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Twelve-Step Recovery & Surviving Antidepressants

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Steve61

 

16 hours ago, FarmGirlWorks said:

How I think of it now is an analogy with a radio dial (remember those?!). God is always there, transmitting love and messages. But sometimes the dial isn't tuned into the "God Station" because we just can't. That's okay. God is still there and sometimes we can hit that station, sometimes not so much. I feel like WD messes with our ability to tune in. Anyways, that's how I think of it.

This is spot on for me. The wd’s just make it harder to tune in.

 

I keep saying it but I say it because it’s true. Stopping drinking is only the first step towards recovery from alcoholism. There is so much more to recovery than just stopping drinking. If the only thing I had done was stop drinking and I never had a go at the 12 step program then I would have gone insane and ended up in an asylum anyway. I needed to find a way to cope with life without my crutch. I had to get to know myself, get to know my defects. The defects that made me want to blot out the world. I believe that the 12 steps bring about a personality change and the steps are certainly helping me through my wd’s.

Steve

 

 

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FarmGirlWorks

Just got back from an AA meeting that has a track record of good speakers/topics. I had to force myself to make an effort to go because I've been in a dark wave for several weeks, possibly made worse by some stress and antibiotics, already documented here. Idk. Whatever the case, I pushed myself to go. I got there and it was packed -- at least 70 people. I found a spot near a window and the room has natural lighting which now I know is important for me. I have a small notepad and was sketching ideas for a tattoo I am going to get soon to document surviving the last 15 years, esp. the last two: a Phoenix rising from fire and ashes made of pills. To document not just ADWD but my addiction to supplements and pill-popping. This soon became clearly ironic.

 

Agitated but dealing. Until... the speaker passionately spoke about her "bipolar" disorder and lifelong depression and suicidality until getting medicated. How Bill W battled depression and life may have been different for him if he was medicated. My heart started pounding faster and faster... Then the meeting turned into a lovefest about how meds "saved my life" and how "you need a doctor if you're anxious or depressed." And how people tried to quit "but my DIS-EASE came back." (It is called withdrawal, folks) It was so hard for me. I almost walked out but was trapped by where I was sitting.Thanks @wantrelief who took a "lifeline" text from me to give support in the moment.

 

I was directly confronted with the fact that AA does not feel like a safe place to talk about ADWD. And that hurt me deeply as I get so much in the rooms about a practical way to live that I never got as a young person. I never learned and here I am at 52 trying to figure it out while going through the hell of WD and perimenopause hormones run amuck. Good times. Others have walked this path before me and I am eternally grateful for their words here.

 

However, being a person who -- for better or (mainly) worse -- runs into the fire, I swallowed down my fear and spoke up to provide another perspective. I said that I quit drinking after starting what has become a long, hellish ADWD and found AA helpful. But that I had been misdiagnosed and misprescribed by a pdoc who had no idea the power of these drugs. I was never, ever suicidal UNTIL coming off these drugs. And that people need to be SUPER careful if they think going on these drugs is a life-saving, harmless venture. I also said that although I am now  skeptical about doctors at least find one who understands addiction and withdrawal can is useful.

 

My voice was shaking. Clearly I was upset. But it would have felt worse to run. A couple people, supportive of meds, but had gotten off antidepressants were good for me to hear, their equanimity and serenity. I thanked them after the meeting although they did not directly support me, it was something. They said you should be able to say anything in a meeting including talking about ADWD. I said I do no feel that way, not at all. Not yet. Nobody else spoke to me. Disappointed as usual but definitely not surprised.

 

Anyways just had to get that out. Feedback welcome! I appreciated that there are other AAers that are going through WD and post here. It is a lifeline for me, perhaps more real at present than real, live meetings.

 

 

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Altostrata

That was brave of you, FGW. I also get very nervous when I feel I must speak up about the reality of psych drugs, and don't often get support in real life. But we must speak our truth.

 

I am wary of the culture of addiction recovery, since so much emphasis is placed on the person as a sinner who must always guard against temptation. So many of us have been caught up in dependencies of various sorts without quite knowing how or why. It's not sinning, it's the fallible human condition. We must all forgive ourselves -- and take care of ourselves.

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FarmGirlWorks

Thanks @Altostrata. It's been a rough day.

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JackieDecides
5 hours ago, FarmGirlWorks said:

My voice was shaking. Clearly I was upset. But it would have felt worse to run.

 

brave, indeed, good for you. 💪

 

and even if nobody spoke to you, maybe you planted a seed and someone who heard your words will, in the future, at least think twice about taking the pills their doctor wants to hand them as The Answer. 

 

 

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RachelSusan

FGW,

You are a hero.  You are brave.  You are amazing.  You spoke your truth.  That is all anyone can ask for.  Much respect,

Rachel

P.S.  Doesn't it seem a little strange that at a meeting for alcohol addiction someone would be allowed to plug drugs, even if they are considered "legal" drugs? It just seems strange to me, although others may not see it the same way that I do.

