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no meetings still sober

Old 04-10-2018, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Ken33xx View Post
They get complacent. They get busy with life and drift away from meetings or working with others or whatever it was they had been doing which kept sobriety out front.

This is something I've repeatedly heard by those with time under their belt who picked up.

It's rarely planned. It just happened.
a couple of thoughts on this: they get busy with life...well yes! and so they should. getting and staying sober i would hope would lead to getting busy with life....and incorporating" these principles" into that life we get busy with.

my other thought is that our info about these things from people who leave, relapse and come back is only one side of the coin, as we don't usually hear from those who leave and are fine.
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Old 04-10-2018, 08:04 PM
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I've never needed the meetings either - I was court mandated several years ago, but when that ended, so did my interest in meetings. Of course I didn't stay sober that time, but for the last 13 months I've been fine without them. For me, it's been a question of "do I want misery and pain, or happiness/contentment ?" It's a no brainer. I am fortunate to have family and friends who are supportive, but don't treat me like a terminally ill person if I'm at an event/function where there is alcohol.

Everyone knows, so no one offers me anything, and a couple of times where it's been offered by someone that had no way of knowing, a polite refusal was enough. I've learned this valuable lesson - as long as you aren't interfering with someone else's good time, they aren't worried about whether you're drinking or not.

My faith has always been important to me, and I lean on that when I need to. Most importantly, I don't overanalyze/overthink things. I see that a lot on these forums, and I caution against that, though it is hard at times. Usually we already know the right answer/solution; we just need to trust ourselves more.

If meetings work for someone; great ! I'd say it doesn't matter how we stay on the right path, but THAT we do.
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Old 04-11-2018, 03:36 AM
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Originally Posted by fini View Post
a couple of thoughts on this: they get busy with life...well yes! and so they should. getting and staying sober i would hope would lead to getting busy with life....and incorporating" these principles" into that life we get busy with.

my other thought is that our info about these things from people who leave, relapse and come back is only one side of the coin, as we don't usually hear from those who leave and are fine.
That`s the point. They stopped doing what was working for them. The get complacent, stop going to meetings and/or using the tools of the program.

It`s rarely planned. They simply drifted away from AA and then one day find themselves with a drink in hand.

I`m busy, super busy in fact. But I go to one meeting a week and visit this site. Why? So I keep connected with sobriety. So, I don`t forget.
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Old 04-11-2018, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by fini View Post

my other thought is that our info about these things from people who leave, relapse and come back is only one side of the coin, as we don't usually hear from those who leave and are fine.
getting sober in small town, it was common to run into people i had met or seen in the rooms. id say over 3 dozen times i ran into people i hadnt seen in quite some time and we chatted for a bit. doing good doing what is suggested- to not make a sole vocation of the work of helping others recover;to show a demonstration of the principles in their respective homes, occupations and affairs.
i have ran into people that do a great deal of service work for the communities they live in-one that does missionary work, one that started working for for a local charity, one that volunteers at the local animal shelter- many different ways of being of maximum service to the people around them.

some people stop doing whats working for them. but not ALL people do. just because people dont show up at meetings doesnt mean they arent doing well.
ive been to 4 meetings in the last year.
crucify me!!!!!
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Old 04-11-2018, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by tomsteve View Post
getting sober in small town, it was common to run into people i had met or seen in the rooms. id say over 3 dozen times i ran into people i hadnt seen in quite some time and we chatted for a bit. doing good doing what is suggested- to not make a sole vocation of the work of helping others recover;to show a demonstration of the principles in their respective homes, occupations and affairs.
i have ran into people that do a great deal of service work for the communities they live in-one that does missionary work, one that started working for for a local charity, one that volunteers at the local animal shelter- many different ways of being of maximum service to the people around them.

some people stop doing whats working for them. but not ALL people do. just because people dont show up at meetings doesnt mean they arent doing well.
ive been to 4 meetings in the last year.
crucify me!!!!!

Yes, some members and these are the members I refer. Members who had time and then rerun to the rooms of AA to share about what happened. Why they picked up a drink.
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Old 04-11-2018, 04:01 PM
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Going to meetings, working with others, doing what is suggested, posting on SR or saying the serenity prayer before bed. It's all good.

It works if you work it.
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Old 04-15-2018, 05:19 PM
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I quit going to meetings a couple of years ago.
While on the 11th step, I got into Zen meditation and from there I found out about Refuge Recovery (which I don't attend very often ).

I have no beef with AA, it helped me tremendously and I did the step work, I just felt that mindfulness was a better fit for me. I am over 5 years sober and doing good
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Old 04-18-2018, 04:20 PM
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I don't go to meetings to stay sober, I go to meetings to try to help those looking for help.
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Old 04-26-2018, 03:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Db1105 View Post
I don't go to meetings to stay sober, I go to meetings to try to help those looking for help.
Same here. I find it very rewarding. In the late eighties I was away from aa for a while. You could say I left for a few years. I probably got counted as an AA failure statistic. But it never occurred to me to drink.

