there is an "out" and that is to go before a tribunal and get all the facts together. First off they are not down on me because I married a woman of another faith-The real issue is "her" divorce which I think they reconize because it was by a Rabbi (she was Jewish then) My divorce never was a divorce but I instaed was living in sin with the woman I called my wife because, we did not "officially" get married. So I am ok but the sticky point is her divorce but.... Tadah! they may call their marriage void because he threatened her life, hence the need for a tribunal.

I want to receive communion in a right fashion and give my confession as they always gave me spiritual "food" I do not accept that God is frowning on me but rather the Church needs to get it right (one day I hope) But I call myself a Catholic therefore I should and do follow the "rules"

A problem is my wife's OCD disorder that makes going through this tribunal stress way above a normal person so I wait in hopes her condition improves.

R Lee you are spiritual and that is a good thing. Your kind manner shows through and one need not need labels to be spiritual

Glen
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Unread 04-21-2013, 02:21 PM   #27
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Glen, I'm nn longer in fear of the church & its rules. When I remarried I took the church at its word & accepted the fact that I was excommuniacted from the church & would go to hell.

This idea does not bother me as I no longer believe in this religion nor do I believe in heaven & hell.

That said I'm worried about the absence of Carly O.
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Unread 04-26-2013, 10:47 AM   #28
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Lee,

I'm a little worried also. She had mentioned she would post occassionally but we have only 'heard' from her once. I have to hope and believe all is well in her world. I certainly wish all the happiness upon her that she so richly deserves.
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Unread 04-28-2013, 02:57 AM   #29
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people do come and go so often in recovery. I often would wonder if this apparent "loss" of people has a long term effect on us. What I mean is we hear such intimate details of people's lives and we share something of a "pseudo intimacy" as has been coined.

Then, Poof! they fall off the face of the Earth and we wonder? Hmmm-mm Drunk?, in jail?, dead!!? or just "moved on"?

I tend to think it has an effect albeit subtle. I do not that this effect can be a good one whatever it exactly may be. Therefore, I ask people to think about what happens when they stop going to meetings or e-mailing to forums to the ones left behind. maybe then we'd think about "dropping a line" to say we are OK or not.

It is oft heard in car rides with fellow alcoholics when on our way to or from a meeting "Whatever happened to....."

Sad

Glen
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Unread 04-28-2013, 12:22 PM   #30
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Glen,

Yes there is a sense of loss and also a lack of closure. I agree, one is left to wonder and hope for the best. It happens in 'real' life and 'cyber' life as well.

Saint
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Unread 09-23-2014, 11:42 PM   #31
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CarlyO writes>>>However, a common theme continues to get posted is that 12 step programs require a belief in God in order to gain the tools a 12 step support group offers.<<<

Hi CarlyO!

Yes, a common theme continues based on ignorance (lack of knowledge). The original AA 12 step recovery program has no dogma or hierarchy, nor does Al-Anon and other 12 Step modalities. The AA fellowship / meetings also have no dogma, even Tradition 3 is suggested, and thus conformity isnít required. AA meetings / fellowship are not the suggested program of recovery, and are frequently confused with the 12 Steps which is the suggested program of recovery; it says so at the beginning of Chapter 5, HOW IT WORKS. AA meetings / fellowship is where I learned about recovery and how I recovered via the 12 steps. If it werenít for the atheists and agnostics that helped write Alcoholics Anonymous, the 12 Steps would not have be structured then as the Steps are today which allows those of faith and non-believes the tools of recovery e.g. ďGod as we understood HimĒ (Steps 3 and 11). In other words, many an agnostic and atheist have recovered via self-examination which is the 12 steps, e.g. Buddhists. Most Buddhists donít believe in a deity.
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Unread 09-23-2014, 11:47 PM   #32
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CarlyO writes>>>However, a common theme continues to get posted is that 12 step programs require a belief in God in order to gain the tools a 12 step support group offers.<<<

Hi CarlyO!

Yes, a common theme continues based on ignorance (lack of knowledge). The original AA 12 step recovery program has no dogma or hierarchy, nor does Al-Anon and other 12 Step modalities. The AA fellowship / meetings also have no dogma, even Tradition 3 is suggested, and thus conformity isnít required. AA meetings / fellowship are not the suggested program of recovery, and are frequently confused with the 12 Steps which is the suggested program of recovery; it says so at the beginning of Chapter 5, HOW IT WORKS. AA meetings / fellowship is where I learned about recovery and how I recovered via the 12 steps. If it werenít for the atheists and agnostics that helped write Alcoholics Anonymous, the 12 Steps would not have be structured then as the Steps are today which allows those of faith and non-believes the tools of recovery e.g. ďGod as we understood HimĒ (Steps 3 and 11). In other words, many an agnostic and atheist have recovered via self-examination which is the 12 steps, e.g. Buddhists. Most Buddhists donít believe in a deity.
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