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 Post subject: For crying out loud!!
PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 3:02 am 
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Well, I got home from my NA meeting about 2 or 3 hours ago and I just can not get this shit out of my head. I just responded in amber4.14.11's thread on telling on our addiction, so I figured I might as well do the same before this crap gets out of control.

I just got into a knock down, drag out with my sponsor after the meeting.....we did it in front of God and everybody.

At a meeting the other night, he felt it necessary to share about newcomers and how most of them shared the wrong way. They don't use NA language when they share and apparently that's a major no no. He went on to say how in the olden days, newcomers would be told to sit down and shut the fuck up. He also went on to say how newcomers shouldn't share until they get permission from their sponsor. He mentioned how NA was for sharing about strength, hope and experience. This sentiment has been flying around the NA meetings more and more here lately and I just had my fill of it Thursday. I was WAY too angry to open my mouth during the meeting for fear a tapestry of profanity, the likes of which had never been uttered before in an NA meeting, would come flying out of my mouth.

Anyway, long story short, I HATE the thought of ANY newcomer being driven away because they don't know how to talk the NA language or any of that other crap my sponsor was trying to lay down. In 2 of the opening readings of EVERY NA meeting it states that the newcomer is the most important part of NA and that the ONLY requirement for NA membership is the desire to stay clean. Yet, several of these senior members insist on insulting the newcomer and in effect, driving them away.

This crap has me so angry that I found myself browsing through my Relapse in Progress thread for wisdom and support and hoping it would somehow clear my head, but it didn't. What it did is remind me of how most of my relapses come shortly after I think I'm at a pretty damn good spot in my recovery, then *splat*, the shit hits the fan.

Well, for the past few weeks, I've been at a pretty damn good spot in my recovery.....until the last 3 or 4 days. Now shit seems to be going south on me. Every fuckin' time I get to where I think I'm doing pretty good with my recovery, something stupid happens and I get triggered.

I'm NOT going out to use, I'm not really craving either.....I guess I'm just sick of some of the people at NA. I know using drugs right now ain't gonna do a GD thing for me, at least I've learned that much from my previous relapses.

I don't know, I just needed to let that crap out before it drove me bonkers AND I get tired of fighting this stupid addict brain of mine sometimes. Just when I think I'm getting somewhere with my recovery, BAM, there's Mr. Addict brain, trying to steer me into the ditch.......it gets old!!!!

Thanks for letting me rant folks, I feel better already.....now I'm going back to bed!!

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 3:35 am 
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Understood Romeo! Sometimes you gotta vent about these places. It doesn't matter what "flavour" of recovery you choose, when there's any gathering of human beings, there's always reason to vent eventually.

I struggled a lot with some of the NA ideals you spoke of in your post. There were just too many contradictions in the end. But it was mostly the doom and gloom and relapse & using talk that really made me walk away. I felt like if I put one little foot out of line, I was doomed to relapse. I actually spent so much of my clean time fearing relapse! I'd rather just enjoy being clean, treat my addiction with the respect it deserves, and the rest should fall into line.

In Australian aboriginal tribes, there's this ritual called Kurdaitcha. It's a form of voodoo death. The tribe's Kurdaitha (or executioner) holds a mythical pointed Kangaroo bone, the Kundela. Once the man to be executed is found, the executioner goes to one knee and points the bone at him. The victim is so paralysed with fear of his impending death, that often he wouldn't eat or drink, and would then starve to death. It might sound irrelevant, but in NA, I often felt that sponsors / older cleaner members had this power over newcomers, and I often felt that if I did / didn't do certain things, or disagreed, I was doomed to relapse. It couldn't be further from the truth. Relapse is always a choice, and no matter how difficult life becomes, we're never powerless over relapsing. After we do use though, I acknowledge it's a lot harder to stop.

On the flip side, in NA I believed that if I did all the suggested things 100% to a tee, steps / service / sponsor / meetings etc that I was immune from relapse. This is also untrue, and people do relapse "on the program" all the time. But as I found out at the last meeting, sharing this from the floor can irritate some people.

