Greetings, Susan! Woah! That dog's bigger than you are. I notice you haven't been active at Atheist Nexus lately. <sigh> Sometimes it can seem a bit fragmented, with different groups for every interest. Please consider a group for socializing, where we talk about whatever's on our minds, Hang With Friends. :D You might feel more at home.
Susan, To answer your question fully it would take hours to explain where I have lived and where I have intellectually been in the past, but I am a former Evangelical Christian (You will have to forgive me:) and I have lived in Maryland, Texas and I now live in Virginia for the second time! If you are ever in Virginia I would be happy to tell you the long, long story of how I left Christianity.
Thanks Susan. I stumbled onto this site looking for alternatives to 12 step programs. I remember reading your post in the 12 step group and it was very helpful. I like the way you have been able to find some peace within the program. I have also but still am trying to be able to listen to all the god stuff. I do ubderstand what you said about the principles behind the steps and have shared that at meetings. I got started in aa in 1983 and got some relief for about 8 years. They were a very tough 8 years in spite of the fact I did everything they told me to do. Went to many meetings, worked the steps thoroughly with a sponsor and was very active in service. I even chaired a step workshop that meet weekly and was based on the oxford group and the 12 steps as layed out in the big book. In spite of that I was sober but miserable. I was told I just was not working the program hard enough or I did not have enough or I was just not being honest. I finally could not take the shame any longer and cut my ties with my groups and my sponsor. Today I accept that it was the right thing to do. I continued my journey and eventually returned to self medicating mostly with opiates and functioned well enough to build a very successful buisiness. Basically as I look back I realize that with the PTSD and it's depression and anxiety. The use of medication which alleviated the symptoms made a lot of sense. Probably kept me alive. However as you know eventually you must pay a price for what you get from your addiction. Along the way I was in 3, 30 day inpatient programs and did a lot of therapy. about 2 years ago I finally could not go on any more and was fortunate to end up at a treatment center in Arizona where they understood how trauma can be involved in addiction. I was diagnosed with the PTSD and spent 6 months as a live in patient doing very deep trauma work on a daily basis. I also went to at least 1 12 step every day. AA CODA NA ALANON COSA and SA. Out of space.
Hi Susan. Thanks for the welcome. Buddy has learned that if he's riding he wears the doggles. If we stop for gas etc. for a while he'll paw at them. The reason we wind up stopped for a time is people wanting to take pictures of him. We have caused traffic jams at major intersections as people lean out of their cars for photos. When we get home he won't get out. He'll sleep in the sidecar for hours.
Hi, Susan. Thanks for the welcome. Impressive looking dog (Belgian Shepherd, Malinos?). I had English Mastiffs for years.
My field of study was general earth sciences, with an emphasis on geology, and I taught at a community college and the local university in San Diego for 30+ years.
I have been retired for 10 years, and enjoying bicycle and motorcycle touring. In fact, I was in your part of the world last summer (Nova Scotia, PEI), and am soon to leave for a motorcycle tour in Patagonia, followed by a 10 day visit to the Galapagos Is. I am very excited because of the connection with Darwin (certainly near the top of the list in the pantheon of atheist "gods").
You site is very impressive. Keep up the good work.
Not sure if it was the design of the website or what but it looked like a nice group to join. I've been an athiest for many years, and enjoy the debates etc. I was raised baptist, and now enjoy playing "devil's advocate" in debates with my "still believing" Dad. I lent him my "selfish gene" book.