LifeRing Recovery: a self-help alternative for recovery from alcoholism and other chemical dependency. Group support for abstinence from alcohol and “drugs” by empowering the sober self within you. Completely secular: no prayers, Higher Powers or Steps.
Welcome to the Forum MeliCo.
Many of us here are former AA members. I went to AA for 3 or 4 years before finding LifeRing and had a similar experience to yours. It helped very much at first, but eventually I found the dogma just too much and I wasn't learning anything useful anymore. The main idea of LifeRing is that you find your own path. You have the help of other people here, but you find your own way. You might want to look through the Journals to see the approaches different people have taken.
Going to a live LifeRing meeting is great, many of us live in places where there are no live meetings.
As for whether you can continue to grow without AA, most of us have and there is nothing special about us, if we can do it, so can you.
Good luck and keep letting us know how you are doing.
Most of us felt lighter and happier when we found LifeRing -- I went to AA mostly in the UK for the first two years I was sober and kept thinking that all the moralistic, onerous service busyness wasn't necessary. I liked many of the older regulars and have stayed friends but I was upfront about not needing meetings and over time they accepted that.
Another former AA member here! I started in AA and I think it's a good place to start-- lots of f2f meetings, for one thing. But the longer I was in it, the more disenchanted I became.
Maybe it was the people in my area, but after a while it seemed like I was getting too much attention from the men and not much support from the women. I did try going to women's meetings but still couldn't find a group of women to be friends with. It seemed very cliquey, and I wasn't part of the "in" crowd.
And when I relapsed, I got no support. I felt like a loser, an outcast. It seemed everyone else was doing great. I learned later from someone who also left that many if the people who presented themselves as having solid sobriety actually did not. Some were outright liars and cheats (one woman was collecting disability but working full time under the table. How's that for "rigorous honesty").
So then I found Women For Sobriety online and I much preferred that program. M7ch more positive, less judgemental and shaming. No meetings near me, so I did it all online. Still, after a while I noticed some preachiness seeping in and people being scolded for relapsing, which rubbed me the wrong way.
I fully understand that two strikes might possibly mean *I* am the problem; I've accepted that. However, I think some of the issue is a program that reveres
...its founder. There's a "right" way to do things and if you disagree, woe be unto you.
So now I basically follow the guidelines of WFS and I come here to learn more. I also post on the Living Sober New Zealand site, which was started by Lotta Dann, author of "Mrs. D Is Going Without."
I decided that, for myself, there is enough negativity in this world and I don't need preachy people to judge me and tell me I'm doing the program wrong.
Sorry this is so long. This, I think, is the first time I've gotten all that frustration and resentment out.
Lola, I'm also a friend of Lotta's and love her approach and friendliness. There's a breezy informality and empathy which is helpful for anyone wanting to find their own way forward. Very like LifeRing.
Welcome to LifeRing! I do think of the LifeRing approach as adulting because there is no emphasis on a specific programme or the intensive mentoring/sponsoring. People just get on with finding out what works for them.
Thank you so much for sharing. It’s interesting thinking about the number of times I’ve read the big book with Sponsee’s and had to translate so much of it in my head to what works for me (gender, ideas of god, the science pieces). I was able to get a lot out of it, but it feels good to not have to do that constant translation anymore. I can focus on living a good life and being a good person just like anyone else and on what works for me and leaving the rest behind.
I just remembered I read a book many years ago, the title was something like, "A Woman's Giude to the Twelve Steps." My take on it was, Well this is refreshing, but I'm seeing none of this in the people I'm meeting in AA.
I also went through a long stint of watching and rewatching episodes of "Mom." I felt like a little kid from a broken home, watching "The Brady Bunch" and wishing that could be MY family.
But I'm good with where I am now. I essentially follow the WFS philosophy and contribute to some forums, like here, so I feel supported.
I hope you are doing well, MeliCo. Please let us know how you're getting on.
Finally, someone sharing my thoughts exactly. How did the requirement of belief in God ever get wrapped so tightly around recovery from alcoholism? I'm not sure what life ring is, but I'll look into it. Just passed 7 months of sobriety and feeling so good about things now. I've failed miserably at the 12 step program to the point of getting dumped by my sponsor for not embracing God as my personal saviour. Anyway, I have a good non religious support network now. All the best.
Same, as my kids say! I just wrote in my journal that it's just so ridiculous when people at AA say that you can take GOD to mean Good Orderly Direction. The assorted acronyms, sayings and stereotypical ideas are just so annoying!
My AA journey came to a crashing end when my sponsor bullied me into getting down on my knees and 'handing it over' to god. I wasn't sure I believed in god, and I wasn't at all sure what 'it' was, but I'm a nice polite person, so I went through the motions then went home and drank a bottle of wine. I never contacted the sponsor again.
I didn't make any real progress until I found LifeRing and it gave me the confidence to keep the advice that was useful, jettison anything that was not, and forge my own path to sobriety.
On two or three occasions I have revisited the AA meeting I used to go to. It's like Groundhog Day there. The only thing I commend it for is its presence. it's there in virtually every town and having that port of call is an important first step for many people in not feeling completely alone with their problem. I met a few nice people there too.
I really recommend Martin Nicolaus' 'Empowering Your Sober Self.' It is really useful for feeling empowered () and his critique of AA is really interesting.
Nice to make your acquaintance.