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  1. #1
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    Exclamation From Addict to Atheist by Cody Earp

    Attached is an essay I did about how I conquered addiction by finding Atheism rather than Jesus. Please read and post what you think, I am very self conscious but this made such a big difference in my life I felt the need to share it,
    Hitchens Bless,
    Cody Earp
    Attached Files Attached Files

  2. #2

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    Cody,

    Thank you for posting your essay. Your thoughts on this subject resonate with me. Congrats on your abstinence and for taking responsibility of your life.

  3. #3
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    Thank you very much! I was self concious about posting it but your reply assured me it was the right thing to do

  4. #4
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    I think your essay was great, and it brought up really great points. I am extremely happy that you are recovering in your own way without having to be religious. I am glad that you are happy with your life. because it is yours to live!

    But, I do have to say that AA and NA programs are not religious, they are spiritual programs, and those two things are very different. I have only been in recovery for 77 days, and I go to A LOT of AA and NA meetings. Never once have I had religion shoved down my throat. It is teaching me to be more spiritual, a better person, and MY OWN version of a God. I DON'T believe in the conventional sense of God, but we come up with our own concept.

    This program has taught me so much already and I can't wait to learn more.

    It's not for everyone tho, but I think we can all agree that no matter what program we choose the only thing that matters is that we recover. Your essay was great.

  5. #5
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    This essay reflects my views. I grew up in a Pentecostal household. I was required to go to church. Even belt whiped for not going to church. BY my teen years I was looking at other religions and belief systems. I started going to A Unitarian Universalist church where I was exposed to many different views. Thatís where I realized I was a humanist with no belief in any god. I was arrested and jailed at age 55 where i detoxed from heroin with any medical help . after on 30 days I was released. Started to go to n.a. And discovered Smart recovery after 1 1/2 clean.
    Life is art. Artis is life. Create some today.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by deemaclean902 View Post
    I think your essay was great, and it brought up really great points. I am extremely happy that you are recovering in your own way without having to be religious. I am glad that you are happy with your life. because it is yours to live!

    But, I do have to say that AA and NA programs are not religious, they are spiritual programs, and those two things are very different. I have only been in recovery for 77 days, and I go to A LOT of AA and NA meetings. Never once have I had religion shoved down my throat. It is teaching me to be more spiritual, a better person, and MY OWN version of a God. I DON'T believe in the conventional sense of God, but we come up with our own concept.

    This program has taught me so much already and I can't wait to learn more.

    It's not for everyone tho, but I think we can all agree that no matter what program we choose the only thing that matters is that we recover. Your essay was great.

    I greatly appreciate your kind words, and I also attend NA and AA as it is available. I went to NA yesterday and AA today. But answer me this, what is your higher power? What is this magical thing that they say over and over to let choose things for you. That's my only issue, and maybe you have a better understanding from it. If so please share as I hope to benefit from it.

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    That is AWESOME!! Thank you for sharing

  7. #7
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    Higher power. They would say believe in a higher power till you find yours. It always around me with my parents and there god. But do you need a god to know right from wrong. Or how to treat another human being. I seen it higher power used a crutch in na. An excuse for bad actions. But I do know some religions have wisdom and truth with teachings on how to live a good life and respect Mother Earth. So it comes down to find what works for you.
    Life is art. Artis is life. Create some today.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by dennyartist View Post
    Higher power. They would say believe in a higher power till you find yours. It always around me with my parents and there god. But do you need a god to know right from wrong. Or how to treat another human being. I seen it higher power used a crutch in na. An excuse for bad actions. But I do know some religions have wisdom and truth with teachings on how to live a good life and respect Mother Earth. So it comes down to find what works for you.
    Well as to if god causes us to be good i would have to refer to Richard Dawkins God Delusion chapter 8. Anyways, i would say my higher power would be my brain. But ultimately they use a higher power as an outside force that acts directly on your life, which i do not believe there is anything acting. Yet i cant be my own higher power. See my delima?

  9. #9
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    My higher power that I use is called God and the universe. But my concept of God is completely different from anyone else's concept of God. Mine loves me, is forgiving, caring and wants me to succeed.

  10. #10
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    So there for you are believing in god. You are labeling it god there for it is god

  11. #11
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    You say your God is different from anyone else's God. And then you describe a God that billions of people have. You say your God loves You say your God loves you is forgiving caring and want you to succeed. Billions of people believe in a God Who does these exact same things just for the record
    History repeats itself
    Now history meets me

  12. #12
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    My point exactly ^^^^

  13. #13
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    And thats ok? Just because other people have described the same thing that I have, doesn't mean that it's the same. I am not a devout Christian that goes to church every weekend. I just believe in a power greater than myself can restore me back to sanity. And to be honest, most of my praying goes to the Universe.

