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Is AA or NA really the ONLY way?

Discussion in 'General Substance Abuse Discussion' started by Wherespamela, Jun 28, 2018.

  1. Wherespamela

    Wherespamela Member

    So I've been struggling with addiction my whole adult life. I've gone from cocaine to xanex to opiates to now adderall. I'm so tired of this obsession and the fact my life revolves around this drug use. What a waste of life! I'm 34 and I'm still young. I don't want to look back when I'm older and look at how I threw my life away the way I already threw my 20s away. I've tried everything from rehab to psych hospitals to out patient iop. I see a substance abuse counselor now who is helping me figure out the root of my addiction. I believe it comes from emotional trauma and I'm numbing emotions. The problem is I'm not a group type person. My son is mildly autistic and I think I am as well. I have bad social anxiety and when I go to meetings I try to raise my hand and talk, I try to reach out for help. But then I start to panic and think I'll be taken as a joke (I KNOW that people won't think that way about me. But part of my brain I don't have access to believes that and it overrides what I know), my mind begins to spin and the people in the room start to echo because my ears start ringing. I get dizzy and put my head down and try to breathe before a panic attack takes over. Sometimes I really think it is a DEMON living in my body and reacting that way in meetings on purpose. So I stay quiet, leave the rooms as soon as it's over then light up a joint to calm down from the anxiety I feel after being in a room full of strangers. I know this sounds bizarre or like an excuse but it's true. Yes I should accept I have social anxiety and deal with it. Yes i know smoking a joint isn't really helping me. Facing my emotions is what I need to learn how to do. But everyone says the only way to beat this demon once and for all is to go to meetings. Get a sponsor. Work the steps. How does one do that when getting to a meeting, sitting through one and actually opening up to strangers causes so much anxiety?
    True concern and lonewolves like this.
  2. lonewolves

    lonewolves Senior Contributor

    UGH! I FEEL YOU! My doctor says that my social anxiety has turned into a social phobia. So fun! The only thing that ever made me social was alcohol, so when I quit that almost 4 years ago, the outside world seemed to fade completely. The last 2 years I have been really trying to force myself to be uncomfortable, as I believe that’s the only way for me to grow. I don’t know if you can relate to this, but I’m the type of person who while walking down the street will realize that I’m going the wrong way, but my anxiety is so bad that I think someone MIGHT be watching and I don’t want to look “dumb” so I don’t turn around but I’ll turn at the next block and waste so much time circling back. These are the types of things I’m trying to overcome.

    As for meetings, I tried those for 6 months, and it wasn’t horrible, but I don’t know if it was for me. Now I live in a place that is so remote that the closest meeting is a 4 hour drive anyways, so I’ve resorted to this website. If you don’t like the AA system, someone posted here a little while ago about this other program called SMART. I researched it and it seemed pretty cool.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2018
    True concern likes this.
  3. deanokat

    deanokat DrugAbuse.com Community Organizer Community Listener

    @Wherespamela... Welcome to the community and thanks for sharing with us. I'm glad you found us and reached out. It sounds like you've been through a lot. And I totally get your social anxiety, because I struggle with it as well. I'm wondering: Have you ever tried online meetings? I'm thinking those might be a little easier for you to participate in. You can find online meetings on the In the Rooms website: https://www.intherooms.com. Just a thought.

    It's great that you're seeing a substance abuse counselor. Hopefully they can help you discover, confront, and slay the demons that are the root causes of your addiction, which may make it easier for you to get totally clean.

    I'm sending you lots of positive, healing energy...and tons of hope and encouragement. We are here for you anytime you need someone to lean on.
    True concern and lonewolves like this.
  4. Cametobelieve0202

    Cametobelieve0202 Community Champion

    It’s not the only way but it has the highest success rate. Dr Bob (one of the founders of AA) said on his death bed that the only thing he’d change about the AA BIG BOOK was the phrase “rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path”. He would change it to “NEVER have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path” I really wanted to get sober and I liked those odds. It’s almost a guarantee that if you follow the program and do what is asked of you, you will get sober and live a beautiful life. I did I followed the program, did what people told me and I have 4 1/2 years clean. Now I must add that it’s key to “thoroughly follow the path”. It’s not going to work if you half ass it or pick and choose which parts of the program you want to work. Give it your all and you WILL get and stay sober.
    deanokat and True concern like this.
  5. True concern

