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Old 03-27-2009, 10:47 AM
  # 61 (permalink)  
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I have a new appreciation for folks on both sides of the recovery fence.

I hope it is ok, to just let my thoughts go here.

First, I have tried thousands of times to get and stay sober through AA.
It has worked and then it hasn't for me. I have never looked for any alternative to long term recovery until now.

I was recently admitted to detox in a traditional 12 step detox and treatment facility. They are a non medical model. Even though I went through horrible, late stage alcohol withdrawls the staff decided to monitor my detox and provide no med's or outside medical care. Even when I begged to go to the hospital, I was told that I didn't fit the "zone" to receive outside medical treatment. I spent four days in a little room, really believing that I was going to die. I didn't. On the fifth day, I left treatment, with a bunch of paper work to my employer. The employer had to be notified because of my absence. Huge black letters that stated I was leaving treatment against advice, in more spaces that were really necessary.

Funny thing. In this 12 step treatment center, while I was in agony. And I was, a counselor came to the detox area and asked me a few questions. I asked him if he had something I could read. The staff kept putting in recovery tapes. While I was willing to watch them, and I did, what kept my attention was the bad. I couldn't hold on to the solution to save my life.

The counselor gave me a book. It was called Rational Recovery. Believe me, it was hard to read. No concentration and even the letters that were blurred
made it difficult.

What was in the book helped me to no end. The center kept telling me I needed to give up everything, have my son help me and on and on it went.

The book Rational Recovery, completely squashed that. It is ironic that it was given to me by a counselor who worked in 12 step recovery alone.

What I have found for myself, granted this is only nine days out, that both modes of treatment have offered me a wonderful solution. I have gone back to AA, although RR warns against it. I have learned that RR offers me a huge solution to stop drinking.

I am saying that I am taking what I need and not listening to the rest. Yes I will need a sponser to help me sort through all this.

My point is that no program is bad if even one person in this horrible addiction can hold on and have it help them.

We can sound off and separate ourselves. The twelve step people vs the people that won't, can't or plain don't understand a 12 step way to stay clean and sober.

But there might be a lot more energy and healing if we came together on this board. We could acknowledge and claim or differences and resolve to be there for each other, regardless of our beliefs. Such tolerance might go a long, long way in healing ourselves as well as understanding our relationships with others.
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Old 03-27-2009, 10:50 AM
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I love it how so many people are doing there best to invalidate other SR members’ concerns and opinions.
Let me try to explain, Katie. It started with the above comments. I don’t agree with it. I think people are simply disagreeing with opinions. Nothing wrong with that. We all are at different stages of recovery. When I say it is about her and not about me, it means this is her recovery, not mine. It is really very simple. No, I’m not a PHD. No surprise there. I am just another alcoholic who has found a way to recovery, one day at a time.

As far as anger goes, anger will destroy an alcoholic. It will kill them dead. I know my anger kept me in the booze. I don’t think it is to far off to think it would do the same with any other alcoholic. You have even recognized that fact here on the boards. Quite honestly, I may have said some things that may not have been welcomed or agreed upon, but I’m not slinging anything to be mean or hurtful. I have read some very curt, rude responses back though. I’m not trying to invalidate or jumping to any conclusions. I have seen all of this before. It is very typical and familiar to me. I've lived it. I am only trying to share my experience with what helped me. And if I may, if a recovery board is causing so much distress, maybe it isn’t the right solution for certain individuals. Me, not stressing. I'm happy, sober and living the good life. That is my choice as it is for each and every one of us. With that, I’m backing out of here to leave you all with your discussion.
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Old 03-27-2009, 11:00 AM
  # 63 (permalink)  
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Thanks mtnmagic...worth repeating and welcome to secular

Originally Posted by mtnmagic View Post

But there might be a lot more energy and healing if we came together on this board. We could acknowledge and claim or differences and resolve to be there for each other, regardless of our beliefs. Such tolerance might go a long, long way in healing ourselves as well as understanding our relationships with others.
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Old 03-27-2009, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by ananda View Post
Thanks mtnmagic...worth repeating and welcome to secular
I second that
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Old 03-27-2009, 12:00 PM
  # 65 (permalink)  
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I would like to see that also. I use some of the AA steps for my recovery also. I think that step 4 is a very good step to take on the road. I also have Rational Recovery and use it for the basis of not drinking. Harmony is what is needed around here IMO.
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Old 03-27-2009, 12:04 PM
  # 66 (permalink)  
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Ommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...... :ghug2
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Old 03-27-2009, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by LosingmyMisery View Post
Let me try to explain, Katie. It started with the above comments. I don’t agree with it. I think people are simply disagreeing with opinions. Nothing wrong with that. We all are at different stages of recovery. When I say it is about her and not about me, it means this is her recovery, not mine. It is really very simple. No, I’m not a PHD. No surprise there. I am just another alcoholic who has found a way to recovery, one day at a time.

