Alternatives to AA/ how to make AA work for you (1 Viewer)

CouchPunx

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I've got a lot of problems with aa, but I'd like to make it work for me, just because anywhere you go there are meetings, and sometimes you just gotta yell at a roomful of strangers who understand the terror.

I tried therapy, which I think ended up doing more harm than good. Especially considering i was literally out flying a sign to pay this motherfucker to gaslight me every week.

SMARTrecovery was by far the best thing for me. I found a really good group (theyre not all good) that became my weekly lifelinem people there said that that meeting helped them deal with the bullshit of aa meetings, like theyd do aa all week then come to smart on sunday.

I did a few refuge recovery meetings, which were not as good but it was cool to be working some step-like shit, which were less bullshitty than aa. Also, meditation at every meeting really kicks the shit out of me.

But now that I'm travelling again its hard to find stuff like that to go to, although i keep in touch somewhat with my Philly sober community. I feel like I've handicapped myself by not learning how to work aa. (Every time i hear that preamble my fucking blood boils)

How have yall managed to make aa work for you on the road? Or are there resources that have worked better for you?
 
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highwayman

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My recovery exists under any & all conditions. I got sober on the road. I was sober before going to AA. That being said I knew that AA probably would work if I let it since it worked for my grandparents, parents & sister. One could assume that the psychological & or formative emotional development of a developing child being raised with both active & recovered alcoholism must influence things. So if my family got sober then perhaps rotten apples do not fall far from their broken trees. There was really no one left to blame but me.

Then the degrees of sobriety & or total recovery come into question. How much am I willing to change? Today I belong to 2 homegroups that meet 6 days a week. I don't go every day & I do not go on commitments but I do share occasionally but usually listen a lot. I love the simplicity & clarity that I obtained by staying sober for a continuous amount of time. I always say that my sobriety is not dependent on theology or attending meetings. The quality of my life is curiously linked to my fluctuating mental/spiritual/social condition and level of isolation. When I feel the worst alone after swearing off AA, I remember how that feeling mirrors the emotions that I had when I found the desperation to surrender myself to my alcoholism. Remember that AA is for those who"want" it not for all who may need it. Desire always proceeds any & all learning or change. I had to first be totally defeated in order to attempt to tolerate, listen & digest what others were saying before I could start to try to apply such auto-didactic lessons in my own psyche. The desire eventually came. Often this is by trial & error & forged in the reality of the world outside of meetings.

Many AA purists would say that I am doing it all wrong & that my recovery has examples of rational recovery and or smart recovery without actually participating there. CBT is all the rage these days & all thought SMART is supposedly based on science where else is peer based Cognitive Bahavior Therapy & Behavior Restructering utilized just like at SMART? AA & all other 12 step programs. Its all just choices within choices & nuances of flavor for the same outcome.https://www.psychcongress.com/article/aa-and-cbt-one-same
All recovery is just improving ones mental health. The path, flavor and or journey is irrelevant if the outcomes & or eventual "recovered" destination is arrived at.

The litmus test is staying sober out in the world & not wanting to kill yourself and or having other distance themselves from you due to behaviors that repulse more well adjusted types. If your "long term" recovery is dependent on a specific network then perhaps you are not far enough recovered in order to retain sobriety outside of those safe circles yet. Having a homegroup & network with a cadre of trusted allies with long term sobriety always helps. Remember that isolation is the dream killer. Most often the alcoholism/addiction is just the tip of the iceberg. Who wants to admit that other underlying issues could be effecting their ability to "fully" recover. The best part of tradition 3 in AA is that you are a member if have a desire to stop drinking. The beauty of this while on the road is that you have a refuge no matter where you end up. What you get from such interactions would be entirely up to your level of contentment with the quality of your sobriety. If you aint sober, then its pretty much a mute point. Drunks usually cannot make good decisions & or plan their own recovery without some simple suggestions & or guidelines from peers. The idea of joining a group & getting active is to become a "part of" a community to help you rebuild your broken life. Once you recover & rebuild what is broken, then obviously their is still much ongoing maintenance to do to safeguard your new sober personality.

I wouldn't get to hung up on what you do not like in AA or any fellowship or therapy. Just find those nuggets that "do " work. Take what you need, and leave the rest" comes to mind". "Keep it simple", "Principles before Personalities" and so on do the common sense cliches go on into infinity. I myself have never said the "Serenity Prayer" & feel it is a fake ass secular prayer that does not take into consideration the gravity of my spiritual needs. Then again there are many who love it & many others who just mouth & repeat it to go along with the heard. Lots of all of them stay sober; regardless on which flavor that they incorporate into their specific recoveries. Don't get stuck on the shit that you do not wan't in your recovery. Dont like god< remove god. Dont like the steps> avoid the steps. The trick is to never make an excuse to need to drink or want to drink. I go to my meetings to stay away from the insanity that proceeds the first drink. My next first drink has been removed & will only resurface if I somehow forget everything that I learned how to practice to get & stay sober. I still use tools that I learned on day 1 & then again I still challenge the use of my tools. Sometimes I need to clean & sharpen my tools or rethink my methods & acquire new tools: then learn how to use them.

