Can You Beat Addiction Without a 12-Step Program

Each time I heard the promises, I thought, wow, what a hyperbolic lie. Sure, people’s lives get better when they don’t drink, but all their concerns don’t magically disappear. Members told those lies to newcomers, and may have given them hope, but it was a false hope. Just stick to not drinking, not all the hyperbole. The ups and downs of life continue even when someone gets sober. To pretend otherwise is sabotaging, a setup sober without aa for failure. I was very happy and truly grateful to be sober for over 13 years in AA. I was active in the fellowship and worked the programme diligently … then hit an insurmountable brick wall of anxiety and depression that came out of nowhere and left me entirely bereft and totally suicidal. The steps and meetings stopped working, and I gradually came to understand the real reason why so many AAs commit suicide while sober.

It’s difficult to find statistics on success rates for people who use AA versus those who don’t. For one, Alcoholics Anonymous is, well, anonymous—some members don’t participate for fear of breaking anonymity. Additionally, according to Scott Lilienfeld and Hal Arkowitz writing for The Scientific American, 40% of AA attendees drop out. I don’t want to be one of those people who march back into AA after one day sober, tail between their legs. The yucky way alcohol makes me feel is reason enough not to drink. I avoid refined sugar and processed foods because of how crummy my body feels after eating them — why should alcohol be any different? In addition, I practice secular Buddhism, which encourages its practitioners to abstain from alcohol. It depends on what substance you are recovering from, how long you’ve been using it, and how much you used.

What’s a Thirteenth Stepper?

During group therapy, you get the benefits of support while getting professional help. However, group therapy is usually only temporary and not meant for lifetime support. Group therapy can also be costly if your insurance does not cover the costs. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration offers a list of online recovery resources.
sober without aa
I reached out to my support system, both to hold myself accountable and to let them know I might be needing extra care. Now that you are sober, you may have discovered that some of your past relationships were not only unhealthy but downright toxic. It’s not just your drinking buddies and drug dealers who can get you into trouble—sometimes those who are closest to you can contribute to a relapse. You might need to decline invitations to events if you don’t feel comfortable. Sometimes, your friends and family members might think that you can have just one drink. Even if they support your sobriety, they might still not understand how your addiction works. Even if you choose not to go to AA meetings, you can still live “one day at a time.” When you live one day at a time, sobriety does not appear as impossible.


Actions that focus on mindfulness will make it easier to work through cravings and moments of temptation. Routines also impart discipline and self-restraint which is a particularly valuable skill recovering addicts will need to relearn. Stability is something that both support groups and formal drug treatment strongly encourage their members to establish by creating a routine. The addicted brain has been significantly overworked and overstimulated. There’s reassurance and comfort to be found in repetition and a sense of stability that their life has likely been missing for some time. needs to review the security of your connection before proceeding. I have lost the willingness required to carry on, along with being open in meetings or with other AA clones wanting to drive me back into the rooms. I’d rather be completely free from all the complicated talk and trying to remember all the cliches. I already know I can live my life in peace without the fear being generated by folk in rooms. Now, after 20 months in the program, I am once again isolated and miserable.

  • needs to review the security of your connection before proceeding.
  • This support group hopes to provide opportunities for women who are balancing recovery and parental responsibilities to share with their peers about the ups, downs, and unique challenges of this lifestyle.
  • Your intentions may be good, but it takes more thanwillpowerto avoid having a relapse.

As a member of the LGBT community, I sometimes have sobriety-related concerns that are difficult to share with my heterosexual friends. That’s exactly where a community like LGBTteetotaler comes in. “Our traumas run so deep that we often feel stuck, as if we will never find solutions to the struggles we face. So yes, we drink, and if anyone were in our shoes, they would probably drink too.” These are the words that begin Sober Black Girls Club’s mission, and they’re right. The traumas faced by the Black community, and women in particular, are many. So finding help in recovery for your particular experience is really important, which is why this community exists. SoberGrid might just be a good place to start building a support network for those who feel natural doing everything, including finding new sober friends, on their phone. The company also offers 24/7 peer coaching for those who need assistance with their recovery. The free iOS/Android app can connect you to other sober people all across the world. It’s a great way to get to know others in your neighborhood—or anywhere else!

Secular Organizations for Sobriety

Some parts of my old self I miss..other parts I’m glad are gone. And i believe it can be a dangerous place for some. I found it the same after 4 years sobriety being in the AA meeting rooms. Fair enough, AA is often the first point of contact for many people who have a problem with alcohol, but it definitely isn’t the only option available these days. If you can do without AA support and find that being there Sober Home is only having a negative impact on your mental well being, by all means leave it. For me, I was where you’re at now, AA wasn’t doing me any good and I was just getting sicker mentally. I don’t go at all anymore and I’m far happier without it. I still get the occasional notion of drinking but I don’t give in to it. That’s something they lie to you about (in what is supposed to be an honest program!).
sober without aa
Food, sex, cigarettes, gambling, and AA meetings are the most common habits I’ve seen as replacements for problematic drinking. Methadone is a drug used to treat opioid addiction. As opioid withdrawal symptoms can cause severe physical and mental discomfort, the withdrawal period can leave people vulnerable to relapse. Using methadone or other medications for addiction can help a person… Staying sober requires a commitment to living a healthy life through self-care, support, and prevention programs. 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.

Consider reaching out to a vocational rehabilitation counselor or career coach to help you update your resume, practice job interview skills, and locate jobs that match your skills and experience. 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. It is estimated that up to 80% of those who find long-term sobriety had at least one relapse along the way.
Eco Sober House
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms are real and can be dangerous, if not deadly. Not only is it safer to abstain from alcohol under professional care, but it’s also more likely that you will get and stay sober. Women for Sobriety supports any woman seeking to have a new life free from drugs and alcohol. They offer support groups both online as well as in person, and have volunteers who do one-on-one support over the phone. It’s a great place to connect with fellow ladies for some support in sobriety. Café Re acknowledges that it is very difficult to quit drinking by yourself. That’s why this community is a private, confidential Facebook group for those who want to find a new life. Its goal is to get rid of the stigma surrounding alcohol use disorder for everyone who wants to quit, including those who have failed once or twice before (like the community’s founder, Paul).

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