Alcoholics Anonymous - Does it Really Work?
edited: Monday, July 14, 2003
By Anastacia Lee
Posted: Monday, July 14, 2003
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Speaking from many years of experience, Anastacia Lee gives us the inside scoop on A.A. and also gives her opinion on whether or not it really works.
Being a recovering drug addict or alcoholic can definitely take its toll on a person; it can take years to discover a sense of stability after so many years of drinking and drugging.
What exactly does it mean to be in “recovery” and how does one get there? Well, it’s not an easy journey and many never do make it. Speaking from experience, many people who enter a rehabilitation center or some sort of treatment wind up relapsing. To relapse in this sense means to use the same or another mind-altering substance.
Alcoholics Anonymous was founded in the year 1935 in Akron, Ohio. It was a result of two men, a New York broker and a very well known surgeon, looking to get their lives back in order. Being that they both suffered from severe cases of alcoholism and wanted to do something to get help, they created the A.A. fellowship. The A.A. fellowship is a large group of men and woman of all ages who come together to share their experience, strength and hope. This, in turn, helps the newcomer by showing them that it can be done.
But, can it really be done? Is it as easy as going to meetings, getting a sponsor and working the 12 Steps of A.A.? I’ve been around the block a few times and yes, I have seen many people enter a rehab, go to meetings and never pick up a drink again. But, is it likely? No, it’s not. The fact is that most people enter rehabs because family members or friends want them to, because their job asks it of them in order to sustain employment, or because they need a “tune-up”. (A get fixed quick method so when they go back out to use the withdrawals aren’t as bad.) There are, of course, people who genuinely want to change their lives. These people don’t always make it into the land of the clean and sober either.
Often in “the rooms” or A.A. meetings you will hear the phrase, “Look to your left, now look to your right.” The chances are slim that one or both of these people will be standing there again in a few weeks or months. Perhaps it will even be you who disappears into the night. I have also quite often heard that 1 out of 3 people will actually stay clean.
And so, the statistics of people who remain clean and sober may not be high, so what! That doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. If you were to go over and speak to a member of A.A., they may tell you that if you just keep going to meetings and get a sponsor, you’ll be all right. That’s not true either. In order to be and stay sober, you have to WANT to be. When you’ve hit your bottom, burned all your bridges and hurt everyone in your way, you’ll know it. Only you will know if and when you’re ready to straighten up your life. Until then, you’ll continue to destroy it and everything around it. A sponsor is someone who has at least a year sober who will help you to follow the 12 steps and traditions of A.A.
You know, the way I see it, in my opinion, it can go either way. I’m not saying that meetings and sponsors don’t help but if you really want to live a sober lifestyle, you will. Once you choose to make up your mind and be clean, you will be. No amount of meetings will change that. Nor do I believe that going to meetings or having a sponsor will stop you from getting high. It’s all about choices and the ones you make will determine the outcome.
If you or someone you know may have a problem with alcohol, help is available at: Sober Recovery
or you can call: 1-800-647-0042
The topic of health discussed here is only the authors opinion.
Web Site: ritro.com
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|Reviewed by Laurie Anthony
|I agree with you, and being new to AA, new to realizing that I have a problem with alcohol, I am trying to learn all I can about this disease, about why it happened to me, and what I can do about it. I've begun going to AA meetings, and also am reading a book that is having a great impact on me. The title is, "Mindful Recovery: A Spiritual Path to Healing from Addiction" by Thomas Bien. Thanks for your comments and insight.|
|Reviewed by Jennifer Holly MacDonald
|Thanks for that. I think your right about the desire. If you really want to you will stay clean and sober There is one key piece of information that I'd like to add, the spiritual aspect. That is THE major principle of A.A.. Yes, I know that's a loaded issue but I say it from personal experience. The only thing that keeps me motivated and inspired to stay sober and clean is my continued relationship with "The Big Whatever". It's what A.A. taught me about needing to depend on that mystical, magical thing some people call God in order to overcome my own weakness. I would never claim to understand what God is just that it is a force more powerful than I. A.A. is a spiritual program.|