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Short List of Recovery Necessities

Old 08-09-2008, 10:20 PM
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Short List of Recovery Necessities

By Rex A.

Sobriety sometimes takes longer to "get" for some than for others. I don't know why. The more you struggle with it, the closer you get to success. What do you need to do to achieve sobriety? I don't know! But YOU know. You know, even if you don't think that you know. Here is my short list of some of the things that have been necessary to recovery for some of us:

1. Go to a lot of skin meetings. (90/90)

1a. Go to "Brand X" meetings if no SOS available.

2. Make sober friends.

3. Get professional counseling.

4. Become more educated about alcoholism generally and as it applies to us personally: reading, discussing, attending classes & programs, self observation, behavior mod techniques, etc.)

5. Avoid slippery places and activities (bars, parties, etc.)

6. Making key lifestyle and social changes (leaving an addicted spouse, stop hanging with the old crowd, changing jobs that demand drinking, moving to a less slippery part of town, etc.).

7. Pro-actively getting involved with new hobbies and other recreations that are alcohol free.

8. If idle, finding ways to fill your time. If over scheduled, finding ways to free up time. If isolated, spending more time around people. If dependently and compulsively social, learning to tolerate spending some time alone.

9. "Positive lifestyle changes." Paying attention to health & fitness, diet, exercise, stress management, meditation, etc.

There is nothing mysterious about these strategies. They come up over and over on this list in one form or another, and are restated in a myriad of ways in the dozens of books available in the Self Help section of the book store. AA would add a religious strategy to the list, and that is clearly helpful for some people. I am sure that you can add to the list yourself with no difficulty.

Which ones are most important? Hard to say. It's different for different people. This ain't rocket science, but one suggestion is that those strategies which scare you most, or seems the most repulsive may be the ones you need to consider the most seriously. Sorry.

I do know alcoholics who seem to have been able to stop drinking, and then go about their business as if nothing had happened, changing little of their life and lifestyle. I think, however, those people are rare exceptions. Just as I believe there are some really hard cases who need (as in can't make it without it) very extreme strategies such as "Tough Love", Synanon or the like. Most people, I imagine, are somewhere between those two extremes.

However, the naive believe that one can "get it" without having to do some things that s/he doesn't particularly want to do--or without giving up some things that s/he doesn't want to up--or make some changes that s/he doesn't particularly want to make is delusional. It is as common as salt, among us alcoholics, but it is delusional.

So what are you willing to do to recover? How important is it to you? What will you do today to move toward that goal? If you don't have answers, what steps can you take today to help you find some answers? In the now immortal words of that inspiring actor, Tom Cruise "Show me the money!"

Sorce: LifeRing Tool Box

Last edited by Zencat; 08-09-2008 at 10:50 PM. Reason: Changed topic.
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Old 08-09-2008, 10:49 PM
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Arrow I would add:

10. Maintain a positive attitude even with a low mood.

There plenty of times when my mood was indifferent or apprehensive about my chances at getting sober. I wanted to stop trying for something that at times felt impossible to attain. Those were the times when my determination to remain hopeful for sobriety is what carried me though. What I realized is my mood will not be as persistent as my attitude. Moods come and go with regularity but attitudes reflect an almost innate desire born from a constant persistence to grow. Anywho, thats my perception.
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Old 08-10-2008, 07:53 AM
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The Women for Sobriety Program



13 Statements of Acceptance


1. I have a life-threatening problem that once had me.

I now take charge of my life. I accept the responsibility.

2. Negative thoughts destroy only myself.

My first conscious act must be to remove negativity from my life.

3. Happiness is a habit I will develop.

Happiness is created, not waited for.

4. Problems bother me only to the degree I permit them to.

I now better understand my problems and do not permit problems to overwhelm me.

5. I am what I think.

I am a capable, competent, caring, compassionate woman.

6. Life can be ordinary or it can be great.

Greatness is mine by a conscious effort.

7. Love can change the course of my world.

Caring becomes all important.

8. The fundamental object of life is emotional and spiritual growth.

Daily I put my life into a proper order, knowing which are the priorities.

9. The past is gone forever.

No longer will I be victimized by the past, I am a new person.

10. All love given returns.

I will learn to know that others love me.

11. Enthusiasm is my daily exercise.

I treasure all moments of my new life.

12. I am a competent woman and have much to give life.

This is what I am and I shall know it always.

