Sobriety (off topic or not)?

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Messages 1521 - 1540 of total 1651 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Happiegrrrl2

Trad climber
Jul 9, 2014 - 09:53am PT
As they say in AA, Norwegian - Keep Coming Back. You're on your way, one day at a time, and it's all good. The important thing, the only thing, really, is to not take that first drink.




I'm coming into the "countdown" time of the year. My sober date is August 26th, but in the weeks leading to it, each year, I feel a sort of melancholia mixed with hopefulness. My body remembers the period of time I was at during the several weeks before I got sober. It remembers the feeling of my soul slowly spiraling like water down the drain - a pretty bleak awareness.

I got lucky, and was flicked out of the vortex before I went past the metal ring at the top of life's drain. I got a chance at a new life without having to die.


Hope everyone is having a good day.
Norwegian

Trad climber
dancin on the tip of god's middle finger
Jul 10, 2014 - 07:41pm PT
Norwegian

Trad climber
dancin on the tip of god's middle finger
Jul 23, 2014 - 08:37am PT
at the edge of the vagina,
where pink fades to punk;
where reality rises from the ashes of lust;
at the threshold between arid and dank climes,

i see the same line.
the one that separates my drunk warrior from his sober coward.

and now i'm dragging myself down the coarse course of life,
"off the white dashed line,
along the black, windswept road" (mother hips.)

excessive clarity is a clown
and i'm the core of his act;
the line of his punch;
the butt of his jokes.

i got absolute control over every
life-aspect that surrenders to me.

marriage? secure.
jobs? bomber.
lifestyle? free and just-shy-of-easy.
parenting? improving.

so i'll plow this path for the time being.
upholding my chin, while peers admire my strides;

i and my progress are the subject of
dinner-time conversations all about my town.

my gaze though, the one that i cast upon
those parents of the play-yard children;
the one that is not recently hung-over;
the one that reports my adoration of struggle,
is cantilevered beyond my eyes
and some secrets comprise the back span
of that gaze - holding it up for the time
being as it is subject to life-loads.

and those little secrets i'm building every day.
and everything present is temporary.
everything that is, enjoys the blessing of entropy.

might is in my future.
and i'll be pleasantly lost once again in pink landscapes
for an extended duration
as i undo the current overload of
of poise and well being.

sobriety, for me,
is nothing more than a bridge between freedoms.
but the bridge is a plank,
cantilevered, like my stare;
bolted down in my past,
and in my future ends over an attractive abyss.


another nickname

Social climber
Yazoo Ms
Jul 23, 2014 - 09:27am PT
"The success rate of AA is between 5 and 10 percent."

"But it's harmful to the 90 percent who don't do well. And it's harmful for several important reasons. One of them is that everyone believes that AA is the right treatment. AA is never wrong, according to AA. If you fail in AA, it's you that's failed."

--Dr. Lance Dodes, Harvard Medical School

http://www.npr.org/2014/03/23/291405829/with-sobering-science-doctor-debunks-12-step-recovery


The large majority of people who stop drinking do so without AA or medical help. If AA works for you then fine, but as a contrarian, I resent its self-proclaimed dominance and tendency toward self-righteousness.

Tvash

climber
Seattle
Jul 23, 2014 - 12:47pm PT
Stastically, about 5% of people who quit drinking once never drink again.

Of the rest, about a third will stop after a few tries, a third will have some success but never really stop, and the remainder will fail miserably for the rest of their lives.

AA is close to a century old. It works for some folks, not at all for many others. It begs for a more scientifically proven alternative - AA has zero science behind it. Relying on peer pressure to keep the demons at bay can a be a spotty proposition. A small number of people who are very close can make a difference - but a whole bunch of AA buddies who really aren't that close?

The 'make amends' step can be a disaster for those on the other end. That girlfriend from a decade ago? Newsflash: She really doesn't want to hear from you. The 'higher power' thing turns an increasingly larger non-religious population off before they even get in the door, even if many AA meetings are not actually religious at all.

Knowledge that does not falsely create an US v THEM construct (Drunks v normies, blah blah) can offer less isolating, more proven approaches. Rational Emotive Therapy (recognizing triggers to relapse and acting accordingly), Choice Theory, and developing a life plan (to fill the hole of not drinking) can be particularly effective none pharmaceutical methods for getting off high center.

Early public education with regards to detecting a propensity for addiction early in life is not nearly as robust or ubiquitous as it should be, and that's a shame.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Jul 23, 2014 - 12:56pm PT
"The success rate of AA is between 5 and 10 percent."

