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Why is it so hard to find real life secular support groups?

Old 11-13-2011, 07:58 PM
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Why is it so hard to find real life secular support groups?

I keep wondering this. I live in a huge metro are, and yet, there is really nothing outside of the one unspeakable, kind of non-secular group, and that just did not pan out for me, though I did try going for over 4 months. So I thought, I wish there was a group that you could be more open, honest and frank without having to tow to a certain doctrine, or risk being ostracized. There's a few SMART meetings, but when I work, and also far away....

I work a lot on this by myself, but I really long for a place to go, and talk to people in an open setting.....and have not found it. I even asked my therapist, and he had no clue...such things do not seem to exist, and I have to wonder why.

So...I will try and not let this get me down, or be an excuse, but I feel like sometimes, I could use a more active network...even an online one. But the secular sections always seem really slow, in terms of posts, even, and I am too scared anymore to post outside of them, after all the abuse from the last time, up in those sections.

OK, I needed to vent, bear with me here.

Thanks.
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Old 11-13-2011, 08:15 PM
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For more active online recovery that centers around SMART, try here:

SMART Recovery® | Self Help for Addiction & Alcohol Abuse

LOTS and LOTS of online meetings.
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Old 11-13-2011, 08:27 PM
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Hey there, thanks...I got kicked out of SMART online, for life, due to the most silly things...as did a lot of people around the same time. I did go to a live meeting way back when, and it was good, but just me and the moderator, we met maybe 10 times before he moved to Texas... since then, all the live times are when I work, or way far away. So though I like many aspects of the group, I can not take part in the online aspects anymore.....FOREVER and EVER!!!!! Which seems odd, given I do not think I am such a mean, misanthropic person. But well, life goes on!
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Old 11-13-2011, 08:32 PM
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I hear ya HuskyPup! That's my problem too...my city has about 8 *A meetings a day and no SMART groups until 90 miles away...seems like a monopoly. But I've come to expect secular recovery groups in my area to pop up just as much as I would expect Buddhism to. lol

If your computer has a mic or the ability for one, which it should, you could attend SMART's online voice meetings...I wanted something more than the text versions and it's really cool to hear other peoples' voices. Kinda like, "They DO exist!". lol
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Old 11-13-2011, 08:33 PM
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You got kicked out for life??? That's the weirdest/worst thing I've ever heard! lol Wait, how do they know it's you? You can always create another ***** email account and get a new username, right? I doubt they'd go after your IP address. lol
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Old 11-13-2011, 08:37 PM
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Yeah, how the heck did you get kicked out of there? Lol, do tell!
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Old 11-13-2011, 08:40 PM
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It's very easy to get kicked off SMART.... just mention AVRT.
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Old 11-13-2011, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Terminally Unique View Post
It's very easy to get kicked off SMART.... just mention AVRT.
Really? They seem so open to everything whenever I go on there.
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Old 11-13-2011, 08:44 PM
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Yeah, I've mentioned that I was an AVRT user on there too and no one minded. Even in meetings we talked about our addictive voice, beast, whatever you want to name it. When some of us delved into our *A hatred though, we got nudged to get back on topic. lol
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Old 11-13-2011, 08:49 PM
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I have thought of starting anew account, but I think they would figure out it was me, just by what I might post, and my writing style...I would have to be very, very careful.

Ah, how I got kicked out, with a drove of others...well, it is a long story, and hard to explain, as it makes little sense to me, either. I recall once after I moved to this arts warehouse where I live now, where there are some shard bathrooms/showers, I said how I saw a cute art college student in a little towel, and it made me smile, thinking back to when I was in school, and met my bf for the first time. Now, I have been with my mate 20 years, and I did not see the harm is commenting that seeing a handsome figure darting across the hall was something, well, beautiful. They said it was horrible, sexist, and objectifying...but I see a lot of posts where somebody might say somebody they saw or know is 'hot' or what not, and I am not a person even prone to make such comments, but did so out of levity, to try and not be so dark. But I really got raked over the coals for it, and it baffled me...I guess, as a gay male, I seldom even make all those, 'Oh, he's hot' comments, but the one time I did, woah, it was like I killed Jesus. That, and they just got more and more rigid with what you could even talk about...and so it evolved into a spat over what was 'appropriate', and they came out with a list that basically made anything they felt was inappropriate a cardinal sin, and thus, many people got the boot, me included.