Anyway, you know how I feel about the 12-steps. It works for many, but not for everyone. It seems to be working for you so far Romeo, so definitely keep up your relationships in the rooms. Just remember that you can always change sponsors (they don't take it personally, most of the time), you can find new meetings, you can find new friends. Keep coming here cos I think it's good to have somewhere to go to when NA gets too full on. Have you got a counsellor as well?

Most people drift away from the rooms around two or three years clean. My interstate AOD counsellor drew me a graph showing it (he was an ex-12 stepper). Most of these people are still clean and relatively healthy, and grateful for what NA helped them achieve. Then there are those who feel they have to stay til the end. Maybe they're sicker? Older Cleaner doesn't always mean Older Healthier / Less Crazy.

There is so much good stuff in NA! So much! If you can manage to "take what you need and leave the other bits", IMO that would be the best way to recover in NA. And if anyone chastises you for it, kick their ass! :lol:

Unless you make the choice yourself, you are not going to relapse.

tj


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 6:45 am 
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why limit some one' when a new comer has no understanding of whats going on " and then told
to shut up. that is so back words. why don't they do it the way it works? we know the sit down and shut up way don't
work. i think they should change some of the program bill started in the first place. it's not the Bible? when you go to
counseling". they want the client to talk"most of all.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 8:51 am 
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True that.

Romeo, just make sure that your support network isn't isolated to NA. Go to another fellowship maybe, or SMART, see a counsellor too. That way if one group for any reason starts compromising your recovery, or stops delivering, you always have other ones to lean on.

Don't put all your eggs in one basket, and all that.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 11:00 am 
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Hey Ding Dong! First I want to say that I am super proud of you! You see your at risk and stopping this before it turns into a relapse, in the past you relapsed but not this time. I think that is major progress!

I have zero experience with na, with what I have learned about it I know it is not for me. I do not agree with the one size fits all idea they have and would not be able to ignore all of the contradictions. It seems to me that na may be causing you more problems than help. I could be way off base but I wonder if you would do better if you tried some of tears suggestions.

What we choose for our path of recovery should'nt stress us out or cause anger. Maybe your a bit like me and have trouble conforming to a cookie cutter way of doing things. It seems to me that your sponsor has this stuff ass backwards. I would think it would be very valuable to here where a newcomer is at. How do you help someone if they can't speak and tell you the help they need?

I am not saying that you should just give up on na but if it is causing you this much stress, you may want to try something that is a bit more flexible. Keep up the good work my friend!


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 12:44 pm 
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Hey Romeo,

We've talked before about trying out AA meetings and see if they fit in with your line of recovery. A lot of addicts go to AA because the sobriety is better.

But what you're talking about reminds me of the way they used to do it at the Pacific Group in Los Angeles. A man named Clancy who runs a homeless shelter there and has been on the news at Christmas for decades, started the Pacific Group. Mainly they didn't allow mustaches, motorcycles, had to wear a suit and tie, and a lot of other stuff. My old sponsor was from that group and it is only for the those who just can't achieve sobriety any other way. They take the worst of the worst, so that does say something about me and my alcoholism!

Okay, got off track there, but once again I'm going to suggest you try an AA meeting and see how it goes. Addict and alcoholics are primarily the same breed.

Good Rant my man.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 3:29 pm 
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I am SO totally stealing the phrase "tapestry of profanity." Genius.

You already know a lot of my thoughts and feelings about NA, so I won't reiterate them here. The one thing that stood out for me is how you kinda suddenly "boiled over" with your anger.

When that happens to me, then I know that it's not so much that I suddenly "got angry." It's more like I've been out of touch with how I've actually been feeling about a situation for quite a while, and now it has reached the tipping point.

And the thing that sets me off isn't always the main reason that I'm pissed. Sometimes it's tangential, sometimes it's totally unrelated, and sometimes it's just the last thing in a long series of bullshit that I've been allowing to affect me at some deeper level without even being aware of it.

After you cool off, try taking a step back and seeing if you can source the root of this irritation. I know you know it's not your job to fix NA. I also know you've had issues with your sponsor for a while now. He seems like he's pretty dogmatic and rigid. It also seems that he's pretty dismissive of your input and not terribly reflective about his part in the dynamic of your relationship. I can see how these things would rub you the wrong way, but you defer to his superior length of sobriety and time in the program. Meanwhile, anger builds. And eventually explodes.