    True concern Community Champion

    WOW.Very moving stuff.Is it the only way?No.However i'm a recovering addict of over 20+ year's and honestly the entire 20+year's i tried to get sober,literally detoxing hundreds of time's(I am not proud of that number but it is the truth)and everytime i got through detox before i knew it i was planning another detox because i never addressed any of my emotional issue's so it never worked.Now if you want to stay sober and finally i have over 5 month's but the reason it's working this time is well NA as well as this site.In the beginning i came to this full of fear and i to suffer from social anxiety but i started sharing my struggle trying to add the worst moment's i could remember.About a month in on the site i was on the verge of giving up and a wonderful person on this site @Cametobelieve0202 stepped in just in time and started talking to me about her struggle with alcohol which i will admit is the one if i could control i would go back to,however I completely understand and recognize i cannot so i don't touch it,but she kept on and on about how wonderful the program was and how it had helped her so i thought "What do i have to lose"?I went to my first meeting full of anxiety and i listened to people say "Hi my name is .... and im an addict.Well my anxiety was climbing and when they came to me i stood up and this is what i said "Hi my name is Arthur and im a straight dirtbag,hide your key's,hold onto your wallets,and can i sleep on your couch tonight"?Well that was odd lol...For about ten seconds not a peep and suddenly everyone started clapping and through out the entire meeting people kept walking over and hugging me.It was a life changing experience and I'M STILL SOBER...sorry it just clicked im a few week's from half a year...Ok im back,so no it's not the only way to get sober,but i do believe it's the only way to stay sober.Stay Strong my friend and God Bless Take Care
    lonewolves, Dominica and deanokat like this.
  6. True concern

    True concern Community Champion

    The more i read about you the more i like you.You are a great person and i understand that feeling that someone is always watching you,i to have that feeling however it was extremely enhanced while i was using because i was busy judging myself so i was sure everyone else was as well....I believe i was wrong however just incase i wasn't i now live the life i say i live so i often look over my shoulder to see if i am being watched and if for some reason i feel i am i immediately walk over to them and ask how they are doing and often time's i've discovered they just wanted to talk or they had something on their mind that was bothering them so i will stand and chat with them and not only do i feel better most time's they do to.We are all human most of us are consciously aware of the same thing's and often the same worries.I no longer avoid other's,now i embrace them.I hope you keep working on your fears and believe me they lose strength when you face them head on
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  7. Cametobelieve0202

    Cametobelieve0202 Community Champion

    This warms my heart :)
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  8. Cametobelieve0202

    Cametobelieve0202 Community Champion

    So this is going to seem odd but I promise it’s true. My last couple years of using I developed OCD really bad. I think it was because I was so sure my addiction was going to kill me I wanted to make sure nothing else did? Idk some kind of backwards thinking there. Anyway I was literally terrified of so many things. It was complete debilitating. I couldn’t leave my house. I couldn’t eat because I was afraid food would get me sick and then while I was in a blackout I’d puke and die. My hands cracked and bled because I was washing them 100times a day. I have a list of 200 more things I was afraid to do or things I HAD to do or thought I had to do I guess. But it was like this vicious cycle where I drank to partially get away from my OCD but it was at the same time making it worse. I also struggled with eating disorders for the entirety of my using. Like really really struggled. So here the odd part but I swear to god it’s true. When I got sober those issues automatically lessens on their own. Like 100%, without any effort they slowly faded. It was like my addiction was the route of everything so when I took care of that then rest fell into place. I thought my anxiety OCD and eating disorders were always going to be substantial parts of my life, I thought they’d never go away. Now I still have some anxiety before I speak in a meeting and I probably wash my hand more than the average person. But it is so so so so much better than before. And it all kind of just happened when I got sober and started working a recovery program.
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  9. True concern

    True concern Community Champion

    Lotion those hands every other wash and no more cracks...........so i've heard...moving on lol.
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  10. Dominica

    Dominica Author, Writer, Recovery Advocate Community Listener

    @Cametobelieve0202 thanks for sharing that. i think it's wonderful your ocd behaviors stopped after you sobered up. that gives other people hope. maybe control was a factor. when you were drinking, you were out of control (but maybe you thought you were in control) and the ocd behaviors... controlling your environment. sobriety can bring freedom...and less of the need to feel we have to control... brings clarity... reality...

    working a program can be so valuable. glad you are doing well.
    deanokat likes this.
  11. Dominica

    Dominica Author, Writer, Recovery Advocate Community Listener

    kudos for standing up and saying that in the meeting... i bet it was quiet, and i bet everyone could relate. i'm so very proud of you. that's your name? arthur?
    True concern likes this.
  12. deanokat

    deanokat DrugAbuse.com Community Organizer Community Listener

    @True concern... What you said at that meeting reminds me of that old joke that says an addict will steal your wallet...then help you look for it. ;)
  13. True concern

    True concern Community Champion

    Indeed it is my name
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  14. True concern

    True concern Community Champion

    Oh man that is to funny and so very true
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  15. Cametobelieve0202

    Cametobelieve0202 Community Champion

    I heard that joke in rehab and I was like YES!! so true lol! Totally me!
    deanokat likes this.
  16. True concern

    True concern Community Champion

    I was never able to find a wallet i searched long and hard for but i always had a "Secret Santa 12 pack" show up shortly after the search lol.Yes i to am guilty of the pointless search
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