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Sober without aa?

Old 05-14-2013, 12:18 AM
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Sober without aa?

Hi, I'm a 26 year old female, this is my first time posting to this site. I've many times since I was 15 considered quitting drinking but I never went more than a few days until this year. I felt bad for two weeks then I started to feel so amazing I couldn't believe it. Now I just had an alcohol binge and I've been sweating, having insomnia, my body aches, heart burn, anxiety, depression, self loathing etc. etc. anyways I really really badly want to quit. I know 100% I am an alcoholic. In the past I have had problems with bulimia and cocaine, but alcohol is my main problem. I black out each and every time I drink even if I am alone. I want so badly to be happy and healthy, but is it possible to quit without aa? I am not very social and I really don't like the idea of going
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Old 05-14-2013, 12:28 AM
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Different strokes for different folks. I am 3 weeks sober without any AA. I've tried it in the past.. It did help, but like you, have a difficult time with the social aspect of AA. As I am so new in my sobriety it is tough to give any advice, however I would assume that if you've tried to quit in the past multiple times and it didn't work.. maybe you need some support from a group that is established like AA? Not a very good response.. but just speaking my mind.. take it with a grain of salt..
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Old 05-14-2013, 12:30 AM
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Hi, Doogie. Welcome to SR!

Glad you found this site - great supportive community here and tons of useful information.

If to give a straight answer to your question - yes, it's possible. There are a lot of people who managed to quit and stay sober using other methods - AVRT, SMART, etc. Check out Secular Connections thread.

Secular Connections - SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information

Today I hit 7 months sober milestone, I am not in AA.

Find what works best for you.

As for body aches, heart burn, depression, social anxiety, etc. I think it won't hurt to see a Doc to secure better and safer success.

Great you've decided to quit while you are so young)

Best wishes to you, keep posting, you are never alone here.
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Old 05-14-2013, 12:39 AM
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So what are your tips for staying sober? After I'm sober for a while my mind comes up with all sorts of great reasons to drink again. It's hard to imagine never ever drinking again. But when I stay sober for a few weeks and then binge I sometimes scare myself how drunk I get. The other week I threw up in my sleep and my friends thought I took percocets, which I'm still not sure if I did or not and I woke up the next day with no idea I thought I just fell asleep peacefully.
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Old 05-14-2013, 12:47 AM
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Tips? Well, just a few to start with:

- Accept that you have a problem and you'll never be able to get "just one" drink. Regardless of when your last drink was you most likely will end up with a binge again;

- After accepting this take one day at a time - say "I'm not going to drink just today". And repeat this every day. If you mind starts wondering about upcoming holidays etc. - stop it. You'll handle this when it comes;

- Have a plan - what are your triggers? What to do when you are bored and want to have a drink to "spice up" you life, or whatever you reasons to drink are;

- If you have no support in this, post here every time you Addictive Voice (voice which convinces you that it's Ok to have one glass, you deserve it, and other blah-blah) hits you.

The road of sobriety can be quite rogue sometimes, but it's worth it.
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Old 05-14-2013, 12:51 AM
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I might be wrong, but I think you're asking if it's not only possible to get and stay sober without AA, but without a program of sorts. History shows that it is possible. In fact it says in the Big Book, AA's basic text, in bills story I believe, that a doctor said in the early days that many had managed to get sober on their own, but an alcoholic of his type (bill) had never showed those results.

I suppose you have to admit to yourself what you truly are, in are you an alcoholic of the hopeless variety, or are you a problem drinker? At that point, depending on what you find, either look for help or exercise willpower to the point you have never had before. Also, around that point that I referred to it says something along the lines of a spiritual experience expelling the compulsion to drink, which is what AA is based around.

Hope this helps,
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Old 05-14-2013, 01:57 AM
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Hi Doogie,

Welcome! You don't have to use AA. Don't rule it out... I've been to three meetings when I felt the need to be around other drinkers, and I think I will continue to drop in on occasion. But it's not my primary method and I don't expect it ever will be. I have always been a self-designed-major kind of girl.

For me, posting here has taken the role of a support group. Reading people's questions and trying to answer them is very helpful to me. It forces me to form concrete opinions on all kinds of things related to sobriety, and spurs a good deal of research.

SR also provides me with accountability, which I think is another huge part of success. I post pretty much every day in the thread of my quit month, and have gotten to know the other people who quit around the same time as me. That is really helpful for some of the stuff you mention. It's been so helpful to me to share the ups and downs and temptations.

I started a daily yoga practice to reconnect with my body, practice impulse control, and be around other people who are also trying to improve their body and mind.

And just recently I began seeing a recovery counselor to help me work through the underlying issues and fortify myself against relapse.

Whatever you decide to do, the most important thing is just to stick with it. I think consistency is probably a big part of success in any method.
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Old 05-14-2013, 06:52 AM
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AA is one tool/program, there are many others. I think the bottom line is, none of us are qualified to administer our own treatment program, that's why I sought out a counselor to provide me guidance, teach me the tools I was seriously lacking in how to cope with life (good and bad), and talk me through what I was feeling as I recovered.
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Old 05-14-2013, 07:00 AM
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Lots of folks get and stay happily sober without AA. There aren't many here at SR because they have stopped recovering and just got on with it, and their lives are full of stuff, so don't judge this fact by the number and type of responses you get.

