FAQ

Jul. 16th, 2016 02:58 am
atma: ([SW] Eila - gpoy)
[personal profile] atma posting in [community profile] atmaholics


Before I say anything, if you think you're about to go through withdrawal of any kind, seek an ambulance/emergency room IMMEDIATELY! Do NOT fuck around with this. I repeat; DO NOT FUCK AROUND WITH WITHDRAWAL as sudden withdrawal from most substances, but especially alcohol, can be fatal, and be fatal fast. I don't care if you can't afford it, you can't afford to die either. GET HELP!


Q: What is the purpose of this community?
This community was started with the idea of helping myself in my own recent sobriety from alcohol by posting material that helps me daily sort myself out, accrued from a variety of sources. Others began to take interest in my recovery and using these tools to help themselves, even if they were not addicts, and I began to think of how to make a repository for them. I may from time to time post my own thoughts or work or venting on the subject as I go through this. It's also a place for anyone to discuss these thoughts or receive my help in achieving or maintaining sobriety from anything, or questioning in a safe space if they are an addict of any sort. In short, it's another tool to keep me from picking up a drink ever again. After all, the easiest way to keep something is to give it away.

Remember though at all times that I (and most likely everyone else) is not a medical or legal professional of any kind, and any advice and discussion here should not be a substitute for doctors or lawyers or any of that, and I and others here are not responsible for any fallout in your life as a result of you listening to us instead of one who works in the field.

I cannot guarantee that all thoughts or all posts will be of benefit to non-addicts, but I will try to add my own opinion and ideas on it that it may benefit those not in the throes of this disease.


Q: So you're just a branch of AA/NA?
Sort of. Unofficially, but this place will adhere much to the same structure and rules of those places, though it will remain open to non-addicts. A lot of the discussion points and references used will come from both places. Though their rules about inclusivity and nondiscrimination and not taking sides will always be in effect here. Nobody is required to be or do anything to be here nor will I charge money.

Like AA and NA, I don't care what you use(d) or to what amount or where you got it. I won't judge you on that. However, unlike AA and NA, if you're still using anything for any reason, legit or not, it will not be held against you. I will never require any measure of time for this, and relapses/slips will be treated as the serious incidents they are, but not with the grave penalties of having lost time or anything of the sort like those organizations tend to do.

(Also I sadly, unlike AA and NA, do not have any cool medallions or keychains to give you to celebrate given lengths of clean/sober time with. Just pretend I put the community's logo/icon with a number on it on a button for you or something.)


Q: I hear AA/NA is a cult/religious/insane/brainwashes you/some other rumor, is this true?
In my experiences, not at all. I have found both organizations to be amazingly welcoming in my short time so far attending them. I am happy to say it's the opposite of all that. You do not have to be of a specific faith or spirituality or belief or nonbelief to be here. All are equal here.


Q: Don't you do medical marijuana/narcotic painkillers/other stuff? How do you justify that with your recovery and membership in AA and NA? How can you judge another's recovery or issues or guide them through it if you're using those still?
Just because I don't drink doesn't mean I don't have other issues that can be tended to by quitting what I put in my body; that's not how health works. Any AA or NA meeting where individuals and/or the group encourage you to quit all your medications, especially cold turkey, and especially if it's against a doctor's guidance and orders, should not be listened to and I would even advise to find another group entirely. They are not medical experts nor doctors nor hospitals; they themselves specifically say this on a group and organization level repeatedly. This is not their job. If you are concerned about other medications and such you take now that you no longer drink, talk to your doctor and only quit stuff at your doctor's discretion and guidance. Some people cannot use many or most kinds of medications, though, as it turns out, and may have to give up even stuff like caffeine as they become sober and sort themselves out, and that is a legitimate path and if you feel this is more what you are, please continue to better yourself.

AA and NA both say what your alcoholism or addiction is to you is what it is to you and your definition of it may not fit someone else or even anyone else ever. After all, you're you, you're the only one who can really diagnose yourself with these things, and your symptoms and your story of drinking or using are yours, and they're not interested in how much you used of what or where you got it form who, just that you care now to stop whatever it is.

That said, marijuana is, for me, a legitimate medical prescription recommended to me by several clinics and doctors with full, legitimate degrees, and while some of them couldn't prescribe it for me themselves as their clinic could lose federal funding, they still supported me finding a doctor who would, for a myriad of issues that's safer for me to take than many of the more mainstream alternatives for treating these specific maladies. These includes PTSD/depression, insomnia, pain/muscle spasm/pinched nerve/migraine issues, managing my energy levels more evenly as I'm awake so I can avoid naps, it helps curb alcohol cravings (I would believe some of you would cheer me on for this alone), and many other things. I would be far more concerned about my health, safety, and behavior if I went back on anti-depressants, especially SSRIs, after my particularly horrendous history with Paxil (which I consider now part of my addiction history). That's a legit danger to me and counts far more towards my recovery and being in NA than medical weed does. While I enjoy the effects of it and painkillers on my brain and body, I can't afford to use recreational much, and probably won't even after it's legalized in my state (California) probably later this year (this was written as of July 2016 so).

