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Non 12-step Experience, Strength and Hope - Needed

Old 07-09-2013, 09:25 AM
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Non 12-step Experience, Strength and Hope - Needed

Just checking in again to share my thoughts about my recovery. I am putting together an eclectic repertoire of readings, thoughts, ideas, practices, therapy and other self-empowerment tools that seem to be really helping me. My Buddhist leanings are helping me to remain mindful, accepting life on life's terms, the importance of self-compassion, and the use of non-pathologizing language (which only causes more egoic separation/duality). The only problem I seem to be having is the feelings of loneliness that creep in. In a way I envy the 12-steppers who have abundant meetings to go to and the years long support their program has. Just can't fit a square peg in a round hole, though. I understand I could go to a SMART meeting in person and may do so. Just wondering what has worked for other people ? Has anyone else combatted these feelings of loneliness?
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Old 07-09-2013, 01:57 PM
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I take classes, have a bunch of hobbies, and do stuff outside a lot. I'm always learning new things and meeting new people. I'm not involved in groups that focus solely on "recovery" because in my mind, "recovery" and "living my life to the fullest" are not separate entities.

Do you have a Buddhist temple nearby? If so, you would most certainly find a supportive sangha there.
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Old 07-09-2013, 04:20 PM
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I work an hybrid program. I started attending Women For Sobriety once a week and I really like it.
Here is a link to their forum WELCOME TO WFS ONLINE!
and here are the foundation of their program
WFS "NEW LIFE" ACCEPTANCE STATEMENTS

1. I have a life-threatening problem that once had me.
I now take charge of my life and my disease. I accept the responsibility.

2. Negative thoughts destroy only myself.
My first conscious sober act must be to remove negativity from my life.

3. Happiness is a habit I will develop.
Happiness is created, not waited for.

4. Problems bother me only to the degree I permit them to.
I now better understand my problems and do not permit problems to overwhelm me.

5. I am what I think.
I am a capable, competent, caring, compassionate woman.

6. Life can be ordinary or it can be great.
Greatness is mine by a conscious effort.

7. Love can change the course of my world.
Caring becomes all important.

8. The fundamental object of life is emotional and spiritual growth.
Daily I put my life into a proper order, knowing which are the priorities.

9. The past is gone forever.
No longer will I be victimized by the past, I am a new person.

10. All love given returns.
I will learn to know that others love me.

11. Enthusiasm is my daily exercise.
I treasure all moments of my new life.

12. I am a competent woman and have much to give life.
This is what I am and I shall know it always.

13. I am responsible for myself and for my actions.
I am in charge of my mind, my thoughts, and my life.

To make the Program effective for you, arise each morning fifteen minutes earlier than usual and go over the Thirteen Affirmations. Then begin to think about each one by itself. Take one Statement and use it consciously all day. At the end of the day review the use of it and what effects it had that day for you and your actions.
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Old 07-09-2013, 05:19 PM
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I have found that once I find self acceptance my need for people decreases drastically. I'm having to force myself to interact with people LOL....

finding a Sanga is a great idea. Even if you don't have one locally, you could connect on line with a center that is fairly close (within 200 miles) and visit once every few months...it would be a start.

Also, you can post a lot on SR and use chat. I find my internet relationships just as likely to be meaningful as my "face to face" despite many's disbelief
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Old 07-09-2013, 05:47 PM
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Like Carlotta, I attend a weekly WFS meeting, Tuesdays. I also attend a weekly Continuing Care group that's a follow-up to my IOP at the same rehab center. It's 12-step based but it's more like group therapy than an AA meeting and I like that. And then there's a monthly GRASP meeting that's for people who've had a loved one die from suicide that was addiction related.

I'm not being social yet though. I agree with Ananda about self-acceptance being key in recovery. Just don't feel the need or desire to get out there yet. And not gonna push myself to do so. It's good enough for me that I'm starting to really like myself at this stage in life, mid-30's.

