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Getting alternative AA meetings approved by your program?

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Specializes in PDN; Burn; Phone triage. Has 8 years experience.

catsmeow1972, BSN, RN

Specializes in OR. Has 15 years experience.

I just want to know what the point is of forcing attendance of these things on people that do not have drug/alcohol/addictions issues. I believe it is an example of the trend of patholigizing otherwise normal behavior. The "recovery" industry seems to purport that everybody is addicted to something, and therefore AA etc. is the end all be all fix. I still maintain that if AA etc is what keeps you sober/clean etc. go for it. Great that there is something out there to help you. For the rest of us, I feel that mandated attendance is useless and something of an insult to those who find help there.

I just want to know what the point is of forcing attendance of these things on people that do not have drug/alcohol/addictions issues. I believe it is an example of the trend of patholigizing otherwise normal behavior. The "recovery" industry seems to purport that everybody is addicted to something, and therefore AA etc. is the end all be all fix. I still maintain that if AA etc is what keeps you sober/clean etc. go for it. Great that there is something out there to help you. For the rest of us, I feel that mandated attendance is useless and something of an insult to those who find help there.

I absolutely agree with you. I actually try to go with a friend to AA who says the program saved her life. When I met her there, she knew everyone and is totally comfortable in that environment. Her knowing everyone actually made me MORE uncomfortable. As if, if everyone weren't staring at me before, now they are. It's an irrational mind thing, I know, but it's my messed up brain and it's how it works. But, let me know if you're able to substitute Rational Recovery. It's worth the $300+ to do it this way. Thanks!

dirtyhippiegirl, BSN, RN

Specializes in PDN; Burn; Phone triage. Has 8 years experience.

How would you provide proof of attending online meetings? Seems like an ethical issue to submit, say, copies of chat logs because you're divulging everyone's issues that way.

I know people who just go to NA/AA speaker meetings. The stories can get pretty crazy-entertaining and some of the speakers are actually really good. But my state does not necessitate that you provide proof that you have a sponsor and are working the program.

I do kinda get why monitoring programs want you to attend in-person meetings. I have more than two dozen psych unit admissions to my name, so I am intimately familiar with severe mental illness. I wish the mental health community had the same easily accessible, grass-roots, peer-lead community that AA/NA provides to addicts. The *relationships* that are built are the cornerstone of success in the (AA/NA) program in my opinion (and that's a very controversial opinion to have if you're in the program so there's that) and it's a shame the same sort of relationship support isn't more widely available to folks with mental illness.

catsmeow1972, BSN, RN

Specializes in OR. Has 15 years experience.

I'm not entirely certain how it works, but I believe that there is a way for the moderator to supply proof that you've been "there" so to speak. There is a charge for it but that I think it is to defray the cost of confidential recording of participation. I have not done any more looking into it due to lack of time and money. My states program is so financially severe that in spite of working full time, I have very little income to spare. For now I am just takng the grin and bear it approach

I too understand the idea of in-person contact. Some type of social interaction is vital to aid in keeping one's wits about themselves. I just don'f understand the point of forced interaction with people you would otherwise have no identification with. I know for me, treating my depression involves taking my meds, seeing my therapist and making an effort to go out and do the things I enjoy. Forced attendance at those meetings is not enjoyable and as Lille said above, survival of them means clock watching till I can leave without being rude.

Edited by catsmeow1972
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For me, it's not just the speaking that bothers me. It's everything about it...being around people, holding hands with people I don't know, how everyone there wants to be there because this works for them, the steps, the prayers, everything. I've attended meetings, many meetings. I've tried. In addiction, as well as mental illness, you can't go by the "one size fits all" approach. It's not. For me, dealing with my mental illness comes first because with that dealt with, I have NO desire to use. These people say they think about drinking every day and that there are certain triggers for them. I don't have those feelings now that I'm on an antidepressant that works for me. AA/NA does nothing fo my sobriety, but Effexor does. It's the difference between life and death for me and you would thin Boards Of Nursing would recognize the difference.