I LOVED IT!
I loved that we did not have to spend time reading the same thing that is read at every meeting (like the steps and promises in AA, which I feel are a waste of time unless it is your first meeting.)
I like that we didn’t have to all hold hands at the end and say some prayer (especially when AA tries to say it is not religious but then has everyone read a Christian prayer.)
I like that after sharing, the facilitator asks us questions. “So what did that make you want to do? How did you feel? Did you crave alcohol when that happened?” It felt like real therapy. And I liked that others in the group could comment to other shares.
I like that we are taught tools and go over the tools together. I guess that would be like going over a step in a meeting.
We had 8 members, plus facilitator, and they considered that a big group. Two of them were old timers and four of us were brand new to SMART. If someone started to bash AA, the facilitator would say we are not here for that. He said we are not to focus on the negative. We don’t use labels such as “alcoholic” because of the negativity of the word. We say we have a problem with substance use or abuse. We don’t really count time or days. We just work on the tools and strategies to improve our lives which are:1) building and maintaining motivation; 2) coping with urges; 3) managing thoughts, feelings and behaviors; and 4) living a balanced life.
And a little story that was shared in reference to slipping or relapse: If you were driving a car from New York to California and the car broke down in Kansas, would you drive it back to New York to be fixed? Or would you pick up from where it broke down? Similarly, just because I slipped a few times, it does not take me back to the very start. I have learned a lot about myself and my sobriety since January 2014. Just because I drank a few weeks ago, it does not make me a newbie. I would not want another 30 day chip, (even if the AA in my area gave them out.)
I will still go to AA meetings for the fellowship of it. But I am done with pretending I will do the “steps” and wanting a sponsor. I wouldn’t mind having a friend to help support me but I would rather call the person that: a friend.
Unfortunately there is only 1 SMART meeting a week that is close to me. And I won’t be able to attend another until December due to my work schedule. But there are online meetings I will check out. And if you are on the forums or SROL (SMART Recovery OnLine), my username is k365.