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powerback
13 hours ago, FarmGirlWorks said:

I was directly confronted with the fact that AA does not feel like a safe place to talk about ADWD.

How can we even know how many go straight from Alcohol to ADs ,most people go to there DR for help when dealing with such a crisis .

They've just unknowingly buried and suppressed all there issues with ADs and this mite be a lesser evil for many people.

 

 The members  that comforted you that came off meds,these people are very interesting to me ,how do they cope and get by without a "crutch",unless we live with people we simply cant know and then we put ourselves under huge pressure explain things to people that are dulled by drugs.

keep a note of these people and forget explaining to anyone else.

You seem to have a passion for getting the message out FGW [total respect ,not a criticism] but society isn't even burying its head in the sand with this subject ,its not even on there radar.

Knowing what these drugs do to the brain  should make it easy for us to keep our "message " for more absorbing and approachable people.

 

surely in generations to come more and more people will be less medicated, who the hell would let a child or loved one be on these meds after going through such an ordeal  but then again we cant stop adults making there own decisions. Saying that todays society of pushing ones self will drive people towards quick fixes.

 

AA is definitely not a place to talk about ADWD  .I'm coming up on 4 years sober myself and withdrawal has prevented me going near a meeting for more than 3 years .as I sit here today I regret ever coming off them because the cost has been to much for me .

 

I like listening to the speakers from years ago [AA  meetings] on YouTube ,did you ever listen to them, I love there insight into the human phsyci and there stories.

🙏

 

 

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FarmGirlWorks
15 hours ago, JackieDecides said:

and even if nobody spoke to you, maybe you planted a seed and someone who heard your words will, in the future, at least think twice about taking the pills their doctor wants to hand them as The Answer.

That is totally what I hope...  thank you, for the support @JackieDecides. Much, much appreciated.

 

10 hours ago, RachelSusan said:

Doesn't it seem a little strange that at a meeting for alcohol addiction someone would be allowed to plug drugs, even if they are considered "legal" drugs? It just seems strange to me, although others may not see it the same way that I do.

YES! I thought the same thing. Esp since I generally keep my mouth shut about ADWD even though it is the main issue I have right now. Being a human, there are a few others too and I appreciate hearing other's approaches and vulnerabilities. There was some talk about how other AAers have a no drug approach. And, I totally get that there are differences in opinion as to what is kosher in AA; hell, I had a serious, respectful discussion via PM here with a member who had issues with my drinking kombucha. I get that, respect that and disagree. So, yeah, if you are on psych drugs in AA that is your choice, but don't make me feel like a loser for not towing that line.

 

Thanks, @RachelSusan, for saying that was brave. I like that meeting a lot but will not be going back and that is a loss. Bonus: some of the women who spoke up about the glory of drugs were ones I considered asking to sponsor me. Ha! So glad I didn't.

 

7 hours ago, powerback said:

You seem to have a passion for getting the message out FGW [total respect ,not a criticism] but society isn't even burying its head in the sand with this subject ,its not even on there radar.

Knowing what these drugs do to the brain  should make it easy for us to keep our "message " for more absorbing and approachable people.... surely in generations to come more and more people will be less medicated, who the hell would let a child or loved one be on these meds after going through such an ordeal  but then again we cant stop adults making there own decisions. Saying that today's society of pushing ones self will drive people towards quick fixes.

Totally agree, @powerback. The oil and pharmaceutical industries have a stranglehold on global systems. I was delusionally excited after the April spate of attention to ADWD that this was the tipping point that would change people's attitudes toward legal drug dependence. Ha. Ha. Ha. You speak out against the sacred cow of Big Pharma and get immediate wrath. I am hoping though that ADs will become like football (American football, that is) with concussions; people are more and more eschewing it because of the evidence of brain damage.

 

 Oh well. I'll keep chipping away. Thanks and rooting for your (and all of our) recovery.

 

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Steve61

I understand your position FGW. I really do and you are entitled to share your own experiences as they relate to your alcoholism. It’s called Alcoholics Anonymous for a reason. It is read at the start of every meeting. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.  If you want to share how ad withdrawal impacts on your sobriety then that is your right to do so. Remember though that we share about personal experience. We have no opinions on outside issues in AA. We share our experience , strength and hope. AA has got millions sober over the last 80 odd years. It’s still going strong. It’s not for everybody and there are no rules about attending. It’s up to the individual to decide if they want to go or not. 

 

The big difference between alcoholism and ad withdrawal is that in AA we take responsibility for our addiction. Not as a sin but as an illness that we can recover from if we don’t touch alcohol and follow the steps. Taking antidepressants is not the same because lots of people end up in withdrawal through following the doctors instruction . I know that some people in AA take antidepressants. Who am I to tell them to stop ? I personally know 2 or 3 that were violent men who spent a lot of time in prison. Their life is lots better than when they were drinking . Whether they have to tread the path  that I am now treading only time will tell. One of the big lessons I had to learn in AA is to try and not be judgmental. That is one of my biggest character defects. I always know best . I think a lot of addicts share that defect.

