AA - Atheists and Alcoholism
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16-03-2017, 06:57 AM
RE: AA - Atheists and Alcoholism
(16-03-2017 02:07 AM)ImFred Wrote:  I'm fine with suggesting prayer. I actually do think the placebo quality is therapeutic for believers. My line in the sand is saying you're absolutely doomed without it. If a person expresses that belief while they're sharing that's their prerogative and I will not crosstalk. I will always maintain there's a path to recovery for non-believers. There is and there has to be. I don't think that's being a rebel or a reformist. That's AA fundamentalism. Not drinking.

I couldn't agree with you more my friend. When I hit my rock bottom I promised my wife that I would go to AA. Neither of us actually knew what that entailed other than it was supposed to help alcoholics. My rock bottom happened on a Wed. I skipped work on that Thurs and went back to work on Sunday. One of my best friends asked a friend to come by the Fire Station and talk to me about it. I agreed and went the following Monday. Everyone was very nice and cordial but I couldn't get past the fact of how religious the program was. We started off holding hands (which I'm uncomfortable with) and a prayer (which I was also uncomfortable with). We sat around and told our stories which I do think was great therapy in itself but I just couldn't get past how religious the program was. I understand that you could make "God" anything you wanted but I just couldn't release my problem to a higher power than myself. "I'm" the one that caused this problem and I would be the one to fix it. I went a few times and quit.

I took three months off of work to get sober and get my shit together and also gave me time to reflect on how I got myself into this situation to begin with. What helped me was being held accountable for my actions though others. Being held accountable to my Wife, Daughter, Parents, and friends. I was very lucky to have a wonderful family support system to help me along the way as I don't think I could have done it by myself.

I've ended up turning a negative into a positive. I now go and speak to all the new recruit classes that come on the job and explain what and how things happen on the job. No one can prepare you for what you will see, be faced with the decisions you will have to make, and the stresses of actually doing this job. In 23 years we have had 7 people commit suicide on the job. The last one was very recent. The job takes a mental toll on you and it's how you decide to handle that toll that will define your career.

I get to decide what my life looks like, not the other way around.
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16-03-2017, 07:31 AM
RE: AA - Atheists and Alcoholism
Fred, that's a great use of AA, a la carte like 99% of the so called christians and the "good" book.
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16-03-2017, 04:58 PM
RE: AA - Atheists and Alcoholism
Thanks for the reply y'all

Rear View... damn

As a public school teacher, even though I know it's comparatively gentle, I think all the suffering I've seen has had a kind of negative transference on to my mental health. So many kids with so many heart-wrenching stories. It's not direct like a first responder but as a teacher you see them everyday and get to know them quite well and so often you can't believe how much some people have had to suffer and endure at such a young age. There's so much anger and frustration. It wears you out, man.

And sky, that a la carte comment is smart. I haven't really thought of it that way but when you think about it everybody picks and chooses what they do and don't do in AA. Thanks.
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20-03-2017, 01:20 PM
RE: AA - Atheists and Alcoholism
http://www.sossobriety.org/

Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS) is a nonprofit network of autonomous, non-professional local groups, dedicated solely to helping individuals achieve and maintain sobriety/abstinence from alcohol and drug addiction, food addiction and more. Watch the award-winning short documentary about SOS!

"No God at the Bottom of a Glass" is an award-winning short documentary produced by Sarah Barker of RightAfterThis.com. The film tells the story of Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS), the brainchild of founder, James Christopher.

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These people have been around for years and apparently it works as well as AA but without the religious stuff that permeates AA.

When I shake my ignore file, I can hear them buzzing!

Cheerful Charlie
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20-03-2017, 01:29 PM
RE: AA - Atheists and Alcoholism
(20-03-2017 01:20 PM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote:  http://www.sossobriety.org/

Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS) is a nonprofit network of autonomous, non-professional local groups, dedicated solely to helping individuals achieve and maintain sobriety/abstinence from alcohol and drug addiction, food addiction and more. Watch the award-winning short documentary about SOS!

"No God at the Bottom of a Glass" is an award-winning short documentary produced by Sarah Barker of RightAfterThis.com. The film tells the story of Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS), the brainchild of founder, James Christopher.

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These people have been around for years and apparently it works as well as AA but without the religious stuff that permeates AA.

