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Can they be sober without AA?

Old 02-24-2012, 12:59 PM
  # 41 (permalink)  
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I can only relate my ES&H. I went to AA for 5-1/2 months, TOTALLY disregarded everything my sponsor and other old-timers told me about NOT hooking up with a "regular" there. Essentially, I allowed myself not only to get 13th-stepped, but he's the one who introduced me to crack.

A few years later, after lurking on SR for a LONG time, I realized that not only was I an A, I had been a codie since birth and turned to substances to deal with it. Pretty sick.

I'll have 5 years in recovery in a couple of weeks. I've never stepped foot in an al-anon meeting, but I learn from those here who do. I've only gone to one meeting in 5 years, it was my old home group and I happened to be meeting up with one of the old-timer's as I'd hired him as my lawyer and I was in town.

I've learned a lot from people who go to 12-step meetings, those who don't, those who work other programs, etc.

When I finally decided I was done, I grabbed at everything I could that was helping..the majority from people here. Buddhism? Knew very little, but embrace it now from those who mention it here. HP? Mine is God, but I think everyone is entitled to their beliefs. Native American Spirituality? Never knew much about that, either, until a couple friends here enlightened me.

My recovery is mine, and it works for me. It never WOULD have, until I became willing to do whatever I needed to do.

Oh, and as far as happy? I have my bad days, but despite the hard times, I love my life and the awesome people who come into my life BECAUSE I became an A and a codie.

Hugs and prayers,

Amy
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:37 PM
  # 42 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Terminally Unique View Post
the myth that people who aren't working a good program are miserable, angry people
I believe this, as well, and I believe it's not a myth.
That said, I think part of this potential argument/discussion is more a misunderstanding of thoughts/vocabulary.

I am not going to put limits on anyone with regards to what "a good program" is for each individual, because everyone is different, and so everyone's needs are different.
In my mind, not working a good program means burying one's head in the sand and ignoring some of the core issues that led a person to their particularly destructive behavior.

I apply this same rule to me. If I don't keep working through the poor choices I make in life, figure out why I'm attracted to things I know aren't good for me or why I do things that I know will bite me later and won't serve a good purpose ever, then I'm doomed to be less than I can be if I do keep in touch with those things.
I told myself that I can make as many mistakes as I like, as long as I learn from them and they're at least a little different each time! Sometimes recovery can be measured in the improvement in the quality of mistakes. Mine aren't quite so big as those I've made in the past, so I'm doing something right.
I can use Al-Anon, therapy, self-help books, SR, friends, church groups, different methods of taking care of myself (exercise, massage, doctor's appointments, hobbies, rebuilding my self esteem), etc, etc, etc...

Recovery is a la carte. Al-Anon says "Take what you like and leave the rest," and I apply that to everything. If it's not helping me, I'm not going to do it anymore. If it's helping me a lot, I might even do extras. And if it used to help but doesn't anymore, I'm under no obligation to continue with something if I've outgrown it.

Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
Some people call it a "program", I like to call it living life.
This, exactly, is the sort of thing I mean. I use the term "program," I think, to differentiate between people actively striving to grow versus those who are merely drifting through life.

Therapy can be part of a program. AA/Al-Anon can be part of one's program. AVRT can be a part of a program. Going to a rehab or retreat is part of a program. Reading books on the subject and then applying them to one's life is part of a program. Doing healthy things for one's self - exercise, eating right, learning new things, doing new enjoying things - is a part of a program.

Basically, actively moving forward versus treading water or going backwards means a program to me. Taking advantage of some of the more formal ones can provide a jump start, if it's something that a person connects with, but in my mind, if it works for you, then it works!
And that's all that matters.
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:41 PM
  # 43 (permalink)  
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Every individual must do what works for him/her.

Having said that, there are a lot of people who swear by AA and yes, some of them do try to push it onto other people, but that's only because it has worked so well for them and they want to share it with others. It's the Bill W concept of staying sober by helping other drunks, I think.
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Old 02-24-2012, 02:57 PM
  # 44 (permalink)  
 
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I use the term "program," I think, to differentiate between people actively striving to grow versus those who are merely drifting through life.
I understand what you are saying. For me, "actively striving to grow" means living my life. They are one and the same. By definition a program is "a plan or system under which action may be taken toward a goal", so yes, anyone actively pursuing the goal of a rewarding life would technically be working a "program" no matter what they are doing....even if that involves a bit of purposeful drifting. In my experience, the commonly accepted definition of "program" in relation to addiction is use of one the models already mentioned in this thread.
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Old 02-24-2012, 03:22 PM
  # 45 (permalink)  
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i guess, it really depends on educating yourself, and really getting to know yourself...

i love growing, so for me, that is reading, blogging, prayer and medition....
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Old 02-24-2012, 03:29 PM
  # 46 (permalink)  
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It's very possible to stay sober without AA.
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Old 02-25-2012, 05:32 PM
  # 47 (permalink)  
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I have met some of the angriest and most miserable people in AA. I have met happy, fulfilled, well adjusted people who have never used AA

I have also met angry, miserable people who are not alcoholics.
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Old 02-25-2012, 06:52 PM
  # 48 (permalink)  
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I have met people who stay sober with and without AA, it all comes down to what suits you best.
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Old 02-26-2012, 08:31 PM
  # 49 (permalink)  
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They can stop drinking without AA, they can be sober without AA, but can they be the person we want in our lives without SOME kind of a program? I don't think so.
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Old 02-29-2012, 10:57 PM
  # 50 (permalink)  
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Look...the bottom line is there are many ways to stop drinking.

If the goal is RECOVERY...you need a program. VERY VERY VERY few can change their distorted thinking and change their LIFE without one.

It can be done....but even with AA (or another program) it is difficult.
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