Great site that has helped many people.  I would, and have, recommended LifeRing to friends and family.  Lots of supportive and knowledgeable people.  Many thanks, — Tom W., Chicago

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I’m writing this to let you know that there’s one more LifeRing success story.  My name is Nancy A and I was a regular member of a LifeRing email list and also a chat room member from around 2001 to 2004 when I got clean and sober.

I used drugs of any sort almost daily from age 15 to 30. When I quit drugs at age 30, my alcohol intake increased. In 2001 I had reached the point where it was either quit drinking or suicide. I’d been drinking a fifth of vodka daily for 4-5 years. Thanks to The Betty Ford Clinic, I learned of LifeRing. I struggled with relapses for a couple of years. My last drink was sometime in October of 2004 and my only regret is that I waited so long to quit.

Since age 20 I’d been diagnosed with clinical depression, but a year or two after I quit drinking I was finally diagnosed accurately – Bipolar Disorder II, PTSD, Dissociative Disorder NOS, and adult ADD.

Some intense events have occurred since I quit.  My father died; I located my biological mother and four half-sisters, I was hospitalized eight times; was evicted from my apartment; had five surgeries; my brother took his own life, and I lost both of my kitties.  I can only imagine how badly I would have handled any one of these events had I still been drinking.

I’m now on a combination of meds that are working, and for the past 13 months I’ve not only been stable, but I’m growing and discovering who I am and that I like me! I also sense that something will be calling for my talents and passion in the near future. Guess I’ve got things to do before I go. Who’da thunkit?

Sobriety is so OMG worth it! I’ve donated all of my LifeRing materials and books to a county mental health agency in hopes that the help will be passed on.

I’ll never forget the group of people who were there during the time period that I was. There’s a bond there that nothing can break.  Heartfelt thanks to LifeRing!  — Nancy A.

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LifeRing has helped me to make a huge difference in my life. I have 3 weeks short of a year sober/clean right now. LifeRing gives you a choice and helps you realize that you have the power within yourself to fight this addiction. With the support of others on the LifeRing site I have made it almost a year now without any alcohol or drugs and to me, that is a miracle.  — Angie, MI

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I never could go to an AA meeting, even the first step could not be taken. After 25 years of hard drinking and many attempts at quitting I met LifeRing (then named SOS) about 13 years ago, and after one false start got sober Jan 7, 1997, and have remained so. 11 years yesterday. LifeRing helped me forge my own program, unlike anyone else’s that I have heard of, and it still works for me. Kudos to all those intelligent, caring and helpful people I met here. — Gil, Benicia CA

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LifeRing has really saved me. I love the positive feedback that is allowed. I also go to NA for the structure aspect. Doing both programs have helped me in so many ways. If I had to choose one over the other, LifeRing would win hands down. I have almost 18 months of being clean & sober this time. We have a family at LifeRing and it helps to see the same faces every week, which tells me it works. I’ve been a convenor in No Cali for almost a year now and it is one of the best service position I’ve had. If this is your first time getting clean and sober and you’re struggling like most of us are, just remember whatever you’re going through will pass, it will pass….  — Sharon B., San Leandro CA

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I was at wits end trying to find support that wasn’t a 12-step meeting. There are no secular organizations meeting in Northern Virginia! If I hadn’t found LifeRing online I don’t know what I’d do! I’ve been struggling with addiction for the past 15 years, and I’ve been on the road to sobriety for the past 6 months. I know I can do this, it just feels too good being sober! And now I know it’s going to be all the more easier with the support of LifeRing – thank you!! — Vanessa, Alexandria VA

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I am so grateful there was an alternative for me when I needed it. I was in trouble and did not want to lose my job, but I just could not get the message with NA or AA. I am a Christian and proud of it but some of the principles they had put more doubt in my mind. With LifeRing I was able to be myself and still recover. I am proud to say I have 9 years clean and still working my program abstaining from the use of my drug of choice.  …  I learned a lot of information that I still carry with me even to this day. I went from a person looking for help, to a convenor and a woman with a message of hope to help someone get what I had. …  Life Ring is the best. — Bettye D., Madison TN

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I had the good fortune to find LifeRing a couple months into sobriety. I was miserable with the 12 step approach, and had fallen prey to the propaganda that they were the only game in town. I have never been more pleased to be so wrong in my life. I fell in love at first chat! I have just over a year sober now, using LifeRing as my sobriety support and it is still working great. My friends here have helped me through positive and negative occurrences in my life with an attitude of true supportiveness. — Kat (Kishimojun), Chicago area, IL.

