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Old 04-22-2013, 07:18 PM
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Todd's Thread

Brief Intro:
I've have a little over a year sober time. I first tried quitting about six years ago. About half of that time has been sober. I don't use any particular program or method of recovery. I have used various online support during the past year or so. I wrote an extended version of my recovery in the “Stories of Recovery” section, if anyone is interested.

Why am I here:
As far as Sober Recovery, I'm not sure myself what I expected to find here or exactly what I am looking to get out of it. One reason though, is the recovery board I normally post on is small. That has it's advantages, but it also limits the amount and type of feedback I can expect. There is another reason to but it would be kind of hard to explain and I can't quite put my finger on it at the moment. I'll get back to that at some point, if I can get a better handle on it.

What is this thread for:
I have a couple things I would like to discuss. I figured I would throw them out there and see if anyone joins the conversation. Please feel free comment, expand or explain anything you see about anything I mention. Points, counter-points and thoughts far a field are all welcome. If something doesn't apply to you so much and you just want to say hi or whatever that's fine too. I'm pretty friendly, most of the time.

On a Personal Note:
I don't use Rational Recovery. If possible and you remember, try not to offer me any advice in RR jargon. I notice that a lot of people on this section probably do RR? At least it seems to get a lot of talk. I am fine with RR. I think it's great if it makes sense to you and you're successful with it. It's just not my thing.
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Old 04-22-2013, 07:19 PM
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First Topic

OK, Intro post for the thread is out of the way. Lets get down to something to talk about (or feel free to comment on the intro, if you'd like).

The first thing I was thinking of is the idea of being non-judgmental. I don't think I am in any position to judge others. I would feel a bit of a hypocrite anyway if I do. Not to say I don't or that I don't make comments or mannerisms that insinuate a judgmental attitude. I would just like to reduce and if possible eliminate judging other people. Just because I want to practice this myself doesn't mean I expect other to do the same. In fact I would expect most people are judgmental of others. I think it is just a natural tendency. Perhaps more so in Western culture, but I am guessing it's a pretty universal human thing.

When I first got sober this time, I really felt I wanted to suspend judgment of others. It's not critical to my sobriety if I fail at this, but it's tied to my sobriety in a way. It's kind of like if I can get this right, it puts more distance between me and my former lifestyle. I don't want to put any strong correlation or implied importance on it though. This is something that would like for myself. It would feel to me like a personal growth item. I don't want to tie anything to my sobriety though. There are lots of personal growth items and maturing as a sober person, I would like to achieve. I can fail at all of them though and I don't want to go back to drinking. If I change and decide to become the biggest d!ck [email protected] in the world, that is not going to make me want to go back to drinking.

One thing I notice about myself is when I want to make an improvement to myself, such as this, I have the tendency to project it. Like when I see someone else being critical, I want to point out their “bad behavior”. Which of course is not the point of being non-judgmental. Other people will continue to find fault. There is nothing wrong with this. It's not my job to point this out.

In a recovery forum example: Person A says something off topic or unpopular, Person B points it out and says it's wrong, Person C tells person B to back off a bit, since it was only person A's opinion and they can believe whatever they want. Person D says hey let's tone it down and moves on to another point of discussion. Person B was being judgmental. So was person C. So was person D most likely. It's not my job to point that out to any of those people. I've also been each one of those people and will probably continue to be at times.
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Old 04-22-2013, 07:44 PM
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hi Todd,

i find this really tricky.
i DO judge, and then mostly berate myself for it.
but other times, i think more about the difference between judging the person and judging the behaviour/actions.

and then i think about the possible difference between opinions and judgments. and discernment.
and then i go to thinking that i have a brain so that i can make good judgments about stuff to help me avoid trouble and people who'd be troublesome for me.


and after all that, i berate myself again and then i can go from there to being angry at myself for trying NOT to be judgmental and i start the process over again.

on your other observation: yes, i've been surprised ever since joining here that the vast majority of the 'secular connections' are involved with AVRT and RR.
i spent years on the LifeRing forum, and that is a place and organization of no particular technique or programme, encouraging people to figure out what works for them, find their own way with the support of others.
in all my years there i think i met two people who ever spoke of having used AVRT proper.

this avatar of yours...uh...is it bread/bun? a fried brain?
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:48 PM
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It happens to be a lot of RR posts please don't let that scare you off Todd. We go in cycles. I work SMART and NA as my programs. I've never been to a RR website but once nor do I wish to visit again. That's just me.