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Old 07-09-2013, 07:45 PM
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yes, i was lonely too but i have to say that after a few weeks sober, part of my desire to be around other recovering addicts still was that i wanted to re-hear my beast's old refrain, of 'this is hard and you'll probably struggle...' which, right there is 100% prime beast-activity/addictive voice that's working to try and make me drink against my better judgement.

so be careful, and stay alert to the point at which you might find the desire to talk about recovery in a healthy way becomes the toxic desire to build up the difficulty of it, or generally have your mindset in a place where you self-identify as an addict. it's a fine line and only you can know if it will affect you, and maybe it won't, y'know?

so anyway all that said, i was lonely still for places that weren't pubs & bars, so i started attending all sorts of early morning things (that would never have happend when i was drinking and always ill in the morning!) and they REALLY helped, morning/breakfast events are the one social event that don't revolve around booze BUT don't risk dragging me into associating my identity with recovery, which i presonally found triggered the 'addictive voice'/beast to start up and get excited.

meetup.com might have some listings for things in your area, be sure to serach for 'all' events and not just most popular, anything before about 09:00am is likely to be entirely free of the spectre of booze or that hideous 'let's go to the bar' afterwards thing and things like early morning meditation groups, early morning events at the gym... you get the picture i'm sure!
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Old 07-10-2013, 07:09 AM
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I take classes, have a bunch of hobbies, and do stuff outside a lot. I'm always learning new things and meeting new people. I'm not involved in groups that focus solely on "recovery" because in my mind, "recovery" and "living my life to the fullest" are not separate entities.

Do you have a Buddhist temple nearby? If so, you would most certainly find a supportive sangha there.


Soberlicious, I feel you took the words right out of my mouth! I, too, have the mindset that it is counterproductive (and creates more egoic separation) to focus solely on "recovery" or the labels therein. I really like the goal of "living life to the fullest". I think I have been calling it "becoming a more integrated, holistic person (probably because of my training in the field of mental health / Interpersonal Neurobiology) Some other life enhancing activities I enjoy are: photography (just came back from Quebec City with some beautiful photos of Vieux Quebec that I intend to frame and use as artwork or gifts), perennial gardening, study of sustainable agriculture/permaculture, reading, and of course Buddhist/Mindfulness practices. And, yes, I live in a very "Buddhist friendly" environment. If I can overcome my shyness I plan to check this out.
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Old 07-10-2013, 07:13 AM
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Charlotta,

Thanks for the info re: WFS. I had heard of it but never knew the steps/principles. I will check it out. Also, I just love your avatar (another thing that brings me much joy is my cats!)
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Old 07-10-2013, 07:21 AM
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Ananda, SoberJennie, DoubtfulDebs,

Thanks so much for the great ideas! Just hearing from other folks who have found another hybrid path that works for them makes my heart sing. I am a natural introvert that works with people so on my free time I do prefer contemplation, solitude. This forum (and perhaps others) might just be the ticket to getting just enough social connection at this time in my life. It is true that the more contemplative one becomes the less need for outside stimulus from other people.
SoberJennie, I, too, have lost a family member to addictions. You also made me smile re: your comment about finally reaching a place of self-acceptance (I can so relate but have a few years on you)
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Old 07-10-2013, 09:28 AM
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i was toying with the idea of starting a breakfast book club in my area, maybe sunday mornings, in a cafe... not part of 'recovery' but just for the social life that's also not dependent on booze. could that be an idea you could use in your neighbourhood?

while other people drinking has nothing to do with my Big Plan, i just find it tedious to be around, and i also like the healthy feeling of having done something constructive early in the day.

my Big Plan exists in isolation from my circumstances, etc, but i also like to improve those circs when i can, which i think is a normal healthy desire unrelated to whether or not i was ever addicted.
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Old 07-10-2013, 09:37 AM
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An idea: Book Clubs... like actual book clubs, not online. My library has tons of them every month. It would be a way to be around a group of women (and possibly men, but somehow I suspect it's going to be female mostly), like-minded... literary anyway... and the clubs at the library will be sans alcohol I'm sure
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