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Is AA necessary for recovery?

Old 04-13-2015, 01:42 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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AA has worked for me for the last 26 years.

Please hang around, don't drink and let us know what and how you do.

Best.
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Old 04-13-2015, 02:06 PM
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When I first got sober at 21, I did AA for the first 8 years or so. Then met my wife and moved on with my life remaining sober another 15 years.

That being said, long term sobriety requires a spiritual and emotional shift in our perception of ourselves and the world around us. It is an integral part of recovery, regardless of what type of recovery program you choose. You can find many paths to spiritual growth, AA is only one of them. But if you become stagnant spiritually, you may end up drinking again, as was my case after 23 years.

Today, I attend 3-4 AA meetings a week because I need the social aspect of it. I am a loner and an introvert, both things I want to change. AA gives me easy access to people who have the same goal that I do, grow and don't drink.
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Old 04-13-2015, 02:11 PM
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AA is not necessary for recovery, but it may be useful as one of the tools in your recovery tool kit. AA appeals to me because it aligns with my own spiritual beliefs, so I see it as a good, free general curriculum for living that I would enjoy whether or not it had anything to do with alcoholism. I do good to get to 1 meeting a month, but where I do find the value is in my relationship with a like minded sponsor with long-term sobriety.

I would consider SR as my mainstay of sobriety and my "go to" in those moments when the going gets really tough.
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Old 04-13-2015, 02:32 PM
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AA and SR was and is essential for me! It's what works for you, but I would try it at least once! Can't hurt you that's for sure! I managed 32 days without AA, now I am 6 months with it.
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Old 04-13-2015, 03:12 PM
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Many ways to go about recovery. Personally I really like SMART and therapy. I also hit an AA meeting a week though.

It seems the one thing all programs/methods have in common is changing the way you think.
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Old 04-13-2015, 03:34 PM
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Hi, cambie,
Congrats on 26 days. You ask a good question. I had some things in common with you when I was first getting sober: I was young, female, shy, and not very religious. I was also terribly isolated, and I'd heard all sorts of things about AA that I did not like. But I was in treatment, and it was 12-step oriented. I did not have much choice in the matter. I would eventually come to love AA, and I am not sure I could have remained sober without the steps and the fellowship.
26 days is a wonderful start--I don't think I ever made it that far on my own--but I also know that I could not have made it through some of life's upsets that came later without the foundation AA had given me. As a young female I aligned myself with women who had been around a while; they headed off some of the prospective 13th steppers. Although speaking in a group was contrary to my nature, I also realized that I needed something besides what I had always done. So I pushed myself, letting people know who I was, asking for help. The religion part? AA is spiritual, not religious. There is a difference, and I had to keep looking until I found that.
I don't know that AA is necessary. I've known people who stayed sober with other supports, and they seem to do quite well. AA was the most available group when I was getting sober, so it worked for me. Some people do well with on-line programs, although I suspect it would have been too easy for me to hide at first. My opinion--that's all it is--is that most of benefit from finding some kind of support. I hope you find what you need.
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Old 04-13-2015, 03:42 PM
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Hi Cambie,

It wasn't necessary for me, but it was vitally necessary for many of my friends.

I hope you'll discover where you sit on that axis

if you're intrigued by AA why not give it a shot?
if you'd rather not, there's been plenty of other suggestions here

D
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Old 04-13-2015, 03:53 PM
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Cambie,

Congratulations on 26 days that's great

I think you should do what you feel comfortable with. The main thing really is that you do Something, there seems to be a general consensus that doing something to actively support your decision to go sober is vital, what that thing is specifically is perhaps less important than the act itself.

I'm not religious & don't attend AA but I have incorporated a fair bit of their programme or Steps.

Good luck whatever you decide to do
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