The person shall remain nameless because it is an AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meeting after all but I am very proud of him. I’ve seen the struggle. Some days are harder than others and while the days of fighting the urge are fewer they are still present.
At first everyone tip toed around him when there were family gatherings and neighbours and friends stayed away rather than try to figure out what to do.
It is their loss for sure because he is a much nicer person now than he was in those drinking days. His family aren’t so scarred of it any more. They drink happily when there are gatherings and he is OK with that. Some of the friends are still heavy drinkers. He would like to preach to them but doesn’t. He knows they have to make their own decisions.
He’s not really a big fan of AA though he has enormous respect for his sponsor and goes on occassion just for him. AA isn’t for everyone. Some people turn it into a religion, others treat it with it’s due respect and others avoid it because it actually makes them want to drink, just being there.
No matter what a persons response is to AA in the long run it is still a good place to start. I am a long time advocate of peer support and I think AA was the first formal peer support group. There is nothing as wonderful as getting help from people who understand what you are going through. They feel your pain quite literally. They are supportive and can believe in a person when no one else can. They can also be tougher to fool than anyone else because they can call “Bull Shit” quicker than the rest.
A new movement toward harm reduction, used in the medical treatment of addiction, certainly has merit for many but abstinence still seems to be key for millions.
If you are having a problem with addiction find a local meeting and attend. You don’t have to have it figured out to show up.
Family members of those with addiction issues may find Al-Anon a helpful forum to deal with the issues they have.
The 12 Steps of AA are something that any of us can benefit from.