13. I am responsible for myself and for my actions.

I am in charge of my mind, my thoughts, and my life.
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Old 08-10-2008, 08:10 AM
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:ghugThanks Doornob...that is very helpful for me today!
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Old 08-10-2008, 08:50 AM
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Thanks Doornob, I changed my mind on the topic but could not change the new topic header. I glad you posted the 13 statements.
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Old 08-10-2008, 10:44 AM
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No problem. You can edit your title, but you have to go to 'advanced' to do it (within the given time limit). Anyway, since it was in your title I figured I may as well post it!
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Old 08-10-2008, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by zencat View Post
10. Maintain a positive attitude even with a low mood.

There plenty of times when my mood was indifferent or apprehensive about my chances at getting sober. I wanted to stop trying for something that at times felt impossible to attain. Those were the times when my determination to remain hopeful for sobriety is what carried me though. What I realized is my mood will not be as persistent as my attitude. Moods come and go with regularity but attitudes reflect an almost innate desire born from a constant persistence to grow. Anywho, thats my perception.
This is one of the hardest for me to this day. When I get moody or depressed I check two things... First - When was the last time I ate? If not recently, then I sit down and eat well rounded meal. Then I turn on some music that affects my mood. We all have some music that is like this. If at work, I will take my MP3 player out on the patio during my 15 minute break. I have a little list of these songs that lift my mood. Everything from Aaron Copeland to
The Kinks.

Great thread Zencat. I am going to sticky it.
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Old 08-10-2008, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Alera View Post
This is one of the hardest for me to this day.
Word. I woke up this morning ready to take a Foty a O E to tha face.
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Old 08-10-2008, 06:45 PM
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I think at some point the urge to use will lessen as it has me Doorknob. Or maybe I haven't had enough stress to trigger me to use. I think being accountable to my girlfriend has a lot to do with my sobriety too. I'm sure its plenty of things.
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Old 08-11-2008, 05:51 PM
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This got buried with a closed thread but I think it belongs here. Thank you Sunyata.

Sunyata's Personal Do's and Dont's for Secular Recovery
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If this helps you, wonderful, if not, then it is not for you:


1)HIT BOTTOM. The pain of continuing has to outweigh the fear of stopping.

2)Decide that you want to be happy! Because recovery is happiness! Crave true, pure happiness like you craved your drink, drug. If drugs and liquor made people happy we would all be on the corner or at the liquor store all day, but they don't make us happy! Drugs and drinking hurt us!

3)TRY AA OR NA!!! Give AA or NA a serious try. They work for many people. Only after you have tried repeatedly, and know in your heart that you cannot stop drinking and drugging in the 12 Step Modality, should you say "this doesn't work for me".

4) Don't associate with people you drank with, used with, especially in the beginning, and even later on. Bars and clubs are not good for recovery or the development of spirituality or insight. They are predicated on escaping from reality, not confronting it, which is what recovery is all about.

4) Substitution: every time you get a craving, engage in a positive or netural behavior, instead of letting the negative seeds in your mind linger. Do something you used to love, and forgot about, even if it feels awkward (which it will, everything is awkward in the beginning, and even later on, heehee)

5)Meditate every morning, using Thich Nhat Hanh's "Miracle of Mindfulness" or any WWW set of meditation instructions (Google Mindfulness of Breathing). Meditation on the Breath is SECULAR, breath is not religious object, breath is natural, we all have it. Start small (five minutes), don't beat yourself up, don't quit.

6) Think the drug, drink through, realize that the drug/drink is a temporary fix to a temporary problem, a problem that will go away of its own accord. THINGS TAKE CARE OF THEMSELVES. HAVE FAITH IN THAT PROPOSITION. IT IS TRUE.

7) Develop your spiritual life. If you are an atheist, read Sartre and Einstein and Darwin. if you are a Pagan, read the Upanishads or the Vedas, the Tao Te Ching or Celtic stuff. If you are Buddhist read Dhammapada or whatever. Anything that helps you....READ AND DO!

8)Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results. Converse of above, anything that hurts you....DON'T DO!

9)LOVE YOURSELF! YOU ARE WORTH SAVING! YOUR HUMAN LIFE IS PRECIOUS! DO NOT WASTE IT! Recognize your own divinity and specialness, the wonder that is you! You must recover for yourself, because you want to be happy. Without a real aspiration to get clean and sober, it is impossible to get sober and clean.

10)Learn to fail! Failure can be the greatest blessing, as it teaches us more than success, and without failure, we cannot succeed. THE MORE MISTAKES YOU MAKE THE MORE YOU ARE TRYING TO GROW!

11) Do not hate your "negative emotions" or "bad thoughts". Do not hate "your disease". Don't condemn yourself. Your imperfections and defects are a part of you! You are not Iraq! You are not Vietnam! You are a human being, not a battlefield. You are not Disease vs. God, or God Vs. Devil, or Light Vs. Dark. You are perfectly imperfect, and if you wait to be perfect before you love yourself, you will die miserable.

