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Recovery outside of the 12-step world

Old 04-16-2015, 11:43 AM
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Recovery outside of the 12-step world

Hi all,

This is my first time posting and I will try to keep it brief.

I have been sober for 15 months now. I went to outpatient treatment last year and finished it in December. They required AA meeting attendance. I have been working with a sponsor for about 7 months and we are on Step 4.

I also have a therapist that I see weekly and recently started taking anti-anxiety medication that has helped me out a lot.

I'd love to know if there are others on this site that have continued sobriety and recovery outside of AA. Over the last few months, I have not found meetings helpful, and I have found many things about the AA program that I do not appreciate. I have fixed many things about my life that led me to drinking to self-medicate. I have no desire to drink again. I know I can't. I'd rather spend my time pursuing things like meditation and exercise and friendships outside of AA than continuing with the program, but I've received enough of the messaging that I feel very paranoid about leaving the program, like I am doomed to fail.

Anyone out there that is doing well post-AA?

Thanks,
seeker2014
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Old 04-16-2015, 11:54 AM
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Hi, Seeker.

Congrats on 15 months of sobriety!

I believe there are many people on this site who stay sober without AA, myself included (2.5 years).

IMO, there is never only one way to do something. And no one is "doomed".

Meditation and exercising sound like pretty good way to contribute to your sobriety.

Don't feel paranoid.

Keep posting.

Best wishes to you.
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Old 04-16-2015, 12:06 PM
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Welcome Seeker nice to meet you
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Old 04-16-2015, 12:12 PM
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There are lots of folks who no longer participate in AA meetings and do just fine. I think many are like you. They don't find participation very helpful after a certain point and do just fine finding other ways to stay sober.

I think it's very important to live your life as free from fear as possible. If you think that using resources other than AA is the most healthy thing for you to do, then it probably is.
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Old 04-16-2015, 12:19 PM
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I've received enough of the messaging that I feel very paranoid about leaving the program, like I am doomed to fail.
A load of hooey. This was my observation too during my short experience with AA, I was told the same thing and on several occasions from multiple sources. The fact that the bb allows other recovery modes doesn't stop this stuff from being repeated.

You sound as though you own your sobriety, and have a good way of seeing your sober future as one full of opportunities that alcohol would steal from you. That is how I see mine too, and I will mark my four year anniversary in a few months.

If your meetings aren't helpful, then find other meetings, or stop going. Exercise and meditation are powerful and transformative activities, highly recommended. You are perfectly free to do as you please, and that includes staying sober for good. Onward!
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Old 04-16-2015, 12:22 PM
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If you're committed to recovery, you are not DOOMED to fail because AA isn't a good fit.

Meditation and Buddhism have helped me in my recovery immensely. Refuge Recovery and Shambhala Heart of Recovery are non-12-step programs who welcome anyone struggling with any addiction. The Women for Sobriety program is amazing too. They're all about empowerment, working from the inside out and finding compassion and beauty in yourself and others.
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Old 04-16-2015, 12:25 PM
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Congrats on 15 months of sobriety!

I just celebrated my 15 months, too.

I can't say what is your right method for keeping sober but I use all the modalities I can including AA, SR, God, Worship, Prayer, Meditation, Reading, Journaling, Gratitude and service in and out of AA. I need a balance of all of these things to keep me feeling tuned up. Prayer is my daily go to no matter what else I may use. I do find at least a couple of meetings a week remind me of what can happen if I go back to drinking. There are many different types of meetings and I try to mix them up. Whatever you do to keep sober, keep doing it! Light and Love...............
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Old 04-16-2015, 12:26 PM
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Thank you all for your thoughts so far.

I do feel like I own my recovery, and that is one of things I have struggled with in AA. I don't feel powerless. I may be an alcoholic (I can own that) but I got sober because one day I had just had enough. I put myself into rehab, I sought out therapy and meds, I did this for myself and my family. I don't want my child to be brought up in an alcoholic household the way I was. While I would call myself agnostic, I struggle with the religious messaging in AA and reliance on a higher power to achieve sobriety. I also want to feel GOOD about myself as I recover, not continually be reminded about how bad I behaved.
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Old 04-16-2015, 12:28 PM
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I have to agree with you. Leave the past in the past, move forward, and continue to get to know your sober self and build a happier life!
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Old 04-16-2015, 12:35 PM
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Keep up the good work

Last edited by Kris47; 04-16-2015 at 12:39 PM. Reason: double post
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Old 04-16-2015, 12:37 PM
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Seeker2014- Welcome to SR! There are lots of people here who stay sober without AA.