I've seen RR work for others though. I liked my program the way it is.

Congrats on over a year. I'm also glad you joined is here at SC at SR lol

And I love your random thoughts thread and looking forward to reading more
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by fini View Post
hi Todd,

i find this really tricky.
i DO judge, and then mostly berate myself for it.
but other times, i think more about the difference between judging the person and judging the behaviour/actions.

and then i think about the possible difference between opinions and judgments. and discernment.
and then i go to thinking that i have a brain so that i can make good judgments about stuff to help me avoid trouble and people who'd be troublesome for me.
There is something I read on the SMART site that is kind of related to being non-judgmental and allon the lines of what you speak of. At least they seem alike to me. It was the idea of Unconditional Self Acceptance and of others. I am guessing at the actual name for it. They like their acronyms though, so I figure the first one would have been USA, since that's easy to remember. Unconditional acceptance of self would sound a little cleaner to my ears though. Either way they listed them as related, but separate ideas. I may read up more on it again, but the idea is to separate the behavior from the person. You can like/dislike the behavior, but another person (or yourself) is not their behavior. We all do good stuff. We all do sh!tty stuff. You are not your behavior. The idea is to not beat yourself up. Personally I don't have much issue beating myself up. I don't get down I myself much. I am pretty much accepting of myself, to a degree already. I think the two are linked ideas though. I don't think you can universally accept yourself, without acceptance of others and vice versa. Not a strong degree of acceptance anyway. At least that is my way of thinking. That's why I see them as two sides of the same coin, where you can't have one and not the other. I understand that other people may not see it the same way. For me I would have to do both, that's all. I also think maybe in a way, this is OK for being non-judgmental. Separate the action from the person, like your saying. Never judge the person. If necessary judge the action or the position of the person. I still would like to reduce that part in me, but it might make for a more practical transition. Although even in being non-judgmental I don't think that automatically implies I have to approve of everything or not have opinions. That maybe is towards the separating the behavior idea. I just think saying to someone “I don't judge you, but ...”, is still dangerous, as far as being non-judgmental or seeming like your being judgemental.

Oh, and I don't think I am any where close to being non-judgemental, if I wasn't clear. It's just something I am trying to work towards.

Originally Posted by fini View Post
on your other observation: yes, i've been surprised ever since joining here that the vast majority of the 'secular connections' are involved with AVRT and RR.
i spent years on the LifeRing forum, and that is a place and organization of no particular technique or programme, encouraging people to figure out what works for them, find their own way with the support of others.
in all my years there i think i met two people who ever spoke of having used AVRT proper.
I've not done the forum there, but I have done quite a few online meetings. It is pretty non-structured, which I think is why I fit well there also.

Originally Posted by fini View Post
this avatar of yours...uh...is it bread/bun? a fried brain?
It's a bun. Cheese bread dough I believe. I've got to look around for a better pic. lol.
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Old 04-23-2013, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by shockozulu View Post
It happens to be a lot of RR posts please don't let that scare you off Todd. We go in cycles. I work SMART and NA as my programs. I've never been to a RR website but once nor do I wish to visit again. That's just me.

I've seen RR work for others though. I liked my program the way it is.

Congrats on over a year. I'm also glad you joined is here at SC at SR lol

And I love your random thoughts thread and looking forward to reading more
Thanks Shock. It's hard to get a feel for a place, right off the bat. I've back read some posts, but it takes time. I read through all of RobbyRobot's thread. I thought it was very good. I'm reading through Ananda's thread right now. Not to the end yet, but I really like it where I am at so far on it. I've caught all or most of the shorter ones on the top page. Some things I may have to gloss over, but I am sure there are plenty of others, that may need to gloss over me.

I do respect any method, program or philosophy that works for anyone else. Not all of them are my cup of tea, personally.