 

I love this site because it’s where I belong in ad withdrawal.  I go to AA for my alcoholism. There are people in AA that  do things that I don’t agree with  but  it’s live and let live in AA. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. 

 

 

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MRothbard

I go to AA meetings. Just like FGW, I started drinking heavier because I was self-medicating. Once withdrawal symptoms from quitting AD's started, I knew I had to stop drinking because it was making things MUCH worse. Many folks in AA think psych meds are ok. I'm sure there are some that don't but it really isn't spoken of. My sponsor is of the opinion that doctors know best.

 

I go to meetings because I figure that you can develop a dependency for AD's just like any other substance, and AA is really about living without harmful dependencies, be they substances or anything else.

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Steve61
1 hour ago, MRothbard said:

I go to AA meetings. Just like FGW, I started drinking heavier because I was self-medicating. Once withdrawal symptoms from quitting AD's started, I knew I had to stop drinking because it was making things MUCH worse. Many folks in AA think psych meds are ok. I'm sure there are some that don't but it really isn't spoken of. My sponsor is of the opinion that doctors know best.

 

I go to meetings because I figure that you can develop a dependency for AD's just like any other substance, and AA is really about living without harmful dependencies, be they substances or anything else.

AA works because of its singularity of purpose. AA has no opinion on religion, politics , or antidepressants , for or against. It’s just about stopping drinking and staying stopped , one day at a time. If that is your story, then share it in AA meetings. If people learn from it , then that’s great but equally if someone shares that their life is better because of taking antidepressants then that is their right to do so. AA will never be perfect for everyone. Some people smoke, we know that kills people. Some people have affairs and some people detest that. Some people love their Christian God and some people are atheist. However much somebody might want everyone to stop taking antidepressants, AA is not about that. It is said at the start of every meeting ‘the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking’. AA will never take a stance on antidepressants because it has no opinion on outside issues. It’s all about alcohol. We get sober ,then our minds are clear enough to make decisions and we do the steps to find serenity.

 

There was a man named a Roger who attended meetings about 20 years ago. He was alcoholic and also schizophrenic. He got sober and he was fine for about  3 years. He took medication. He was my friend. He felt that he was ‘cheating’ by taking medication because of talk about being totally clean.Immediately his behaviour became erratic and he drifted away from AA and became hostile. We couldn’t talk to him. A few months later we heard that he had been found dead in his flat. He had become that paranoid that he locked himself in and starved to death.

 

The point is that the people in AA are just ex drunks trying to get through the day sober. Trying to find their way in life. They will never be perfect. They deserve our love whatever they decide to do. You share your story in meetings, MRO. Perhaps someone will get something from it . It’s not the place to give lectures though. We share our experience, strength and hope. That’s it. We live and let live.

 

Steve

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MRothbard
Posted (edited)

Oh yeah I agree. I never mention them when I do speak because of the reasons you stated. I say I'm dealing with "other things" besides alcohol. The AD subject is so difficult because everyone's experience with them is different. They do help some people. I think they helped me feel better, I just shouldn't have been on 'em for ten years if at all. I would LOVE to see some real viable alternatives to them. 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
removed obscenity

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Steve61
3 hours ago, MRothbard said:

Oh yeah I agree. I never mention them when I do speak because of the reasons you stated. I say I'm dealing with "other things" besides alcohol. The AD subject is so difficult because everyone's experience with them is different. They do help some people. I think they helped me feel better, I just shouldn't have been on 'em for ten years if at all. I would LOVE to see some real viable alternatives to them. 

 

I don’t think there is anything wrong with you sharing your experience MRO. Your experience is relevant to your peace of mind. Your sobriety. I have shared about lots of things in AA that have been my experience. The problems happen when we give our opinions and not share our experience. It’s one thing for me to share that I am having a terrible time coming off ad’s . That’s my experience. Its snother thing giving an opinion that nobody should take ad’s or all doctors are incompetent who prescribe them etc etc. That’s just my opinion. We have no opinions on outside issues but if we have experience that affects our sobriety then we have every right to share them. We need each other MRO. We should love each other in AA. We don’t necessarily like the way different people behave but this program is all about patience, tolerance, love and above all else humility. It’s the last thing that I thought that I needed but I needed that the most. Pride and stubbornness would have killed me because I always thought that I knew best. I was always fighting authority and wanting my own way. Like a child throwing his toys out of the pram every time something didn’t go my way. The steps are there to knock  down my arrogance, my ego and then I try to live a better life. The steps are there to help me stop obsessing about myself and think about others. To try and get rid of the selfish self centred person that I was. 

