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Old 01-24-2013, 06:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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All opinions welcomed!

I have been on sr for almost 7 weeks and I have been completely alcohol free for the same. Tonight I went to my first AA meeting and came out with mixed feelings about it. I will admit that the hour went by quickly, but I left telling a bit confused. The first thing is that although I do believe in god, I personally don't believe that the higher power is going to keep me from drinking. It may be a part of the overall picture, but inevitably it is up to me. The second thing was a guy stood up and said something to the effect of ( I will use my words because I cant remember the sentances that he quoted out of the book.) its not our fault that we drink and that one drink will never suffice. I know for a fact that one drink will never be enough for me so I cant ever have alcohol again. I am 43 and started drinking at 15, I finally realized 7 weeks ago that I am responsible for picking that first drink up! No more excuses, no one but myself to blame. I went to aa because I want as much knowledge and support that I can get to stay sober. What did I miss from the meeting? I have only posted a couple of times but sr has helped keep me sober and I left thinking I should have just stayed home and spent the hour online here! The only thing missing in sr is verbal communication. Thanks to everyone for the posts and stories that are shared every day!
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Do both!
The face to face support and getting out of a rut will do you good.
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
everything is already ok
 
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The thing about any support or program is that you have to give it a while practice it daily for a good while, say 3 months and then see how it is. I still get huffy and puffy with some bits of my program but I know its just me for today and that I need to accept that and move on.

Its great that SR works for you, gives you a great base. Maybe try some other programs and give them a few months and ignore the voice that tells you its all frigged
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Congrats on the 7 weeks!

It's your first AA meeting - many of us come out of there not quite sure what to make of it. I didn't understand much of what they were saying at my first meeting. The only thing I got out of it was that others drank like I drank, and that was enough for me to go back.

You don't have to have it all figured out after one meeting. No one does. While I love SR and I get a lot out of it, I need to have face-to-face time with other alcoholics. And for me, I get that in AA meetings. There is an energy there that I can only get from a group of like minded people gathered in one place, helping one another.

I was the same - started drinking at 15 and stopped at 40. So a long time of living and thinking one way...so don't expect that it will change overnight. Try another meeting - give it a shot, have an open mind.

All the best
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Hi change96. There is a secular forum (Secular Connections) here and there are several recovery methods people use here quite successfully.

I used RR/AVRT but there is also SMART and other alternative programs.

I also come here and post a lot.

I'm not involved in AA but if you choose that route I would try it at least a few times. It can be confusing in the beginning.
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
everything is already ok
 
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here is a link to some programs:

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...formation.html (Recovery Programs and Resources Information)

+ one missing

Narcotics Anonymous
http://na.org/
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
everything is already ok
 
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Found this one too
http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...i-recover.html (Recovery Links - How do I Recover????)
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I was confused at my first meeting...so nervous I don't think I heard or understood what anyone said lol There's a saying "take what you need and leave the rest". The face to face support is what I love. Like SR but in 3D
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hi, change!

Don't worry, the stuff from the Big Book, and some of the things said in the meetings are a little confusing in the very beginning. The best way to get a handle on AA quickly is to get a sponsor. A sponsor is just a member of AA who has worked the Steps and acts as sort of a mentor to help you understand the program that will change your life so you can life sober happily--not missing alcohol, not being tempted to drink, feeling your self-confident best!

I also suggest that you buy a copy of the Big Book (they usually sell them at meetings--they are only seven bucks or so, and here is an online version0. Although you hear a lot of talk about God in AA meetings, AA is not religious. The Steps are very specific--that what they mean by "God" is whatever helps you--a power greater than yourself that does not get tempted or feel bad about not drinking or feel bad about who you are. For some people it may be the power of the universe, or just the power of the group of people in the AA meeting. Alone, we have no defenses against picking up that first drink. We may be able to resist it for a while, but because of our addiction eventually we give in to the idea that next time it will be different. It may not feel that way to you now, but what about after you've gone months or a year or something without drinking? That's when a lot of people think, "Hey, I've gone this long, maybe I was making too big a deal out of that drinking stuff, now that I understand more about alcohol I won't make that mistake again." The problem is, the problem is still there and eventually they wind up pretty much where they were before (or worse).

So maybe that helped answer the couple of questions you asked here. I really suggest, though, that you get a sponsor because that person will be able to explain all that stuff to you. How do you get a sponsor? You look around, listen to what people say, and pick out a person (a man if you're a guy and a woman if you're female) who seems happy about their sobriety, and ask if they have worked the Steps themselves and would be willing to help you. If they can't for some reason, ask someone else. You don't have to stick with the same sponsor, but it can really help you get off to a good start.
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I think its really important that we each choose our own recovery program or method(s) as has been mentioned recently on this forum.

