SRS I just came to a conclusion today that I never truly believed before...

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by undirected, May 27, 2008.

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  1. undirected

    undirected Guest

    ....even after an inpatient rehab stay and 3 months in halfway/Oxford houses. I have a problem with addiction, especially with drug addiction.

    Last night I sat down and typed the following onto a blank document and didn't stop until the entire page was filled:

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]

    I think that I have finally taken the REAL first step to fixing my train wreck of a life at the ripe old age of 19 years old.

    Long story short, I had about 6 months sober, was active in the AA community (although alcohol was never my thing), had a sponsor, did service work, etc. I left because I became extremely disillusioned with AA/NA and the 12-step program in general. I got an apartment in the same town I was attending meetings in (and attended inpatient in, as well) and lo and behold, it was less than a mile from my old drug dealer back when I lived in Raleigh and used to sell pot. I started hanging out with this guy again, started selling drugs again, ate an enormous amount of pills, psychadelics, drank a ridiculous amount, and smoked more pot than anybody needs to smoke. However, they were all hippies, so the white girl that I had the biggest problem with never came into the picture. My old drug dealing "mentor" from Wake Forest came up to visit me and get some high quality pot from me, and within 6 hours we were driving back to his house and I was signing over the title of my car to him for an amount that was much less than I should have ever considered selling it for. $600 later I had blown a quarter ounce of coke and bought 2 ounces of mid grade from him to sell and recoup my money. I never did, and I smoked almost an ounce of what I bought.

    After that I moved to Florida, by a stroke of luck got a job as the GM/marketing director for a small furniture store, the owner of which was in recovery as well for 20+ years. That business tanked, but right before it did I was recruited by a restaurant in the same plaza as a high-ranking manager. Within a month I was doing great as a manager, but I had already smoked pot with and bought pot from half of my employees, easily. I did coke one time in Florida and never touched it again, but I still don't know how I did this, since I was hanging out with a coke dealer on a daily basis and some of my best friends down there were just getting into the coke scene. Within a few months something happened and I quit the job before I was fired, and for more than a month I was unemployed, doing nothing but partying all day and all night and doing all the drugs (except for coke) I was doing before. I broke the hearts of several girls by doing the things that I promised myself I would never do again back in rehab (one night stands, "trophy fucks" just so that I could say I had had sex with the girl, etc.)


    To sum it all up, now I'm here in North Carolina working a shit job and just recently I began to contemplate the idea of suicide, something I have never even given a single thought to before. I visited my sister and her boyfriend this weekend in Asheville and had a great time...and on the last day before I left, I was taking a shower in her bathroom and opened a cabinet...and saw their bong and a jar of headies staring me in the face. I snatched a few buds and later that night when I got home, my sister asked me outright if I had stolen pot from her. I lied about it when I spoke to her, but today I was a fucking mess. I finally spoke to her after I got off work at 6 and told her everything. And now, it's at this point that I am starting over.

    I am going to try to find a meeting tomorrow, but I don't intend to get back into a 12-step program...or at least not AA/NA. It's going to be more of a reminder to myself than anything. I really want to explore SOS (secular organization for sobriety) meetings but I've never spoken to anyone who has attended them, so I don't know where to start.

    To be frank, I don't even have a real reason for making this thread, I just had to get it out and I'm too ashamed of the things I've done to tell any of my real-life friends. I guess what I'm hoping for is some suggestions that can help me get started...because it's not just drugs that are my problem, it is a combination of things, LYING being a huge part of it.

    Any help is appreciated. Maturity is ESPECIALLY appreciated, even though I certainly have not shown any myself.

    Thanks in advance

    mike
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    Last edited by a moderator: May 27, 2008
  2. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    You never discussed your issues with AA/NA so there's no way I know to help.

    However, most people that I've worked with that had problems with AA/NA had issues with one of 3 things:
    1) The word God (while they completely ignored what came after that word.....as we understood him)
    2) People (got pissed at someone and vowed to never, ever go back) or
    3) The 12 steps (they got scared to work a step and instead skipped over it and when they got drunk/high again they said, "see AA/NA didn't work").

    I don't know how to help you stay clean and sober without the 12 steps because I don't know any other way that's worked for me.

