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Reproduced from the NYCMA Pamphlet, A Higher Power.

What is a Higher Power ?

Most members of Crystal Meth Anonymous we know tried to stop using drugs long before coming into the rooms of our fellowship. We came to CMA because we couldn’t do it on our own. CMA suggests accepting and depending on a power greater than ourselves to help us recover. This power is of our own conception—it can be anything we choose. The important thing is that it works for us.

Why do we need a Higher Power?

A Higher Power is important because most of us needed a power greater than ourselves so we wouldn’t go back to drugs. Few of us came to CMA to think about God. We came to stop using drugs and to put an end to our misery. We couldn’t quit on our own. Many of us tried and tried—swearing we would never use again after experiencing the consequences, remorse or depression that went along with our using. Some of us could “white knuckle it” for a while—using willpower for days, weeks or months. But willpower could only get us so far and, sooner or later, we were using again. Others couldn’t go a day without using. We were desperate to stop, but try as we might, we just couldn’t do it. We had turned our wills and our lives over to the care of a higher power—crystal meth. And though crystal and other drugs provided relief and even euphoria for a while, eventually they turned on us.

For most of us, CMA was our last resort. Our willpower hadn’t been enough. Our own resources had been insufficient. We felt doomed to a life of active addiction without some outside help. Fortunately, CMA and its solution were there for us. In the First Step, we admitted we couldn’t stop using on our own; we were powerless to do so. We could no longer bear the unmanageability of our using lives. We needed a power greater than ourselves— something stronger than our addiction—to get clean. In the CMA program this power is often called “Higher Power,” “God of our understanding” or “God.”

Finding your Higher Power

Try to keep an open mind. There are probably as many conceptions of a Higher Power as there are people in CMA. Some of us already had a clear idea of our spirituality when we came to CMA or began to reexplore the God we grew up with. Others decided to individualize a version of God we could relate to more easily. For others, God was not a “being,” but a spiritual concept: a force or the system that underlies the universe. Your Higher Power could be a concept such as love, hope, faith or compassion, or as many of us found, an unsuspected inner resource. Making your Higher Power the CMA program—the principles, the meetings and your fellows— works too. Thinking of God as Good Orderly Direction or a Group Of Drug addicts is another useful approach.

Some of us called our Higher Power “God” and others did not. Some of us didn’t worry about defining it. Others were uncertain and worried that the program wouldn’t work if we were unsure about all this “God stuff.” But even if all we could say was, “Supreme Whatever, I’m not going to make it without some other-than-human help!” that was enough for a good start. As long as we were willing to accept the aid of some kind of Higher Power, we could recover.

Accepting the program and working the Steps may be easier for people who have no difficulty accepting the idea of a Higher Power. But even these people embark on a new relationship with their Higher Power. And those who have difficulty coming to believe in a power greater than themselves only have to become willing to explore. In the end, all approaches to a Higher Power can work in recovery.

While it is common to start out thinking of the CMA group and our fellows as our Higher Power, many of us eventually decided we needed more than that. We wanted a Higher Power that could be with us all the time—when we couldn’t get to a meeting, when our sponsor was out of town, or when we couldn’t reach others in the fellowship. Our Higher Power had to become something greater than a specific person, group or situation. We allowed our concept of a Higher Power to be vague, uncertain and flexible, if necessary. We allowed our concept to change with time, and it often did. Remember: It’s your program and your Higher Power.

What if I don’t believe in God?

The word God is used six times in the Twelve Steps of CMA. For many, this was not a problem. But that word reminded some of us of negative experiences we had had with organized religions or made us think of a harsh, judgmental and punishing God. Many of us were committed atheists or agnostics and didn’t see how we would ever fit in. But all of us found that if we kept an open mind, we were able to find a “God of our understanding” that helped us in sobriety.

Not believing in God need not be a problem. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop using. People of every imaginable belief happily coexist in CMA.

We admit it sounds a little strange to say that the “God of your understanding” could be “No God at all,” but atheists have done just that, and achieved and maintained sobriety.

Is CMA a religious organization?

No. CMA is not a religious organization. There are no set religious beliefs to which members must subscribe—no beliefs of any kind are required. Even the Twelve Steps are only suggestions. People of all beliefs are equal members in CMA and have achieved sobriety.

A few suggestions for newcomers

  • Try to keep an open mind.
  • Find a Higher Power that suits you.
  • Don’t worry if you are uncertain about what your Higher Power is.
  • Use the CMA group as your Higher Power if that helps.
  • Admit that you cannot do it on your own, and you are well on the way to recovery.

