MAP Group session at ARC

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Well, after being badgered by the doctor every time I saw him at the ARC, I finally relented to attend one group session, in return for sorting my prescription out - which it has yet and I will take great pleasure in letting him know that one kept their end of the bargain and one didn't.

So, I went this morning, one and a half hours. The group wasn't as bad a mix as I had feared or been warned. Obviously you have to allow for the fact that people are attending for a reason that may affect their lives somewhat.

I'll give you the short version. The was eight of us including me, plus the guy taking it, who was and ex-recovery person of the ARC - peer grouping they refer to it as.

There was probably four of us that spoke and the other half pretty much didn't say a thing, which is okay, because not every one is comfortable with it. Somebody had also had a stroke and been to the same rehab hospital, it was nice to actually have met someone for the first time, that has also been through it, although it was nothing to do with alcohol.

Interestingly, two of three had been on a residential detox, with a follow up residential rehabilitation and there was a third going on it in a couple of weeks. I know I asked about this when I first went to the other branch and was told no way, too expensive and I don't qualify. The fact that I'd been in hospital and I said surrounding factors influence me, like a good country pub 30 yards from my driveway, that it would be better if I was taken out of my normal routine and environment, counted for nothing.

I think a lot of these people become institutionalised. They're almost taught that they have to forget every thing and follow a new way, and the number of people who introduced themselves as 'XXXX' an alcoholic, abstinent for 'x' months or years. I felt like saying, if you're not drinking alcohol, you no longer meet the definition of an alcoholic.

I just introduced myself and said, like others, I have had an issue with alcohol. If someone had tried to say I'm an alcoholic, I would have just said that I reject any tags to describe myself that fit in with the current meme and that I view myself as a person and defining myself as an alcoholic, almost condemns me to failure from the start.

Althougth the guy running the course was careful not to knock the AA, he was quite clear that it hadn't worked for him and that it might work for a limited audience.

Back to the institutionalised, I believe some were there as part of their probation and I think a high percentage were not working and in receipt of benefits. I say this because a number said they attended every week, and quite a number were staying for the afternoon meeting of mindfulness. I thought, don't you have things to do?

They seemed to have swapped dependency on alcohol, to dependecy on groupthink. I felt that this way of life had now become a normality and that if these meetings were taken away from them, they would immediately return to alcohol. They somehow had lost their independence, they seemed happy to be stuck in this loop, with no defined plan, on how to get better, move on and go back to normailty.

Someone was on Antabuse, and my blood started to boil. He had been on it for a course of a few months and wanted to extend it. He had already managed to drink on it and make himself ill. He complained that they were hesitant to represcribe it and that what was wrong if it was stopping him drinking. I had to speak up and say because you are doing substitution dependence. I had a prescription in my bag of Campral, how I wanted to take it out, hand it to him and say, try that.

I then went on to talk about why people were having problems, shaky hands etc - central nervous system fecked. Why people were struggling with willpower, because your neural pathways have changed etc. I could go on and er... I did. I said there is medication to help you, I use it and it works for me.

They seem to feed off each other, happy to talk about the same old things, patting everyone on the head for a month off the beer. I felt like saying, how many people move on from this, how many get their life back together and go back to normal.

I felt like saying. Who's got a plan, a detox, followed by medication and a system to keep you way from temptation. Surely coming here every week is just reminding you of what's wrong, not how you're going to fix it. Have you set goals, time frames, ability to measure progress and what plan if it doesn't happen. How will you measure success, have yout got a finsih marker that when you get there you can move on.

That's about as condensed an hour and a half as I can.

2 likes, 37 replies

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37 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi RHGB

    Very interesting reading. Not much time to say anymore but understand exactly what you mean. Things need to change! Lets hope some of those people took advice from you and will open their eyes further 

    BTW, thanks for advice on my meal plan a couple of days ago . I didnt have potatos but realise that maybe I need more carbs so will up those a little. I will get a bllod test and will let you know.

    Thanks again smile 

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    • Posted

      You guessed what I was on about then. You have cut out alcohol (carbs) you are cutting out other carbs and your diet contains very little fat.

      Contrary to popular belief, fat doesn't make you fat, unused carbs that turn to sugar then fat, do. Your body is made of fat and needs it, when you starve it of carbs (energy), it will turn to fat instead, except you're not eating any, so you are lacking energy foods in your diet. Fat is longer lasting than carbs.

      Recommended Ranges                            Lower Carb Higher Protein

      Carbohydrates   45-65%                            45%

      Protein               10-35%                             25%

      Fat                      20-35%                            30%

      Cutting carbs in favour of fat is a huge change for your metabolism. Your body needs some time to adjust to this change. This period of adjustment can sometimes cause flu-like symptoms (AKA Carb Flu). Fatigue is the most common one, but you could also get muscle crumps, headaches, dizziness and mental fog.

