I'd like to offer a non-higher power version of the 12 steps. The version I have written is godless and instead focuses on personal accountability over 'the devil made me do it' excuses. It worked for me, and I am alone in my efforts in a den of drug users.
Your input would be welcomed, pro of con; so long as you come with an open mind and intelligent response.
Thank YOU for enjoying it. I'm trying to come up as a writer so if you see something you like on my profile: share share share! XD
Also, I'm easily found on facebook if you want to talk or chop it up. I've been an atheist for a long time. I've only recently become an 'enthusiastic' atheist.
You know, I've never actually read through the twelve steps until now. I didn't realize that higher power/ God came up that much.
I remember, probably over a decade ago, watching an interview with a former heroin abuser who had been clean for a number of years. He kept commenting how he didn't do it, God did it: Jesus saved him. I'll confess to being a little disheartened. I've heard a few first-hand accounts from people who had only used heroin between one and three times, and they said even at just that, they felt a strong compulsion to keep using. It was a high like nothing else.
So, here was a man who had been a complete addict, managed the remarkable feat of controlling his substance abuse, and all the credit went to Jesus? By the end of the program, all I could say was that I couldn't relate. I've never had anything comparable to such a addiction. I don't know what it feels like. If submitting himself to Jesus was a pivotal part of his recovery, who am I to begrudge him that?
But I can see how it wouldn't work for everyone. I would have problems with a number of steps, and really, the only way I could lower myself before God is if I was high out of my mind at the time. I know someone, an incredibly vocal and at times downright aggressive atheist, who went through Narcotics Anonymous. He acts as a sponsor through NA, and I imagine his perspective helps those who are not particularly devout or are irreligious. I'm gonna thief his words here (don't think he'd mind):
I have a little over 18 years clean and sober in a 12 step fellowship (Narcotics Anonymous)... To be brief, a 'higher power' is defined as "a power greater than yourself", and this means many things to many people within the fellowship, as it is not a requirement for those in recovery to have the same higher power.
Mine, is the group of NA, and/or anyone who has my personal well being in mind... even people on this site, whom I've never met... If they have my personal well being at heart, then they are a facet of my 'higher power', as colectively, they are a "power greater than myself", and I would be well off to listen to their insight and advice to me, as they can see the things in me I cannot... They can see my 'character defects', where I can see usually only see the end result... The turmoil I've created. I don't always listen, but I have gotten much better at it in the last 18 years
If I'm not mistaken, NA was started back in the 50s or the 60s (Jimmy K?), because existing programs weren't cutting it. Maybe, after a half century or so, it makes sense to introduce a different take.
Beautifully written. I have read the twelve step program only once before when a friend of mine brought all the booklets and junk home. I wasn't happy about how they made it seem like the person addicted was a powerless slave to the drugs and how giving themselves to a higher power would save them. Credit goes to god and the abuser is still powerless because they never gained faith they needed in themselves, just faith in god. So when god isn't there and something happens, they just go right back to the drug.
I counseled my friend along the lines that I of what you shared and with good friends and a stronger backbone she got better without the program. At the time I with she had read your 12 steps because I know it would have been way better then my "preaching".
Your an awesome person for writing this.