Chattering Mind

Chattering Mind

Don’t Knock 12 Step!

Oh gosh, don’t you just hate it? Another study stays that the famous 12-Step Program of Alcoholics Anonymous is no better than other rehabilitation methods.

I can’t be entirely rational on this one. I think AA is terrific, and it has saved the lives of several dear friends. I attended many Al-Anon (child of alcoholic) meetings in my twenties, and while sometimes dreary (“Hi, I’m Greg and I’m the son of an abusive, alcoholic, raging idiot…”) the gatherings always helped. They also pointed me toward health and healing, a realm of study that has benefited me more than I can express. Unfortunately, my alcoholic mother was always searching for excuses as to why AA wasn’t right, so she never entered a “recovery” period. Perhaps AA failed her in the end; maybe something else could have helped. But I recoil when I see the program that has helped so many take a hit. It allows alcoholics who’re still drinking to say, “I’m not going! AA isn’t so great!”

Have you or a friend had an experience with a good recovery method? Tell us about it.

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posted July 28, 2006 at 2:58 pm

Recovery saved my mother’s life, and she couldn’t have done it without AA. She has been sober for 17 years, is 74 years old and attends daily meetings. I believe the 12 steps provide a healthy foundation regardless of whether or not you are in recovery. I try to live them daily.>

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posted July 28, 2006 at 8:41 pm

A.A. saved me.I’ve seen a few come and go in the last 10 yrs. Showing up,listening,etc…,wont keep you sober.Some results MAY occur. you have to apply yourself & apply the program to receive the maximum effect. Most of us have spent alot of time, energy, money,and such practicing and learning how to survive with our illness, it makes since that we will have to put some effort into changing our lives, our behaviors, how we percieve everything and everyone. Also, most recovery programs are developed with A.A. as the blue print.>

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posted July 28, 2006 at 8:45 pm

I have been in AA since 1992. Although I have not stayed sober that entire time, I believe that without AA I would be dead. As with with any recovery program, you will get out of it what you put into it… If not for AA during this last year, I would be drinking today. I have really begun to work the steps, and I mean WORK them, and I am seeing miracles happen in my life. It is not easy, but it is worth it. I agree with Robin. I have been through a lot of different treatments and the only one that has worked for me is AA, and most of these other treatment programs have used some of AA in some fashion.>

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Tina Edlund

posted July 28, 2006 at 8:51 pm

Another excellent recovery program is called Rational Recovery. You can check it out online.>

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posted July 28, 2006 at 10:13 pm

OnSept 20 of this year I will have 22 years sobriety.I could not have done it without AA.THe 12 steps give the recovering person the tools to deal with life’s problems.I also had to get outside help for depression,and 8 years ago joined alanon,which has really helped the healing process and self discovery.There is a spirituality in both these programs that is practical and makes more sense to me than any religion.I have a good life now,and,though not perfect,I have the tools to deal wtih problems as they come up,as well as good friends who are committed to recovery and healing.for those who are skeptical,try attending some open AA meetings or alanon meetings.They are free to anyone.>

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posted July 28, 2006 at 10:23 pm

20+ years very clean/All my life Alcoholism is a very deceptive disease. The program of AA is/was a great starting point. There are many, many who just don’t get this program and for that I am very sorry.>

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The green Flower

posted July 28, 2006 at 10:33 pm

As a recovering alcoholic/addict, I must comment on how AA saved my life. I have literally been to hell and back, and without AA I would not have made the trip back. I have been sober for 10 years and have barely skinned the surface of what sobriety can offer. Other than the normal things we get back by staying sober- family, friends, material things, etc.-I have been experiencing a spiritual connection that continually grows and grows. This program doesn’t only give you tools for being sober, but offers you a way to live truly connects you to something more powerful than the bottle. This program is so wonderful that even non-alcoholics can use it to develop a new way of living. AA is at the top of my list….>

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posted July 28, 2006 at 11:15 pm

I have attended Al-anon for 8 years now and growing up in an alcoholic family it has shown me that there are better ways to live. I also have an adult son that is an alcoholic/addict and without open AA meetings and the fellowship that AA and Al-anon has given me, I would probably not be here today. Walking through the doors of my 1st meeting was one of the biggest steps that I have ever taken and I continue attending 3 meeting per week to keep my sanity and serenity. Thanks to Dr. Bob and Bill W. for a wonderful program that helps so many.>

