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Old 03-23-2017, 04:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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no meetings still sober


I love the idea of not needing meetings to stay sober.


That is what I like about reading in the secular forum.

For a while it felt like I was almost addicted to meetings and I would go to them instead of feeling what I needed to feel or doing what I needed to do.

It almost seems too easy now............


Has anyone ever detoxed off meetings?
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Old 03-23-2017, 11:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Everyone has their own path. Some find meetings to be essential, while others have never been to one, and have found success through other outlets.
Though don't let your guard down thinking it seems too easy, it still takes hard work no matter what you choose to stay down the right road.
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Old 03-24-2017, 03:27 AM   #3 (permalink)
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There are plenty of meeting "addicts, prisoners of the fellowship, who believe meetings are essential, and possibly the only requirement for sobriety. At home are the AA widows.

I have found meetings are a great place to give back what has been given to me, a way to contribute, and something I enjoy. But practicing the program has meant I have other ways of staying on the sober path and meetings are not essential. I would be lucky to get to 12 meetings a year where I am. There are no meetings nearby.

Working with others is what the big book suggests, and I can do that anywhere. SR is a great vehicle from that point of view. However, I will never forget the warm welcome at my first meetings, and I like to be around to give the same welcome to other newcomers from time to time.
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Old 03-24-2017, 04:01 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Moved to 12 step secular.

D
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Old 03-24-2017, 07:30 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I stopped going to meetings a few months ago. It's been an interesting experience, to see who stayed in touch and who didn't. I miss the sober fellowship.

I intend to go back to some of the less religious, less formal big book meetings shortly. I also intend to start an agnostic meeting in the next few months.

CJ.
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Old 03-24-2017, 08:03 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Moved to 12 step secular.

D
Why, Dee? I'm not understanding how posts get moved around, and it seems this has nothing to do with 12-step.
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Old 03-24-2017, 11:31 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I would not say that I "detoxed" from going to AA meetings, I just realized that did not need the meetings, and most likely never had needed them. I used to go because the counselors at the detox/rehab establishment that I had gone to told me quite explicitly that the only way to quit alcohol was to attend lots of AA meetings, and I thought that they knew what they were talking about. I was a member of AA for 18 months or so, had a home group and a sponsor. After reading a lot, and talking to people who quit without AA, I eventually realized that AA works for some and not for others, and that I was one of the later group. I spoke to my sponsor about this, and he was fine with this - he knew people that had quit drinking without AA, and he wished me well. I still run into him occasionally, and we chat a bit.

So, some people need AA and some don't. I know which group that I am in, but you have to find out for yourself which group you are in.
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Old 03-24-2017, 02:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Why, Dee? I'm not understanding how posts get moved around, and it seems this has nothing to do with 12-step.
Hi Jeff.

There were several responses in this thread that took 'meetings' to mean 12 step meetings.

I'm pretty convinced thats how the OP meant it too.

12 step topics are off limits in the other sec forum.

Rather than close the thread completely I moved it here to let discussion continue.

Who'd be a moderator hey?

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Old 03-24-2017, 04:10 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I love the idea of not needing meetings to stay sober.


That is what I like about reading in the secular forum.

For a while it felt like I was almost addicted to meetings and I would go to them instead of feeling what I needed to feel or doing what I needed to do.

It almost seems too easy now............


Has anyone ever detoxed off meetings?
Well since you say you've been attending SMART meetings for two years, Lifering, etc., I presume you don't mean 12-step meetings, but it actually doesn't matter since meetings are meetings, though this sub-forum doesn't get much traffic and winds up being a kind of dumping ground for secular threads where someone mentions AA at the Bridge of Death.

There was a period, the first 3-4 years of sobriety, where I was attending a bunch of meetings in-person and online. Looking back, I really do think it had become a kind of crutch. It kept my head in a place where I thought of myself as broken, or maybe diseased, re-living increasingly remote events and feelings that were becoming increasingly irrelevant in my sober life. I gradually backed out of all that. I still facilitate one in-person meeting every couple weeks but it no longer revolves around drinking so much, it's more of a s**t-shooting session between friends. I hang out in a chat room, but that too normally doesn't revolve around addiction, it's s**t-shooting. I post here occasionally, and a few times a year I check in at my old outpatient program walk-in group just to say hi and kinda re-ground myself.

I don't want to ever forget where I came from, and I keep my toes in recovery world partly so I always have places to go and people to get help from if I need it in the future, but it did feel good ultimately to detox from meetings and feel like I got on with my life.
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Old 03-25-2017, 09:55 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Thank you for all of your responses.

I have been to meetings of all kinds. When I posted about meetings I meant any recovery meeting and I have done nearly every recovery meeting available except for Women for Sobriety and Refuge Recovery even though I know they are available in my town.

I have been to Smart online and in person, Lifering online, AA, OA, UA, SAA, DA, SLAA, FA, FAA, Greysheet, Alanon, ACOA, Yoga of 12 step recovery, a 12 step based Buddhist group and SLAA and Alanon weekend retreats.

I guess answering my own question I have heard recovery is supposed to be a bridge back to life. I noticed after a while hanging out on the bridge felt less like recovery and more like stalling but it was so interesting........

I will end this post by saying I am still so intrigued by the choices people take to take care of themselves and I am grateful for everyone who I have met on my self care journey.
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Old 03-25-2017, 01:42 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I've never found meetings to be especially helpful to me.... I find sharing to be awkward, I can never organize my thoughts right and just end feeling stupid and like I wished I hadn't opened my mouth. Maybe if people could share and then get some feedback from others.... but just saying something and then that's it always felt kind of useless to me, like nothing gets resolved so what's the point? But I respect everyone's journey, to each their own.
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Old 03-25-2017, 03:35 PM   #12 (permalink)
 

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The word recovery has so many varied meanings. It is frequently debated what "real recovery" is.