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  • Posted

    Hi RHGB,

    Interesting read and agree mostly. I completely agree with the part that you said that they seem to feed off each other. The first time I went I enjoyed it weirdly as I felt 'they got me' but then I never felt the need to go back. Maybe I should have and I wouldn't have needed another detox... Who knows.

    Funnily enough I had a call today with regards to me having an appointment for one - one after care.

    I have been surprised by my mood since the call. One ranging from anger to frustration and then sadness.

    I actually realised that I don't want the meetings weekly to talk it through and see how I'm doing. It makes me think and feel like an alcoholic. I hate that. I have done this for now for 6 weeks without support.

    I understand I have to go to my appointment next week as that one is to get the acamprosate but I feel like if I get it I have to see someone regularly. I don't want to go over and over the same sh*t!

    Anyway, thanks for posting I find your posts informative and interesting.

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  • Posted

    I have seen a lot of people getting as fixated by the groupthink as they previously were to alcohol.

    It sounds like you had an enthralling day (not) and I hope that Emmerdale is on tonight. I really did deliver Edna's grandson/Shirley Stelfox's grandson as I was a midwife for many years.

    I've been wondering if my husband is persuaded to be an in-patient, has he gone so far that recovery is no longer possible. I hope he will accept treatment, but nobody can force somebody else to do something. Besst wishes, Tess.

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  • Posted

    I've replied to your post but it's being moderated!!! I believe I used the word s@@t. Grrrr!!
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  • Posted

    You make a good point, RHGB. 

    A wise person once said something to the effect of:

    "If we can't seem to find a good answer, maybe we're not asking a good question."

    Paraphrased, I can't seem to find the actual quote. 


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  • Posted

    This website is causing me so much stress..and I miss typing here...but I always have to type it in a basic app and then paste because of the lag time.  I don't get it...and any time I have this site whole computer is SLOW.

    Anyway, I LOVE that you went to the group. Actually, it seems like you "enjoyed" it much to your dismay.  THAT is the reason I like groups, I get to offer my opinions...and help others.

    I LOVED when you said that you are no longer an alcoholic....THAT used to make my blood boil when I went to AA for 6 years..and I also would say my name and then that I had struggled with alcohol for years. 

    My thought is...these people "feeding" each other and having nothing else to do?  If it works for them and they are happy...we really shouldn't question it.  What works for me is to attend occasionally....get stuff off my chest, meet new people...and at times I enjoy shaking things up a bit in those meetings.  And to me it sounded like you enjoy shaking things up as well...LOL.

    Campral...I have been taking it for about 7 is giving me almost "intolerable" GAS.   My Dr. yesterday told me it was ok to take the 1 pill...instead of the 2...(3x a day)...and I that is what I have been doing anyway and I told her that...and the gas is horrible. 

    Did you have problems with GAS and did it PASS (LOL...that's funny..did your gas pass)?

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    • Posted

      No, I didn't end up farting a lot (I'm on 6 tablets a day). But then I have been taking 8 prescriptions daily (now 9 with Campral) for two years, so I am fairly immune to medication.
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  • Posted

    Actually RHGB....I just thought of something....we really can't knock people who are attending these meetings daily or weekly when we are visiting a page to discuss the very same topics and reminding ourselves daily of our past or present struggles with alcohol...

    It is really no different (coming here or going to groups)...same concepts...we are just not meeting in person.

    I start an Intensive Outpatient Program this week..I don't know how long it will be but I will be attending groups Tues, Thurs and Friday.  I know this is going to be an advantage to me in different ways. 

    I will obtain a new therapist (cause I clicked with the instructor immediately). 

    I will be able to be motivated in the morning..for something to do.

    I will be able to provide and receive input.

    I will feel proud of myself for doing something ABOUT my problem (fighting it in my early stages of recovery).

    And I will still be typing on here when my computer overdose of discussion of alcohol and problems alcohol causes. 

    But as I said..we are doing it EVERYDAY here....and I find it no different except...I get in my car.....see the world, birds, flowers....and discuss these same issues in person. 

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    • Posted

      I haven't read all your post, so I am only responing to the first sentence. I am not knocking people for wanting to quit alcohol or for ever having a problem with alcohol, if I did that, I would be knocking myself.

      I don't believe I've ever come across in that way.

      What I am doing, is knocking the system, for leaving people in this dire situation. I try to do my little bit, bit I realise no one invited me to be a disruptive influence at the meetings, so I bit my tongue several times.

      There is so much wrong and I really wanted to help them, but it was not my postiton, building, meeting, place etc, to interfere. I merely pointed out what was happening to them, and the madness of it. Frustration, end of.

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    • Posted

      I wish you luck in your forthcoming recovery.

