Therapists use a variety of tools to help newcomers and those formerly sober folks who felt the need to do some additional field work. One therapist I know likes to use the concept of the AA “Askit Basket”, adapted to a mixed group of alcoholics and other addicts, where participants put anonymous question slips into a basket or jar, and then the group uses them at random to stimulate discussions. With the permission of the group, she passes the anonymous questions on to me, and I try to craft explanations for a wider audience.
Lately there have been a lot of questions about sponsors and sponsorship, so I thought I’d devote a couple of posts to questions about that important subject. Read more at the blog…
As wired as I am, spending hours a day online, working on a computer, a smartphone with me 24/7, I still find myself oddly resistant to some of the cutting edge aids to recovery. I understand how the old-timers feel when they say “all I needed was the (whatever), and that’s all anyone needs now,” and speeches to that effect.
And yet, I’m committed in my own way to “cyber-recovery,” as is apparent from what I do. I have to remind myself that the digital natives look at the world differently than us digital immigrants who learned to type on typewriters — and, in my case, not even an electric. They communicate differently, relate to the outside world differently, have different kinds of relationships, and are in touch with each other and the rest of the world with a scope that was unimaginable when I was their age back in the 1950’s and ’60’s.
Researchers now tell us that our grandchildren have begun to think differently than any other humans in history. They are restructuring our language, our ideas of community, and doubtless their own concepts of self. It is totally unreasonable to think that they won’t recover differently, using different resources, or to assume that they will not do so as successfully as my generation or that of their parents.
So us old-timers need to understand that we are dealing with an evolving species. If we’re not to be left in the dust of their changing worldview and thought processes, we need to force ourselves to understand and admit that we don’t have all the answers. In fact, when it comes to these newcomers, if we don’t keep up we are likely to be left behind entirely.
There is absolutely no reason why addicts shouldn’t attend AA meetings. However, AA has traditions that are important to the fellowship and to many of the members. One of those is that they generally confine their discussions to alcoholism and recovery from alcoholism….
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If you hang around treatment centers for any length of time, you will eventually hear someone say (or say yourself) something on the order of “I already know this stuff. Why should I stay here?”
This makes perfect sense, from the standpoint of someone in very early recovery. In treatment, there are things that get repeated over and over. That’s because we learn by repetition. If we were studying for a part in a play, we would think nothing of going over our lines and actions repeatedly. In recovery, we’re trying to replace old ways of instinctive thinking with new ones. Repetition helps, but it can be the “same ol’ same ol’” after a while.
We know, however, that addicts often need a second or third trip through treatment before they actually learn what they need to know to change old behavior and stay clean and sober. More…
(From the Sunrise Detox Blog, which I write.)