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Penny Russell

posted July 28, 2006 at 11:39 pm

I started going to a faith based 12 step program about 3 months ago. After a long struggle with life, the friends I have found in this program have been the best thing to happen to me after giving my entire life over to the Lord. I have learned so much about my behavior, the whys and where I’m going now with my life. Every battle belongs to God, I only need to follow. My life is filled with joy and happiness and love. I must say though that I bucked the system for 9 months with the excuse that I wasn’t one of “those” alcoholics. After my first meeting I found that there are alcoholics in every step of life. You can be anyone. But it’s who you want to end up being that makes the difference and keeps you sober, alive and in God’s grace. I wish you all happiness, sobriety and strength to continue on. Penny>

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posted July 28, 2006 at 11:53 pm

I was just listening to a lecture by the psycho-oncologist, Rachel Naomi Remen. In speaking about recovery, she made the point that expertise (eg; traditional medicine) helps us heal, but the community of the wounded makes us whole. Talk about resonance with your post… Whenever I read about a study that compares the 12-Steps to other therapies I just smile. The upside is all the buzz that’s created for a program that flies under the radar, eschewing promotion altogether. What could be better for reminding people there’s help available? Studies schmuddies, I say. Fifty years and over 2 million members tell the real story. And the people in my own life who are still alive are all the proof I need. Like Survivor, AA will outive, outlast, outplay.>

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posted July 29, 2006 at 1:07 am

I am grateful for the rooms of AA, Al Anon and Nicotine Anonymous. I am not the same person as I was when I attended my first 12th step program 19 years ago. I have seen miracles time and time again. No matter what the comparison, AA cannot be beat in the areas of fellowship and finicial consideration. Nothing works better than someone who has been there helping someone..I am grateful. Beverly>

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JIM l.

posted July 29, 2006 at 1:18 am

Earlier in my life I would drink heavily for years, then totally stop without AA for years. But when I was “dry” I was unhappy with virtually anthing. I did not believe one could be “dry” and happy in the same life time. My unhappiness always led to my drinking again. At my most recent “bottom” a number of my acquaintances suggested AA. I thought I knew how to not drink and didn’t think I needed it. However, I tried it, and not only stopped drinking but those in AA also taught me how to be happy, live a fulfilling life, and not drink alll at the same time. AA has worked for me for more than 20 years. I attend a lot of meetings and work with others in recovery. Life today is very good.>

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posted July 29, 2006 at 1:41 pm

The AA 12 step program works very good for people who actually want help. Today, of all days I read comments about the program in my daily email when I am celebrating 2 years clean today. I know my higher power wanted me to read it and comment. I have found people who are actually “friends” not people who pretend to be and use me. If I had a feeling of using I picked up and called my sponsor and/or other friends. I am also lucky to have a community that begged for this one building to be there 24 hours for us to just walk in and ask for help. Somebody is always there for us. I have learned to not be shy about being in the program. I am PROUD of myself. I have learned to live day by day and do not need drugs in my life. I am doing so much better now that I have joined this program. I also attended DRA, which is a program for people who have a alcohol/narcotics problem along with mental health issues. This program is great too because we talk about everything. I have learned to not be shy about having a mental health problem. You would not believe how many people have this problem and are afraid to admit to it. We have learned we are all one. We are human and are higher power loves us for who he created. For everybody in the program, congratulations, I am proud of you. Keep up the good work and for others, join, we are here to help you.>

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posted July 29, 2006 at 2:49 pm

Alanon saved my life. My mom is a dry alcoholoic. Non coincidently, I married an active alcoholic and spent 25 years with him, 17 married. Thank God I am now divorced. I have 2 children and if it were not for alanon, my children would have a crazy mother. We do become as sick as our alcoholic partner. Seven years in Recovery has lead me toward a more peaceful existence. My children at least have one sane parent. Open AA meetings have given me compassion for my ex. I pray everyday that he gets to AA. I wonder why some people make it and some don’t. I wish he would so my children could have a real father. Then, I need to always remember step one. I am powerless, God is in charge.>

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posted July 31, 2006 at 7:28 pm

That article forgot to mention one important point. Alcoholics Anonymous is FREE. Anyone can go at no cost. Contrast that with $150/hour therapists and then let’s talk about which program is better.>

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