Atheists, Addictions, 12 Step Recovery, and Alternatives


Atheists, Addictions, 12 Step Recovery, and Alternatives

Trouble with drugs (including alcohol) or other potential addictions? Tried 12 step recovery and found it wanting? You're welcome here.

Members: 120
Latest Activity: Dec 28, 2015

Desiderata (Revised)

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.

Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars, you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with it, whatever you conceive it to be.

And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

Discussion Forum

I was once a druggie, now overeating has taken it's place

Started by Gwen Bailey. Last reply by Gerald Payne Nov 1, 2015. 1 Reply

Sex, love, porn

Started by Misha H.. Last reply by Misha H. Jul 7, 2015. 5 Replies

Recommended reading

Started by Seth R.. Last reply by Misha H. Jul 6, 2015. 1 Reply


I was once a druggie, now overeating has taken it's place

Hi, I'm new here. This is my first post so here goes. I came from a christian family but spent most of my life rebelling against it. There were two times when I lived as an out and out christian these both happened after a time of heavy drug taking, mainly LSD, pot, coke, smack etc. Now I've been living a number of years as an overweight christian. So that tells you I was never healed of my addiction (drugs or food) even though I did a couple of recovery courses in the church I went to. I…

Sex, love, porn

I am carving out a space for those dealing with sex, love, and porn addictions with the hope of establishing a closed group where we can share confidentially.   Generally the public shaming of these behaviors, even among other addicts, makes it difficult to obtain help and speak freely about these issues.  This discussion, however is not private, so please send me a message if you would like to be part of a group only open to those working to leave such behaviors behind.  …

Drug addiction isn't a disease

Neuroscientist: Why It's Dangerously Wrong to Approach Addiction as a Kind of Disease

Neuroscientist, psychologist and former addict Marc Lewis offers a refreshing take on addiction that  fits with other research I've read.

To have a disease — instead of, say, a dangerous habit — is to be powerless to do anything except apply the…

Fictional look at AA culture in a zombie apocolypse setting

A book just came out by a New York lawyer by day, 12 Step prowler and author by night who goes by the pen name Michele Miller.

The setting is this new zombie apocalypses craze, a la Walking Dead or WWZ, neither of which I have every seen. I don't make time for this genre of story…

The growing secular voice in 12 Step Recovery

I am really happy to find this community. I was reading about the introduction of a secular 12 Steps to NA World Service. That sounds like a great idea that will meet some resistance. Organizations either adapt or reify into obscurity. AA is having a hard time getting a spirituality pamphlet approved by the Conference floor and some say it's because the inclusion of atheists and agnostics talking about their AA life is untenable to some of the more superstitious members.

I do like…

Back in "Sober Living facility" and getting beat over the head w/the "Bill's Big Book" need suggestions!

Hi, I just got out of detox (from Methadone/Buprenorphine) and have managed to land myself in a 3/4 house.  I haven't had time to read all the posts here yet but just wanted to re-introduce myself.  I've been a member of Atheist Nexus for a while now but I don't remember finding this particular group.  But there's a lot I may not remember lol.  Anyway all atheist help will be appreciated!

New in recovery

 I have one week of sobriety. I am glad that I found this group. I went to an AA meeting and hated it because of the talk of a higher power. Being brand new at sobriety I could use any support and friendship that I can find.

Looking for something better than Alanon

Hi Folks! I've been part of Atheist Nexus for years, but haven't been all that active recently. My husband (a superstitious, anti-organized-religion, theist) started attending AA meetings last year, and suggested I start attending Alanon. I can't stand the opening/closing prayers, the reading to the 12 steps, most of which makes reference to god/higher power. I feel like everyone at these meetings drank the coolaid, and I wonder what brainwashing is going on in the AA meetings my husband is…

Confronting the Fellowship of NA.

Greetings All,


          My name is Bill, and I am currently involved with the NA program. Im not a cookie-cutter member of the fellowship, as it were. My program does not involve the use of a god, and I feel my recovery is solid, as I have mulitiple years clean. My current journey brings me to the position of confronting the fellowship as a whole, about the inherent bias that runs through the literature/mtgs. They (NA, and the ppl involved) say that it is up to the…

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Atheists, Addictions, 12 Step Recovery, and Alternatives to add comments!

Comment by Ian Mason on January 3, 2015 at 8:50pm

Hat off to you, Durker. I remember how frustrating it was at those meetings with the "holy" who regarded me as everything between a poor lost sheep and the "Red under the bed". Your way works for you; well done in finding it and keep it up.