Lots of good info and helpful folks on the Secular Recovery forum too. Drop by and say howdy.
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Old 05-14-2013, 07:18 AM
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I'm nearing four years sober with no "program", other than a few close friends and family members and SR. I think the key is really wanting to quit. After nearly 30 years of drinking my body and mind finally said ENOUGH!
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Old 05-14-2013, 08:08 AM
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I believe that getting sober depends on your motivation, not the program you use.

If you want to recover and are willing to make changes and work at it, you will be able to do it.
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Old 05-14-2013, 02:44 PM
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There's many different approaches and methods of recovery around doogie - here's some links to some of the main players:

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...formation.html

I recommend you visit the Secular Connections forum if you think you may benefit from a non 12 step approach.

I didn't use AA myself - just SR and a firm commitment to change my life and never drink again

D
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Old 05-14-2013, 03:05 PM
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There are many methods to getting sober. AVRT which involves recognizing your addictive voice, checking in here daily, and recently counseling for anxiety, has helped me stay sober for almost a year. I never discounted any advice or any method though if these things did not do the trick. I didn't stop drinking when I first wanted to for many reasons, but a bug one was because I thought AA was the only way to do it. I joined here, read non stop and created my own program/plan. I am so happy I did finally quit. Something that helped me when I started feeling like I was doing well and could have a glass of wine with dinner or a beer out with friends, was to "play the tape through." I knew most times I intended to have just one, I inexplicably ended up hammered, blacking out, and doing things I regretted or things I didn't even remember. So I any image of me enjoying just one were automatically tied to images of me continuing to drink, doing ridiculously embarrassing things, waking up with hangover, full of anxiety and regret. Checking in here daily kept sobriety top on my radar every single day. You can do this and you can be happy about it. It is very difficult in the beginning so accept ahead of time that there will be discomfort too. Sometimes so much you physically squirm but it won't always be that bad.
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Old 05-14-2013, 03:12 PM
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Although I go to AA meetings regularly, the reason I am sober is because I want to be sober. I honestly believe any person who is sober, is sober because they want to be sober. Yes you can be sober without aa. Rootin for ya.
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Old 05-14-2013, 03:26 PM
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Regardless of your recovery plan ( which may or may not include AA ), you'll have to step outside your current comfort zone. So while you may avoid the social aspect of physically going to AA meetings, you have to learn to face the truths within yourself about your drinking. This forum is a good place to start, but please don't rule out face to face meetings ( AA or secular ) until you have at least given them a shot. You might find that they actually help with your disline of social situations, because they are designed so do exactly that - make you feel welcome.
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Old 05-14-2013, 03:27 PM
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I too am sober without AA, and I am happy now.
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Old 05-14-2013, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Doogie92 View Post
I want so badly to be happy and healthy, but is it possible to quit without aa? I am not very social and I really don't like the idea of going
Your fears and prejudices about AA would melt away in minutes once you tried your first meeting. Nobody likes the idea of going in the first place.

Can you quit without AA ?? ... you'll have to try to find out. I couldn't and neither could millions of others.

All the best in your recovery.

Bob R
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Old 05-14-2013, 03:43 PM
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I didn't join AA but I did, and do, find the Big Book useful and inspiring. I have also found podcasts of AA speakers really useful (google "XA speakers"). I used a priest as someone who I could tell anything to (I do think that is a release we all need, as AA identified in step 5). I have found SR really useful to hear from other alcoholics.

If I had my time over again I would have gone to AA. I came across the 12 steps by another route and while something works it seems sensible to stick to it (also, if I went to AA I'd be one of those who wanted to be a stickler that it was just as the big book described).

Praying that you find a way that works for you.
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Old 05-14-2013, 03:46 PM
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Well, I just have to chime in. Everyone has given wonderful replies, and I agree with them. I am sober without AA. I have been known to attend a meeting or two. I like this forum, and other wholesome things that keep me walking in a straight line. You can do this.
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Old 05-14-2013, 03:54 PM
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Perhaps isolating and not bonding with fellow alcoholics is part of the reason you're relapsing? I know that for me, going to AA meetings and making friends there was a hard step to take. Now that i'm in and making friends i vind them to be a great resource for my sobriety. When i find myself getting twitchy and am in danger of taking a drink, i have a lot of numbers that i can call or a meeting i can make. Socalizing with other drunks makes me feel a lot less alone in my sobriety. I can relate to them in ways i cannot with my sober friends. I mean, if i'm having a hard day and my alcoholic voice is loud in my head, i can call one of my AA sisters or my sponsor and get a fresh perspective on my situation. I can't call a sober friend and expect them to relate to what i'm going through.

Can you get sober without AA? Absolutely! But remember that our disease encourages us to hide and be alone, even in recovery. I encourage you to attend some meetings and get some numbers. Getting a sponsor and working the steps is even better but if you're not comfortable with that, at least make some sober connections. That way, when you need help, help is right there.
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