  14. #14
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    Fortunately whether or not someone believes in a God or what that entity may be like is completely irrelevant to the SMART REBT program that can help us change our unhealthy behaviors.

    Congrats on your success, Cody! Well done!
    ďWoe to the thinker who is not the gardener but only the soil of the plants that grow in herĒ


  15. #15

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    hi Cody, thx for posting your essay. it sounds like you are doing a good job of questioning and learning and i wish you well on your journey

    ECD

  16. #16
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    Thanks guys!!!

  17. #17

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    I believe in evolution and the big bang theory. I don't go to church and detest both AA and NA. I feel they are religious in nature. I have met many people in AA who believe the BIG BOOK is divinely inspired and they certainly do quote it like it is the Bible. I believe there might be a supernatural force guiding things but it doesn't perform miracles on demand. I don't believe the Bible is the word of God and I know two of every kind of species on the earth couldn't fit on a boat. I also know that faith the size of a mustard seed cannot move mountains because no one in the history of man has been able to make a mountain move simply by speaking.

  18. #18
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    Amen! Lmao

  19. #19
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    You bring up something that resonated with me as well. I couldn't even fathom the idea of a 12 step program because my atheism is so ingrained into being. I know theres a difference between "spiritual" and "religious" but the core of my beliefs is that i don't believe things without evidence. When i found SMART recovery where the words science-based were popped in everywhere i felt more at ease. And then when i went through the interactive guide it specifically put in quotations next to prayer that it is not necessary for this program. That made me feel more comfortable like i wouldn't have to lie to myself to get help. I have believed for a long time that abandoning "god" is the most freeing feeling both physically and emotionally. When you no longer have the devil to blame for bad things, you can more easily recognize your own negative behaviors in my opinion.

  20. #20
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    Absolutely awesome, Cody! Recovery is so much about discovering yourself and, to coin a 12 step phrase, "to be rigorously honest"... with yourself! I went on a stubborn journey like that as well! I am so happy for you that you are discovering yourself, your true values and the real world, reality! Never thought that reality could be so rewarding, exciting and enjoyable, right? Me neither! Loving life now, even the bad days, the lonely days, the sad situations. Knowing that there will be good days and joyful situations at some point or that I will have the strength to do something about it.. Life has ups and downs naturally. With a clear head we can be aware, learn and self-develop. Of course we can be good, moral and sociable people without believing in an external power. We believe in humanity, in humanness, in inner strength and genuineness. Everything is better sober, and real. Best wishes and all the best with all that reading and learning and your social work course! I am so happy for you and proud! Thanks for posting your story. Hitchens bless you LOL! Maria

  21. #21
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    Great read and well done! Your story parallels my own. I'm an atheist who really did try AA but ultimately failed time and time again from frustration. People who say that AA is not religious and spiritual are apologists (same as Christians who inaccurately espouse God is all about forgiveness and love - the Christian template of God certainly is not; read the bible). AA is laced with Christian dogma, just read the 12 steps. Bill W's association with the Oxford Group (an evangelical Christian organization) was a principal influence in the foundations of AA.

    Look, if it works for you, that's great but don't apologize for what the program is. I was lured into AA by statements such as

    "your higher power can be that chair or doorknob"
    "GOD stands for Good Orderly Direction"
    "It's not religious/Christian, it's spiritual"

    The problem with this is, for me, is it offered a false claim of acceptance. I never felt accepted, always heard derogatory remarks towards those who didn't believe. I'm sorry, but AA is very much Christian influenced. How does the Serenity Prayer start? AA shames, blames and humiliates addicts (sin concept anyone?). If they would have just told me matter of factly instead of finding out the hard way maybe I could have got sober a long time ago instead of wasting my time in a program that did not and could not work for me (and so many others).

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fused View Post
    Great read and well done! Your story parallels my own. I'm an atheist who really did try AA but ultimately failed time and time again from frustration. People who say that AA is not religious and spiritual are apologists (same as Christians who inaccurately espouse God is all about forgiveness and love - the Christian template of God certainly is not; read the bible). AA is laced with Christian dogma, just read the 12 steps. Bill W's association with the Oxford Group (an evangelical Christian organization) was a principal influence in the foundations of AA.