 

These withdrawals have been a blessing in some ways in that I have revisited the steps. The withdrawals bring out a lot of my old defects and the steps are the antidote. Good luck in your recovery.

Steve

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MRothbard

Why do I feel like you're lecturing me about AA meeting etiquette? 

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Steve61
8 hours ago, MRothbard said:

Why do I feel like you're lecturing me about AA meeting etiquette? 

We have to try and uphold the Traditions MRO. AA would crumble without the Traditions it would be chaos. The yellow card too. If we talk about what goes on in a meeting, we disrespect the yellow card.

 

I think that this thread was set up to talk about the 12 steps and how they apply to us in ad withdrawal.  I don’t think it was set up to talk about what goes on in AA meetings. I will always try to uphold the Traditions of AA because it saved me and my partners life and has given us lives that were just beyond anything that we could have hoped for. Not all AA people take pills or potions. My partner celebrates 32 years sober this coming June. She has never taken an ad , or any pill to alter her mood/mind. The occasional paracetamol or ibuprofen is all she has ever taken. She gives all the credit to AA. She practices the 12 steps. The steps have never come as naturally to me as they seem to do for her. She’s always reminding me that it’s all about the surrender. Something that definitely does not come easily to me. 

 

Steve

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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FarmGirlWorks
12 hours ago, Steve61 said:

I think that this thread was set up to talk about the 12 steps and how they apply to us in ad withdrawal.  I don’t think it was set up to talk about what goes on in AA meetings.

 

I have sat with your words for a few days, @Steve61. There are a lot of years and experience there so I didn't want to rush in with defensiveness. And, while still not sure of what you are saying, it feels like a critique of my sharing at the meeting about my experience with ADWD which happens to be very different from what others talked about and advising anyone with depression to get on meds immediately or see a doctor. If it was not a criticism then I am genuinely sorry. I think of this thread as a place where we can talk about AA and how we experience through the lens of WD. Generally I find it helpful, am thankful for it, and keep my mouth shut about WD. I def do not feel "love" -- at all -- when it comes to not towing the line of "doctor knows best" when it comes to psych and drug issues. Maybe it's a Seattle thing where the water is so full of psychiatric drugs that the fish are full of them. Everyone seems to be on them. But this particular meeting (I would like to think the only meeting I have mentioned) dealt specifically with psychodrugs and what I said. Yes, amplifying what someone else said about finding an appropriate doctor (not a PCP) was "lecture-y" and I regret that. But the rest was an honest, heartfelt share.

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Steve61
26 minutes ago, FarmGirlWorks said:

 

I have sat with your words for a few days, @Steve61. There are a lot of years and experience there so I didn't want to rush in with defensiveness. And, while still not sure of what you are saying, it feels like a critique of my sharing at the meeting about my experience with ADWD which happens to be very different from what others talked about and advising anyone with depression to get on meds immediately or see a doctor. If it was not a criticism then I am genuinely sorry. I think of this thread as a place where we can talk about AA and how we experience through the lens of WD. Generally I find it helpful, am thankful for it, and keep my mouth shut about WD. I def do not feel "love" -- at all -- when it comes to not towing the line of "doctor knows best" when it comes to psych and drug issues. Maybe it's a Seattle thing where the water is so full of psychiatric drugs that the fish are full of them. Everyone seems to be on them. But this particular meeting (I would like to think the only meeting I have mentioned) dealt specifically with psychodrugs and what I said. Yes, amplifying what someone else said about finding an appropriate doctor (not a PCP) was "lecture-y" and I regret that. But the rest was an honest, heartfelt share.

FGW. You have every right to share you experience, strength and hope in any meeting. It’s your story. Someone might just listen to you snd think that they will never take ads. But  every other alcoholic in the room can share their experience as well. You share your experience of ad’s as they apply to your recovery in A.A. Talking about what goes on in an A.A. meeting on a public forum is against the traditions of A.A. we have a card prominently displayed in every meeting that says-

Who you see here

What you hear here

When you leave here

Let it stay here.

 

I presume that it’s the same in your meetings. This forum is read by people who don’t attend AA and people comment who aren’t alcoholics. It’s not an A.A. forum.I just think that there are all sorts of people with all sorts of problems in AA and their honest shares should be left in the room.

 

If you think that the other people in the room are breaking AA traditions by giving advice on outside issues then call a conscience meeting. 

 

I hope that we can share openly and honestly about the steps as they apply to our recovery.  I was always reminded to take my own inventory and not everyone else’s.

Steve

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FarmGirlWorks
On 2/24/2019 at 1:07 PM, FarmGirlWorks said:

Feedback welcome!

Well, I did say that, so thank you for your feedback.

