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Old 08-12-2018, 09:45 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Need 12 Step Help


Hello. I am completely new to posting on forums and therefore do not know if I am supposed to start a new thread or not in order to get my problem out there. Sorry if I am doing it wrong.
I have an issue with attending 12 step meetings and desperately need help because I am sure that the only way for me to get clean and into recovery is with some sort of spiritual change in my life. However, I am in a difficult position because I also go to a methadone clinic. I am in the process of detoxing out of there and need to get something in place so that I don't relapse as soon as I'm off. I am currently at a low dose and feel that within several months should be done. I recently attended NA meetings for the 1st time and tried to make it work for 2 1/2 months. However, I am very socially anxious and it was difficult for me to go 4 times per week or to go join the social activities that they had going on. So, my question is : Can I do the 12 steps without going to meetings?
I understand how important surrounding ones self with like-minded sober people in recovery is, but I also know that if I put myself into situations that make me nervous I am likely to quit going and relapse altogether. I really want to start working the 12 steps and feel that if I am able to successfully get away from mind/mood altering chemicals for a period of time, I will feel more at ease with pushing myself outside of my comfort zone. I don't see how working the steps with help from online sources at first would be an issue, but as I've looked online for advice on the topic, surprisingly I haven't come across much info.. Also, if it won't work, is there any other spiritual help for addiction out there that doesn't require such a social commitment to get started? Thanks very much for the time!
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Old 08-12-2018, 12:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome!

I'm not an AA person, but my understanding is that it's important to get a sponsor to help guide you through the 12 steps. You would find a sponsor at meetings you attend, and that sponsor may want you to go to meetings.

There are other options and this link will give you info about that:

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...at-we-did.html
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Old 08-12-2018, 01:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I thoroughly enjoy doing 12 step work on my own; I like learning and digesting things my own way. Plus, it is a spiritual journey, and if you're arrested with a lot of guilt, remorse and shame it can be a helpful start to start processing the "powerlessness", "Unmanageability" and "surrender" in your own right.

However, that being said, I've been a chronic relapser since I started attempting to get sober 2 years ago. Everyone absolutely recommends and attests to walking through the steps with a sponsor and I intend to as well. I found finding the right sponsor very difficult and didn't take the patience to listen to anyone's suggestions, and plan to change that this time around. I think a combination of the two would be your best bet.

Socially awkward or not, just going to the meetings is huge! Listening to people's shares and realizing how us strangers are your connected family is the most beautiful gift. Don't feel pressured to hang out and have to go to outings, just be as present as you'd like to be at the meetings. "Take what you need, and leave the rest", really helped me when I first started out.

If you're interested, maybe we can help each other with step work? I would love an additional accountability partner and to get out of my head.
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Old 08-12-2018, 04:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Not an AAer either but welcome to SR Bmur

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Old 08-12-2018, 04:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Welcome, there are plenty of us AAers here and I imagine some will chime in after me.

AA was the last th ing I evvvvver wanted to do. Ultimately, it has saved my life. There is a whole lot to what is a very simple program- the best way to start is to go to a meeting. I listened for quite awhile to absorb what was being said. There are good pamphlets and info online if you google AA and related words like sponsor and even type out Alcoholics Anonymous perhaps with your city, state or country.

In my experience and observation of others in my two and a half yrs sober, committing to the meetings (you will hear the idea of 90 mtgs in 90 days or even 30 in 30) so you start. To understand what all the language and discussion is about. Getting a sponsor means finding someone with some sobriety who can guide you as you go through the steps. Going it alone or just reading the Big Book if AA, the program's primary text, cheats us out of the whole program n my experience.

SR is a great community and an important part of my recovery. Glad you are here.
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Old 08-12-2018, 04:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thank you all very much for replying. I guess I know deep down that I'll have to just tough it out and start going. I really appreciate all of the advice and I plan on coming back here because I am amazed at how many people cared enough to take the time to help with advice. Thanks again.
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Old 08-12-2018, 06:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Are there NA meetings near you?

I have friends with multiple addictions and they find NA to be more useful to them than AA. Narcotic addiction has some unique challenges, and AA doesn't like to talk about substances other than alcohol...which I find kind of an anachronism in the modern world, where so many addicts have multiple substances. NA, CA and CMA all welcome working through all addictions, and they're all 12 Step.

