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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 4:31 pm 
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Okay ya'll... I finally went to my first meeting. I have been trying to convince myself to go to one for a month now. I have read here a few different posts that mentioned AA being a better choice for suboxone users. My question arises as a result of going to the meeting. How did you identify yourself at the meetings? Am I supposed to tell people I am an alcoholic or an addict? To be fair, I'm not sure that I don't have a bit of a problem with alcohol too. And I have been sober from both narcotics and alcohol for 49 days today. I just noticed that in the Big Book it only discusses alcohol use and that is all that was discussed at the meeting. So is anyone going to think that I am out of place being there as an opiate addict? Also, can I count my days while I am on suboxone? I picked up my white chip the other night, but I really wanted to get my 30 day chip too. Is it okay to do that? I got to the meeting a little early and I was able to share with the woman who was doing the meeting and a few other guys what my situation is and that I am taking suboxone. They were really nice about it and one of them kind of whispered that it was okay. I just feel wierd going and talking only about alcohol use when my main problem is clearly the opiates.

I would love to hear from any of you who have made AA work for you. Any advice?


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 Post subject: AA is cool
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 7:14 pm 
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hello,

I went to aa every day for like my first 6 months sober and on sub. It really helped me. But i definitely had a problem with booze as well and opiates and other drugs too. My drug of choice was MORE. That's something you hear at AA every once and a while, I found it true to me though. I found it better to not talk about sub openly in the meetings. My sponsor who was an old timer aa guy was cool with it. The aa traditions say its not aa's place to argue with what a doctor prescribes you as far as medications. Now, there are some hard line types that say you aren't sober if you smoke or like drink coffee and certainly sub or methadone. That is why I don't discuss it openly in group meetings but with people I got close to and my sponsor and really most of the people I met were totally cool with it.

There was a slogan on the wall of my old favorite meeting: "there's no wrong way to get sober"

From reading what you say I might just identify as an alcoholic. Alcoholic and an addict if you want... Remember to " take what you want and leave the rest", another great aa saying. Also you can apply the big book to drugs too and I recommend you read "acceptance was the answer" in the stories at the end of the big book. It's a good one, for me anyway concerning drugs as well as booze.

:)

Glen b


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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 9:50 pm 
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I think that for many addicts AA can be just as helpful as NA. I haven't attended nearly as many meetings as some people, but for the ones I have I notice that there isn't much focus on the substance but more so the addiction to that substance. You may hear someone in AA use the term "drink" and in NA use the terms "use", "snort", "smoke", etc. but as long as you replace that term with which ever applies to you it then the message is the same. That goes for the same in the big book too. If you look at the rules of AA and NA the only difference is that term, use and drink.

Personally, I do not have nearly or even remotely the same attachment to alcohol as I did for opiates. I typically don’t drink because I don’t really enjoy it and often turn drinking down with people for that reason, but when I used that couldn’t be any further than the truth because I used every opportunity I had. With this in mind I would still go to AA, but I would prefer NA because I can specifically relate to then more. I also feel like some alcoholics who didn't use drugs will undermine them compared to alcohol even though I feel like opiates, for example, they are much more addicting, the typical withdrawal symptoms can be more severe, and because you can function easier on opiates compared to alcohol I feel like there are more cravings throughout the day, and also the price is much higher. Yes you can die from alcohol withdrawals, but it doesn't happen that often and the next symptoms below it aren't nearly as severe. This is just my opinion, but is the only reason why I prefer NA over AA.

When it comes to the suboxone aspect to both programs, I think the opinions vary from person to person and program to program. Some sponsors can be supportive of suboxone and others despise it. Before reading glen bee's post about AA not disagreeing with a doctors prescribing decisions I didn't know this, but personally I agree with it. I am not sure if it for all of the AA programs or not, but I sure do agree with it. I think every person is different and needs to do whatever works for them. Listening to someone else's opinion that has no knowledge about suboxone doesn’t seem to me that it will be helpful to that person. Only you know what works and doesn't, it is your life and not the person telling you what to do. For all these reasons in my long post, I definitely think that the message of addiction is more important than the substance itself, so AA in my opinion can be just as helpful as NA. Once again this is just my opinion.