    However, I will wish you the best in your journey and I hope you find the peace you're looking for.

    Good luck and God Bless.
     
  3. undirected

    undirected Guest

    You're right...I was in a sorry state of affairs last night so I wasn't even thinking clearly enough to post a thread correctly, it seems

    My problems with AA/NA centered around the clique-ish, gossiping behavior of the majority of groups I attended meetings with. Above all, though, it was the religious overtones despite the "spiritual not religious" mantra everyone likes to keep repeating. I found it very hard to believe that when we ended 95% of the meetings I attended around the city with the Lord's Prayer...and in some cases this was appended with "or a prayer of your choice IN SILENCE" :hsugh:
     
  4. undirected

    undirected Guest

    So are you insinuating that the religious aspect is necessary to stay sober? If so, I might as well go off and get trashed right now, because I'm not willing to be forced to change that part of my world view just to stay clean.

    The second part could be true, I suppose...but I tried it for the 6 months I stayed sober and just couldn't do it. I was always the only agnostic (or otherwise non-Christian) member, or at least the only one willing to speak up about it.

    I'm actually leaving right now to go hit an AA meeting, I'll see if anything's different...although I'm sure it'll be even more Jesus-centric out here in the sticks than in the big city
     
  5. undirected

    undirected Guest

    Just got back from the meeting...met some nice folks and I'm actually heading to another one here in a moment. I'll come back and respond a little later to any new posts
     
  6. ~stangzorized~

    ~stangzorized~ New Member

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    You've got the willingness, you want the honesty, and if you want it all, you're going to have to get open-minded.

    Are you willing to go to any length to stay sober/clean?
     
  7. undirected

    undirected Guest

    That honestly depends on what "any length" is. If that means being forced to change my religious world view then no, I don't accept that it is necessary and if it is, I will find another way.
     
  8. ~stangzorized~

    ~stangzorized~ New Member

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    "a God of your understanding...."
     
  9. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    When I got to AA I thought the same thing. I thought everyone was in a clique and I wasn't so immediately I didn't belong. Guess what, this is very common....but it took me STAYING in AA and working with a sponsor before I started to see how fucked up my thinking was.

    About gossip, if you're around people that are saying it, stop hanging out with those people. If you're worried about them talking about you then then phrase, "What other people think of me is none of my business" applies here. Keep repeating that phrase to yourself because it's absolutely true.
    The Lord's prayer is repeated because many people find it very comforting and helpful. You don't have to participate. There have been many people, in many meetings that simply go get a cup of coffee when we pray. It's totally cool but I can understand if it makes you feel like an outsider if you don't participate. Fuck it, don't participate. You can be an individual and still belong.

    In all honesty, I think you're using these issues as excuses to keep from having to change. Change is difficult, especially sobering up. Why? For me, alcohol was my best friend and any attempt to get me away from it was met with a LOT of resistance on my part.

    I had to repeat another phrase all the time when I was newly sober. That phrase is, "I don't have to believe everything I think".

    I had to realize that alcoholism is a disease and that disease effects my ability to think clearly. So even when I think I'm 100% right, I was 100% wrong. Now that's not easy for an alcoholic like me because I'm a very smart guy.....at least I thought I was and there was no way I was wrong and I could come up with a list of things to justify ANY behavior I wanted to.

    In order to get help, I became willing to let others think for me for awhile. I said "Ok, for the first year, I'm going to do everything that's asked of me because I honestly don't know shit." I mean, if I really knew anything about healthy living, I sure as shit would NOT have ended up in AA. The fact that I'm in AA means I don't know how to live a healthy life. I need help with that.

    Anyways, I hope that helps and gives you a perspective. The issues you describe are quite common and most people in AA thought like you do. Talk to them, tell the meeting exactly what you've posted here and see what they say. Might as welll.....you just might find someone who believed just like you and found a way to deal with it.
     
  10. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    You are still missing the point....a higher power AS WE UNDERSTOOD HIM.

    Pick a concept that works for you. The cool thing of AA is that you can have your concept and I can have mine and they can be COMPLETELY different and we can both get and stay sober in AA. And I don't have to change you and I don't have to let you change me and we can both stay sober.

