Welcome to www.recoveringfromrecovery.com!
Hello, I’m Mike and this is my site and blog which I talk about various issues and things that I have found helpful in recovering from alcoholism and addiction. I talk about books I have read, that I feel would help others and link to other sites that are helpful. The main part of the site is the blog which I update every week or so, depending on how busy I am and if there is anything new to write about in the addiction/alcoholism world. I have also started doing alcoholism recovery podcasts which I put on this site, and on www.alcoholism-recovery-radio.com ,which is my new podcast only site.
I do not work in the recovery industry and am just somebody who struggled with substance abuse problems for many years until I changed my ways and followed a totally abstinent solution when I was forty years old. I am now in my eleventh year of alcohol free-living and am really enjoying life at the moment, despite some major challenges which are part of normal living.
Reasons for writing my Alcoholism Recovery Blog.
I called the site “Recovering from Recovery” because when I started looking at recovery blogs on the internet, I had decided to move on from the 12 step world of AA and look for alternatives. I went through a bit of a transitional period, where the idea that I should be a member of a formal recovery group remained strong despite my personal feelings, and my decision to leave went against a lot of people’s advice. However, it was important for me to develop as an individual and deal with problems in my life, in a way that was different, to the spiritual or religious solution that is the core of the AA support method. I am grateful for the support I received in many different meetings, and acknowledge that the social side of AA, certainly was important for me in my first year. I was struggling with cravings and was unsure how to deal with social issues and other problems that come in early recovery. I was helped by mixing with other people in recovery on daily basis. I did not find all of it good though, and had issues with privacy and gossip. I also realised that AA has a religious side to it, that conflicts with my personal beliefs, and that it was not going to hold all the answers for me. I left AA while I was being supported by a therapist and did not just wander off hoping everything would work out, with no plan. I was still very serious about recovery and still am, I just felt that I wanted a more personal solution.
Over time I have realised that many people move away from formal recovery groups and if they have dealt with the problems in their life that drove their addictions, they can do well. I have discovered many other types of support including Smart Recovery which uses similar CBT techniques to the ones I was taught by my therapist, which really helped me once I had a bit of sober time. I had tried therapy when I was thirty, but did not really open up, and I think hearing other people share in AA, helped me to realise it was alright to ask other people for help.
Although I acknowledge AA as something that has helped me, I also feel that it is very old-fashioned and held back by dogma. AA has a huge network and is in an ideal position to reach most people who suffer with alcoholism, as it is the support group that everyone has heard of. Unfortunately, it does not have any information on modern solutions such as the “Sinclair Method” in its literature and most of its members have no idea about developments in alcoholism treatment. So many newcomers could be helped if AA modernised, but there is no real mechanism to allow this. Many people do not do well in the 12 step world and miss out on other solutions, as AA does tend to dominate the recovery world. I was shocked to find out how low the figures are for people beating addiction and was determined not to be a failure. Most people need several attempts at recovery before they manage a long lasting solution, but this may be accelerated by finding a suitable support method for them, at an earlier stage in recovery.
I do see things changing, mainly as a result of the exchange of information on the internet. Lots of sites are popping up and books are being written on the subject and support is growing for the alternative to 12 step solution. I am certainly not “Anti-AA” as I know many people who do well, as part of that huge movement, but I am pro-choice and feel it is important for those of us that have benefited from other solutions, to tell our stories in the same way that positive messages are shared in AA meetings. That way more people can make up their mind as to which solution would help them most, if they are willing to try. Most people find their way to this site after looking up “leaving AA” or something similar in Google, and so there is a demand for non 12 step information.
Positive side of keeping a Recovery from Alcoholism blog.
Keeping the site has been a positive thing for me to do. It has brought me into contact with many people in the recovery world who I would not have met and has given me my own support group. It has kept me engaged in the recovery process but away from some of the personal issues that I found hard in AA. It also gets read by a lot of people, which surprises me as it is a niche site, but proves to me that it is important that those who have recovered from alcoholism and addiction away from formal groups, do need a voice. I also hope it makes people aware of the alternatives to AA which are going from strength to strength. These modern solutions can really help people so if you have tried AA and not done well, have look around the site and see if any of the alternatives suit you.
Below are some of the recent blog posts on addiction and alcoholism and I also occasionally write for addiction.com on alternatives to 12 step recovery. I have linked to them with the badge in the sidebar on blog pages.