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The End of my Addiction

An old AA friend


Mentium
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I used to go to AA for my sins (as it were..) and to be fair the longest sober periods I have ever had have been while attending AA meetings. Sad and a bit ironic as almost everything they stand for is to my way of thinking absolutely dead wrong. However I did find the support and friendship on offer there, however conditional (it evaporates as soon as a member falls of the wagon for longer than a 'slip').

I was very fond of the leader of  one the local groups. She ran a Steps meeting on a Tuesday and frankly she didn't go along with half of what was stated in the Steps either. She was the widow of a preacher and had, when I first met her, been sober for two years after consuming a litre and a half of whisky a day for many years. I think I liked her because she was so open minded.

I bumped into her today. She was having a rest walking across town - and a cigarette, despite being asthmatic - and at a guess a little of 70 years old.

We had an interesting chat and we got onto meds. She asked me for some recommendations as she had a friend who couldn't get sober through AA and was a pretty 'severe case' as she put it. I told her about baclofen and about the Sinclair Method (having now completed the book) and sent her some links on Facebook this evening.

The point of all this is I suppose that even AA people can be open to new ideas - at least some of them.

Just a little anecdote.

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On 4/6/2016 at 3:15 PM, Mentium said:

However I did find the support and friendship on offer there, however conditional (it evaporates as soon as a member falls of the wagon for longer than a 'slip').

I posted a research review in the alcoholism research section down below that's one of my favorites, ever. In it they suggest that there are two things about AA that really, actually help people. The first is religion. The people who dive into that aspect of it tend to get and stay sober, at least for a longer time than others. The second, and perhaps most important, is peer support. Research shows (repeatedly) that life changes come much easier when you do it with support from and with others who are trying to do the same thing. That goes for everything from exercising, losing weight, quitting a habit, starting a habit...You name it. If you do it with others, you're much more likely to stick to it. 

It's a HUGE reason to have a forum that doesn't just espouse one way out of addiction, isn't it? We're much more likely to find contented sobriety with others who are doing the same thing, and we know for a fact that there isn't one way to end addiction... I, for one, am really grateful that I live in a time when there's online access to others who can and will share the journey. 

On 4/6/2016 at 3:15 PM, Mentium said:

We had an interesting chat and we got onto meds. She asked me for some recommendations as she had a friend who couldn't get sober through AA and was a pretty 'severe case' as she put it. I told her about baclofen and about the Sinclair Method (having now completed the book) and sent her some links on Facebook this evening.

The point of all this is I suppose that even AA people can be open to new ideas - at least some of them.

Man-o-man-o-man, imagine how powerful AA would be if they embraced the research that's been done in the last decade or two and really encouraged people to find different ways to end their addictions, instead of sticking to the dogma of JUST ONE WAY. 

I have a dream, a fantasy really, that I'll be able to "infiltrate" the rooms and share the information about meds and other therapies that really dramatically increase people's chances of getting and staying contentedly sober. Can you imagine the power of that? All those rooms, all around the world, helping people find their own way to the end of addiction, instead of excluding so many options. <sigh> A woman can dream big, right? 

Amazing that your friend brought it up. It gives me hope for the future of the people who end up in the rooms, especially since so many of them are forced into it...

Thanks for sharing the anecdote, Menty. Have you gotten the Nal yet? 

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I had the same dream, but in my recovery it's faded, not through lack of want. It just doesn't feel right. I do tell people when they ask, which included a couple of old AA friends, and others nothing to do with AA who have used that information either for themselves or someone else.

I found a spirituality after I got into recovery, my own version. I do on occasion attend a place of worship, I like the space and peace. It's also a non-judgemental, low on rules place which suits me just fine!

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On 4/16/2016 at 6:07 AM, phoenix said:

I had the same dream, but in my recovery it's faded, not through lack of want. It just doesn't feel right. I do tell people when they ask, which included a couple of old AA friends, and others nothing to do with AA who have used that information either for themselves or someone else.

It's not necessarily that I want to share my own experience or even proselytize that the steps are "bad" and medications are the only way. (Though it is very hard for me not to buy into that line of thinking. The steps, or at least the way I did them, and the way they're often done in current treatment, can be really harmful...EDIT: But not always and not for everyone. Anyway)

It's just that it would be bloody AMAZING if, in a section of the book, or a pamphlet, or even in sharing, people could and would talk about taking medications. Because they should. That's not a judgment. That's reality. Science is science. And AA touches more alcoholics than ANY other thing/person/organization. Throughout the entire world! It's pretty amazing. Imagine what an incredible grassroots movement it would be if people from AA/NA started advocating for proper treatment based on current knowledge. Holy cow. Addiction treatment would revolutionize overnight. <sigh>

On 4/16/2016 at 6:07 AM, phoenix said:

I found a spirituality after I got into recovery, my own version. I do on occasion attend a place of worship, I like the space and peace. It's also a non-judgemental, low on rules place which suits me just fine!

I did, too. But now it's gone. I've thought about joining the Unitarian Church in town. Went to one service. In it, the person giving the sermon (is that what it's called?) asked us to turn to the person next to us and tell them something that changed our lives profoundly. I was probably 6 weeks sober on baclofen, and suddenly felt like I was in an AA meeting all over again! I bolted. Turned to the woman next to me and said, "Sorry, no can do." and walked out. HAHAHAHA. Poor chick. We were the only two people in the very back pew. 

I've also been to several AA meetings after getting sober with bac. In the first, it was a celebration for someone who had 20 years sober. I swear on all that matters that the first thing that she said was that she got sober through the grace of God without needing medications or anything else. And that others could do it to, if they just followed the steps. Kid you not. I was like, "Oh, fuck me. Are you kidding?" 

What're we talking about again? 

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I have been back to AA since going AF, one meeting and I knew I just didn't belong. I no longer have that struggle, and don't feel bad about my alcoholism. 

 

Yeah I attended a Unitarian Chapel for just over a year, only stopped because I moved to an area where there isn't one. I currently go to Quaker meeting, which feels ok. I've made some friends but mostly keep to myself. My husband comes with me, he's church of England but also open to other views. He knows quite a few people there from his time living in the town (he was heavily involved in community type stuff 20 years ago), so it all works out. 

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