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Old 11-20-2018, 02:59 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Smart recovery - how many meetings per week?


Hi there, I've been going to AA for the last 3 months and it hasn't stopped me drinking. I'm on a loop of 2 weeks sober then relapse, rinse repeat. I want to try to mix things up because while going to AA meetings helped initially, I haven't been able to stay stopped and last week I felt positively disillusioned with them for various reasons. I am by no means ruling out AA as a possible long term solution but I want to give them a break and try something else.

My question is - for those of you that go to Smart - how many days a week do you attend meetings? I'm assuming less than AA by virtue of how much less prevalent it is? Also, is there a point at which you stop when all seems to have gone to plan in terms of staying stopped etc?

The idea of going to meetings several times a week for the rest of my life in AA was the one thing that got me depressed about the whole thing. The idea of having a "daily reprieve" IF we rigorously stick to the program - that's a LOT of time in my own head until the day I die.

Finally, anyone here in the UK go to Smart? I'm in London.
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Old 11-20-2018, 09:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
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hi Briansy,
it's not going to meetings that is the suggested solution in AA, just saying.
and it will not be going to meetings in SMART that stop people drinking. SMART has a set of tools, far as i know, and a program of sorts.
meetings are great for fellowship, no matter what approach you use, and meeting and connecting with others is something i have found useful, whether in cyberspace or "real life".
hope someone with SMART experience comes along soon and can give more info.

oh! you might want to repost in a different forum, as folks who use SMART would not tend to hang out in Secular 12-step.
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Old 11-20-2018, 04:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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as many as you need.

face-to-face meetings are rather thinner on the ground than AA, as you say, but there are online UK meetings most evenings:
https://www.smartrecovery.org.uk/mee...nline-meetings
you can attend meetings for as long as you want/need, but their aim is to give you a set of tools to take away & use, rather than them being an open-ended support.
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Old 11-29-2018, 08:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I like the Smart online meetings....just recently started checking in on there again, and attended a "Tool Time" meeting for the first time. I don't have a set number of meetings, since I need all the help I can get!
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Old 12-01-2018, 06:07 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Smart or AA, I would tell everyone a meeting each day at the beginning. Later as many as you need and none if you don't need any at all. This is obviously not very precise, and I suspect making the determination is fraught with miscalculations and misjudgments often motivated by personality factors of self interest or desire to risk, or even cheat.

If you are committed to sobriety, there is less chance of miscalculations or lame excuses for whatever schedule you decide is appropriate. Personally, I erred on the side of safety, I'm quite sure way more than I needed to. But I never would have attempted being away from meetings unless I was absolutely confident in my ability to go it alone in sobriety. How do you know when you are ready to go it alone, or just cut back? Who knows?

All I can say about myself is that I just knew, which was kind of odd in retrospect, because I usually question myself and my beliefs more that others, but his was something I just believed with a higher than usual level of confidence.

Obviously, if you start to feel tempted, you should get yourself back to meetings pronto. After a couple of years, I can't remember being tempted to drink. I was no longer afraid of slipping. I was confident that it would never happen.

Toward the end, I spend periods of a year away form meetings, as I was sailing around the Pacific, and always ending up in new places. Once I sought out meetings just for human contact, not to protect my sobriety. I would never have attempted such an adventure that put me out of touch if I wasn't sure about my sobriety.

Eventually, I had enough. My meetings were AA, and a secular individual needs a certain about of tolerance to listen to the philosophy constantly presented in AA. After I got back to shore and became land based again, I started up meetings just to meet new friends in a new place. I knew that I had lost interest in meetings, and I remember the night at a meeting when I decided I just wasn't going to listen any longer to things I simply couldn't believe to be true, let alone be anyway connected to my own well being. I made no such announcement to the group. I just fell off the map. My tolerance had run out, but it didn't happen until long after I gained confidence in myself, and was sure of my sobriety. I could have quit meetings years earlier. I just chose not to.
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Old 12-02-2018, 01:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Briansy you seem to be equating meetings with the solution to your problem. That does not seem to have worked out. Since you are posting in the secular section I'm thinking that perhaps a Buddhist or pantheistic conception of a higher power could work for you. In any case, the change will need to take place on the inside ... regardless of where it originates.
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Old 12-05-2018, 01:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I was pretty sick and was advised by mydoctmy (psychiatrist ant a dual diagnosis mood disorder and substance abuse clinic) that their only recommend treatment was medical detox and at least 30 days of inpatient rehab. So I did it. Rehab was 12 Step based. I attended various 12 Step meetings then supplemented with SMART. Unfortunately the only regular SMART meeting near me consisted of a core group with significant mental health issues that weren't a good fit, so I continued online.

What concerns me about your question is that you continue to drink despiye meetings. My experience was that once I admitted to myself that one drink would lead back to addictive drinking and drugging, and the only solution was to take drugs and alcohol off the table .

Meetings of whatever sort do not of themselves get and keep you sober. YOU need to do that. After that (basically 12 Step 1) whatever methods you use are a crucial means to keep you accountable to yourself and others for your sobriety. The method and frequency are whatever you feel is sufficient to maintain your goal ..lifetime sobriety.
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