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I feel like I have a support group right at my fingertips. I find I can ask, comment, search others’ thoughts, and help balance the insecurities that come along with this healing. I will add to my testimonial as I continue to attend this chat and meetings. I do face to face meetings also that I enjoy but I seem to break out in laughter in my living room, and laugh without censor. Thank you for being here. One month anniversary as of yesterday.  — Diane, Wisconsin USA

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I never thought you could get treatment on the computer but LifeRing [chat] is the meeting that helps me the most these days. — Mike, Indianapolis IN

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I’m new to LifeRing but I can tell my sobriety travels will be easier! — Scott, Portland OR

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I can relate to the people on here, they’ve “been there done that,”  no one dictates to you, only compassionate advice and sharing of experiences.  Only on day 19 but couldn’t have done it without LifeRing. – Dan, Golden, BC Canada.

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My thanks in particular to the British section of LifeRing, LSRUK.  My friends there have encouraged me to become and stay sober, and you can also get some fairly informed discussion on the weather and where people are going on their holidays which, let’s face it, is also quite important. — Ruth aka Ukamoeba, London, England

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I was a drug addict, alcoholic, sex addict.  I’ve been in recovery for 9 years. I got a few 24 hours and would relapse. This went on for years.  I was a dope dealer and knew I couldn’t drink, every time it got me in trouble.  I got hooked on meth, coke.  Been in jails and institutions.  I tried 12 step programs but didn’t fit in there. Then I found LifeRing. It’s truly amazing.  I fit here.  I get support.  I got great caring friends. Thank you all. — James Gibson (chat name warpedone), 2 years clean and sober.

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I’m so grateful I found LifeRing on the Net. When I first started coming to the chat March 2007, I was absolutely hanging by a string. All the wonderful people I met on the chat helped me pull through and get sober. I totally appreciate you all with all my heart.  Now being sober only a few days has made a total difference in my thinking and life.  Without LifeRing I fear I may have drank myself to death! Thanks LifeRing friends. — Lisa, Dayton OH

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Hello to all out there in the beautiful world of recovery — I just recently found LifeRing, and couldn’t be happier.  I have been sick with pneumonia and unable to go to my usual outside meetings.  I was going stir-crazy and had cabin fever, but was still too sick to go anywhere.  One night I got on my computer and started looking around for something to do.  I found you while looking for sights related to recovery.  My favorite is the livingroom chat room.  I found many nice people there willing to talk about the solution and have wonderful advice and experience to share.  I am so blessed to have found you.  I visit your site every day now, and have made some good friends.  Keep doing what you are doing.  It works!  Now I know I can get to a meeting no matter where I am.  — Kristy, Port Angeles WA

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Greetings LifeRing Family! This is my second testimonial. My first was at 90 days. I’m proud to say that I’m now at 6.5 months. LifeRing has given me an opportunity to stay clean, be around great likeminded folks trying to attain the same as me (Clean & Sober).  LifeRing meetings give me a chance to say what I feel & listen to others. LifeRing is the support I needed to break away for my addictions I’ve had for 35 years. The addiction is still there, and its a lot of hard work, but having LifeRing in my life is a huge positive in my life. If you have 6 months or more clean time, consider convening a new LifeRing meeting in your city. Refer to the Convenors pages on the website or contact the Service Center at 1 (800) 811-4142 or service@lifering.org.  — Rick, Northern California

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HI I am new to this and I have never asked for help. I suppose pride got in the way. Now I have learned that needing support and guidance is the way to stay on track. I live in Hampshire in England and I am pleased to see from the testimonials the help LifeRing has given so many people hope and belief in themselves. — Skinny B., Southampton, England

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Finding LifeRing has been the most life changing experience for me.  I too had tried AA, but it was not for me. I now know that the power to stay clean and sober comes from within me, and the support in the chat room is second to none, thank you all so much.  — Gary B., England, UK

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I love LifeRing because I found some good friends here. — Helena, San Francisco

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It’s my first time here and I thought some people are really helpful.  — Dharryl, Los Angeles.