As far as anger goes, anger will destroy an alcoholic. It will kill them dead. I know my anger kept me in the booze. I don’t think it is to far off to think it would do the same with any other alcoholic. You have even recognized that fact here on the boards. Quite honestly, I may have said some things that may not have been welcomed or agreed upon, but I’m not slinging anything to be mean or hurtful. I have read some very curt, rude responses back though. I’m not trying to invalidate or jumping to any conclusions. I have seen all of this before. It is very typical and familiar to me. I've lived it. I am only trying to share my experience with what helped me. And if I may, if a recovery board is causing so much distress, maybe it isn’t the right solution for certain individuals. Me, not stressing. I'm happy, sober and living the good life. That is my choice as it is for each and every one of us. With that, I’m backing out of here to leave you all with your discussion.
I will speak for myself. It is not the recovery board that is causing distress. What causes me distress is when someone dispenses "tough love" my way. That is not helpful to me - at all. It is when people cookie cutter all those with addiction issues, as if we are all the same. This is like saying anyone who smokes is like any other smoker. Both addictions, simply not true.

Also, those of us who seek a secular approach to sobriety are definitely in the minority. As such, it is a tougher road to hoe with not nearly as much support available in the community. This causes me frustration and a lot of it. It's hard to accept that one has this condition and there are so fewer choices available.

As far as anger destroying an alcoholic, anger will destroy even a "normie." Aside from my addictions, I am not that different from a normie. So why must I identify my whole being as an alcoholic or addict?

If I were able to just go to AA and be left alone, without any requirement I label myself, get a sponsor, work the steps, I don't think I'd have an issue with it (but then it wouldn't be AA right? Just a group of people sharing their common struggle who feel no need to label, tell other people what to do, subscribe to any steps, etc). I have met wonderful people in AA. I just can't go there because of all the requirements, and it's a shame. I know all too well the shunning that comes from not conforming.

Last edited by Katie09; 03-27-2009 at 12:42 PM. Reason: add thought
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Old 03-27-2009, 06:16 PM
  # 68 (permalink)  
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As far as anger destroying an alcoholic, anger will destroy even a "normie." Aside from my addictions, I am not that different from a normie. So why must I identify my whole being as an alcoholic or addict?
Anger will destroy a normie, true enough. Alcoholics drink over anger. There lies the danger. Can you not see the correlation there? Drinking will speed up the process. Continue to identify yourself as you please, but you are aware that if you continue to drink it will kill before your time. A normie doesn't take a the risk of dying of alcoholism. You are what your drink, Katie whether you want to identify it or not. Now that I don't drink, I'm not filled with anger. It has everything to do with the recovery process. Once you work a program the anger subsides.

Katie, you don't know all of the benefits you are missing out on by not comforming. However, that is your choice.
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Old 03-27-2009, 06:33 PM
  # 69 (permalink)  
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This is what I got out of the SMART meeting the other night and this applies to both those with addictions as well as those without:

Ingredients of Happy and Healthy Living

Self-acceptance, risk-taking, non-utopian, high frustration tolerance, self-responsibility for disturbance, self-interest, social interest, self-direction, tolerance, flexibility, acceptance of uncertainty, commitment
This is the type of program I am comfortable with. It requires no conformity, no labels, no shame, etc.

I'd go into individual definitions of each, but it would involve a lot of typing. These are just the items we discussed. I so wish that all who would like to embrace a program that includes discussion of these things had the option to go to meetings in their area. Perhaps some do, but many many do not.
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Old 03-27-2009, 06:39 PM
  # 70 (permalink)  
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I'm glad that this program interests you. It is a shame that these options aren't more readily available. I hope this is exactly what you are looking for to move forward.
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Old 03-27-2009, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by LosingmyMisery View Post
I'm glad that this program interests you. It is a shame that these options aren't more readily available. I hope this is exactly what you are looking for to move forward.
Thanks and I concur. I just realized there are 12 of those, just like there are 12 steps.
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Old 03-27-2009, 06:51 PM
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Hmmmmmmmm...could be a conspiracy?
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Old 03-27-2009, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by LosingmyMisery View Post
Katie, you don't know all of the benefits you are missing out on by not comforming. However, that is your choice.
I'm sure there are benefits to joining Scientology or the Mormon church as well, but it sure isn't for me.
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Old 03-27-2009, 07:04 PM
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I always wanted to be a moonie, but I live to far away from an airport.
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Old 03-27-2009, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by doorknob View Post
I'm sure there are benefits to joining Scientology or the Mormon church as well, but it sure isn't for me.
You get to meet Tom Cruise and Greta Van Susteren and John Travolta and Ken Jennings... yeah! You could meet that guy from Jeopardy if you're a Mormon!!!
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Old 03-27-2009, 07:39 PM
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This is what works for me using the model from Women for sobriety. I think even a male could use this. I can't type in a links yet but look up this on the internet.
womenforsobriety dot org

go under the link for new life program and it lists the affirmations that are used.