NOTE:
When CMA adapted the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, we did not use “Him” or “His” to refer to God. The use of a gender-specific pronoun implied that God was a male animate being, and that may not be the way some of us conceive of our Higher Power. So in CMA, God is simply God—to be defined by each member as he or she wishes.

  • Expressions of Hope

    Expressions of Hope CoverExpressions of Hope is a collection of personal experiences from crystal meth addicts in recovery. This newly expanded and revised edition has been redesigned around the stages of the recovery process: personal stories of powerlessness and hopelessness before entering the rooms, working the program of recovery, application of the common tools and suggestions, and learning how to face life on life's terms in sobriety.

    The selected stories, articles and readings were chosen to represent a wide range of topics, including physical health, intimate relationships (including marriage and children), becoming sober in prison (and reintegrating after being released), and even the economic crisis. Though the selections are diverse and were written by those in early recovery as well as those with long-term sobriety, the message conveyed throughout this book is that no matter how bleak life seems right now, there is always HOPE.

    The books are available now at the low price of $8.00 per copy.

    Order Here

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  • Announcements

    Writers Needed
    Long weekends and holidays: What tools have you used? What has worked? We want to know! Contact Jeffrey L, Rob C, or Keith M at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

    Crystal Clear newsletter is now available. Download your copy today!

    Philly CMA in conjunction with the 2017 CMA General Service Conference presents An Afternoon of Workshops and Fellowship on Friday November 10, 2017 from 1-5PM at the Hilton Garden Inn in Center City. Workshops are free to attend, so make a weekend of it! 

    The Hospitals & Institutions Group is looking for volunteers to speak and to chair meetings at Arms Acres in Carmel NY and St Christopher's in Garrison NY. Those with a car are particularly in need. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more info.

    CMA speaker recordings are now available on SoundCloud. Search for “CMA Speakers”.

    CMA World PI&O is still seeking volunteers for their 24/7 hotline. They are particularly in need of Fellows who speak Spanish. Anyone interested should contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    The CMA General Service Conference will be November 9-12, 2017, at the Hilton Garden Inn Center City in Philadelphia, PA. For more information go to conference.crystalmeth.org.

    The World Literature Advisory Committee is working on its second book and wants your story on any recovery related topic. You can submit your story through the website, crystalmeth.org. For assistance feel free to reach our to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. of the NYCMA literature committee.

    Continuing the effort to develop literature and readings that is unique to CMA, the GSC has one new and one revised interim approved readings suggested for use during meetings. "The Twelve Steps: A Plan of Action" and "What is CMA?". Please consider using these readings at your meetings and feel free to provide feedback about further suggested revisions. Any GSRs that want this can contact the GSO Delegate This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The literature is also available on crystalmeth.org on the ‘For the Fellowship’ Tab under ‘CMA Literature’ (be sure to change the drop down from ‘CMA Pamphlets’ to ‘CMA Readings’.

  • Connecticut Wednesday Meeting Location Change

    The Wednesday night CT meeting "Another Day, Another Way" has a new location.

    AIDS Project New Haven
    1302 Chapel St
    New Haven, CT

    Same time 7:30-8:30
    Closed Topic Discussion meeting.

  • NYCMA Monthly Anniversary Meeting

    The NYCMA Monthly Anniversary Meeting is a special open meeting of CMA held on the first Monday of every month, from 7:30pm–8:30pm, at The Center (Room 101/Kaplan Assembly Hall), 208 West 13th Street (b/t Greenwich and 7th Aves), New York, NY 10011.

    Anyone who celebrated an anniversary in the month prior to the meeting is encouraged to come share their experience, strength and hope and receive a medallion presented by a person of their choosing. All are welcome to attend! Celebrate your fellows’ milestones and stay for an anniversary cupcake immediately following the meeting.

    Please register during your anniversary month. Click here to open the registration form and provide all of the requested information before submitting.

    Date and location are subject to change. Please check the events calendar to confirm the date and location of this month's meeting. 

  • Updated meeting info in Connecticut

    It Works!

    Friday 7 - 8 PM

    Golden Hill United Methodist Church
    210 Elm Street
    Bridgeport, CT 06604

  • NYCMA Intergroup Monthly Meeting

    Generally, the meeting is held the last Wednesday of every month at 7:30 pm at GMHC, 446 W 33rd Street. Check the directory for the room number.

    Check the events calendar to confirm the date, time and location of this month's meeting.

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