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Life without alcohol and AA please.

Old 10-19-2012, 03:55 AM
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Life without alcohol and AA please.

It's been 32 days since my last drink and i've been going to 2 meeting a week. I have been through loads of emotions, but the worst is after an AA meeting I feel drained, absolutely exhausted and so depressed with tears.

Sitting there listening to everyone's stories of their rock bottoms and the pain they caused loved ones, they repeat the same stories over and over again, even chats before after the meeting those who have been sober for 14 yrs and more still go to meeting 3-4 weeks and still talk about how bad things was for them, they all like to talk about them selves.

Yes they have offered me support, phone numbers etc, but no one listens to me really listens to me, it always seems to be turned on how bad it was for them and by time it's my turn to speak in meeting I'm such a reck as soon as I open my mouth I just cry and cry.

Although it is helping me at the moment, I want a life without alcohol but don't want to commit the rest of my life to AA.

I'm struggling with every thought possible, where my head hurts all day.
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Old 10-19-2012, 04:26 AM
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Good for you on your sobriety. Everything that you wrote about your experience in group meetings reflects what I think I might have experienced had I forced myself to go to a group meeting. I chose to try it alone and told myself if I could not do it , I would try another route. I am 19 weeks sober, doing great, just using this site a bit for talk about alcohol abuse and addiction. Subtracting alcohol has been the key to allowing my better instincts, healthy habits to emerge. I would caution that it did take close to 3 months before the numbing, depression, lethargy of post acute withdrawal receded. If you can handle that on your own, you will be on the way. It would depend primarily on how much you want or need to "accountability" that group membership might provide or how much you would find that aspect total anathema to your sobriety. Best wishes to you.
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Old 10-19-2012, 04:30 AM
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Dorris, welcome to the secular side of AA, I am very glad you found us, and reached out here. We don't like to discuss AA in this forum, but we do like to discuss alternatives to 12 step programs here. You will find a lot of support for you on your journey here in this forum, just like in the other SR forums.

I know that since you have been to some meetings, you have been told that if you don't follow those instructions you will crash and burn, but this is not true. You most certainly can have that life you are looking for without alcohol and without AA. The regular posters here are proof of that.

My last drink was 14 months ago after years of 20 to 25 units of alcohol a day, every day. I chose to stop drinking and did it, and you can do the same.

Please make yourself comfy here, look around, ask questions and do some reading. And keep posting! Best to you.
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Old 10-19-2012, 05:18 AM
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Dorris, yes, I understand those feelings all too well, as I had them too when I first quit drinking and believed it was necessary for me to be in AA in order to recover.

As freshstart says, we don't like to spend our time here talking about AA, except perhaps to acknowledge that it turned out not to be the approach for us. Instead, it helps to talk about what HAS been helpful.

I personally found SMART Recovery to be a great "fit" for me, because it combines social support (there are both face to face and online meetings) with science-based tools to help with every stage of recovery. But I also am impressed by the AVRT method others here use, and have concluded that I used it myself without knowing I was doing so!

Anyway, feel free to post, let us know what's going on, tell us your challenges. Lots of experience here!
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Old 10-19-2012, 06:16 AM
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Thank you, ok I have decided AA is not for me, it's working great for those I met at meetings but I need another way of thinking.

I now understand you do not discuss AA here.

I feel like I'm going 100 mph and my mind won't slow down. I popped to town quickly to pick up a few bits and for a split second I thought I won't look to see if any cars are comming I'll just cross the road. Now that is a scary!! I don't want to kill myself or do anything stupid just want to feel better.

I almost want a drink just to rid these awful feelings.
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Old 10-19-2012, 06:28 AM
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Dorris, I learned about mindfulness, and 'following your breath' to slow my brain down, to let those thoughts run around without getting too worked up about them. I guess it is a type of meditation, or yoga, whatever it is it's like going on a vacation for me.

Article: Meditation - You are silence & Follow your breathing - HAWAII DETOXIFICATION & MEDITATION RETREAT.

Mindfulness - Meditation Audio Tracks

Maybe these ideas can help. Remember that the issues you mention are nothing new, having been around for thousands of years, just like the ways of dealing with them.

You will be OK, see if you can be gentle with yourself, and kind to yourself. You are a good person, and you deserve it.
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Old 10-19-2012, 08:52 PM
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Hi Dorris
Thanks for your post, I can relate to what you are saying
How were your emotions before you stopped drinking?
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Old 10-20-2012, 01:04 AM
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While I was drinking I was miserable and slightly depressed dealing with the hanagover but never felt as desperate as I do now.

Today I have woken up and told myself today is a new day. I want to forget the way I have tried to deal with not drinkng over the last 4 weeks and approach it differently.

Thank you all x
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Old 10-20-2012, 05:09 AM
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I was clinically depressed, crippled with anxiety, on leave from work for six months, Dorris, I was a mess. A couple of weeks after my last drink, I could see the major cause of my depression and anxiety - vodka.