12)Accept life as it is. This world is not a safe place, and there is much wrong with it, but this does not mean we cannot be happy here!

13)Take responsibility for your own happiness. No one else is responsible for your actions but you. Your happiness and your despair, are in your hands, and your hands alone. Your destiny is your own. We cannot choose the hand we are dealt, but sometimes there is more satisfaction in skillfully playing a horrible hand than playing a good one. No one can save you but yourself, so you have to decide that you are worth saving. It is only when you make this decision that others can help you.

14)Seek out positive people who don't drink, use drugs addictively. (There are tons of them, and the vast majority do not go to 12 Step Fellowships)


15) Never give up! The only failure, in this world, is to quit!




Peace and Courage,
Sunyata
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Old 08-25-2008, 08:18 AM
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Thanks to everyone who contributed to this sticky. I need to start reading these things more often! Very helpful information right here...
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Old 08-25-2008, 08:39 AM
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I found that last post by DN to be very helpful...printed it out so I can refer to it....thanks.
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Old 08-25-2008, 08:58 AM
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Decide that you want to be unhappy... That's great... I decided that I did not want to be unhappy, which is not the same thing at all, is it?!

I enjoy the positive bent of what you posted, too, DK.
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Old 08-25-2008, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by SelfSeeking View Post
Decide that you want to be unhappy... That's great... I decided that I did not want to be unhappy, which is not the same thing at all, is it?!

I enjoy the positive bent of what you posted, too, DK.
Oops, should read "decide that you want to be happy".
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Old 08-26-2008, 01:56 PM
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I love this thread, I am glad it is a sticky.
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Old 06-23-2009, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Zencat View Post

I do know alcoholics who seem to have been able to stop drinking, and then go about their business as if nothing had happened, changing little of their life and lifestyle. I think, however, those people are rare exceptions. Just as I believe there are some really hard cases who need (as in can't make it without it) very extreme strategies such as "Tough Love", Synanon or the like. Most people, I imagine, are somewhere between those two extremes.
I like the overall sentiment of this piece. But Synanon really was extreme. At least the one in the US was an abusive, murderous cult. I remember the news coverage. Scary stuff.
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Old 09-08-2010, 09:22 AM
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This is link has a good amount of info regarding Relapse Prevention Planning.
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:29 AM
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Get educated about addiction. Here's a great thread that will help:
http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...rch-links.html
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Old 03-02-2012, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by doorknob View Post
The Women for Sobriety Program



13 Statements of Acceptance


1. I have a life-threatening problem that once had me.

I now take charge of my life. I accept the responsibility.

2. Negative thoughts destroy only myself.

My first conscious act must be to remove negativity from my life.

3. Happiness is a habit I will develop.

Happiness is created, not waited for.

4. Problems bother me only to the degree I permit them to.

I now better understand my problems and do not permit problems to overwhelm me.

5. I am what I think.

I am a capable, competent, caring, compassionate woman.

6. Life can be ordinary or it can be great.

Greatness is mine by a conscious effort.

7. Love can change the course of my world.

Caring becomes all important.

8. The fundamental object of life is emotional and spiritual growth.

Daily I put my life into a proper order, knowing which are the priorities.

9. The past is gone forever.

No longer will I be victimized by the past, I am a new person.

10. All love given returns.

I will learn to know that others love me.

11. Enthusiasm is my daily exercise.

I treasure all moments of my new life.

12. I am a competent woman and have much to give life.

This is what I am and I shall know it always.

13. I am responsible for myself and for my actions.

I am in charge of my mind, my thoughts, and my life.
Probably the best thing I've read in a long long long time...thank you for this!
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Old 07-17-2012, 11:46 AM
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1. Go to a lot of skin meetings. (90/90)

1a. Go to "Brand X" meetings if no SOS available.
sorry i am kinda new to this site again, so take what i say with a grain of salt pls, but what does 'SOS' mean, and how do we go to non-12 step meetings 90/90 when there are clearly not as many? Don't most people consider AA/NA to be non-secular??

also...
7) Develop your spiritual life. If you are an atheist, read Sartre and Einstein and Darwin. if you are a Pagan, read the Upanishads or the Vedas, the Tao Te Ching or Celtic stuff. If you are Buddhist read Dhammapada or whatever. Anything that helps you....READ AND DO!
Not really sure, but is Hinduism considered paganism, or Taoism for that matter? Just curious. Thanks, and please no offense i am just trying to get some stuff clear in my own head!! Thanks!!
~alien22
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