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Vigo 12-10-2011 01:12 PM

Going to NA, but not interested in working the Steps
I'm going to go to an NA meeting tonight, but I am not interested in working the Steps (not right now, at least). I know the only *rule* of NA is a desire to not use. Is it OK to not have desire to work the Steps? I really just want to go tonight to see what it's all about.

bobbycola 12-10-2011 01:22 PM

Vigo Congrats on going to NA. The desire not to use opens up possibilities. I know I had 8 years and another year of abstinence and relapsed, returning again 7 days ago. I never worked any steps. And I'm learning that I had no defense against picking up. I can only white knuckle it so long before i lose my grip. So I am doing my 4th and scheduled my 5th step next saturday. I cannot condemn something I haven't tried, and to date nothing else has worked.

Lastly the 12 steps are not the only way people recover, as you'll find out there are many ways posted on SR. Best of luck.

miamifella 12-10-2011 01:26 PM

If you have never been to a meeting then it is hard to know what you want from NA and whether you want to do the steps or not. So just relax about it.

I am no longer in NA, but in NA and AA they always said the only step you absolutely-must-no-question-about-it do is the first one--admitting that you have a problem you cannot control. And if you are checking out NA, I suspect you have already done that one.

But they are steps---meaning you don't just sit and do them all. Everything is one-at-a-time. One day at a time. Focus on where you are right now and what you need to do right now. Going to a meeting sounds like what you need to do. You may or may not do the steps in the future--but you are not in the future yet, so why worry about that?

Just do what you are doing today, which is going to that one meeting tonight.

langkah 12-10-2011 02:15 PM

Some say there are steps to be taken that make the individual ready to take the 12steps. And as of today you're not close to that early point of readiness.

No worries, things change.

Vigo 12-10-2011 03:35 PM

Thanks, this info is excellent.

Threshold 12-11-2011 06:19 AM

When I got into recovery I realized I had to figure out what I wanted. For awhile, what I wanted was to not use. Over time that has grown, new things have popped up, other things have fallen away.

I never was much of a five year plan sort of person. I went to my first meeting pretty much in the same frame of mind as you. What I wanted was to not use. That's a great place to start.

It even took me awhile to get there. I danced around the idea of recovery for a long time before I decided it seemed like a better option than using. I did a lot of "research" first. Then I got to the "I'll try this" stage. Hanging here has helped a lot, I find lots of ideas of things to try to see if they work in my recovery.

lostbutterfly 12-11-2011 06:28 AM

One of the members of my AA group didn't do any step work and has twenty years sobriety. So I wouldn't worry. The biggest step is the one you make to enter that room for the first time.

keithj 12-11-2011 06:55 AM

Originally Posted by lostbutterfly (Post 3201939)
One of the members of my AA group didn't do any step work and has twenty years sobriety.

In my experience, those people are the exception and not the rule. The 'rule' that I see, over and over and many thousands of examples, is those who work the Steps do not relapse, and those who don't are continually relapsing.

The Steps are the program. They are how we recovered.

RobbyRobot 12-11-2011 07:47 AM

Originally Posted by Vigo (Post 3201263)
I'm going to go to an NA meeting tonight, but I am not interested in working the Steps (not right now, at least). I know the only *rule* of NA is a desire to not use. Is it OK to not have desire to work the Steps? I really just want to go tonight to see what it's all about.

Desires for recovery, desires for stopping drug abuse does not equate with living a recovered life. Having said that though, yeah, simply having desire is enough to qualify attending the meeting.

We work the steps to begin actual recovery, maintain recovery, live a recovered life. Attending meetings and working the steps are different actions of responsibility in living a recovered life. Having a desire to be clean is the starting awareness of the journey, and its enough to have a seat and participate in the NA (same for AA) meeting to see what its all about and how you connect with that experience.

Anna 12-11-2011 08:14 AM

I hope you find something that works for you. :)

ClimbingBack 12-13-2011 05:16 AM

Hey sorry for jumping in here a little late, but just wanted to throw my thought in.

I have some hangups with AA/NA, but the one thing I do like is the step work. I was pretty shocked to realize that after 6 months of being clean, my life hadn't improved significantly...or much at all for that matter. I'm still a cynical, impatient *******. Although I'm only 'on step 2', I'm looking forward to some of the action based steps such as writing out the character defects and working on improving them, as well as making amends.

That being said, I know plenty of people who go to AA/NA strictly for the therapeutic benefit of talking to and being with a group of people who all share the same affliction. Two weeks ago I was at the hospital with a 102 degree fever when they gave me a shot of Demerol. I hadn't IVed opiates in over 3.5 years, but within minutes I was scheming for another shot. I didn't go out and use after this incident, but it was festering in my head for a few days. I shared this at a meeting, and it was as if that obsessive thought process in my head was lifted. I haven't thought about the incident since.