      There was just something deeply depressing about that meeting. They, wanting to be part of it, happily accepting the label, so that they could conform and be accepted by the group.

      It was almost Stockholm Syndrome like.

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    • Posted

      I agree with misssy and angel. Not all of us are as strong as you RHGB or maybe switched on, or intelligent, academic, articulate, whatever you want to call it. But I prefer wisdom to intelligence. Sorry... I know you will attack me for this. 

      All of us, whether it's group therapy, or on this forum either want to just live and get better or find a way to get better...simple but true ...

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    • Posted

      I have been to Alcohol Advisey Service meeting which I presume are the same as MAP. There is no MAP in my area, Chesterfield. So it's Addaction or AAS. I am going to one on Tuesday if I'm well enough ..
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    • Posted

      I know exactly what you mean, RHGB. Many years ago I was forced to attend group psychotherapy (v.long story) and I used to dread it. To be honest, none of us wanted to be there.

      That is quite different to going to e.g. an AA meeting, where for some time I saw the same bunch of people over and over again, often going to two meetings a day, and building ther entire lives around it. I went with my husband as a gesture of support but as he got tanked up prior to each meeting it was a waste of time anyway. I was always depressed and unsettled after each meeting. I'm so glad we stopped going. I'm not denigrating people who derive benefit from AA, just saying that they'd swapped addiction to alcohol for addiction to AA.

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    • Posted

      I can't believe you really said you didn't read all my post?...than how can you form a reply?  The word that came to mind and I will be completely honest....what a jerk!

      ​You give some good pride yourself on knowing alot of information from your experiences....I ALWAYS have read your LONG WINDED posts....with interest and an open mind.

      ​For you to come out and purposefully tell me you didn't bother basically to read all my post...that just made me laugh in what i think to be the new found superiority complex you have found in  your sobriety...and that is not healthy....but it is your sobriety....and if you want to fight back and say that wasn't a RUDE comment....go ahead.

      If I felt it to be rude for was rude for me. 

      I'm sorry I mentioned your superiority complex syndrome...but when I get mad....or hurt...I say it as I see it.

      ​Step back....take a look at some of your responses in the last few months in comparision to the style you used to post with.  You have always had your own strong opinions which I truly apprecitate.  But the WAY you express your opinions now in your sobriety is sometimes a super turn off to me.

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    • Posted

      and furthermore ...I KNOW I am not the only one feeling this way about the way you are posting and responding.  Honestly, I feel some of your topics don't even apply to this forum (since you are the one who deems yourself no longer an alcoholic - which I deem myself as well).

      ​But, the post about the upcoming procedure had nothing to do with alcohol.  I did not say anything about that...nor did the moderators (probably because you are part of this family on this board and I do think that we need our families for support)...but when I saw that you attacked a possible new member on that topic (or maybe it was this one)...I figured..

      Ok, this guy wants to be a jerk...when people are willing to listen to off topic discussions and reply to them.

      ​Again, I'm not the only one thinking the way I do about you right now..AND I don't know why people don't respond with their truth...what is the gain?  NONE...People your not going to be kicked off the board for going against ANYONES opinion.

      ​just don't swear or add websites and your pretty much good to go to say whatever you feel.

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    • Posted

      'I can't believe you really said you didn't read all my post?'

      I was in a rush, I had to go out. I didn't want you to think I was replying to your whole post, my bad for not expalining.

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    • Posted

      'But, the post about the upcoming procedure had nothing to do with alcohol.'

      Actually, you're wrong there, I would not put some random post in this forum. It is because I have oesophageal varices, caused by cirrhosis and they can lead to internal bleedng and death.

      Which is why I have to be monitored.

      It is a warning to other people what may happen to them and what they may have to go through, if alcohol gets a hold of them. I may come across as flippant sometimes, but there is always a serious message.

      'Ok, this guy wants to be a jerk'

      Class, Missy, pure class.

      I understand people not liking me, we can't get on with everyone. How about, you ignore me and don't reply to my posts and I'll do the same with you?

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    • Posted

      I'm not in agreement with ignoring you.  And I guess I showed as much class as you did the day you put your "bets" on me not being sober.

      ​Just a tip/thought...I didn't realize your condition was alcohol related and probably many that don't have the same condition didn't realize it either.

      ​possibly prefixing the posts that involve the illnesses you want to discuss that involve alcohol to help us for when we either acquire or encounter these illnesses/conditions...we can put 2 and 2 together.

      ​I personally have never heard of "oesophageal varices"...althought I may be hearing it soon....and it would have helped me to be more interested if I thought that someday this condition could happen to ME if I continue to drink alcohol.


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    • Posted

      'And I guess I showed as much class as you did the day you put your "bets" on me not being sober'

      Go and ask others that were part of that thread why I did that. I'm not going to say it, hear someone else's interpretation.

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