Jump to content
  • Welcome to the TransPulse Forums!

    We offer a safe, inclusive community for transgender and gender non-conforming folks, as well as their loved ones, to find support and information.  Join today!

Kenna Dixon

12-Step Programs Versus Alternatives

Recommended Posts

Charlize

 I am grateful that AA has worked for me and at this point millions of others.  There may well be other methods that work.  A pill or some time on a couch may work for some.  That seems a lovely, easier way.  

 I do wish this article spent less time critiquing AA and more in the exploration of these other methods.  

 There is a good reason why so many detox centers have meetings and recommend attending AA after discharge. 

  

 

Hugs,

 

Charlize

Share this post


Link to post
Guest Rachel Gia

I am sorry if I did not read the whole article and I don't really know where in the Big Book or any of the literature that it says AA is the only way to stay sober.

I think the reason a lot of people in AA stay in AA and like it , is that it is fun and their lives are changed in more ways than just being sober.

Like I said. I did not read the whole article because at the beginning it says that AA is a faith based method of staying sober "Its faith-based 12-step program"  which is misleading from the start.

AA worked for me and continues to work for me and as most members would say , if it was just about staying sober they would not still be there or attending meetings. I think they would also say that AA is not for everyone.

AA's own statistics say that as well, since only a very small percentage stay sober but to my mind that says more about the seductive power of alcohol than the ineffectiveness  of the program.

Share this post


Link to post
Guest Rachel Gia

I will however agree with the article that AA is completely ineffective in regards to being able to drink 'that one glass of wine with dinner'.

Share this post


Link to post
Timber Wolf

Hi everyone,

There are a number of programs that claim to successfully treat alcoholism/addiction. Some work better than others over all. Each one may have individuals it works best for.

 

The author here makes a critical misjudgment. She looks at the over all success rate as opposed to the individual success. When at a treatment center, we were told, "If you want recovery bad enough that you are willing to do "whatever it takes", you will recover." This is true regardless of what program you use. If you are hoping that recovery will be administered to you like an antibiotic, you will be disappointed by whichever program you choose. There is no magic anti-addiction pill. There are no magic wands. Long term recovery requires first and foremost a willingness to do whatever you have to do to achieve it, and a desire to recover. "Whatever it takes" will differ from one person to the next. It is up to each individual if they want recovery badly enough that they are willing to do what it takes to achieve it, regardless of which program or method they choose. Recovery is up to the individual, not the program. The program is there to help the individual sufferer to recover, not to do it for them. This is so for every  recovery program. Anyone who promises to give you easy recovery is lying to you. As mentioned above, there are no anti-addiction or anti-alcoholism pills that can recover for you. It is up to you. The programs that are out there are there to help you do it, not do it for you.

 

About this article specifically, it is rather disturbing. The author, rather than spending a lot of time building up her own method, spends the bulk of her time and effort trying to debunk AA. It seems as if she has a personal vendetta against AA. I think this article should be taken with a definite grain of salt. The author stands to gain monetarily from raising doubt about AA. She is selling a book on her recovery method, and she could easily view AA as her biggest competitor. I give a lot more credence to someone who can actually talk about their own program or method rather than try to tear down someone elses instead.

 

The assertion that AA is not an affective program is very inaccurate. Their are so many alcoholics who have achieved years and decades of long term recovery in AA. It is not the only recovery program out their. If another program or method has helped you achieve long term recovery, that's great! You've chosen the best program for you. But don't dismiss a program because someone wants to sell a book.

 

Lots of love,

Timber Wolf🐾

Share this post


Link to post
VickySGV
1 hour ago, Timber Wolf said:

The assertion that AA is not an effective program is very inaccurate.

 

The author plays a numbers game here.  It is true that once a Court Card that requires a certain number of AA meetings to keep out of jail  has been filled up, we will not see the person again in the majority of cases.  A few may stay, and a block of those who do not stay, will come back on subsequent cards of that nature.  The number who come in with personal desire though are smaller.  It is the personal commitment to sobriety that matters and even in AA there are those like myself who are not hardliners on the program and who do not follow it "religiously".  In my groups. people know I do not work it ideally, and yet I share the goals and the friendship and above all else the opportunities for sharing the freedom that sobriety brings without criticism.  Some of that sharing takes place outside of AA and in places you would not first think of for people to gain and practice the joy of freedom from chemicals or processes.  A person who goes through a program of any sort thinks they are finished and goes back into a solo life will be back to a program in their future if they do not kill themselves first.  Those who keep the program for the benefit of other people in their lives, and who are with people are doing that program right.  