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Five years ago, at the age of 77, I quit drinking. You might wonder what took so long. I wondered that myself. It came to me later…months later, in fact…that I truly believed I COULDN’T quit drinking. Every time I told myself to stop, I’d think: I can’t! I love drinking. What’ll I do at parties? The truth was there weren’t that many parties; I was mostly drinking alone at home. At least I wasn’t driving drunk, so I wasn’t hurting anyone. I frequently went to bed tipsy, but what did that matter?

I also figured out (later, as well), that not only was I unable to quit, but I was drinking more and more. (Is that bottle empty already? I just bought it! Oh well…)

One night I got really plastered during a holiday gathering while many of my family members were here, grandkids and all. I went to bed before I passed out in my chair, staggering up the stairs, obviously out of control. It was embarrassing and humiliating, and my family was concerned, but infuriated too.

When I woke the next morning, I said, “That’s it. No more.” It was painful to accept the shame I felt, but that helped cement my resolve. I talked to a psychologist at Kaiser. I followed his recommendation and began going to LifeRing the following week.

The help of all the people at Life Ring, people with all sorts of addiction problems, was an invaluable blessing. I learned how to prepare myself for parties knowing I wouldn’t drink. I figured out how to break the five o’clock habit every day. I prepared for the sudden urges to drink. I learned to be honest in the meetings and to myself.

There’s good news. I wake every day with a clear head and a clear conscience and a clear reminder of what I could lose if I ever drank again. I feel wonderful. My family, friends, and increasing self-respect keep me safe and sober.

Sometimes I wish I had stopped drinking sooner. I remind myself that I quit in time to mend broken fences that I created with my drinking. I am grateful for my family, friends, and the strangers who became friends through that very tough first year. Each day becomes easier, and I am living my happiest life now, even with my 82 year-old body. The joy is beyond explaining, but I am so glad it was within reach.

Give yourself the gift if you are in need. There are people out there ready to help.  — Mary Bradford, San Rafael CA

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Because now when I go too long into the Internet I have to think about where I’m going and why. I know there is another option for me than have a couple of drinks and chatting randomly with strangers who don’t know or care what I’m going through. I’ve only visited LifeRing a handful of times but have already made new friends and feel at home. It’s a quicker option than trying to find an AA meeting and it’s right at my finger tips. Thanks, LifeRing.  — Sharon, Haines City FL

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I now live an alcohol-free life. I practice FEARLESS LIVING through the participation in LifeRing and affiliation with its members. LifeRing stretches my ability to choose and make sober decisions that ultimately have led me to a full and fully enjoyable life.  — Helen, Oakland CA

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Hello LifeRing Family, I’ve been clean now 90 days after 34 years of abuse. My first self help meeting was LifeRing. I’ve also attended many NA meetings in these last 3 months. Yes I needed structure in my life to help me with my new journey to stay clean, and the 12 step programs are life savers to those who choose them. LifeRing allows me the freedom of talking & sharing exactly when I need it. Each & every meeting allows me to speak openly with my LifeRing family. Respectful crosstalk is what I love about LifeRing & yearn for in my recovery. LifeRing is where I want to be.  — Rick H., Hayward CA

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The AA 12-step thing was not for me, then I found LifeRing. This web site has literally saved my life. Thanks to all the members for their true caring, experience, love and support. Couldn’t have done it without ya. –  Lois, Louisville.

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I enjoy LifeRing because it’s lots of fun along with being educational. Thanks for being a companion when it’s raining buckets outside and hard to go to meetings. Also, if you have no ride to make 90 meetings in 90 days — LifeRing is a constant friend with all the accessible new friends via the internet. Amen…! A BELIEVER, Friendswood TX

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LifeRing has turned out to be the magic pill that seems to be saving my liver and my life.  I could always go to detox and stay sober about a year, but then because I hated AA so much I couldn’t face going to those meetings.  And without support I’d always relapse.  Since I found LifeRing meetings everything’s changed for me. – Gail, Burlingame CA

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I am happy that LifeRing is alive and well because I am alive and well now that I found freedom of choice and dignity is making my own recovery decisions. — Helen, Oakland CA

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LifeRing gave me back my life, it gave me hope, some of the best friends I have ever had. It gave me a chance to live life to its fullest as the mother of my son. I am thankful to have learned of it in my healthcare recovery counseling group.  — Laura H., San Ramon CA

