I wrote an article reworking the 12 step to exclude God over a year ago. It was a great exercise, but ultimately abandoned. Here I am, more than a year later with my observation made since then. I have rejected my own 12-step model for something a little more tangible, significant, and simple. One great thing about being a scientifically driven atheist is the willingness to be wrong and openness to correcting this inequity. Perhaps I will have more to say on this in a year or two; but for now, this is where I stand.

As promised, an extension on the method of how I stay sober without God. Share it, spread it around.


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Comment by Obfuskation on May 31, 2012 at 8:53am

I've been clean and sober for a little over six years now, and I've used a few different tools over the years.  At first, the twelve steps were important, and I simply used all of existence (and the knowledge that things I do effect those parts of existence around me) as my 'higher power'.

Later, I focused on doing the right thing, and apologizing when I felt that I crossed a boundary.  The Golden Rule became more important, and part of that was forcing myself to come out of a self-imposed protective shell, and actually smiling, showing kindness to others, and engaging people socially.  That push has evolved into a social conscience, and a drive toward social justice.

Now days, I look at the 12-steps in these broad terms;  1-Believe there's more to life than just you.  2-Do the right thing, and clean up your mess when you don't.  3-Return to #1  All of the things above, combined with replacing my old habits with positive new activities has put me in a place where I very rarely get any kind of craving to use, and those are fleeting.

Comment by Misty: Baytheist Living! on May 31, 2012 at 5:26pm

I'm a happy, healthy substance abuser. I use recreational drugs when it suits me. I discontinue them when it doesn't. 

Sometimes, for whatever reason, it's not good for me to abuse substances. Abstaining from something I like to do has never been my strong point. It doesn't matter what the addiction is, be it internet, drugs or alcohol. I'm a behavioral addict.

12 steps don't work for me, for a number of reasons. Even though I could see replacing 'Higher Power' with 'physical predisposition as determined by biology,' there is just too much cult and not enough behavior modification in that circle. 

Addiction is a two part monster. I really like how you addressed it in your link. There's the biological aspect (Which I have very little issue overcoming. I can handle physical withdraw symptoms easy enough.) and the psychological aspect. (Not so easy. I LIKE my habits. That's why I do them in the first place.)  I do not have any decent sense of self discipline. If left to my own devices, I'm going to do the things that send off pleasure signals in my brain. My lifestyle reinforces these behaviors. (I'm self employed.) All in all, it's my own psychological short comings that I have to struggle with, not anything else. Sometimes the little animal part of my brain wins. Sometimes I trade off a greater reward later for a small reward now. 

Of course, most issues in our lives are psychologically based, aren't they? My brain is not diseased. I do not have a sickness. I have compulsions. Just like everyone else. 

I know that I'm not going to turn down the offer of recreational drugs. The best thing I can do is outline when it's ok for me to do them and when it isn't. During those times it isn't, I just make sure I cannot physically access the source. 

Comment by Lewal on June 1, 2012 at 10:51am
Kind of sounds like you substituted the higher power with your self. Leans a little egotistical at first glance, but it's better than ignorant submission or pathetic excess.

Personally I've found that Buddha and Ben Franklin are all the thinking man needs to moderate habit.
Comment by JD Stockman on June 3, 2012 at 4:00am

Initially, yes, I tried substituting higher power for self; but as I mentioned in the article, I no longer support the 12 step even after I modified it. It is very much too complicated for an effort that is simple "cut that out."

As far as being comfortable with your drug use, so long as you are not blaming any issue on anyone but yourself and you know moderation, I honestly see little issue with it. I am at times still a heavy drinker, but I confidently do so because the reasons and desire to drink verses smoking meth are two very different situations. Drinking has never been a problem that got out of my control. I have gotten supremely stupid while drunk, but that is something I do not blame on the alcohol. Meth very much got out of control. Like Misty, I am self-employed; and concluding I could work more and longer while on dope immediately took over.

If I were to suggest anything, it is that it is solely in your own hands when it comes to being clean and deciding you need to be clean. I have little to say to condemn those that accept the long and short of drugging, and even less to the ones being successful while doing it. That is their personal business so long as it isn't fucking someone else off. 


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