Share this post


Link to post
Regn

The part about understanding why you drink made sense to me. 

 

I was in a SMART chatroom the other day and someone there was struggling with self-harm, which she described as her addiction. I self-harmed for 30 odd years but it never occurred to me to think of it as an addiction. It got me thinking of other substances I've successfully quit in the past and the difference between then, where I did it fairly easily and now, where I'm failing dismally. The pertinent differences are things in my life, not the substances. 

 

There are many ways to skin a cat.

 

Rayne

Share this post


Link to post
Charlize

Regn self harm does certainly have an addictive aspect.  It seems that the knowing why we do something like self harm by inflicting exterior pain or by drinking.  Either can become something that takes over our lives.  When i was drinking i did ponder why i drinking.  Sometimes it was to celebrate some times it was to punish myself or seemingly to punish others.  There always seemed a reason.  If i could fix that i would stop.  Some i know have moved from place to place trying to stop.  Some have gone to doctors and phycologists trying to fix problems that would make it possible to quit.

For me the first step of the AA program says enough.  "I admitted i was powerless over alcohol......" .   For me that, not the reasons why, has been the most important part of finally accepting that i had to use the tools given to me in order to quit.

I will always remain powerless over alcohol(or substances).  Fortunately i have been given a path to sobriety.  I pray i will stay on it and remember how powerless i am.

 

Hugs,

 

Charlize

Share this post


Link to post
Timber Wolf

I've found that the things happening in my life are justifications to use drugs. Things will always happen in life, both good and bad. We can't stop that. But  admitting to myself that I'm powerless over my addiction allowed me to accept that I needed someone else's way, that my way did not work. It also helped me acknowledge that my addiction was a disease of my mind and that using drugs/alcohol (alcohol is a drug, period) is just a symptom of my disease. It doesn't matter which substance I use, because addiction is a disease of the mind. This knowledge gives me something I can treat and recover from. I we had cancer and it was giving us pain, by treating the pain we are treating the symptom, and the cancer remains. But if we treat the cancer, then the problem itself is treated, and we can recover. It's the same with addiction. If we treat the symptom of drug use, the addiction remains. If we treat the justification, another justification will always come along. But if we treat the disease of addiction, we can recover, because we are treating the problem at its source.

 

This  why limited or controlled use doesn't work for very long, or changing the substance we are using is ineffective. Because it's the disease in our mind that is causing us problems, not the drugs themselves. The disease of addiction is what drives us to use drugs, act super impulsively, crave escapes, etc...

 

Lots of love,

Timber Wolf🐾

Share this post


Link to post
onaquest

Well said TW

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Who's Online   5 Members, 0 Anonymous, 13 Guests (See full list)

    • AsTheCrow
    • MaryEllen
    • ChickenLittle
    • Sharon Aml
    • MaryMary
  • Who Was Online

    72 Users were Online in the Last 48 Hours
    • AsTheCrow
    • MaryEllen
    • ChickenLittle
    • Sharon Aml
    • CyndiRae
    • MaryMary
    • Kirsten
    • Cluck1992
    • KoreyA
    • lani_transgirl
    • Amy LeBlanc
    • stbSusan
    • Erika_E
    • Willow
    • Aiyanna
    • Kenna Dixon
    • Michelle F
    • Carolyn Marie
    • Falnone
    • Kai
    • Terry
    • maniclich
    • Clara84
    • Elyssia
    • Petra Jane
    • DenimAndLace
    • KeiraC
    • Fernode
    • Dev
    • Jani
    • Snow Princess Sophie
    • Sara w
    • claire1000
    • Beth
    • BrandiBri
    • MarcieMarie12
    • Dimitri K
    • jody
    • Danielle4d
    • JJ
    • jo jo
    • Charlize
    • MamaBear
    • Jocelyn
    • bobbisue
    • hasan
    • kaye the grey
    • Timber Wolf
    • newguy
    • SugarMagnolia
    • Cheyenne skye
    • Myke
    • VickySGV
    • Mickey
    • Chronical-anxiety
    • Rachael
    • jade2003bs
    • LizzyLiam
    • princecharmless
    • Alex Skelton
    • Ren
    • Randi
    • Laura Beth
    • Jennifer 123
    • jae bear
    • Jazzykat
    • Sara91
    • tracy_j
    • Alexiawolf
    • Cmattison
    • Katelyn
    • Lady Ayu
  • Topics With Zero Replies