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I am so happy to have found LifeRing. Like so many others, the 12 step approach did not fit me at all! I became very depressed and my self-esteem diminished after each meeting. I knew there had to be something else. I went to Assisted Recovery Center in Phoenix and heard about LifeRing. I hope to begin a face to face meeting here in the San Joaquin Valley, California. I have 28 days sober! — Connie, Moraga CA

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Thank you LifeRing for allowing me to remain a free thinker as well as being alcohol free.  LifeRing has also benefited me by letting me get to know my fellow members through discussions at meetings and many of these members have become friends outside of meetings also. — Helen, Oakland CA

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I like LifeRing because its meetings encourage crosstalk, and thereby give recovering people the opportunity to experience normal group interaction soberly, and to practice social skills in a supportive environment. — David, San Rafael CA

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I have carried the sobriety message in fluent AA for a number of years — and have found that there is a real need for a different point of view and a different language.  I have found both in LifeRing.  — Ralph, San Francisco

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My first LifeRing was exciting as well as comforting for me.  I felt at ease and began talking immediately, which I never talked much before, when I was using.  Now, I am also a convenor of our own meeting.  I love the openness that LifeRing brings to me. — Ted, Lafayette CO

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I think therefore I am … sick. That used to be my AA schema of the world. I found LifeRing and other secular sobriety programs and now I just think.  — Gary P., Redondo Beach CA

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If I had not found LifeRing Secular Recovery, my chances of staying clean and sober would most certainly have not been good. I’m making a start at bringing LifeRing meetings to this area so others will have the best tools available to them to remain abstinent.  — Rodney ,Kankakee, IL

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Starting on a sober path I thought I might be the only person who understood self empowerment. Then I found LifeRing Secular Recovery. What a great group of free thinkers! — Jessica H., Houston TX

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Once there was a girl
who flew away
sucked into an insane, but sober, societal whirl.
the liquid demon revisits now
from time to time.
for feeling however illusive still eludes.
The demon opens a channel there
where the divine could be (namaste)
instead she turns her head in hands
caught in an unholy dare.
She used to drink to keep loneliness at bay
This is twice as hard
for now she knows there’s another way
It’s up to me, only me,
only I can row this boat safely ashore.
This demon offers false hope.
LifeRing offers the real thing.
– Dee, Great Falls MT

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I don’t like being told what to do.  LifeRing met me on my terms and helped me stay focused.  That’s all I was looking for.  It was a good fit.  — Dan K., Joliet IL

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What LifeRing means to me is having a community that is built around and assumes sobriety.  I’ve made lifelong personal friends and my weekly participation — now over 8 years — keeps me away from the ‘slippery slope.’ — Donna, Berkeley CA

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Getting sober solo wasn’t working, but I wasn’t looking forward to a group — what could be drippier than a group of reformed alcoholics?  What a joy it was to discover sober rebel spirits in LifeRing!  — Bill, Berkeley CA

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I really like LifeRing because it allows for individuation and that’s crucial for me.  I guess I’m not much of a blind follower.  I know what’s best for me.  I’m the one that lives in my skin.  The group process of LifeRing is what works for the thinking person. — Sam, Seattle WA

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I love LifeRing because when I first went to treatment at Kaiser and learned about different support groups, I knew that a 12 step program would not be for me.  I welcomed the alternative.  Over the years it has given me the courage to come back to Sobriety after being lost to Alcoholism.  I feel strongly enough about LifeRing to take over convening one of my local meetings and to plan to start a meeting when I move to the Midwest. — Paul, Berkeley CA

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LifeRing does not insult my intelligence.  — Brian M., Berkeley CA

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LifeRing saved — or at least greatly changed — my life when I came across it on the Internet.  It was exactly what I needed. — Craig, Port Angeles WA

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I have attended several 12 step programs and could never accept the view of labeling myself. Yes I have an addiction but it does not define who I am. LifeRing has let me deal with my addiction and learn to move on with life as I fight it. The support from the group and their coping skills have helped me get back into life. — Cathy K., Nanaimo BC Canada

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After lots of AA meetings, I wanted to explore emotions other than humility, gratitude, denial, and shame. I especially didn’t want my recovery to replace my life, but rather have recovery be an active part of my life. LifeRing offered me the ideal arena. — John Charles, Oakland CA

