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Old 08-17-2016, 08:14 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Can SMART recovery work with AA membership


Hello everyone. I'm wondering if anyone here has had success with Smart recovery and continuing AA membership. I am going to my first smart recovery meeting tomorrow and have been going to AAA and I just don't know if they're gonna work together or not. I want to continue AAA for the fellowship but obviously don't agree to or want to adhere to all of the 12 steps or ideology. Anyone have any experience with both?
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Old 08-17-2016, 09:29 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 08-17-2016, 10:50 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I go to 1 AA meeting a week and 1 Smart meeting a week. I find the people that know and I do not hide it they agree that choice is great and not enough people in AA know enough about other recovery programs and they leave AA to drink again. I do not subscribe to AA recovery (12 steps) but I like the fellowship.
I really like the cross talk of Smart and there recovery tools are used in Recovery programs
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Old 08-17-2016, 10:51 AM   #4 (permalink)
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let me know how it goes
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Old 08-17-2016, 11:32 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thank you Fred! Fellowship is why I want to stay with AA also. I have a brand-new sponsor and I did tell her today that I was going to start smart recovery I'm not sure how she's going to feel about it and I told her if she didn't want to sponsor me that was fine maybe I don't need a sponsor right now. I'm curious to know how well she is going to respond though because she's also A counselor. I'd like to have her as a friend and also her insight and help with the fellowship of AA but I'm also really excited about starting Smart recovery and having the cross talk that's not allowed in AAA
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Old 08-17-2016, 12:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Yes, I did. My sponsor was all for it too. As she said - anything that can help me get and stay clean and sober. I've done service work in AA and am a facilitator for SMART.
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Old 08-17-2016, 08:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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That's great to hear shock. My sponsor and I talked today and she is also all for me trying the Smart recovery meeting tomorrow I will post back and let you know what I think. I went to an AA meeting tonight on her suggestion and I'm glad I did I saw an old friend I think I will definitely stay in AA too.
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Old 08-22-2016, 01:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I always go to new posts rarely to the forums and I got myself in a dispute yesterday over this, I will start paying attention where I am posting.
Tate I must be honest my stomach gets in knots at AA meetings when the topic or discussion is God oriented, I am more comfortable in my Smart Recovery and LifeRing meetings I attend those meetings every week the cross talk and taking responsibility for my recovery is empowering
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Old 08-22-2016, 07:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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it's well worth investing a couple of hours and reading Robby's thread.
chances are good you'll get a perspective on combining a secular tool-approach with the spiritual 12-step program, a thread by an articulate, thoughtful, long-sober person who speaks from an experience you haven't had and might not think exists.
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Old 01-18-2017, 04:43 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I certainly combine both recovery programs. It works well for me. The combination of the two comes through putting smart's program in my step 2, step 3, step 10, and step 11. I am very honest about it. Whenever anyone has had a problem with it, I simply remind them that I am responsible for my own recovery, and also remind them that I am at an "open meeting," which is open to the public, as opposed to "closed" meetings, where members are requested to solely focus upon the AA program in their recovery. I also attend meetings in the Buddhist recovery network, which helps with step 11 by raising my awareness through mindful meditations on all my thoughts and actions. my suggestion is do what you need to do for you. I myself came into recovery to save my ass, not to represent any organization. That is my thoughts on the subject, and good luck!
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Old 01-22-2017, 05:43 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I don't know how people manage to do both, they are polar opposites in what they teach. I used to attend aa, was miserable in it once the initial simply being around people in recovery faded and I was fighting their pecking order.

Some of the examples. Aa tells you, you are powerless, Smart tells you, you are empowered. Aa tells you its a disease, Smart tells you its not. Aa insists upon only a higher power can fix you, Smart tells you to use the tools that work to move on past addiction. Aa tells you they are the only way, Smart tells you what works for you is unique to you and there are many paths to recovery. Aa tells you that you must attend meeting regularly, Smart teaches that meetings are optional and no problem using them only in a temporary basis. Aa tells you to follow its system of spirituality, Smart tells you that your spirituality is not part of their program, success has nothing to do with your faith.

I found in the end, I do combine my "catholic" faith, on my own, and the talent that was put into Smart recovery makes for a nice well rounded approach. It is what works for me and i don't have to compromise my belief system. Early in I had a fellow catholic tell me to leave my Catholic faith behind me once I walked in the door to AA, it disturbed me big time.

In addition, you can float in and out of the Smart group, people will not shun or berate or ostracize you, that has not been my experience with aa.
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Old 01-22-2017, 06:49 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I know it's difficult in the way the question was presented, but can we try to focus more on what SMART does, rather on what we feel AA doesn't, please ?

12 step is off topic for this forum.

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Old 01-23-2017, 06:46 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Sorry Dee, was trying to just show how very different both are. I do know the forums founder, Joe was trying to keep this place all inclusive, there are many great programs out there that are not 12 step based.