So that's my food for thought. As addicts, we often medicated our emotions away. In recovery it's up to us to increase our emotional intelligence so that our internal processes don't catch us unaware. How awesome would it have been if like 20 minutes before you reached your tipping point you'd been able to realize what was going on and just said to yourself "this is really pissing me off. I'm leaving and going for a walk." Or whatever. Then you cultivate some clarity about the situation and figure out what to do with a cool head.

It's a process, and not an easy one at that. It takes practice and more practice and even then you fuck up a lot. And then it gets better and that feels really good. Even though it might not feel like it sometimes, you ARE making progress. You noted that your recovery goes along well until it's been going along well for a while and then WHAM! Why do you think that is? When things are going well, we have less motivation to be introspective or to work on improving ourselves and we start to coast. I think it's pretty normal to have to learn this lesson over and over until we get it hammered into our thick heads that we just have to make a practice of doing all the little internal maintenance things that make us healthy people. I hope some day I get to that place. :D

Thanks for sharing Romeo, you gave me a lot to think about. I'm going to try to take my own advice!

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 11:51 pm 
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Hi Everyone,

Thank you so much for the replies. I always get so much out of listening to y'alls advice/thoughts.

At the moment, I am once again, now aware, that I treat my addiction like it's curable or that it'll go away and stop bothering me. I work my ass off to get to a good place in my recovery, thinking that I've got this addiction thing licked, but that's just not how this addiction of mine works. The crazy thing is, this is the second or third time I've been here. I really don't believe that I secretly want to use drugs again, I don't believe that's the reason I keep working at my recovery. I honestly want to put this addiction crap behind me so I'm not an addict anymore, but apparently that's not very realistic.....piss me off!!!

NA has become a source of distress for me as well. The more meetings I go to, the more STUPIDITY I witness, the more it chafes my ass. NA does have a lot of well intentioned folks who are not completely brainwashed, but it's the brainwashed who speak most often and most loudly during meetings. NA does have some great recovery advice, but if you don't buy into every single word of the Basic Text, then you're just not working the program and that's complete and utter bullshit, as far as I'm concerned.

The part that upsets me the most about NA is that I've been going for around 6 months now and I've made some really good friends and I would hate to lose contact with them if/when I stop going.

Tearjerker, I'm already on my 3rd sponsor!! Apparently I'm not doing something right or I've been picking shitty sponsors or NA just ain't a good fit for me?? Yes, I do have a counselor who I see very infrequently now, I was gonna go see him this Monday or Tuesday, though. You kind of surprised me when you mentioned my counselor because I had already planned on going to see him. You see, that's part of why I love this forum, you guys shoot it to me straight, y'all aren't worried about following any GD NA rules......y'all just give it to me straight and I love y'all for that. Oh Yeah, my support group consists of a few members of this very forum, a few members from NA, my best friend at work and my wife. By some stroke of luck, I didn't put all of my "support" eggs in one basket.

Johnboy, you said it, man!! Why don't they change some of the program and get with the times. They worship the Basic Text like it's a Bible and that makes me laugh.

Breezy, Hi Ya Ding Dong!!! It just cracks me up when you call me a Ding Dong?? I've got to where I call everyone a Ding Dong now, they all think I'm nuts!!! LOL!!! You telling me that you're super proud of me really picked me up, thank you SO very much Breezy. The one size fits all thing with NA is certainly one of the irritating factors involved with me being so fed up with it all. I think I just need some time away from it?? I like hearing the newcomer speak because for one, it reminds me of where I was and how bad life sucked back then. #2, they have every damn right to be there and share where they're at with their recovery and like you said, if they can't talk, how in the frickin' hell are they gonna get advice specific to their problem?? Huh, huh?? OK, I'm getting all wound up again.....time to go burn a cigarette.....be right back!!

Rule62, with all the dang shit you're going through right now, you get on here and offer me advice?? Wow brother, you impress the hell out of me!! I may try the AA thing, I don't know right now.....I just don't know. How are you doing Rule?? Any news to report??

