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Expectations for first SMART meeting?

Old 06-21-2010, 06:51 PM
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Expectations for first SMART meeting?

Hi All, I joined SR a while back and have visited infrequently.

For the sake of brevity, let's just say that I tried the AA/12-step method for dealing with my alcoholism/self-destructive tendencies, and it didn't work for me at all. I found a compatible sponsor, read through a large portion of the Big Book with him, and personally felt ridiculous trying to complete the fourth step. I then relocated to New Jersey for a new job where my drinking, while less frequent, still is a heavy issue in my life.

I found out there's a SMART Recovery weekly face-to-face meeting about 20 minutes from my place, and really want to attend this Wednesday. I love the concept of a science-based approach to recovery, and hope to learn a lot about staying sober.

Can anyone give me a heads up on what to expect at my first SMART meeting? I'd appreciate any insight you all could provide.

Thanks in advance! It honestly feels good to be back and posting again.
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Old 06-21-2010, 07:31 PM
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SMART is so limited in terms of its availability. I wish I had something but no luck. Please tell us what you find there though, I for one am interested.
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Old 06-21-2010, 08:25 PM
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Doh! I pretty much just posted this exact thing in the newcomers thread. I'm going to my first SMART meeting tommorrow. I'll let you know how it goes. I'm really anxious.
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Old 06-21-2010, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by ryanmar View Post
Doh! I pretty much just posted this exact thing in the newcomers thread. I'm going to my first SMART meeting tommorrow. I'll let you know how it goes. I'm really anxious.
I'll be sure to post my experience as well, for you and dgillz (and anyone else who might be interested). I look forward to hearing your opinion on what you think of the meeting style; from what I've read, it sounds like a much different format and style than AA.
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Old 06-23-2010, 02:00 AM
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I didn't make it to mine. I wasn't able to sleep the night before and I was so out of it after work and I definately want to have a clear head when I attend.
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Old 06-23-2010, 02:31 AM
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BUT I found a place that holds 3 AA meetings EVERY day so I'm going to give one of those a shot tonight.
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Old 06-23-2010, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by DonneIslanding View Post
I found out there's a SMART Recovery weekly face-to-face meeting about 20 minutes from my place, and really want to attend this Wednesday. I love the concept of a science-based approach to recovery, and hope to learn a lot about staying sober.

Can anyone give me a heads up on what to expect at my first SMART meeting? I'd appreciate any insight you all could provide.

.
Hi Donnelslanding, you can find out quite a bit about SMART Recovery from their website SMART RecoveryŽ | Self Help for Alcoholism & Addiction.

SMART is a four point program that is based on Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy. SMART teaches that addiction is a behavior (not a disease) and that
behaviors are learned and can be changed. The four points of SMART deal with Motivation, Coping With Urges, Problem Solving and Lifestyle Balance.

The meetings are open to people in all stages of recovery and topics of discussion vary depending on who is in attendance.

With regards to what to expect at a SMART meeting, the website includes a meeting outline: SMART RecoveryŽ - Meeting Outline

SMART is a non-profit, volunteer mutual self-help peer support group, Basically a meeting consists of three parts, an introduction, a check-in period and a discussion period.
The discussion period is focused on recovery topics and SMART tools, and is a discussion, with active participation (cross-talk) from all members welcome.

The SMART site also includes a list of available face to face meetings and contact information, and you may contact the facilitator in advance of attending your meeting for more information. That's what I did before I attended my first meeting in the San Francisco area and it was helpful.



Originally Posted by dgillz View Post
SMART is so limited in terms of its availability. I wish I had something but no luck. If the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, then all your problems look like nails....
Dgillz: It is true that SMART does not have anywhere near the number of face-to-face meetings that AA does. SMART DOES have daily online meetings and a thriving online chat room where you can always find SMART support. As for the SMART toolbox, it is stuffed full of tools for all stages of recovery

Originally Posted by ryanmar View Post
I didn't make it to mine. I wasn't able to sleep the night before and I was so out of it after work and I definately want to have a clear head when I attend.

BUT I found a place that holds 3 AA meetings EVERY day so I'm going to give one of those a shot tonight.
Ryanmar: Sorry to hear you were having sleep problems and that you missed the SMART meeting. But glad for you that you found a convenient AA meeting to attend. SMART is all about "self-management" and believes that YOUR choice of "whatever works" is a key to recovery. Many people who attend SMART meetings also attend other support group meetings, including AA, and find benefits from both programs.



Wishing you all the best!!
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Old 06-23-2010, 03:48 PM
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Thanks for the info, roxalot.

Unfortunately, my knee is acting up (I just had surgery on it a few weeks ago) so it's doubtful I can attend tonight either. I definitely hope to drive out next week if my leg allows. I'll try to read up some on the SMART methodology and advice tonight.

Otherwise, I'm feeling great and am definitely not drinking tonight, which is the whole point.

I hope the AA meeting(s) help you out ryanmar. Please feel free to share if you are able to make it to a SMART meeting at some point, I certainly will.
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Old 06-23-2010, 03:59 PM
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Hi DonneIslanding:

Sorry to hear about your knee surgery, hope you are healing well. Good to hear that it is not interfering with your sobriety.

I think you will find the SMART site very interesting. I especially like the video on this page: SMART RecoveryŽ - Learn About SMART RecoveryŽ - Slide Shows - Videos

As long as you are housebound, consider signing up and checking out the chat room or an online meeting? Assuming that you like what you see

~Rox
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Old 06-24-2010, 02:15 AM
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I attend AA and am a facilitator for SMART. SMART is a program where you get what you put into it. Unlike AA's steps, they don't 'suggest' that you do every tool. Some of the tools were less than useless for me. However, they have great alternate tools. Also the meetings are like the more conservative AA meetings in one way: They concentrate on recovery tools, it shouldn't be a group of people sharing drunk-o-logs nor group therapy where people just moan and groan about their day.

At least that is my experience.
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Old 06-25-2010, 12:26 AM
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I have been going to face to face meetings for over a year. I found them extremely helpful in the first 5 months and still go on occasion. I think every meeting group is different and it depends on the facilitator. The facilitator of my group is also a therapist, so the meetings have a 'group therapy' feel to them usually. The focus has always been on 'retraining your brain', vs being a powerless individual. Since this follows my own beliefs, it has been helpful in my recovery. SMART is also not an 'abstinence only' program, I have been to meetings where people are trying the moderation approach.

I will be interested to hear how other meetings are.
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Old 06-30-2010, 10:26 AM
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I go to SMART meetings once in awhile. I mostly go to AA meetings, but i have been really lazy about it lately. I am still sober about 14 months. I am finding that i don't need as many meetins as i used to need.
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Old 07-28-2010, 09:12 PM
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Thumbs up Im a member of smart recovery...

Im a member of smart recovery and a 12 step fellowship...For me both help alot...I feel where one lacks the other fills...Smart Online is excellent..They have a great message board and good online meetings....Clean
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