|There are others more knowledgeable about how SOS
works, but I'll mention a few points as I see it, if its of
help. These are my beliefs and my understanding only. Others
may have different views.
There will be a lot of good information on the SOS web sites that others might be able to point you to.
I find the SOS approach totally opposite to AA (and therefore NA which is based on the same program, as I understand it). Recovery in AA/NA using the 12 steps requires that we "hand our will and our lives over to the care of god..." SOS is based on taking responsibility for your own recovery by abstaining from alcohol and drugs. It is based on self-empowerment. The way I understand this is that I am responsible for not drinking each day, not some other power. If I abstain at day at a time, my body (including my brain) goes through a natural recovery process which eventually leads to the disappearance of cravings and the desire to drink.
SOS uses the "Sobriety Priority" method which is based on making sobriety your top priority no matter what. This appears to be the common factor in those addicts/alcoholics who have achieved recovery, whether in SOS or in AA/NA. James Christopher, founder of SOS, developed this method after questioning 2,000 recovered alcoholics/addicts and finding that this focus on abstinence as their top priority was the only common factor. This focus on our priority keeps the process simple, which I think is important to help avoid talking ourselves back into drinking/using. People in AA told me to "keep it simple" then told me a whole pile of things I had to do, most of which was tied up in the 12 steps or belief in a "higher power", which I found very confusing.
SOS is based on the view that we don't have to change our character (ie get rid of "character defects") to stay sober - we just have to make sure we don't drink or use. In my view it may help to make it easier to stay clean/sober if I stop trying to do things that stress me out, but its not a requirement - nor is belief in god, no matter how we understand "him". SOS works at least as well as AA/NA so that
shows that steps are not necessary. I have nothing against improving one's life, but I believe its dangerous to take the focus off abstinence and put it on improving ourselves in other areas too soon.
SOS supports the scientific investigation of addiction - there has been much progress in this area in the past several years. AA/NA does not consider this aspect and bases recovery on religious/spiritual/magical thinking.
SOS practices religious and non-religious freedom - it does not interfere with your beliefs or non-beliefs, whatever they are. SOS sees religious beliefs as a separate issue to abstinence/sobriety.
SOS does not have a standard set of things you have to do to get sober. There is no need to learn "how it works". SOS does not get you sober or straight. You do this yourself by making it your top priority "no matter what". To me this means making important changes to routines and taking action rather than just talking about abstinence (eg getting to an SOS meeting and not hanging around those
we drank or used with).
Sobriety/abstinence is easier if we associate with recovering and recovered addicts/alcoholics, rather than continuing to associate with drinking/using alcoholics/addicts.
There is no dogma in SOS. People have different views on things and this is how it should be. No one has all the answers and, for this reason, SOS does not have sponsors. There is no "one way" to achieve recovery. Different things work for different people. The one common denominator is the priority of abstinence.
I hope this helps. Others may be able to provide different views.
Regards and all the best
Dave from Canberra, Australia
For me it was not so much that a higher power does not work as it was that the AA did not work for me.
I had a problem with "we"...
I had a problem with "disease"
I had a problem with "alcoholic"...
I had a problem with "doorKnob"...
I had a problem with "whatever your higher power might be"...
I had a problem with the prayer circle,
How I make it is "motivation"... "support"... and...I have "FAITH"!
Also... In the beginning I even had my share of anger that helped.
In SOS it is an INDIVIDUAL thing.
NO steps... NO sponsors...
With SOS... It's about the individuals NEEDS!...
With abstinence being the priority.
Not everyone achieves that right off.
Not everyone maintains it if they reach it...
but...it is not another member's right to judge or decide what is best. Each member... regardless of their time here at SOS and or sobriety time is equally as important as ANY member.
There should not be any intimidation.
For me my recovery started with many stages.
You know... the denial... the cutting back... the changing what I was drinking, etc., etc. etc. It was a process!
THEN... my excessive DUI...
Two years complete abstinence was my goal. I made that commitment and I kept that commitment.
I feel that it is necessary to make a commitment/goal.
I initially made a commitment of two years as the "never" was not something that I could deal with at the time.
Recovery is very much an individual thing.
All I know is that for me...
I first had to sober up with complete abstinence to start the journey of recovery.
I continue to go through MY stages ...
and I like to say "Recovery is a process... not an event."
Don't ever put yourself down for whatever you may be going through in YOUR process of change...
Stay focused on your OWN recovery.
You may slip... but focus on moving forward!
Don't ever judge yourself by someone's Else's expectations of what your recovery should or should not be.
Also... what you decide to share... or NOT... in this group...is your decision. It is not about anyone else but YOU!
I share what I want and I answer to me!