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Thread: Alcoholics Anonymous - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

  1. #231
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    Re: Alcoholics Anonymous - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mustachio View Post
    Sponsors really shouldn't be telling you what meds to take. Your sponsor probably isn't a doctor. Like somebody else said, we don't know what you're taking and you don't need to/shouldn't say, but not taking your meds could greatly decrease the possibility of your life and sobriety going smoothly. I'm assuming you didn't doctor shop until you found a script of fentanyl. Sponsors are great for keeping you with the program, but they shouldn't be the ones making the program.

    Both inside and outside of AA there is a lot of misinformation. I know a bipolar guy who was told to go off his meds by some sober peers. The good news is that he didn't relapse. The bad news is that the cops found him naked walking somebody else's dog at dawn and during his stay in jail he started taking his meds again. I'm guessing that the individuals who offered that helpful advice are no longer telling people that "psychiatry can shove it."
    In bold. I CANNOT stress what Mustachio said enough. No one should tell someone how to run their program. Not even one's sponsor. People are there to help keep one within one's program of sobriety, but not to dictate how that program should look. Many of the negative comments that I have read in this thread about AA were concerning AA meetings or individuals who tried to dictate what each person's program should look like... and it they didn't follow that to the letter, they were treated poorly. That's not how AA is supposed to work and I would avoid meetings and people like that like the plague.
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  2. #232
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    Re: Alcoholics Anonymous - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

    Quote Originally Posted by DA60 View Post
    Have you ever derived income from counselling people about their alcohol/drug addictions (outside of AA)?

    Yes or no, please. No 12 page dissertation...just yes or no, please.
    Referring to the VA--I am the son of a Veteran who is now gone.
    Have any of their Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Counselors, Nurses, etc. ever derived money from counselling people about their alcohol/drug addictions?

    Are you aware of how big a component AA/Al ANON and all of the other A's and ANON's are in the Mental Health Clinics in the VA?
    Would you deny these payments to Professionals who help these Soldiers, Veterans, and their Family Members?

    Are you aware of the countless years and tens of thousands of dollars if not more these professionals have spent to get their degrees?
    Just a yes or no to these questions will suffice .
    Last edited by NIMBY; 05-09-15 at 02:48 AM.
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  3. #233
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    Re: Alcoholics Anonymous - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightrider View Post
    Went to a meeting tonight and shared a little - helped a couple of newcomers.

    I'm about (Good Orderly Direction willing) to hit my 9th day sober. One day at a time - whomever gets up the earliest has the most time.

    Am taking the cotton out of my ears, sticking in my mouth and listening these days.

    My sponsor is a crusty old fart - am going to a meeting tomorrow morning (Good Orderly Direction willing).

    Sponsor tells me to "buckle my seat belt, because I'm in for a ride."
    And fill all that old free time spent drinking with new activities.
    Dad would always make lists the day before for the next day and review that days list each night.

    I slipped with three beers a few days ago--out of the last nine--drank lots of coffee driving home and hated it--driving back roads and dodging deer.
    It's certainly not the same this time around--29 yeas off--3 years on--and now trying to control it--with cigs being worse every day--but cutting back.
    I can get into a too much sleep pattern being retired--also not good.
    Good luck--one day at a time--one hour at a time--one event at a time--whatever works--think of what you can and WILL lose .
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  4. #234
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    Re: Alcoholics Anonymous - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mustachio View Post
    Sponsors really shouldn't be telling you what meds to take. Your sponsor probably isn't a doctor. Like somebody else said, we don't know what you're taking and you don't need to/shouldn't say, but not taking your meds could greatly decrease the possibility of your life and sobriety going smoothly. I'm assuming you didn't doctor shop until you found a script of fentanyl. Sponsors are great for keeping you with the program, but they shouldn't be the ones making the program.

    Both inside and outside of AA there is a lot of misinformation. I know a bipolar guy who was told to go off his meds by some sober peers. The good news is that he didn't relapse. The bad news is that the cops found him naked walking somebody else's dog at dawn and during his stay in jail he started taking his meds again. I'm guessing that the individuals who offered that helpful advice are no longer telling people that "psychiatry can shove it."
    Thanks, Mustachio. Am still waking up right now and haven't had my coffee yet, so please bear with me.

    Brought this stuff up in a meeting last night. The general consensus from AA members on this was: "Talk to your doctor." So, I intend to.