There's so many things they got more and more touchy about...it came to be very restrictive feeling, for all the talk of accepting things, and disputing what upset you with those ABCs.

The RL meetings did not feel like this, though.
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Old 11-13-2011, 09:02 PM
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Well that's too bad. I'd say you should try a different name and account anyway but if that was your experience then I can see if you'd rather not.

I always blocked out the ABC's part of SMART. I mean, I have some irrational beliefs but I don't think it's a good thing to use for drinking, the ABC's are really the meat of REBT which is where SMART and AVRT come to the fork in the road...I'm not sure if you're an AVRT'er though.

Did this happen on there a long time ago? Or just recently? It seemed like a pretty accepting environment when I was there, although I didn't devote too much time and energy into it overall. More people post on these forums...and the *A washing can be pretty upsetting here but sometimes I put obnoxious things in my posts about how I don't want to hear any *A solutions and people respect it.
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Old 11-13-2011, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by HuskyPup View Post
I guess, as a gay male, I seldom even make all those, 'Oh, he's hot' comments, but the one time I did, woah, it was like I killed Jesus. That, and they just got more and more rigid with what you could even talk about...and so it evolved into a spat over what was 'appropriate', and they came out with a list that basically made anything they felt was inappropriate a cardinal sin, and thus, many people got the boot, me included.

There's so many things they got more and more touchy about...it came to be very restrictive feeling, for all the talk of accepting things, and disputing what upset you with those ABCs.

The RL meetings did not feel like this, though.
Geez, that really stinks. Unless it was "run" by different moderators, I probably wouldn't want to go back either.

It's funny, when I was planning my wedding many years ago I was on this forum called "the knot". these women were the nastiest bunch of raging lunatics i have ever come across. they were so NASTY to each other....would find out people's personal identities and harass them even....yet nobody really ever stepped in. that's the way most forums have been run that i've been on, so the whole censoring thing is a little weird to me anywhere online.
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Old 11-13-2011, 09:27 PM
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Living in Northern Ireland makes this especially interesting for me, being an atheist myself. It's one of the things that has put me off the idea of AA and support groups here (although I still go to AA when I can - the meeting is strong with some decent people, although I find forums easier to work with).

I have no problem with people having religious beliefs that coincide with their recovery, but it can go too far. For instance, I once had a counsellor who advised me to seek solace in the bible and that God had a plan. When I said that I was an atheist, she starting attempting to edge me towards religion! Scary stuff - it put me off therapy for a long time. With hindsight I should have gotten a referral, but it just shows how damaging the wrong approach can be with people, especially if they're on the precipice of wanting to get better which is usually the case.

I've always toyed with the idea of someone starting a group that had a strong secular message. It's obvious to me the AA approach doesn't work for everyone and no matter how much the idea is protested that there is a bias towards non-secular beliefs simply through the wording of the original twelve steps. This is NOT to say that AA doesn't do a lot of good for a lot of people. But a one-size fixes all organisation can only really do so much.
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Old 11-14-2011, 05:36 AM
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I have a person very close to me that has worked in the rehabilitation and recovery field for a long time. After reading a lot about *A and stepping, I asked "what do you do if you don't have a higher power". The response was "I don't know", followed up after a moment with "I don't think you can recover until you surrender to a god".

I was completely lost at that point. I also got very tired of being told I was being arrogant and elitist by not being spiritual and that I would have no support ever unless I "surrendered myself".

