SRS Can I go to AA or NA if I have a different kind of addiction?

Lucky Penny

Mr. cut me some slack cause I don't wanna go back,
So here's the thing, I need something to do at nights besides binge and purge for hours. Honestly, I get so jealous of you guys with your bazillions of meetings to choose from, offered at all different times through out the day- I need something like that.

The OA meetings I've been to aren't appropriate at all (and honestly, I find them triggering), nor are they offered very often. There's an eating disorders anon meeting that isn't too far away from where I live but it's an incredibly small group without a leader and not one of the people there is in any sort of recovery.

I don't know what the laws of AA or NA are but could I go to a meeting and just be there? There are so many good things that I see you guys talk about in regards to the program- I want that kind of support and help too, I just don't know if I'm allowed. But I do know that I need to do something else besides puke all night.

When you guys talk about going to 90 meetings in 90 days, it seems so supportive and helpful. I want that but I don't want to walk in and lie about why I'm there.

Thoughts? :o
 

lauren

Well-Known Member
Apr 11, 2005
39,587
Palo Alto, CA
i cant stand eda meetings here, and only go to aa. that being said, i'm probably not doing so hot in that dept and should maybe get involved again. i feel ya on oa, though.


i dont know what the right answer is. i do know many of the girls i meet in women's meetings have had similar issues, and you may be able to find someone comfortable enough to work the eda steps with you even if you cant find a meeting.

where are you located?
 

Coottie

BOOMER......SOONER
OT Supporter
Jun 6, 2006
32,213
OKC
Yeah see that's the thing, there's this whole concept of "singleness of purpose" that comes into play. AA is not trying to be exclusive and it's not that they don't care about other people that suffer from addictive behaviors, it's just that over time, they've learned that being single minded in their focus is critical to maintaining sobriety.

Many have argued that it really should be called chemical dependency or addictive behavior or something like that and I don't disagree. The behaviors may be different but the effects are similar. People's lives are destroyed and loved ones hurt and everyone is powerless.

Unfortunately AA can be very unwelcoming to people that are not alcoholics. Some, who are very scared about their own recovery and/or are very concerned that AA stay the way it is, can be downright nasty. Don't underestimate this....you, like many others, might be shocked. Again, the reasons for these reactions are many and some are quite complex.

So you have a couple of options:
1) Go to open AA meetings....those are meetings where non-alcoholics are welcome. However, because it's AA, they request that you confine your discussions to your problems as they relate to drinking.

2) You can go to any AA meeting and just say, "I have a desire to not drink". That's the only requirement for membership.....I'm not even kidding. However, if you talk about your problems with food, be prepared for a strong reaction.

3) Start drinking. :) Ok....I'm totally kidding about that last one.



Here's the thing that most people don't realize. AA was not founded with a bunch of drunks sitting around talking about their problems. It was founded by one guy, Bill W, who was struggling to NOT take a drink. He was having a really rough day and was desperate to not drink.

Out of his desperation, he called a church and told them his struggles and asked if they knew of any one who was also struggling with alcohol. They did and they put him in touch with Dr. Bob....together those two people helped each other stay sober simply by talking about what they had learned from their own lives and struggles with alcohol.

After they discovered that talking to each other helped, they kept talking then they decided they would reach out to others who were drinking heavily. They would round up drunks off the street and head somewhere to talk about alcohol and recovery and all that.

They found that noone stayed sober.....not one single drunk that they pulled in stayed sober. Nope, they were miserable failures at helping anyone get and stay sober. However, there was a curious side effect......neither Bill W nor Dr. Bob had had a drink. So while none of their targets stayed sober, Bill and Dr. Bob DID stay sober that whole time.

This is where they found one of the keys to long term sobriety and that is working with other drunks. Not to earn accolades or anything like that....no....simply reaching out to someone who's suffering and trying to help. Not by preaching but simply talking about themselves and what they had learned through their own struggles with alcohol.

So part of AA is the meetings.....the fellowship found there is sometimes very nice and welcoming but it's only part of recovery. It's not even the biggest part of recovery.

IMO, the biggest part of recovery is what happens when one drunk sits down and shares their experience, strength and hope with another drunk.

So that's actually another option for you.....do like Bill W. did and reach out to others that are suffering from your kind of addiction. You may think you've got nothing of value to share with them but you might surprise yourself......simply talking openly and honestly with another person that's suffering from the same addiction can be a HUGE relief.

Anyways, I hope that helps and just know....I'm pulling for you girl. :hug:
 
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Lucky Penny

Lucky Penny

Mr. cut me some slack cause I don't wanna go back,
Thanks you two <3

Lauren, I'm in Dc. I need extra support besides therapy that doesn't cost much or is free. I know I should be in inpatient right now, but I can't afford it as I don't have insurance. And the cost of ed treatment is astronomical. I've been in an iop program for a few months now but it's about to end and I don't think I can afford another one at this time. I'm trying to find another job to cover the expense of it though.