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Steve61

When I was drinking I always blamed everyone else for my drinking. It was always somebody’s fault. It was the boss at work or the girlfriend or my parents. They didn’t appreciate me or they wound me up or they didnt understand me etc.Later on I was drinking because I hadn’t got a girlfriend or a job or a place to live. It was always somebody else’s fault. Or I was drinking because my nerves were so bad. So much worse than anybody else. There was always an excuse. The 12 steps teach me to take responsibility for my  alcoholism. I get sober for myself and cannot use excuses any more but even when I’m sober I play the same game. I blame people for how I feel. If only people would act the way that I want them to act , then I would be happy. If only people would say what I wanted them to say ,then I would be happy. If I am to find peace in this world I have to find it from within myself. I take inventory to find out why people wind me up, why people push my buttons. I take inventory, admit my faults ( clean house), make amends wherever possible because an alcoholic usually leaves a trail of destruction and then I can forgive myself. It’s hard to forgive myself without doing these things. If I’ve come home drunk and beaten up the wife, I better try and make the best amends I can. And then I can  only try. If I aren’t forgiven it’s out of my hands but I tried. 

 

Blaming is second nature to me. It’s almost like a barometer of my sobriety. If I blame then I aren’t doing very well. It’s the nature of my illness. I don’t want the responsibility of how I feel to be down to me. My problem has always been the same. Me. All the problems are inside me. The good news is that all the answers are inside me as well. Blame leads to anger and resentment. I don’t think it’s possible for me to be peaceful and angry or resentful at the same time and I want to be peaceful . So I am where I am. Acceptance is the key for me. These withdrawals won’t kill me. I just have to be patient and they will pass. Just like every emotion that I’ve ever had has eventually passed.  I don’t think that they will pass when I’m in the middle of an anxiety attack. I’m convinced it will last forever but it always passes eventually. I believe that I will heal if I am patient.

 

 

 

 

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FarmGirlWorks

I admit that it is true that I should not have mentioned what happened in a meeting even if it brought me to tears. So I will not do that again because it was wrong. I always -- and still do -- think of AD/benzo WD as way harder than giving up booze but AA is a program that has traditions and they have worked worldwide for decades.

 

btw, to benzo folks out there, just read "Death Grip" by Matt Samet and highly recommend. He was seriously polydrugged and had a hard(!) struggle but came out the other side. Inspirational.

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Steve61

Steps 4,5 10 are the ones. It’s about my part in things. Keeping my side of the street clean. It’s not what others do or say (in meetings or out) it’s how I react to it.  The serenity prayer says it all to me :-

 

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change ( everyone in the world !)

Courage to change the things I can ( myself)

The wisdom to know the difference.

 

It’s  not the withdrawals from alcohol that are the problem ( although they are one of the only ones that can actually kill you) it’s active alcoholism that’s the big problem. Every weekend the jails and A and E are full of violent drunks.  Tell the children and wives or husbands  of alcoholics that antidepressants are a bigger problem than alcohol.I think that you get mixed up between wd’s and active addiction. It is the harm that’s done while still drinking. The vast majority of alcoholics never stop. They die.I’ve been addicted to Valium and to my knowledge never harmed anyone. I never harmed anyone while I was on my ad’s but when I was drinking !!!! Alcoholism kills . To my knowledge antidepressants don’t kill. I just have to be patient and wait it out. Anyway it’s not a competition but I don’t think that I will ever take an ad again. I don’t crave them. The price of my sobriety is constant vigilance. It’s a lifetime illness.

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Steve61

I’ve woken this morning with a feeling of immense gratitude for the life that I have. I’ve woken up in my own house ,warm and cosy. I’ve had my porridge while watching the birds on the feeder. Goldfinches this morning. Lots of them. Had a wash in hot water. All the little things that I can take for granted so easily. I don’t have the cravings to drink alcohol any more and I have found this site that is giving me all the help and info that I need to withdraw from my antidepressant. Even though I am feeling physical symptoms of the withdrawal which include dizziness, fatigue, the pounding heart and sometimes nausea and aches and pains , my mind is in a good place. I know that all these things will pass if I am  patient. They won’t kill me. .I just have to accept that it will take a long time and there are no shortcuts. Slow and steady. If I listen to all the advice given here, I know that I will be fine.

 

In the 12 step  program , I was always advised to cultivate gratitude. Make gratitude lists. It’s such a nice warm feeling when I do it and then I feel it. It humbles me. I am amazed at how well my life has turned out. I feel so grateful for this site and the people who give their time to help us through this. I’ve been very lucky to find people that have helped me so freely.  It’s happened a lot of times in my life. I just have to be humble enough to say I need help and then let them help and guide me. 

