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Trying and Crying
It took me two and a half years of trying and crying before I finally had my last drink.
And I’m one of the lucky ones!
In the Recovery Movement there many theories and recommendations to giving up addictive substances and even within one group, such as AA, there are plenty of differences of opinions.
It’s baffling to the outsider but heartbreaking to the one who still suffers in their disease.
Is addiction a disease at all?
The AMA declared in 1956 that alcoholism is an illness and it is regarded by both physicians and psychiatrists as a disease. Unabated, it also leads to other health risks such as cirrhosis of the liver.
There is considerable medical research on the symptoms and consequences of addictive drinking, also known as Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD).
Successful treatment of alcoholism lies in various combinations of Psychotherapy, 12 Step programs, Rehab, Medication, and Religion. There is no cure.
DISCLAIMER: I am biased because I got sober going to AA meetings and Buddhist classes.
Just as it is difficult in getting an objective opinion about the current President of the United States, it is also true of Recovery.
I have seen many ‘miracles’ come through the doors of the rooms that you would wager your last dollar wouldn’t ‘make it’.
Photo by Simone Acquaroli on Unsplash
There are the heartbreaking occurrences of ones who have everything to live for but die by the own hand whilst attempting to get sober.
And there are the guys and girls who get sober for a few months or maybe years, go out and try some more drinking, realise they can’t drink, and yet they can’t NOT DRINK. These alkies are perhaps the hardest to understand.
I have a thing that I do.
Came to Believe
I concentrate for a whole month each year on one step of the famed 12 Steps. This is February so I’ve been thinking, acting, and writing on Step 2.
Step 2: “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity”
For me and a lot of my fellowship friends — we believe that without this vital step, most recovering alcoholics won’t achieve sobriety.
On the Recovery.org website, I found this quote: “This step gives you hope. You are not alone, and something greater than you can help you conquer your addiction and despair”.
Hope in the rooms is also a much-loved acronym for Hearing Other Peoples’ Experiences. And herein lies the main importance for me.
- I was an alcoholic — a mental and physical disease
- My best thinking got me here
- The best medical and psychiatric treatment hadn’t stopped me drinking
- A big group of people had been getting sober since 1935
- They told me to pray
The combination of my Higher Power and the stories and support of fellow alkies has helped me get sober and stay that way for 9 years and 11 months.
It took me 2.5 years to understand and accept the Step 2. When I did, my belief in a Higher Power moved to the teachings of Buddha and I love the teachings of Buddha!
Today, my life is easy, but no way perfect.
Every day I wonder why I am so deluded. Every day I wish I didn’t have to go to meetings.
But I don’t want to trade my life for the old life — and I don’t want to trade my life for anyone else’s.
THAT’S a miracle.