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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 12:08 pm 
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Hello, readers. First, I would like to preface this post with the fact that I was first
introduced to AA/NA meetings in the early Spring of 1989, after I had first gotten out of
my first re-hab stint of 30 days @ the age of 19. Since then, I have sporadically attended
these meetings. Sometimes I thought they helped- other times I didn't. Anyway, last Sunday
night, I attended an open NA meeting where a lady who had a son who is an addict said that
"every addict should tell their parents EVERYTHING that they ever did in their addiction".
I did not agree with this, and I felt very uncomfortable with her being there.
But at least no one said anything at all after I admitted being on Suboxone.
(I am now prescribed up to 4 mg per day of the tablets.)

Anyway, I have had a better experience with AA, around here. Last night, I chaired the 8 PM meeting;
the topic was "Are you willing to go to any lengths for sobriety?" When my turn came to "share",
however, I just passed. Before this particular meeting, the chairperson for the Thursday night AA meeting
was asking people to handle and chair the Thursday night 8 PM meeting (make coffee, etc.)
No one else wanted to do it, so I said that I would do it.

The biggest challenge that I find when chairing these meetings is coming up with a topic,
when no one comes up with one.

Anyway, I don't count sobriety days, don't take chips/coins. And, I do not have a sponsor, either.
I believe that one can still recover from addiction without one- but this is just what works for me.
What works for me isn't what always works for other people- I am just sharing my experience
with these meetings.

Just like these on-line forums- I take what's best (for me)-
and leave the rest.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:43 am 
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Thanks for sharing your experience with NA/AA. I think you have a very healthy attitude about those programs. You are using what helps you and you don't expect what helps YOU to be applicable to others and vice versa.

I've never gotten into 12-step programs. I tried them once many years ago, but I couldn't get past their religious foundation AND I always left meetings wanting to use more than when i arrived. That was my main reason for not returning. Second was the incompatibility with the whole religious/spiritual foundation of the program. As an atheist I just don't believe in such things so when I say it's incompatible, I mean that in the strongest sense of the word.

But as I've said umpteen times before, just because I feel this way doesn't mean I begrudge others the help and support they receive from 12-step programs. Anything that works for someone's recovery journey is valuable to them and therefore I respect that.

And I say as long as you, exorphin, are getting something from the meetings, then keep going! Oh and lastly, I'm so glad for you that you didn't get a rash of shit when you told them you were on suboxone. Good on them for not coming down on you for that. Not everyone gets that same reaction.

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


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 8:56 pm 
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I am also back and forth with 12 step meetings. I think it's a remarkable concept and the history of how it started is mind blowing. Lately I've been a little out of the seen, I'm so sick of hearing my own story, even if someone hears it for the first time, I just can't relive those days anymore like I used too. I know that's the point, so we never forget where we've come from and where we could end up again but I'm so sick of telling the same war stories. However; like you, I found AA to be much more productive in my area than NA.

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"Why can't I worship the Lord like most people, by praying like hell on my death bed"
-Homer Simpson-


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 12:45 pm 
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Oh man, I remember once when I first got sober my sponsor made me "share" my story and chair. Problem was the reason I was asked to was because the speaker didn't show up. I was nervous as hell. Not good. And I actually like speaking in public and talking to people. This was my first sponsor, I left him because he was too rough. I would tell him something that bothered me and once he told me "I am sick of your f**cking problems" I said thats it. Got a second sponsor kept trying for months (did a 90 in 90) and realized it was not for me.

But I am glad to hear that you are enjoying it. It sounds like its something you are into. What I well tell you is if you start to get uncomfortable or people give you crap about being on Sub. Do not be afraid to find another group or try some other kind of support. When I first stopped attending meetings regularly, I found myself a little freaked. I thought that I was going to relapse for sure, or even worse die. I was being told this of course. Now, I thought I hadn't believe it, but it must have sunk in somewhere.

I would suggest trying a 90 in 90, but take your time looking for a sponsor. I still sometimes attend a meeting here or there, but often do it to make someone I love more comfortable. I just do not gel with that belief system and it does feel culty TO ME. When I first got sober it helped and I have to thank it for that.