So I guess if just not drinking is good enough for you, then everything worked out fine, but to say I was fine in every aspect of life would be something of an exaggeration.

Compared to the life I have now, and the way I feel, as a moderately active and contributing AA member, my life during that time was pretty second rate. Seemed ok at the time though as I had nothing to compare it to.

Back in NZ at the moment so making the most of the meetings, and have got to spend time with several newcomers. What a privilege.
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Old 04-27-2018, 02:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Ken33xx View Post
Yes, some members and these are the members I refer. Members who had time and then rerun to the rooms of AA to share about what happened. Why they picked up a drink.
I pretty much stopped going to meetings because I am doing other kinds of recovery work that better suit my temperament.
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Old 04-27-2018, 07:29 AM
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Although I am avid supporter of AA I also support the rights of anyone to do what they need to in order to stay sober. As long as you're sober and honestly happy about it then who cares and whose business is it what you do?

AA works for me because it helps me in many different ways. I am mindful daily of how recovery is not a destiny, it's an adventure. Also, it's given me the capability to build a social network of people who have my exact same goal in mind. I'm not saying I couldn't find that elsewhere but this is what works for me.

If you've found something and it works for you then I think that's fantastic.
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Old 08-08-2018, 02:27 PM
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I never went to any meetings, and mainly use this site to remind myself of the horrible realities of alcohol.
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Old 08-08-2018, 07:46 PM
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I haven't been to a meeting in 7 yrs, over 8 yrs sober, but I think I practice the Principles in my life.
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Old 03-11-2019, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by BillieJean1 View Post
I did some out patient meetings for awhile that weren't 12 step based but a group of women sitting together with an addiction counselor where we would discuss a topic or issue and give each other feedback. I found that to be a lot more constructive. It didn't go around in a circle but was more popcorn style led by a qualified professional. It didn't make me stop drinking though..... even in those meetings with a counselor the message was never you can just quit. Take control back from your lower lizards brain's function of avoiding pain and seeking out pleasure with you higher cognitive human brain. Of course that would be too simple and stop the big business of the revolving door of the recovery movement.
My group therapy in PHP and IOP, and then continuing care was the same format. I found it IMMENSELY useful. Interacting directly with others who share my struggle really helped me.

I go to AA meetings, and I do believe that a spiritual awakening is a key element of recovery, but I really wish I could continue the once a week group therapy. My stupid health insurance company cut me off, though.

The AA concept of surrender was a huge help to me. I know that I can only stay sober by freely admitting that alcohol has defeated me. And I think sobriety would be impossible without a satisfying inner peace and and spiritual fulfillment. But that doesn't require belief in God, per se. But AA got me started on the right path.

So I attend meetings and derive inspiration from insights and stories that people share in meetings. And I think the mere effort of attending a meeting keeps me from taking my sobriety for granted and getting complacent.

But I've never worked the steps, per se, even if I've embraced and gained insight and strength from many of the concepts inherent in AA.

As others noted, I think there are many paths to sobriety. But, for me, a commitment to sobriety, being mindful of obstacles to sobriety, and keeping in mind all the things I've gained and all the things I can still attain and enjoy due to sobriety are what really keep me on the straight and narrow. AA helps with that, but it's not the sole means of sober living for me as it is for many.
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Old 07-06-2019, 06:02 AM
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I've often mentioned that the fellowship is what drew me to AA. The steps, if paraphrased to my understanding are helpful guides to living, but to me they seem like common sense. For some, they seem to facilitate their sobriety, and as stress reducers this may be helpful. I had stress when I drank, some caused by my inability to cope, too. But in the end, addiction and alcoholism were what caused me to keep drinking. They were also the biggest stress factors in my life. Life just gets better without alcohol. Dealing with stress gets easier, as does avoiding it.

So why did I spend so many years in AA meetings without consciously focusing on the steps or devoting myself to a higher power? I would have said, I didn't need the meetings, so why was I there? I asked myself that often in the past. Frankly, I enjoyed meetings because I needed to shout out about my sobriety and happiness, and meetings with other alcoholics were about the only place I could do that without offending, boring, or looking like a crazy person to others. If I brought up just a fraction of my total infatuation with my own sobriety to people who had never been on the drunk train, I'd be written off as a loony. Well, at least weirder than people may have actually thought. But in an AA meeting, people seem to get it, and are able to accept it without judgement.

I even said in a meeting one time, that I often tried to contain myself in meetings, because I was having a love affair with sobriety, and if I let it all out, I might make a fool out of myself. I looked around the room taking an inventory, and I noticed a couple of people just smiling and nodding, so I guess I wasn't so out of step with the group. But let that much hang out in society at large, and people will think you strange.

