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Group support or solo?

Old 01-02-2020, 03:25 AM
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Group support or solo?

I'm curious as in how many of us go to support groups (AA, Lifering, SMART, etc) or simply use SR or techniques like RR to stay sober?

I go to AA (If even I have gripes about parts of it) As I did Rehab last year I'm in an once a week aftercare group where we meet and discuss how our week has been for us and I go to a group in the Rehab every Wednesday afternoon too specially for Men. There's a women's group running at the same time. So it's about 4-5 groups I attend every week.


Isolation was a huge thing for me and my addiction so I think it's critical for me to get out and meet other sober people. What about everyone else here?
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Old 01-02-2020, 04:38 AM
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I don't go to meetings. I don't like the way AA operates. The higher power concept seems like giving up on myself and pretending some unknown entity is taking control of my life. I'm in charge. I'm the one who falls off the bus when I decide to take a drink. I'm the one who get to wake up sober when I'm successful. AA seems to work for a lot of people. I'm not one of them.
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Old 01-02-2020, 05:50 AM
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I've tried every which way and ultimately decided that the best thing for me is to synthesize a program that works for me. This includes posting and reading here, seeing a therapist, reading elsewhere, reminding myself of the concepts of Rational Recovery (AVRT), staying in touch with people who love me, and (gasp!) going to AA. This last was also most definitely "not for me." I found that the program was simply "too religious," "too intolerant," and "too rote" for me. But then a friend here gently suggested that I consider that I might be exercising contempt prior to investigation. And you know, she was right. Going to meetings doesn't qualify as investigation.

The first 164 pages of the Alcoholics Anonymous book is the program of AA and I found upon careful reading that it's a sound program. I attend meetings because I find great comfort in the presence of other drunks. I'm learning to filter out the "embellishments" that many of those humans pile on top of the simple program. It's good for me to practice tolerating that humanity and advocating for my own truth. To take a phrase out of context, "this is the proper use of will."

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Old 01-02-2020, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by ABCCuddly View Post
I don't go to meetings. I don't like the way AA operates. The higher power concept seems like giving up on myself and pretending some unknown entity is taking control of my life. I'm in charge. I'm the one who falls off the bus when I decide to take a drink. I'm the one who get to wake up sober when I'm successful. AA seems to work for a lot of people. I'm not one of them.

Yes, that's been a major stumbling block with AA for a long time too. I tend not to put too much focus on that now and try to focus on the positives it can bring to me instead.
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Old 01-02-2020, 07:42 AM
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Focusing on the positives is a good idea Reid82. I have participated in AA meetings and also LifeRing for a short period of time. I read a lot about AVRT and also spend a lot of time here on SR too, still do on a daily basis even after 7 years sober.

I find tremendous comfort and support in the recovery community in general - and I really don't care what school of thought one subscribes to or which plan they follow. If I meet someone and they mention sobriety or recovery I instantly know that we share a common goal. I don't outwardly advertise my sobriety, but if someone brings it up in passing I don't hesitate to talk about it.

Certainly we meet people that try to "push" ideas on us - but that is not just a function of a particular recovery method - it's a human condition. And even though annoying, you can sometimes learn from even the pushy types.
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Old 01-02-2020, 02:12 PM
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Not a 12-stepper, but if it works for you, go for it. Just not my thing. I do believe in a higher power, I simply don't need a "program" to make sobriety work.

YMMV.
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Old 01-02-2020, 02:34 PM
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I need exposure to other people in recovery because left to own devices, I became an alcoholic, so what the hell can I learn from myself anyway?

I am not my best teacher. I learned how to put the bottle down from other people. I am still learning and growing from listening to other people in recovery.

I have already heard all I have to say, so no late breaking news to be discovered by listening to myself. :~)
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Old 01-02-2020, 04:54 PM
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I tried solo for years and was unsuccessful in staying sober.

When I finally gave up and tried group support, I was able to get, and stay sober.

I used two groups for support. This website and AA.

I haven't gone to an AA meeting in over a year, but I'm coming up on 10 years sober, so that's no longer a key ingredient in my sobriety. I'm able to go solo now because I've developed a solid foundation of behavioral and attitudinal changes in my life.
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Old 01-02-2020, 06:06 PM
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AA for over 12 yrs - but I wouldn't call it a "support group." I suppose it could look like it is but in recovery I have NOTfound (and even the AA program / book agrees) that my my sobriety and my recovery is in any way, shape or form dependent or contingent upon the actions of others - whether they're supportive or destructive - it's irrelevant.