As for AA vs NA. I've found I liked both. I live in an extremely violent city with lots of issues. Urban city in the rustbelt, think Detroit but smaller. I remember being at one NA meeting and everyone who had been to jail was asked to raise their hands, I was one of two who hadn't. :lol: I have no problem with this and I don't judge at all (I was a social worker who worked with the very same people), but I did have to laugh to myself at how lucky I have been.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 1:14 pm 
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stephent wrote:

<snip>

But I am glad to hear that you are enjoying it. It sounds like its something you are into. What I well tell you is if you start to get uncomfortable or people give you crap about being on Sub. Do not be afraid to find another group or try some other kind of support. When I first stopped attending meetings regularly, I found myself a little freaked. I thought that I was going to relapse for sure, or even worse die. I was being told this of course. Now, I thought I hadn't believe it, but it must have sunk in somewhere.

I would suggest trying a 90 in 90, but take your time looking for a sponsor. I still sometimes attend a meeting here or there, but often do it to make someone I love more comfortable. I just do not gel with that belief system and it does feel culty TO ME. When I first got sober it helped and I have to thank it for that.



Hi, stephent, and thank you for sharing your experience with AA/NA...

I actually find that the meetings fill up some of all of the free time I have;
it gets me out of my apt, so I don't start isolating.

As far as sponsors go, TBH, I just really do not believe that I NEED a sponsor to stay clean and sober
or to be in recovery. I guess that getting/ having one is just out of my comfort zone at this time.

But, I have to agree with you on your last point- when I first got clean/ sober (in Rehab),
it did seem to give me something to focus on. That was back in 1989, and there has been many
relapses and slips since then, I will admit. But even while I was using, I would still attend these
meetings, albeit sporadically.

With that said, I believe that staying clean/ sober or being in recovery has a different connotation
for each, different individual. It bears repeating that what may work for one person doesn't necessarily
work for another.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 3:15 pm 
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Hey exorphin, I hear ya on NA tying up our free time. The meetings I go to are late afternoon/early evening (that's generally the time of day when my using was the worst). I live about an hour away from the meetings, so I get to tie up 3 hours of my evening by attending NA.

I just got my 90 in 90 about 10 days ago and I'm gonna start skipping meetings here soon. First, I'm getting something lined up for those days when I do skip my meetings. If I don't get out and do something, I'll start isolating too. It's kind of strange how I trained my brain over the years to isolate in order to do drugs, but now that I'm not doing drugs, many of those old behaviors are left over and those habits are hard to break. I figured once I quit drugs I would just magically return to normal without any effort on my part......WRONG!!!! :lol:

Ugh, I'm already on my second sponsor and I don't care for him very much either. I'm not too thrilled with the idea of someone who has no training in addiction or recovery "guiding me through the steps" or giving me much of any advice of any kind. If my sponsors would just give their opinion, that would be cool, but they get so damn full of themselves and they think it's their job to tell me what to do......sorry Charlie, Homey don't play that game. If and when I give this sponsor of mine the boot, I'm gonna fly solo for a while.

OK, now I can't shut up about sponsors, aren't sponsors supposed to be a guide through the steps?? Then why do they act like they're my mother?? Why do they think I need to call them every flippin' day.....I don't remember seeing anything in the basic text about having to call your sponsor everyday?? Why do they think they can tell me what to do??

Bottom line, I take what I need from NA and I leave the rest.....I think one of the things I'm gonna be leaving is my sponsor!!

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:27 am 
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Awesome that NA's proving to be right up your alley Exorphin. I wish it worked out for me as it's an extremely idealistic, or utopian, concept - the whole 1 addict helping another.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 9:59 am 
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Well, I "ran" last night's 8 PM AA meeting @ the local church.
I had arrived there @ 7 PM, made coffee, and got everything ready.
Luckily, another lady had volunteered to chair this meeting.
The topic was "Acceptance."

At the end of the meeting, I had to sign a slip for a lady who
had confided in me that she is on methadone maintenance;
and that she had to sign a contract with her MMT provider
that she would go to at least two meetings per week.

I DID tell her to be careful about to whom she tells that she is
on MMT. It is just nice to know that I am not the only one around here
who is on some kind of opiate/opioid replacement therapy
(or whatever you want to call it.)

This meeting went well, but I would not want to do this all of the time.
At least the guy who gave me a ride home drained and put away
the big coffeepot for me. So, all that I had to do was put the books and
the coin box away, and then turn out all of the lights and leave.

-ex-


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 5:17 am 
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I did a fair bit of service as well back in the day, being the secretary of the 12 bells Newcastle midday group and GSR. I relapsed at 13 months clean, and around that time the treasurer relapsed as well. He had maybe 7 years? All the ASC money got "stolen" from the relapsed treasurer's house, and rumours went around I did it because the person who the treasurer blamed it on had the same first name as me.

I still hold onto that resentment.

Anyway, carry on!


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