Saturday, July 30, 2011

My response to secular athesistic approaches to recovery.

I was sober for 5 years in AA, here in RURAL East Texas. I am working the NA program for about a year and a half. NA is much less "God-centric" here but still I cringe when I hear a very simple minded member confuse the magical thinking of religion with the  "power" NA ask you to find.  NA is much stricter when it comes to not sharing your personal god stuff at meeting level. One of the reason AA repulses me here in Small Town USA, is because they don't even try to adhere to the traditions and opening share of Jesus, church and Sunday school.  As a broken hearted, spiritually  crippled gay man, I could practically see them wink when they advised people to find a "power greater than ourselves" and the unspoken was "and eventually you will come to Sunday school where you might teach lessons one day.

I tried with all that I had to believe in Religion.  It failed me on ever level.  It's frustrating to have friends in NA who are so smart and bright and then say stupid stupid stuff regarding their magical beliefs that I feel unsafe. I'm a gay man and when I here someone claim what a Christian they are,  I tense up ready for the blow from "God hates fags" theology of the nuts that are in Texas.

At one point in the NA literature it says they are going to use the word "God" simply out of convenience, since we will understand the concept they are referring to. I think it's a complete cop out. They use God WAYYY more than "higher power" and "god of your understanding". It pisses me off to read one of the suggested literature pieces and have to say "god" when it is written.

If i had not been raised in hideous , slow thinking, bible belt Texas, I may not have been beaten by religion they way I have and I might not react like you have just offered my a drink of radiation when you mention it to me.  I have a great understanding of life and how I fit in it and I am a part of the flow of energry. It has nothing to do with praying, asking Santa in the sky for blessings, presents or miracles.  To speak of God or religion to me is to me is to show me you can't think for yourself and you need to make yourself feel better with mystical robes, communions and one horn short of  unicorn magic. I do my best to respect the few friends or people I care for's relationship to religion BUT, I never let down my deflector shields a hundred percent with any of them.

AA is still a great place to sober up if you are white, Christian, straight and Caucasian, (and a middle aged-business man). Women and minorities suffer in both AA and NA in Texas.  NA which I really like still has only a handful of minorities locally and way less than half the women compared to the men. That makes me wonder.

I don't have a choice in my circumstances to find any sort of organized approach to not using other than NA. I'm fairly vocal about my dislike for all the god-shit in the rooms. If there is a shot at me finding long term recovery and some peace/acceptance in a 12 step recovery I'm going to continue giving it a try. What choice do I have?

I really am powerless over drugs when I put the first one into my body, my life on drugs is completely unmanageable.  So I have to put my hip boots on to wave through the religion spill over at times. I"m thankfully smart enough to separate the core of the  steps from the misguided interpretations of it in Texas.  I have a believe system, in the fact that I know that the energy that can take a seed and grow it to a fruit bearing tree is the same energy taking me from cradle to grave, but that is it. I can't win favor in an imaginary after life by being good during this life. This whole thing is like independent research or study project for me. I wish there was a place to just go and hang out with like minded people but in the end that isn't necessary. I'll recover in NA until they get sick of me and chase me out with burning torches and I will share my experience strength and hope when I get a chance to. There are many many people who sick of religion and how pervasive it is in our lives even when we ourselves aren't religious.

I wouldn't advocate changing the steps for the AA or NA program at all. The steps are theirs. I don't know, I don't know, I don't know.   Aside of from the way they handle the God issue, I have more in common with them than not. Ever once in a while a Hispanic man will sit in a meeting. The Hispanic meeting meets less often. He doesn't speak very much English and I don't know what he can get from the meeting but he stays. I'm that way with the god stuff. I don't understand but I wait for bits to be shared about recovery I can use.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Pay no attention to the raging bitch in the corner

Nice boys don't get angry. To be angry is to be ugly. To let someone see you angry lets them know they can get to you. Anger is close to insanity because when I am in it, i am not rational. Anger means I am out of control. So I learned to stuff it, feel bad about getting angry, punish myself for getting angry. I've never hit anyone in my entire life and I only told someone what I thought of them once face to face. I have roughly 40 years of "mad as hell" trying to come to the surface. I'm  not using anything to alter the anger, I'm trying not to eat myself into misery and more self loathing and I"m trying very hard not to take it out on someone. I've talked about it and I don't believe it is going to swallow me whole, but I do wonder about the resolution. What happens now. If I take the time to feel it all , what then?  I might could figure a way to suppress it and smash it down for a little while but I won't learn how to properly deal with anger as it comes up. The unfortunate thing for me is I have a fucking backlog of it and not much practice in feeling it and not turning on myself. I honestly feel like a giant sore thumb and I find myself bumping it in everything I do. My life as a giant bruise, chapter 1. lol  The balance of feeling it, not being an asshole to people I come in contact with and not hurting myself is the only recipe I have to live to see another day. What is appropriate and what is pure sickness?