I'm not qualified to give advice, but I think it's important to find what works best, try numerous programs/approaches, and take a little from each. Don't feel pressured into just doing 'one thing'. I personally don't thing there is a one-size-fits all approach to addiction.

Good luck!

onlythetruth 12-13-2011 05:22 AM

Originally Posted by keithj (Post 3201955)
The 'rule' that I see, over and over and many thousands of examples, is those who work the Steps do not relapse, and those who don't are continually relapsing.

Keep in mind, though, that when all you experience is what you run across in AA, you're missing the bigger picture.

And come to think of it, what about what you're seeing right here, on SR--whole bunches of folks who've never been to an AA meeting and never worked a step, yet are enjoying a contented recovery.

lostbutterfly 12-13-2011 10:12 AM

How did you find your first meeting?

DayTrader 12-13-2011 10:50 AM

Keith and Robby summed up my thoughts perfectly.

I'll say this though to you Vigo. I had a very limited experience with AA/alanon/alateen when I was, oh.....maybe 11 or 12yrs old. My dad found his way to AA and my mom to my brother and I "had" to attend alateen as well as some open meetings with my parents. I think that went on for several months but I really don't remember. AA "didn't work" according to my dad so he decided he'd "not drink" and skip the meetings/program. Man, what a big mistake. Within a couple weeks he was back to being a complete nut job.....scared the hell out of all of us.....non-stop......for the next 30+ years (I should note, he made it about 10 years dry.......but was already in the grips of alcoholism which, once you have it, it doesn't matter if you're drinking or get WORSE as time passes, never better).

From that experience, there was very little I had LESS respect for than AA, ppl in recovery, 12-step-anything, going to meetings.......etc etc. I hated AA, had no respect for it, for the ppl in it, nor did I believe anyone with any "balls" would ever need to go to such a crack-pot deal. It was, I was convinced, for the truly weak-minded gutless sissies who had not one thing going for them in life and needed groups support to even get up in the morning. "Recovery" was a complete farce for the ppl too darn lazy to do some work on themselves.

Oh yeah, I was also 100% convinced I was right in those beliefs, that there was NO chance I could be wrong, and that......thank God......I wasn't a loser like those folks.

helluva attitude huh? :c029:

Imagine what was going through MY head as I heard myself think, some 26 years later, "Damn, maybe I should check out AA." LMAO. thankfully, my own alcoholism helped beat some of those old ideas down a bit. LOL

I barely, and I mean barely, had a desire to stop drinking. Honestly, I didn't WANT to but I wanted to want to..... so I reeeeeally side-doored my way in.

I used to hear that question though, "To what lengths are you willing to go to for sobriety?" Thankfully, nobody asked ME that one early on because I would have lied - toed the company line so to speak. The honest answer would have been, "To no lengths....I'm not willing to do anything really....unless I come up with it myself......and get away from me." The better question, and the one I use now, is "What would you be willing to do to be sober AND happy......forever?" That happiness deal.........THAT one got my attention. I was willing to do plenty to get happy Keith and Robby said, that's going to require a God or, if you prefer, a power greater than yourself IF you're an addict/alcoholic who needs it. As others have suggested, some folks can sober themselves up without any "greater powers." They can do it with help, support and a bunch of knowledge + the practical application of the will. For folks like me, that stuff seems makes sense.....but I can't ever seem to really put it into action. For folks like me, the hopeless folks who've lost more than others in their addiction........that's who the AA/NA programs were designed to help - but, obviously, they can help anyone who's not gone that low too. The real deal though, the REAL help...the real recovery comes from working the 12 steps - although there's no requirement to do that. Anyone's "allowed" to not-recovery all they's just not really recommended.

Vigo 12-13-2011 11:29 AM

Originally Posted by lostbutterfly (Post 3204338)
How did you find your first meeting?

I actually wound up not going on Saturday Ė wasnít really feeling any cravings. The next day I definitely felt like toking up, and wished I had gone to a meeting the night before.

On one hand, I am scared to go, which Iím sure is fairly common for many people before attending their first meeting. That is one hump Iím confident wonít be too hard to overcome.

The more difficult hump is thinking that I donít need to go. I know that I need the support of other sober people to stay sober myself, but when the time comes for a meeting, that is the moment I feel like I donít want to use.

I just need to bite the bullet and go. Even if I donít like it, or I find that itís not for me, it doesnít hurt to try. If nothing else, I can cross it off my list and try to find another source of support.

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