Like a previous poster, I use Refuge Recovery and Shambhala Heart of Recovery meetings. Both approaches use buddhism and meditation.
Home | A BUDDHIST PATH TO RECOVERING FROM ADDICTION (Refuge Recovery link- phone and online meetings, if there is not a meeting near you)
Search for 'Shambhala Heart of Recovery' to see if they have a meeting near you.

I also like the WFS forums. http://www.womenforsobrietyonline.com

Here is a list of other recovery options.
http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...formation.html

But lots of people stay sober without a group.

I was also scared to leave AA, due to a fear that I'd relapse. But I have been happily sober for 2.5 years.
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Old 04-16-2015, 12:38 PM
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My husband has around 18 months and he has never got involved with AA or any of the other groups. He does counseling with an addiction doc, and recently cut back on this because together they agreed the time was right. Im excited for him to reach this milestone.

There are some other groups like Smart Recovery. Their program is kinda cool. I go to their forums and read because its got a lot of behavioral therapy tools, even family members can use these.
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Old 04-16-2015, 12:49 PM
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I relapsed after stopping AA....

But it wasn't really about stopping AA as much as it was walking away from recovery.

These days I still include AA as part of my overall approach to recovery - but I also feel increasingly that my self work, health and wellness, meditation, SR, and cultivation of a healthy sober life including friendship and community are essential to my happiness and sobriety.

I find AA a helpful tool and community, but o don't rely on it as my sole foundation and I too go through phases where I don't find it as useful as other tools
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Old 04-16-2015, 01:13 PM
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Good stuff seeker
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Old 04-16-2015, 02:02 PM
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Hi seeker and I also do not use AA in my recovery. I primarily used SR and went to a duel-diagnosis iop for groups and individual counseling. I do not feel powerless either.
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Old 04-16-2015, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Seeker2014 View Post
I also want to feel GOOD about myself as I recover, not continually be reminded about how bad I behaved.
I also noticed that you are on step 4. This step is often avoided because the self examination involved in it is very seldom easy. The reason for doing this step is to expose the ways in which we have caused damage in the past, as well as to begin the process of cleaning up this damage.

This is not easy, and the beginning of this process (taking a moral inventory) is not something that makes most of us feel warm and fuzzy. But it's only the beginning of truly feeling good about ourselves. If you are thinking about leaving AA because of difficulty with this step I would encourage you to examine this more thoroughly. Not examining our own behavior and/or cleaning up the damage done in the past has the potential to come back and bite you.

If your reasons for seeking alternative solutions have nothing to do with this please disregard.
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Old 04-16-2015, 02:22 PM
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The only thing I would add is drinking is but a symptom of our other problems. You can quit drinking but you still have to work on the other issues.
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Old 04-16-2015, 02:40 PM
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Welcome to the Forum Seeker!!
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Old 04-16-2015, 03:02 PM
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Hello Seeker! Welcome here. You bring up an interesting topic. When I was 21, I went to rehab and was released into the rooms of AA. I remained in AA for 8 years. I found that AA became too much "our way is the only way" and began to resent those who would claim someone is a dry drunk or heading for relapse if they did not attend meetings or work the steps. So I left AA and remained sober for another 15 years. I chose to drink again after 23 years NOT because I was not "working a program" or "working the steps". I simply drank because I wanted to know if I was truly an alky. When I realized that I was indeed unable to drink "normal", I just up and quit before suffering any real consequences and before hitting any bottom.

Today, I do attend AA meeting 3-4 times per week, but ONLY for the social benefit of being around like minded people with the same goal. I do not own a big book nor do I plan to work any steps, frankly, because I do not agree with many of the premises of the steps, particularly the idea of seperatism; that we are seperate from God (for lack of a better term), that we have innate flaws that only God can fix and it is our goal to seek out this God "out there" somewhere and surrender our lives to his almighty power in hopes that he will "fix" me since I am unable to do that on my own.

But that's just my experience and my feelings. Each of us in recovery has their own perceptions that WORK for them. As such, I do not feel there is a "right" or "wrong" way to find the spiritual change that is necessary to remain sober long term. Only YOUR way which ultimately IS the right way. I say this not to be an AA basher, like I said, I attend meetings and consider them an integral part of my recovery. It's just not the method I use to affect spiritual change in my life.

Hope you stick around. SR is truly a gift to me and is another integral part of my recovery plan.
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Old 04-16-2015, 03:15 PM
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Nobody is doomed to fail in sobriety,because of not attending AA.

You are responsible for your own recovery.I attend AA and have done so for the past 12years,several people who got sober at the same time as me ,stopped attending meetings,I am still in contact with them,they are all still sober and happily so.

The importnt thing is to change,this can be done in or out of the rooms of AA.

I wish you well.
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