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Old 05-01-2010, 03:49 PM
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Is this where I should be posting?

Hi all

Just wondering if this is the right forum for me to post in if I'm not following an AA recovery route?

I do believe in God/Higher power, but I do not want to go to AA.

If it is, can you share how you have recovered and what changes you have made to enable this?

Many thanks
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Old 05-01-2010, 08:38 PM
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Hi Stayinfree!

Welcome! You are in the right place. Secular Connections is a forum for alternatives to 12-Step programs. There is a forum for secular 12-step recovery as well. We have religious, semi-religions, and non-religious folk here, and we try to be respectful of all those viewpoints.

I'm not a mod, forum greeter or anything like that but it can be pretty quiet around here, especially on the weekends. And even more especially on weekends when the weather is nice

So... my chosen tactic for recovery was, at first, just white-knuckle through the worst of withdrawal and those first few weeks as your body and brain adjust to not being numbed by drugs or alcohol (this is tough, it took me almost 6 months to get through it and actually QUIT). I left my old friends behind, cut contact with almost everyone I knew from when I used. I changed my phone number twice. I moved to a new apartment. All these things were necessary to get rid of the people who would tempt me to go back to drugs. And even that had limited success. My old dealer drove past my apartment, recognized my car, and came up to say hello. A new girl started at work and her boyfriend cooks dope. It's easy to stay in that world, there's always someone around with drugs available. And alcohol can be even harder; it's legal, no one has to hide that they have it! Bottom line is I had to find for myself a reason not to use. And once I found that reason and started to regain my self respect, it became very easy to say no. It was no easy battle and there was a lot of stuff I had to get over, learn to forgive myself and other people, and leave the past in the past.

That's the short version. Look around, post, and stick around if it helps you. Good luck with your recovery!
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Old 05-02-2010, 10:25 AM
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Welcome to the secular section Stayinfree.

Yeppers, Secular Connections is a forum for those that would like to do a recovery program other than AA.

What keeps me on track with living a comfortable life without harmful substance addiction is a combination of things. CBT/REBT make up a good part of my addiction treatment. As I think of addiction as a brain disorder/disease, so therapies that deal directly with changing thinking and behavior makes me believe I'm on the right course with recovery.

Zen philosophy is another tool that helps me make a deep psychological rearrangement that I feel is important in order to maintain a pleasant sober and free life style.

Being here at SoberRecovery is another great tool I benefit from. I learn from the wide variety of people that post examples of 'what to do' and 'not to do' here. As well as participate in a recovery community.

I also go to support groups in the real world and join in on safe social activities where my sober lifestyle is honored.

Those are some of the key points that I can think of this morning that I do so that I can live a life that promotes a healthy lifestyle.
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Old 05-02-2010, 11:18 AM
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Hello, Stayinfree. Welcome to the secular side.

I joined SR and relapsed several times before I called my doctor and got hooked up with a therapist. I still use this place, therapy, and myself to stay sober.
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Old 05-02-2010, 01:37 PM
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Thanks for the welcome's, glad to know I'm in the right place, that in itself is a recovery tool for me.

I'll spend some time having a good browse round all topics, see if there's anything that I can use to help me.

I don't intend to just do nothing this time round. Luckily I have a strong sense of spirituality and I read a lot about that. I particularly the teachings of Buddhism and I'm currently reading about Buddhism and the 12 steps.

I am a solitary soul and need my solitude, which is why AA was not for me.

Anyway I look forward to getting to know everyone
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Old 05-02-2010, 06:57 PM
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Keep coming back.
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Old 05-02-2010, 07:20 PM
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No Lucky Charms, Windy?
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Old 05-02-2010, 10:46 PM
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Welcome!

Originally Posted by Stayinfree View Post
I am a solitary soul and need my solitude, which is why AA was not for me.
Speaking for myself, isolation is one of the things that leads me to sickness and losing my sobriety. It may be different for you, but you may want to try reaching out to a community, ideally a recovery program with meetings. Many have phone meetings, which can be a great way to be present with others without feeling "exposed"...
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Old 05-02-2010, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Stayinfree View Post
I am a solitary soul and need my solitude, which is why AA was not for me.
I was going to say something similar, carlri. I kind of prefer to be on my own, I'm not by nature a people person and I get away from people to rest and feel recharged. But that really didn't work for me in recovery. I really value my alone time but when I get bored it's a big problem. I'm most likely to use when I'm alone and bored (which is weird to me because I never used alone. I always found someone else to use with... but then the people I was around when I was using aren't really the sort of people you want to be around at all).

The face-to-face thing didn't really work out, the options for face-to-face meetings are limited where I live. So I had to make SR work, plus a couple friends I can count on to pick up the phone when I'm alone and depressed at 2 in the morning.
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Old 05-03-2010, 12:35 AM
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I believe that the support of other people is infinitely helpful in the recovery process. If you are not inclined to go to face to face meetings, then I think at least coming back here is a fantastic idea!

Personally, I have found the chat rooms to be very helpful. It's like on demand sobriety support (sometimes exactly when you need it.)
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Old 05-03-2010, 02:21 AM
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Thanks folks.

I should say that I work full time and have kids, a hubby and I'm bringing up a grandson, so when he's gone to bed, ussually about 7.30pm, I need my alone time then to recharge! I also have 3 large dogs to walk, so life is busy.

