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Old 06-11-2007, 06:27 PM
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New to this part of the board

Wow..I didnt know there was such a thing as recovery without God.
I thought everyone had to be NA..AA..Hp..All that stuff.
I dont knock it.
I just dont identify with it.
Although I was brought up to believe there is a God...My family is far from religous.
I guess sometimes I believe. But the whole turning my will over to a Hp is baffling to me.
It works for those who believe I guess. But I dont get it and I dont believe it works like that for me.
Like Tyler said in another thread.
I am in charge of my actions and I am the only one who can change it or do something about it.
I have always believed that. And have had hard times with people in NA when I question some of the religous beliefs.
And they are honest questions. And I get taken the wrong way and everyone starts banging out their sayings like a bunch of zombies. But noone ever gives me a real answer to my questions.
It is kinda creepy.
But that is just my experience.
But anyway. I never knew there was another way to recovery.
I am so relieved there is.
I would like to learn more on this type of recovery.
Thanks.
And I in no way am bashing the NA way or the Christian way.
It just does not work for me.
So I hope this post wasnt out of line. And if it is .I am sorry and it wasnt meant to be.
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Old 06-11-2007, 06:58 PM
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Welcome to the SC forum!!! Before I came to SR, I had no idea that there were any other "programs" other than AA/NA, and try as I did, I just couldn't seem to make them work for me. That said, I have definately gained knowledge from both of those programs and always gain from posting here at SR. This is one of the very few sites where 12-step folks and secularists can seem to get along. Not that there are'nt disagreements sometimes, but it is definately one of the most open minded group of folks I've found.

Anyway, glad you found your way to this forum. Sometimes it's not as "busy" as the other forums, that's why I continue to frequent others, but it seems to be picking up a bit of steam lately. Take care.
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Old 06-11-2007, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by chiynita View Post
So I hope this post wasnt out of line. And if it is .I am sorry and it wasnt meant to be.
Hi and welcome Chiynita.

I think you did a nice job of speaking from your heart and sharing your honest opinion in a non-offensive way . All good in my book.

I will not do the HP/God deal and I am maintaining my sobriety quite nicely and loving it. HP/God may work for some but, it will not work for me. For me getting and staying sober is a skill that I can learn. I believe if a hope to die, relentless speed freak and unmanageable alcoholic can recover without a belief in HP/God or anything vaguely resembling mystical beings, anybody can.

I use the Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy approach to recovery.

The three major insights of REBT are:

(1), take responsibility for disturbing yourself and do not cop out by blaming others;

(2), face the fact that your early disturbances do not automatically make you disturbed today;

(3), understand that no magical forces will change you, but only your own strong and persistent work and practice - yes, work and practice.

Working this program is like a breath of fresh air to me.

There are many paths to recovery. Having the control and choice to decide ones own path for recovery is empowering. I believe recovery can be best achieved when its based on a persons strengths and personal preferences. With empowerment an individual gains control of their own life and destiny.

Again, Welcome, post as often as you like and I hope to see you around here, doing it the secular way.
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Old 06-12-2007, 06:09 AM
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Hi Chiynita -

I don't think your post is out of line in the least.

I think that there are a fair number of people in 12 step programs that truly believe that recovery is not possible without a higher power. It is just what they believe and know, so when they are not responsive to your questions, I believe they're trying to help - it's well intentioned. I think there's a bit of an ingrained distrust for any recovery that goes outside of the 12-steps - that it's a dry drunk or a relapse waiting to happen, and no one wants to see that. I happen to disagree, but this is, I believe, where some AAers are coming from. (From what I've observed, relapse seems just as likely for those in AA as for those outside of it.)

Recovery is certainly possible without 12 stepping, but, as zencat has said, it does require commitment and effort. It's not so bad, though. Personally, I'm enjoying the heck out of the journey.

At any rate, there is a stickie at the top of this forum with links to a number of secular programs. I'd encourage you to check them all out. The number of face to face meetings that any of them provide are far less than you'll find in AA or NA, however.