  • Forum Statistics

    • Total Topics
      65,543
    • Total Posts
      593,194
  • Member Statistics

    • Total Members
      3,315
    • Most Online
      1,536

    lani_transgirl
    Newest Member
    lani_transgirl
    Joined
  • Today's Birthdays

    No users celebrating today
  • Posts

    • Amy LeBlanc
      Hello All   So I want to ask about finally being able to live full time as the woman that I want to be.  So my family and friends all know since I have come out to them.  I have started to come out to my new job where the individuals I work with in Phoenix and my HR rep knows and now I would love to start being able to live full time.  On my time off from work, I am finding myself always dressed as myself.  I just need to officially come out at work.  I have been now really thinking on going and getting my name leagelly changed with my gender markers from the court to the SSN to the DMV,   Lots of Love   Amy
    • Kirsten
      So this is great! Everything is so much easier once you’re out. Went to Walmart with a bra today. And makeup too!! Still pretty andro dressing for me. But I’m starting to push the “envelope” a bit now. I got a few looks from people, but like you all keep saying I think people are so wrapped up in their own bs that they really don’t even notice. And with political correctness what it is around here nowadays I don’t think many people would say anything anyways.  Picked up my scrip at the pharmacy today and the pharmacist congratulated me as well! I have to tell you, I wish I had done this years ago. It’s amazing what it’s like to be truly happy.  And my friends have changed to female pronouns for me now. And I don’t think anyone has called me Michael in a few days either. Such a wonderful feeling. It’s all just so much easier and comfortable now.  ❤️Kirsten 
    • ChickenLittle
      I'm getting peri-areolar surgery next week, but I think double incision is the kind of top surgery most people opt for! My surgeon has a great website with info about different incision types and the recovery process. If I'm not mistaken, most doctors will have patients wear a compression vest for about a week following top surgery, but some do not. However, many doctors do advise limiting activity and avoiding lifting your elbows above shoulder height for up to six months to minimize scar stretching. Most people I've heard from say that the recovery isn't too painful, but that they have lasting numbness on their chest that may or may not ever go away. I have heard that the compression binder is uncomfortable and kind of awful, but for a week I find it worth it to never have to wear a binder again.    Your best bet is to find a surgeon in your area and schedule a consultation to see how they do things, since every surgeon does things a little differently. Make sure you see photos of their results and that you like their general style and that they have performed the surgery more than a few times-- some surgeons specialize in gender confirmation surgeries and they tend to be very skilled and knowledgeable about the trans community!   https://www.genderconfirmation.com/surgery/double-incision/ 
    • Willow
      Based on what I’ve read here and elsewhere that’s what I’d like to try but I’m not sure that’s going to be enough E for me long term.  I have no intention or current desire for SRS or GCS. 
    • DenimAndLace
      Willow, ...I'm sorry you've had to deal with all that Willow.  Especially your granddaughter.  That's more than anyone should have to bear.  I Don't think I'll ever forget the time my marriage counselor looked at me and said, "you've had a hard life".  Which, I mean, she has worked with a lot of people right?  And for her to judge MY life as hard is really saying something.  ...I'd say, depression, cancer, and loss of a grandchild would have to rank among apocalyptic.  I wonder if even a low dose of E and an anti-androgen (LITERALLY for emotional reasons) would help you.  I've heard so many say HRT improved their mental health - it did mine.  Maybe that's all the further down transitions road you'd need to go???  It's a slippery slope though.
    • Willow
