If you have been following my posts over the past year and a half, you know I think everyone is religious, whether they are devout in church attendance or atheist. Religion is a belief system defined, but to me, it is what you believe enough to stake your life on....or even your eternal existence on. Atheist in recovery meetings, namely AA, i give cudo's to. They know prayer to God is a part of AA meetings, but they come anyway.
Now for the religious reading this, don't jump to my conclusion yet. If you are in recovery from substance abuse, porn addiction, gambling, or if you are codependent attending al-anon, you need your meetings to stay well. (or improve) Thinking your weekly attendance to church, or once per week at Celebrate Recovery will "fix" you, think again. That hour or so in fellowship with other believers is great and necessary. However, you are moving toward relapse, unless you are doing church business several times weekly. Even then, you are in a dark place in your head.
It is like taking a child to church on Sunday, letting the Sunday school teacher give them everything spiritual, and never mentioning God at home. The child will not learn the "whole counsel of God" in 52 hours annually. Neither will the alcoholic or any of the above mentioned learn how to live free from their addiction, once per week in church.
I gave my story at Celebrate Recovery Friday night. Old memories from my early days in recovery returned. I heard how important meetings were, and told I should try to do 90 meetings in 90 days. I did that and more because I wanted to stay sober. I listened, learned, and listened even more. I am grateful for the advice, so I'm passing it on to you. If you want your life to change, really get better, don't allow anything to keep you from meetings.
Getting to your children's activities, or going on a date to see a movie, or a sport event, even church, must come second to you getting well. That doesn't mean put God second, just church service. If you do not make meetings a priority, your children may a not have a dad, your spouse a mate, your parents a child, your church a member. Take sober living seriously. Think of your addiction like diabetes, and meetings your insulin injection.
It wasn't my talk Friday that jolted my memory. A man who attends on friday wasn't there for the fourth week in a row. He attended the local high school football game instead. He only goes to that one meeting normally. After spending a term in rehab, living in misery for years prior to that, he's willing to take a chance on losing this gift of recovery, unbelievable, risky.
And then a man with twenty plus years called me yesterday, wanting to talk about a problem. He attends meetings regularly, even with twenty plus years in recovery. How does religion mix with recovery? Your religion doesn't very well. Try making a religion out of your recovery by doing what you hear others do religiously.
Please understand, your relationship with God is everything. Your religion is your religion. Don't mix the two, even if you think they are the same. Religion or recovery, which do you choose? Recovery will enhance your belief and dependence on God. Your religion may separate you from both.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all!