Dairy Queen, feel free to steal "tapestry of profanity", I stole it from the movie A Christmas Story. Funny ass movie, it's the one about the Red Rider B-B-Gun and everyone telling him he would shoot his eye out. The movie is set in the '50's and whenever the old man would have to work on the furnace, he would "weave a tapestry of profanity that still hangs in the air over Lake Michigan to this day." As always, thank you for your thoughts DQ. Grrr, I was just gonna ask you to marry me again, but you'll just say no!! LOL!!

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 Post subject: You asked, I will answer
PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:12 am 
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Romeo,

They moved my date up for surgery to next Wednesday the 9th. It gave me a lot of anxiety but I've had that since the diagnosis so getting it done a week early is better. It's just the beginning, but it's a start and a big one. I'll have another surgery down the road a bit and then start the chemo/radiation treatment. That's the stuff that scares me. Seems the cure is worse than the disease.

I'll live and recover, just very stressful knowing what's coming up.

And it's better for me to keep doing the things I always do so I don't think about it as much. My house is sure a lot cleaner. That's one way to work off stress. That and walking.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 1:00 am 
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Romeo wrote:
The part that upsets me the most about NA is that I've been going for around 6 months now and I've made some really good friends and I would hate to lose contact with them if/when I stop going.


That is one of the really hard things. I have lost a few friend, sadly, when I stopped going to meetings. I still have a bit of a resentment about that, and I think it's a bit cultish on NA's part to lock out those who leave the firm.

Finding a sponsor can be a difficult thing. It takes passionate belief in NA to give so much of themselves to the program. Because of this, finding one that can still be open-minded about the program can be hard. So what if you have had 3 sponsors so far? It takes as long as it takes to find one that you're comfortable with. Remember, you can always ask them first to be your "temporary sponsor", and then see if you build up a rapport. And if you don't, you can always move on. Be aware of the trap of waiting for someone who will give you "what you want" and not "what you need". They should be like a friend who isn't afraid of telling you what you need to hear.

What rule62 said about AA has a lot of merit. That fellowship always seemed less "sick" than NA to me. Being around people who are well, helps us get well. That's why I prefer the company of non-addicts these days.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 7:54 am 
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Learning to take what I need from meetings while ignoring the BS took years of practice. I identify with your thoughts, Romeo, and the same sort of BS always pisses me off. Still, like most of this crap, the "problems" stem from people rather than the overall program.

I do attend one NA meeting occasionally, but otherwise avoid that fellowship. AA has always been my mainstay. I also enjoy CA, and find it much more like AA than CA. All of these programs are about solutions (the steps are all the same, essentially)...the problems that put us there are side-issues!


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 6:38 pm 
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UGH, looks like it's time for me to eat a little crow.

I was pretty harsh on NA and I brought to light mostly things that bothered me about NA, but the truth is, NA has helped me. It's not a perfect program, there's no such thing. I do stand by what I said, but there is a lot more to NA than the few paragraphs I wrote.

I apologize if I offended anyone and if you're new to recovery and considering NA, give it a try. It's not all bad, not by a long shot. There are plenty of people who have found great success with NA.

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 Post subject: :>)
PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 7:45 pm 
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:wink: It is just amazing how we pour out our feelings and get input and we actully take advise sleep on it, we wake up and can see the whole picture. It is great to have a place to go and let it all out. More important is to talk to people we can not bullshit, ya'll can see right through us because we've all been there and done that.
Good for you Romeo !!! You did well eating the crow. Thumbs up for seeing and saying you see the whole picture.

Rule62 You've been on my mind and in my Prayers Glad your hanging in there and doing well.

Be Blessed
Mel :wink:

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:38 pm 
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romeo". you very well got what it take's to make it in this world. and don't let anyone or program, make you think dif-
when your not even sure of the full fact of what was causing your issue? i don't think NA /AA is the greatest sobriety program,
not around here anyway? i don't mean to nock AA/NA, but i had enough bad exp- that i had to say it. some times i have
to admit to the way i ran my program in the groups, but that doesn't change the way AA/NA is in a whole. i'm just saying
trust your d.r. he knows whats going on with you much more than the sick. ah shit". some times i woundr if my doc is sick :lol:
we both agreed complete on a decision that we made. and he forgets and go's right back to it :x i said to him". don't you remembr or decision. and he said" oh ya' i forgot.


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