I'm hoping that coming on here on an evening, will be enough support for me. Must say my hubby is great and often listens to my rants...and he also delivers some straight talking to me, which is what I really need.

I also work with people with substance misuse issues, so although I don't share my story with them, I 'give' myself/experience to them in a variety of ways and it helps me too.

I haven't yet used the chat room....A bit scary for me, but I guess it's something to keep in mind if I's struggling....Thanks
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Old 05-03-2010, 02:33 AM
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Originally Posted by gneiss View Post
I was going to say something similar, carlri. I kind of prefer to be on my own, I'm not by nature a people person and I get away from people to rest and feel recharged. But that really didn't work for me in recovery. I really value my alone time but when I get bored it's a big problem. I'm most likely to use when I'm alone and bored (which is weird to me because I never used alone. I always found someone else to use with... but then the people I was around when I was using aren't really the sort of people you want to be around at all).

The face-to-face thing didn't really work out, the options for face-to-face meetings are limited where I live. So I had to make SR work, plus a couple friends I can count on to pick up the phone when I'm alone and depressed at 2 in the morning.
This is the first step, you are here! Face to face is hard and my husband went through the same thing, the first time he went sober, he shut himself off from the world for 3 months, it worked. but in this day and age it is too hard to do this.
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Old 05-09-2010, 02:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Stayinfree View Post
Thanks for the welcome's, glad to know I'm in the right place, that in itself is a recovery tool for me.

I'll spend some time having a good browse round all topics, see if there's anything that I can use to help me.

I don't intend to just do nothing this time round. Luckily I have a strong sense of spirituality and I read a lot about that. I particularly the teachings of Buddhism and I'm currently reading about Buddhism and the 12 steps.

I am a solitary soul and need my solitude, which is why AA was not for me.

Anyway I look forward to getting to know everyone
Welcome and hello! I've worked my 12 step program in conjunction with Buddhism all the way through, so if you ever want to talk shop on that topic, drop me a line! You might want to also check out the secular 12 step forum.
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Old 05-12-2010, 10:24 PM
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I am new to recovery and I am not interested in AA or a faith based program. Like gneiss I am not into sharing face to face with strangers. (Best Yoda impersonation) "Anti social he is ..."

I need a lot of inner strength to even go a day without a drink, and hearing other peoples horror stories at a personal level can sometimes tap that strength, it is not always re-enforcing (for me at least). The internet I can shut off, I can't do that with a room full of people. It would probably make me go home and drink even more!

When I quite my pack a day smoking habit, I used meditation and it worked. I plan to do the same thing with my drinking. I may see a psycho-analyst. I believe alcohol addiction is a mental disorder and needs to be treated as such. Thanks to everyone for sharing alternatives!
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Old 05-12-2010, 11:55 PM
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Welcome, Ernie! Glad you have found us.

Rather than horror stories, sometimes it helps to be a little more positive. I especially like the thread we have going about reasons we won't drink/use today. It's kept me off drugs a couple times when I wanted to use.

I can't decide what I think causes addiction. Is it a mental disorder in itself, or a disorder brought on by some other event, or just a biochemistry issue... I have no clue. Perhaps I've always had an addictive personality and it was never a problem until I started drinking and doing drugs. Or perhaps I could have done drugs recreationally with no problem if it hadn't been for a collection of events that happened all at once and made me want to escape my life. I also don't know why I was able to quit far more easily than some of my friends, but still having a miserable time of it compared to others. But what I do know is I have to stay clean and sober. Windy's two rules come in handy here: 1) Don't do dope. 2) See #1.

However you get sober, Ernie, I wish you luck with it. Keep coming back and posting here, if it helps you.
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Old 05-13-2010, 12:11 AM
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I too am looking for an alternative; not wanting to attend AA meetings. I am very grateful to have found this site. Although I am surrounded by very supportive family/friends, it's nice to be surrounded by people who know what it's like to crave and deny that craving for the better.
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Old 05-13-2010, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by gneiss View Post
Welcome, Ernie! Glad you have found us.

Rather than horror stories, sometimes it helps to be a little more positive. I especially like the thread we have going about reasons we won't drink/use today. It's kept me off drugs a couple times when I wanted to use.

I can't decide what I think causes addiction. Is it a mental disorder in itself, or a disorder brought on by some other event, or just a biochemistry issue... I have no clue. Perhaps I've always had an addictive personality and it was never a problem until I started drinking and doing drugs. Or perhaps I could have done drugs recreationally with no problem if it hadn't been for a collection of events that happened all at once and made me want to escape my life. I also don't know why I was able to quit far more easily than some of my friends, but still having a miserable time of it compared to others. But what I do know is I have to stay clean and sober. Windy's two rules come in handy here: 1) Don't do dope. 2) See #1.

However you get sober, Ernie, I wish you luck with it. Keep coming back and posting here, if it helps you.
Thanks gneiss. I will check out the thread you mentioned. I just finished day 5 without a drink. Been nearly a year since I have been able to go that long: 20 years of heavy drinking for this guy.

Similar to the idea of listing reasons not to drink, I like to think about the things I can do when I'm sober that I can't do when I'm drinking: get in shape, ride my motorcycle, do well at my job, play with my son, get into a good book, ... the list goes on.

Good to be here! Getting high on sobriety!
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