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Abstinence is not recovery



silly
veronica
Abstinence is NOT Recovery
We've all seen it, we all talk about it --- Abstinence is NOT recovery. Until the underlying issues are confronted and resolved, somewhere down the road, those issues will reappear and the addict will treat those feelings with some sort of addiction.

Apparently, being that I'm not an addict (of meth anyway), I don't have the background or experience to give advice on this one (or so I've been told).

Just hoping a conversation can be started - addicts opinions and feelings on this, experiences of those who have thought that abstaining was enough, only to realize down the road that it's not.

I remember when I first "got it" - when it first sank in - yes, abstaining is not enough (it's a start), but until those underlying issues are confronted and worked through, somewhere, sometime, it will come to bite the addict in the a$$.
     Replies...
trying
2bme
Re: Abstinence is NOT Recovery
Yes.. I agree 110%

After over 2 and 3/4 years of clean time.... I relapsed.
I used dope to cope with life.. cause that's the only way I knew how to cope.

I am now going to counseling... working on recovery rather then abstaining.  There is a HUGE difference
XOutlaw
Woman
Re: Abstinence is NOT Recovery
For me, I was abstaining when I was drug free but still wanted to do drugs. I was recovered once I no longer had the desire to do drugs. I abstained through the first year, while I was learning how to recover.
Paws
from
hell
Re: Abstinence is NOT Recovery

I dunno !

But for me abstinence ( not using ) was putting my first step into action.

The rest just follows !

Tender
hearts
KS
Re: Abstinence is NOT Recovery
I threw 4 years clean time/sobriety out the window in '90. I quit doing everything I had been doing to stay active in my recovery, except attend meetings. My body was at meetings, but my mind was closed off to recovery. I had become terminally unique again.

I had NOT dealt with my codependency / sex addiction issues, despite my sponsor's best efforts.

I continued to hang with the then bf who was in full blown relapse and slamming. I started hanging at the local bar, of course under the pretense I was just there to play pool and drink a Pepsi.

It was only a matter of time.

Thank God I made it back to recovery.
Broken
N2
Re: Abstinence is NOT Recovery
Abstinence is the key in the beginning....right?? I mean it is a HUGE AZZ step towards recovery...right?

I'm asking??
FSOAB Re: Abstinence is NOT Recovery
Maybe abstinence is simply realizing that whatever your taking is not the magic pill...

One of my guesses..
teqa
peq
Re: Abstinence is NOT Recovery
Yes Broken it is Essential to recovery . If we don't abstain then there is no recovery.


IMHO if we don't deal with our underlying issues we are bound to fail. I heard this over and over again when I was new and I guess I had to keep hearing it as I really didn't think I had issues. I started drinking to have with my friend and liked it. That progressed to drug use. The speed was for weight loss and just got out of hand. However once the clouds lifted from my brain and I started looking at my behavior it was like "why am i such an @#%$" Without the drugs and booze I'd get anxiety because of my own behavior. This would make me want to use to get rid of that anxiety. I had to look at why I behaved in the ways I did. And guess what I discovered. I had issues

My first year was all about abstinence and controlling my anger. I would have these out burst of anger and then beat myself up over them. I'd remember telling myself I was happier when I was using and this just sucks. I went to 12 step meetings and everyone would say over and over look beneath the anger. Wow would I get pissed "look beneath the fing anger what'd think it's like a rug and i can fing pick it up and look under it" I didn't have clue. However with time I "got it" I still get angry however I no longer act like a lunatic.

The most beneficial thing I ever did was explore my childhood and see where I developed my Self limiting beliefs.

It was a real eye opener of how I developed these subconscious beliefs and how I let them run me for years.
Lisa Re: Abstinence is NOT Recovery
What constitutes "recovery" (besides working the Steps)?

I quit using on January 19, 2006, which means I have almost thirteen months clean.

I'm not working the steps, I don't go to therapy or counseling, so I'm not following a "recovery program" per se.

All I do is read a lot on spirituality, read and post on the boards, and try to do the right things in my life.

Am I in recovery? I guess 12-Steppers would say no.

However, recovery is a very personal choice...FOR ME, I started my recovery when I began to abstain from all mind-altering substances. I continue it by continuing to abstain and by opening my mind to new and life-confirming and affirming thoughts and beliefs.

So, I guess it's up to each one of us individually to seek our own personal form of recovery.
silly
veronica
Re: Abstinence is NOT Recovery
Quote:
I continue it by continuing to abstain and by opening my mind to new and life-confirming and affirming thoughts and beliefs.

