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Good morning Ishtar, thank you for your reply. :)

In 1994, I got a DUI. The Navy decided this meant I was an alcoholic (instead of realizing that I was going through a divorce and had mental health problems, so the drinking was self-medication).

Part of what I had to do included going to a certain number of AA meetings (as well as what they called Level 2 - outpatient - rehab).

Court (or in your case, Military) mandated participation isn't always appropriate. I have only heard in vague terms a few people going through such programs. Right now, one of the kids I know is in jail and is being considered for release (on parole?) to a court-mandated long-term inpatient drug treatment program. She wants this as she has struggled with drug addiction issues for a few years and she has been in and out of rehab for the last 1-2 years. In her case, it is something all of us feel is appropriate and necessary.

What I found was a bunch of people replacing their alcohol addiction with food, caffeine and/or cigarettes. Like any other group, some people had really good insight into their problems and many more others were just going through the motions.

I have heard the same and I've noticed the same in the few meetings I've been to in the past.

I know for many people, it becomes a supportive environment, but for me. . . I don't do well with groups to begin with. There's no way I was really going to open up in the environments I observed. And yes, I tried different groups throughout the area I was in.

Here in NYC, there are a lot of different meetings for bigger groups like AA, NA, etc. I am just beginning to get information about DA, CoDA, etc. There are fewer groups locally for these, but I am glad at least they are here. I am not always comfortable in groups, but if it gets me in the right direction, I want to give it the effort.

In recent months, I feel like I am hitting rock bottom. I have been getting very depressed about my environmental issues and I want some structure. I am declining significantly. Getting depressed and angry again. Some of my anxiety is coming back again, too. I don't like the way I feel.

A small bit of good news is I just got a call yesterday and confirmed that I will be in one of the local facilitated NAMI support groups (a 10-week workshop) and I am considering additional other services and groups there, at least to feel like I am viable in some fashion.

I am struggling to cope at this point. Not sure if 12-step programs will help, but I think trying to get some scheduled activities and something functional will at least give me the idea that I am doing something relevant.

Lois Carmen D.
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