Alcoholics Anonymous is an organization different from most. There is no hierarchy of leadership, nor are there any set rules for membership. If you say you are an alcoholic, you are welcome at meetings. AA does not require you to sign up for anything, nor does AA require the payment of any dues. All AA groups and fellowships are fully self-supporting through the contributions. This lack of any preset order of authority and no dues has perplexed business people for decades. When we aren’t posting here, we build programs to help people quit drinking. When we aren’t posting here, we build programs to help people quit drinking. Tracy Murphy, this community involves a secret Facebook group that serves as a confidential place for queer, trans, and questioning folks who are sober, in recovery, or sober curious to share together.
It helps you find a power greater than yourself, and gets you involved in service with others in your community who need help. Whether or not you are interested in a spiritual program, finding something to live for can motivate your recovery. Whether this is some sort of spiritual program, giving back to your community, getting involved in recovery activism, is all up to you. •Refuge Recovery is a mindfulness-based addiction recovery community that practices and utilizes Buddhist philosophy as the foundation of the recovery process. As you meet other sober people, you will find many activities you can do for fun without drugs or alcohol. Many support groups have recreational activities for members to have fun together. Most addiction support groups are peer-run without the guidance of a professional. You might find that group therapy benefits you more if you need the guidance of a therapist for mental health, social, emotional, or relationship issues. While peer support is vital to addiction recovery, you might find other ways to stay sober. You can explore your options for a support group while in addiction treatment.
Which Substances Cause Drug-Induced Psychosis?
It aims to support those that give up alcohol use. However, some may be put off by AA due to its emphasis on a higher power or abstinence. Most of all, I was isolated and lonely, my drinking and poor choices having alienated me from everyone around me. I didn’t drink the rest of the night — nor did I even want to. In fact, when I heard that the palate cleanser between dinner and dessert was topped with some kind of boozy foam, I passed. Granted, it was our first night in the country, and I was probably experiencing jet lag in addition to the effects of the booze.
This is a fairly common attitude that you encounter with people who believe that the 12 steps are the only way to stay sober. I have seen this in my 36 years of clinical practice. People cannot fathom that folks can stay sober without AA
— Todd (@addictionguy) June 7, 2020
I didn’t want to be honest so I forced myself to be honest. When I didn’t want to tell him something because I knew his response was going to annoy the fucking shit out of me, that was the first thing I forced myself to tell him. Some of it was really rewarding, a lot of it sucked and all of it was hard work. Don’t erase all my vigilant efforts to change by calling me a dry drunk just because I get pissed when I get a parking ticket. Parking tickets suck—that’s a universal constant. As alcoholism is not dependent on AA for its diagnosis, neither is sobriety. I describe myself as sober because I don’t drink alcohol and I am habitually abstinent from drugs. But he is a devout Catholic so several times a year, he drinks a mouthful of wine as part of religious services. I don’t do the steps; Steve puts a great amount of faith and effort into them.
Mental Health and Recovery Resources for LGBTQIA+ People
This is why I go to meetings at this point, to help others. The steps and the sponsor/sponsee relationships can be very positive and helpful. I have, I hope, now armed myself with stay sober without aa more viable tools of recovery. However each step away from the fellowship had to be taken very gently and with great care. Like-minded peer support online was indespensible.
It’s worth mentioning that any of these programs can complement an AA program. The facts are similar across the board for other addictive substances, like nicotine and heroin. Relapse is a common part of recovery in the alcoholism cycle. Several studies theorize that both internal and external stimuli lead to this.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
There is no empirical data which proves that AA helps alcoholics get sober or stay sober. Yes, you can cite story after transformative, inspiring story, as can I, but that’s all anecdotal evidence. Multiple accredited sources report that AA members fail to stay sober more often than they succeed. Wiredreports that it does and I believe that it does.Wiredalso reports that group talk therapy like the sharing that occurs in AA helps people recovering from cancer and pathogen-driven diseases like tuberculosis. My takeaway is that it benefits people suffering from a hardship to congregate with other people suffering from the same hardship to talk about their experiences. As such, I support AA as one potentially useful tool but it’s not one that works for me.
- However, today I can make healthier choices as to who I want to surround myself with.
- The well-known program that seeks to help people with alcohol use disorder, Alcoholics Anonymous, has long been criticized for not having the medical research to back up its efficacy.