I will say it again. Mine works for me and I know that most other recovery programs work too and that they all share the important common elements.

In 2005 if I had come here and been told that this is the way to do it and the only way, I would probably have left.

As an addict in recovery if I choose to recovery by dipping my head in a bucket of poop every day that is my business alone. And if it works for me so much the better.
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:17 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Take what you need and leave the rest, someone said it above too. The people who speak are just that, people. Not everyone will have the same beliefs or values or opinions. And I think the same as you, that It is my decision. At the end of the day, it will be me who decides to pop that cork or not. But I also think that picking apart the god theory and free will, etc. is a way for me to not commit to anything, I can argue it all away.

Try it out a few times. I look forward to going now.
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:24 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone!!!! And yes I know I need the face to face communication, I guess it what just not what I had expected. The funny thing is that as I was driving home from the meeting, I told myself that I do need to go again simply because if just one meeting was making me think that hard then there is something that I must not be understanding. Lexi, my personality is one that I had to stop myself from going to the bookstore tonight to buy the book. I would have stayed up and read it so I could go to the next meeting to argue! I am tired of arguing and just want to work on recovery, so maybe I am finally growing up.
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:25 PM   #13 (permalink)
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If you perceive there is something of tremendous value and importance there that you need...

Lots of people pay a LOT of money for therapy (which can be uncomfortable and you may hear lots of things you'd rather not hear) or school (parts are NO fun and I spent a good bit of time arguing about things in my head and with others), work, well, you get the idea.

I use the 12 steps as part of my recovery though not through AA. I prickle at some of the language but I can't argue the fact that for me, it WORKS.
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:02 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Go to a LOT of meetings and you'll find one that clicks and make that your home group. Like most social interactions you'll find some good, some bad and as someone said take what you want and leave the rest. Not taking the first drink is up to me, but sometimes I need the support of a higher power to help me through the obsession/cravings. Whatever works to keep you sober...keep doing that.
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:24 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I came into AA already a believer in a higher power. I believe that's what got me there. I do not believe, nor have I ever believed, that there is a human like figure of any sort floating around somewhere that is going to make me drink, or not drink. I believe I have free will, and can pick up a beer right now should I choose to do so. I'm not, and I have no desire to.

My higher power (which I call god only for lack of better word) gives me the strength and guidance I need in order to do the things I need to do to keep learning, growing, and staying sober. Understanding and living the 12 steps has helped me incorporate my beliefs into a very full and happy sober life.

I don't think many people believe that god literally keeps them sober, though I can't speak for everyone. You might want to read through the bigbook, attend some step meetings, and hang around a while so you can gain a better understanding on what's going on. And in time you can also figure out who the nut jobs are, and who ya want to be listenin to. Best of luck.
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:49 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Hi Change96 and congratulations on 7 weeks alcohol-free!

I'm even newer than you (39 days) but have been going to meetings since day 5, and daily since Jan 5. Why? Because I would have gone batsh*t or picked up again without a live person to talk to. AA is cheap, full of people who share my purpose & have similar experiences, and very convenient (in NYC, anyway).

Do I agree or identify w/everything I hear? No. I frankly don't care about that. Will I keep going? I don't know -- but I'll go to a meeting tomorrow. There's something there that I need now, even if I don't know what it is. If I didn't think that, I wouldn't go.

Nogard put it well -- there's no single "right" way to stay sober -- just do whatever it takes. But I do think that help helps, whether from AA or something else. I hope you find lots of support -- and SR is part of that!
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:35 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I just went to my first meeting yesterday too. The main thing I got was that it made me focus on my situation with alcohol that evening instead of my usual pattern of "forgetting" the situation.
Kind of makes it real by putting it in three dimensional format.
My relationship with alcohol was no longer a concept in my head or a post on a blog. it was real - flesh and blood.
I was sober for fives years before getting back into drinking two years ago. So I know I had to make some kind of physical change in my life. All the God talk turned me off too but I'm just going to give it a shot and see if there is anything for me in the program.
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:45 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Almost 7 weeks

I've not been to meetings and stuff so don't have anything to offer there , just wanted to celebrate your achievement , hope you don't mind .

Bestwishes, M
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:47 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Agree on hanging in with the meetings. It takes awhile to navigate the info at the meetings. You will find after time, you will have a favorite meeting to attend and some others where you might not be getting what you need from them. But overall, any meeting is a good meeting and there should always be something of value there for you to carry on with your journey.
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:59 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I have been going to AA for 3.5 years and I still am not sure about a lot of things. I do know that talking to and knowning other alcoholics has been the cornerstone of my recovery.

Go to a bunch of meetings before you form an opinion one way or the other. What I got out of my first meeting was. There were a bunch of happy and healthy people who had been sober for a long time and that I felt better after the meeting.
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