Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Common Sense Recovery by Adam N.

Common Sense Recovery: An Atheist's Guide to Alcoholics Anonymous, Adam N. Toronto: AA Agnostica, 2014. ebook, 63 pps.



     Within many twelve step program meetings, it is difficult to share honestly about one's non-belief. Bill W. was raised as a methodist and via the Oxford Group became more of an evangelical christian. 

     Surveys indicate that things are changing in the United States. Our younger folks make up the bulk of atheists and agnostics. And yet, there is a strong current of fundamentalism present in many rooms of recovery as well as in many treatment programs which are based on the twelve steps.

     I came in to recovery believing but that did not last. By the end of my first decade, I had checked out several more religions and found that I was comfortable in none of them. I read creation myths and other legends for Spanish class and that was the beginning of my abandoning religion for something else.

     Unlike Adam N., I do not feel like a spy or a double agent. I do feel a bit uncomfortable when people use recovery rooms as an excuse to heap testimonials and exhortations on what they imagine is a congregation of sorts. It seems to be that if some folks are willing to do this, they also ought to be willing to listen to an abbreviated version of another side of things. Generally, I do remind other folks that they do not have to be christian to be in recovery. I myself am an atheist. Other people may practice various forms of spirituality and ritual.

     Like Adam N., I have felt like I've needed to translate the steps and other literature into a format that I can use in order to remain in recovery. I was much relieved to find the books published by AA Agnostica. Although the focus is on AA or Quad A, I do think there is a need for secular alternatives to recovery such as S.O.S.

sapphoq reviews says: Adam N. shares from his heart his story and how he copes with being a non-believer in the ranks of Alcoholics Anonymous. For those in 12-step recovery who practice alternative spiritualities or no spirituality, recommended.

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