Anyone Else Recovering From 12-Step Groups?
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24-06-2014, 07:16 PM (This post was last modified: 24-06-2014 08:18 PM by anonymous66.)
Anyone Else Recovering From 12-Step Groups?
I'm okay with religion these days, but I'm still dealing with the anger associated with attending a church sponsored 12-step group for a few years.

My addiction? I felt guilty about looking at pornography when I was in my 20's, while I was living as a Christian and attending a church (not the same church that sponsored the group).

Some basics...
While the pastor who led the group talked about the 12-step program and handed out the literature, it wasn't run like I understand 12-step groups are led.

He never talked about his struggles, but rather encouraged us to talk about ours, then criticized and manipulated us when he felt necessary.
I remember he even used the statement "you're only as sick as your secrets"... using that definition, he must be one sick puppy!

He was a master manipulator and definitely in control of the group, and wanted everyone to know he was in control.

Anyone else been there?
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24-06-2014, 07:39 PM
RE: Anyone Else Recovering From 12-Step Groups?
I haven't been there, but I know I could never join an AA group because of their insistence on giving your problems over to a "higher power". Sorry, I am the highest power in my life. It's up to me to make my life what I want it to be.

I've heard of secular groups for addiction. But sadly they aren't as readily available as the massive AA network.

I'm a bit curious though. Now that you're an atheist, are you still worried about your pornography viewing, or are you more comfortable with it now?

I hope that the world turns, and things get better. But what I hope most of all is that you understand what I mean when I tell you that, even though I do not know you, and even though I may never meet you, laugh with you, cry with you, or kiss you, I love you. With all my heart, I love you. - V for Vendetta
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24-06-2014, 07:58 PM
RE: Anyone Else Recovering From 12-Step Groups?
It's a complex issue. I'm a humanist, and I know some people are exploited for porn to be made, and I can't condone that...

But, there have also been studies done (during the Nixon administration), that suggest that it's best if porn isn't censored.

I'm not sure about AA and authentic 12-step groups, either. I've been told that some groups encourage their members to see their future selves as their higher power. And no one is told they must see God as their higher power... although many do see it that way.
At the very least, though, everyone in a 12-step program is going through the program. If there are leaders, they are there because people trust them, not because they set themselves up as better somehow than everyone else in the group, and beyond sharing their own struggles.
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24-06-2014, 08:09 PM
RE: Anyone Else Recovering From 12-Step Groups?
I see what you mean from a humanist standpoint. I get pretty turned off when I see that stuff that looks like a woman is in pain, being raped, was recorded without consent, or really doesn't seem into it. Though, I can admit viewing that kind of stuff doesn't mean it's something you want to participate in real life, and I also admit some of those girls could just be could be good at faking that kind of thing. Basically I'm pro porn when you get down to it, but I hate to see people taken advantage of / exploited in that way. Of course I may have completely missed your point, and it may affect you on a different level.

I'd also like to think the majority of AA programs let you slide a bit on that higher power thing like you mention. I'd bet it's not the case in the majority though Confused

I guess I just wouldn't want to take myself to such a vulnerable place with people who would think I'm some kind of monster for not believing in god, so I deal with my addictions on my own. I try to be honest with myself about it. So far, so good. If his route doesn't pan out for me though, I will be seeking a secular addiction support group for sure Thumbsup

I hope that the world turns, and things get better. But what I hope most of all is that you understand what I mean when I tell you that, even though I do not know you, and even though I may never meet you, laugh with you, cry with you, or kiss you, I love you. With all my heart, I love you. - V for Vendetta
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24-06-2014, 08:13 PM
RE: Anyone Else Recovering From 12-Step Groups?
Ooo ooo!! And if you feel bad about watching porn, what about erotic stories? No people, harmed in the making of that! Thumbsup recently found a website with some good stuff. Can't link to it here, but I can pm you a link if you'd like.