Last edited by ToddE1; 04-23-2013 at 06:25 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 04-23-2013, 06:26 PM
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typo that I noticed that is. :rotfxko
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Old 04-24-2013, 02:54 PM
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You can like/dislike the behavior, but another person (or yourself) is not their behavior.

don't know about that, Todd.
in fact, i've waffled on that for years, if not decades, and finally don't think i need to come down on any "side" about that.
if i keep stealing things, am i a thief?
if i keep running marathons, am i a runner?
if i lie a lot, am i a liar?

one of the problems i have with all this is that saying "a person is not as they "do" " seems to so totally separate the person from what he/she does.

if someone consistently acts in a jerk-like manner towards me, yes, i'll judge him a jerk.
deep down truth is that i don't really wish to be non-judgmental. though i might try for non-condemning.
which seems different to me.

as far as the drinking-thing, see, this was a development i went through: i used to think of it as something i DID.
my turning point was when i understood that a drunk is something i WAS/AM.

in a way that made sense to me, i was what i had only thought i was doing.


hm....i am what i do more than i am what i'm thinking or feeling...no?
yes? maybe? possibly?

just stuff i've been thinking about.
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Old 04-24-2013, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by fini View Post
You can like/dislike the behavior, but another person (or yourself) is not their behavior.

don't know about that, Todd.
in fact, i've waffled on that for years, if not decades, and finally don't think i need to come down on any "side" about that.

if i keep stealing things, am i a thief?
if i keep running marathons, am i a runner?
if i lie a lot, am i a liar?
Point taken. I am more than just my behavior though. I would like if I only was nice and considerate all the time. Catch me at a bad time or off guard and maybe I am not so, nice. I don't want to get down on myself, just because I say some thing mean once in a while and wish I didn't. Figure I should extend that to other people, benefit of the doubt kind of thing. Not to say if someone repeatedly treats me poorly, I need to continue associating with them.

Originally Posted by fini View Post
one of the problems i have with all this is that saying "a person is not as they "do" " seems to so totally separate the person from what he/she does.

if someone consistently acts in a jerk-like manner towards me, yes, i'll judge him a jerk.
deep down truth is that i don't really wish to be non-judgmental. though i might try for non-condemning.
which seems different to me.
For me they overlap a bit. I definitely wish to be non-condemning though. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone, sort of thing.

I went to a f2f meeting today. I don't normally go to those, but I wanted to talk with the person that runs the meeting afterward, so sat in on the whole thing. It was a fine. On of the participants brought up something he worked on is his need for acceptance from others. That he had a very “pleaser” type personality because of this and his own sense of self-worth, was then tied to his perception of other peoples opinions of him.

I'm not that way, but it got me thinking. I think we all to some degree or another aren't immune to this effect. I think there is a saying in Dale Carnegie that, “Everyone likes a complement”, or something to that effect. The point in the Carnegie training was not to heap false praise on people, but to look for ways to genuinely find something to appreciate. I think it says a lot about a person if they can do this.

To live on a diet of false praise is not very satisfying though. I think sometimes going through this, there is a lot of emotional ebbs and flows. Sometimes I'm not at my best or can be very weak to this, like I almost need that praise factor or something. I had a very shut-down personality though. The alcohol help further block out or deaden emotions. I'm not sure I'll ever get to full spectrum, if you will as far as strong emotions. Having any at all is new on me. I'm good at the moment. I probably will continue to be. I'm just cautious is all. I think it would be relatively easy for me to shut off the emotions with or without booze. I think that might have a tendency to make it easier to relapse though. Even if it wouldn't I don't want to do that. I just don't think mental health wise it is a good idea.

I guess I just want to be a better person. Not sure what that really means, even my own personal definition of it. Maybe that is more of what I am really trying to work out in my head here.

Anyway, that was a bit of a meandering.

Take care, Todd
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Old 04-25-2013, 07:51 AM
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yes, meandering.
somethimng i like and appreciate. seems more "real" on a forum such as this rather than sticking exactly to a topic. fleshes out more of the "whole of us".

wanting/trying to change is what wanting sobriety is about, for me.
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Old 04-26-2013, 08:32 PM
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I did an online meeting on this site tonight. I did one here last week too. It's a topic meeting and they don't encourage cross talk. Not what I am used to, but something new is always that way. lol. I am sure I would get used to it if I kept going to them. That's just kind of the way things are it seems. It's not comfortable trying new things. Most differences are pretty minor though. I can see the point of no cross talk for this place though. Lots of different philosophies and some people get rubbed the wrong way. I don't claim to be immune, but try not to let another persons opinions or beliefs bother me. When the get stated in very dogmatic mannerisms, it does put me on the defensive though. I will try to work on that, but it's still there for now.