I always urge people to explore their options and understand as you evolve in your understanding, what works for may not work later.
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Old 01-23-2017, 07:03 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I know it's difficult in the way the question was presented, but can we try to focus more on what SMART does, rather on what we feel AA doesn't, please ?

12 step is off topic for this forum.

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Thank you.
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Old 01-23-2017, 07:07 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I don't know how people manage to do both, they are polar opposites in what they teach. I used to attend aa, was miserable in it once the initial simply being around people in recovery faded and I was fighting their pecking order.

Some of the examples. Aa tells you, you are powerless, Smart tells you, you are empowered. Aa tells you its a disease, Smart tells you its not. Aa insists upon only a higher power can fix you, Smart tells you to use the tools that work to move on past addiction. Aa tells you they are the only way, Smart tells you what works for you is unique to you and there are many paths to recovery. Aa tells you that you must attend meeting regularly, Smart teaches that meetings are optional and no problem using them only in a temporary basis. Aa tells you to follow its system of spirituality, Smart tells you that your spirituality is not part of their program, success has nothing to do with your faith.

I found in the end, I do combine my "catholic" faith, on my own, and the talent that was put into Smart recovery makes for a nice well rounded approach. It is what works for me and i don't have to compromise my belief system. Early in I had a fellow catholic tell me to leave my Catholic faith behind me once I walked in the door to AA, it disturbed me big time.

In addition, you can float in and out of the Smart group, people will not shun or berate or ostracize you, that has not been my experience with aa.
Would however like to know where in the Big Book AA claims they are the "only way" as you put it. In fact, to the best of my knowledge, the Big Book says the opposite. Whatever works for you and keeps you sober is a positive thing. Not trying to be picky, it just doesn't do anyone any good to misrepresent what any given recovery program as to offer or teaches. (By the by, alcoholism is recognized as a disease by the American Medical Association, not just AA.) Just my two cents. Nothing more.
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Old 01-23-2017, 07:44 PM   #16 (permalink)
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NRM - you realise your whole response is off topic too now, right?

This to and fro is what happens and it's why the rule is there.

I haven't been here since the beginning Life - I heard of a Jon who founded SR?

In any case, one of the regular mods here Morning Glory has been here since the beginning.

I'll let her, or the other assigned mod Shockozulu, decide if this thread needs to be moved to Secular 12 step forum now.

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Old 01-23-2017, 09:14 PM   #17 (permalink)
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LifewithoutAA,

What SMART Recovery does is essentially propose that addiction is a symptom of a psychological malady -- usually irrational beliefs. It is essentially the psychological disease concept of addiction.

It may not be the medical brain disease model, or the spiritual malady model, but it is not entirely different, either. It still views addiction as a symptom of some other condition that can be treated.
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Old 01-24-2017, 12:30 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I moved the thread to the secular 12 step forum so the topic can be discussed.
Please keep it positive.

Thanks
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Old 01-25-2017, 05:08 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Seeing opposition, sigh, but that is ok, better to not keep things bottled up and I am strong enough and understanding, empathic for that kind of reaction.

Number one goal, all of us, sustained long term happiness and sobriety right? We at least agree upon the former, latter being a result?

Yes, yes and I mean yes, underlying past issues are going to cause sobriety issues, people drink or use to cope instead of address them. I have had so many talented, amazing, good, just awesome people I have encountered in my life, haunted by troubled pasts, pasts that can be changed by people like us for the good.

I get down with my own, face hard times, need people to lean upon, but will not lean upon people that tell me I am less of a person because I only have this shop, house or overhead, or this understanding, or anything else.... If we are friends. We are friends no matter what.

Aa, still no friends bothered to call, text or otherwise, month three, life without aa....
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Old 01-25-2017, 07:48 AM   #20 (permalink)
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The answer to the original question is they work together about as well as you want them to.

I'm a SMaRT online volunteer who completed the facilitator training and have been using SMaRT recovery online for 15+ years.

I know folks with years of happy sobriety in SMaRT that despise AA.

I know folks with years of happy sobriety in SMaRT who have a home group and sponsor people using the 12 steps

Now are either of those people doing it wrong lol?

Recovery is a personal journey.

If I were to explain how these programs are far from polar opposites I would be telling you how MY recovery works. That would be helpful to probably 50% of the people who read it

I could ask a fellow veteran smartie to come here and tell you how the programs are mutually exclusive polar opposites and guess what? That's his recovery and would be helpful to about 50% of the people who read it.

The point is, no matter how many years I have, I am only qualified to give an option on how it works for me.

I think the first question is do you want recovery?

If the answer is yes there is no right way of doing it. If you are sober and happy about it you are doing it right.

If you encounter someone from ANY program that says theirs is the only way, close-mindedness is part of their recovery. I've never met a person in AA or SMaRT that has the type of recovery I want and be close minded at the same time.

So yeah they can work together, but only if you want them to.

And I do wish Jon the founder of this place was here to read this reply. He'd probably not believe it came from me lol
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