    The last time I stopped my meds, I was in my mid 20's. I pretty much stopped them cold turkey. I fired my psychiatrists/therapists and struck out on my own: "Look out world, here comes Kevin." Won't go into the details, but I soon met a couple of nice state troopers who drove me to a state hospital. Suffice to say, I think my doctor would agree that I probably will have to take some form of psychiatric medication the rest of my life, just (if nothing else) to ensure what happened to me then does not happen again. Thanks for your post/insight on this.

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainCourtesy View Post
    In bold. I CANNOT stress what Mustachio said enough. No one should tell someone how to run their program. Not even one's sponsor. People are there to help keep one within one's program of sobriety, but not to dictate how that program should look. Many of the negative comments that I have read in this thread about AA were concerning AA meetings or individuals who tried to dictate what each person's program should look like... and it they didn't follow that to the letter, they were treated poorly. That's not how AA is supposed to work and I would avoid meetings and people like that like the plague.
    Yes, CC. Am going to print out your quoted post, as well as Mustachio's and refer to them often. I do NOT want a repeat of what I went through in Miami with that "AA" group there, if you get my drift. Thanks so much for your (and Mustachio's) valuable input!

  5. #235
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    Re: Alcoholics Anonymous - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainCourtesy View Post
    There is no conflict between AA and psychiatric meds... unless the meds are potentially addictive. Many addicts also suffer from depression, anxiety, OCD, or other psychological disorders and medication can be very helpful for these issues. Without them, the potential for relapse may be higher. I know many recovering addicts who regularly take SSRI's for example. When it comes to meds that are potentially addictive, that is a bit trickier. Some say "OK" if one is under a strict doctor's care, and others would say "no way". It is important that you tell your doctor that you are an addict so he can choose your meds and adjust them accordingly. One thing... I can't stand black and white thinking. Things tend not to be like that. I'd suggest talking to your doctor about this.
    OK - now that I've (partially) woken up and have some coffee in me, I want to briefly touch on this, before signing out for the day.

    I have (had) ptsd, because of what I went through in Miami. I had already been diagnosed before I went there to that "AA group" - and yes, they took full advantage of me. Will talk to my doctor asap and tell him I'm an addict and in AA.

    Doc is a good guy, so he will listen/understand.

    Black and white thinking is something I can't stand, either. For, only a Sith deals in absolutes - I'm a Luke Skywalker (personality wise, anyway). Furthermore, I have yet to even begin my "jedi" training - I know nothing about nothing right now, in other words. My "destiny" is to be a "jedi knight." My moms and dads in AA will "train" me and give me all the tools I need. I don't want to fail - turn to the "dark side," that is. Even though I'm young and innocent (relatively speaking), there is always a danger that I could become the sort of tyrant I hate.

    AA is teaching me that "failure is not an option." Well, it is, but the alternative to working the steps is death (for me, that would be the case) - the thing that would happen to me if I fail in this. I don't want to die - I'm still a little scared to fail, but AA tells me that we're all in this together and I'm not alone.

    One day at a time - Good Orderly Direction. Today, I feel pretty darn good - for that, I'm very grateful (both to AA AND DP).

  6. #236
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    Re: Alcoholics Anonymous - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightrider View Post
    Thanks, Mustachio. Am still waking up right now and haven't had my coffee yet, so please bear with me.

    Brought this stuff up in a meeting last night. The general consensus from AA members on this was: "Talk to your doctor." So, I intend to.

    The last time I stopped my meds, I was in my mid 20's. I pretty much stopped them cold turkey. I fired my psychiatrists/therapists and struck out on my own: "Look out world, here comes Kevin." Won't go into the details, but I soon met a couple of nice state troopers who drove me to a state hospital. Suffice to say, I think my doctor would agree that I probably will have to take some form of psychiatric medication the rest of my life, just (if nothing else) to ensure what happened to me then does not happen again. Thanks for your post/insight on this.



    Yes, CC. Am going to print out your quoted post, as well as Mustachio's and refer to them often. I do NOT want a repeat of what I went through in Miami with that "AA" group there, if you get my drift. Thanks so much for your (and Mustachio's) valuable input!

    I concur with the others that those of us in AA and Al-anon have some understanding and experience that can be shared. But none of us are in any position to offer you medical advice. It is a serious decision telling your doctor of your alcoholism or other addiction because that then becomes a part of your permanent medical record that may or may not create a problem for you later on. But whatever problem it creates is nowhere near as dangerous as continuing in the destructive, possibly deadly, dictates of your addiction. To break the dependency has to be your first priority, but do not think we know best about how to treat whatever else you are dealing with.

