Help suggestions please - not AA(9 Posts)
I am an active alcoholic. I have previously been in recovery for 4 years, but for the last five years my alcohol use has built up again. I cannot go back to AA again and most definitely not locally, my local AA kicked me out (told me I was unwelcome but they couldn't stop me coming) for taking anti depressants during pnd. I took them because I was desperate and lost my sponsor because I was "taking drugs", ie: anti depressants prescribed by my GP after much genuine hand wringing and debate by me.
I ended up in the priory for my pnd, it was bad, I was an in patient. However my branch of the priory was local for my aa, and when I literally walked two mins from my inpatient room to the priory aa meeting, a number of my "local" aa-ers were there. After the meeting, with me literally in my slippers, they asked why I was still pretending...
Hopefully this explains my aa reluctance. The first time my gp was lovely, but useless. Congratulating me on 3 days sobriety and pretty much saying "there, there you've shown you can do it." End of.
Is there any other group someone has used? Or a course I could try, magic book i could read? I am not asking for a magic wand and amy genuinely willing to work for it, but I cannot do AA again.
Have you got any SMART recovery groups near you? www.smartrecovery.org.uk/about/introducing-smart
I have a friend that uses them alongside AA and said that they prefer SMART overall.
Best of luck with your recovery.
I really don't like AA, and I got really fed up on a thread the other day where the OP had stated clearly that it didn't work for her, and several posters told her it was the 'only way' to get sober. Bollocks. I used Adaction, who were fantastic, and also deal with addictions to prescription drugs as well as alcohol. They provide support with other issues, such as housing, finance etc. There are groups available, or you can have one on one sessions if you prefer. I also did a course called Intuitive Recovery (similar to Smart Recovery), which talks about the psychology of addiction.
I'm sorry you had a bad experience with AA; sadly, it's not the first time I've heard of this sort of thing happening. I prefer to engage with healthcare professionals and trained counsellors myself, but each to their own.
Thank you both so much. That's three options I will try.
Good luck OP. I really don't think you should have to justify in such personal detail why AA wouldn't work for you. (They sound awful BTW!)
Could you see a different GP?
OP so sorry you had this experience in AA. Really I find it abusive that AA'ers tell you not to take anti-depressants, and if you do you are 'failing' recovery. These people are not professionals! And they have no place commenting on the medication that people may/may not be taking. To be honest, I find 12 step quite a strange culture. I haven't for many suggestions other than those above. I can only validate your experience.
Have you tried reading Stanton Peele. He has a different take on addiction than AA (he's very anti-12 step), check him out online and he's also written several books. One in particular may be of interest
They are many paths to recovery. Anyone who says AA is the only way is deluded. It's simply not true.
Hi, I just read through and I'm sorry you've had a bad experience with AA. It's no ones place to advise you on anti depressants than fully qualified doctors and nurses. It seems really irresponsible to me.
I agree with posters saying that AA is not the only way as you know. I attend al anon for my addicted ex and although it's been helpful sometimes I get so frustrated that no helpful contrusctive advice is given. Half of it is organising meeting and tea rotas and the other half is saying there's nothing anyone can do about anything except look to 'God'.
Im still learning what's out their which is how I found your thread so I don't have any useful suggestions.
I am very long-term sober through AA and wanted to tell you that banning people from AA meetings is totally against policy. Not only that, AA produces a leaflet that should be available warning against taking any advice on ADs from members who think they know best. There is no ban on taking ADs or other medication in AA and anyone who tells you otherwise is not practicing the programme properly.
However you do get "rogue" meetings. I went to one once where we were all expected to say the Lord's Prayer, very iffy indeed, and someone I knew went to a special meeting for healthcare professionals and found it profoundly unhealthy, with a lot of focus on how doctors were a different class from the average alcoholic. (They so aren't.)
So sorry you had such a crap experience. Meetings vary enormously and you have to shop around.
Have you tried working through the NA 'gold book'? I know several people in AA who found it a helpful way in to the programme (they weren't drug users, but the steps are basically the same). Given you previously got 4 years of sobriety in AA, it sounds like the programme works for you, it's just the headcases running your local meetings that are the problem! Are you able to travel further afield to better run meetings? It's certainly worth trying the alternative groups other posters have mentioned, but please don't give up on AA if it was previously working for you. What you describe is NOT part of the AA programme and while that programme might not be for everyone, it sounds like you had some success with it before people started making up their own bullocks about serious medical conditions!
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