One of my rehab friends does both. She was an actual Nurse Jackie, as she got caught stealing from the narco cabinet at work and is in the nursing recovery program. They required her to do both fellowships as a condition for licensing, as she was also an alcoholic.

You're probably going to find people at NA meetings that are facing the same challenges that you describe above.
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Old 08-13-2018, 12:38 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Can I do the 12 steps without going to meetings?
Short answer yes. There is a ton of AA content online and not least youtube. Also no need to limit to just AA content.
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Old 08-13-2018, 04:30 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I am very socially anxious...
Has your social anxiety ever hindered you from scoring your dope and getting high? Keep you from getting your methadone?

I'm thinking not. So, don't let it hinder your recovery.
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Old 08-13-2018, 07:26 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Going to meetings is great. I go to plenty. But you don't have to go to meetings to work the steps, and the steps as defined in the Big Book are the key to the spiritual experience that keeps people sober (IMHO). Finding a sponsor who can take you thru the book and be a sounding board for you as you work the steps is the main thing. The meetings, strictly speaking, are an added bonus of AA fellowship.
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Old 08-13-2018, 10:14 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I can't believe how many people have already responded to my post. I am SO GRATEFUL for the advice. I should have stated my entire history in the original post, but I already wrote a huge amount and wanted to get to my main concerns. I attended NA about 3 months ago for the 1st time. I went 4X per week for about a month. I also had a sponsor for that time and I was trying to make an effort. However, my sponsor was 22, and I am 29, so I was hesitant. But, he had been clean for 5 years so I thought that the only important qualifier was his clean time. He meant well and wanted to help, but I think he was just too busy with work, school, his personal relationships and also the fact that he had 2 other sponsees. I tried to make it work by calling him whenever I had an issue as well as every other day to keep in touch. But, he didn't respond 3 or 4 times, and didn't get back ti me until I saw him at meetings several days later. Also, we didn't do any step work. I brought it up a couple of times but he would basically tell me to finish reading the Basic Text first. I understand that it's important to read the Basic Text, but given that I needed some sort of help, I wanted to get started on the steps. So, I ended up leaving. Also, the whole group would always hang out and were really close, and I felt uncomfortable with it. I don't like attention or going out to socialize, so I had a hard time becoming one of the group. Also, I was, and still am, going to a methadone clinic, so that made me feel like I shouldn't be going or sharing. Finally, I had a hard time with the concept of getting clean and being abstinent first and then starting the steps after I had some clean time. It's not that easy for me to just quit. That was the whole reason that I was seeking something like NA in the first place. I need something other than will power to get clean. Also, I should mention that there aren't that many NA meetings in my area so if I go to another one, it might be far away. I don't think I can go back to that particular meeting. If I'm writing too much please let me know. Thanks again for all of the help.
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Old 08-13-2018, 09:37 PM   #12 (permalink)
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A lot of newbies, myself included when i first started going to AA meetings, arrive the latest, and are the first to leave, and sit closest to the door. LOL pretty normal

Also, depending where you live, there are speaker meetings, as well as discussion.

The discussions are important for sobriety and growth, and for hearing different tips related to recovery, but at the beginning, speaker meetings mean you can arrive and exit without having to participate much in discussions.

Also, group sizes vary. There are two in my area that have 8 people or less, give or take, one is a women's only group, and male, the other a secular.

They can be refreshing and great at the start when large groups are overwhelming.


You're doing great. Keep up the good work. Don't worry about other's opinion in your sobriety journey. Its your business. If you do decide to attend the meetings, just know you're not alone in feeling that way. Alcoholics like to isolate and the idea of being around people can be overwhelming in the beginning.

Its important to find a sponsor that you click with as well as who can guide you as well as has the time. I know what you mean.
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Old 08-13-2018, 09:58 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Also, for myself, I prefer other then a sponsor, to go to the meetings, but not to socialize outside of them.
Wait until you have a lot of sober time to keep it as a good recovery tool with good boundaries.
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Old 08-14-2018, 11:37 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Thank you guys. I really can't stress enough how much it helps to see so many people reach out to give advice. I know we don't meet in person, but the advice and wisdom still hits home for me. Also, Hawking22, that would be awesome. I can't send you an email or private message until I reach 15 posts, which is why I haven't reached out to you. I feel that you can always learn something when working together, no matter how much clean time or experience is there. Thanks again everyone!
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