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How did you "find" whatever type of secular sobriety you use?

Old 08-20-2011, 07:21 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
 
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Well, initially it wasn't up to me. I was baker-acted. The lock-up and subsequent placement in a treatment center was necessary for me only because it protected me from myself and allowed me to keep my children. It wasn't so much what I was being "taught" there that helped...rather the fact that I was sequestered for a period of time when it was truly necessary, as I was a danger to myself and others. Once I decided that I wanted to live differently I went about creating the life I wanted. I have used many of the methods out there. Therapy was and still is good for me. Reading, thinking, discussing...all the stuff others have already mentioned. I haven't had...nor have I wanted... a drink or drug in 4 1/2 years. Life still has it's struggles for me but I am happy and empowered now with the knowledge that it is up to me to make my life the way I want it to be. As others have said, not drinking was the best decision I ever made.
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Old 08-22-2011, 01:11 AM
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guy i know through work noticed the ahem after-effects of drink on me a few times, i don't rmember how it started but then we were talking about drinking in general and i said something dismissive about let's just say some theories about recovery, he tipped me off to rr and told me it worked for him after loads of other failed attempts inclduing an inpatient stay - zoom i was straight home early that night and onto google, grabbed it like a drowning person grabbing a lifeboat.

if he hadn't done that i'd still be in a very bad place and getting worse by the day, so i think getting the word out about all recovery methods, not just a few, is going to save lives and should always be supported. i could have missed that conversation by the smallest chance and that thought frightens me if i dwell on it too much.

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Old 08-22-2011, 03:30 AM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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I stumbled onto SR.

I really dig Windy's two step program.
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Old 08-22-2011, 05:36 AM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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I am required to attend certain recovery meetings on a regular basis and have for the last 1 1/2 yrs. I have tried to make the most of those meetings and worked the prescribed program. Early on, though,after going to MANY different meetings and meeting alot of different people, I realized that I did not want what those people had.

I started searching for other avenues to maintaining a contented sobriety and found SR. This site has been a godsend. I am a believer and very spiritual, but I prefer a more rational means to maintaining my recovery.
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Old 08-22-2011, 10:20 AM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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I realized I had two problems, one I was physically addicted to alcohol and I was clinically depressed. I found treatment for both of those conditions and then sought out group therapy CBT, SMART and family for support.
SH
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Old 08-22-2011, 01:55 PM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
Well, initially it wasn't up to me. I was baker-acted. The lock-up and subsequent placement in a treatment center was necessary for me only because it protected me from myself and allowed me to keep my children. It wasn't so much what I was being "taught" there that helped...rather the fact that I was sequestered for a period of time when it was truly necessary, as I was a danger to myself and others. Once I decided that I wanted to live differently I went about creating the life I wanted. I have used many of the methods out there.
I think it's great you took the experience of being baker-acted and look back on it as a necessary means to an end. What got me here was the worst experience of my life and it suprisingly has not been much effort to not get angry at people. I look at it as the catalyst for getting me to finally stop.
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Old 08-22-2011, 02:25 PM
  # 27 (permalink)  
 
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freethinking, it's funny you say that because initially I was very angry about my um...placement...but once the alcohol/drug fog lifted even just a bit, there was a very tiny voice in the back of my head that thought maybe somehow I could save me from myself. I will say one thing...being put in the psych ward was a very humbling experience. By all outward accounts I was a very successful woman...not a likely candidate for the nuthouse...but there I was and there I began to get honest w/ myself. Isn't it wierd how sometimes the worst thing that happens to you can also be the best?
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Old 08-22-2011, 03:05 PM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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The more I think of this, I'd have to say trial, and error. I will elaborate on this more in a bit, but that is more or less how it happened!
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Old 08-22-2011, 05:30 PM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
I will say one thing...being put in the psych ward was a very humbling experience. By all outward accounts I was a very successful woman...not a likely candidate for the nuthouse...but there I was and there I began to get honest w/ myself. Isn't it wierd how sometimes the worst thing that happens to you can also be the best?
I know exactly what you mean - the consequences I endured this time gave me no other alternative but to have a cold, hard look at myself and my life. I mean even if I wanted to, I could not deny or rationalize any longer what my drinking was costing me. For a very long time I clung on to that teenage mentality of "That will never happen to me". After this whole ordeal though, I kind of expect the worst will happen if I drink again. I never felt that before. So yeah, humbling definitely for me as well.
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Old 08-22-2011, 07:59 PM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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My last years drinking and depressed and my subsequent meltdown, rehab and recovery were definitely humbling. My whole life and self is different and I wouldn't change the past because it brought clarity so early in my life.
SH
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Old 08-22-2011, 08:45 PM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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Anew.... There are a few of us in the secular forums who are spiritual and religious but prefer a more analytical approach to recovery. Me for one
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Old 08-23-2011, 10:52 AM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by LaFemme View Post
Anew.... There are a few of us in the secular forums who are spiritual and religious but prefer a more analytical approach to recovery. Me for one
Me two/too!
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Old 08-26-2011, 03:23 PM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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Here's how I found myself with SMART Recovery.