One thing I think now I was looking for is a place to think somethings out. With as many people here, I figured maybe would get some decent feed back too. The talking it out in your own mind is important though (and that is what half of this posting is anyway, I think anyway).

Since I tend to figure things out in my own mind as I go along, some of what I post isn't always going to agree with what I may have posted earlier or on another thread/topic all the time. Oh well on that though, just part of the process.

I'm moderating an online meeting too. I still have lots to learn on my own sobriety, let alone on being a good moderator on top of that. Considering that though, I think the meetings are going pretty well. I even had a bit of an issue to deal with last week, that I think I handled professionally. There was a member who had a fairly serious complaint about a different moderator at his f2f meeting. He let me divert his issue until after the meeting. I really just listened him out and passed the complaint along.

We are not always people at our best, in recovery. There will be a few unkind words said and hurt feelings occasionally. I think overall the encouragement and support that can be offered in meetings, here in forums, etc. out weigh the occasional flair up. Things can go bad in a hurry though, sometimes. It's definitely a bit of a balancing act.

Anyway I am also thinking of taking SMART facilitator training. I like a lot of their tools, but never really used them. So I guess it would be more accurate to say I like the idea of them. I also read everything they have, but was in my first couple months sober. I think there is a tendency to latch on to anything and everything for dear life at that point. I am sure a lot of what SMART has could stand up to critical analysis in my own minds though. That isn't really why I would pick SMART if I do decide to do a f2f meeting though. I live in an area that already has f2f SMART meetings. That just makes it easy to do, if I do it as a SMART meeting. I like LifeRing a little better for myself though. It's a little less structured and that fine for me. I know a lot of people would prefer something with structure. I'm OK without it.

I'm not sure I will actually start up a f2f meeting or not yet. I do think it's pretty likely I will take the facilitator training though. I figure at minimum it will help for the online meeting I am already doing, even though it's not a SMART meeting. The thing I want to guard against is over doing it. I decided to do hosting an online meeting, because it really isn't that much effort in all honesty. But it's helping out still and I'm OK to help out some. I was pretty much fading away from meetings myself. When you need them and they are helpful they are great. When you start getting in a better place, well for me anyway it's OK to move on. Hosting the meeting gives me a reason to stay involved. I don't see doing that forever, but for now it's important. I figure I can give it a couple of years anyway, so I didn't mind taking it on. Also if I am out of town, I can still do an online meeting. Even if I can't, there is plenty of back-up, to cover it.

Face to face is a different issue though. It is more work. There are other meeting in my area, so I might get some backup facilitators if I am out of town. That's a lot more burden for someone else to cover an actual in person meeting though. There are only three people in reasonably distance actually. I would really prefer to find someone to co-host my meeting. It doesn't have to necessarily be from the beginning, but definitely would want that. Also want someone to take over as an exit strategy. For my online meeting that isn't really a concern. I took over another persons time slot. When I am ready to leave down the road, I would imagine there will be others ready to take over. Online has just a different dynamic. There was a meeting in my area that they just stopped having six months back or so. It was pretty well attended meeting too, from the times I went, which was only twice. Still I was surprised a bit no one took it over. It was at a very nice facility, associated with some hospital chain.

So, that's a bit of typing on this train of thought for tonight. To recap. I'm in the contemplative stage on this doing a f2f then. Even if I do it won't be for a couple months at least. I do plan to take the SMART facilitator train, but that will take a little bit of time. I also don't want to over do it, so want to have at least a few more months in with my online meeting, to make sure I am more comfortable with it.

OK done for now. lol.
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Old 05-01-2013, 02:01 AM
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Enjoy your training when you do take it. It really enhanced my sobriety and ability to work the tools.
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Old 05-02-2013, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by shockozulu View Post
Enjoy your training when you do take it. It really enhanced my sobriety and ability to work the tools.
Thanks Shock.

I was reading up on it the other day, but it was late so I didn't register yet. I'm gonna do it tomorrow though or over the weekend, whenever I get a few minutes. It won't start until June, if I register now. I assume there is a lot of self-study stuff, I can read up on between then and now. They have certain things in the meeting rooms though. I didn't quite follow all what is involved, yet. The fellow I talked with the other day, that just completed it said he spent 30 to 40 hours on it.
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