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Old 01-01-2013, 05:59 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Happy NewYear Ananda!
It's a great day to stay sober no matter what else happened, its a new day,newyear, new outlook.
Take care, give yourself a gift.
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:34 AM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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Ananda,
been thinking about your original post/question since yesterday.
though really, i've been thinking about it for years, asking myself the same: can you recover without a program?
(though i note that's different from your Does anyone not do a program?, i figure you're asking if it's possible?)

i don't "do a program" as such, though there are things i do. after thirty+years of drinking and numerous tries at quitting, i finally quit over six years ago. my mainstay of sobriety support was LifeRing forum, and a weekly f2f meeting for two years. in LifeRing, the idea is to somehow develop your own sobriety program, something i've not entirely understood, as my first obvious question is how do you know it's "working" and do you only know it's NOT working if you drink again? anyway, neither here nor there.
so yes, i don't "do a program" if by that you mean a previously set out list of things to do that some other people have said is the way to do it.
(i'm a bit afraid i could go on at great length here, and don't want to get bogged down in details, but please feel free to ask if anything interests you and you want to chat more).
but i certainly do DO things: i'm part of LR forum daily. i am open to gaining more and better understanding of the programs that ARE out there. in fact, the longer i've been sober, the more interested i am, and the more sense the AA program makes to me. so i think about it, reads about it, talk with some, listen. see things much differently from when i first got sober.
i hang out with a sober friend or two.
i volunteer in recovery organization. i've helped start a new meeting.
i've started coming here.
that kind of stuff.

Have any of you found a way to stay sober without buying the party line? well, yes. haven't bought any. well, uh, that's not entirely true. i had the willpower/rational decision and total control party-line, but i gave that up. gave it up when i had to see that it didn't fit my own experience, nor did it fit with what i saw around me, what was happening to others going back to drinking. which answers your other question:
Can a person really be honest and stay sober, or must we embrace as truth something, like a carrot of hope, regardless of our own experiences?
yes, i can be honest and stay sober, and i must accept truths i may not want to be so. these are NOT truths that go against my own experience. my major struggles for the first few years of being sober were all to do with accepting, later embracing, the truths of my own experience and what i observed. the truth of being honest about that.

if anyone actually recovers without ignoring their own beliefs and experience
hm...i had to accept my experiences and see them honestly, and not run from that. my beliefs? a lot of my beliefs about who i was/how i am/what getting and staying sober entails...i had a lot of strong beliefs about all that, and most of them were wrong

often, my experience and my belief were contradictory. my experience didn't jive with some nice comfy belief-systems i'd built/bought.

sorry. going on too long and all over the place.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:41 AM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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I would say the only two things that have helped me from AVRT was the idea that I never drink and I'm not changing my mind. It's been mantra for me. I'm pretty willful when I am firm about my decision.

Support was the second most critical thing for me. Once alcohol disappeared from my life, a HUGE whole of emotions I refeused to experience remained, as did all the problems I created by drinking. I needed support to make it through. Having a place like this talk to others who unstand what this is like has been so valuable. Be well.
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:17 PM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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ananda,

I've read your posts through the years and have found value in much that you have had to say. I don't have anything much to offer you, but I will share what did work for me. I was going to die if I didn't stop drinking. Maybe not immediately, but it was going to kill me eventually. It ceased being fun along the way, but I kept chasing after it. Anyway, I just made the decision to stop drinking regardless of how I felt about it. And it was difficult at first. It is easier now after a couple of years.

I really hope you find a way to put this sh!t down and move on with your life. I also hope you come back and post.
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:05 PM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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Wow...some excellent posts here!

What a truly outstanding, understanding and supportive bunch of folks we have here. I stand in admiration of each one of you. You really do help people and give back so much. Karma will be good to you!

Ananda - I'm not nearly so good at support, but I will tell you that I too quit without a program. I identify with AVRT but truth be told, I never did get around to buying the book. For me the epiphany was embracing the idea of never. "never" is all the program that I will ever need.

I get so much satisfaction from knowing that my sobriety isn't contingent on anyone or anything. It fills me with joy and power whenever I take a moment to consider my well being.

I too wouldn't go back.

You can do it Ananda...you're so close. Think about "Never".
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:05 PM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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I have been dealing with my own cognitive dissonance regarding 12 step program and my own belief systems. The biggest issue is 'powerlessness' and 'surrender'. I have never been powerless, only addicted. Deciding to stay sober gave me back my power.

Was it easy? No. Addiction is strong and wants to take away our power, but we can take it BACK. And 'surrender', well surrender to who/what? And why when we need take our power BACK from this drug or any drug for that matter.

AVRT is science. It works for me. BUT I also go to AA meetings for the fellowship. Otherwise I'd be alone, isolate and ultimately drink. But if bring up anything that isn't the program, I'm ignored. So I don't talk about anything.

Unfortunately SMART and other methods aren't as widespread with meetings as AA. I wish they were.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:43 PM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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Where to post AA and AVRT and SMART comparisons

Hi,

DEE or someone locks threads in secular recovery when people mention anything negative about AA. Usually it is stated "there are other forums where you can do that" but never a link to those forums.

