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    Old 09-23-2003, 09:06 PM   #1
    buzz_saw
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    Post AA vs. RR

    I was wondering if anyone had any experience and/or opinions between Alcoholics Anonymous and Rational Recovery. They both claim to work, but go in almost two separate directions. AA is one day at a time, RR is quit for good. AA is you need AA and a higher power, RR is you have an addictive voice inside (the beast) and you don't have to listen to it. AA is keep coming back, RR is get on with your life. AA recovery is due to AA, RR recovery is due to you not using and listening to the urges. AA that alcohol is a disease and only a symptom of a problem and that alcoholics are insane people that always need meetings, RR says that people abuse alcohol for pleasure to escape reality and is a choice.

    I have heard that AA is better for less-self willed and less responsible people, where RR works for strong minded independants.

    I only have one shot (I think) at soberity. There are no RR meetings really, you work your self with the tapes / books. There are AA meetings in my area that get quite old hearing the same old stories and praising AA for recovery. Well going to AA meetings all the time after 10, 20 , even 30 sober does not seem very appealing to me. AA says that you have to work a 12 step program and make an inventory and amends to remove the cravings, that is hard to believe that that would help.

    I would really like to get involved in one of these, or maybe someone has good info on S.M.A.R.T..

    Any feedback is very much appreciated, good or bad for either program ... from experience or on the concepts themselves.

    Thanks!

     
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    Old 09-24-2003, 02:37 AM   #2
    Hopefortoday
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    Buzz saw . . . no matter the path of recovery you choose, good luck to you. Jeffie has had experience with both programs so maybe she can give you some good feedback.

    For me and my family the 12 steps have been positive, life-changing experiences. I'm in Al-Anon, my husband is in AA/NA. I didn't like going to meetings at first (neither did my husband), but we did what professionals and counselors told us to do: "keep going back." We take what we like from the meetings and leave the rest and it's helped us both live happy, peaceful, serene lives. We are also better parents and spouses too. The 12 steps work IF you work them, there's no doubt about that.

    All I know about RR is that it's pretty much based on condemning the 12 steps and AA. I've done a lot of research and even taken most of the tutorial on their website (although they really have nothing for family members of alcoholics/addicts available). A lot of what RR says does make sense. I've e-mailed the founder Jack Trimpey back and forth about his program because I too was curious but just can't get past the hate that is spewed from Mr. Trimpey and RR. But if it gets people clean, so be it and live and let live!

    Sorry, but I don't know anything about SMART.

    Again, there are many, many ways to get clean and stay clean. Good luck to you in finding yours!!

    [This message has been edited by Hopefortoday (edited 09-24-2003).]

     
    Old 09-24-2003, 08:20 AM   #3
    verylucky
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    My personal opinion is that Rational Recovery is dangerous. The true foundation of the program is that we can conquer our addiction thru willpower. That simply ain't so and is very dangerous for people that go that route and end up relapsing. If I'm not mistaken the Secretary of Rational Recovery (or some other officer) recently died in a drunk driving accident.

    Another aspect of Rational Recovery that I have a problem with is the fact the founder (or guru or whatever you want to call him), Jack Trimpy, has a financial interest in your recovery because he promotes the sale of his tapes and books so you can "learn his method" of staying clean.

    Lastly, everything I have ever read that has anything to do with Rational Recovery is critical of the AA program. It is obvious that Trimpy is marketing his wares to those people who don't feel that they fit in at AA meetings, etc. Hell, I hated AA when I first started trying to get clean. But it works if you follow the program. Period. If you do what the Big Book of AA tells you to do and work the 12 steps, and do so for the rest of your life, you will stay clean. It is a certainty.

    The problem is that we addicts (and I put myself at the top of this list) want to take the easy way or the path of least resistance. Well, you can't do that and work the 12 steps. You have to work and you have to be willing to humble yourself by being totally honest.

    But, you know what, I work what some people consider to be a fairly strong program but I still don't work nearly as hard at my AA program as I used to work to score drugs... it's not even close.

    However, I figure if I had to work so hard to get the drugs, I might as well put some work into staying off them.

    Hey, even though I'm not a proponent of Rational Recovery, if it keeps you clean then, by all means, that's what you should do because that's the goal of everyone of us addicts... to stay clean... and it doesn't matter what means you use personally, if it works, more power to you.