It's hard when it's pounded into your head that it's YOUR FAULT you can't find support groups that are acceptable. After all you CHOOSE to not believe in gawd.
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Old 11-14-2011, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Watcher View Post

It's hard when it's pounded into your head that it's YOUR FAULT you can't find support groups that are acceptable. After all you CHOOSE to not believe in gawd.
Yeah, that really stinks. I guess I should consider myself lucky there are a couple of SMART meetings within a 1/2 hour of where I live. If I miss a week or two, nobody is on my back saying I will relapse, there is no mention of God, and I can bring up whatever I want that helps me...including AVRT. Nobody seems threatened or tries to dispute the sincerity of my sobriety because I haven't followed their "way" to a T. This is why I actually prefer SMART to RR....the people seem more flexible.
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Old 11-14-2011, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by freethinking View Post
Really? They seem so open to everything whenever I go on there.
Really? Bet you never posted that you discussed their techniques at an AA meeting or that you were trying to start an Agnostics/Atheist AA meeting using some of their techniques. I got bounced off real fast.
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Old 11-14-2011, 08:53 AM
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Lightbulb

I was looking at the Newcomer's Daily Support Threads (http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...11-pt-3-a.html) and the October thread is very active. I don't think anyone would mind you joining the group no matter what month your recovery date is on. Also I noticed a lack of dogma in the Daily Support Threads .
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Old 11-14-2011, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Charon View Post
Really? Bet you never posted that you discussed their techniques at an AA meeting or that you were trying to start an Agnostics/Atheist AA meeting using some of their techniques. I got bounced off real fast.
Uh, ok. Sorry to hear that.
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Old 11-16-2011, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by HuskyPup View Post
I have thought of starting anew account, but I think they would figure out it was me, just by what I might post, and my writing style...I would have to be very, very careful.

Ah, how I got kicked out, with a drove of others...well, it is a long story, and hard to explain, as it makes little sense to me, either. I recall once after I moved to this arts warehouse where I live now, where there are some shard bathrooms/showers, I said how I saw a cute art college student in a little towel, and it made me smile, thinking back to when I was in school, and met my bf for the first time. Now, I have been with my mate 20 years, and I did not see the harm is commenting that seeing a handsome figure darting across the hall was something, well, beautiful. They said it was horrible, sexist, and objectifying...but I see a lot of posts where somebody might say somebody they saw or know is 'hot' or what not, and I am not a person even prone to make such comments, but did so out of levity, to try and not be so dark. But I really got raked over the coals for it, and it baffled me...I guess, as a gay male, I seldom even make all those, 'Oh, he's hot' comments, but the one time I did, woah, it was like I killed Jesus. That, and they just got more and more rigid with what you could even talk about...and so it evolved into a spat over what was 'appropriate', and they came out with a list that basically made anything they felt was inappropriate a cardinal sin, and thus, many people got the boot, me included.

There's so many things they got more and more touchy about...it came to be very restrictive feeling, for all the talk of accepting things, and disputing what upset you with those ABCs.

The RL meetings did not feel like this, though.
Hmmmmm.....that is interesting, HP. I have found the SMART Recovery forums very accepting too.

I think I MIGHT know what happened, although I certainly can't claim to know for sure.

SMART Recovery seems to me to be very sensitive to the issue of sexual predators. Obviously, you were not engaging in predatory behavior by making those comments. But, certain recovery programs have been known to have problems with sexual predators, and sometimes SMART gets....well, "refugees" from those programs who are emotionally raw and react strongly to any mention of sexual matters. I think SMART really goes out of its way to make those people feel safe. In theory, this is good thing, but I could see where they could overreact at times, too.
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Old 11-16-2011, 06:10 PM
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i was raised Unitarian and thats as secular as you can get, but AA god talk didnt phase me a bit. I did develope a sense of a god of my understanding. We talk in the car on the way to work. Thank god for new technology so it no longer looks like you are talking to yourself, just chatting on your cell or speaker fone!
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