ADDICTION ARTICLE:  10 Ways SMART Recovery Differs From 12-Step Programs | The Fix

The organization’s approach emphasizes a secular and scientifically-based modality which is attractive for people who do not connect with the spiritual aspect of 12-step.

Source: 10 Ways SMART Recovery Differs From 12-Step Programs | The Fix

 

I attempted SMART Recovery and I have similar thoughts to the author.

  • The availability of meetings here is Houston is minimal… last I checked, it was 3 weekly meetings compared to the dozen or so daily NA meetings.
  • I wasn’t too fond of the facilitator of the most convenient meeting to me… I don’t envy his recovery…
  • The rest of the group was fairly new to SMART and therefore, less experience for me to draw from.
  • They focus a lot on the on-line groups and messaging which doesn’t work for me… I need more human interaction/accountability.
  • I do like the “self-reliance” aspect of it… still struggling with God’s will vs. mine…
  • I like the scientific approach as well… CBT/REBT is well studied and I’ve been exposed to them since forever ago when I’ve seen therapists and been institutionalized…

I’m going to stick with NA/12-Step for now since I’ve never finished the steps and want to at least do that so I can really compare and know.  I do agree that there are many paths to recovery and it may take a hybrid approach for some people.  Maybe me…

Life is just life

Trying to get back into my routine after an awesome trip to Belize with my family… courtesy of being clean. After a bit of a struggle while down there, I know I need meetings and fellowship regularly… I need my routine… I am, as the Basic Text says, a creature of habit.

But as I get back to my routine, life is just life… nothing different or exciting or lame… just kind of even right now. I’m okay with that today.

When life catches up

Fuck life right now… fuck my past using especially… specifically fuck the consequences of my using…

Fuck Webster Bank and fuck their legal representation…

Fuck the IRS and MT State…

Fuck them all for making me think of my past and for interfering with my life as I experience it today… fuck them for ruining my serenity… fuck them for limiting my choices and closing in on me…

Feeling trapped by my decisions… trapped by my actions… my world seems really small right now…

No… fuck you Craig. This is life on life's terms and you can't avoid reality forever… for long… remember your new fave line in the Basic Text? "Reality and life go on whether we choose to accept them or not"… that's this right now…

Here's another of your highlighted faves… "for some reason, not taking care of our personal affairs lowers our self-esteem and establishes a pattern that repeats itself in all areas of our lives."…

It's not even life on life's term since you haven't been living it like that… you've been avoiding and only doing what you want… not what needs to be done… and now what needs to be done is waaaaay the fuck beyond your ability to deal. But you gotta deal and not be a pussy.

So… sorry your past is so littered with your own financial destruction… it's caught up and it's time to figure this shit out. Not shut down. You're going to have to deal with your wife and feelings and resentments will happen… you'll have to compromise and accept and surrender and be willing… you'll have to be timely and responsible and a fucking grown up.


The past and the present

In a meeting

Why don't I want to be here? There is an actual feeling of not wanting to be here… it's in my stomach and chest. I'm trying to commit myself to being here by sitting next to someone and read one of the readings… be accountable and be seen if I try and escape.

I feel resentment…

Towards me and the meeting. Me for not doing what I really want to do and the meeting for being so happy whether I'm here or not…

I did this today though… I'm sharing about it… trying to figure it out and I was reminded it's okay that just staying clean can be good enough…

That helped for sure… waiting for this… ugh… meeting to start.

Complacency is my jam lately

In my post last night, after thinking about it on my walk home, I realized I'm getting complacent… things are easy… sorta kinda… and that lends itself to me slacking off…

Things are good because I'm making money, I have friends, I'm getting to do what I want… and I don't do what I don't want to do… there's the danger… that's it.

There are things I don't want to do… deal with life on life's terms… steps, resume, past financial issues, family stuff… so I don't and I sweep them under the rug and everything is fine…

Riiiiight.

This complacency dam will hold only so long… relapse-mode will start to form cracks and eventually spill over into my daily life and insanity floods everything… metaphorically speaking of course (ha!)

The question is though… how do I not be complacent? That's a stupid question in actuality but not in my head… I feel like complacency will win until the dam holding back the insanity/relapse breaks again.

Dam relapse

Losing not missing out

I see a pattern happening… I'm going to fewer meetings and if I do go, I'm leaving early. I just can't sit there unless I have some more involvement… like leading it or something…

Two things are taking place…

1… Work, specifically my bike delivery job, is my higher power
2… I'm losing touch with the fellowship/friends in NA

My new higher power is work and the feeling I get from the physicalness and the money of it. It's instant and I love that. I get good feelings and rushes of healthy living while working… except when I'm not working, I'm not depressed, but meh at least.

I need friends to fill up the other parts of my day… the random texts and connects I get are spirit lifting even if it feels like I don't need it… without the meetings it inevitably going to mean I lose those friends. Meetings are like nights at the bar or dinner. It's where we talk and laugh and share and learn and help each other… like friends. I absolutely fucking need that.

But here I am typing this after leaving a meeting 30 minutes early. A meeting I was not looking forward to… not in a bad way, just a tired and TV and chilling seem better kind of way… they're not drawing me in like they used too…

Work cannot be my higher power… what if I lose that job? Then what? And if I've stopped going to meetings… then I'm fucked.

I need to find some balance. Missing out is losing out.
I should be in a meeting

8 months clean

I know it's not a normally celebrated milestone, but for me, today, it feels huge to have this much time clean.

It really does work one day at a time and if I don't use no matter what and if I don't quit 5 minutes before the miracle happens… all of the things you hear in meetings are true. They don't always apply, but when they do, they do…

I came close to using so many times during this 8 months. I had all the right reasons to use and yet, with the help of friends, sheer willpower and experience, I didn't use. I was weak and strong at the same time… powerless and power-full…

And I know I'm crazy still… I'm not all there yet… still having my moments of insanity and self-induced pain on the regular… but I'm not regressing by giving in and using… I learning and gaining experience and knowledge and examples to draw from.

My program isn't much most days… what higher power? What steps? What sponsor? What whatever?… but still… I'm doing it and those things still matter to me… I'm getting the most from the fellowship of NA… that friendship of fellow addicts… having friends really is keeping me clean most days. I have less time alone since I have more friends and that's key for me. I am grateful for the fellowship most of all.

Anyway, 8 month today. Living just for today and not using no matter what. Love you.
Blue skies today.