Staying sober without AA

Old 03-17-2020, 10:30 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
Donnylutz's Avatar
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Originally Posted by LiveLikeGold6 View Post
I may have asked this before so please forgive me and be patient. But Iím looking for peopleís experiences with getting and staying sober without AA. I feel like itís kind of a burden and with my social anxiety itís not something that Iíve ever felt comfortable with. But I definitely donít want to go back to drinking so Iím wondering what sort of other things can I do to remind myself what Iím doing when I start feeling good again.

Ive started bicycling outdoors which has been exhilarating and has opened up alot of social and fitness opportunities which are important areas. Id like to focus on things like this, and perhaps get into some volunteering. I like many tenants from AA but Iíd like to build a fulfilled sober life without it if possible.
Asking about recovery without AA is going to bring up a lot of opinions - as I'm sure you are aware. I'm still a lurker here but don't post much, as I've learned that discussing what I'm doing for my sobriety and then having to defend those choices is extremely exhausting. I was told I was heading for a relapse when I cut back on my AA meetings. I've learned my lesson about oversharing lol. And while I'm still new to recovery - I'm at almost 8 months and feeling wonderful!

I too suffer from social anxiety disorder. For me, being in any room at all can be a trigger, so I understand what you are saying here. I hope you are seeing a medical professional, and/or doing things that will help your mental health. I'm not sure what your history is, but not treating my mental healthy is what catapulted me into alcohol - after the alcohol was removed, working on my mental health is #1 for me.

So here' s my opinion since you asked for some - while AA isn't for everyone, it is a wonderful place for support. That being said, you can and should build a network of support around you. When I came out of treatment, I didn't have any support and I wouldn't have made it those first few weeks without AA. Now that some time has passed I've built up a support network - other addicts that I meet with for coffee, my therapist, back to my love of figure skating (glad you are being active, it's so wonderful both emotionally and physically!!!), focusing on my mental health, addiction podcasts, youtube videos - and still AA meetings (how many I go to is irrelevant, I go to the amount I need to stay sober). What's working for me is not letting my brain tell me I'm cured now. I have to remind myself everyday that I am an alcoholic - and then make decisions on how I'm going to navigate through the day in a healthy way.

I'm rambling - I always do that. Was SO MUCH WORSE when I was drinking! It sounds like you are taking an active role in your recovery, but that active role can never stop. Be critical of your choices, and be bold with your decisions. You know what you need to stay sober, and if you don't know, ask for help! AA isn't for everyone, and even us that go vary wildly.....some still go 7 days a week after 10 years of sobriety, some go 1 day a week after 20 years, etc etc. The point is, do what YOU need to do to stay sober, and only you can really determine what that is.

Donny :-)

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Old 03-18-2020, 04:47 AM
  # 22 (permalink)  
jimmyJlover's Avatar
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I am sober without AA

I use social media tools like SR, listen to podcasts, and talk with a good friend who is sober for many years.

That said, if you were to look closely at how I think in regards to probably mimics AA beliefs. They do have some good stuff. It keeps me grounded.
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Old 03-18-2020, 07:07 AM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Ringside View Post
I had never thought about it this way...that's great. Similarly, even if nothing else, a meeting is a place I can go and let go of the reins an hour at a time.
During the first few days of sobriety, nightly meetings seemed like the most fortunate resource available. My thoughts back then were as follows:

Home from work at 5:00. It is now 3 hours to a meeting. I can make that (one hour at at time).

8:00 to 10:00 I won't be drinking at the meeting or for the hour afterwards when a bunch of us go have coffee.

Until bedtime, I would be energized from the meeting drive past the bars and go home.

Actually, the effect of meetings, which I found refreshing, would last much longer than before sleep. Nightly meetings created an entirely new environment that seemed to feed on itself.

And one other tangential thing I remember was going to bed night after night so happy to be sober. I was in awe, and I would often say out loud, "Thank you. Thank you." I used to wonder who I was thanking. I really didn't know. I was just so grateful that I couldn't help saying it out loud to an empty room.
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Old 03-18-2020, 05:23 PM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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LLG? Where are you?

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Old 03-18-2020, 05:27 PM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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Right now a lot of people are going to need to stay sober w/o the benefit of AA meetings.
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Old 03-18-2020, 06:11 PM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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And, hopefully SR can be helpful to people, especially at this time.
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Old 03-19-2020, 05:53 AM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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I haven't read the other replies, but people generally feel strongly about this question. I hit 2 years of sobriety back in December, and this is definitely not my first attempt at quitting. I used AA in the past, although I never got as far as getting a sponsor and fully working the steps. I went to a bunch of different meetings, tried to keep an open mind, and read the big book (that was the most helpful to me out of anything). My personal experience is that it's very helpful to try anything and everything at the beginning, and if your AV starts to suggest that "AA isn't for you," maybe dig into those feelings and see if they are valid or maybe another way to distance yourself from sober living? Are you isolating, ashamed, wanting to stay in your bubble? Is the anxiety something you should push through long enough to give it a chance? I don't know what the answers are for you, I'm just posing the questions as a way to go a little bit deeper as you understand your resistance. I ended up forgoing AA in favor of constant posting here, trying to connect with the people in my class, and when people with longer-term sobriety gave me advice, I really tried set aside my "buts" and just follow it. It takes a while for us to be able to think clearly again, and in that time, there are opportunities for us to go backwards or will ourselves forward, sometimes on blind faith. Wishing you all the best in whatever you decide.
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