I spent a long time in a different program. I liked the social support available in that program, but as time went on, I found myself more and more in the position of having to twist myself into an intellectual pretzel trying to integrate its philosophy into my own worldview. I increasingly felt I didn't fit in and began to contemplate leaving, but was stymied by fear, because I'd been told that if I left this program, I was signing my own death warrant. I spent a few years whirling around in this manner, not really knowing what to do and feeling stuck. But eventually I became unable to overlook my sense of discomfort and to ignore some of the in-group behavior and the way it was handled, so I took the leap and walked away.

After I did that, I joined the SMART Recovery online forum, but found that SMART was very different from the program I'd been in before. Unlike that program, SMART is not geared toward lifelong membership. It is founded on the stages of change model of recovery, and recognizes that a person who quit an addictive behavior three days ago is in a very different place than someone who has been clean for nearly a decade, as I had been at that time. So the attitude on the forum was: "You know perfectly well how to stay sober, you've been doing it for years and you're doing fine!" I found this so refreshing! I realized that at last I could let go of my fear and cognitive dissonance and just enjoy my life. And I thought: my God, if ONLY I had known that there was a different way! It wasn't that I thought the original program I was in was bad, so much as I realized that it hadn't really been necessary for me to force a square peg into a round hole all those years. And I became quite passionate about working toward a world where that experience doesn't happen to others. Recovery is not a one-size-fits-all thing and should not be approached that way.

SMART Recovery is not only a wonderful recovery program--for those who find that its philosophy resonates with them--but is similarly committed, as an organization, to working toward choice in recovery. So, I am very happy to have found SMART. It is not for everyone, but I love it.
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Old 08-26-2011, 03:30 PM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
Isn't it wierd how sometimes the worst thing that happens to you can also be the best?
Oh yeah. The two most traumatic things that have ever happened to me--my addiction/recovery and my divorce, have ended up being my life's biggest blessings in so many ways.

Who knew?
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Old 08-26-2011, 06:58 PM
  # 35 (permalink)  
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OTT, thanks for sharing your story. I only have a few months sober but am coming from almost 20 years of another program. Reading how you got here was very reassuring to someone like me. I can so relate to feeling very effected by the mentality that if I do it another way, I will "fail".
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Old 08-27-2011, 06:19 AM
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freethinking: I'm glad you were helped by my story. It's so important to know that the best way for any one individual to handle an addiction is the way that they can commit to.

I keep thinking of an analogy I hear a lot--that recovery is like exercise. You have to DO it, or it doesn't work. Well I think this is true, but we don't tell people that the only way they can get fit is though one particular type of exercise. Like with me, I hate to swim. I find it boring, and I'm not very good at it, either. If someone told me that swimming was the only way I could get in shape, or that I wouldn't be "really fit" if I power walked instead, I'd probably give up and stay home. But of course, it's ok to power walk. And it's ok to pick the right recovery program for you, too.
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Old 08-31-2011, 07:28 PM
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Happenstance.

I felt like I needed a break and after several abortive attempts to have a month off I bought the Allen Carr book thinking (stupidly) I'd apply its techniques for a month only.

Elated I quit but started again because I went on a stag do.

Now 18 months later by mixing AVRT with EasyWay I have a bullet proof way of permanent abstinence.

I count myself so lucky that I have found these methods. I have so far introduced two people to EasyWay who have quit so I'm pleased that I've been able to pass this on to at least one person.

Last edited by kanamit; 08-31-2011 at 07:29 PM. Reason: Grammatical error
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Old 09-02-2011, 03:42 PM
  # 38 (permalink)  
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I found this path through trial and error, I suppose.
I started 3.5 yrs ago in a rather famous 12 step program, liked certain things, strongly disliked many things. I stopped going for personal reasons, but the last straw was when I was told that I was doing things "wrong" as far as working the steps. If anyone wants further info, PM me but I will not bore everyone else with the details.
Fast forward a bit, and I have found happiness (that I never had in the previously mentioned 12 step group) with a blend of this wonderful site, a zen buddhist practise, yoga and some other exercises. Lots more introspection and problem solving within, and no "set" rules!!!
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Old 09-02-2011, 11:26 PM
  # 39 (permalink)  
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Losers in one program can be winners in another.
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Old 09-17-2011, 11:13 PM
  # 40 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by checkmate1 View Post
I also watched rain in my heart documentary which was a real eye opener
Firstly, thanks for this recommendation! I am watching it on Youtube as I type. It's really helping me in regard to understanding the alcoholism of a loved one right now.

Secondly, I am SO glad this Secular Connections section exists! I have battled for a long time with my own addictions. I tried N/A a few years back but no matter what was suggested to me in terms of substituting something else for this higher power thing, I was never going to submit to that.

Two and a half years ago I was caught between drug abuse and the fear of a 12 step based rehab. I was lucky to walk past the office of an addictions counselling service one day and just walked in. Seeing an addiction counsellor daily for the first few weeks, then weekly for a year or so was my answer. So far I haven't relapsed and don't ever want to go back to where I was.

There are alternatives to the 'God' approach. I'm glad I found something which worked for me. And I'm glad I have found this space on SR! Took me a while to notice it!
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