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What to say to well meaning friends..

Old 11-12-2009, 09:47 AM
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What to say to well meaning friends..

Who INSIST you need to go to AA with them?

I have attended meetings before, with one friend in particular. She has been in the program for over 20 years..(started when she was 20!)..and it is a part of her permanent life. I know that it has kept her sober all these years, through many trials and difficulties in her life.

Thing is, she is pressuring me to work the steps with her, to get a sponsor and totally ensconce myself in it. As I said, I have attended before--and while I think it is a wonderful program, and won't even say I will NEVER decide to go, for right now I just don't feel it is something I want to commit to. I am of a belief that there is NO program that keeps you sober, you yourself make the choice, and then find the support that helps to keep you that way. I KNOW I need a support base...(this board is a GREAT start by the way)..but I just can't wrap my head around AA right now. Counseling, yes. Some sort of support group involving women and recovery, yes.
AA someday...perhaps. Just not right now.

Thing is, I think she feels insulted that I don't "get" it. Has anyone else handled something like this? I don't want to offend anyone or make it a delicate topic. I just want to find MY OWN method of recovery, not be told that the only way I will EVER stay sober is to attend AA.

You know?
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Old 11-12-2009, 10:12 AM
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I just want to find MY OWN method of recovery
gingerblue for most folks in AA, myself amoung them, the last thing I wanted to do was use AA to recover, I wanted to do it my way!

Have you tried any other programs?

There are folks that do find recovery kind of on thier own here, they do it using SR as thier support. I use SR as a supplement for my AA program.

After trying "My own methods of recovery" for many years which resulted in the last 5 years of my drinking not drawing a sober breath I was finally able to surrender to the fact that "My own methods of recovery" did not work. While in medical detox for my alcoholism I was desperate and hopeless for a long term solution to my alcoholism. Well in detox they told us that if we wanted a chance at long term sobriety to try going to at leastr 90 AA meetings in 90 days and get a sponsor.

It only took me 10 years of trying to recover using "My own methods of recovery" to figure out that if my way did not work perhaps I should try a program that did work for other alcoholics! I used the one thing that I for many years swore I would never do because I am different, I am strong, I have the brain and will power to over come my alcoholism! I mean after all every thing in my life for 50+ years I had accomplished that I had put my mind and my will power to!

Look forget AA, there are other programs out there that do work for other people, why not work them? I do not mean spend a few days trying them, REALLY WORK them, no program works for any alcoholic unless they work the program like other recovering alcoholics work them.

Try them all, AA will always be there if you decide to try it.

Perhaps you can find recovery with SR alone, but even then it will take you being willing to try things that others here have found that work for them.
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Old 11-12-2009, 10:18 AM
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I think Taz said it all ginger, I can't add much more.

All I will say is that I'm very passionate about AA, it saved my life and I continue to reap the rewards of recovery, I consider that a gift of AA and the 12 Steps. While I try not to ram the program down anyone's throat, I also don't hide the fact that I really believe in it, so I'm pretty vocal about it and encourage others to give it a try.
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Old 11-12-2009, 10:28 AM
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I know that AA has helped a lot of people, but I do not us AA for my own reasons. I have found other support that works for me.

Your friend is pressuring you about it and encouraging you to go because it has worked for her and probably want's the best for you. If she is a really good friend I would hope that you would be able to talk to her about the pressure she is putting on you.

Just my thoughts, but I do believe that we all make our own choices. That being said, I believe you can recover and stay sober without AA, but you do need to find what will work for you.
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Old 11-12-2009, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by gingerblue View Post

I don't want to offend anyone or make it a delicate topic. I just want to find MY OWN method of recovery, not be told that the only way I will EVER stay sober is to attend AA.
Don't worry about offending anyone, we've been down that road a time or two ...

Many people stay sober using methods other than AA. Plenty of them right here. Only thing I'd ask you.... is YOUR OWN method of recovery working for you?

Also, what Taz said.

Mark
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Old 11-12-2009, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by 4ever View Post
I know that AA has helped a lot of people, but I do not us AA for my own reasons. I have found other support that works for me.