    Take care,
    verylucky

     
    Old 09-24-2003, 08:24 AM   #4
    timsworld73
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    I have sais this before...I believe that both can help different people. I think they both have positives. I worked the 12 steps and it helped me in not only addiction but life. But some are not comfortable with 12 steps and do better in RR. I say try one and if you dont feel it is helping switch. Whatever it takes to get clean is the goal...however we reach that goal.

     
    Old 09-24-2003, 11:03 AM   #5
    Jeffie010603
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    I wrote Trimpey about the myth going around that one of the founders of RR was in a dui accident. The TRUTH about that is that that lore is correctly associated with the founder of MM, Moderation Management. The lady who founded that is now serving time for multiple dui convictions, and may have even harmed someone in an accident, I can't recall at the moment.

    Secondly, that Mr. Trimpey profits from his RR theories whereas AA does not is false in my mind as well, though I maintain the utmost respect for Very Lucky and Hopefortoday nevertheless. The fortune that the founders of AA left their families not withstanding, I say this because the ENTIRE RECOVERY INDUSTRY is based upon 12 steps, and MANY, MANY entities ARE in fact PROFITTING from their approach, often by REPEAT BUSINESS, as in the case of the father of my child who is over 50 years old, been 12 stepping for over half his life, and just got out of his UMPTEENTH freakin' rehab stay, because his "one day at a time" approach invariably fails him. I think he's damaged for life, because he has it in his mind "I'm going to relapse if I don't go to meetings everyday," which is NOT the approach of all XA attendees, thankfully, but unfortunately applies to too many. I think the "spiritual awakening" CAN be very helpful to many people, as long as XA doesn't become another "crutch" propping them up, awaiting their inevitable fall. Conversely, I think many more people successfully abstain by deciding their not going to drink or drug again, period, WHETHER THEY ARE XA-ERS OR NOT. In other words, I believe that many people are actually utilizing RR's approach without labelling that--with or without the help of XA, or other intervention or assistance, they simply learn mastery over their respective "beasts."

    Ultimately I agree with the last poster. Follow your heart, go with what appeals to you, BUT DO SO WITH A CRITICAL AWARENESS of your own process. If one method doesn't work, try another one until you find what works for you. Personally, I'm still on the journey of figuring that out.

    Buzz, I thought you'd appreciate RR, since your sentiments were echoing it in my mind when I first read your posts. Glad to see you checked it out!

    I don't want to offend the sensibilities of the loyal XA fans here, but I WOULD be interested in discussing some of my own personal XA apprehensions with you, maybe in another thread that could be entitled with something to warn XA fans to steer clear of it. I haven't been able to process my concerns effectively with another person yet, which could facilitate my own process, if you kwim...

     
    Old 09-24-2003, 11:05 AM   #6
    Jeffie010603
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    P.S. I actually think there are dangers or pitfalls to BOTH RR and XA--just wanted to add that I appreciate and am inclined to agree with Lucky's assessment of RR as "dangerous" too. So you see I'm very much on the fence here...

     
    Old 09-24-2003, 11:44 AM   #7
    Hopefortoday
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    Jeffie . . . what's XA? LOL!! I know you didn't think I was genuine or serious before when I said this, but I DO hope you get off that fence and find your path to happiness!! Especially since you're a fellow Kentuckian!


     
    Old 09-24-2003, 12:10 PM   #8
    verylucky
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    Jeffie,
    Like I said before, if something works then, by all means, a person should do whatever that "something" is. I was just stating my opinion about AA v. RR as the initial poster asked. I still think it comes down to whether or not you believe addiction is a disease (as the AMA has said it is) and, if so, do you have the disease?

    If the answer to both of those questions is yes, then you have to treat it just like you would any other disease. I don't think talking about a "beast within" is any different than a theory about willpower being able to overcome the cravings and mental obsession to use.

    As far as the monetary angle. The fact is that Trimpey profits directly from the sale of the tapes and books. No single individual, or individuals, profit as the result of AA meetings, sponsorship or me working the 12 steps. Yes, people and or corporations that run treatment centers make money but they are not sanctioned or ran by AA, they are two totally different entities.

    Also, as far as your assertion that the founders of AA -- Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob -- left their families a great deal of wealth, I really don't know about that but I'm sure that they could have made millions from selling their life stories. However, the fact is they never profited a dime from AA. Bill Wilson's initial desire was to run it like a business and try to earn money and Dr. Bob, thankfully, wouldn't allow it.

