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Need help please? AA versus Rational Recovery - your experiences?



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Need help please? AA versus Rational Recovery - your experiences?

Old 01-09-2012, 02:43 PM
  # 41 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by freethinking View Post
I think AA is for more "outward" looking people and the other programs I mentioned are more for people who do better when they turn inward to solve their problems. However obviously there is a little bit of inward and outward in all of it, but I'm just generalizing to keep it simple.
I think you have of a point there, in my case you do. This is possibly why the 4th Step, the examination of resentment, fear, harms done others, and sexual conduct is so key to the AA Program of Recovery. The step that attracts much of the criticism against AA that I've read, and the step that clearly refutes any suggestion the AA "disease" model is one that offers alcoholics (as described by the book Alcoholic Anonymous) an excuse for their drinking and behavior.

It's an inward look. What's discovered, at least in my case, is too much of a look outward for - inner peace and direction.

Lastly the Steps are the path one takes to establish concious contact with a power greater than the alcoholic - one that resides deep down within.

I suppose this is for alcoholics of my type who lack the power to use rationale when confronting my "beast". I mean can use it, but the "beast" usually wins because I am weak - lack power.

The Steps awaken a power greater than me, far beyond "super ego", "ego" and "id" as they fall victim to what is really wrong with me as well.

As an alcoholic of the big book variety, my physical reaction to alcohol, my mental obsession with the relief alcohol provides were used to soothe an aching soul, a sick spirit, and a life that was driven by selfishness, self-centerdness, delusion, fear, and self-pity.

The Steps put me in concious contact with another set of motivations and ideals. Something beyond my own mind that resides deep down within.

All I can say, it works for me. The Steps got me here and the Steps keep me here. That power does all the rest. I've become more inner directed since I've been practicing the AA program of action.

If there be a God, I love the way this God stacks the deck in the favor of those afflicted with a dependency on alcohol in one form or another. Paths to recover that come in a variety of flavors - not unlike the alcohol we consumed.
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Old 01-09-2012, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by TheJungianThing View Post

I suppose this is for alcoholics of my type who lack the power to use rationale when confronting my "beast". I mean can use it, but the "beast" usually wins because I am weak - lack power.
I lack that rationale too, I don't know what alcoholic or addict that doesn't. But it was only when I turned to Rational Recovery and SMART Recovery and learned some very specific tools to existentialize that part of me which conflicted with the real me in terms of not wanting to drink, was I able to very simple handle any addictive thoughts. This was after 17 years in and out of AA, many sponsors and a very sincere desire to quit drinking for good like all the people in AA that I admired.

It's just funny how we all operate differently, isn't it? How you describe the steps helping you to come closer to God and to be free, is more or less how I reached the same place but by letting go of the notion that any set of steps, commandments, meetings, texts would do anything for me. In my head, I was set free and became closer to God by being set free of the idea that the steps or meetings or any of it would get me closer to my "peace" and understanding I did not need to rely on anything to stop me from self-destructing but myself. We really are all built differently. Thank God there is more than one way out there to approach this.
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Old 01-09-2012, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by keithj View Post

How much more of a bottom does somebody need? They are a walking example of the their own powerlessness over booze, and they walk into an AA meeting looking for an answer. They don't need more bottom; they need more solution. Somebody to sit down with them and look at their experience in the context of the BB, and show them the directions for how to recover.

just read this...wow, well said!
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Old 01-09-2012, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Peta View Post

The reason I started with this thread was because after 14 months in AA (and yes my number of meetings had dwindled) I began to doubt whether i was a REAL alcoholic because my drinking hadnt been THAT bad compared with most other people in the rooms. I understand that it was classic textbook relapse stuff. For the last three months i've been drinking on and off.

And yeah I feel like crap. Sick, sad, deflated.

But see in the last two months I HAVE been going to meetings again, talking to my sponsor even doing some step work and its just like I get 4 days sober or a week sober or 2 days sober and then RR would call it my AV kicks off and EVEN though I've accepted I'm powerless have asked God for help I give IN to my AV.

In the last 24 hours i've been talking to other women in the fellowship. Some who never picked up again after their first meeting OTHERS who like me have gone in and out of the rooms but have now managed to keep a good amount of sober time up. When I ask them HOW DO YOU stop that obsession when it kicks in there is really no answer. Keep going to meetings, keep praying to God, Wait for the miracle to happen.

So in the last 24 hours i've also been on here and on the RR recovery site. I've ordered the book Rational Recovery: The New Cure for Substance Addiction" by Jack Trimpey AND done the crash course on the website.

What I do relate to with this whole Beast concept is that is exactly what it has felt like for me. I can go to a meeting, speak to anotehr alcoholic, pray to God to relieve me of my alcoholism (all the things that are meant to give me a daily reprieve) and once i've got that Beasty going i try and fight him and usually give into him.

