Anybody have a long time?

Old 07-31-2014, 07:12 AM
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Anybody have a long time?


I want to get sober but AA doesn't work for me. It works for a lot of people, but it really rubs me the wrong way, mainly because of the dogmatic spiritual aspect of it.

Has anyone managed to put together a long period of sobriety (5 years or more, say) without "working the steps?" Steps 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 11 and (for the most part) 12 just don't work for me, although the others make sense.

If you've managed to remain sober for a long period of time without spending an inordinate amount of time in church basements drinking bad coffee and feeling like a hypocrite reciting prayers, I'd really like to hear how you did/do it.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-31-2014, 07:19 AM
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I'll get back to you in 4.5 years.

But nothing is going to be different as far as drinking goes for me. I'm done.
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Old 07-31-2014, 07:28 AM
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I had a period of sobriety of 18 years and never went to an AA meeting while quitting. I did go to one meeting with a friend, but I hadn't had a drink for several years at that point, and I was just curious about AA since I knew other people who went to meetings. I didn't even know what the Steps were.

There are many ways to stop. I think in one way or another the essence of the steps got to be part of my life during those 18 years because the steps are a basic common sense way to live life. I've always believed in a power greater than me so that wasn't a stretch. All I had to do is seek a better way of life.

Lots of people just stop. It doesn't have to be AA.
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Old 07-31-2014, 10:00 AM
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AA isn't the only way, here's a thread listing loads of other options, some are more secular:
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Old 07-31-2014, 11:46 AM
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Here is also an interesting thread that popped up in the newcomers forum the other day:

Me, I'm only on day 23 today, so I'm not sure if I provide the best benchmark.
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Old 07-31-2014, 06:37 PM
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hello Smiling,
yes, 7 + at the moment, and planning to not go back ever again.
i got involved with LifeRing, both online and face-to-face, and it served me well.
it is secular and based on human effort, peer support.

it's a very non-dogmatic place, and plenty open-minded. sobriety is defined strictly as abstinence.
i felt much as you do about a spiritual route, but since being sober a few years am definitely leaning that way now , which is a whole other story.
definitely people get and stay sober in many different ways.

you say "i want to get sober but..."
the thing about getting sober that's really important, no matter which way you choose, is to not drink.
obvious, i know, and i'm only saying it because i was stuck in the "i want to get sober BUT..." place for a long long time....
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Old 08-01-2014, 07:05 PM
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how'd you feel about reframing the "i want to get sober but..." to " i want to get sober AND in order to do so i will..."
just a thought.
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Old 08-01-2014, 07:11 PM
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I've been sober 7 years and used SR.

I think whatever method you use, you need that fundamental desire to stop, and a willingness to do whatever it takes to make that stick.

As an example, my old life was all about drinking - so I changed my life - friends, places, ways of coping, ideas of fun...everything.

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Old 08-03-2014, 02:14 AM
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Originally Posted by SmilingLight View Post
Has anyone managed to put together a long period of sobriety (5 years or more, say) without "working the steps?" Steps 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 11 and (for the most part) 12 just don't work for me, although the others make sense
I have 2 years here and I do go to AA, however, I haven't really done all the steps. I go to the meeting just to be around others and to listen. When I first started going I just went with the stuff that made sense to me and shelved the rest for a later ponder. I focus on the things that are positive for me.

I also do SMART sometimes and WFS and it is the samething with those programs. I do what makes sense to me.

There is no way I am ever going to agree 100% with just one program. And really, why limit myself to one when there are so many and I can take something from each of them?

For me the important thing is to have an open mind and to be willing to just try and to find things that work for me. That to me is what recovery is all about. Being willing to grow and learn.

Everyone has their own path, it is just a matter of finding it .
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Old 08-03-2014, 09:24 AM
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Hi SmilingLight, welcome to SR and to the Secular forum. There is a lot of support for you here, and on the other SR forums too.

I like what Fini said, you need to come to the place where you can say, 'I want to get sober AND...', instead of 'BUT'. For me, I wanted to get sober AND regain my self respect, AND lose the shame and guilt and depression and anxiety, AND keep my mental and physical health, AND keep my job and marriage and home, AND regain the respect of my adult children, AND do something with my life to make it worth living again. Those 'buts' have to disappear, become inconsequential.

I am sober now for three years, and you can read how here.

You can do this, you deserve to do this, and you shall do this. Are you ready to make your own plan about continuing to use alcohol?
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Old 08-03-2014, 10:24 AM
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23+ years here.
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Old 08-03-2014, 12:10 PM
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Four and a half years here and I used counseling and SR as my way to get and stay sober.
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Old 08-13-2014, 06:18 AM
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I crested the 3 year mark in June and have done it without the help of AA or a 12 step program. I found my own way putting bits and pieces together as I went. I did a lot of reading and I spent a lot of time on this web site. These days I don't even really think of it that often - I am just a person that doesn't drink alcohol anymore. I actually haven't been on the site much over the past 12 months or so. I'm not sure why I felt the desire to check in today...

So yes, it can be done and it is done all the time. There is no need to use your incompatibility with AA as an excuse to keep drinking.
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Old 08-14-2014, 02:20 PM
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I'll have 20 years on Sept. 14th.
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