Comment by DurkerLewitz on January 3, 2015 at 8:33pm
I'm an alcoholic addict with 9 months clean. I am required to go to AA/NA (Read church) 4 times a week by the halfway house I'm at. There are no S.M.A.R.T. recovery meetings in my city. I detest these meetings. However I go, and they make me stronger in my recovery by reaffirming my outlook on life. I counter every religious statement I hear with a rational one i.e. "god showed me a better way" in my head "I sought help and make a conscious choice to see the positives everyday". I hate having to listen to their brain washed non-sense, but I don't let it affect my recovery. After all they are addicts, and I can take something from their struggle, as I hope they do mine.
Comment by Loni on March 8, 2013 at 12:14am

This group is kind of hard to find...I'm here because I need help being the lover of a recovering addict who struggles because he feels that he can't go to meetings without having GOD in his life.  I can't watch him relapse.  What is the appropriate thing to do here?

Comment by James M. Martin on February 27, 2013 at 7:53pm

Take wine and strange drugs, they shall not harm ye.

Comment by Ian Mason on February 26, 2013 at 10:49pm

Comment by William Brown on January 26, 2013 at 9:26am

Welcome Jonas,

      Glad you were able to keep pushing. May I suggest NA? They seem a lil more openminded to the atheist in that fellowship. If you would like to know how this works for people like us, please feel free to read my previous posts, or just send me a message on here, and we can talk. Keep up the good work my friend.

Comment by Jonas Clausen on January 25, 2013 at 11:28pm

I am so relieved to have found this forum. I got dry with A.A. a few years back and "went back out" because I wasn't done drinking and using (cannabis is my other main addiction, although I've been addicted to pretty much everything except heroin). I gave up weed a couple of months ago and then the drinking started ramping up. One beer a week became three beers once a week. Basically, I'm not good at sticking to just one beer, and any excuse is a good excuse to drink. Anyway, after a particularly rough bender where I ended up puking out of my car, passing out in my car next to the police station, and then driving home drunk, I checked myself back into A.A. I ran into my old sponsor and he had some good advice for me. So I started going to meetings again, two or three times a week. The same schtick again, 90 in 90, get a sponsor, dogma, and some hope. But the fear tactics and the threats of relapse are weird. Why would I want to recover from alcoholism if it means living in fear all the time? Not to mention becoming dependent on a faith-based group. 

So I checked out Rational Recovery and the AVRT method. Seems pretty cool, but I still want a place to go and share my troubles in dealing with my transition from active addiction to a new way of life. So I came here. My problem with the Higher Power thing in A.A. was forefront. I let other people have their god or HP or whatever. I that is what works for them, who am I to judge? But the moment I say that my Higher Power is my belief that their is no god, about half of the other members attack me. They say that I will have to change in order to get and stay sober (threats!). Others say that with time in sobriety I will "come to believe" in a god. Very few are not judgmental. Anyway, I was raised Mormon and had a very deep connection to god growing up, and when I figured out that it was a crock of isht, the whole house of cards came crumbling down and there is absolutely no way that I will ever be able to even fake believing in god again. It would be like trying to unlearn what colors look like or like trying to forget how to walk. It just isn't going to happen. It is nice to vent my frustration here. Thanks. I look forward to discussing my journey and listening to all of yours, too. Here's to getting high on godlessness. 

Comment by William Brown on December 9, 2012 at 2:04pm

My name is bill, and I have posted here before I believe, but Im sure it has been a while. I also am in NA, and I am an "atheist" as far as the program is concerned, and I have mulitple years clean as a result of applying principles to my life. I used the steps as outlined in the program, before I was turned on to an "alternate version". If anyone is intrested in how I do this, please feel free an ask. I have never kept my beliefs in the "closet". I stand sure in who I am and always will, now that I have proof, which presented itself to me with the very beginings of applying principles to me life with 26 steps, 12 traditions, and 12 concepts under my belt, Im even better informed on how this works. I will include the alternate version of the steps below. Any questions please ask.How%20it%20works.docx, just click on the link, and you will see how it fits into the "How it Works" reading.

Comment by Peter Shorts on December 9, 2012 at 11:52am

Hi group..I'm new to the neighborhood and exploring freethinking and recovery as I develop my individual path to abstinence. I continue to learn tolerance despite what appears to be ignorance and self absorption of others.  I don't have to be wrong and the majority be right. It's nothing new as a college educated, multiracial child of the 60's. Just looking for how others navigate recovery, making connections with others to support the peaks and valleys of the journey, and what tools you use to stay in the boat and not drown in the sea..

Comment by Ian Mason on October 15, 2012 at 12:44am

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