    There are many people who never pay a dime, never go to treatment centers, yet go to AA meetings, work with a sponsor, work the twelve steps and stay clean for many years. It's available to anyone who wants to work the program.

    Are Mr. Trimpey's theories available for free? No, they aren't. He tells people little catch-phrases like "not letting the beast control" your life and then you have to purchase the books or tapes to get the "real good stuff" or the "whole story". Again, it's obvious that he is marketing to folks who are turned off by AA and, in my opinion, what he is doing, is dangerous -- Jeffie, the next time you write him, ask him about his success rate. You can rest assured he will say something to the effect that it is comparable to AA but he will never give you an exact figure because there is no way to track it -- the books and tapes are sold, and that's the last you hear from Mr. Trimpey.

    You, and Mr. Trimpey are right, there are people who decide they are going to stop drinking or drugging every day and they are able to do it. That's because they don't have the disease, they don't have the genetic predisposition that makes them unable to stop. Those people may have been dependent but they were not addicted. Those are some very fortunate people. We see them on here all the time. I would give anything if I was one of them, but I'm not so I've got to do the only thing that I've seen that really works if, and only if, you do exactly what is required. The question becomes whether the alcoholic/addict will do what is required.

    There is a book out there I think is entitled "A history of AA" or "How AA was formed", something like that. I read it while I was in treatment and it's really pretty fascinating.

    Jeffie, I'm not here to convince or maneuver people one way or the other. I'm just telling you my experience and my opinions... and you know what they say about opinions, don't you? They're just like *ssholes, everyone's got one. That doesn't mean my opinion is right or that Trimpey's opinion is right, it just means we view the whole issue from entirely different perspectives.

    Take care and stay clean,
    verylucky

     
    Old 09-24-2003, 03:55 PM   #9
    LaynesAddiction1
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    You need to figure your-self out on "your own" before you run to the first option. You need to take to time to ask your self "what do I believe & what are my negatives and positives" If you run to the first option and it doesn't work for you then you end up in a never ending cycle of disappointment.

    I figured out that I get easily disappointed and discouraged. So RR was my way.

    "those who expect nothing shall never be disappointed"

    I love 12 steppers though and all the help it's done for them. A lot of my friends are NA members and my father is a devote AA member. I wish I had that much faith in god but I just dont have it.

     
    Old 09-25-2003, 08:18 AM   #10
    Jeffie010603
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    Trimpey's theories ARE available for free. I bought his book a long time ago, never read it, and have my entire understanding of his theory from the website. It is in a nutshell to think of the addict in you as your "beast." So that when you want to drink or drug you tell yourself IT wants to drink or drug. "It" after all is simply that animal-part of us that is pleasure driven. Wants you realize that "it" is a parapalegic, unable to accomplish anything without the assistance of the real you which exists in your higher processes, it becomes a matter not of willpower but of discerning which thoughts are of "the beast," or of "the true you."

    Lucky you seem to be saying that "genetic predisposition" separates the truly addicted from the merely dependent, and that "what is required" for the "treatment" of the "disease" is whatever XA (Hope, the "X" stands for anything in front of Anonymous) prescribes by way of "working a good program." Where's the science in this? I HOPE the AMA isn't "indicating" 12-stepping as "treatment" for the "disease!!" You are truly brainwashed if you believe that people who take care of their substance abuse issues outside XA are therefore not addicted. And brainwashing is what I'm afraid of, and brainwashing is what becomes necessary--why? BECAUSE IT DOESN'T FREAKIN' MAKE ANY SENSE!! The LOGICAL mind rejects it! So why is it necessary to repeat the SAME THINGS at every meeting? Keep saying them until you believe them, right? "Fake it until you make it!" Basically, it's no different than going to church--it's a huge leap of faith, where you're rolling the dice and "hoping" this is where you're supposed to be. There is no proof--you keep talking about the statistics of RR which as a lawyer you are certainly intelligent enough to realize are IMPOSSIBLE to ascertain--But, worse, you speak of statistics as though ANYone were keeping track of who succeeds via the XA program, versus who fails! IF THE PROGRAM IS ANONYMOUS, HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE??? ANSWER: It isn't. Nobody knows. What IS known is that the relapse rate for people who have been through XA based recovery programs is HORRID. People get tired of monitoring their recovery "one day at a time," of their entire lives having to revolve around their addictions. Hell, if that's the case they may as well be getting a buzz on anyway, right?

