Congratulations on 16 Years Sober!

serenity coinSomeone I know went to an AA meeting tonight to celebrate 16 years of sobriety.

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.

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About Peggy Guiler

You just never know what show up on my blog. As the name implies it is about the stuff of life just like Spilt Milk. Everyday events spark thought and contemplation. Special events in the community, the country or the world may strike a cord and get me talking. Sometimes it's about people in my life or circumstances, sometimes about my garden, sometimes about a book or a political issue. Always it's about something I am passionate about. In my business, River of Hope Enterprises, I work as an "Associate Certified Coach" (International Coach Federation), a trainer, consultant and speaker. and soon to be, spiritual director. I also drive a school bus to keep the wolf from the door while I build my business. I love the kids on the bus (most of the time). My family is grown and I have three grandkids who thrill my heart but I don't get to see any of them very often. Circumstances of life have made "family" difficult. My son died by suicide at age 16 in 2000 and the strain on our family relationships since has been huge. Mental health is a field where I worked for almost 20 years and where I still do some consulting and training. That combined with my own battle with depression and my son's death weave together to form some of my greatest soap box items: suicide intervention, suicide bereavement and peer support in mental health are right on the top of my list. Social justice is an underlying passion. Keeping the wolf from the door as a single parent was full-time work and my career path as a journalists was augmented with cleaning contracts, cooking, retail clerk, and bartending. I have known hard work and am grateful for the experience and perspective it has given me. My own passion for learning has now taken me toward a new field as a Spiritual Director. I am studying with the Ontario Jubilee Program. This new field I believe puts all my talents with people into one place which and may​ become something I can continue into retirement. Supporting people is what I do best. Woven into all of this is my love of writing. Trained as a Journalist, and having worked in the field as a freelance news writer for many years, I have a great love for writing. This blog is a new beginning for me. As I hone my skills and begin to form a daily discipline of writing I hope it will lead to more writing in the future.
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