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I heart SMART!

Old 07-26-2015, 04:17 AM
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Thumbs up I heart SMART!

It's been a while for me just using SR as the primary tool to keep me steady in my sobriety. But I feel like I need a good kick in the arse. It's time to put some serious work into letting go of some big self belief fallacies I have clung to so safely all these years.

I started SMART meetings and love the positive approach. The tools, such as the ABC's are even something I can work through with my therapist I see weekly. Real honest to goodness methods to resolving that negative self talk. That secondary voice droning on and on in the background.

Now really working at these things means I have to drudge stuff up and bit. So as to not throw myself off balance I figure I will up my game and try and make new connections at these meetings.

I go Monday's and Fridays. Friday's meeting is 90 minutes and the time flies.

Guess I just wanted to post and see how many others attend SMART meetings?

It's safe to draw comparisons in this section. So I do want to say what a world of difference between this format and the other meeting format of that other group. Such positivity. Such constructive help. Such practical support.

The things I am working on are the fuel to my addictions. And how cool it is to focus on the source of the problem.

I love SMART!!!
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Old 07-26-2015, 05:25 AM
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Sounds like a good mix for you Ken. Get the most you can from it. And also remember to give back.
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Old 07-27-2015, 07:51 AM
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If the discussion is allowed, can you provide some specifics between AA meetings and Smart meetings? I really need some kind of external support, AA has quite a few meetings where I live, but there is a Smart meeting about an hour away. Probably best if I check both out...
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Old 07-27-2015, 09:45 AM
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The question is for Weasel1966, but I can also describe some differences.

AA meetings usually have a rule not allowing cross-talk in meetings. For me, this makes the meetings almost useless because I'm just talking to myself in public. SMART meetings and Life ring meetings encourage cross-talk and supportive feedback.

AA places emphasis on admitting you are an alcoholic. SMART does not promote equating yourself with a label. Alcohol addiction is considered a learned behavior trait that can be unlearned. Unlearned doesn't mean going back to drinking. SMART is abstinence based.

AA focuses on being powerless over addiction. That has some subtle meanings. For the idea that you can't stop your addiction by any other means than asking a higher power to remove it, SMART considers alcohol addiction to be a behavior that can be unlearned. It suggests empowering yourself, not helplessness. SMART stands for Self-Management and Recovery Training.

When AA philosophy is considered to include the chapter to the agnostic in the big book, AA is a religious program that tells you that you can learn to not be agnostic and postpone accepting God until it inevitably becomes evident to you. But, AA also suggests taking what you can and leaving the rest. But, AA also suggests accepting the entire program. But, AA meetings vary and there are agnostic/athiest AA groups.

SMART states no opinion about religion but does not include acceptance of a deity in it's program. Again, some AA groups also don't. And both organizations allow people to participate without accepting all of the program.

Generally, the dynamics of the group is what is important, more so than the specifics of either program. So, there are some great AA meetings and some not so great SMART meetings.

To me, AA meetings feel like a group of people helping each other to accept their doom, SMART and Life ring meetings feel hopeful.

AA generally promotes the view that we are defective people who can learn to overcome some of our defectiveness through the program. SMART and Life ring promote the idea that we are no different than anyone else, except that there are some behavior traits that we need to unlearn.

I am too poor to travel to a SMART meeting these days.
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Old 07-27-2015, 09:51 AM
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Thank you for that bob. I had wondered about the difference myself but didn't know quite where to post.
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Old 07-27-2015, 03:51 PM
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elphaba, thanks for asking. It is vital that we explore all the various ways of thinking to find the right one. No one way is more correct and it's what we feel leaving meetings and reading the ideals of a program that ultimately lead us to where we feel most comfortable. For me it's SMART.

Why? Lol.. that's where we started this post isn't it... Mostly because I feel positive and hopeful when I use the SMART methods. They are based on real psychological approaches.

Say, for instance, I used one of the SMART tools called an ABC. It is based on rational emotive behavior therapy. Fancy way to say stop. What am I telling myself at this moment? Is it real or made up by me? What am I really asking of myself. Then think about how the irrational thought can be turned around.

I work with a therapist once a week for some very old issues I want to put to rest. These exercises are something I can take from my SMART meeting to my therapist and have something real to work through. Positive real steps in a larger recovery process.