 

 

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Steve61

I have been doing a lot of meditation lately. I want to calm my racing brain, and my anxiety that I feel in withdrawals. To be fair , I have experienced these feelings when not in withdrawal as well but obviously the withdrawals heighten them. It fits in very nicely with step 11 of this 12 step program. I am finding it helps enormously but like anything else it’s practice. The more I practice the better I get .I remember when I first found this program and I still had a little bit of fight left in me. I said to someone that I didn’t believe in any God. He asked me if I had the Gift of Desperation and that if I had , then I would find a way. I had indeed been granted the Gift of Desperation and I found a way. My higher power has never been  a religious God. I eventually settled on a sort of energy that runs around the universe.  The power of the universe . I try to tune into it when I meditate. When I tune in and it calms me , It helps to make me feel part of this world .For too long I always felt different to everybody else. Nobody else in the world felt like me. I thought that I would never fit in. I will continue to practice my meditation. I may never become a Zen Master lol but I will persevere.

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RachelSusan

Steve61, 

Thank you for the uplifting parts of your posts, the gratitude. Always enjoy reading about the things people are grateful for. Much appreciated. 

Rachel

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Steve61
1 hour ago, RachelSusan said:

Steve61, 

Thank you for the uplifting parts of your posts, the gratitude. Always enjoy reading about the things people are grateful for. Much appreciated. 

Rachel

I was always encouraged to make gratitude lists. Gratitude never came easily to me. I could and still can easily look for the things that I haven’t got or the things that aren’t perfect in my life. If I look around though I have so much to be grateful for. Especially if I start with the things that I can so easily take for granted. Thousands were sleeping rough last night in terrible weather. That could so easily be me. The most important thing to be grateful for is the love of the people around me. My partner, my family, my friends. People who stood by me and are still standing by me  When  my moods aren’t so good in this withdrawal journey they make allowances and support me. I am so lucky if I look for it.  

Thank you for your support,  Rachel. I believe that these attitudes can be nurtured, especially if we encourage each other.

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manymoretodays
Posted (edited)

I'm good with treating this topic/discussion like an "after the meeting" group.

Just so that we don't get lost in semantics.

 

On 3/7/2019 at 3:00 PM, FarmGirlWorks said:

I admit that it is true that I should not have mentioned what happened in a meeting even if it brought me to tears. So I will not do that again because it was wrong. I always -- and still do -- think of AD/benzo WD as way harder than giving up booze but AA is a program that has traditions and they have worked worldwide for decades.

 

I think it's okay, FGW.  No problemo.  As we're mainly discussing/focusing on how AA and the 12 steps and traditions and even Alanon.........may help some of us with W/D.   And freely sharing our experiences with.  It's all valid.

 

This isn't a meeting here.  And I'm sorry that those shares were tear/gut wrenching for you.   Speakers in speaker meetings often can and do share more of their off topic(for AA) stuff than in the usual meetings.  The good old 3-5-10 minute shares(depending on the size of the group) with zero cross talk.  Unless the cross talk/not cross talk,  is part of your own brief share, and pertains entirely to your experience.  Like if, you are a later in the meeting sharer, who paid close attention to the other shares and related to them.   But you keep it to your own inventory and stuff.

So......you were moved to share......related strongly.  So would have I, most likely.

 

It's good there, at AA.......to meet those others.......those who have CTed  benzos or AD's or other psychotropics.  Or done the standard, present medical CT.   I mean we can all share other coping skills that way.  Or........if they are early off.........can share on what we now know and adhere to.........as far as harm reduction goes.  Maybe plant the seed of a re-instatement.........or a book to recommend........or website to browse.  You know?  Spread the word.  Is harm reduction medication management part of me now?  You betcha.  Just like all my other parts and physiology and beliefs and truths(slowly figuring THOSE  personal truths out now).

 

I've got to get back to my new/revised AA program before my 3 year AA b-day.  I haven't been working it too much lately.  I talk with my sponsor(hard to know who is sponsoring who anymore, which is great B)) every week,  read the daily reflection a few times a week, and something from the BB or 12 and 12, or other AA literature, and just stay sober........ from recreational substances and alcohol.   And avoid getting caught up, in trying any more pharmacological interventions, for my present human condition.  Known as W/D.  For those of us fortunate enough to be in the know.........or who have come to be in the know.

That was all enlightening for me(coming to be in the know of W/D and the realities of these medications/drugs) and is still part of my journey.  It  ALL helps me along with my spiritual awareness/awakening, and experiences.  And hopefully how I live my life and do GOMU's will.......as I further seek and listen and take appropriate actions.

 

I'm doing okay, all things considered.

 

It's a community and a fellowship......AA and Alanon are.  Something we all badly crave, I think, while going through this other W/D thing.  Some similarities, some differences.......but the12 steps are, in my opinion, a pretty sound journey overall.  And there is no, on the ground, other communities, for many of us doing the W/D thing.

 

Steve is right too.

 

On 3/7/2019 at 3:29 PM, Steve61 said:

Steps 4,5 10 are the ones. It’s about my part in things. Keeping my side of the street clean. It’s not what others do or say (in meetings or out) it’s how I react to it.  The serenity prayer says it all to me :-

 

I'm learning how to flow with all people, places, and things.  It's an inside job AND a spiritual program.  A great one, at that.

