I go to alot of N.A meetings.  Typically at least seven a week.  Today's meeting was very difficult for me as it is at every meeting where a Higher Power is the main topic of discussion.  

 

I am aware that the program states that a belief in and turning your will and you life over to a higher power is one of the first necessary steps to recovery.  So what am I to do?  I am an atheist.  I do not believe in a god.  

Now I have been coming to these halls for a while now.  And I have been attempting to work the steps.  I can't seem to get past step one though.  I am not willing to turn my life over to the care of god "as I understand him"  Because I don't understand him.  I don't believe in a creator.  I don't believe in Jesus.  I don't believe in buddha.  I believe that we are here on this earth, that we make our decisions and our will is our own.  I do not and cannot believe that some god has a will for me.  

Things happen as a result of cause and effect not because some higher power deems it his will.   I truly believe that.  

 

I'm told, by  many people in this program, that I will not heal unless I change this belief.  Is this true?  I refuse to believe such a thing.   

I have had step one finished for over six months.  I cannot complete step two. I've read it and reread it and come to the same conclusion.  This program is trying to force me to believe in something that I don't believe in. 

While the step doesn't directly say it outright it insinuates in the questions and in the reading that not believing in a higher power is being close minded.    I have been brainwashed by parents and shrinks my entire life, and I feel that this is another attempt at that. I feel like an attempt is being made to make me feel like I am wrong.  My beliefs and the way I feel isn't wrong.  If there is one thing I learned in the years of therapy I've been subjected to it is that my feelings are not wrong.  

I want this program to work.  I want to work the steps.  I strongly feel however, that I cannot continue the steps if Becoming religious or believing in a higher power is a necessity.

Because of this I started attending A.A. meetings thinking that maybe they wouldn't be as adamant about the whole higher power thing.  I found it to be worse.  The continuously say "God of YOUR understanding."  At the end of the meeting the chant the Lords Prayer.  A religion specific prayer.  How is that a god of my understanding?

 

I guess the bottom line is am an atheist.  I have never, for as long as I can remember, believed in something that I have had no tangible evidence of its existence.                                             With that being said, where do I go from here?

1 Comment
  1. DevinD 13 years ago

    When I started in recovery the treatment center I went to didn't use the 12 steps. The guy that started it had us read things like the 4 agreements and the power of now, we did therapy, and we worked on becoming more spiritual (i.e nature walks, group meditation, art therapy to let the kid inside out). The things I learned from those two books and from treatment have been the biggest part of my recovery. When I moved away and I couldn't do aftercare anymore i found NA. I use meetings as a way to build on a support group, talk things out, and practice listening to people. The rest of the stuff meetings push… well they do say take what will help and leave the rest behind.

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