Good luck to you, and I look forward to talking with you. We get some interesting conversations going.
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Old 06-12-2007, 09:58 AM
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I am in charge of my actions and I am the only one who can change it or do something about it.
I feel the same way, although I am religious. I have always felt that God gave us brains for a reason. He gives a choice, for a reason. It is up to me to make those changes myself.

I work REBT through SMART Recovery at http://www.smartrecovery.org

It has helped me a lot. For me, it helps me deal with problems in my personality that are not even addiction related. It has been a Godsend.

And I in no way am bashing the NA way or the Christian way.
It just does not work for me.
I do understand. It doesn't work for me either. Don't feel like you need to defend your beliefs. We all are human, and we are all different. That is what Secular Connections is about.

Welcome. I am glad you joined us.
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Old 06-12-2007, 11:56 AM
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Well, one puts and end to substance abuse -- draws a line under it -- because one decides to do just that. AA, nor any other group, is not able to change that. I am not being hard hearted; just realistic.

If you are having difficulty keeping to that decision of quitting, SR can help; there are compassionate folks here who will help you to stay quit.
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Old 06-12-2007, 01:03 PM
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I am checking out the smart site.
Because I fully believe that habit and behavior and thinking has to change with it as well.
I cant just throw my hands in the air and say ok...Somebody else take the wheel.
That is just not computing in my mind.
I believe mind over matter.
I just need to get the mind right to get over the matter.
Thanks all of you for your responses.
I feel this might actually be what I have been looking for.
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Old 06-13-2007, 08:36 AM
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After you go over there, would you fill us in with your experience with SMART? I am even willing to 'share notes'
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Old 06-13-2007, 09:09 AM
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I'm really glad that you started this thread, Chiynita. I go to AA and subscribe to a HP and all that, but there isn't often a tangible enough 'connection' to convince me. You had mentioned NA members banging out cliches like zombies, and that resonated with me. I cannot stand when I ask a question and am given a slogan or saying in response.
I will check out the SMART site also - simply because I wish to enrich my recovery, and I don't feel that AA is doing the job today.

Rowan
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Old 06-13-2007, 09:53 AM
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Well I attended a meeting last night. I really liked it.
I have done online NA before and I have to tell you.
Well let me give you the link from a few months ago with that experience.

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...-meetings.html

You have to read the whole thread to see what I mean.
It's not a long one.

Anyway...It felt very personable.
Everyone is checked in before the meeting individually and asked how they are and if they have any issues for the meeting.
If you do your on a list for when the meetimg starts.
And it is open for discussion.
None of that wait till your turn to respond or give your opinion type thing.
It felt very interactive and warming.
One person is called for their issue..they state it..say a few things and whoever can jump in and put their 2 cents in at anytime.
Which I think is affective.
Nobody...well at least I dont want to feel like I am talking to myself.
And the whole Dr. Phil type approach is great.
I am a strait to the point kind of person.
For example...How to cope with urges...It feels like your gonna die..but will you really?
No you wont...you just have to tough it out and deal with it.
I like that.
Not all that babying type crap I have been through before.
So yea..from what I have seen so far..I really like it.
I need facts and seeing is believing for me.
And I am a control freak anyway.
Who better to be in charge of me than me. Right?
Thanks .
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Old 06-13-2007, 09:58 AM
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Cool. I checked into SMART meetings near me and have yet to locate any.
Thanks for sharing your experience, it sounds like it was a positive one.
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Old 06-13-2007, 12:31 PM
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That's one of the tough things about secular programs. Unless you happen to live in the Bay area in California, the "birthplace" of the secular recovery movement, there is often not much to be found for F2F support.

