I Never Shut Up

Cleverly Disguised As A Responsible Adult

Drunks and God

Posted by christ davis on December 2, 2007

I quit drinking 9 years ago, after 28 years of it. I fell all the way to the bottom of the rabbit hole almost immediately and stayed there for the duration. When I finally wore myself down I got detoxed, then moved into a structured environment, a recovery home. Right from the start I was inundated with god language. The assertion was and still is that with no reliance on a Higher power, no drunk ever got sober, or stayed that way. For the first three years I was always prepared to do battle any time god was mentioned-pretty much every day, 6,000 times a day. I managed to not only stay sober, but prosper without abdicating responsibility for my progress to imaginary beings.

All around me, since day one, god-people have been dropping like flies. Often, if I see them again, they say ” I failed god” or ” I took my will back”. The implication is that they are helpless in the face of their habit. Some of the most obnoxious jesus-shouters have been the quickest to flip, over the equivalent of a broken shoelace. I should say that this tendency is not restricted to god people. Every drunk or dope fiend, no matter how many bar fights they’ve been in, no matter how many jail sentences, dope houses, comas or ICUs, turns in to a hot house flower within hours of taking the last drink or bump. Some get past this phase quickly, but a disconcertingly large number do not.

There are more undercover atheists in A.A./N.A./C.A./whatever A. than is generally known. As the default model for most of the treatment and recovery community, it is inevitable that there would be. At least some of these women and men were raised in church going homes, so that even though they no longer believe, they can mouth the words.We know that the prayers are mere words with no actual power. As often as I hear the same null phrases, I ignore them as the useless chattering of helpless people. I definitely am not holding myself up as a paragon of functionality. I make mistakes all the time. The difference is that they are mine; not Satan’s, not the spirit of a long dead mean person, not a 6′ rabbit named Clarence leading me away from the light.

I would have long ago walked away from A.A. but for the clever trap I walked into. I fell into the job I have held for 7 years as the manager of the same recovery home that I moved into when I quit drinking. I found that I have an aptitude for it; I am able to relate to a wide spectrum of our target population, having lived through so much self imposed melodrama. I am up front about my atheism, and it has not impeded me in my job. My employers, good Catholics, only care that the building is quiet and productive. I still attend A.A. meetings, if for no other reason than to keep the idea out there that you can get and stay clean without gods.

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4 Responses to “Drunks and God”

  1. stardust said

    Love the title of your blog.

    Great writing. I have linked to your site and will keep reading. You are off to a great start. Is it ok if I put a link to your blog on mine? ( I also write for God is for Suckers, but have my own personal blogs, as well.)

    I have had similar thoughts about Christians and other god believers “dropping like flies” all around me from the perspective of chronic illness. While many god botherers insist on telling me they are “praying for me”, the only thing that can help me is myself and my attitude towards my illness (and having a good team of dedicated doctors). This god of theirs’ doesn’t seem to be helping them any, either. They go to doctors, pop their pills, and cry loudly that life stinks and they are failures to their “Master”. They blame it on their “not having enough faith” and refuse to acknowledge that imaginary friends cannot help them.

  2. stardust said

    Oh.. I read your profile and I too read too many books at one time AND keep buying new ones when I have about 50 here I haven’t read yet. I must be surrounded by books.

  3. christ davis said

    Thanks, stardust. I read you on god is for suckers, whether I comment or not. Please do link; I have reciprocated.

  4. stardust said

    It’s done…thanks!
    Looking forward to reading future posts here.

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