More blogging in Recovery.

More blogging in Recovery.

I really do think that blogging, is becoming an important part of recovery for many people. At one time there was just a few 12 step forums, and a couple of small anti AA sites, but things have changed and people have started building their own blogs and communities. Many people realise that they do not want to attend groups such as AA, and in the past it was difficult for them to communicate with other people, who were following their own path to get well. This has changed in the last few years, and lots of people are encouraging each other, and talking about the different ways they have found to recover online. I see this as a really positive thing.

Here is a post from substance.com  http://www.substance.com/recovery-2-0-how-the-internet-revolutionized-sobriety/10646/ which is a good article, talking about various blogs on the web, that are done by individuals. It includes the www.soberistas.com which I have talked about several times on this site. They also mention that people stay away from badly run forums, that are poorly moderated, and avoiding the pack mentality of these places. These sites are often the places where disruptive people who are refered to as trolls online, base themselves.

The sites mentioned in the substance.com piece are well run and safely moderated, as are the sites on my blogroll. There are also sites that let you sign up to newsletters which can be really useful. Through one of these, I recently became aware of this non 12 step site which has a good blog attached to it which some of you may find interesting.  You can find it here http://www.non12step.com/blog . the site contains many resources, and is useful if you wish to compare the differences between 12 step, and non 12 step solutions. They offer professional help.

I have been running this site www.recoveringfromrecovery.com since last November and it is starting to get quite big.  It has brought me into contact with a much wider group of people, than if I had just attended a recovery group or taken part on a forum. By writing about certain subjects, I have a clearer idea about some issues than before and have looked at many alternative methods of recovery. I am also in contact with several people who I probably would not have met otherwise via email, which is a good thing. By deciding to have a books section on here, it has forced me to read quite a few books on the subject, which I may not have done otherwise. It is easy to develop a closed mind in “recovery” and not think for yourself. It is also hard to put forward alternative ideas, in a recovery group, as you will often be shunned by other members of that community. This happens on online forums, as much as in formal face to face groups. Having your own blog allows you to speak freely about issues that are meaningful to you.

Wordpress

I guess my blog is a bit different to most as I had several years of living alcohol and drug free before I started it. I still find it valuable, but would certainly recommend starting an anonymous blog to anyone who is new to recovery. It will give you some focus, and will bring you into contact with other people. I would certainly avoid using your real name, especially if you write something that you later regret. There are also a few people out there, who are only interested in disrupting, and who spend a huge amount of their empty lives trolling other people online. They often come from the badly run unmoderated sites. It is also a good idea to use a different email address than your main one for blogging.

It is easy to start a blog and WordPress is the most popular format. You can get a free blog setup here https://wordpress.com . My site runs on WordPress and has a complicated template or theme. This takes a while to figure out, and is not a good idea for somebody who is doing a website for the first time! This site is a lot harder to manage than I intended, and keep that in mind if you look for templates. I would advise starting with something simple, this site nearly drove me mad at the start. Having said that, something that takes up time, in early days of going alcohol free is a good thing, so mastering WordPress might actually help.

Good luck if you decide to join the blogging community, it does take a while to get used to running a site, but is very rewarding when you can look back at your work.

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  1. Great post. Totally agree. Have been itching to start blogging about my new non-AA sober life but others, such as yourself, do it so well..!

    I love the word “sobersphere” in that article. (As you know) I recently quit AA after nearly 14 years. As a matter of fact it’s my 14th AA birthday tomorrow. Although I now wish I’d gone after around five years sober, as that would have saved around a thousand hours wasted in AA meetings listening to the same old self-absorbed out of date quasi-religious nonsense … I have to admit, however, that the “sobersphere” just wasn’t around in 2005 and without the support I’ve had online from your site and others I almost certainly would have fallen victim to the false 12 Step dogma that if you leave the support of meetings and stop doing the programme of recovery you’ll inevitably get drunk and die. That’s what I’d been programmed to do and without the online peer support available from non-12 steppers such as yourself that’s probably what would have happened. However, I’m very pleased to say that with the support of the “sobersphere”, it’s actually been pretty easy.

    It’s gradually dawning on me that the internet actually offers a whole new paradigm for the treatment of alcoholism and drug addition. The Oxford Group, which was the basis for the 12 Steps and the principles of which are riven throughout AA literature and methodology, ceased being an effective campaigning force in around 1939 — which coincidentally was just as AA was taking off. By the time I got sober in Brighton (England) six decades later it was AA or nothing. AA or death, frankly. AA has continued to grow here, and we’ve now over 50 AA meetings per week (!) locally … but only two SMART meetings.

    That’s a start, though, and the internet will only help. SMART barely existed at all in the UK when I was a low bottom drunk. Now it’s growing as people look online for rational alternatives to AA and realise that finally, and largely thanks to the “sobersphere”, 12 Step treatment is not the only choice. There’s a huge amount of valuable peer support online.

    You don’t have to go to AA. You don’t have to humble yourself before a group of well meaning but unqualified and uninsured neurotics who have no real solution to the problems of their own life, let alone your desperate struggle with alcohol. You don’t have to trek across town to sit in a dingy church hall and drink awful instant coffee and pig out on cheap biscuits. You don’t have to rely on a treatment that was devised eighty years ago and hasn’t changed since. (How would you feel if a doctor offered you eighty year old medicine for any other condition — let alone one as destructive as alcoholism..?) You don’t have to swallow your intellectual pride and beg a God you don’t even believe in, who any rational person knows doesn’t exist anyway, to “help” you … or kid yourself that you’ll be “spiritual, not religious” instead.

    You can do it yourself. Now. Here in the “sobersphere” where a huge range of fantastic and varied sites offer all kinds of help and inspiration … and I’m sure lots more are on the way. How cool is that..? Very cool. Very cool indeed. I wonder if the implications of all this are that the treatment industry may well suffer much like the music industry or the publishing industry in the next decade or so..? That will be an interesting thing to observe.

    Best, JS

  2. Thanks for such a great comment, and for the link you sent me, I have put the video on the site https://www.recoveringfromrecovery.com/fifty-shades-grey-matter/ Well done on your 14 years, that is a great acheivement, and sadly a figure that few manage, regardless of which type of support group they choose.
    The programming yourself to fail issue, is an important one and goes against current trends to help people build self esteem, by making them feel they are not powerless about problems.
    I was actually so desperate to stop in my early days that I wanted to believe in a God but that faded after a while and caused problems. It also causes problems for people who are religious and are offended by the AA God of your understanding.
    I think face to face support can be really helpful at times, especially at the start of an alcohol free journey, but I certainly have issues with the way it is done in AA. Smart is slowly growing and has a strong online presence, which may well be the way forward for it. I did not find out about Smart until I found the Stinkin Thinkin Site when it was a fast moving blog and people talked about it there. I think Hams also has an important part to play, especially for the young and those who struggle with abstinence. The more of us that talk about these places in a positive way the better as people will find out about the alternatives.

  3. It’s basic psychological abuse to claim that it is negative or unhealthy to express unpleasant feelings about AA abuse whether a person stays or leaves AA. There is no healthy reason to deny any feelings coming going or staying in relation to any emotional experience. Only people who are ashamed of their whole spectrum of human emotion would promote or suggest such basically abusive emotional repression. The full spectrum of emotions is especially necessary for grieving the trauma always experienced as a result of addictions or substance use disorders..You really should not offer free unqualified psychological advice because it is medical negligence. Please leave psychology to professionals who have comprehensive training. AA should do the same because AA contains very basic blatant emotionally abusive suggestions that it should never offer to the public indiscriminately due to false ego desire.

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