Benefits of Fellowship? - SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information
Go Back   SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information >
Register Blogs FAQ Members List Calendar Arcade Mark Forums Read





Reply
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 12-04-2019, 04:43 AM   #1 (permalink)
Member
 

Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: UK
Posts: 48

Benefits of Fellowship?


I have been sober for about 3 years, and in many ways my life has improved a lot over this period. I am lucky in that I rarely struggle too much with craving alcohol, these days, but I think I might be in a lot of denial about how much this is simply because i have dealt with feelings by using one of my other handy addictions (primarily shopping and eating).

I have been working intensely with a therapist, so I am able to tell myself that I am ‘doing stuff’ but my spending addiction has almost reached crisis point, so I am obviously kidding myself. I am clearly avoiding doing the ’right’ stuff.

My therapist is a strong advocate of the 12 steps. I have been to both ACA and AA meetings and I don’t seem to be able to throw myself into them. I keep my distance. I hate needing help. I hate asking for help. I cannot see how ‘fellowship’ is better than relying on myself. Part of me doesn’t want anything from anyone else. But my current debt level (and ever expanding waistline) shows this is not working for me.

I guess I would just love to hear how others who are used to being self reliant (and proud. And stubborn) have found fellowship to be helpful and healing rather than terrifying and something to avoid at all costs.

Thanks for reading.
SoberFreckles is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to SoberFreckles For This Useful Post:
Anna (12-04-2019), least (12-04-2019), Mango212 (12-04-2019), MLD51 (12-04-2019)
Old 12-04-2019, 05:32 AM   #2 (permalink)
Member
 

Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 1,412
Damn, another double post! Sometimes I want to kick the machine.
DriGuy is online now   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to DriGuy For This Useful Post:
MLD51 (12-04-2019)
Old 12-04-2019, 05:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
Member
 

Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 1,412
I went to AA for a few years. I didn't use the spirituality part, and therefore I could not take the steps literally. The fellowship was important to me. I was inspired by those who had met success with joy and appreciation for life. It was a place to go that didn't involve drinking. It was a place to report another day sober, and to share my appreciation for my own sobriety. On occasion, I picked up handy tips to help me through rough spots.

But to have a discussion about fellowship is kind of odd, because I'm not sure what that is. I can only tell you things that helped me being with those people.

The term "fellowship" brings to mind what? A bunch of people standing around "fellowing," whatever that might be. Would we stand in small groups referring to each other as "Brother James" or "Sister Betty"and introducing them to new comers in some grand and eloquent fashion? I remember an old timer telling me that AA wasn't just a program, but that it was also a fellowship. Whatever that was, he thought it was important. But not knowing what it was myself, I wasn't sure I wanted to spend my time "fellowing." I just wanted to quit drinking. Or would I be offered a fellowship, a title that I could flash during moments of conversation outside the group: "I was offered a fellowship in an institution and am now an honored fellow." That would make me sound quite special to others who were never given a fellowship of their own. I'm still not sure what it is. Maybe it's a fellowship for no other reason that someone said it was.

All I can tell you is that being a member of the group helped me get my feet on the ground. Really, it's no more than a group of fairly like minded friends that help each other out with support and sharing stories of their success, and sometimes their failures.

For others, some may see this aspect of the program as secondary. For me, it's pretty much what it was all about.
DriGuy is online now   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to DriGuy For This Useful Post:
MLD51 (12-04-2019)
Old 12-04-2019, 05:54 AM   #4 (permalink)
Life is good
 

Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 3,767
I hate needing help. I hate asking for help.

I'm not alcoholic. I am a member of 12 step recovery in Al-Anon and often go to open AA and NA meetings.

Getting a sponsor and doing the steps is the best way for exploration of the program, from my experience and what I've heard from others. I didn't feel the welcome so much when I first arrived simply because I was closed off internally.

What have you got to lose?

Fastest progress is simply: dive in. It soon becomes (for many) the experience of "well thinking through new actions": of showing up, contributing and being of service to others. What that looks like changes and is individual. It didn't matter what I thought about the program. What mattered to me has been the results I see in myself and my life.

It could totally come with the warning label: 'hang on for the ride'. Honest, Open, Willing.
Mango212 is online now   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Mango212 For This Useful Post:
MLD51 (12-04-2019)
Old 12-04-2019, 06:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
Member
 
August252015's Avatar
 

Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 7,926
My answer to your bottom line question about help and being stubborn etc is that I worked the steps, and use them in my daily life.

In one sentence, I'll say something I firmly believe: "the opposite of addiction is connection." So however we seek and find connection with others helps us with the problems you mentioned, and everything else. Best kind of life I have ever known is in recovery, helping and getting help from others.

