As a grateful recovering alcoholic I have the blessing of seeing both sides of the disease of alcoholism. Many of “us” never have and never will, and it is for the alcoholic who still suffers that we A.A members have a moment of silence before the start of each meeting. We know what it’s like to have been there and humbly hope that everyone who suffers can share in our experience, strength, and hope that is only possible through recovery.
When I was caught in the grip of alcoholism there seemed to be no other way of dealing with life. Whether it was sadness, anger, or even celebration, alcohol was the medicine that magically made everything okay or even better. Naturally, if you know of only one thing to choose from there are no options available.
You need at least two choices, and I only knew of one. So in the prison of alcoholism I selfishly lived out my sentence of pain, despair and misery, convincing myself that everything around me was okay despite the fact that my life was in ruins.
Every day, every event, and family gathering I had to drink. Everything I used to do, wreaked of the stench and havoc of my alcoholism. Again, when you know of only one thing to choose from, there is no option.
For me discovering an option was the pivotal moment in my drinking career. When I discovered that I was not alone in this mystically painful place, I began to realize that there actually was some hope, for what used to be “normal” behavior and actions associated with my drinking soon became uncontrollable chaos and insanity that had to be stopped, and I didn’t know how.
Learning that I no longer had to walk down that path was the key that opened the door to my own prison.
For the alcoholic who still suffers, it is my goal and overall responsibility to help you to discover an option other than drinking. Everything else is relative to life, but learning that you no longer have to drink over people, places, and things is the one blessing that I can promise. Is it going to be easy? No. Does it mean that all of life’s problems will disappear? Absolutely not! However, it does mean that you will have the capacity to rationally deal with life on life’s terms.
Over time, and through effort life will get better. Current problems will ultimately be resolved. Things you never thought imaginable will slowly begin to appear in your life. We know this to be true, and I can affirmatively say that through my own experience of regularly attending A.A meetings, working the 12 steps, and getting involved with the hundreds and thousands of activities and events, life without alcohol becomes an accepted style that once seemed impossible.
This is a guest article written by Scott Ludtke, following his reading the articles about helping vs enabling and how it pertains to problems associated with alcoholics and relationships with family and friends.