I was at a fund raising dinner where candidates for an upcoming US Senator election were speaking. There were the usual assortment of not well known wannabes and the incumbent, all pitching their virtues and experience for the job, but there was one candidate I could not make head nor tail of. He was dressed in a clown outfit, complete with the big feet and carrying around a cluster of helium balloons stretching for the ceiling. He came to the podium with his balloons announcing his candidacy for US Senator, and his single qualification was that he was a recovering alcoholic, and this put him in a position to know something-or-other about dealing with whatever. I have no idea how he got into the place, if he was for real (I think he was), or if he really thought people would see him as an excellent choice to represent them. There was a guy who let his joy and enthusiasm get away from himself. Oddly, now that I think about it, he would have seemed even more out of place at an AA meeting.
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Old 02-27-2020, 01:26 AM
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I did a successful geographical after attending meetings for a couple of years. My sponsor at the time told me I was mad to do a geographical as apparently my addict is doing press ups next door and I was a moment away from relapse blah blah blah.

Upon arrival in my new location I was talked into going to the local meeting by my sponsor back home and various others so I heeded them and found myself once more praying to a God I didn't believe in and talking about how grateful I was.

The meeting was small and a woman (19 years sober as she would announce constantly) and a real 'friend of Bill' was absolutely insane. She and others started to stress me out with their blinkered my way or the highway attitude to addiction.

I soon realize that my main source of stress and potential relapse trigger was the meeting itself!

I stopped going and have been clean and serene ever since.

I don't go to meetings. I don't buy into AA or any 12 Step Program and I am okay!

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Old 03-01-2020, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by KhmuNation View Post
I soon realize that my main source of stress and potential relapse trigger was the meeting itself!
I stopped going and have been clean and serene ever since.
I stayed in meetings for several years, but the reasons for that changed over the years. Early on I felt fragile. That quickly left after a few weeks, when I knew I was going to be OK, but I worried about going back out, especially seeing how common it was among members to come and go, praise sobriety for awhile, and then go back out, so I stayed on as an insurance against whatever caused people to lose it.

After a couple of years, I had figured out what the triggers were that sent others back to the bottle. Well, at least I figured out what my triggers were. But while doing this, I made some good friends in the program, so I stayed a few more years for the fellowship.

I did start to wonder how healthy it was to be around drunks coming and going, and I questioned if the fellowship, as much as I enjoyed it, was healthy or just another form of avoidance.

Whether it was accurate or not, when I finally broke ties, which was not a sudden departure, but somewhat prolonged, like testing the water with my toe before jumping in, I had the feeling that I was leaving the program and stepping out into life.

And I did. I ended up accomplishing a life long goal of selling my house and everything I had accumulated over the years, bought a boat and single-handedly sailed it from California to Mexico to Hawaii to Alaska, and down the Inland Passage through Canada to the lower 48. I sold the boat at the end of three years and and moved a little deeper into the woods, but 3000 miles away from where I lived before. I kept in touch with my sponsor who had quit going to meetings after I did until he fell off the map and I lost track of him.

For me, maybe not everyone, there certainly was a life after meetings. I went back to a couple of meetings near my new home, but there wasn't anything there for me anymore. That was 10 years ago.
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Old 03-01-2020, 09:09 AM
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I still go to meetings after almost 27 years. There is an AA clubhouse 5 minutes away and I attend during the evening twice a week. Do I feel a need to attending meetings as an insurance against picking up that first drink? I like to stay close to AA although I find myself spending more time these days on SR.

Re meetings: one thing that stood out years ago was an old-timer who shared he needed two or three meetings a week or else he began to feel squirrelly. Which stuck me as odd because aren't the tools of AA supposed to help one navigate life on life's terms.

However, I recall an another old-time member share what sobriety has given him is a reservoir of experiences. Often unpleasant experience which he learned from and most important didn't pick up a drink.

This the way I see my sobriety. The sudden death of those very close and financial setbacks/nightmares. I experienced both firsthand without an urge to get drunk. Ultimately such events were added to my reservoir of life experiences and I have grown from them.

In meetings I sometimes share how I got though the bad times... and which tools of AA I used. I like to hear concrete examples of such tools (be they AA or say therapy) used in times of turmoil.

All said and done.. I have enjoy AA meetings and I enjoy SR too.

The internet has certainly opened more doors to recovery.
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Old 03-03-2020, 01:05 PM
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I think it's interesting that some people on this forum openly describe themselves as 'recovered alcoholics'. Not 'recovering' or even just 'alcoholic' but recovered. I went to AA meetings in Dublin for 10 months every day - sometimes twice a day - and only one person would introduce himself as a recovered alcoholic and some of the others would slag him off about this, behind his back. Then again it begs the question why does he need to attend AA meetings if he's recovered? This bloke looked very healthy and I had no reason to disbelieve his statements that he was off booze for 20 years. I'm just trying to tease all this stuff out for myself.
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Old 03-03-2020, 01:42 PM
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One of the most contentious disagreements in terminology is in relation to the use of recovering or recovered alcoholics to describe people who are no longer drinking.

Some may say that the words are not that important – all that matters is that people are getting sober. Others might argue that the labels we use are crucial because they define how we view the world. It is even suggested that the words we use create our reality. It could be that by choosing between the terms recovering alcoholics and recovered alcoholics will have a difference on how people experience life in sobriety.


from alcoholrehab.com

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