In my previous post I'm talking about the pros and cons of using part of AA (meetings) with AVRT.

So, before this thread gets locked, WHERE are we allowed to have this kind of discussion?

thanks

Frank
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:17 AM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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imo,
having great informative discussions of our experiences with differing programs or what-have-you is way cool. Getting into program bashing by debating comparisons is not cool. It can be a fine line sometimes for some people, lol.

Open discussions which are worthwhile won't ususally get locked when happening in the "what is recovery" forum, and in the "alcoholism" forum.

These discussions survive because they are helpful for all involved, and not just for a select few who selfishly want for what ever reason to have their private discussion held publically. Go figure.

I have ton's of experience both positive and negative with several programs and methods. It helps no one for me to go on and on about my negative experiences. It often does help though for me to share positive experiences, of course, same as any one else who shared their positive experiences, and so since that works best for everyone, threads can easily get locked down when the thread apparently does more harm then good.

Me, I don't much like debating the differences between what ever between whomever. Whatever works, works. I do like debates, though, just not bashing debates.

Welcome to SR, Frank!
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:57 AM
  # 29 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by RobbyRobot
I do like debates, though, just not bashing debates
Me too Robby, but to be honest, sometimes someone just stating their experience can be seen as bashing. We all "hear" things through our own emotional filter, our schema. People who do not understand that can have trouble with discussions that involve differing opinions.
Also, I grew up with family and friends who like to debate, banter, often playing devils advocate which forced me to examine really why I do beleive certain things. It's that approach that I'm used to and that helps me grow the most, and I admit it is foreign to me when others take offense at that or are uncomfortable with that. Then the lesson becomes for me to better understand their way.

I am actually fascinated by differences.

ps hi frank I share your thoughts on this:
Originally Posted by fjd123
I have never been powerless, only addicted.....
Was it easy? No. Addiction is strong and wants to take away our power, but we can take it BACK.
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:59 AM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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Ananda;

hope to hear from you...we're here.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:43 AM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
I am actually fascinated by differences.
Me too. Dosen't mean though that these public forums are the best place to examine these differences in detail without regard for peoples emotional stances, prior undisclosed experiences, and whatevers... and I'm not saying you partcipate in being disregarding

It's difficult to be fair with most folk when it can become all too obvious that some people ae better with the written word than are others. This alone can allow for some serious injustices, imo.

Life is curious.

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Old 01-04-2013, 11:24 AM
  # 32 (permalink)  
 
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I'm not saying you partcipate in being disregarding
I'm sure I have at times. Most of the time, it's not my intention. If I said it's never my intention, I'd be lying

Originally Posted by RobbyRobot
It's difficult to be fair with most folk when it can become all too obvious that some people ae better with the written word than are others. This alone can allow for some serious injustices, imo.
I would agree with this. Those that try to intellectually bully others are funny to me though. It's a thinly veiled attempt at appearing/feeling superior, but yeah, some people can fluster others and shut them down by all manner of overblown intellect. Sadly, the exchange is lost and with it possibly some valuable insight on both ends.

Funny thing about being disregarding. I think about this often. My son has autism. He has some verbal language but it's at a very low level. If you undertand the spectrum, you also understand his social skills are "compromised" as well. Upon meeting someone he will say exactly what he sees as he sees it. Like "what happened teeth?" "Or what happened face?" or "hair is mess" when he sees decayed teeth or a mole or blemish on someone's face or whatnot. Most of us have figured out it's "not nice" or helpful to mention things that might make others uncomfortable, but that is completely lost on him. He has absolutely no clue what "hurting someone's feelings" really means. To him, it's stating the obvious. Is he being disregarding? yes and no.
Are you picking up what I'm putting down here? lol
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:53 PM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
Funny thing about being disregarding. I think about this often. My son has autism. He has some verbal language but it's at a very low level. If you undertand the spectrum, you also understand his social skills are "compromised" as well.

Upon meeting someone he will say exactly what he sees as he sees it. Like "what happened teeth?" "Or what happened face?" or "hair is mess" when he sees decayed teeth or a mole or blemish on someone's face or whatnot. Most of us have figured out it's "not nice" or helpful to mention things that might make others uncomfortable, but that is completely lost on him. He has absolutely no clue what "hurting someone's feelings" really means. To him, it's stating the obvious. Is he being disregarding? yes and no.
Are you picking up what I'm putting down here? lol
Yeah, I am, no problemo. I have some experience of my own with communications and inter-personal relationships with children. Among other things, I'm a former foster parent for Ontario, when still with my ex-wife, back in 1997-2007. We had a 4 bed home for special needs children. One foster child we received straight from hospital. I'll call her K. Just a few months old, K suffered from shaken baby syndrome. Plenty of physical, emotional, intellectual challenges in little K's world. Our family took K in stride, but many others just thought they were doing K a great favor by treating her as if they could see past his challenges. This frustrated K, and us, to no end. K was always honest with whatever, and we always appreciated her. K preferred being straight up, and so did we. Society on the other hand, likes it folks, especially children, to generally know their well-mannered place, and to fit in comfortably for everyone. Conformity rules, no less. K would have none of that, lol. Man, the stories i could share... some happy, some sad... some very much astonshing! K lived in our home until she was 12, and then moved onto community living. She retains the abilities of an average 3 or 4 year old, with the life experiences of a now 16 year old. She is happy enough despite her challenges K always did have a wicked sense of humor, lol.

