Going to AA meetings is almost always a part of successful addiction treatment. Working the 12 steps allows us to admit we have a problem to ourselves, our higher power and to everyone around us. The 12 steps work if we are WILLING to work them! Willingness is the key component that gets us started on the road to recovery. It often takes us YEARS to become willing but most of us eventually do become willing to seek an option other than our addiction.
Just yesterday, I was talking with a friend who at 35 had been addicted to alcohol for more than 15 years. He drank at home in secret and even his closes friends and family had no idea how much or how often he was drinking. We talked about his willingness to go to AA meetings, work the steps and finding a sponsor. After more than a year of discussion he became willing to go to AA and work the steps.
Once in AA he became willing to tell his family that he was alcohol addicted and would they PLEASE not drink around him. He also became willing to find a different group of friends who didn't build their social life around drinking. As his willingness increased, so did his sobriety and he has now been alcohol free for almost three years.
Sadly, he was laid off from his job unfairly and has a VERY strong urge to drink. Thankfully, because he has shared his issue with his family, they're now part of the solution rather than part of the problem. The jury is still out, but hopefully he will get through this very difficult period in his life, and he will remain sober.
AA meetings and the 12 steps help us to become willing to do what is necessary to end our addiction and remain addiction free.
Here are a few questions about ending addictions that we received:
Out of Control, and running out of things to try and do for her...
My 32 year old daughter with a 3 year old son, on her own, no help, hopeless, lonely, work was destroyed by alcohol.
Only getting worse and still no job. I am concerned for her of course, but more so for my three old grandson riding in the car with her.. What can I do?
Very dangerous situation!
by Debbie Wicker
Try to get your daughter to go to AA with you and to begin working the 12 steps. AA can teach your daughter about addiction and about herself and hopefully help her to make the changes necessary to protect herself and her child from her addiction. Her son needs her to make better choices to avoid putting him in dangerous circumstances.
Hopefully, you can help your daughter to become willing to go to AA to get the help and support she needs to quit. AA is free, confidential, and best of all the 12 steps will work for her if she is willing to work them.
Standing by a criminal drug addict!
My boyfriend has struggled with opiate addiction on & off for several years. I have only been with him 1 year & have seen heroin ruin our lives in the past couple of months.
We were trying to jump hoops with Semca & VA the last couple of weeks to get him into a rehab as he wanted...however they made one hurdle after another with faxing & documentation.
Unfortunately last week he decided to break into a home & steal gold for drug money. He is now in jail & realizes how bad his addiction has gotten. I have a 9 year old daughter. We moved in with my boyfriend 6 months into the relationship.
I do not want to endanger her. My extended family moved us out from my boyfriend's house immediately the day he was arrested & they want me to have nothing to do with him now (as I can understand).
At first I felt that way, now I feel it was the disease of addiction that was controlling his life & I want to stand by him. He doesn't have any close friends left & has a very small family...he doesn't have a lot of support.
He knows after jail he needs to still do rehab, sober-living, therapy & meetings. I want to stand by him & continue our relationship, however my family will not have it.
I'm 33 yrs old with a decent medical job & a wonderful daughter; however I will loose my siblings/cousins support if I wait for my boyfriend & continue a life with him after jail.
There is a chance this is his rock-bottom & will never go back to drugs but there is a chance the disease will take over again. What should I do?
No easy answers!
by Debbie Wicker
You need to learn as much as you can about yourself and your relationship before your boyfriend comes out of jail. Please go to Al-anon and work the 12 steps. Also, you need to require your boyfriend to attend AA meetings while he's in jail (all jails usually have AA meetings if he looks for them) so that he is fully in recovery BEFORE he is released from jail. Jail allows us the time and space to move into recovery so that we don't relapse when we get out. If he is unwilling to go to meeting and work the 12 steps honestly, then you'll have a much better indication what's going to happen when he gets out.
If on the other hand, he does begin to work the 12 steps and move into recovery you're going to know that too, and it's much more likely that you will be able to have a future relationship with him. That's why it's so critical that both of you work the 12 steps and work the steps together while he is waiting to be released. You'll both be on the same page and working toward his sobriety together. Good luck!