As one member sees it.
I sobered up before there was SOS. I went to AA not because it helped me stay sober but because I was told over and over this was the only way that I could remain sober/drug free. What I got most from AA was that "I made it a place where I practiced speaking" in discussion meetings. I learned to over come my shyness. I meet some really great people there. Made friends and found that I enjoyed the parts between the meeting best.
In using AA I never did the steps. When asked what step I was on I would say I was still working on the first one. I never did get through it.
I would never recite the lords prayer. For me religion was and still is a private matter.
The idea of a sponsor was not to my liking. It was foreign to all of my beliefs. Why would I put my life in the hands of a drunk or a dope fiend? I may have had problems with alcohol/drugs that didn't mean that I was crazy. If I need someone to tell me how to live my life I will go to a professional. Our I will make my own mistakes and learn from them.
I was criticized for how I was doing my recovery. I was told over and over what I was doing was wrong. Why wasn't I encouraged to continue with what was working? This is a support group isn't it?
The longer I stayed clean & sober the more criticism I got.
I finely left AA and continued on with my recovery.
When I found SOS I really liked the way they embraced the fact that we are each different. Our recovery is different for each of us. Our religious and political views are separate from our recovery.
I have encouraged many of our members to go to AA for support. There are SOS members who use both SOS & AA.
The problem that I have had "in my opinion" is that the group doesn’t take a stand about members criticizing another members way of recovery. If it works it works. The group in "my opinion" has a duty to let its members know that there is no such thing as one way.
With all this said I would still suggest that SOS members go to AA for support.
Seek out supportive people. Know that you have a "Safe Place" to come back to. If a member of SOS jumps on you and says that your recovery plain is wrong, most of us at SOS will jump to our feet and defend you & your right to be different. If what you are doing is working and you are alcohol/drug free then you must be doing some thing right.
I would like to reach out to AA members. Please do no harm. If someone can't make it in AA send him or her to other groups so they may have a chance of finding recovery. Care about the person first the group comes second.
In SOS using other support groups in no way will affect your standing in SOS. We are each unique. There is no such thing a "one way".
This is Duaine M. from Dallas here.
Hi Duaine :-)
I checked out the addition to the site, and think it's great! And you stated a lot of my own feelings about/between SOS and AA.
I initially got sober through AA, but have realized that a lot of what AA promotes and "suggests" its members do and believe, I didn't and couldn't believe, or at least to the extent of having my sobriety depend on it. Some of the points you made in what you wrote on the site hit them on the head. Thank you!
I've been in/around recovery for 8 years now, through AA, and I'm realizing that some of the tenets of AA are what may even be what are contributing to my inability to stay sober.
The biggest two that come to mind are powerlessness, and HAVING to "work the program" exactly as everybody else does, with no room for me to do any thinking for myself. As you mentioned...turning my life over to another drunk (sponsor) to teach me how to stay sober. I just couldn't get around those...and there are more, but I don't want to get into it all right now
BUT, AA does have a lot to offer, and to tell you the truth, I don't know if I could have been able to get any grasp of what sobriety is supposed to be about, if I hadn't been introduced to AA and had the initial support that helped pull me through those first months of sobriety that I'd ever had in my adult life.
Anyway, I did want to say also that I've been having a hard time "jumping in" and getting involved with the group, but I'd really like to! So this is my first attempt...but I hope not my last one :-)