I am the longest I have ever been sober with just over 8 months under my belt and i feel great. I had been going to aa meetings for around 3 years now but always ended up drinking. However, I stopped going to meetings on December as I wasn’t 100% in my comfort zone plus I’m now not driving so getting there was a hassle. I can honestly say I feel great and drinking doesn’t even come into the equation anymore. My dad is also a recovering alcoholic and has been sober for 24 years now, he is an avid aa member. I haven’t been honest with him about me not going as I didn’t want him to worry (he’s done enough of that over me), but tonight we had an honest discussion and I told him I hadn’t been in a while. He is under the impression that if you don’t go to aa meetings you will eventually drink, or that your head would be crazy and manic. What are people’s views on this?? I don’t agree with him I don’t think yet don’t feel I have the right to disagree with someone who has 24 years sobriety compared to my 8 months, or the knowledge that he does for that matter. Any advice would be great as I feel confused and am considering going again but know that I would only be doing it to please him rather then what I truly want or feel. Are there any other revenues bar aa? Thanks.
Hey Kelly, I was almost 6 months sober before relapsing. I was going to 5 meetings a week for about 3 months. I was confident I didn’t need to go to them anymore so I stopped going…boy was I wrong. I can honestly say that every meeting I’ve been to, I have always felt better walking out. I’m sure its a case by case scenario, but for me, the connection with others in my situation truly helps my mind stay clear which helps my sobriety. Usually, when i don’t want to go, it’s the alcoholic mind telling me I don’t need to. Better safe than sorry, currently aiming for 90 meetings in 90 days. I’m 4/4…
Hiya, yeah I was wondering if it was the alcoholic thinking that was telling me I don’t need them anymore, but I think I was trying to convince myself I guess. I need to get back in the rooms and give it another go. There’s no denying that my thinking is erratic but I’ve always said “well you’re not drinking” but as I know first hand, the minute I think of a drink I’ve already relapsed and then it’s too late. There’s no way I want to go back to where I was as it was hell on earth. Thanks for your advice!!
Hey Kelly, I’m not an alcoholic, but still an addict. My experience has been that it doesnt matter the program, so long as you’re working one. If you decide that AA is no longer for you, then that’s fine. But, you had better have a program/plan as a back up. No plan in my experience is a plan for relapse.
AA is not necessary to be sober but it is a great tool to use. Plenty of people get sober without it.
I’d say if you feel the slightest hint or whiff of drinking, if you have a serious romanticism of the drunk moment, go back to the rooms. Rides are easy to come by in AA honestly, just call up the local office and they’ll literally have another member willingly pick you up.
You know the steps right, if you’re not going continue to work them. Good blueprints for a happy and healthy life in my view.
Hi Kellyt. Great to hear that you are 8 months sober. You will need to be the one to decide whether you attend meetings but for me both AA and GA (gamblers annonymous) are so important in my recovery. I am 18 months sober and off a bet. I think I could stay sober and off a bet if I didn’t attend meetings but I would miss out on so much fellowship. I personally don’t want to chance not going. Also I love my meetings. I get involved and love seeing my new friends regularly. Best of luck to whatever you decide to do.
Thank you everyone for all your advice, I’m going to get back into the rooms. I have nothing to lose in going and alot to lose by picking up a drink from not going. I’m still clearing up some of the mess i caused whilst drinking, I have my kids back home (they had to stay with their paternal grandparents for 6 weeks as I wasn’t deemed well enough to look after them). I have also built healthy relationships again with everyone close to me. I’m stupid really to jeprodise all of that just by not going to meetings, but there was just something telling me that I didn’t need the rooms anymore, (how stupid can I be). All your advice really helped thank you soo much!
There are a ton of different things you can try. SMART, Refuge Recovery, IOP (super time intensive, so hard for some people). I know there are others. I did IOP for 4 months and now go every week to the clinic I did IOP at, complete with a therapist and psychiatrist that are addiction specialists. Just Google “AA alternative”, or something to that effect, and see what you come up with. I know SMART does a ton of online meetings.
Whatever you do, maintain a program of some sort. I have my own program, but I never encourage people to not do AA. Never.
My only thought is that you say you relapsed a lot while going but have now stayed sober for many months without it. What do you think is the difference? Could it be that hearing stories brought back romantic feelings for alcohol?
I do think AA is a great program but if your doing well without it that is okayvtoo. As long as you aren’t just white knuckling it. Are you actively working on yourself to not drink?
I dont go to AA. When I stopped drinking over a month ago, I did it because I was drinking huge amounts of empty calories and not working out so that equated to fat. I lost 25lbs so far and continue to eat healthy , work out and eliminate 90% of sugars which alcohol is mainly made up as. Start working out. Get upset, workout and never turn towards alcohol. I dont say I’ll ne er drink again but never the way I was. At some point after another 60-80 lbs, I can see myself having a glass of wine. I have alcohol in my house I just choose NOT to drink it. Even when I get pissed off of like my mom just died but i did not drink. F0ocus on YOU
If what you are doing is working, keep doing it. That said, be prepared to escalate, should your current sobriety falter. Know what that next thing is, before you need to use it. Maybe it’s going back to AA, where your proven ability to be able to stay sober for a time in your own, is made stronger in the rooms. Maybe its IOP. Maybe it’s 1-on-1 counseling. Just decide what you will do if needed.
If you wait until the plane is crashing to locate the nearest emergency exit, it’s too late. Also, the closest exit may actually be behind you…kinda like AA.
I did counselling for 6 months and also did a six months programme for parents with addictions, I also have an alcohol worker. I’m not too sure what’s different this time but it just feels it, although I’m not too sure if that’s just my head tricking me again so I’m just trying to be cautious I suppose.
Well, it honestly sounds like you are doing a LOT of work towards your sobriety…I don’t think anyone should tell you that you MUST do AA or you will fail. If you want to go back to the rooms that is great, but don’t do it because someone else told you you had to.
Thank you everyone!!
This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.
Please, enough with the all the caps.
Also, a lot of people here go to meetings and get a lot of emotional support and fellowship from meetings.
Being open to different types of recovery practices is important for all of us and welcomed on here.
Sucking it up is not usually an effective technique for addicts.
When I was in active addiction I didn’t look in the mirror period. My mental health was shot. My eyes were blood shot and I was a walking corpse. I found support anywhere I could. Rehab, outpatient, one on one counselor, psych doctor, and meetings. I needed them all. Even now I work in a place where I can get support if needed and still attend meetings. Getting help, from anyone, is the most important thing someone like me can do.
Hi @Kellyt, That’s great that your Dad is so solid in his recovery and AA helped him so much.
I find there are MANY other resources available to us now than there used to be. There are medications, different online and offline groups, various forums, books, podcasts, physical activity, vitamin therapies, etc. I posted a thread on other resources awhile back, I will look for it for you.
I find we each do best when we follow our own heart and path. For some that includes AA. What works for one, might not work for another.
And good on you for your 8 months!!!
This was before the situation already addressed.
Here is the link to resources post…