To me, this IS recovery. It's not just stopping the use of the substance, but it's taking it to the next step (whatever that step is - meetings, counseling, treatment, support groups, reading books, etc.).

I guess my point is ... stopping the drug and doing absolutely nothing else ... is that recovery? To me, that's just abstaining from the drug (and then it will come back to bite you).

Again, only my opinion.

Tender
hearts
KS
Re: Abstinence is NOT Recovery
Quote:
Abstinence is the key in the beginning....right?? I mean it is a HUGE AZZ step towards recovery...right?

Yes it is, Marcel! For me, in the beginning, a lot of my time was meetings meetings meetings. People kept telling me 'keep bringing the body, and eventually the mind will follow'. That was so true for me.

I did a lot of white-knuckling that first year. My mind couldn't absorb a lot of the 'recovery-related' stuff I heard and saw.

I was putting one foot in front of the other at the suggestions of others, but didn't really start 'working' recovery as in dealing with issues till after that first year.

That's when it really hit me that just not using/drinking wasn't going to cut it. I HAD to start working on me and what drove me to use/drink all those years. But I needed that first year of 'abstaining' to get my brain/body healthy enough to really start working recovery.

Make any sense? 

eyes
open83
Re: Abstinence is NOT Recovery
abstinance does not equal recovery

i wrote a thread about this a while ago...all my thoughts and feeling on it are in that thread
Broken
N2
Re: Abstinence is NOT Recovery
Ok I am TOTALLY lost...hahahaha

I go into treatment with the thoughts that I will work on myself and my recovery...heh....but they tell me to just abstain from all mind altering chemicals.

They say to stuff your feelings about your past or just put them on an imaginary shelf in your mind...mmmk...and only focus on today!!

They say it is VERY dangerous to your RECOVERY to work on these things right now...and possibly ever...so..

Should I abstain or should I recover. .hahahaha...you peeps confuse the hell outta me!!

I think WAYYYYY to many people worry about other peoples recovery and how they go about it... When in reality they should be worried about themselves. Just my opinion....
luve
piphany
Re: Abstinence is NOT Recovery
That's a perfectly logical observation and opinion about the program. It's all about you right now-take what you want and Need and leave the rest. That's the wonderful way of the 12 step program. It's yours to do with as you will.
Tender
hearts
KS
Re: Abstinence is NOT Recovery
Marcel...I was born in a state of confusion...from which I have never recovered!
deee
CA
Re: Abstinence is NOT Recovery
Hmmmm... should I open mouth and insert foot now or later?

So I will ABSTAIN from talking about myself here...
My mom was an alcoholic for at least 10 years. Hardcore alcoholic. Then at 27 she just stopped. She didn't want me and my brother to see her like she saw her mother. She hasn't touched a drink in 25 years. During those years she became very athletic - now does triathlons and iron mans. BTW- she's never ever went to an AA meeting, she told me she found "recovery" through a good diet and exercise.

So would you say that she never was in recovery? That she did not 'recover' from her problem with addiction? That abstinence was not enough for her?

Love to hear your thoughts...
Penel0pe Re: Abstinence is NOT Recovery
Quote:
What constitutes "recovery" (besides working the Steps)?

Learning HEALTHY ways to cope with life and emotions without having to resort to drugs when life rears it's ugly head.

Working the steps are ONE WAY to learn how to cope with life through spiritual and self awareness, learning to be more selfless and less selfish.

But there are other ways.. I only know how to do it one way, so that's all I have to offer.

As Sfj has said lots of times, "There are as many ways to recover as there are ways to get high."

I like 12 step, but it certainly isn't the only option.

Tender
hearts
KS
Re: Abstinence is NOT Recovery
Quote:
BTW- she's never ever went to an AA meeting
I see, said he blind man as he picked up his hammer and saw 
deeeCA Re: Abstinence is NOT Recovery
You didn't answer my question tenderheart!
Tender
hearts
KS
Re: Abstinence is NOT Recovery
Quote:
You didn't answer my question tenderheart!
Damn, you caught that! 

Dee, I love you like a sister.

I don't think it's a coincidence you posted about your mother and what she's done so soon after you posted about not being motivated to attend meetings anymore

I know what works for me.

Obviously something different has worked for your mother.

As has been previously said, there are as many ways to recover as there are to get high.

What worked for your mom won't work for me.

What works for me may not work for someone else.

That's the best answer I can give you, my dear! (((hugs)))

See also:

Abstinence does not equal recovery

Is he really quitting meth or just abstinence?

Addicted to Recovery?

What is the difference between abstinence and recovery?


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