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AA, NA, and 12 step programmes in toto.

Rorschach

Rorschach

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I was wondering if anyone had experienced 12 step programmes, and if so whether they'd like to discuss their experiences?
 
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Dollit

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I went to AA after two years of sobriety because I was finding it difficult and I'd just got divorced and I went for 5 or 6 years. I found that it was easier than people claimed to work the steps because I was quite self-aware and wanted to feel differently. After my diagnosis of bipolar other people in AA changed towards me. Not because I had a mental health problem but because, in their eyes, I was taking mood altering substances. I found it impossible to convince them that I was taking a mood stabiliser and that it was completely different. I also got ticked off about the god element - I'm an atheist and a very happy one at that but I got fed up of people telling me if I didn't come to believe in god then I'd drink and that I was arrogant to consider myself the most powerful thing in the universe. I don't think I'm the most powerful thing in the universe, I just don't believe in god.

AA and the 12 step programme gave me a good foundation and I made some friends that I still keep in touch with and, nearly 17 years down the line, I'm still not drinking and very happy with my sobriety! :clap:
 
Rorschach

Rorschach

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Shame about the 'god' 3rd step thing, its a narrow interpretation of a power higher than yourself. I actually believe in God so it didn't pose a problem, but as an atheist it obviously would. I was told that it could just be fellowship. As to taking your meds being off the programme, plainly ridiculous!!!!

Glad to hear it had a positive outcome!!!! I ended up having a sponsor that was a step Nazi, and while I think the steps work, I ended up not going so much, in fact not been for ages. Did 90 meets in 90 days and then some, and have to say it helped changed my way of life...
 
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Dollit

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I think AA does work and it does help if you have a really positive sponsor. I had a sponsor who started every conversation off with "And what step are you working today" when somedays I didn't even know what day it was. I always recommend AA to people getting newly sober, I think it can give you the biggest boost of your life as long as you remember that, like everything else, you have the choice. I still pop in the odd meeting to say hi to folks but so many AA people live near me I plug into the fellowship regularly.
 
Rorschach

Rorschach

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We seem to see the rooms in a fairly similar light :)
 
daffy

daffy

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I think everyone gets different opinions of things and in the end all that matters is what you feel comort with and what works for you.

The AA did not work for my late husband but he was not prepared to put any effort in. Maybe the sponsor he had was not very good but i tend to believe it was more that he didnt want to stop

I am a christian, although not a banner waving one. My faith was sorely tested tho after my grandson died, but yet my daughter and son in law got great comfort from the church. I have now accepted from them that it was for the best, as he was suffering greatly and is now at peace.

I only go to church 2 or 3 times a year (apart from weddings etc) but i like to think i live a good life:flowers:
 
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Mad Hatter

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Can someone explain the criteria for being an alchoholic please?
 
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Dollit

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Alcoholism is really self-diagnosed. Anyone can say whether they think you have a drink problem or not but only the person themselves can say whether they're alcoholic or not. If you have to drink as opposed to just having one then chances are you're a problem drinker. It's not dependent on how much you drink or when but how you drink. At AA they say that if drinking costs you more than money then chances are you're an alcoholic. Cost me a lot more than money.
 
Rorschach

Rorschach

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Neurobiologically, if you brain has down-regulated (i.e. doesn't naturally produce sufficient) for GABA as a result of alcohol as an agonist (i.e. imitates the neurotransmitter), then you become dependent on alchohol. Its really quite serious as GABA also controls some motor function as well as alleviating anxiety, and stopping cold can be very dangerous. That would be my definition of an alcoholic.
 

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Mad Hatter

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well i think i'm a social drinker and don't drink at all hours, gotta stop though coz I should have increased my meds but decided to leave it untll after christmas so i'm starting tonight. Meds already down the hatch!!!!
 
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Apotheosis

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I've had some truly awful experiences with sponsors. It has been also hard with peoples general attitude to MH problems & medication. But there are some good people around the 12 step fellowships. The God thing never really bothered me - it is God as I understand him - it is open to whatever you conceive God to be - my ideas on this are not orthodox. I sought help from the fellowships when I'd arrived at the gates of insanity & death - it has helped me get & stay clean, I'm thankful to it. I do follow my own "spirituality", but the fellowship is there in the background & I do have some good friends from my involvement.
 
Rorschach

Rorschach

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Great to hear your experiences were positive (well some of them ;) ) and of course :welcome:
 
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Dollit

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I think the line they use in the preamble at Al-Anon meetings is applicable to AA too - take what you like and leave the rest - only in the beginning it's best to do everything as an experiment. Ultimately you have to find out the best way for yourself. I haven't been to a meeting in years but I'm always bumping into people and it is nearly 17 years since I drank. I think medication isn't just a problem in some AA heads though, my mum is always saying I should try to cut down as though I'm taking mood altering as opposed to mood stabilising drugs. :tea:
 
lucid scream

lucid scream

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I did NA for a few years. It was good at first to show me that there are other folks out there with similar experiences. It was the only group in the small town of Kingman, Arizona. Listening to the same people go on about how they were big 'ol peices of turd before NA and now they are so much better than that got old, bless thier hearts. I went untill I felt I was'nt getting anymore. I remain friends with a few of them Some choose to be 'lifers', more power to them.
I'm for anything that will help you live a better and happy life, and to some 12 steppin helps them. If thats where any given person is in thier life I would certainly recommend AA or similar programs.
 
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Dollit

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I think the thing that I found most wearing after a while was the attitude of that AA was the only thing that would get you through life and that if you didn't keep on going then you would DRINK AND DIE!!! There was an overwhelming feeling that 6 meetings a week was a bare minimum - I'm sorry but I always had a life to lead and still do. This is quite a big city for English standards but I always seemed to get stuck in the same meeting with people whose stories I'd heard a million times. I think once you get stuck on the "sharing" circuit it's hard to vary what was a very small life. I'm glad for the leg up it gave me though, it helped me change myself into a really positive person and I wouldn't have the opportunity to do the high level community work that I do now if I hadn't went there. :tea:
 
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