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Recovery for multiple addictions??

Old 04-04-2010, 05:41 AM
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Question Recovery for multiple addictions??

So, I'm going through my Step 1 for AA and I realise that its very difficult to focus only on alcohol as being out of control.

I suffer from anorexia/bulimia and in the past have had huge problems with various other drugs (meth/coke etc).

I have tried OA for my eating disorder but did not find it helpful and I never attended NA for drugs.

My current problems are primarily alcohol and food (one seems to replace the other and vice versa) so I wondered if my step 1 should include all three?

This would make sense to me, just wondering what you think?
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Old 04-04-2010, 09:29 AM
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Hey Mimi,

Do you have a sponsor taking you through the steps? I'm not a staunch AA person, but do know that a good sponsor is critical to success in taking the steps.

You might also try looking around/posting on the Alcoholism/12-Step Support forum here on SR.

Take care.
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Old 04-04-2010, 10:03 AM
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Hi Mimi


Every morning when I wake I say to God - I am powerless over alcohol and food when I take my Step 1.

I am a recovered alcoholic and compulsive overeater and I am equally as powerless over both - because food always leads me to pick up alcohol and vice versa.

While it is not necessary that you go to OA to recover from your food addiction - you can work the steps in AA, just adding food into the first part of step 1 but it is a good idea to work with a sponsor who understands food addictions and eating disorders. With alcohol, abstinence is not drinking. With food it is far more individual to the addict.

Also as you work through the steps, to maintain your recovery from your food problems as well as alcohol, it would be a good idea to work with others who have the same problem.

All the addict is doing with multi addictions is using substances to fill a void within them and try to make themselves feel better. Whatever your addiction though, the cause is the same spiritual malady which needs the same spiritual solution.
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Old 04-04-2010, 12:24 PM
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Thanks guys. I do have a sponsor and I'm meeting her this week to talk more about step 1, although she doesn't have experience of the food issues, only alcohol.

Is that ok do you think?
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Old 04-04-2010, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by mimi54321 View Post
Thanks guys. I do have a sponsor and I'm meeting her this week to talk more about step 1, although she doesn't have experience of the food issues, only alcohol.

Is that ok do you think?
Hi Mimi,

My experience is that I need a food plan (some call it a plan of eating). My experience also is that people in active food addcition are not very good at devising their own food plan.

That doesn't mean that this sponsor can't help you because a lot of alcoholics can understand other addictions even if they have not used that particular substance. Perhaps a good starting point would be to write your food plan as to what you will call abstinance for you and commit it to her in writing.

Did you learn how to do a food plan in OA?
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Old 04-04-2010, 07:43 PM
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Not in OA but I am in group therapy separately for my ED where we have done a food plan. I'd feel really uncomfortable handing my food plan over to my sponsor but I understand why you suggested I do.

Thanks for your posts, I'll have a chat with her about it.
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Old 04-05-2010, 07:31 AM
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obviously NA is about drug addiction, but step 1 states that we're powerless over our addiction, not a particular substance That was helpful to me, the focus on the disease not the substance, and the fact that my disease manifests in other ways beyond alcohol or my drug of choice.

There's also the option of substituting or adding whatever words/concepts work for you in AA when the term alcohol isn't broad enough. Whatever the 12 step program you're working, it's the disease of addiction that we suffer from and the spiritul solution works no matter what name you attach to it. Good luck!
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Old 04-05-2010, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by augustwest View Post
obviously NA is about drug addiction, but step 1 states that we're powerless over our addiction, not a particular substance That was helpful to me, the focus on the disease not the substance, and the fact that my disease manifests in other ways beyond alcohol or my drug of choice.

There's also the option of substituting or adding whatever words/concepts work for you in AA when the term alcohol isn't broad enough. Whatever the 12 step program you're working, it's the disease of addiction that we suffer from and the spiritul solution works no matter what name you attach to it. Good luck!
Yep thats it...i am alchie and gambler, i worked AA steps and it covers both for me and any other potential addiciton too...

As my sponsor says you can go to meetings for anything but there is only one set of steps to be worked:-)
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Old 04-05-2010, 08:40 AM
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Hi mimi, welcome to SR, I would suggest listening to intention, she gives some good solid advice based upon my own experience, I have never had an eating disorder, one of my daughters is a recovering anorexic and our programs run along the same lines, we speak about powerlessness, she always points out to me that my alcoholism is easier to deal with because it is total abstinance where as her anorexia is the opposite. I have to agree with her, but the solution is still found in the steps.

Be open & honest with your presenet sponsor, she may be able to help with the eating disorder, she may suggest you work with an OA sponsor for the eating issue. If you are honest with her I am sure she will be honest with you.

You would not be the first person to have more then one sponsor, I know one guy who has an OA sponsor & an AA sponsor & he has had both problems under control for years.

I personally have used the steps not only for quitting drinking, but smoking as well, one of my sponsees is an alcoholic/addict and only uses AA for his recovery.

Keep in mind none of us are alone, even though we are all different we have found a common solution.
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Old 04-05-2010, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by mimi54321 View Post
Not in OA but I am in group therapy separately for my ED where we have done a food plan. I'd feel really uncomfortable handing my food plan over to my sponsor but I understand why you suggested I do.

Thanks for your posts, I'll have a chat with her about it.
Hi Mimi,

The fact that you feel uncomfortable could suggest that you (your addiction) is trying to leave a door open somewhere for you to binge and purge. If this woman is going to be your AA sponsor then you should be able to get to the point where you can talk to her about anything. Step 1 really is about the willingness to go to any lengths to recover.

I am glad you are having a chat with her about it. The specifics about what are on your plan are not really relevant but committing to it as your "abstinance" is very relevant. Food plans very often have to be revised as you learn more about your addiction and recovery - and this is another good reason to have someone to talk it through with so you are making sane choices, rather than insane, addiction fuelled decisions.

One of the lines my head used to tell me was that I overeaten a bit today but I didn't binge, so that was ok. Without any definition of "overeating" or "bingeing", how did anyone know what that meant? How did I know what that meant? I used to blur the lines all the time.

It's a bit like an alcoholic saying saying they stayed sober that day, but they had a couple of drinks - they just didn't get drunk.
Good luck.
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Old 04-05-2010, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by intention View Post
Hi Mimi,

The fact that you feel uncomfortable could suggest that you (your addiction) is trying to leave a door open somewhere for you to binge and purge.
Yes you're right I guess, I feel differently about my ED than I do about my alcoholism, its noone else's business and its a coping mechanism that kicks in when I have the urge to drink. I see bingeing/purging as the lesser of those two evils and its so hard to stop both simultaneously.

Don't get me wrong, my ED has improved no end over the last 6 months but its still there and I can still restrict and justify that its ok as long as I don't drink.

I'm scared that throwing myself completely into ED recovery will send me straight to the off licence. Gah, its like walking along a tight rope!
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