Chiynita, glad you found the online meeting helpful. You also might want to check out the chat room at Lifering. There are a few scheduled meetings, but there are usually a half dozen or so people just hanging out most of the time. The meetings are similar to SMART. It's a good place to go if you want to have some informal discussion about secular recovery in real time. Here's the link http://www.unhooked.com/chat/index.html
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Old 06-13-2007, 12:49 PM
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Welcome
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Old 06-14-2007, 03:14 AM
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tyler
This is one of the very few sites where 12-step folks and secularists can seem to get along.
... thanks for mentioning that T...

woo-hoo, chiy! happy to see your seeking something that might work for you... see ya on CIU...lol

all good wishes... xxoo, rz
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Old 06-14-2007, 11:25 AM
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I've been going to AA meetings because I haven't been able to find any kind of secular group in my area. I'm in a pretty populated metro area...I thought I would be able to find something close by. Anyways, I don't intend to do the steps and cannot give myself over to a HP, but it helps to listen to other's stories and to talk with people that understand. I like to go to the speaker meetings.
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Old 06-14-2007, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
I'm really glad that you started this thread, Chiynita. I go to AA and subscribe to a HP and all that, but there isn't often a tangible enough 'connection' to convince me. You had mentioned NA members banging out cliches like zombies, and that resonated with me. I cannot stand when I ask a question and am given a slogan or saying in response.

Rowan
This was an issue for me, as well. I had valid questions and invariably would end up steered over to speak with a highly respected old-timer, only to hear something like "Keep the plug in the jug and keep coming to meetings" or "let go and let god". Eventually I was told I was just being "too smart" and had to dumb myself up or something to "get" the program. Honestly, I felt like there was a secret code and I wasn't able to crack it. I never felt I belonged. I'm glad there are alternatives. With that said, I know that AA has done wonders for many folks for whom everything else failed. I just never fit in.
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Old 06-14-2007, 06:03 PM
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Well another successful day. I feel so ..I cant even explain it.
I guess in control. Happy...Hopeful...Satified.
Alera...Thank you for turning me on to the smart program. I owe you.
It is so on my level and I get it.
Thank you.
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Old 06-15-2007, 05:08 AM
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I'm kinda like Alera...I actually my own spiritual beliefs, but I believe I have two arms, two legs and a brain for a reason. It's down to me - and I'll use whatever I can to make this new me work.

D
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Old 06-15-2007, 06:44 AM
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I'll look at the smart recovery site again today. I found it confusing and hard to follow. I'm a person of average intelligence, so I don't know exactly why this is, although I hate the over-use of acronyms and this site seemed to be peppered with quite a few of them. Maybe I'll end up putting together my own program with parts pilfered from other places. What I do know is this: I can't just quit one day at a time. I have to quit forever. Drinking cannot be an option for me, period. Like Dee74, I feel it is "down to me". I must hold myself personally accountable for my actions. I am the only one who can put a drink into my body. I am the one who decides whether or not I do so. Somebody gave me some good advice...whenever I have a positive memory of drinking, I should counter it with an unpleasant memory. Actually, as weird as last night was, I know from experience that my real challenge will come later...when a few months have gone by and I'm feeling confident and strong. That's my dangerous time, because that's when I felt I could moderate last year. I hope that knowing how dismally I failed last year, I will be able to ward off any ideas of moderation this time.
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Old 06-15-2007, 06:54 AM
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Hi Nan, I guess I work a "hybred" program. I use parts of AA/NA, SMART, Lifering, various recovery material I recieved in my stints in rehab, a theripist who specializes in addiction and CBT, and of course, posting here at SR.

This site was my introduction to sobriety. I wish I could say I've been clean and sober sence I joined 5 1/2 years ago, but I had to go through much more before I learned what I had to. Been clean for about a month and a half now, doing it for MYSELF for the first time. I held on to the belief that I could still drink, but I've accepted not that that is not going to work for me either.

As far as the one day at a time thing...I find it very helpful. My interpertation of the concept is that all you have to do is not drink TODAY. If you do that enough times, days become weeks, months, years, etc. The idea is to stay in the moment. Many of us have lost a great deal due to our substance abuse and spending too much time worrying about the future can be overwhelming. Don't know if that helps, or maybe just comitting to quitting forever is better for you. Take care.
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