As far as others go, if they're uncomfortable taking advice from me or listening to me or having me listen to them because of this, they're absolutely free to go elsewhere for help. That's their comfort and their recovery at stake, not mine, and I can understand if they'd rather go elsewhere. My girlfriend and I both count this as me being sober, since I use it so I can be a functioning person and am capable of doing any of the work and errands required of me while on an average dose without hardly any interference. A healthier Atma is a happier Atma, as I assume you being healthier would make you happier, too.

Unless it starts to make my life unmanageable as per Step One of AA and NA, then for now, I personally see no reason to table it or set it aside or find another way out or another way to treat it or count it as "against" my sobriety. You are free to disagree, though, and are not bound to stay here by contract or fee.


Q: What's with the logo/icon?
The snake with the kanji for crimson is the logo of Homura's Crimson Squad from Senran Kagura. They are a group of renegades who once belonged to an evil school, but cut ties with it once it proved itself too foul even for them, but they still believe them outcasts. The parallel between that and how many people still view addicts/alcoholics as immoral is obvious, as is the truth that I can never go back to my old ways of drinking "normally" and shall remain on the fringe the rest of my days, even if another drop of alcohol never enters me again.

The circle with a triangle in it is an old logo of AA, no longer official, but still widely recognized by many in the organization as meaning something to them. The circle represents unity between us all, and the triangle was the three points of Recovery, Unity, and Service. A circle with a square/diamond is the NA symbol, which the circle means the same, with the square/diamond meaning a base of good will surrounded by pyramid points of Self, Service, Society, and God, ending in a point of infinite freedom at the top.

I merely combined all these aspects into the icon used for the community.


Q: I thought you said this wasn't religious? You just said God.
Any God or spirituality talk is meant to be a placeholder for your own personal beliefs, even if you don't believe in this at all. It, like in AA or NA, will be used to represent your Higher Power in life as you understand it, even if your HP is a rock, a car, the goodness of others, or a rainbow jet unicorn with laser eyes. It's all equal here. I'm serious.


Q: Do I have to have a DW account to join or participate?
No, anonymous commentary is on, and will only be revoked if abused heavily. Sockpuppet/RP journals accepted if you don't want to use a personal one. AA and NA both thrive on the idea of anonymity on both a personal and universal/group level in order to survive and make people feel safe and welcome, so if anyone starts abusing this I am going to be Really Fucking Pissed.


Q: Can I get more AA/NA info?
Go to their websites here - AA + NA

Both have resources available in a multitude of languages.


Q: What materials will you be using?
Whatever is generally available through the AA and NA websites and offline meetings, which for AA is a great deal of their material and for NA a decent amount. You can obtain copies of a lot of what I'll be using by going to their websites; a majority of it is free, and even the pay stuff is often just given away at meetings to those of us less fortunate. (My entire collection of physical copies of AA and NA literature was obtained through such immense charity thanks to the donations of people much kinder and of deeper wallets than I.) If the service offices find me and are uncomfortable with me reprinting any information for any reason, they can contact me and I'll see what I can do to accommodate them.

As a general rule, AA material is easier to come by than NA, and is usually more free and available to the public due to the fact it has far far more funding than NA does, but I find what I can get of NA's works to be valuable to me.

I will also supplement the posts with my own books and resources on philosophy and help and life through whatever I deem valuable, and make note of what it is and where to obtain it when possible.


Q: Is there any specific or set schedule to all this?
Not really, though I will try to post thoughts along the lines of stuff found in books like Daily Reflections once per 24 hours, usually around the time I wake up, whenever that is. Just try to check back once a day, and if I've not updated, try again later or the next day. Otherwise, posts will come as I see, as this being online, there is no set "meeting" end time, and discussion can happen at whatever pace people are comfortable with.


Q: Can I make a post?
Yeah sure, go for it anytime. Just don't be a dick. Use whatever meeting/speaking format you like or pick a subject you're curious about hearing more of, even if it's just from me. If you think your post will have any potentially upsetting content, please just add a general warning before you start as a common courtesy. If you're unsure if something will be upsetting, add it anyways. Better safe than sorry.


Q: What's your sobriety date?
Though I was a "dry drunk" before this date, I consider July 1st my sobriety date, as it's also the anniversary of my initial binge/hospitalization and subsequent and permanent alcoholism, and when I began to take my recovery in serious. I consider it the same for both AA and NA.


Q: Do you take donations?
Unlike an offline meeting, I have no rent to pay for a room nor coffee to buy nor candies or cookies to gift to you all, so in true AA/NA tradition, I will accept no money for any of this at any time.


Q: I have another question not answered here.
Post here and I'll clarify whatever it is.
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