Spirituality within 12 steps

Role of spirituality within 12 steps


The link above goes to a small article on” the fix” website which looks at different views on the way that the spiritual side of AA, and how it works. I left a comment and had several replies and there are a few from others. It seems that there are very polarised views about the worth of spirituality in recovery.

The people from the 12 step world, are happy to be seen as people who pray to a higher power and who follow the steps which mention God several times. Many others think that approach is a waste of time. I would not consider myself to be a spiritual or religious person at all. I do not come from a religious background and have studied science when younger. I find the higher power concept lacking, although I went along with it for a while as so many others appeared to be doing the things suggested by AA. I do meditate, using the mindfulness method, but I am not looking for anything particularly spiritual with that. I am simply allowing myself to get things in perspective, and it helps me relax. There is no religious side to it, for me.

After going to many meetings, I became conscious that some members, who were going on about the steps, would come in one day saying they had relapsed. The program only seemed to work for a few, and was also having a negative affect on many others, especially the confession part of step 4, which some hold up as the core of the program. It is the part when you actually have to do something.

I did not really like being in a group of recovery people. I viewed many as dysfunctional, and preferred to be influenced by normal people, who lived life without addiction. This was the right way for me. This is really what I want this site to be about. I want to move on to looking at other ideas that work in recovery, and I hope others will join in over time.

Going back to spirituality article, I am glad that the views of Stanton Peele, who I hold in very high regard, as somebody who has challenged the dominance, of the 12 step world for some time, were included for balance. It does worry me, that the 12 step model is so widely used , when many who try it, do not feel it has much merit. I know some of the people posting are simply spammers from the “Orange  forum” which I am not a fan of, and they will tend to “shout” their views on any site, but many others seem to be normal people who have simply moved away from the old methods and done something on their own.

This seems to be something that is more common than I thought, as many seem to be setting up small blogs and talking about more productive ways to recover, rather than using formal recovery groups. It takes courage to do this, but may be a better option for a lot of people, who find the “recovery gurus” of AA and other groups to be pretty useless and at worst dangerous.




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