 

I like to read/meditate on, what I refer to, as "The St. Francis(of Assisi-? sp) prayer" often.  And shoot, I can't find my 12 and 12 right now.......in my piles of life(books, papers, dishes, clothes from the past 3-4 months now)........  Step 11.  I refer to as the meditation step.  Correct me if I'm wrong, Steve.  I'm out of practice a bit.

 

Love, peace, healing, and growth,

Hi, I'm manymoretodays and I'm an alcoholic.........as well as a person experiencing W/D from psychotropics, and a survivor of 30 years of psychiatry, and the current mental illness paradigm  (I know, I know.......a little long winded there.......)  Thanks for the space.  It's always nice to express myself......in purple.

 

 

Edited by manymoretodays
I'm not real clear today with my writing, elaboration!!!

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Steve61
2 hours ago, manymoretodays said:

think it's okay, FGW.  No problemo.  As we're mainly discussing/focusing on how AA and the 12 steps and traditions and even Alanon.........may help some of us with W/D.   And freely sharing our experiences with.  It's all valid

It’s not okay, MMT. AA members shouldn’t discuss AA on here. Certainly not what goes on in meetings. This is not an AA forum. The vast majority of Survivingantidepressant members aren’t AA members . It’s nothing like an after meeting, meeting. A lot of people on here aren’t alcoholic or addict. If we share what goes on in meetings we are betraying the confidence of every alcoholic who shares openly and honestly in an AA meeting. People read and comment on this thread who are not AA members. AA is not allied to any sect, denomination , politics, organisation or institution, does not wish to engage in any controversy, neither endorses nor opposes any causes. 

 

Im all for sharing our experience of the 12 steps. How they help us cope with life. How they help in withdrawal. I’m sure that was the  intention of this thread . I always think that I was born with a faulty coping mechanism. I needed the steps to help me cope with life. I love to share about the steps .

 

AA saved my life and gave me a life beyond my wildest dreams. I love all AA members. They all deserve the respect of the card that is displayed in every meeting :-

 

Who we see here

What we hear here

when we leave here 

Let it stay here

 

Steve

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2 hours ago, manymoretodays said:

like to read/meditate on, what I refer to, as "The St. Francis(of Assisi-? sp) prayer" often.  And shoot, I can't find my 12 and 12 right now.......in my piles of life(books, papers, dishes, clothes from the past 3-4 months now)........  Step 11.  I refer to as the meditation step.  Correct me if I'm wrong, Steve.  I'm out of practice a bit.

Yes, MMT. I shared earlier in the thread how meditation is helping me so much in this wd process. I am really trying to practice my step 11 . I truly believe that these wd’s have been a blessing of a sort. I am trying to work these steps more than I have in years and meditation has become a big part of my daily routine. It works if you work it, MMT. 

 

Steve

 

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FarmGirlWorks

Hi there,

Just my two cents here, @Steve61 and @manymoretodays: I talked to a few other AA members (people with several years under their belt) about exactly what I posted, why, and the ensuing discussion. They all think what I posted was FINE and well within the rules of AA since no personal info was disclosed. They also think it was ridiculous of me to apologize but, frankly, I don't know "the rules" and am trying to practice humility. Most times I fail but I try.

 

I know you, Steve, disagree wholeheartedly. Okay, fine. I will not get into it anymore and just will not participate on this thread. Bigger fish to fry.

 

Thanks for your words, ManyMoreTodays. And to all of us, recovery is coming!

 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 8/1/2014 at 6:57 PM, mlrp said:

At Alto's request, for the greater good, and to be of service, I suggest this thread on Twelve-Step Recovery and Surviving Antidepressants.

 

NOTE: This thread is neither sanctioned as a formal AA- or Al-Anon-affiliated group nor is it intended to function as such. I propose it as a place where Twelve-Steppers can post their experience, strength, and hope as it relates to their recovery (from w/d, addiction, depression, etc.) and where those not formally in a program can likewise contribute, or ask questions.

 

Hi Steve,

The quote above is where this thread started.  I'm guessing that you saw that already.

I, however, sometimes do discuss meeting content, or feelings around meetings, or particular shares.......after the meeting......in a non-gossip, just trying to get my own practice and principles in good order.

 

Or......in meeting, in my share.......will reflect on some of the generalities of others shares.......yet keep them to my own stuff.

 

My Mum and others outside of the meetings(non- AAer's, in other words), sometimes ask me......"what do they do there?" type questions.  I keep my answer usually non-specific and general.  Something like:  "It's a spiritual program and uses a 12 step format".  With my Sun/son I try to sell it as a secret society, within the greater society, that can be......if one lets it, be enticing almost.  I suppose we mostly sell it........carrying the message at times does involve a bit of sales, I think...........by our own example, hopefully transformation, and positive change that others may note.

