Far too many addicts & alcoholics have been scared away from recovery by “the God thing.”
With prayers in meetings and mentions of a Higher Power all over the steps, it can seem as if a belief in God or a passion for religion is a prerequisite for getting clean and sober in 12 Step programs.
But that simply isn’t the case.
According to historians, almost half of the original members of AA were agnostic or atheist.
For that reason, the fourth chapter of the AA Big Book is called “We Agnostics,” and explains how to work the steps without a conception of God in the traditional sense.
According to the Big Book, all that’s really necessary is “a willingness to believe in a power greater than ourselves.”
For some atheists and agnostics, that Higher Power is the members of their home group. For others, it’s the history of NA. There’s even one story about a newcomer carrying around a football that represented their conception of God!
No matter what you choose as your Higher Power, focusing on that greater force helps get you out of the selfish self-centeredness of addiction, the belief that you’re solely responsible for your own life.
Turn over the responsibility for running every aspect of your life, and you’ll feel a huge relief. (That’s easier said than done, but talk to a sponsor about that!)
You might just find that you do believe in a concept of God after all.
Clean Path Behavioral Health offers an abstinence-based program that incorporates the 12 Step model.