Yes it takes practice. Hell... Life takes practice. But the difference between SMART and the other group is that working through our learned behaviors and unlearning the ways that lead us to depend on alcohol or drugs is a process that has a happy ending. I can be recovered without a constant state of recovery.

In other words I can walk again and not always see myself as someone beaten down and only ever able to crawl. I have value. I can empower myself. I can choose to say NO to drinking and drugs and I never need to change my mind.

Yes... A little AVRT in there but the benefits are the same.

Do people stay sober with AA? Yes. Many do with SMART as well.

Again we come full circle. Choose what's best for the way you feel. The results you get. An hour drive is worth finding a viable solution. Give both a try. You will know.

Ken
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Old 07-27-2015, 04:06 PM
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Thanks bob for jumping in. I do find the cross talk to be of huge value. For me receiving and offering thoughts. Feeling like we are a "group" is always helpful.

One thing I have always loved about SR is there is a waterline of sanity and support. Allowing the SR team to speak up we find that water line. It allows us to swim to safety.

Ken
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Old 07-27-2015, 04:17 PM
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Smart sounds pretty worthwhile, though don't look for perfection.
AA is fine for sobriety if one really persists with all the mantras.
I prefer a more open interactive communication, minus too many dogmas.
There are plenty of current bad issues re alcohol that can be debated openly.
As for religion, that's fine too. At least AA doesn't stipulate one specific religion.
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Old 07-27-2015, 04:21 PM
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Perfection... That will always be elusive.

How we react to our imperfections is the primary question here.

With SMART there is no returning to zero. No efforts ever wasted. It's about what did we learn and how can we tweak what didn't work. Build on what you have accomplished.

We are no less whole because of our imperfections.
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Old 07-27-2015, 06:16 PM
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Just a reminder 12 step discussions are off topic for this Secular Connections forum.

Please focus on SMART in this thread.

thanks
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Old 07-27-2015, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Weasel1966 View Post
I can choose to say NO to drinking and drugs and I never need to change my mind.

Yes... A little AVRT in there but the benefits are the same.
I like your thinking here!

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Old 07-29-2015, 06:34 PM
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I just did my first SMART meeting online. It was great. It really nailed all the big issues - the 6 phases of change, CBA, fighting urges, Hierarchy of Values. I plan on sticking with this to supplement my recovery plan. I just wish we had live meetings in my town. Online will just have to suffice for now
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Old 09-06-2015, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by BobArctor View Post
AA meetings usually have a rule not allowing cross-talk in meetings. For me, this makes the meetings almost useless because I'm just talking to myself in public. SMART meetings and Life ring meetings encourage cross-talk and supportive feedback.
What you said here I can totally relate to.
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Old 09-06-2015, 02:22 PM
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Really want to try one of these meetings out, think they'd be more my style than AA. o free time at the moment though and the meetings are all in the day time around my area.
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Old 09-20-2015, 06:35 PM
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You're lucky-- I don't have anything except AA and an AA agnostica in my area.
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Old 09-20-2015, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by BlueFairy View Post
You're lucky-- I don't have anything except AA and an AA agnostica in my area.
There are online SMART meetings
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Old 09-20-2015, 09:09 PM
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REBT is the one thing I picked up in rehab that I still use to this day. It's pretty much common sense. One of my councilors turned me on to some Albert Ellis material even though they mostly pushed a "spiritual" method. I wish they would have recommended Smart or other secular methods instead coercing me to do 90 in 90 after rehab in a program that didn't suit me. Oh well. It was all a learning experience and somehow I found my own way.
Keep us informed on your progress. I think it would be helpful for people to learn about more common sense approaches to getting their lives on track.
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Old 10-07-2015, 07:40 PM
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I found a SMART meeting that I've been going to 3 weeks in a row and now I feel like it is the only meeting I can't skip. It's just so amazing to be able to talk to each other and discuss what works.
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Old 10-30-2015, 12:15 AM
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Really appreciate this thread and the comparison between SMART and other programs. I have only attended twelve step mtgs, I've had a hard time connecting. SMART sounds more like my style. Looking forward to trying a Mtg this Thursday.
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Old 11-10-2015, 07:04 PM
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Hmmmm...I think I will look into SMART. Interesting! :-)
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