I admire you, soberlicious. I can "hear" the love you have for your son, and for yourself.

K also had no idea when she was "hurting" some one, even when physically hurting them too. As she grew in strength, she also presented with some serious safety issues. K could also throw tantrums which would peel the paint off walls, lol. A real wildcat often enough. Medications would only partially control her chemical imbalances. Life with K was always more then just different - life with K was a real previledge to be of such a responsible loving service for such a needful child. K was a blessing in our lives, no less. K returned our love with boundless amounts of her own honest love, raw and unfiltered.

So, yeah, to the norms of polite society, K and your son are being disregarding. To themselves, they are being honest and forthright, and dare I say it, responsible and in the moment, no less.

Hey, soberlicious! :ghug3You Rock!!
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:02 PM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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sent you a PM Frank...

D
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:15 PM
  # 35 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by RobbyRobot
So, yeah, to the norms of polite society, K and your son are being disregarding. To themselves, they are being honest and forthright, and dare I say it, responsible and in the moment, no less.
Exactly. Two sides to the same coin. I find it is like that here. A statement can be seen as straightforward and honest by one person, and rude and bashing by another, yet another may feel neutral.

Curious indeed
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:31 PM
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I don't want to be unresponsive...I am just not sure what to say right now. All of the stuff posted has been helpful in one way or another. Although I'm not yet sober, I'm not in as bad a shape as I was 3 or 4 days ago. I didn't feel like just thanking all of you on your posts was enough given the effort you have put in to responding.

Philisophically (excuse my spelling) a lot of things are interesting to me. Most of all I just need to find a path that works for me. I do understand the concequences of continuing to drink. I understand that there are "deeper issues". In the end, right now, I just have to get off it, hunker down for the fallout, and then look at how to stay sober long term.

I just don't have anything more to say....I am so appreciative that people still try to help me after all this time. Like I said...I don't know what to say. Talking isn't the answer right now...action and change are the requirements to make the next step...

Ananda
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:37 PM
  # 37 (permalink)  
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I'm glad we didn't lose you Nands

Yeah action really is the go to thing here i think...plenty of time after that to set the world to rights

You deserve to take care of yourself

:ghug3

D
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:00 PM
  # 38 (permalink)  
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Hey Ananda,

Your posts here feel familiar to me, so I thought I'd hop in and offer some meanderings, for what it's worth.

I also am not interested in a programmed approach to recovery with rules and rituals and whatnot. Feels like church, somehow. I respect that it's comforting to some, but to me it's following-ism rather than simply beeing-ism.

The other thing that seems familiar to me is this need to figure out the whys and wherefores and inner workings of the self. Over many many many years (decades!), I struggled with feeling/being different and trying to figure out why that was - so that I could become not so different. I thought that would fix me right up. There were plenty of obvious reasons I could think of to explain why I was messed up, but knowing those things didn't seem to help me to solve anything. So I would puzzle and stew and come up with something and think "aha! NOW I know what is the root of all of this dysfunction." And I would feel better for a time.... but it didn't last. And it certainly didn't stop me drinking.

Of late, I have found that I just don't want to drink anymore. I mean, I feel like drinking, but I don't want to be a drinker anymore. (Or in AVRT-speak, IT wants me to to drink but I don't like anything about it.) I realize that it doesn't matter how I feel - happy, sad, bored, confident, incompetent. Any excuse is good enough to continue drinking or drink again. So for me, looking for reasons and solutions for what ails me as a person is rather irrelevant at this time. I'm sick of the after affects and the "during" affects of drinking aren't all they used to be cracked up to be.

So I chose to stop. I don't expect it's going to fix anything aside from the fact that it makes me feel like sneaky garbage and consumes too much of my time and money. That's ok in and of itself, right?

The decision to stop isn't complicated. So I did, January 1.

And when my AV comes rushing at me telling me how very complicated everything is, I'm doing my level best to acknowledge that thought/feeling while at the same time plodding forward.

It's not exciting or enriching in and of itself, but on the other hand, neither is drinking.

Hope that makes some sense.
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:10 PM
  # 39 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Dee74 View Post
sent you a PM Frank...

D
Thanks D, I can't reply to the PM but I'll just say my intention is not to bash anybody. If AA didn't exist I would have nowhere to go. However, I'm just not able to agree with the 12 steps.

So, I go and keep a low profile. Sometimes I'll share how some of the tools like AVRT help me stay sober, but I am very careful how I phrase it.

thanks

Frank
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:30 AM
  # 40 (permalink)  
 
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Obladi...amazing post. Thank you.
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