    Look, if it works for you, that's great but don't apologize for what the program is. I was lured into AA by statements such as

    "your higher power can be that chair or doorknob"
    "GOD stands for Good Orderly Direction"
    "It's not religious/Christian, it's spiritual"

    The problem with this is, for me, is it offered a false claim of acceptance. I never felt accepted, always heard derogatory remarks towards those who didn't believe. I'm sorry, but AA is very much Christian influenced. How does the Serenity Prayer start? AA shames, blames and humiliates addicts (sin concept anyone?). If they would have just told me matter of factly instead of finding out the hard way maybe I could have got sober a long time ago instead of wasting my time in a program that did not and could not work for me (and so many others).
    I have been an atheist/humanist/godless socialist since the age of 8---I am not religious, or spiritual either--rather a scientist who requires evidence before belief. But I do respect the many other beliefs that others hold. One can be tolerant, loving and compassionate without supernatural beliefs.
    I am very happy to be a part of this community

  23. #23

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    Cody, thank you for sharing your thoughtful essay and congratulations on your sobriety-- I wish you many more clean & sober days to come! Whatever you do, keep up with the writing and the journey of intellectual discovery. Writing and learning new things has been a big activity for me that has helped keep me sober.

    This really resonated with me: "As a religiousman I felt that everything was the way it was because God made it that way and itwasn't my job to worry about my surroundings or the concept of life... Atheism set me free in more ways than one, and italso helped me see that my success was revolved around me having a purpose. Iwanted to be a good person, I wanted to give back to the people around me."

    I firmly believe that we are all collectively responsible for the world we live in, that we have a duty to help each other, and one of my motivations for staying sober is that I can only be of service to others if I'm sober. The value of serving others is one of the positive things I've taken from AA.

    I've been in recovery for a little over 4 years now and have primarily attended AA meetings (my first day sober was also my first meeting). I have earnestly tried to "lay aside my prejudice" and to believe in God, but I just honestly cannot. I don't believe that any supernatural power is involved in human affairs.

    Sadly, I feel like this is something I have to hide in meetings, despite all the rhetoric about AA being a "spiritual not religious" program, or the idea that I can define my own higher power. When I speak openly about being an agnostic/atheist, people tend to tell me to get out of my own way, or that I'll come around to God someday, or they look at me like I'm delusional. Sometimes I feel like having a healthy ego is the biggest sin in AA. I know people that I love and respect who believe in God, and that's fine with me. I just ask for the same tolerance I show them. The only meetings I feel comfortable in these days are the Sober Agnostic meetings that I'm fortunate to have in my area.

    I also think that AA tends to reinforce the idea that alcoholics/addicts are morally defective, self-centered people. I've certainly acted in self-centered ways in the past and still can today, but that's not what fueled my drinking-- I drank because I was self-medicating my anxiety, depression and PTSD (not an effective strategy, it turns out). I'm not a bad, unworthy person who needs to grovel before God (or a sponsor) and flagellate myself in order to stay sober. And, surprise, surprise, when I don't drink or get high, I'm much less likely to act self-centeredly. Selfishness is a symptom, not a cause.

    One of the SMART tools that I love is Unconditional Self-Acceptance. Practicing that is so helpful to me, because it counteracts my deeply held irrational belief that I am inwardly bad and unworthy. So much more helpful to me than wallowing in how selfish I am.

    I'm not trying to dissuade anyone from AA, just speaking to my experience. There are great people in AA and you can learn a lot of solid things about sobriety there. Having a community that supports sobriety is invaluable, and doing inventory is extremely helpful. If you find meetings you like and it works for you, do it. I've just stopped feeling like it works for me, and part of that is due to me fully accepting my agnosticism/atheism.

    Forgive me for veering off into my own stuff here, but this has been on my mind a lot lately and it's where reading your essay and the replies took me. Cody, please honor us with more of your writing in the future. Best wishes, Ted

  24. #24
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    This is very interesting. I'm happy for SMART because my contact with AA rubbed me the wrong way. I felt that religion was being imposed on me. I can't believe in a higher power, and choosing a doorknob as a higher power seemed too irrational for me. I'm sure it's possible to find sobriety with the tools I'm using here.

  25. #25

    Default Great Read


    Thank you so much for sharing this, it makes a lot of sense to me. I have also struggled with the same concepts.

    Jon


    Quote Originally Posted by cearp12 View Post
    Attached is an essay I did about how I conquered addiction by finding Atheism rather than Jesus. Please read and post what you think, I am very self conscious but this made such a big difference in my life I felt the need to share it,
    Hitchens Bless,
    Cody Earp

  26. #26

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    I want to read this but Iím new to smart recovery and canít figure out how to open the attachment. Suggestions?

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    I want to read this but Iím new to smart recovery and canít figure out how to open the attachment. Suggestions?

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvelynMichelle View Post
    I want to read this but Iím new to smart recovery and canít figure out how to open the attachment. Suggestions?

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    I want to read this but Iím new to smart recovery and canít figure out how to open the attachment. Suggestions?
    You'll need a pdf reader on your computer or phone to open the file. Which you probably already have. After you double click on the file, check your downloads folder and it should be there. Click on it, and it should open.

    Hope this helps!
    Sometimes you gotta portage that canoe.

  28. #28

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    Thank you, I was trying to read this on my phone, but it looks like I can access it now that I'm on my computer.

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