Sunday, 8 June 2008
These are the medal Alcoholics Anonymous give out at stages in the progress of an alcoholic on his/her journey of abstinence. Photo copyright Derek Farr ( DetroitDerek). Jane my partner has several of these on her bedside table. She proudly showed me them and I gave praise well earned.
Alcoholics meetings are important for an alcoholic as far as I am concerned and this is based on personal experience as the victim of an alcoholic. When Jane, my alcoholic partner was between jobs she went to AA meetings every day. This was fairly easy as there are lots of AA meetings around here (South Wet London). There must be lots of alcoholics too! All of the Alcoholics meetings were within about a 2 mile distance from home.
She did well. 5 months past without drinking and she got her medals and did "service". This means doing some work at the meetings to help the running of the meeting such as making the tea or washing up. In fact she did have one or two drinks while she was attending the AA meetings but I didn't mention it.
However, since starting work about a month ago she is sliding down the slippery slope to a binge. New work is stressful. She comes home tired and I don't blame her, she feels like a drink. People who are not alcoholics feel like a drink after work, never mind a full blown alcoholic.
The thing is, though, she is coming home a little drunk, which means she is buying booze on the way home from work. She does this kind of thing a lot. She knows that I can sniff out booze at 50 yards! I have become one of the world's experts at finding Vodka :). I can tell if she has drunk alcohol even though she is good at hiding the effects. I know all her mannerisms when she drinks from the small early signs to the more pronounced effects. I can smell booze on her breath from 10 yards away!! I can hear her open the screw top of a Vodka bottle at night from 10 paces away no matter how quiet she is.
Anyway these are skills I am not proud of. But she knows I can find booze bottles so she buys booze and drinks it immediately and then throws the bottle away.
The point I am making is this. Because of work she is more stressed and more tired with less time and low commitment to attend Alcoholics meetings. Result..............the slippery slope. Control of alcoholism takes discipline and routine. Routinely attending Alcoholics meetings where she could find the support of others provided that discipline and structure which kept her alcoholism at bay.
Going to AA meetings must be the top priority in an alcoholic's life if that person is using AA meetings to control drinking. It must be more important than anything else because stopping drinking is more important than anything else for an alcoholic. Provided you use AA properly in a committed manner it works.