    It's fucking awesome.
    When you say you tried it...did you work the steps? Did you get a sponsor? Did you work with others?

    Remember it says, "Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path." There's no guarantee but if you follow the path, you have a much better chance.
    You are looking for the differences already and you're not even in a meeting. You are looking for how you are different and therefore don't belong and therefore can stop going to someplace the might actually help you.

    I would suggest you stop looking for the differences and start looking for the similarities. Start looking for how you are similar to the people in the rooms. Start trying to see how your story is like theirs.
     
  11. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    You don't have to change your religious world view at all. I'll take on anyone that suggests differently....and I have in many, many meetings.

    Notice the 12th step and really pay attention to the words. "Having had a spiritual awakening AS A RESULT OF THESE STEPS...." See that last part....you don't have to have a spiritual awakening before working the steps. You will likely have one as the result of working the steps....but here's the kicker, work the steps with a sponsor.

    When I got to AA, I picked a sponsor with 10 years of sobriety because while I didn't know much, I knew that I couldn't stay sober for 10 years on my own. There was no way. I figured anyone with that much sobriety might know a thing or 2 about getting and staying sober. I was right and it was one of the smartest decisions I ever made.
     
  12. undirected

    undirected Guest

    Just got back from my second meeting tonight. Nobody had a topic so I spoke up and asked for some tips for assimilating back into the program after an extended period of relapse. Got some good info, but I had forgotten that AAers just do not know when the hell to stop talking :rofl:

    I also didn't have the heart to tell them that I'm not necessarily jumping back into AA. I still haven't picked up a white chip for this go-round and I'm not even thinking about a sponsor, because I don't accept that AA is the only way to get and stay sober and I will continue to explore other options. It was definitely nice to be around people who had been there and done that though, the fellowship was one thing I did miss
     
  13. undirected

    undirected Guest

    "HIM"

    "AS WE UNDERSTOOD HIM"

    Do you not see why I have an issue with this? The wording aside, you can only consider the rooms your higher power for so long, right?

    Yes. I had a sponsor, I worked the steps. I actually went through the steps twice during and after rehab. I did service work, I went to the detox facility and spoke to people, I carried on the message. But I am starting to believe that I never actually took a real first step. The "first step" I believed I took was really pretty plastic looking back on it.


    Not looking for differences at all, just being realistic. And I was correct in my assumption, but I'm not going to let that stop me.
     
  14. undirected

    undirected Guest

    I picked a sponsor that only had about 2 and a half years clean but who had what I wanted. He did NOT live and breathe AA and used the program as an ENHANCEMENT, not a replacement, for his life. To be frank, I feel that someone whose entire life becomes AA after becoming sober is JUST AS BAD OFF as somebody who is still drinking or using.
     
  15. undirected

    undirected Guest

    And let me go ahead and say this: I take ownership for my relapse following my 5 or so months sober in AA. I will not and cannot blame my behaviors on my sponsor, the AAers I attended meetings with, or anyone other than myself. I made the decision that I was not done doing drugs and I began cutting ties with people in the program until I was in the position to where I could do drugs again, and I did them.
     
  16. undirected

    undirected Guest

    I think that it's very presumptive for you to say that I am or am not ready to do anything, frankly, but you're entitled to your opinion
     
  17. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    Actually I seriously debated addressing the gender issue in that post.

    Guess I should have taken more care to specifically address it....sorry.

    Just so you know, my higher power is beyond gender and quite honestly could not care less whether we call him a him, her or an it.


    Also, I agree...the fellowship can be really awesome.
    Ok well you've done more than I thought you did.

    I honestly don't think working the steps in treatment counts because it's often rushed....or so it seems. It can't hurt to do them in treatment but I think the real work occurs outside of treatment centers.

    But it's good that you've done that kind of work before. I would encourage you to dig deeper into your life. I hope you'll gain more insights this time around.
    Ok, I could be wrong but your posts in this thread just seem to me that you're looking for differences. If I'm wrong, I apologize.
     
  18. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    Oh come on now....I've never stolen anything from anyone in order to go to AA but I did to drink.

    AA is nowhere near as bad....no matter how many meetings you go to.

    Also, IMO you picked a sponsor that may have had what you wanted....an easier, softer way.