    NOTHING and NO ONE can EVER hold XA accountable. Anyone who does fail just wasn't working the program correctly. You're supposed to keep an "open mind" but NOT if you begin to suspect that XA has problems of its own. "You're as sick as your secrets," but XA is full of them as well, so there is just a bunch of rigamarole there that my extremely active mind cannot succumb to. I WISH IT COULD, because I could use the companionship of some REAL friends, not people who are only going to be there for me as long as I attend meetings. I LOVE SPIRITUALITY and true spiritual fellowship, but I detest ALL RELIGIONS where any way other than theirs is the wrong way. Just like the Baptists say "if you haven't been saaaaaved you're going to hell," XA says "if you don't go to meetings, you'll die!" ****** that noise!

    I'm venting now, and I apologize. I'm frustrated, because I believe that what could be an awesome affiliation is shrunk to cult-like boxed-up mindset where only the compliant and malleable are welcome.

    In the heat of my passion I've lost all ability to post comprehensively, so I'll shut up after explaining one more thought I have: referring back to RR's beast theory--I truly believe that XA and RR, WHEN they DO work, are ULTIMATELY working in the same way, in that BOTH philosophies are basically aiming for the taming of our baser drives by our higher mental or spiritual faculties. If a person who attends meetings successfully abstains, it's NOT because he attends meetings, it's BECAUSE he's regained and maintained control over that beastly part of himself who wants to get high. It's funny, because I think Trimpey is an atheist--I asked him flat out if he was and he ignored my question, but here he's probably an atheist, yet his theory mirrors theology in that I've always maintained that "*****" is simply human spirit without God. I.E., the "beast."

    I don't know if I'm happy that you think AA is working for you or not Lucky, honestly. I KNOW it's the "politically correct" thing to say, but honestly, should I congratulate you for having to attend meetings multiple times a week for the rest of your life in order to remain abstinent?? "I'm sorry" seems more appropriate! Plus I KNOW you are extreeemely intelligent, and I sense your fanatacism as being a direct function of the fact that "what is required" is not substantiated logically, scientifically, reasonably... Seriously, "what is required" is that we never put another pain pill in our mouths again, period. Actually, here is where the "beast" concept appealed to me in the beginning from a utilitarian standpoint, in that what is required from there is that we practice moderation in all the rest of life's pleasurable pursuits. In other words, don't begin to overeat in place of taking pills, or whatever one might be inclined to overindulge in. Like I discovered ebay last week, and already I can see how I could be a candidate for ebay anonymous if I don't check my beast on that point right now! LOL!!

    I wish you all the success in the world Lucky. I just wish you didn't believe you have to attend meetings for the rest of your life in order to sustain it. Freedom, after all, is such a blessed thing. And believing that sets people up for failure time and again. If my baby's father had simply decided to NEVER DRINK AGAIN way back when, instead of taking things "one day at a time," he might actually BE a father to his children! And he knew full well the consequences when he CHOSE TO DRINK AGAIN. His did not RELAPSE, as though something beyond his control occurred to FORCE him back into alcoholism! HE MADE THE CONSCIOUS CHOICE TO GO DOWN THAT PATH AGAIN, BECAUSE HE WANTED TO GET HIGH, PERIOD! A TRUE disease is one in which we have no control, where the treatment that is indicated has been scientifically proven viable. Your cancer recurs, you get radiation and chemotherapy to treat it. It was beyond your control, other than preventative or lifestyle choices that MIGHT have warded it off.

    Maybe AA or NA is like that, a preventative measure. But it's certainly not a "cure," and should not be "what is required," by the state or anyone else IMO. BTW, THERE'S another false statement made at those meetings: not affiliated with any entity!! What do you call signing those slips that are court ordered?!! If that's not "affiliation" I don't know what is!! I DO know it's a bogus blending of church and state that's AGAINST THE CONSTITUTION!!

    My sponsor commented that her goal was to "get me out of my head," implying that I thought too much, as though thinking too much is dangerous. Well I suppose it is when a group's survival is dependent upon its masses blindly following, never questioning, and NEVER criticizing its practices!

    I haven't read your "let's talk" yet Lucky--I wanted to get caught up first. You probably won't want to now! Please, you and Hope, please know that my views on these things are NOT reflective of my opinion of you two, which is and will always be of the highest regard. I truly want the best for you and your precious kids (congrats HOPE!), and I suppose if that means multiple meetings every week, then so be it!