Pay no attention to the raging bitch in the corner

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Getting past the fact your a Jesus person.

I've wondered all week, how long it took the Jews to over come their distrust of anyone German. I find myself with so much animosity towards the majority of Christians I come in contact with that I am just sort of tired of it. For me friends who find strength in the religion , I understand that they haven't had the experience of being completely beaten up with religion for over 35 years. I'm tired of thinking I have to justify my reasons for not believing in the dominant religion in America. I'm thankful that Christians aren't slitting the throat of those who refused to be "Saved" like they were doing just a couple hundred years ago. Am I tired of carrying this around? Yes. I'm I willing to feel differently? Yes. Do changes happen over night when dealing with life long issues. Hell to the NO. I hate being in Texas and in the south in general, because southern people of religious notions are way more demonstrative and loud and judgmental and condescending and condemning. I envy people who are called on to come up with their own higher power don't have to drudge their way through christian shit that gets muddled in the mix from others and their own past history. I just don't have it in me to believe in magical thinking where animals ride in archs and a man named Jonah hangs out in the belly of a whale. Last week I found out a close member of my recovery team was one of the magic believers of "him".  I felt like I had betrayed myself. I had slept with the enemy. I have been able to speak honestly with them since.  I fall in the cracks betweent, atheist, agnostic and believer. I am not 60 percent of any of those.  I'm only 15 months into a recovery program and one day, I might be able to be at ease with members of the religion that beat me up, but for now I just tense up around them waiting for the glancing blow whether it comes or not.

 If the Jews can get past the Nazi's , I can get past the christian fundamentalist that seep in now and then. I hope someday this isn't an issue for me. I"m not Christian, don't want anything to do with their messiah and resent people trying to infer it into my life.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

We are getting further off course.

Love has not changed in thousands and thousands. As long as there has been humans on earth, compassion and empathy have existed. Yet we live in a time more than ever where one group wants to legislate who  is valid and who is or isn't worthy of compassion and who's love matters  and who's does not.. How after all these years have we let it be ok for law makers and talking religious heads to fuck things up so badly.

Religious leaders and politicians who wave the religion banner have completely gotten away from the message of love, service and tolerance and instead use fear, and treachery to give themselves a base of power so that they will be taken more seriously in world affairs. Affairs they need not be in. I combat this ignorance every time I smile instead of sneer, extend my hand instead of my fist and choose to care for you regardless of the fear I am engulfed in. I don't need anyone leading me. Put your microphone down and stop telling me how wrong we all are and embody the core principles of most of the major religions. Non of them include your right to judge or condemn others. Check yourself before you wreck us all.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Slow my ass down.....

All day long I have had to consciously choose to slow down. One situation after another where my first instinct was to grumble out have to wait at the ATM, the store and in traffic.  It started this morning when my senior neighbors were walking past our drive just as I was ready to pull out. I felt the chemical urge to get impatient but I instead watched the near 80 year olds walk together like it was their first walk ever together. One would point , the other would look and then they would discuss it. She is eaten up with cancer and I wondered how many more walks for them would their be. I went to use the ATM at my bank and they had it dismantled in pieces. I went to another bank where an old hand stuck out the window pushed buttons for what seemed like 10 minutes. I wanted if he had figured out how to write a word document on the damn thing.  I finally got through the ATM line, pulled out on the the residential street and the same old man had parked on the side of the rode I guess to count his money and decided to pull into the street just as I approached. Had I not seen him and basically stopped, he would have ran right into me because he was oblivious to my presence. Repeatedly I had to not rush and be present the whole day long. Some days I do in naturally, other days like today, it takes effort not to be in such a rush that I make myself miserable trying to get somewhere in a hurry. I'm happy I had the presence of mine to choose to slow down, and somewhat be present for my own moments.