Coottie <3 Thanks for the insight. Maybe I will just go to a few open meetings and see how it goes. I'm totally afraid of meeting people and having them find out I'm there for different reasons cause I don't want to lie but at the same time it seems like it might be worth a shot to go on those really hard nights.

I really appreciate the support guys <3
 

Coottie

BOOMER......SOONER
OT Supporter
Jun 6, 2006
32,213
OKC
You might check your phone book, is there an ED hotline for your city? If so, you might ask them about free treatment....they might be able to turn you onto something that doesn't cost money. If not in your city, look for a national number....seriously there's all kinds of help out there.

Coottie <3 Thanks for the insight. Maybe I will just go to a few open meetings and see how it goes. I'm totally afraid of meeting people and having them find out I'm there for different reasons cause I don't want to lie but at the same time it seems like it might be worth a shot to go on those really hard nights.
Don't be worried about it just stick to open AA meetings....seriously, everyone is welcome in open AA meetings. I even took my mom to a few of them after my step-dad passed away. She found them very comforting.

If you're asked to speak, you can always say "Thanks but I prefer to listen" or talk about what's going on in your life and say "but my drug of choice is food" and leave it at that.

I would suggest you be 100% honest if you're asked. One thing I've found is that most people in recovery have an enormous amount of compassion for others....especially other people in pain. You might even be surprised to find others that are there for the same reasons you are. Seriously......we get all kinds.

Now I wouldn't suggest you walk in and announce yourself as having an ED but if asked, I would be totally honest.
I really appreciate the support guys <3
Sorry you're going through a rough spot. You'll be in my prayers. :hug:
 

i killed tupac

Well-Known Member
Mar 19, 2005
36,546
this toilet earth
I like NA, we don't say anything but "addiction", and we define that is "obssesive thoughts of, and compulsion to" something that makes our lives unmanageable. I have had many members come for sex addiction, and at least one I know of for food.

Check out the literature at www.na.org and see if it applies to any of your thoughts or feelings.
 

ForgottenSpiral

Hope and Irony
OT Supporter
Feb 2, 2004
23,336
NoVA
I would suggest NA over AA simply because, like i killed tupac said, NA focuses more on addiction and less on a particular substance. That isn't to say that you can't get something from AA, just that NA in my experience is more open to alternate types of addictions. AA does tend to be more popular and socially acceptable though, so you may find you prefer that simply because it's more likely you'll run into someone with the same issues since there are quite simply more people in AA. That said, I've known people in NA who were there for addictions to cutting, MMOs, etc.

Just go to an "open" meeting, like the others suggested and see what you think. Also don't be afraid to talk to people after the meeting. My biggest suggestion would be to go and stand there after the meeting, no matter how uncomfortable it might be, and wait to see if someone comes up to you. "Go early & stay late" as they say. AND GOOD LUCK!
 

Biggins

New Member
Apr 13, 2010
1,252
If you do go to AA, make sure you go to non-smoking meetings. I was forced to go to AA by a judge, despite the fact I got busted with a bag o' herb, and it was hands down the most depressing place I had ever been to in my life. I've been in children's hospitals that weren't that terrible.

People talking about addiction while they chain-smoke and chug coffee, as if those aren't addictive substances.

GL <3
 

i killed tupac

Well-Known Member
Mar 19, 2005
36,546
this toilet earth
If you do go to AA, make sure you go to non-smoking meetings. I was forced to go to AA by a judge, despite the fact I got busted with a bag o' herb, and it was hands down the most depressing place I had ever been to in my life. I've been in children's hospitals that weren't that terrible.

People talking about addiction while they chain-smoke and chug coffee, as if those aren't addictive substances.

GL <3

NA was founded for a reason
 

Kurt

I had an issue with pain medication for a period of time. My doctor meant well, but he was in error when he was prescribing me 120mg oxycodone a day for a year when I was 16. Very few people can resist addiction at those levels, and I fell into it. I do not much care if anyone insults me for admitting this.

Personally, I attend LDS recovery meetings every now and then when the temptation to use gets too strong for me. They always help. LDS recovery meetings accept all people of all addictions, and the atmosphere is friendly. Not to mention they are everywhere.

The friendliness and largely trigger-less atmosphere them twice as good as NA/AA meetings, but this is only my humble opinion.

Here is a link to the website where you can find one in your location, if you are interested:

http://www.providentliving.org/content/list/0,11664,4177-1,00.html
 

ForgottenSpiral

Hope and Irony
OT Supporter
Feb 2, 2004
23,336
NoVA
Okay, so I didn't go this week. I chickened out. :o

Can someone give me a run down on what its going to be like? :hs:
Depends on the meeting, but here's a general rundown:

Typical meeting is an hour long open discussion meeting (but there are plenty of other types - including, but not limited to literature, speaker, women's, closed, seventy-five minute, etc.)

There can be anywhere between five and fifty people at most meetings, but ten to thirty is pretty average, I'd say. Some people show up early, but most get there right around the time the meeting starts.