    Sorry so long... I said I haven't been able to talk about this with anyone!

     
    Old 09-25-2003, 08:31 AM   #11
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    Jeffie . . . you don't have to prove your method of sobriety to anyone but yourself. Those around you will see the effects of it and you can live by example!

    VL and I are committed to the 12 steps and are happy in doing so (as are our kids, families, employers, friends, etc.). I'm sorry you had a bad experience with XA (LOL!).

    Again, you say you're on the fence about recovery . . . I truly hope you find peace and happiness! Life is so good when you do!!

     
    Old 09-25-2003, 09:11 AM   #12
    verylucky
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    Jeffie,
    I responded to the earlier post before looking at this one. I'm not going to have a discussion with you if you are going to get personal, which you have done (i.e. the "brainwashing" and other comments).

    I'm truly sorry your experience with AA hasn't been positive. Mine wasn't at first either. But all I've done is tell you my experience and you want to attack the theories behind the experience. That's your perogative.

    I'm going to a meeting now.
    Take care and best of luck to you,
    verylucky.

     
    Old 09-25-2003, 09:40 AM   #13
    Jeffie010603
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    ...

    [This message has been edited by AddictionMod (edited 09-25-2003).]

     
    Old 09-25-2003, 09:58 AM   #14
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    jeez jeffie!
    i go to aa and actually am in the process of finding another group. the one i call my home group, i am see more and more problems in. like the one's you cite-lack of support, only care as long as you parrott whatever they say, etc. hell, i'm actually mad as hell at these people (in this one group). i think what vl is saying is whatever works for you. but, in early recovery, i have found that it is sooo hard to tune out those who have other agendas in the various groups. as an addict, i want so desperately to belong and have these people like me. i seek approval constantly, generally b/c i don't trust (or even really love) myself that much. i can see where my own judgement has gotten me. yet another binge the other night. nothing has changed, the same crap happened, but i made that choice. still have no idea what i was thinking. just didn't want to feel the way i did and still do. so of course i reverted to the old behavior and thoughts, drink and maybe it'll seem better. for me, no amount of will power can stop me. trust me i beat myself up over this all the time. why am i not "normal"? the real answer is I DONT KNOW.
    as for brainwashing, do you think maybe you hooked up with some freaks? i know there are plenty out there and they don't like me since i don't buy into their BS. that's they're problem. i'm just trying to do whatever i can to help myself. i don't think aa is cultlike but there are many cliques kinda like in high school. i have very few people i really talk to may be 5 or 6. the rest can go away. please don't leave, i have enjoyed your posts in the past.
    laney

     
    Old 09-25-2003, 12:06 PM   #15
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    Thanks Lane,
    You made my point better than I did. I'm glad you are looking for a new home group as opposed to giving up. I've found that the best meetings for me, personally, are those where I have a lot in common with a significant number of the people that attend. My home group is an all male group that meets just down the road from my office.

    I've been in the exact place Jeffie is in right now. I wanted to debate everyone about every aspect of the AA program. That didn't work too well for me. Hopefully, it will work better for Jeffie. Jeffie apparently views anyone who chooses the AA path to recovery as being mindless. That's really sad.

    I don't care how Jeffie (or anyone else) gets clean, as long as they get clean. I try not to push AA on anyone but I will give my opinion and tell them my experience when someone asks. If someone ever feels like I'm pushing something on them, they should be honest enough to tell me to back off. I would do the same for them.

    AA is the only thing that, from my experience and observation, works for ME. And that's the only person I have to worry about keeping clean.

    I've got to give a quick example of how the program works for me because this just happened. I just got back from a meeting and there was some horse's *ss there that took up a third of the meeting whining about this and that and not really looking for a solution to his problems. My initial inclination was to get up and leave. But, the way I look at things now, is that that person was put in that meeting for a reason.

    I think he was used today to teach me patience. Because, toward the end of the meeting, an elderly lady spoke up about the pain she is experiencing watching her son go down the same path her alcoholic husband (his father) travelled. Well, one of my primary goals in life is to break the cycle of addiction with my son. A cycle that has gone on for generation after generation. I really needed to hear what that lady had to say.

    Please don't quit posting Jeffie and thanks again Lane,
    verylucky

     
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