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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 10:01 pm 
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I whole heartedly agree with firemans post.......
and the others of course too!!

But what fireman said about everyone having thier own feelings/opinions is exactly right....

I live in a very rural area/well tourist area really. so its packed in the summer, and a ghostown in winter.

Anyways, theres like 5 of us on sub, that go to an AA meeting, for young people on saturday nights. and I just love it. I really do. I was VERY 'standoffish' for the first few meetings, untill I saw two of the other people that go there, in my doctors waiting room one day..... :wink:
its not like they have you fill out a form when you walk in

AA meeting attendee
List of current medications
______________
______________
______________

Name and phone number of doctor

LMAO

And here, they dont have many NA meetings, so the AA is just more "here"
but there are some attendees that just say "Hi, Im ____ and Im an addict"
and thats it.

I think its whatever makes YOU comfortable. and theres just something about being able to 'indentify' with people face to face, and 'share' your experiences.

The fact that the oldest person that goes is in theyre mid 40s helps me too. Most of the people that go to this meeting, are all within 5-10 yrs of my age. Ive been to meeting with all older people, and I just had a hard time sharing/identifying ETC.

Some people like it, and some people hate it. So Id say if you like going, KEEP GOING.
remember we all have our own 'recovery' program, and when you find what works for you, thats ALL that matters in my opinion.

Good luck!!!!
and great job on 30 days.

_________________
anyone can give up,
its the easiest thing in the world to do, but to
hold it together, when everyone would understand if you fell apart
That's TRUE STRENGTH
http://almostoneyearclean.blogspot.com/


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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 10:15 pm 
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I don't want to post the link here but if you google "AA medications and other drugs" there is an official AA pamphlet .pdf file. It focuses on like anti depressants but my sponsor always told me to refer to that when we would talk about suboxone. People on this forum have said otherwise but the truth is that AA itself does not have an opinion about suboxone or opiate replacement therapy either way. Now there are members of AA like I said before that are a little too intense about the issue and that sucks but for me, I got so much out of AA but I will say its wise not to mention sub in the group. I Haven't been to a meeting since I moved tho. I miss it I should go. Thanks for making this thread...

- glen b


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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 7:43 am 
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Thank you to each of you who responded.

I think I did really like the meeting. Of course it is hard to judge anything by one visit...there is another meeting tonight that I plan on attending. Last night I called the lady who chaired the meeting monday night. She was very nice, and she said that she had shared with another lady in the group about my sub use...this lady has been on sub too! She said "I hope you don't mind but I wanted her to know so that she could talk to you about it." I told her I didn't mind a bit. The only reason I'm not being completely open about it within the group is the fear of being judged for it. If this woman is open to it then I am fine with it! Anyway, the lady I was talking to said that as far as she was concerned if you follow AA traditions whatever you are taking that is prescribed by a doctor, as long as you are taking it as prescribed, is between you and your doctor. It has nothing to do with your sobriety. But she did recommend that I not share it openly with the group. She said there are some who might have a problem with it. She said I did the right thing by going up and getting my white chip the other night. I forgot to ask her if I should get my 30 day chip tonight since I am actually at 51 days sober today. But I may just wait until my 60 day so that I have had more time to share with some more of the people there and they know my story and that I have been sober for a little while.

@Glen b - Thank you so much for your response, it was exactly what I needed to hear. When I got home last night I finished up the fourth chapter in the Big Book, and then I read "Acceptance Was The Answer". It was a great story...it always amazes me how much in common all of us addicts have. It's like we all are cut from the same pattern. I heard so many stories the other night. Not all of them were just like me...but at the very least at one point in the story they would say something that would surprise me...I thought I was the only one who thought that...You, mean you did that too??? It's kind of crazy!

BTW - If you noticed a discrepancy from yesterdays post to todays as far as my sober days you are right. I recounted last night and I was actually at 50 days yesterday not 49. Yay me!