- Finding a sober community is essential to feel a sense of belonging and camaraderie in your shared struggles to overcome addiction.
- Research suggests that while 12-step groups are effective, people often don’t continue their involvement at beneficial levels over the long term.
- Just woke up and decided to not live that way anymore.
But it is possible to take baby steps and get your finances in order. Just keep in mind that your improvements won’t happen overnight. Having a chaotic or disorganized lifestyle can also hinder your recovery. It’s important to develop a structured daily and weekly schedule and stick to it. This article discusses what sobriety means and describes strategies that can support your long-term recovery. It also covers tips on how to deal with the challenges you’ll face on your journey to sobriety. Buddy T is an anonymous writer and founding member of the Online Al-Anon Outreach Committee with decades of experience writing about alcoholism. Another medication-based alternative is the Sinclair Method which utilizes naltrexone to curb cravings. Seeing a psychiatrist doesn’t hurt either, if you feel like you have underlying anxiety or depression you are managing with alcohol.
I stopped attending meetings because a lot of stuff I was instructed to believe became less useful the more “sober” I got.
Stress is a common trigger for relapse, whether major or minor. Practicing grounding techniques, such as deep breathing and reaching out for support, can help you maintain control over the stress present in everyday life. Staying sober can be a challenge and is often not straightforward. There is no golden rule to sobriety that works for everyone. The more strategies you learn to identify personal triggers, deal with stress, and manage your new sober life, the easier it will become to prevent relapse. Another difference between SMART Recovery and NA is that SMART Recovery doesn’t base its philosophy on the idea of addiction as a disease. Those who have a hard time with thinking of themselves as “sick” or “diseased” may prefer using the tools taught in SMART Recovery as a method of beating drug addiction. Self-Management and Recovery Training, better known as SMART Recovery, is a support group for addiction recovery that offers strategies, tools and techniques based on self-reliance and self-empowerment. Unlike NA and AA, there is no spiritual angle to SMART recovery. At a glance, these messages make sense, but in reality, they are not practical.
Why are you so tired when you quit drinking?
Chronic drinking can cause disruptions to your body's natural wake and sleep cycles (its circadian rhythm) which can result in sleep problems after quitting alcohol. Additionally, alcohol dehydrates your body, which can cause recovery fatigue.
Its faith-based 12-step program dominates treatment in the United States. But researchers have debunked central tenets of AA doctrine and found dozens of other treatments more effective. Kelly said the peer-led basis of AA is what makes the program so effective and has the potential to save health care providers $10 billion a year in alcohol-related incidents. Like any relationship, people should think about who they would be compatible with, what they value in a sponsor, and how they would like to approach recovery. A frequently overlooked factor is the notion of choosing the type of sponsor one needs, rather than the one they want. The needed sponsor may make recovery uncomfortable and challenging at times, but this discomfort may lead to more significant benefits in the long run. When recovery is too comfortable, it may not last.
How Can I Get Sober Without AA?
Maintaining supportive relationships is essential to the success of your recovery. But it’s important to recognize when past relationships are toxic and are holding you back from living a sober lifestyle. Because “living a sober/more sober life can be challenging enough without judgment from others.” At the end of the day, the recovery journey is about supporting each other every step of the way, no matter what. This Reddit community isn’t as big as r/stopdrinking, but r/redditorsinrecovery can be a great secondary Reddit resource. Don’t feel trepidation if you’ve never spent time on Reddit. This subreddit is an extremely welcoming community for anyone who wants to ask for advice, share their experiences, and stories or simply ask for encouragement about trying to quit or cut back on alcohol.
EMDR is a type of psychotherapy, or talk therapy, that uses external stimuli to aid recovery. The theory behind this therapy is that bilateral stimulation, like hand tapping, can improve recovery time. The subconscious mind will release trauma for an individual as they talk with a therapist and the methods they provide to expedite trauma recovery. Recovery rates are less than 36% for people with a severe or lifetime alcohol dependence.
Many have also found success with the 12-step method developed by Alcoholics Anonymous . Of all the things that support my sobriety, one of the most critical is knowing that there are sober people are all around me, inside and outside formal programs Sober House like AA. Red flags, to me, are thoughts that romanticize drinking. Sometimes, for example, I’ll find myself liking the way alcohol smells or tastes on my partner’s mouth. Or I’ll feel left out when I’m at a dinner party and everyone else is drinking.