Written By: Anjelica G
Articles are the sole work of the individual author and do not express the opinion of Sobriety for Women
You Want Me to What?!
I came to a halt at step three. “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of god as we understood Him.” Sounds like a bunch of bulls**t to me. Now, I’m not saying those who have a god of their understanding are bulls**t, so just hear me out.
Some of us grow up with our family’s conception of god. Some of us find our own. Some of us just simply don’t have one. Can we get sober without finding god? Why do we get so hung up on such a small part of the program?
Many questions, from all different types of people, may arise at this point.
The traumatized adolescents – “If god was real, he’d have never let those horrible things happen to me.”
The smarty pants scientists – “I prefer the theories of evolution.”
The Catholic school survivors – “The priests at my school touched my little brother!”
The metal heads – “If my favorite band, Slayer, is anti-god, than so am I!”
The logical thinkers – “Seeing is believing.”
Here’s the scapegoat us addicts have been searching for. Once we see the word “god” in step three, we run for the hills. We just assume the program isn’t going to work. We finally have an excuse to say f**k it (not like we ever really needed an excuse). Well, you don’t have to run anymore because sobriety is possible for all.
Atheists and Agnostics Can Get Sober Too
The program can work for anyone who actually has a little self-will. This s**t is not rocket science. If you don’t want to stop, you’re not going to stop. Plain and simple. Nothing is going to just miraculously push you into recovery if you honestly don’t believe you have a problem with drugs and alcohol. Believing you have a problem with drugs and alcohol is more important to getting sober then believing in a god. If you want to stop, but don’t believe in god, it’s going to be tough, but possible.
The AA Big Book actually has a chapter dedicated to people who don’t believe in god. You can’t pray away an illness, but having the faith that everything will be okay certainly does ease the mind of some people. You’re not doomed to an alcoholic death just because you don’t devote your life to a religion.
As for all you bible-thumping, god-nazis who think you have some sort or minor in grammar, you’re probably critiquing my usage of a lowercase “g” in the word god. Just a quick clarification to avoid dumb comments about it (that I probably won’t read anyway) – I’m using a lowercase “g” because god isn’t a proper noun. Unless “God” is the actual name of your god, it’s lower case. It’s funny because I bet you googled it rather then having “faith” in my facts. Yet most of you have faith that there’s a man who lives in the sky, who built the world in seven days and took your addiction away. Makes a lot of sense. Now, moving on…
I Have A Problem
A few things bother me about the Alcoholics Anonymous meetings I’ve attended. Anniversary night, the celebration of yearly milestones of one’s sobriety, the same things gets repeated and I can’t f**king stand them!
People get up to make their Academy Award speech and always say “This wouldn’t have been possible without god.” That immediately makes me ask myself, “if you didn’t have a god then you wouldn’t have gotten sober? What kind of message is that sending to our newcomers?” Why are there even twelve-steps if the above statement is true. Why not just go to a church and get cured?
I feel like people don’t even know what they’re saying anymore. They’ve just heard the same regurgitated s**t over and over again. They think it’s what we want to hear, so they say it, but I see right through all that nonsense. I know for damn sure god didn’t get me sober. I believe I did a lot more work then god did, when it comes to me and my sobriety. Guess what else? I’m a very spiritual person. It took me a while to find my own conception of a higher power, but the work I put into my recovery is what ultimately saved my life.
I’ve also heard people say, “I had nothing to do with this, it was all god.” Really? You had NOTHING to do with it? Are you that f**king ignorant to truly credit all your hard work to god? I think back to my personal sobriety and god played a very small role in my life. Yet, we have these narrow-minded people telling all our newcomers that god did the hard work. They then b***h at their sponsees for not getting involved or for not doing step-work. In their minds, god’s going to take care of it all and cure them, because that’s what they heard some moron say in a meeting. That is, if they stick around long after they hear the word god.
Yes, I understand faith without works is dead. Let me tell you, you can work without faith, my friend, because at the end of the day the task gets done. Another thing I despise in the rooms is the Lord’s Prayer at the end of meetings. We preach day-in and day-out about how this is a spiritual not religious program, yet we’re reciting a Catholic prayer at the end? I refused to say it the first nine months of my sobriety because I was tortured in Catholic school my whole life. There was no way in hell I was going to utter blasphemous words against my will again. I don’t support organized religion and I shouldn’t be made to say religious prayers at a meeting that has nothing to do with religion.
Credit Where Credit’s Due
I do believe that god has done a lot of good for people. I do believe god has inspired many. God has done a lot for me. I pray often and give thanks to my higher power, but should we really be giving god ALL the credit?
Addicts already struggle with self-confidence and when they accomplish something as big as staying sober for a year, they have to hand over success to an invisible being? Have a little faith in yourself, people. After all, you did most of the work. Maybe this isn’t the case for some people, but I feel like if I took the god steps out of my sobriety, I’d still have been able to get sober. It’s not right that we tell people you can’t move on to step four (the important work) without finding god in step three. If someone gets discouraged from not having a god, or because of resentments against god, and they turn back to a drink or drug, we’re robbing them of a beautiful life.
Own your sobriety! You did it. You came this far. You worked hard for it. You made changes. You mended relationships. You’re self aware. You’re f**king awesome for all that! Take credit for it! Don’t downplay your hard work because you heard someone say a corny line like “If you didn’t drink today, thank your higher power because you had nothing to do with it.” Guess what? You had a lot to do with it.