Step 1: Are you a bit fucked?
May 19, 2019 4:31 PM   Subscribe

I am a bit fucked. I am considering applying Russell Brand's Recovery.

No drugs or alcohol, but major depression and a dead-end life. A lot of negative behavior. And some really poor choices that hurt someone I love.

Have you tried this? Got any thoughts?

RB says this isn't meant to be done alone, but what sort of group would I even look for?

Excerpt, Program (PDF).
posted by j_curiouser to Health & Fitness (8 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Looks like this is a 12-step model? There are groups for all kinds of issues - does anything listed seem to fit?

I don’t have personal or even second-hand experience of this model (though I have read some criticism of it). That aside, it seems like the idea is to address behaviour that’s classed as a disease or something disease-like, in a way that tries to come to grips with the interpersonal (or “moral”) impact if those behaviours by deeply assuming responsibility. Which, ok, for people whose issues have led them to dodge responsibilities/stay in denial... My worry would be that if you’re already inclined to criticize (or flagellate) yourself - say, if you have something like GAD or a mood disorder - piling on the tough talk might be counterproductive? Just a thought.
posted by cotton dress sock at 6:15 PM on May 19, 2019 [2 favorites]

If you have an addiction and there isn’t a suitable 12-step group nearby, I believe most AA meetings are open to you attending. If you don’t have an addiction type thing going on at all, maybe you’re thinking therapy or group therapy?
posted by hungrytiger at 6:18 PM on May 19, 2019

Kind of a Couch-to-5K for depression/ re-launching life? I need the same thing.
posted by theora55 at 7:29 PM on May 19, 2019 [6 favorites]

It sounds like you're not dealing with addiction, but want a group for, like, learning to see through your own bullshit the way people in recovery programs do. Yeah?

I'll admit I'm skeptical of 12-step programs in general. But I'm really skeptical of the idea that they can be usefully applied to life problems that aren't addictions. (And depression isn't an addiction. Neither is having been a jerk to someone you care about.)

You might consider a DBT group. DBT is a style of therapy that leans pretty heavily on learning specific skills (for seeing your emotions for what they are, for tolerating them instead of getting set off, for staying mindful through difficult stuff, etc), and the skills usually get taught in a group setting with a bunch of discussion. That description sounds dull but it can be pretty fucking cathartic — like a 12-step program, it's a bunch of people trying to change their lives and talking about what's working and what isn't, only with a different set of suggestions about what to try. There's research showing it works for a bunch of stuff, including depression.
posted by nebulawindphone at 9:38 PM on May 19, 2019 [2 favorites]

Russell Brand's program is literally the 12 steps, in different words and specifically without the word "God" which turns off a lot of people who don't realize that you don't need to believe in God to take part in a 12-step program. There's a lot to like about it, given the framework, and you may find recovery by it if you have an addiction.

I am a person in 12-step recovery, but not for substance abuse; I am in Al-Anon, which is a fellowship of relatives and friends of alcoholics. If that describes you, even if it is/was someone you are no longer connected to, you would be welcome at an Al-Anon meeting. We have people whose alcoholic loved ones are long dead, or no longer in their lives.

But if not, the above suggestion to try a DBT group is really good. As it turns out, 12-step recovery work is a modified form of DBT group therapy. If you're looking for the structure of a 12-step program but with nothing that qualifies you for one, you'll want to look for therapy practices that offer DBT and DBT group therapy.
posted by juniperesque at 9:05 AM on May 20, 2019 [2 favorites]

-I'm open to researching DBT, thanks for the rec.

-I have a pattern of unauthentic, self-serving, ultimately emotionally hurtful behavior in my relationships. I dunno if that's an 'addiction', but it sure is 'doing the same awful shit over and over.'

Consider, maybe I don't have an addiction in the 'usual' sense. RB asserts that the step-work is valuable to anyone. From the 'Excerpt' link above,
The 12 Step program, which has saved my life, will change the life of anyone who embraces it. I have seen it work many times with people with addiction issues of every hue: drugs, sex, relationships, food, work, smoking, alcohol, technology, pornography, hoarding, gambling, everything. Because the instinct that drives the compulsion is universal. It is an attempt to solve the problem of disconnection, alienation and tepid despair, because the problem is ultimately ‘being human’ in an environment that is curiously ill-equipped to deal with the challenges that entails. We are all on the addiction scale.

Those of us born with clear-cut and blatant substance addiction are in many ways the lucky ones...Our pattern is easier to observe and therefore, with commitment and help, easier to resolve.

If your personal pattern happens to be the addiction equivalent of the ‘long form con-trick’ can take ages to know just what your problem is. If you’re addicted to bad relationships, bad food, abusive bosses, conflict or pornography, it can take a lifetime to spot the problem, and apparently a lifetime is all we have. This book is not just about extremists like me. No, this is a book about you.

Do you have that sense that something is missing? A feeling in your gut that you’re not good enough? That if you tick off some action, whether it’s eating a Twix, buying some shoes, smoking a joint or getting a good job, you will feel better? If you do, it’s hardly surprising because I believe we live in an age of addiction where addictive thinking has become almost totally immersive. It is the mode of our culture.[emphasis mine, ed.]
Given that, any further thoughts on the applicability or usefulness of such a program? *All* feedback is welcome.
posted by j_curiouser at 11:51 AM on May 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

I showed up to an Al-Anon meeting years ago because I was in a relationship with a person who had been sober and relapsed. That guy is long gone, but I still go to meetings twice a week and am working the 12 steps because they make my life unequivocally better. I second the response to show up to a meeting and see whether anything that's said resonates with you. Good luck!
posted by Merricat Blackwood at 12:02 PM on May 20, 2019 [2 favorites]

Check your MeMail.
posted by hanov3r at 3:41 PM on May 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

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