Not many people climb, either.....
Seamstress

Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
Jul 23, 2014 - 01:34pm PT
The first step - whether it is 12 step or a different path - is the most critical. Life is never a success only journey. I think this thread was meant to be supportive. Perhpas intentions are good. I'd rather see additional insight offered than merely criticizing one path that was not 100% effective the first time. When it comes to physical addiction, there isn't a 100% effective path for all. Add to the possible solution set.
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Peavine Basecamp
Jul 23, 2014 - 04:38pm PT
I'm not an AA guy, but does that success rate take into account the not insignificant number of people who are court ordered to attend meetings?

That's still a fair percentage of presumably committed alcoholics who will not be on the roads, in the ER, in the jails.... Not that I don't believe this subject should be examined with a critical eye, and more developments in line with Tvash's notions.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Jul 23, 2014 - 05:29pm PT
I'm not an AA guy either, but I think it's a mistake to disregard it because it's no an absolute success. Nothing is gaurantied, ever! But AA works for a lot of people and has something to offer, everybody. It offers a useful group of insights and alternate perspectives. Anyone struggling with anything can pick up some ideas from it.

I think people get in trouble when they expect it to automatically take care of them. It won't. Whether it works for you or not, it's YOU that has to make the decision to make a change. It can however, offer a support group of people struggling with a similar decision. It can help in other ways as well.

For many people, it's a big part of their recovery effort. It helps them find what they need to find inside themselves to make the change. Just because most people need to find more to complete the mosaic that they need is not a good reason to harsh on something that is a useful "step" for so many.
pb

Sport climber
Sonora Ca
Aug 18, 2014 - 09:06am PT
today I am 4
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Aug 18, 2014 - 10:18am PT
I'm not an AA guy either, but I think it's a mistake to disregard it because it's no an absolute success. Nothing is gaurantied, ever! But AA works for a lot of people and has something to offer, everybody. It offers a useful group of insights and alternate perspectives. Anyone struggling with anything can pick up some ideas from it.


Plus 10 for Jaybro!
True, AA is not for everyone, but they have continued to evolve their style, while supporting and maintaining the things that have worked for so many. Sure, find whatever works for you, but in the meantime, nobody can beat the great folks and awesome crusty hardscrabble life stories at AA.

You gotta hand it to them, a couple of drunks came up with a working model when the "Professional" and "Medical" communities were still scratching their heads.....
Happiegrrrl2

Trad climber
Aug 19, 2014 - 01:41pm PT
One week from today(Tuesday, 8/26) I will be celebrating my 18th Anniversary of sobriety. Though it is a One Day at a Time thing, it's likely I will make it; I am one of the lucky ones. Any Gunkies who might like to get out for a day of easy TRing next Tuesday, or maybe dinner in town? I don't usually "make a deal" out of birthdays and anniversaries, but this year for some reason, I want to acknowledge it. I remember, early on, seeing some of the people in my AA home group who I admired and they all seemed to "have 18 years" at the time. For some reason, "18 years" has always seemed a milestone to me.




Relying on peer pressure to keep the demons at bay can a be a spotty proposition. A small number of people who are very close can make a difference - but a whole bunch of AA buddies who really aren't that close?


I have never had "good friends." I don't actually know how to do that, eve with all the practice over the years. What I have is "acquaintances" and LOTS of them. In early sobriety(years 1 through 5, comes to mind), those people in my AA group, who I hung out with as if we were new-found survivors on what we thought was a desert island, were the foundation for my learning HOW to interact with other people in a more balanced way. Some of them were strangely insane - men with double digit sobriety trying to bed every pretty new girl, one guy a child of a a mobster, another who got sober in prison serving time for bank robbery, a woman who worked for the Dept. of Defense, another who had become famous with a million dollar record deal, ex-hookers and porno actors, a Franciscan monk, cops, lawyers, and plenty of just plain folks - all with ONE common denominator.

I do still have contact(Facebook, occasional email) with abut six or eight of those people who made up "my" early sobriety. I still wouldn't, even these years later, consider them "friends," even though they are some of the most important people in my life. It is because I haven't committed to ME being a friend, I think. Maybe that is something I can work on....

But I can assure anyone reading, that without those people, I wouldn't have made it.


The 'make amends' step can be a disaster for those on the other end. That girlfriend from a decade ago? Newsflash: She really doesn't want to hear from you.