I much prefer your term "self care journey". Ending my addiction to alcohol (and benzos) was just one leg of my journey, but it was the first and essential one. Without it, all subsequent attempts at change are null. I do not overlap or intersect it with anything else on my journey. It stands alone. Even if I become stuck and don't deal well with things in life (which happens cuz life), it won't affect my decision to never drink again, because my nondrinking status doesn't depend on those factors. This way, I have a chance of continued growth, if that's something I choose. If not, that's ok too..still won't be killing myself with alcohol.

I'm not a recovery meeting person. Not even a little bit. If I had to go to them in order to stay quit, I'd be drunk in no time.
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Old 03-26-2017, 11:11 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Right, I think it's hard to really grow when we're stuck in the revolving door of sobriety support group meetings. That's what I found anyways. One thing I increasingly noticed was, the people who park themselves in forever meetings, of any flavor, are often a bit "off" - stuck, perhaps, behaving and reacting in unusual ways. Protective of keeping things exactly the same, because they rely on that sameness. There are plenty of exceptions, but it was a pattern I began to notice. I found it liberating to stop relying on that predictable routine of meetings, and when I occasionally go to one like my outpatient drop-in group, I find it's more meaningful for me.
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Old 03-26-2017, 06:14 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Im just starting AVRT. So far I like what I am reading in the book. I still go to SMART meetings. To me the Cognitive Behavior Therapy aspect of it fits so much more then addition. Learning how to analyze how I think and react to situations is very engaging and helpful to me. While I know SMART is an addiction "recovery" group, the CBT has soooo many more applications in life.
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Old 03-27-2017, 07:29 PM   #15 (permalink)
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recovered alcoholic opiate addict gambling addict porn addict over eater and inspite of a certain group I have a higher standard of living
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Old 05-29-2017, 09:29 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I've never found meetings to be especially helpful to me.... I find sharing to be awkward, I can never organize my thoughts right and just end feeling stupid and like I wished I hadn't opened my mouth. Maybe if people could share and then get some feedback from others.... but just saying something and then that's it always felt kind of useless to me, like nothing gets resolved so what's the point? But I respect everyone's journey, to each their own.
When I first joined AA, the chair of discussion groups used to give a little feed back to each speaker. Perhaps a word of appreciation or encouragement. It seemed a nice thing to do and it felt like someone had actually been listening to what was said.

Then they put me in the chair, and I found another benefit was I had to listen intently to try and come up with some kind of constructive comment after each share. I am sure I said many daft things, as I did not know much at the time, but it all seemed to work ok. There was a lot of love and understanding in the group.

I miss that feature of the old meetings. I left town for a few years and came back to what you were talking about Zen. Like speaking into a vacuum. And if somoene said something really helpful and I mentioned the sharer by name, boy the dirty looks I got. I think that is why in recent years I have come to prefer litterature study groups where we seem to be able to share experience and knowledge much more freely.
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Old 05-30-2017, 01:27 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I did some out patient meetings for awhile that weren't 12 step based but a group of women sitting together with an addiction counselor where we would discuss a topic or issue and give each other feedback. I found that to be a lot more constructive. It didn't go around in a circle but was more popcorn style led by a qualified professional. It didn't make me stop drinking though..... even in those meetings with a counselor the message was never you can just quit. Take control back from your lower lizards brain's function of avoiding pain and seeking out pleasure with you higher cognitive human brain. Of course that would be too simple and stop the big business of the revolving door of the recovery movement.
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Old 05-31-2017, 10:56 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I too, don't attend meetings any more, and I'm now sober!

But for me, once I found a way to secure sobriety that worked for me, being sober is just my new norm, it's not about collecting tokens - it just is. I no longer drink ethanol, so it's no big deal, no need for clocking up sobriety time, I don't need a badge of honour.
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Old 05-31-2017, 11:08 AM   #19 (permalink)
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When I first joined AA, the chair of discussion groups used to give a little feed back to each speaker. Perhaps a word of appreciation or encouragement. It seemed a nice thing to do and it felt like someone had actually been listening to what was said.

Then they put me in the chair, and I found another benefit was I had to listen intently to try and come up with some kind of constructive comment after each share. I am sure I said many daft things, as I did not know much at the time, but it all seemed to work ok. There was a lot of love and understanding in the group.

I miss that feature of the old meetings. I left town for a few years and came back to what you were talking about Zen. Like speaking into a vacuum. And if somoene said something really helpful and I mentioned the sharer by name, boy the dirty looks I got. I think that is why in recent years I have come to prefer litterature study groups where we seem to be able to share experience and knowledge much more freely.
Mike, the more I think about my meeting experiences and our recent discussions, plus your above post - I think the meetings have changed format and perhaps, are not as beneficial. I've said recently to both you and Lady Blue, had I experienced what you both did in meetings, then I may have benefited.

I resently read an article by a psychologist who specialised in alcoholism, written in 1963. His opinion was that the, then, current meetings had altered format and were more dogmatic, he referred to the original meetings, which he said involved back and forth discussions, much as you wrote above. Maybe some grass roots thinking could help some folks more?

Edited to add: Mike, have you heard about the "Back to Basics" AA meetings and if so, do they involve more interaction?
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Old 05-31-2017, 06:03 PM   #20 (permalink)
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This forum is A Secular Approach To 12 Step Programs. Some topics just don't fit in either Secular Forum. The Alcoholism Forum is a general forum for all topics. This forum is for positive posts about secular 12 step recovery or discussions on how to make that work using a secular approach.
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