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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 11:01 am 
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Congratulations! Getting your butt into AA/NA can be a scary thing, but you did it!!

You made me smile when you said, "I thought I was the only one who thought that...You, mean you did that too???" I had a lot of those moments too, all of a sudden you feel less alone in the world. I also remember thinking, "Hey, these folks are just as effed up as I am" and then you see some of them with substantial clean time who are addicts/alcoholics like we are and the realization comes over you that if they did it, we can too.

After a month or two, I brought my wife with me to a meeting. She left the meeting almost stunned. She couldn't believe how so many stories basically mirrored my story. It was at that point that she started to truly understand the battle I had ahead of me. She started to really grasp the idea of addcition being a disorder.

Good job on the 51 days too!!

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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 7:45 pm 
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Out of respect, I would identify as an alcoholic at AA, and choose to remain abstinent from alcohol. Kinda like how one would wear a kippah if they went to a synagogue or a western woman would wear a hijab in Saudi Arabia.

The only issues I may have with attending AA for opioid addiction would be the fact that some poly addicts (alcohol and drugs) attend AA for their alcoholism but choose not to address their pharma use. ie by going to AA instead of NA, it offers a bit of a loophole. I knew a number of problem benzo users who chose AA for this reason.


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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 8:01 pm 
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Hello, just wanted to add in here - it's just that I went to my first NA meeting tonight - I was shitting myself. Still am at the thought of going again. I didn't know what to do or say or what to expect at all! felt like such a fish out of water. Was scarred to death to say anything so I merely apologised and said i didn't know what i was supposed to say and that i would not be speaking in front of everyone. Sorry i just felt a bit of a nob-head. Everyone was lovely - when the meeting ended i felt more at ease cos people came immediately to me etc etc. was given a white key-ring thing :? and have no idea what that was for. I'm going again though - the only other girl there handed me her mobile number and agreed i would arrange to meet her and go into the next meeting together.
what do i do - do I have to like say "hello, i'm carolyn, and i'm an addict"? Ive no problem admitting i am an addict it's jusr, well, makes me feel very very silly. like i am on some sad TV show.
perhaps i am over-reacting. fact is i am really megga shy and would rather hide in the corner listening. that's my comfort zone........ :oops:


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 5:52 am 
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Babydoll, personally, I say stick with your comfort zone and if that's staying in the back and listening for the next few meetings until you're ready to introduce yourself and talk, then so be it. You have a right to wait to speak until you're ready. Don't feel pushed to do it before you are ready. That's not what the program is about. It's about helping you, not forcing you to do things you're not ready for. At least that's my opinion. Go at your own pace and I think you'll find more comfort that way. Good luck and congrats on going.

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-As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 1:03 pm 
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qhorsegal, I can relate to this on so many levels, I don't even know where to begin!

I went to my 4th meeting last night, and I definitely feel like I belong there. My struggle is actually getting myself to the meetings. I introduce myself as being an alcoholic and an addict, even though alcohol is not my drug of choice, when I didn't have access to pills, I would drink. What glen bee said, I think is true of addiction (at least for me), the drug of choice is MORE. A few people even introduced themselves as just addicts. It doesn't seem people even notice what you identify as: this particular meeting place seems to embrace that "addiction is addiction" and there's no wrong way to get sober.

I haven't told anyone about sub though. My primary goal is to keep going, because it's so easy to just stay home. I take my sub in the evening, right around the time I go to meetings, and I still get spaced out- I worry it will be notice at meetings (another reason to stay home), but so far that hasn't happened.

Babydoll, I'm shy too, groups can be really hard for me. Even when I it comes to parties and social stuff, I always find an excuse not to go. I was shaking my first meeting... So getting to meetings is a huge deal, I have to really push myself. My doc said if I can make it to a meeting a week I'm good. (He's actually the one who recommended AA over NA).

I never in a thousand years thought I'd be able to say to a group of people, "Hi I'm Karen and I'm an addict." But I did, and your day will come too. And believe me, it's not sad or silly, it's brave.


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