Interesting point! I didn't rush through my steps, and I sometimes wish I HAD had a sponsor in my first year who blasted me through them before I had any clue whatsoever.... We are SO believing that we are the center of everyone who knows us' universe.... Or that they are still pining from the sting of our behavior all those years later. I have received two amends for other AA's. One, a girl I saw come in when I had about two or three years, apologized for "brushing me off" when I provided some suggestion about sobriety. I have NO recollection of what she referred to. Yet, it bothered her enough to put me on her list. The other, from a lady with twenty plus years, was actually an attempt to tell me how they thought I had wronged THEM! Crazy alcoholics.... me included.

But....making amends isn't actually about the other person. It is something we do to free ourselves from self-inflicted pain. Full of funny paradoxes, the AA way.
bergbryce

climber
East Bay, CA
Aug 19, 2014 - 01:45pm PT
5 last month and a friend of Bill.
I encourage those inclined to find their own path, there are many to choose from.
Cragar

climber
MSLA - MT
Aug 19, 2014 - 02:41pm PT
Congrats pb!! Do you remember Baby Steps?
pb

Sport climber
Sonora Ca
Aug 19, 2014 - 03:06pm PT
There is plenty I don't remember, much I'd like to forget, some I can't risk losing sight of. Good friend Cragar, still have those old hexes scratched and smoothed?
Cragar

climber
MSLA - MT
Aug 19, 2014 - 03:34pm PT
Thanks, you too. They are long gone, but the memories are not. One thing I have not forgotten is your way with words; awesome for sure. Do you remember that day we went up Burst and put a couple bolts above a crack on the E. face? My Sonora time was short and I don't see y'all often in a physical sense, but I smile every time I think of one of those Burst, Grotto outings or just the hanging out.
I really need to get my '49er on the next time I am down there! Oh, and you always got a place in MT and there are fecal loads of chossy climbs ta'boot!
Stevee B

Trad climber
Oakland, CA
Aug 19, 2014 - 05:01pm PT
The 'make amends' step can be a disaster for those on the other end. That girlfriend from a decade ago? Newsflash: She really doesn't want to hear from you.

Curious where you got the idea that the twelve steps suggest to do that. It's always seemed to me and been reaffirmed by my sponsors that we are to leave those people alone.

"except when to do so would injure them" seems pretty plainspoken to me.


Tvash

climber
Seattle
Aug 19, 2014 - 09:07pm PT
A recognition that AA isn't the most effective program for everyone isn't a critique of the success rate that AA does have with some people. The evidence suggests that it's more effective than no program at all,
and about as good as other therapies like RET. There have been few studies with regards to whether AA can actually be harmful to some people. That's a valid question (for any therapy or program) that should be looked into more scientifically.

The important thing for any individual to remember is that AA is not the only program or therapy available, and it may not be the most effective program for them. Combining AA with other therapies, and perhaps switching from AA to other programs an individual finds to be more effective for them is probably a much healthier approach than sticking with one program, regardless of how old or how many members it has, failing, and then giving up in despair.

One of the big downsides I found with AA is a pervasive Us (alkies) versus Them (Normies) mentality. Some find this form of mental insulation helpful or deem it necessary - I found this to be a form of false tribalism and, as such, needlessly isolating and therefore counterproductive to a person who is, after all, attempting to connect more fully with the world.

I also found it difficult to take the anthropomorphizing and demonization of a simple chemical seriously. Such mythology just didn't do much for me.

I was successful, and, truth be told, AA didn't play a significant role in that success. For those AA works well for, it's a great program. This message is for the other folks who may require another approach - there are other approaches, and they can be successful.

Seamstress

Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
Aug 19, 2014 - 09:32pm PT
Buried my brother-in-law last week. Very sad. Hep C, cirrhosis, too many tylenol for back pain, liver cancer = no liver function. 55, saw his kids graduate from high school - thanks to 18 years of sobriety. Left behind a wife and kids 19 and 23. These were all reasons to live. He knew that he had made mistakes, but spent many years of sobriety doing the very best he knew how.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Aug 19, 2014 - 11:01pm PT
I'm always impressed at the civility of this thread, despite the differing opinions.


I'm curious about the social queues that indicate one might be over the top. What's your experience or in watching others, what have you seen?

I'm thinking here primarily of those queues from another to someone that's basically acting out and already next to rock bottom. One incident? Several? Heinous incident?
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