The way their website asks for email and stuff seems fishy.
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20-03-2017, 01:41 PM
RE: AA - Atheists and Alcoholism
(20-03-2017 01:29 PM)ImFred Wrote:  
(20-03-2017 01:20 PM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote:  http://www.sossobriety.org/

Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS) is a nonprofit network of autonomous, non-professional local groups, dedicated solely to helping individuals achieve and maintain sobriety/abstinence from alcohol and drug addiction, food addiction and more. Watch the award-winning short documentary about SOS!

"No God at the Bottom of a Glass" is an award-winning short documentary produced by Sarah Barker of RightAfterThis.com. The film tells the story of Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS), the brainchild of founder, James Christopher.

-----

These people have been around for years and apparently it works as well as AA but without the religious stuff that permeates AA.

The way their website asks for email and stuff seems fishy.

Try ProtonMail.com. You can set up "throwaway" e-mail accounts here without much trouble. No need for a cell phone number et al. All mail is encrypted. ProtonMail was set up in Switzerland by some CERN physicists.

SOS are legit, I heard about them 20 years ago, they have been around for quite some time.

When I shake my ignore file, I can hear them buzzing!

Cheerful Charlie
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20-03-2017, 06:34 PM
RE: AA - Atheists and Alcoholism
I've cherry-picked the Steps just like, as a believer, I cherry-picked the Commandments.
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20-03-2017, 06:53 PM
RE: AA - Atheists and Alcoholism
I got one fucking step:

Don't drink.
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21-03-2017, 07:24 AM
RE: AA - Atheists and Alcoholism
(20-03-2017 06:53 PM)ImFred Wrote:  I got one fucking step:

Don't drink.

Exactly.

I get to decide what my life looks like, not the other way around.
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21-03-2017, 11:37 AM
RE: AA - Atheists and Alcoholism
My wife had a stroke at 37 and it hit her limbic region. She went down the drain alcoholically, went through 50 meetings etc residential rehab. Nothing worked. Then got baclofen off Dr. Jonathan Chick who is the editor of the Oxford Journal of Alcoholism and she sobered up. It's a tricky regime but it does work.

The miracle about it is that it can stop a litre and a half a day vodka habit dead in its tracks. I saw it happen and it makes you want to drop to your knees and thank Jeebus.

They did tests on rats initially. It's pretty weird when you read about it. Baclofen mimics GHB. So does alcohol. By taking baclofen, if you have a GHB shortage, you then eliminate craving for alcohol. The alcoholic rats when they reached a certain dose, preferred water to alcohol and that is what happened to my wife. She was drinking a litre and more of vodka a day non-stop and wild horses couldn't stop her. She was pretty much shot away, delirious and generally comatose most of the time. I gave her, under doctor's instructions over the phone, regular doses of baclofen so she was up to 200mg a day or more and then reached for the Gatorade when there was vodka next to it. It's like the receptors are "full up" and the brain just doesn't want alcohol any more.

It works best in hard core, long term alcoholics, because the side effects are a bit rough. I tried it and it made me nearly horizontal. The weird thing about it is that it takes away anxiety, completely. When I took it I didn't care about anything, including death. It's one of the strangest things I have ever experienced. I felt I had achieved a Buddistic state of total absence of anxiety but through drugs. BTW I was not an alcoholic. I took it to cope with my job and my wife's condition.

I did some googling and found that Zen affects the same part of the brain as does baclofen, the amygdala. I found my use of baclofen has had a permanent effect. I used to be super-stressed and could not read my own handwriting because my hand shook so much but now I feel super-chilled and just don't have anxiety in the way I used to. I got off baclofen very easily by tapering off over a day or two so it's not addictive but if you just stop you get huge DTs.

I also don't drink at all anymore. I tried to stop completely nearly 20 years ago by cutting back but found that socializing made it difficult to avoid drinking situations and then just stopped completely after a few years of tapering off and had massive anxiety and eventually got onto diazapam which was horrendous coming off. I then started a hugely stressful job and at the same time took 10 mg of baclofen. All of a sudden I felt all my anxiety disappear and I felt like I could walk through walls.

I just dont' get the mainstream attitude towards alcohol recovery. Why are we still mired in 1930's non-science? If you put a chemical in your system and you end up addicted, that's a chemical, biologial issue. Talking about greater powers, surrendering oneself, etc and all the 12 step stuff is pseudo-science. It was only a matter of time before someone cracked this and thankfully people are now waking up to the fact that this is a medically treatable ailment and not a moral choice.
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