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My first AA meeting was at 25. Obviously I belonged there; yet most assuredly I did not. I spent the next 30 years drinking and drugging with sincere attempts at sobriety. Two years ago my doctor medically detoxed me so I wouldn’t die during a grand mal seizure due to withdrawal. This time I chose sobriety through empowerment not helplessness in LifeRing. Now I have the joy intelligence and meaning I always craved. all along. — Susan, Lafayette CA

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LifeRing is a breath of fresh air, especially given my addictive personality. I have the empowerment to ask penetrating and challenging questions without being sanctioned for stepping off topic, or, heaven forbid, for challenging the status quo. – Wayne P., Ladysmith B.C. Canada

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LifeRing has afforded me the tools and contacts to enhance my journey beyond my expectations. I have developed friendships with kindred souls through convening and attending F2F meetings as well as online. While I benefited greatly in early recovery from a 12 step program, when I hit the wall I was very glad to have LifeRing on hand. Here’s to happy living. — Mike, Keene NH

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I have always insisted on being the “captain of my own ship,” and LifeRing offers the framework in which I can create my own recovery plan – one that fits ME! — Kathy, Nanaimo BC Canada

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The lack of dogma drew me to LifeRing. What keeps me coming back is the people: smart, emotionally honest, non-judgmental, and compassionate.  LifeRing’s culture encourages thoughtful self help, without pretending to know all the answers. — Mark, Walnut Creek CA

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I am glad I found LifeRing because here I am sober because I simply don’t drink or use, not because I’m working a program. — Dale, Philadelphia PA

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I got sober, but had a job staying sober.  AA did not suit me.  I found LifeRing online and it has helped me stay sober for 6 years now.  — Jenny, London England

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There are no face-to-face secular meetings in the UK that I know of so one of my main sobriety tools is online support.  This has in fact saved my arse — I’m grateful and I give back what support I can.  LifeRing is good. — Owen B.,  London England

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After yet another relapse, I was looking for new answers, since the ones in use seemed to be lacking. I found a pamphlet for LifeRing at my counselor’s office and decided to give it a 6 week trial. My life is so much fuller now and I have started to realize I have the power to change my life. LifeRing taught me that and so much more.  — Debby, Long Island NY

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Thanks to all the kind people of LifeRing for their support, encouragement, and caring, I’ve been sober 11 months!  It’s been so helpful to find people to help me through the rough times, so:  THANK YOU FOR BEING MY LIFE RING! — Joyce, Walnut Creek CA

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I could not grasp the AA way and I felt I had no place else to go. I was referred to LifeRing by my therapist and I’ve been sober ever since. – Jonathan B., Los Angeles

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I was told there was NO ALTERNATIVE. I found LifeRing through a search on the Internet … I’m sober now. Thanks, LifeRing! — Jeffrey L., Los Angeles

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The pink cloud faded and I could not grasp the 12 step meetings. Funny that LifeRing was like an Eskimo in a snow storm… I only attend LifeRing meetings now. — P.H., Los Angeles

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Now I have options … LifeRing saved my life. — Tim M., Los Angeles

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LifeRing recovery in Denver has given me hope, strength and a sense of purpose to keep me sober, cleaner and healthier by empowering my sense of reason, and a chance to share our stories. – Rick B., Denver

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The people in Denver’s LifeRing have been a fundamental part of my recovery and continue to be a valued source of support, strength and joy. – Katy O., Denver

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LifeRing has shown me to maintain sobriety that it comes from the power within me and the support of other LifeRing participants. – Don N., Denver

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I’ve been sober quite a while and have benefited a lot from 12- step groups. However, I am so relieved to find LifeRing because now I am able to share my questions and thoughts more openly. – Kathleen G., DenverI feel empowered in LifeRing because I can do the things to make my sobriety successful on my own terms – Scott, Denver

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Life Ring gives me a place to build my own sobriety program that lets me do what I need to do for me. Steve B., Denver

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I am agnostic and always had difficulty conforming to the ‘spiritual’ expectations of the traditional recovery groups. In LifeRing, I found a recovery program best suited for me, not one based on a ‘one size fits all’ philosophy. I am glad to have found a viable alternative to 12 step support groups. – Paul W., Denver

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Involvement in LifeRing means so much to me and my sobriety. It is by far the best experience I have had in my recovery. – Ted E, Denver

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