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Recovery: Not a One Stop Shop


When I stopped using drugs and drinking, I didn’t realize that there was more to recovery than physical sobriety. Not all of the issues that I’m dealing with can be addressed in AA; luckily, there are other 12-step programs available for me. I can discuss my physical sobriety and struggles at NA and AA, deal with food issues at OA, and for my sexual and relationship strife – my newest exploration into other programs – SLAA.

When I first got out of treatment, I was against going to any program that wasn’t NA. After all, I’m a heroin addict – that’s what got me into rehab to begin with. I soon relented to try AA meetings in the area, but that was as far as I’d go. However, once my mind started to clear from the drug-induced haze, I started to realize that many other problems were popping up. It became like a mental game of whack-a-mole. Disordered eating became a huge part of my life and it wasn’t something that I found much support or space for in NA or AA. Although I was in sobriety, I was miserable because of other things going on in my life: purging, restricting, relationship problems, promiscuity. These weren’t things that I was particularly comfortable discussing in the meetings I was already attending. Then someone suggested that I try other 12-step programs specifically designed for the problems I was experiencing.

Although I wasn’t excited about trying another program, I began to experiment with OA (Overeaters Anonymous, a place for all disordered eating). I found that although the format and content of the meetings were different from what I had become accustomed to, I could relate and start to find some relief in these rooms as well. I haven’t been working an active OA program, but I’d definitely like to begin some deeper work in this program, if only because it gives me a stronger chance at enjoying a life in recovery.

It was this train of thought that allowed me to be open minded enough to consider going to SLAA – Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous. People have been suggesting this to me for months, and I’ve been declining for just as long. I was offended – I was not using sex or relationships to cover up anything, I simply was enjoying being young! Right? Wrong. As I’ve grown in sobriety, it’s become less and less comfortable to continue the same sexual and interpersonal behavior that I’ve used in the past. I actually plan to attend my first SLAA meeting tonight, and although I’m nervous, I’m excited to see if this program can offer clarity and happiness, the very things that have been missing from my sobriety.

In reality, recovery is not a one stop shop. Not every issue that we face can be addressed in one 12-step program. Of course, we can have a main program and main fellowship, but the fact is that there are so many places we can go to receive support for other problems. OA, NA, AA, SLAA – they all offer fellowship, support, and recovery. Now that I’m physically sober, I’m looking for the emotional sobriety that I know I can find in other 12-step programs. It’s scary to try something new, but in the end, I can take away a lesson – no matter what the experience.

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A native New Yorker, Bre loves the California scene and writing for Treatment4Addiction. She has been writing content for T4A for five months, and loves to learn new things, form opinions, and send them out to the world. Her interests include dance, singing, acting, talking with friends, being a daughter, and being the best big sister she can to her 16 year old brother. After attending ASU for a few months, she is interested in taking cosmetology classes and exploring her options. She looks forward to learning all she can, and doing something positive with that knowledge and experience.

Filed under: Addiction, Recovery, Substance Abuse · Tags: AA, NA, OA, SLAA