      MarcieMarie12, DenimAndLace  I won't say we haven't had issues with our marriage.  But, we've been married for over 46 years.  Two kids, three granddaughters.  Neither of us want this, but as everyone here knows, it isn't a choice.  As my therapist said to me during one session, if we had a choice, would any of us choose to be this different?  I've been denying my feelings for nearly 60 years.  Always thought it was a fetish or something. i hide everything from everyone.  I never really put it together with my episodes of depression.  My wife recognized I needed to see someone for the depression years before i did. I kept insisting I was fine.  When it started really getting in the way of life I finally saw my doctor for an anti-depressant.  I suppose it helped but life happened.  Our then 6 year old granddaughter was diagnosed with cancer, a brain tumor.  Three 12 to 16 hours surgeries, chemo, proton radiation, traditional radiation, experimental treatments, 18 month of trying everything we could to save her, she told us God had told her it was time to come home.  My doctor gave me more anti-depressants.     The two in combination gave me really bad GERD, which in turn gave me laryngeal cancer.  That is essentially cured.  But I stopped all the anti-depressants.  That's when everything got worse for me.  I finally told myself i needed to find a therapist.  Still didn't tell her why except for the depression from the death of our granddaughter.  after just a few sessions, the dam broke and I told him everything.   I was not on anti-depressants, but was relieved and happy for the first time in many years.  a few more sessions and I asked about HRT and he approved it.  Instead of HRT I got a different anti-depressant from my new doctor.  At first I was emotionless, now I am back to feeling better but along with that the desire to be female has gotten stronger.  I suppose due to lower inhibitions.  I guess we just have to see where this goes.    Willow
    • Fernode
      Thanks  My therapy starts on August (officially with doctor!). And maybe I'll do HRT this year or beginning of next year! ☺️ I also got new clothes and I planned to shop new one next month with my flatmate (roommate), but I am kinda nervous a bit, to be honest.     I do not do Self-Medication, don't worry. I start therapy on August 23th. And I also have a specialized counseling at our University Clinic on July 10th.   Thank you very much, Riley with ❤️
    • stbSusan
      So today was the very first day that i wore a sports bra to work and i felt amazing wearing although it did take a bit to get used to wearing it but i was very comfortable. just wanted to share that. thanks
    • Jani
      Ah yes.  I think it's a combination of estrogen and age.  Noooo!    Jani
    • KoreyA
      His girlfriend said he looked beautiful as a female.Borrowed a dress to wear from her
    • Carolyn Marie
      That's horrible. I wonder what led to that desperate act?  At least some people tried to help.   Carolyn Marie
    • claire1000
      Springstien ,the Born to run CD always gets in a good mood in the morning  
    • Carolyn Marie
      That's great to hear, Korey.  I hope he finds continued support and happiness.   Carolyn Marie
    • DenimAndLace
      The best advice I can give couples in transition is what I learned going through transition myself.  Each person will need to learn to SAY very hard things to each other and also, learn to HEAR very hard things from each other.  Everyone thinks they're good at doing that but I'm talking about a much deeper level that I've rarely seen in relationships that haven't gone through something apocalyptic.  Tell each other the most raw and naked feelings you are having ALL THE TIME - don't stockpile emotions or things you're thinking about.  Hear each other's pain.  Help each other process it without being defensive.  In addition to having a gender therapist, we worked with a marriage counselor who facilitated our so-called hard discussions until we learned the skill and could do it on our own.  We started with nearly impossible odds coming from conservative and religious territory with only a moderate marriage.  I was positive she was going to leave me when I told her but she stayed by me hard as it was for her.  We went slow TOGETHER and slowly got proficient at communicating until there was nothing we couldn't talk through.  Today we're through the fog and doing better than ever.  It CAN happen but it takes a LOT of hard work.  Others have not been so fortunate as we have so don't be discouraged if your relationship doesn't survive.  What I'm offering is only advice, not a guarantee.  Best of luck to all who read this.
    • BrandiBri
      Happy Birthday Dimitri K!🎂 Have a great day!   Hugs, Brandi
  • Upcoming Events

×