    Keep in mind what I posted earlier. "Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path." I would suggest you didn't thoroughly follow the path. Also remember what it says in the big book, "1/2 measures avail us nothing". 1/2 measures don't get us 1/2 results....they get us nothing in the end.
     
  19. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    I for one appreciate you saying this. Thanks.

    Some people just want to blame AA for their relapse.

    I'm glad you aren't one of them.
     
  20. undirected

    undirected Guest

    I actually wasn't referring to the "HIM" part in the way you thought I was. Saying "HIM," to me, just screams "God" to me. Not "god" with a lowercase "g" or the power of the group, but THE God. And I know that this is because I was introduced to AA in an area where bible (and big book) beaters are the most prolific members of the community. I know that no one person speaks for AA, nor one group of people, but surely you can understand why I have an issue with this sort of thing, especially as an agnostic.


    Absolutely, I agree 100%

    I really don't know if you're totally incorrect or not, so save your apologies for a time when you've actually done me wrong. So far as I can tell, you're only trying to help :sadwavey:

    I tried to explain what I meant by that in an earlier post but everything I typed just seemed trite and contrived. I really can't put it into words, and perhaps I shouldn't have said that it is JUST AS BAD as though it can really be compared. Maybe what I meant to say was that moderation is good for the soul regardless of what you're "imbibing" in, be it drink or the program


    I've spent too much of my admittedly short life blaming other people. The real "first step" I think was growing up and taking responsibility for my own actions
     
  21. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    Wait, on one hand you say the gender isn't the issue then you say that using the word "him" reminds you of "THE GOD"....which I assume is the God of Christianity.

    The thing is, even if I had called my HP a she it wouldn't change the fact that you are free to choose whatever concept of a higher power that you find appropriate. It's basically whatever you can believe in.

    Me personally, I have some views about my HP that a lot of people don't share and they sometimes look at me as if I'm from another planet. I don't care because I had to find some power greater than myself, that I could believe in, that could help me get and stay sober.

    If someone else doesn't like that concept well that's fine but if they try to change me or push their concept off on me, they can fuck right the hell off.
    I am only trying to help. I guess I'm also trying to not be offensive because someone actually called me a shit. Makes me think my words are more offensive than I mean them to be.
    I understand and in regards to most things, I agree, moderation is a good thing.

    But you know what I've seen over the years.....I've seen a whole shitload of people come into AA get right up in the middle of AA and they stay. They go to meetings all the time, they're working with newcomers, they trying to do the deal even if they fucking up....they just keep coming back. These people make AA a HUGE part of their life and they get and stay sober and they're also happy, joyous and free. It's really hard for me to see where it's a bad thing.

    Hell as a practicing alcoholic I spent so much fucking time in bars an at home drinking. I would have to practically LIVE in the AA clubhouse to come close to the hours I've spent drinking or doing drinking related things.

    And let's be honest, if I were to become addicted to AA, it's not really that bad right? There's a whole lot of worse things I could be addicted to right?

    So maybe I go to too many meetings, maybe I hang around other alcoholics too much, maybe my life does revolve around program related activities. You know what? I don't care because I much happier when I'm close to the program. AA gave me my life back and has enabled me to become happy, joyous and free. I'm not hanging around there because I have to.....I'm hanging around because I WANT to.

    For once in my life I've found a place where the people understand me. They know what it's like to be really fucking confused and not know what to do except drink. They know the loneliness of alcoholism....I don't have to explain the hell I lived through because they've lived through it also.

    We've found a way out and a life that can be better than our wildest dreams. We've found a way to live without having to fight. We've found a path that's both fulfilling and exciting and we're doing it all without alcohol.

    IMO there are so many worse places I could be.
     
  22. undirected

    undirected Guest

    Going to another meeting at 8pm :hsd:
     
  23. undirected

    undirected Guest

    Thanks :hs:

    I really dislike the rhetoric and the fact that everybody says the same exact thing in different words, but like I said earlier, I go for the fellowship more than anything :dunno:
     
  24. undirected

    undirected Guest

    I really want to get high right now :hs: Just wanted to get it out
     
  25. undirected

    undirected Guest

    I know :hs:
     
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