When I look back to the 18 months of sobriety I had outside of AA when there were times where the 'idea' to drink cropped up I did kind of visualise myself being separate from the 'idea' and then it passed which is exactly what Trimpey says people who just stop drinking end up doing and successfully become non drinkers.

I dont know - I dont have all the answers... but I'm searching and I dont ever want to drink again

Thanks everyone
Hi. Thank you for sharing your experience. I am only 64 days sober and have been going to AA, although not as often as some... I go anywhere from 0 to 4 times a week depending on my schedule... usually about 2 times a week, and the 0-week is because I was out of town for 10 days. I do not have all the answers, but here is what I can tell you from my personal experience:

- I tried stopping several times on my own and could not for more than 17 days. When I say "on my own," I mean I was in counseling and came to SR, and those things were helpful but it was only with the support of other alcoholics in real live AA meetings that I have made it this far.

- The above could have been that I was just not ready to quit and/or not ready or willing to do anything and everything I could to quit. I believe a person has to be ready or no program will work for them. At a certain point drinking wasn't fun for me because I had accepted I had a drinking problem, and then when I "accepted" I was an alcoholic, everything hit home and I realized I had to be really serious about tacking this issue.

- That being said, I can relate to your feelings of thinking I don't belong in AA because my bottom isn't as low as some others. Or I think I'm addressing my problems and working on myself, so I can go back to drinking without it being a problem anymore. I know that is my alcoholic brain thinking and right now I handle it by not drinking "NO MATTER WHAT." And by reminding myself that just the thought of wanting to drink "normally" and kind of planning my recovery by when it is "okay" to go back to drinking means I have a problem!

- I often wonder if AA is some kind of cult that is brainwashing me but I keep up with it anyway because so far its benefits have greatly outweighed any negatives. I think the people are amazing and they give me hope and encouragement and support and understanding. They restore my faith in the human race and in myself.

- Partly because of not wanting to be brainwashed/not wanting to "have to live like this forever" or not wanting to admit that I have to, I have not gotten a sponsor or started the steps. But I have realized that, as brainwashy as it may sound, the promises, which I want so badly to come true for me, are tied to the step-work, and that I only get into something what I get out of it. So I am going to do this starting this week!!! Do you actually work the steps daily or do you just go to meetings? It seems to me (as a newcomer, anyway) that there is a difference. People who seem to have a lot of sobriety and have the most enthusiasm and hope seem to really live the program. Perhaps that is because they are the most brainwashed, ha ha, and I'm not saying it's the only way to have consistent recovery, but, it's something I've noticed and so I wanted to ask about the particulars in your involvement with AA.

- AA is not the only thing I'm trying and I am open to anything and everything. But it has seemed to work for me with the most consistency (in combination with SR, journaling, talking to people who support me in my sobriety goals which mainly consists of AA members but some others, and my counselor, although actually my counselor is the least helpful in sobriety... she mainly helps me with more practical issues like my career and relationship, and sometimes seems completely useless, ha ha.)

I hope I've helped some. These are just my experiences so far. Stay strong and sober!! Best wishes.
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Old 01-09-2012, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by freethinking View Post
I lack that rationale too, I don't know what alcoholic or addict that doesn't. But it was only when I turned to Rational Recovery and SMART Recovery and learned some very specific tools to existentialize that part of me which conflicted with the real me in terms of not wanting to drink, was I able to very simple handle any addictive thoughts. This was after 17 years in and out of AA, many sponsors and a very sincere desire to quit drinking for good like all the people in AA that I admired.
I really think this is the key. No matter what program one uses. Something different, or a combination of everything, will work for everyone, but the common ingredient of true success is a sincere desire to be successful.
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Old 01-10-2012, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Pigtails View Post
The common ingredient of true success is a sincere desire to be successful.
Absolutely right!!!!
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Old 01-10-2012, 05:15 PM
  # 47 (permalink)  
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FYI, Jack Trimpey is live on an Internet radio show right now. If you want to work on your own addiction, you can call in and ask him questions. PM me if you need the link or number.
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Old 01-10-2012, 06:39 PM
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AA in my experience was not the answer. Sure I met many wonderful men and woman in those meeting that claim AA saved their lives, and thats great, but it does not work for everyone. Actually my 1st and 2nd day in AA I was told "dont drink!" Well day 3 I landed myself in the ER with the DT's due to alcohol withdrawal. My doctor actually told me I could have died from seizures by quitting cold turkey, so I think AA needs to educate the newcomer about the possibility of DT's by quitting cold turkey. I'm on medications and they work. Several healthcare officials claimed I would have been better off slowing down or tapering rather than cold.turkey, its dangerous! But in my case Meds r all that work. No book, no meetings. Though I do respect A A they need to be more cautious of the "dont drink!" On the newcomer.
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Old 01-10-2012, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by jc76 View Post
Actually my 1st and 2nd day in AA I was told "dont drink!" Well day 3 I landed myself in the ER with the DT's due to alcohol withdrawal.
I don't believe you can blame your own lack of planning regarding detox on AA.
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