Good luck for a continued journey.
__________________
August

Quote:
"Sometimes, I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." - Alice in Wonderland
August252015 is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to August252015 For This Useful Post:
CRRHCC (12-04-2019), DriGuy (12-04-2019), Mango212 (12-04-2019), MLD51 (12-04-2019)
Old 12-04-2019, 06:15 AM   #6 (permalink)
Life is good
 

Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 3,767
People among people. I'm neither better than nor lesser than anyone else. This means to me that I get to be human, feel all my emotions, learn to deal with and direct my emotions and thoughts and actions in new ways, etc.

I hear you on the "can't seem to throw myself into them".

Perhaps the timing isn't right for you, or those groups aren't. Big kudos on working with your therapist and checking out additional options. What other 12 step groups do you have where you are?
Mango212 is online now   Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Mango212 For This Useful Post:
DriGuy (12-04-2019), MLD51 (12-04-2019)
Old 12-04-2019, 07:22 AM   #7 (permalink)
Member
 

Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Los Angeles, Ca
Posts: 414
Blog Entries: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoberFreckles View Post
I have been sober for about 3 years, and in many ways my life has improved a lot over this period. I am lucky in that I rarely struggle too much with craving alcohol, these days, but I think I might be in a lot of denial about how much this is simply because i have dealt with feelings by using one of my other handy addictions (primarily shopping and eating).

I have been working intensely with a therapist, so I am able to tell myself that I am ‘doing stuff’ but my spending addiction has almost reached crisis point, so I am obviously kidding myself. I am clearly avoiding doing the ’right’ stuff.

My therapist is a strong advocate of the 12 steps. I have been to both ACA and AA meetings and I don’t seem to be able to throw myself into them. I keep my distance. I hate needing help. I hate asking for help. I cannot see how ‘fellowship’ is better than relying on myself. Part of me doesn’t want anything from anyone else. But my current debt level (and ever expanding waistline) shows this is not working for me.

I guess I would just love to hear how others who are used to being self reliant (and proud. And stubborn) have found fellowship to be helpful and healing rather than terrifying and something to avoid at all costs.

Thanks for reading.
You should be proud three years strong!
Has your therapist pointed out that alcohol, shopping, gaining weight all come from the same underlying psychological cause? All addictions serve an emotional purpose: to reverse feelings of helplessness, feeling trapped, powerless and out of control. In my opinion, your therapist should be focusing on the psychology behind your compulsive behaviors. Why you have compulsive behaviors and how you can escape their trap and regain control of your emotions with high value, empowering behaviors that are important to you. Fellowship is very important because you want to surround yourself with people that want to be the best they can be and want to help you as well. Empower yourself and go to your meetings, listen and learn.

Thanks for reading.
__________________
CRRHCC
Change your thinking and change your life.

Our thinking determines our feelings and our feelings determine our actions.
CRRHCC is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to CRRHCC For This Useful Post:
DriGuy (12-04-2019), MLD51 (12-04-2019)
Old 12-04-2019, 07:39 AM   #8 (permalink)
Member
 
wiscsober's Avatar
 

Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: NE Wisconsin USA
Posts: 4,530
Blog Entries: 22
Fellowship is the crux of the AA program. One alcoholic helping another alcoholic. It was born out of that way.

If you avoid the fellowship you aren't using 90%(just a large number I thought of) of the program. You can just go to meetings, but if you don't share nor listen, don't care to help, you are just not drinking and hoping recovery will rub off. Always on the outside looking in; perilously close to relapse.

The fellowship can help you work through the steps, plop you down in the middle of recovery.

Keep you honest. Help you meet new people and many become great friends.

To live sober is to work the steps and enjoy the benefits of Fellowship.
__________________
When I stopped believing in gods, ghosts, aliens and demons,
it's not that I believed in nothing: it's that I started to believe in everything.
-- Me, with a nod to Umberto Eco




New Start: 9/19/2019
wiscsober is offline   Reply With Quote
wiscsober found treatment at Milwaukee Veterans Hospital Zablocki
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to wiscsober For This Useful Post:
August252015 (12-04-2019), MLD51 (12-04-2019)
Old 12-04-2019, 08:50 AM   #9 (permalink)
Member
 

Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Los Angeles, Ca
Posts: 414
Blog Entries: 1
"the opposite of addiction is connection."

Google, "Everything you think you know about addiction is wrong | Johann Hari."
__________________
CRRHCC
Change your thinking and change your life.

Our thinking determines our feelings and our feelings determine our actions.
CRRHCC is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:08 PM.