I hope that the world turns, and things get better. But what I hope most of all is that you understand what I mean when I tell you that, even though I do not know you, and even though I may never meet you, laugh with you, cry with you, or kiss you, I love you. With all my heart, I love you. - V for Vendetta
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24-06-2014, 08:23 PM
RE: Anyone Else Recovering From 12-Step Groups?
Years ago I drank a lot and went AA. It was one of the pushes that solidified my atheism.
I can tell you that when they say "higher power" they mean god. They don't come out and say it when you first get there, but every meting I ever went to ended with the lords prayer.
God was consistently brought up by members, and bible quotes were common.
It was a very cult-like atmosphere, "People, Places, and Things" was one of the many motto's that flew around "the rooms" in AA. It meant basically that you should stay away from certain people, places , and things.
They like you to only associate with other AA members, so you won't deviate from their course.
Any of this sound familiar?
"Let go and Let God" was another motto they had.
Another, "I can't, He can, I think I'll let Him." was common. They have a ton of these I'm sure can be found with a quick Google search.
Make no mistake, AA is heavily influenced by christianity.
Their proclaimed success rate is also highly questionable.
I also observed on several occasions, members cheating on their spouses with other members while they out at night "getting help."

AA is a worldwide organization, I am only commenting on what I know from where I went to meetings. YMMV.
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24-06-2014, 08:25 PM
RE: Anyone Else Recovering From 12-Step Groups?
I never much liked the "professional" porn star stuff. For me, it's about both people enjoying it, not watching some fake looking porn stars perform.

and no one is sure that it's even possible to be addicted to porn. Although I suppose it's possible to get so much into it that it starts to cause problems in your life. Gotta be honest about that.
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24-06-2014, 08:29 PM (This post was last modified: 24-06-2014 08:33 PM by anonymous66.)
RE: Anyone Else Recovering From 12-Step Groups?
(24-06-2014 08:23 PM)pablo628 Wrote:  Years ago I drank a lot and went AA. It was one of the pushes that solidified my atheism.
I can tell you that when they say "higher power" they mean god. They don't come out and say it when you first get there, but every meting I ever went to ended with the lords prayer.
God was consistently brought up by members, and bible quotes were common.
It was a very cult-like atmosphere, "People, Places, and Things" was one of the many motto's that flew around "the rooms" in AA. It meant basically that you should stay away from certain people, places , and things.
They like you to only associate with other AA members, so you won't deviate from their course.
Any of this sound familiar?
"Let go and Let God" was another motto they had.
Another, "I can't, He can, I think I'll let Him." was common. They have a ton of these I'm sure can be found with a quick Google search.
Make no mistake, AA is heavily influenced by christianity.
Their proclaimed success rate is also highly questionable.
I also observed on several occasions, members cheating on their spouses with other members while they out at night "getting help."

AA is a worldwide organization, I am only commenting on what I know from where I went to meetings. YMMV.
Thanks. Sounds like AA can be very cult-like. The group I was involved with always said the Lord's Prayer at the end of every session.
The leader of the group I was involved with would never say anything negative to your face, either... but, when someone didn't show up, he was fair game..... I just thought that was so cowardly and 2-faced, and I couldn't believe the other members didn't object.
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25-06-2014, 06:15 AM
RE: Anyone Else Recovering From 12-Step Groups?
@Pablo, have you found help for your problems with drinking? Feel free to pm if you like.
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25-06-2014, 09:04 AM
RE: Anyone Else Recovering From 12-Step Groups?
(25-06-2014 06:15 AM)anonymous66 Wrote:  @Pablo, have you found help for your problems with drinking? Feel free to pm if you like.

Thumbsup Yeah, I quit going to AA. Big Grin
All I did was talk about, and think about drinking. It was mind numbing and I was miserable. It was a pretty shitty time in my life, just split with my ex, my Dad had a stroke which blinded him, and my Mom was diagnosed with cancer all inside a couple of months. I still drink now and then, I just don't guzzle it like I did at that time. It's all good now. Thanks for asking. Smile
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