The meeting has a leader that usually follows a script, which often times asks if there is anyone new who wants to be recognized. Pay attention to the wording there. If you don't want to be recognized, you don't have to say shit. Then the leader will ask for certain readings to be read (these are often times sitting on chairs when people come in or handed out afterwards - you are free to refuse this, just hand it to someone else and they won't argue).

After that someone will share for a few minutes and give out a topic. Some people will stick to the topic, others will just share where they are at, and some will do both. At some point during the meeting a basket will be passed around for donations. Don't feel obligated to put money in the basket. Lord knows I don't. :rofl:

Then they'll do some announcements, keytags, and maybe another reading or two. Someone will say "we have a nice way of closing" and everyone stands up and gets in a big circle for group hug time. Someone will say a few short words and the group will say a prayer. That's it. Some people will stand around and talk, but others will jet for the door like they forgot their stove was on at home. :mamoru:
 

Kurt

pretty religious tho

If you aren't religious, they accept that and don't push it on you at the LDS recovery meetings. They are all taught in those meetings to be friends to one another and be supportive of one another. Best atmosphere I have ever met at a meeting. Everyone is comfortable and relaxed. The spirit of friendship and unity is palpable at the LDS recovery meetings.

It is one of the best places you can be if there is an issue with an addiction you are facing. I will reiterate that I strongly feel that the recovery process is twice as fast and twice as effective at the LDS meetings than anywhere else possible. Even rehab.

You should try at least one just so you can make a judgment on it.
 

i killed tupac

Well-Known Member
Mar 19, 2005
36,546
this toilet earth
If you aren't religious, they accept that and don't push it on you at the LDS recovery meetings. They are all taught in those meetings to be friends to one another and be supportive of one another. Best atmosphere I have ever met at a meeting. Everyone is comfortable and relaxed. The spirit of friendship and unity is palpable at the LDS recovery meetings.

It is one of the best places you can be if there is an issue with an addiction you are facing. I will reiterate that I strongly feel that the recovery process is twice as fast and twice as effective at the LDS meetings than anywhere else possible. Even rehab.

You should try at least one just so you can make a judgment on it.

Then why isn't is "just" recovery then? Why LDS? Why the mission statement to provide scriptural solutions?
 

Kurt

Then why isn't is "just" recovery then? Why LDS? Why the mission statement to provide scriptural solutions?

They accept everyone, not just LDS people. Half the people at the LDS recovery meetings I attend have no affiliation/membership with the lds church. Are there some topics of Christ and stuff brought up? Yep, but Jesus is about it.
 

Coottie

BOOMER......SOONER
OT Supporter
Jun 6, 2006
32,213
OKC
Okay, if I don't puss out, which I very well may, I'm going to try to go to a meeting tonight... :noes::noes::noes::noes:



7:45.. :run:
WOOT!! When you pull up, just go in not matter what you think or how you feel....just tell your mind to shut the fuck up and put one foot in front of the other.

Also, give yourself permission to leave at anytime you want. Get up 5 minutes after the meeting starts if you need to do that. Sometimes just giving myself permission to leave at any time usually helps me get over my shit.
 
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Lucky Penny

Lucky Penny

Mr. cut me some slack cause I don't wanna go back,
I went :o



Everyone was super nice and two ladies gave me their number and I was talking to a guy before I walked it, turns out he was the speaker and he was really happy that I was there for the first time. I was SHOCKED by how much I identified with. Everyone made me feel super welcome. And here I am sitting here, about to go to bed and not not b/ping. So :o there we go. First night at a meeting...
 

Coottie

BOOMER......SOONER
OT Supporter
Jun 6, 2006
32,213
OKC
:hsd: :h5:

Awesome!

Everyone was super nice and two ladies gave me their number and I was talking to a guy before I walked it, turns out he was the speaker and he was really happy that I was there for the first time. I was SHOCKED by how much I identified with. Everyone made me feel super welcome. And here I am sitting here, about to go to bed and not not b/ping. So :o there we go. First night at a meeting...
:hug:

Yay! I'm really happy for you and glad you went.
 
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Lucky Penny

Lucky Penny

Mr. cut me some slack cause I don't wanna go back,
So, update.

I know this will sound odd, but my therapist doesn't think that NA is a fantastic idea for me right now. Her words were: I think its fine if you go to NA because you need a distraction, but I think its unwise to strip you of all your coping mechanisms (read: specifically my bulimic behaviors) at once. (there are several other coping mechanisms that have been "taken away" recently) So I don't want you going to NA thinking that you need to stop b/ping right this minute when that's not possible, realistic or safe for you right now.

Alright. So I really liked that tuesday meeting, and it was a good distraction cause I was feeling really bingey that day, plus I felt like I was able to identify with a lot of what was said- but now I feel like a fraud knowing that I'd be attending that meeting and still using my behaviors without any intention of stopping for the foreseeable future..

I don't want to lie to anyone, should I stop going entirely? Or can I still go to that one meeting. I really liked it :o

Thoughts?
 

Coottie

BOOMER......SOONER
OT Supporter
Jun 6, 2006
32,213
OKC
So don't lie....be honest and still go to the meetings.
Win win right?
 

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