    And I would like to gently say to those who think the addict is just a weak person with no will power, until you've walked a mile in another person's shoes, you have no idea what you are talking about. Alcoholics come in all races, genders, sexual orientations, shapes, and sizes, are good guys and gals, are assholes, are rich, are poor, and are everything in between. There are some who are so high functioning in their addiction that even some closest to them, including wives, children, bosses, coworkers, other associates, have no idea the depth or seriousness of the problem. My own loved one never got a DUI, was never arrested, never lost a job, was a pillar of the community and church, and was a successful manager of a business all during the worst of his addiction. Our closest friends and our children had no idea. I did but I, like any dutiful codependent, shielded and protected him from the consequences of his addition and figured I could 'fix him' if I could just find the magic bullet to do that.

    Once he got sober he was the same intelligent, educated, compassionate, caring, caring guy, but just sober and therefore a more mentally, spiritually, and physically healthy one. And sadly, the folks who are assholes don't necessarily stop being assholes just because they get clean and sober. I find the majority of alcoholics though to be bright, charming, funny, and insightful people. They don't expect to be alcoholics. They don't choose to be alcoholics. They don't want to be alcoholics. Most don't believe they are alcoholic until the disease takes over so much of their life and is making their lives so miserable or it has become so difficult to manage everything that they are finally willing to reach out for help. Some never do that.

    Most medical professionals liken alcoholism to an allergy that about ten percent of the people have. Such people, even when they drink conservatively and in moderation, are at risk of passing at some point over an invisible line, different for each person, into addiction. At that time most try as hard as they can to control it, but they cannot. That's what addiction does. It puts people out of control and takes their ability for choices away from them. They aren't weak. They aren't morally inferior with questionable character. They are sick. And as long as the addiction continues, they will continue to get more sick. The only way to stop it is total abstinence from the substance. And that does require courage and a willingness to change, but never think it is easy for anybody to do or that it can be accomplished simply by deciding to do it.
    "I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it." --Benjamin Franklin 1776

  7. #237
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    Re: Alcoholics Anonymous - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainCourtesy View Post
    And the students are stronger as a group then as individuals. And the student, also can't do anything without the teacher. The relationship is symbiotic: each gains strength through the other.
    The group can be stronger but most of the times it is a cover for the weakness of the individuals... gangs are a prime example.

    The student can do plenty without the teacher... you like to claim professional knowledge well here I trump you. You are wrong. 100%

    You really don't know what you are talking about, Bodi. Not at all.
    Of course I actually do... but I understand.

  8. #238
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    Re: Alcoholics Anonymous - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

    I think AA has its place in helping people with addiction. However, I think that it only works on the weak minded who are also addicted to alcohol because they are weak minded. Some people just don't respond to dogma and, what seems to feel like, a religious cult like atmosphere. Most thinking people would be wary of such a thing.
    - There was never a good war, or a bad peace.
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    - Better to be a pessimist before, and an optimist afterwords.

  9. #239
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    Re: Alcoholics Anonymous - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

    Quote Originally Posted by Capster78 View Post
    I think AA has its place in helping people with addiction. However, I think that it only works on the weak minded who are also addicted to alcohol because they are weak minded. Some people just don't respond to dogma and, what seems to feel like, a religious cult like atmosphere. Most thinking people would be wary of such a thing.
    Uhhhh, No. Being "weak minded," whatever the heck that means, doesn't have a thing to do with actual addiction, and certainly a characteristic of people who overcome addiction, in AA or not, simply isn't "weak minded."

    And I can't speak for all meetings of AA and NA and all the others, but the atmosphere at those I've attended isn't anything like a "religious cult like atmosphere."

    Finally, "thinking people" should be "wary" of pretty much everything having to do with their health and well being, especially addiction. Many thinking people try meetings of AA in their area, and find it helps them, and so stay with it for all kinds of very good reasons. Other thinking people try it and don't see those benefits and quit going. Pretty simple stuff.

    People who don't do a lot of serious thinking make broad brush generalizations and stereotypes about addicts, AA, and who is or isn't strong minded without knowing a thing about the incredibly diverse group of people from all walks of life who choose to address their addiction and live a better life, in part by attending AA.

  10. #240
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    Re: Alcoholics Anonymous - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

    OK, so I'm about to hit my 11th day of sobriety. Got a home group, but not a sponsor right now - will try to correct that in the near future. Am having a hard time tonight and have a call in to a Maine mental health/AA hotline - am waiting for a call back.

    Stinkin' thinking, you know what they say.

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