The reason I like women for sobriety or WFS is that instead of steps that ask me to be powerless I am using positive affirmations that lift me up.

I have worked through schemas ( can also put in character flaws in leu of this term) in rehab, worked through childhood issues etc etc. I am done beating myself up and I am confidently taking the power to think positive uplifting thoughts. I use meditation, guided imagery, energy healing with postive mind tapes, Reiki, prayer, exercise, hobbies and a wonderful psychologist to help me daily. I don't ever dwell on my addiction unless I am in a 12 step meeting. The only reason I go to 12 step meetings is it is mandated to me to do so. I have been to 6 months worth of 12 step meetings and they don't work for me.

What works for me is knowing I have to be clean no matter what, it is everything to be clean to me. It means my career back, my life back, it means taking care of my family. Being not clean it not an option for me. It is easy once you make your mind up there is no going back. My worst emotion is anger. But I've found that the next day the anger is gone and it was nothing to use over whatever the problem was nothing was going to get better in my life over using. Plus NOTHING OR NOONE nor any situation deserves to be given the power to make me use. NOTHING.

I am an emotional human that does not like to expose my vulnerabilities to myself or others I scored really high on wanting everything to be perfect including myself, on self sacrificing which I do really well. And 12 steps don't work for me because in my area it's done rigidly I can't take the dogma but I've found what works for me and I am truly happy, peaceful. So alternate programs of recovery do work-- anything can work if you desire sobriety as the end result. I have to guard against the possibility that I could relapse and I know for me it comes with feeling unworthy about myself which is why 12 steps don't work. I feel worse after and I need self esteem, uplifting, positive program that helps me set good boundaries, helps me love myself, love others and empowers me.
It's a mash of finding what works, but I do believe in god just not sponsors or 12 steps. lol.
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Old 03-27-2009, 07:56 PM
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Thank you much, meditation and welcome!! I went to WFS at one time and did find the 13 statements to be very uplifting. (I hope this is ok to post mods, if not, pls remove )

WFS "NEW LIFE" ACCEPTANCE STATEMENTS

1. I have a life-threatening problem that once had me.
I now take charge of my life and my disease. I accept the responsibility.

2. Negative thoughts destroy only myself.
My first conscious sober 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.
They do a wonderful job.


I should probably go back - not tomorrow as I have to go to the post office and take care of other business, but I am going to make it a point. Your post also made me think of another 16 step program, which I haven't thought of for a long time.

http://www.charlottekasl.com

The thinking process when AA came into being was that ego deflation was in order. AA was created by men, for men. I haven't seen too many women walk through the doors of AA that needed their egos deflated, IMHO.

At any rate, thanks so much for your post!
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Old 03-27-2009, 08:03 PM
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Glad you posted that, Katie. Thanks. My mom knows *something* is wrong with me. But she certainly has NO IDEA it's drugs. But I was obviously sorta down one day (she knows BF and I are over, so I think she just attributes it to that) and she spent her morning cutting positive words and phrases out of old magazines, gluing them to felt, cutting them apart, and putting them in a cloth gift bag. Then she brought them to me, made me shut my eyes and pick one. So now I have a little bag of happy thoughts. When I need one I just get one out of the bag. Sounds corny but it really helps.
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Old 03-27-2009, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by gneiss View Post
Glad you posted that, Katie. Thanks. My mom knows *something* is wrong with me. But she certainly has NO IDEA it's drugs. But I was obviously sorta down one day (she knows BF and I are over, so I think she just attributes it to that) and she spent her morning cutting positive words and phrases out of old magazines, gluing them to felt, cutting them apart, and putting them in a cloth gift bag. Then she brought them to me, made me shut my eyes and pick one. So now I have a little bag of happy thoughts. When I need one I just get one out of the bag. Sounds corny but it really helps.
Wow, not only do you have great friends, but you have a great mom! Maybe I should make myself a little bag too
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Old 03-27-2009, 09:00 PM
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I just want to say that I am glad that we are all able to be here debating and talking with one another instead of out there using. I honestly enjoy a good conversation and even a little spark to debate. I think its healthy. Without it, life would be boring. As long as peeps are respectful of the fact that there are OTHER ways of doing things than the way that THEY do them things will stay relatively calm. I so enjoy you guys and I am so glad that we all are different and that we find our OWN ways out of the hell hole otherwise it wouldn't be personal enough to really matter, IMO.

Much love
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