Your friend is pressuring you about it and encouraging you to go because it has worked for her and probably want's the best for you. If she is a really good friend I would hope that you would be able to talk to her about the pressure she is putting on you.

Just my thoughts, but I do believe that we all make our own choices. That being said, I believe you can recover and stay sober without AA, but you do need to find what will work for you.
Care to share your experience with the original poster?
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Old 11-12-2009, 10:56 AM
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I have many friends and family that I can call night or day and I'm a believer in Rational Recovery. It's something that makes sense to me and works for me. I read constantly and have done an enormous amount of research on addiction. I'm far from an expert, but after years of trying and trying and not succeding I've found out what I knew all along....I made my own choices and I could either choose to continue doing what I was doing or I could stop my foolishness. Everyone has to find what works for them...thats all I was trying to say.
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Old 11-12-2009, 11:14 AM
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Hi gingerblue.

My opinion, and I believe it's consistent with AA tradition, is that AA is a take it or leave it program. To paraphrase Dr. Bob, If you are really ready to stop drinking for good and all, and know you must have help, AA has a solution for you that works every time. If you think you have some other way that will work, I encourage you to pursue it with everything you've got. Others here can give you some information about other programs.

My experience is that after trying to get sober for years by my own willpower, doctors, drugs, counselors, outpatient and inpatient treatment, I was finally able to accept AA's program. I was willing to try it because I was hopeless. I took the steps to the best of my ability at the time, and I recovered. I haven't been bothered by the drink problem since that time.

My observation is that those who take the 12 steps recover just like I did. By contrast, I see the vast majority of people coming out of a 2 year long drug court treatment (mix of MRT and CBT/DBT) program relapse within a few months. That's an intense program, far more involved than any IOP or inpatient rehab I'm aware of. I make a habit of offering AA's program to those that are willing. Those that take the 12 steps recover. I can't say what happens to the rest, but enough of them pop back up a few years later to give me a pretty good idea that life has not been too kind to them out there.

So the bottom line is do what you want. If you can't stay sober doing what you think you need, you may want to try doing what has worked for others.
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Old 11-12-2009, 11:49 AM
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GingerBlue - I like you wanted to own my own recovery ... I wanted to control it. Like others have said, when I finally wasn't able to do that, I had to look elsewhere.

What I found was that my problem was that I wanted to control so many things in my life that were out of my control. Because of this, I created stress and anxiety for myself that wasn't helpful or necessary.

My problem was "needing to control" and my solution was alcohol.

So, I decided to let go of the control of my recovery to my higher power as a first step in working on my control problem.

So, nothing wrong with self-will and wanting to own your recovery, as long as you are honest with yourself about how successful your recovery is.

For me, I had to surrender and this led me to be quite happy in AA.

Just work hard on your recovery, whatever method you use.
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Old 11-12-2009, 12:47 PM
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Ginger, everyone has given good knowledge of the AA experience, so I am going to answer your question, "What do you say to someone who insists you go to AA?"

I would simply say that the first thing I learned when I quit drinking was that is okay to say no. I appreciate your input and if I ever do decide I want to attend AA, you will be the first person I call. I know you have only the best intentions, but when you don't accept my answer of "no" or "not at this time" it kinda puts me off the program completely, I don't ever want to feel bullied, or forced to a meeting, and if everyone is like that(trust me, they are not like that), I will never want to go........then give her a hug, and tell her you do appreciate her concern, and that if you do decide to go, you really will call her first. Tell her you would like to be able to call and talk or get support as a friend in the mean time.

Keep in mind, I am sure that your friend is so excited about recovery and AA that she just wants the best for you. In the future, you may find that AA really is for you, until you are ready to make that decision for yourself, don't let anyone tell you that you are wrong about recovery, if you are not drinking and are happy, you must be doing something right. Keep in mind, I don't know anyone who has gotten and stayed sober alone....but there many different routes to sobriety. Remember, you have the right to say no...

Good Luck......Cathy
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Old 11-12-2009, 01:08 PM
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As Surly says above, let your friend know in a nice, calm (but firm) way that you don't feel that aa is for you at the moment, if you can explain to her as well as you did here that it isn't a rejection of either her or her methods but that it just isn't what you want then hopefully it won't impact upon your friendship.
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