Hello All! New here, but always looking to connect with like minded individuals. I just wanted to share my experience with CoDa and how grateful I am to find a resource to help me identify my issues and work through them.
It took a CoDa Step Study for me to come to a personal realization: I am agnostic. Though I had struggled with religion most of my life (especially since I grew up in a VERY religious family), I often felt guilty about questioning religion or even shameful. I often feared that I would be struck down and ostricized by those closest to me, so I hid my truth, ignored it, or (as a codependent does) just went along with everyone else to "people please".
...but, I entered CoDa with an open mind. I NEEDED CoDa. Besides, I couldn't afford therapy, so this was the next best thing. I held back tears as I sat through my first meeting, but I felt at home. I felt like these people "got" me, and I continued to come to meetings. However, I found myself flinching at the constant references to God. I would see where the words Higher Power had been inserted in places, but I felt like that wasn't authentic, because the rhetoric of the approved literature as well as supplemental texts were very God-centered and a bit "preachy" in my opinion.
I felt like I was at a crossroads becuase I BELIEVED in CoDa. I loved the group setting and gained strength from hearing others share their experiences. I often felt a weight lift anytime I shared in meetings. This was definitely IT, but could I have IT without God? Would I be chased out of the meeting if I "came out" and said... "I don't care who one decides to worship." If Kermit the Frog did it for one while Allah worked for another. It really didn't matter. I just didn't think that a "Supreme Being" should be placed in such a tight little box.
I believed that there was DEFINITELY something greater out there, but I ascribed more to the power of thought and consciousness (more Law of Attraction type stuff) and could see how this philospy could easily match the 12 Steps without shoveling an entity I wasn't sure existed down my throat with a shovel...
But I kept coming back and entered a Step Study, and as expected, I struggled a bit with Steps 2 and 3 at first. I had an epiphany, however, as I went through Step 2. Why not rewrite the step to fit my needs? Surely there were other non-religious (seculars is what they call us) that BELIEVED in the 12 Steps but relaxed the God talk a bit.
Guess what... there IS! A quick Google search returned lots of resources, but AA Agnostica spoke to me. Though I didn't struggle with alcohol or drug addiction, I found it easy to relate to how this group spun the steps. They still went throught them, but honored the fact that you could successfully be part of a 12 Step program without ascribing to a particular deity. I also accepted that my "Higher Power" could be dynamic. Maybe it was consciousness today, gratitude tomorrow, and the birs that pooped on my car the next day. It didn't matter as long as I recognized that I couldn't recover alone.
I also found and AMAZING book (shameless plug) that grounded me called an Alternative Guide to the 12 Steps. I read this alongside the CoDa literature and embraced my own truth.
Moral of the story: you CAN recover even if you don't have a traditional, religious view. Believers and non-believers can coexist in a recovery environment and learn from each other.
For me, A Higher Power didn't need to restore me to sanity.
My version: Fully embraced that I could not recover alone and that Awarness, Acceptance and Authenticity could restore me to a sense of peace.
Recovery is PERSONAL and doesn't have to be cookie cutter. Have an open mind, emrace diversity and DO YOU!!!
Thanks for letting me share.
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