In AA the individual is responsible for their recovery - period. And yeah, i know that's not the message that a lot of ppl hear at a meeting - but one has to remember - anyone can attend AA and you can say just about anything you want. Unfortunately, even today (depending upon the meeting I go to) most of what I hear is the complete opposite of the actual AA message.
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Old 01-04-2020, 03:22 PM
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I couldn't have stopped drinking on my own -- hey, my best thinking got me drunk. I needed the support of other alcoholics to get me through the difficult first six months and now I go for the steps and to help other alcoholics.
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Old 01-04-2020, 09:02 PM
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If I could have quit on my own, I would have done it a long time ago. Some folks are able to happily stay sober with SR alone, others require or are more comfortable with face to face support. Regardless how you do it, it has to be sustainable - which is why I added "happily" to sober. I'm sure many of us have crossed paths with folks who may not be drinking but are anything but happy.

Sobriety should be treasured, not endured.
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Old 01-05-2020, 04:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Notch8 View Post
Not a 12-stepper, but if it works for you, go for it. Just not my thing. I do believe in a higher power, I simply don't need a "program" to make sobriety work.

YMMV.
This is me, as well. I knew several people who had achieved lifetime sobriety on their own, I wanted what they had and modelled my sobriety plan after theirs.
I went to a couple meetings, wasn't for me. I also was previously married to an alcoholic who took a few stabs at sobriety through AA. I was acquainted with the program and the steps and promises. I read the big book, couple times, once while he read it and again on my own, when I quit.
I do think group support is helpful, I cherish places I volunteer with, my yoga class opened me up to a women's book club, (I love it, good speakers, no commercially popular writers), we regularly attend church, it is important to have support. It just depends on what that looks like to you.
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Old 01-05-2020, 05:33 AM
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How's it going Reid? What's been your support since the OP?
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Old 01-05-2020, 06:32 AM
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Originally Posted by August252015 View Post
How's it going Reid? What's been your support since the OP?

Hi August, I still go to between 4-5 different face to face groups a week (apart from the time I was sick the last week), AA and the two rehab groups usually. As I did a lot of drinking alone in the finish up, I need some face to face contact currently. I'm finding SR really beneficial too.
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Old 01-05-2020, 07:04 AM
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Iím one of the solo ones. That being said, I am acquainted with AA through friends and family, and I think it is a great program.

My thing is that I have bunches of social anxiety. I have to overcome it for work purposes, and Iíve done that by cultivating the social persona required. But itís kind of exhausting, and the same would be required for any type of group support, AA included. It would be a real challenge for an introvert like myself.

I fully agree with all that outside input and learning new things about addiction and recovery is essential. For me, thatís a digital, quiet, daily endeavor.

Whatever works!
-bora
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Old 01-11-2020, 09:54 PM
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I tried for many years to do this gig solo- and always failed. I NEED group support- SR, meetings.....
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Old 01-12-2020, 01:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Notch8 View Post
Not a 12-stepper, but if it works for you, go for it. Just not my thing. I do believe in a higher power, I simply don't need a "program" to make sobriety work.

YMMV.
Exactly the way I feel. My addiction is my problem, and I have a better chance of beating it with the help of my "Higher Power" - not other addicts. Added to that, SR is a great supplement; all of the "You're-not-alone-in-this" I need...
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Old 01-12-2020, 06:18 AM
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I quit with SR, I didn't go to AA meetings, but I read up on them here and bought the big book and living sober . Have to say I would credit SR, AA and a Higher Power with my recovery, all were instrumental in getting and staying sober.
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Old 01-13-2020, 08:38 AM
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I go to AA, but find the Big Book utterly useless and antiquated. And there are aspects I don't particularly love. That said, I've met some great people and find comfort in being around other alcoholics. It also puts a lot of things in perspective for me, as I hear faaaaar worse stories than what I went through. I had a pretty high "bottom" in comparison to most and it makes me more grateful.

I've done my own little version of the 12 steps to help improve my character and lessen the stress. I'm still unsure of a HP, so I also have a book of the 12 Steps, A Secular version. I use a variety of methods.

I also work from home, so AA meetings are a chance for me to get out of the house and socialize.
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Old 01-14-2020, 04:01 AM
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I had gone to different groups in the past (including AA), but currently I'm solo other than coming here to SR. Having said that, I've had a complete lifestyle change in the past few years that I attribute to maintaining my sobriety. I met and married my wife is wholly supportive of my recovery and has also cut alcohol from her life (she's not an addict). Our house is alcohol free and we tell visiting guests ahead of time. I've distanced myself from people in my life for whom alcohol was a daily activity, and who also enabled me in my drinking (including some family).

For me, old environments fed my old habits, and I had to just completely remove myself. If and when I re-enter those environments (i.e. visiting family), I have a support system there with me.
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