 

2 hours ago, Steve61 said:

AA saved my life and gave me a life beyond my wildest dreams. I love all AA members. They all deserve the respect of the card that is displayed in every meeting :-

 

Who we see here

What we hear here

when we leave here 

Let it stay here

 

Yah.....I know, and have seen the card prominently displayed, as well as it is often used as part of the script for chairs and co- chairs at the close of the meeting, right before the Serenity prayer.  There is always some changes in meeting format, from place to place, etc.  Personally, I'm thankful for knowing about what to expect at any meeting anywhere......in most regards.  It's a comfort.

 

I don't think FGW broke any kind of anonymity with her share.  I also don't know where that part comes from directly.......in the book or 12 and 12, do you?  I do tend to get a bit nerdy sometimes about AA.......so I wouldn't mind knowing where it originated and how..... the "Who we......what we......when we......let......".    I think that we are all given the gift of interpetation, and discernment, as well.  And so.......that was my discernment and interpetation of it.......that's all.  No black and white, right or wrong was intended.  I can ask one of my old timer friends soon too......if you feel put off by the question, or further discussion on the matter.  I'll find what I need, when I need to......I suppose......  I've got to get back to a meeting soon anyway.

 

I think we are okay to agree to possibly disagree, if that is even the issue here.  You were concerned about others, non- AAer's getting the wrong impression or not quite perfect impression?  Is that the issue?  I'm not even sure.

I'm not going to sweat it though.  You made your point.

 

Maybe FGW should have shared in her own thread, about something she was having some trouble with?  I don't know.

 

I'm not sure that anything discussed, here, in this thread.......gives off any bad impressions overall.  I mean AA also values Honesty, Openess, and Willingness........as well as Integrity.  I hope that's not over sharing here too.  I guess that maybe that was more my point.

 

So.....I'm good.  No shares here about any specifics from meeting.  I still think it's just semantics.

 

Best,  mmt

 

Later addition:  For me, Steve........AA and the 12 steps and traditions.  Well.......it's about more than just stopping drinking, a day at a time.  It's about a lot more than just that........for me,  I mean now that I'm past early sobriety.  I'm going to try and find the book called "The New AA",  it's a general office sanctioned book I believe.  Someone suggested to me awhile back.  I especially relate to Bill W. and his depressive tendencies and then Dr. Bob, as well........at least Dr. Bob was self medicating with pharmacologic stuff.......not so unlike some of the drugs we see here.  I'm sure you've read their stories.  Bill W's in the first 164 pages.  Dr. Bob, in the first section of stories.  Both original founders, back in 1935!!!!  And sheesh, females in the membership was pretty controversial for a long while.......sometimes still a bit. 

Edited by manymoretodays
final edition!!!

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Steve61

@manymoretodays@FarmGirlWorks  I cannot stop anyone sharing anything that they hear in meeting on here. It’s no different from me coming out of a meeting going across to a coffee shop and saying guess what I’ve just heard in that meeting But Its between you and your conscience. If you both think that you are above the yellow card then that’s up to you. If you think that the yellow card is there to be ignored then again, that’s up to you. The yellow card comes from tradition 12. It’s all about putting principles before personalities. We talk about the steps, the traditions but not the people. AA has no place here. As much as you want it to be about everything, it succeeds because of it’s singleness of purpose. AA is for alcoholics, NA is for drug addicts, Gamblers Anonymous is for Gamblers, Overeater Anononymous etc etc. All with their singleness of purpose. If that wasn’t the case then it would be one meeting for all. It’s not. I think that the 12 steps are universal. AA is not universal. It is for alcoholics.. People suffering from withdrawal from ad’s aren’t addicts. They don’t crave ad’s They suffer terrible withdrawals but not craving. It’s not the same. AA has no association with survivingantidepressants. It should be kept separate. There are AA forums . I use them. The yellow card is brought up on those forums and they are all AA members. Please bring the subject up in a meeting. Ask for guidelines in an Intergroup meeting. I guarantee that the guideline will be the yellow card. Again if you are above the yellow card then support one another in your ignorance. I cannot be part of something that disrespects AA. People have been trying to change AA for years. AA succeeds because of it steps and traditions. 

 

It is a shame because there is a place for both but one should not interfere in the other. I will leave you to share AA confidential shares on here but I shall not be part of it.

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20 hours ago, manymoretodays said:

NOTE: This thread is neither sanctioned as a formal AA- or Al-Anon-affiliated group nor is it intended to function as such. I propose it as a place where Twelve-Steppers can post their experience, strength, and hope as it relates to their recovery (from w/d, addiction, depression, etc.) and where those not formally in a program can likewise contribute, or ask questions.

This isn't my quote above.  It comes from the first post in this topic.  I bolded, the first sentence, so there will be no confusion going forward.

 

Thanks for your input all.

 

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