During the first few days, I was a little frantic. Maybe terrified is a better word for it. But I got a huge boost in knowing that I was finally doing something right in my life, and that I never again had to feel that shame and guilt that goes along with drinking heavily every day.

It might help you to think for a quiet long moment about the great choice you are making, a death defying act, about releasing yourself from this enslavement. This is a brave and courageous choice you have made. You, Dorris, deserve nothing less.
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Old 10-20-2012, 05:24 AM
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Dorris, there is nothing wrong with how you feel or how you "are." You are uniquely sensitive and that's a gift. I'm quite certain that once you just let yourself be who you are, the desperation will start to pass.

I can relate to what you say about meetings; I feel the same. The telling and re-telling of stories is helpful for some, but unbearable for me.

Take a look at SMART and AVRT... perhaps one or both of those might be a better fit for you. Though this neighborhood of the forum is not quite as busy as others, I can assure you we really do listen here. Keep on posting.
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Old 10-20-2012, 06:59 AM
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OMG, yes, Doris. I felt absolutely terrified at first, too. Honestly, I think that feeling of anxiety and panic and fear of what life is going to be like is nearly universal among those quitting addictions of any type.

The only thing I can tell you, and I mean this with all my heart: it is going to be all right. Please keep writing here. Maybe go over to the SMART website and check them out too, maybe even try a meeting. Do stuff to distract yourself. And as the days go on, you'll see that you CAN do this, that the world keeps spinning, and you will feel better and more confident.

Also, we've got your back.
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Old 10-20-2012, 03:24 PM
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I found reading up on topics like alcohol and depression, alcohol and anxiety, etc helped.
I became interested in trying to understand my condition.
Also reading autobiographies by alcoholics, seeing myself in others.
All the best Dorris
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Old 10-21-2012, 07:33 PM
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I have a theory and have no idea if there is basis to it. But what I feel based on my own experiences is that it's not so much that we experience true, clinical depression. It's more that our vices and crutch is gone so we are left feeling the full range of our emotions. And we are feeling them strongly. It's unbalancing. So our goal (well, my goal) Is to find balance again.

I do this through learning mindfulness, self care and meditation. It's something more passionate about.

This is my own opinion based on my own experiences. But maybe someone will relate.
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:22 AM
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Thank you everyone, it means a lot to me, and I have been in and out lurking this weekend to help keep me focused x

Today's a new day x
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Old 11-02-2012, 08:08 AM
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Dorris,

AA is an organisation that, undoubtedly has helped many people. Unfortunately, by its own admission, it has never 'cured' anyone. It very unhelpfully suggests that you are in 'recovery', and that you must take 'one day at a time'. Well, how else can you live?

Once you have made a decision to stop drinking, you are a non-drinker. You are not 'recovering' apart from the seven to ten days that it might take to clear the alcohol from your system.

Your body does not crave alcohol. Alcohol is a poison that your body tries to rid itself of. Your mind craves the alcohol, and that is the issue.

Just follow your commitment not to drink alcohol, and enjoy the rest of your life. Do not count the sober days off - that's really sad.....If you have stopped the drink, then are you going to count all of your remaining days on this planet.

I wish you well, Dorris..... I really do....
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:29 PM
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Dorris,

I just wanted to wish you the best of luck on your new life. I also wanted to add in that my husband is 7+ months clean from opiates/benzos and he did not use the AA/NA approach. Instead he worked heavily with a private therapy in the beginning, and now is down to just one appointment a week. I do not think he would have been this successful following AA methodology because it would have been too depressive/repressive for him. In my research I have found that the principles of SMART, and also AVRT are closely related to what he has learned in his therapy. I personally have found the SMART / CRAFT program for families very helpful to me; uplifting and encouraging.

Just know, the trails of secular recovery are well worn and highly successful.
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:47 PM
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AVRT is working for me..i highly suggest you check it out Take good care!
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Old 11-03-2012, 06:11 AM
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Erm, woohoo, WooHoo. Glad to hear it! Welcome to the team.
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Old 11-06-2012, 02:34 AM
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hi, and welcome!

I know where you are coming from i started to feel worse in AA than when i was drinking lol that might sound crazy but the pressure and strain of thinking i was diseased and will never be recovered almost sent me back to the bottle, to me it felt like i had to swop 1 addiction for another and when i raised my concerns i was told its my alcoholic brain speaking!! But thank god i found sr and the secular forums. We are all proof that you can recover from addiction right now forever. Dont worry too much about how many days just concentracte on now, as long as your sober now your are on the right path!!

Also check out rationalrecovery.org you can do the crash course on avrt also the book rational recovery is very good!
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Old 11-06-2012, 02:40 AM
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I was so depressed after an AA meeting i wanted to drink. That path is not for everyone Thank God there are other paths you can take. It may not be for you. If its making you worse stay away. I found that spiritual books, loving self help books worked for me- good luck!
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