Perhaps its not a surprise that in my desire to fill the “god hole” in my life, I turned to substance abuse. I don’t know if I’m a cliche or just a another infidel who’s fallen to the snares of sin. Of course, for a while I justified my alcoholism as a means for genius. My hero Christopher Hitchens was a notorious and open alcoholic who never gave a damn about what others thought of him. At least not a damn that any of us knew about. Unfortunately I do not have the brilliant mind or immense willpower that Hitchen’s possessed. Alcohol and other substance abuse nearly ruined my life and in desperation I sought help. I am not ashamed of my recovery, it has saved my life and given me new purpose. However, I am often frustrated with the deluge of god in 12 step programs. In some respects I try not to judge peoples attempts to stay sober. Addiction is a most vile and debilitating disease. I myself wondered if I would need to find a “god of my understanding” in order to remain sober. I do not believe I need to and I have found quite a lot of support from recovering atheists and agnostics through the internet. The recovery series, noted at the top of each post in the series, is a way for me to vent some of my frustrations with the promotion god in the recovery community. But most importantly, to lend an encouraging word to the struggling addict who wonders how they can stay sober without the use of a conventional higher power. Recovery is available to all of us. We cannot allow our spiritual conflicts to keep us from a free and purposeful life.