Being impervious to petty resentments, anger & anxiety are all benefits of sobriety. Try to connect with 1 or 2 people to text/talk/email with when needed & then seek out others like us where ever you are. I can openly discuss my problems with strangers at a bus stop if I need to. I usually find it easier to use the platform of AA but AA is only available in 1 hour increments at a time. I learned that I must bank that which I learn in AA or elsewhere then withdraw it all in time of need; then replenish as necessary. Regardless of where you learn how to change your behavior & improve your mental health; staying a perpetual student will ensure the craft of your recovery is fulfilling.
 
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I've got a lot of problems with aa, but I'd like to make it work for me, just because anywhere you go there are meetings, and sometimes you just gotta yell at a roomful of strangers who understand the terror.

I tried therapy, which I think ended up doing more harm than good. Especially considering i was literally out flying a sign to pay this motherfucker to gaslight me every week.

SMARTrecovery was by far the best thing for me. I found a really good group (theyre not all good) that became my weekly lifelinem people there said that that meeting helped them deal with the bullshit of aa meetings, like theyd do aa all week then come to smart on sunday.

I did a few refuge recovery meetings, which were not as good but it was cool to be working some step-like shit, which were less bullshitty than aa. Also, meditation at every meeting really kicks the shit out of me.

But now that I'm travelling again its hard to find stuff like that to go to, although i keep in touch somewhat with my Philly sober community. I feel like I've handicapped myself by not learning how to work aa. (Every time i hear that preamble my fucking blood boils)

How have yall managed to make aa work for you on the road? Or are there resources that have worked better for you?
SMART recovery worked for me too. I couldn't do AA because of the jesus bullshit, so I left - fuck religion and anyone that belives in that sky fairy bullshit.

Also, smart recovery was in the same building as mental health services and really helped me with previous trauma and assault in my life. I got a counselor for 12 weeks and we really got to the deep core issues and root of all my problems. It was a really good experience.
 

OTTERWOLF

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"Many AA purists would say that I am doing it all wrong & that my recovery has examples of rational recovery and or smart recovery without actually participating there. "

My own opinion, there is no right or wrong way to get sober, the important thing is if one wants to get sober, that they do and can maintain their desire to remain sober - or be sober.

I think in the 1990s, I went through a period where positive change had to happen in my life, and while I never attended an AA meeting, for many many years I had the meetings come to me via the Grapevine publication, and for me that was very very useful.

About 5 years ago, maybe even longer... I was all set to tie one on in the studio one night, and my dog gave me this pleading look of please don't, and while I was furious I realized she was right, and that was pretty much it for me - and I've never been drunk since - for real.

I will never forget that night, I kind of roared out of the studio into my front yard, and then about 5 minutes later was at complete peace while enjoying the night air with my dog - which ended up developing into a huge transformation where I would really start enjoying time outside - instead of inside, all thanks to my dog.

Where I am going with this - and it's been mentioned here in comments above - if one want's to stop, then I feel that's the most important thing, because if one sincerely wants to stop, they will... and they will do what ever it takes.

If they really don't want to stop but want to feel better about them selves, then AA, clinics.... none of that stuff is going to do anything except waste time and resources.

One also can't blame something if it's not right for them or does not work, that individual simply needs to keep searching and re-evaluating their own path to recovery.

I know for myself, I did get into religion on my own - although as a kid I used to go to church, I was all done with that once I became an adult.
I still don't attend any kind of church or temple, however about a year ago I got interested in of all things Torah study and at the same time - Wicca - thanks to a shop in town where the witches hang out...
[*I know - that makes no sense at all.... but it's keeping me out of trouble, so I'm going with it]

It's very hard to pull something off like this - getting sober - on one's own, but for me... it's what I needed, which came at a cost from ceasing social things, hanging out with friends, no more going out at night to do things - because I knew it would bring me right back to where I was, and today that is no longer an option or something I want to ever return to.

I for one think it's good that AA is out there, even if I never need it.
 

Windwalker

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[QUOTE. I

"How have yall managed to make aa work for you on the road? Or are there resources that have worked better for you?"
[/QUOTE]

Well, I knew a guy who was needing a place to stay overnight, and it was about 13 degrees outside.

It was a Weds and he remembered an AA meeting in a huge old church outside of the town he was travelling through, about a 1/2 mile from the end of a bus line.

So, he headed that way and got to the meeting late but instead of going down into the basement where the meeting was, he went upstairs, into the sanctuary and fell asleep.

Later that night he awoke. The boiler was working and the place was hot. He walked into the lobby and noticed several motion detectors that didnt seem to be working, entered a men's room washed up and found a huge kitchen downstairs. There was hot tea and bottled water. It was pretty good night for my pal.

The next day he awoke rather rested and his phone charged, went out the back door, into the street and back towards the bus stop.
 

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