There but for the grace of God go I
Alcohol addiction is a devastating problem. This is a hub about not judging other people, because we never know what has happened in someone's life to bring them low and in this case lead them to alcohol addiction. I have a friend who has been through this experience and come out the other end intact and a whole person. Of course I do not understand as the person who has been through it, but I feel I know enough to encourage those, with happy lives, not to judge their fellow man.There is always a problem at the back of the drink problem. No one chooses to drink like this unless there is an underlying and usually, huge difficulty that they want to forget.
All photos on this hub are mine.
Do you see that drunk there
In the gutter?
He's made in God's image too
And what is more God loves him.
So" why?" you ask me,
"Is he brought to this?"
As you turn up your nose.
He's a broken man,
Trying to dull the pain.
A man with a problem
Besides the drink.
It could just as easily be you - or me there
In the gutter,
With vomit on our clothes.
Do not judge him.
You and I could not cope
With the things he has coped with.
And he will pull through.
He will go to AA
To people who understand,
Because they've been there.
There he will find God,
"The God of his understanding"
And find he is a God of love,
Not a brutal taskmaster
As he had, in his youth, been given to understand.
There again he will learn some dignity,
Learn that he has a worth
And learn to cope
With the appalling memories
And face them without the drink.
Oh there will be little slip-ups
And the drink which dulls the pain
Will reach out to trap him again
But he will escape now,
Now that he has found
Some understanding friends.
The drink will always be there
At the back of his mind,
But his freedom will be there
At the front urging him on.
Some helpful books
Not a pretty sight
There is always an underlying problem which is causing the alcohol addiction for someone. He or she is trying to bury this, to drown this, to ease the pain. It may be a lost love, or a lost career. A lost career may have led to money difficulties and a lost home. Maybe our alcoholic has done something that made these things happen, but often it is through no fault of his own. We who have led charmed lives must not judge and we must remember these things could still happen to us.
I do not often write pretty poems, although you will find at least two in my other hubs. One is called"Daisies Pied"and the other "O Babbling Brook." No, I feel there are more important things to talk about in my poetry. One of my pet subjects is that of not judging folk whose behaviour we find unpleasant and degrading. As I have put in my introduction, "there but for the grace of God go I " Those of us who have not sunk to these terrible depths must thank God who has given us a good life. We would cope no better if we had devastating things to face in our lives.
Don has been there. He knows what it is like
The Alcoholics Anonymous meeting
Over the years Alcoholics Anonymous has done a tremendous job of self help in its meetings. I am not an alcoholic and should not have gone to one of their meetings, but I did not know this at the time. I went to support a friend. It was a place of acceptance where members felt free to tell how things were going for them. They speak of "the God of your understanding" This means any religion can feel happy here. Also they find God in their own way, and often bad pictures of God from their childhood can be jettisoned, while they now find the God who cares about them as an individual. They do indeed use the phrase,"I am (name) and I am an alcoholic." In order to make progress they need to face up to the problem before progress can be made.
At the meeting several spoke of broken marriages and lost dreams, of descending into homelessness and wandering, of psychiatric hospitals and doss houses. And yet they had now made it back to a much better life. Sometimes we have to go down and learn by it before we can go forward.
Someone recovering from alcohol addiction is a person with great understanding of life. He has seen a side of it that we have not seen and has learnt from it and is a more rounded person than those of us who have not been there. In his parable of the one hundred sheep Jesus speaks of the shepherd counting his sheep and finding one is missing. He puts the 99 safely in the sheep pen and goes out over all the rough ground to find the one that is lost. When he finds it he picks it up and carries it home and is so pleased he has found it. Jesus said this story shows us that there is more joy in heaven when someone who has sunk low returns to God than there is over the people who have no problems to overcome.
Al Anon is another self help group, but this time to support the relatives of the alcoholic. This is also a tremendous help in the situation. The relative is called a co-dependent. Quite often they are so used to their partner being alcoholic that they prefer him. or her that way and will sabotage the alcoholic's attempts to dry out. Problems like this can be discussed at Al Anon.
The partner is under tremendous pressure living with the uncertainties of life with an alcoholic. The sufferer may be dry for months on end and then give in to the cravings for no apparent reason. Of course many marriages break down. It is certainly good that Al Anon is there to help.
The twelve steps to freedom from alcohol addiction, one day at a time
1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
The value of Alcoholics Anonymous
I notice I have so far spoken of the alcoholic as “he.” Sadly just as many women have trouble with alcohol addiction. The cost to family life, with both sexes is terrible. Also alcohol addiction would seem to be an inherited trait. Some people are far more susceptible to the addiction.
Alcohol may be, at first, a solution to one’s problems, creating a hazy world where the pain of living is not so sharp. However, soon the alcohol takes over and demands that more and more is consumed to get the same effect. Eventually the demand to drink takes over and the desired affect has vanished . The addict is left with a bigger problem than he started with and now has no resolve to cope with the original problem. Break ups with family and friends result and the alcoholic becomes cut off from the support he needs. It is then that Alcoholics Anonymous can be the replacement for the family he or she has lost. Here is found the support of people who have already walked this way and many who have succeeded in getting their lives back together. What encouragement to find people who know from experience what you are going through and can tell you there is hope; they are living proof of it. Knowing the importance of their work Alcoholics anonymous keep in mind their Twelve Traditions, protecting their society from being side tracked from their main purpose of helping each other stay off the drink.
The prayer of serenity
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Here is another site that might help you and your family
247helpyourself My sister who is a counsellor recently told me she had been to a meeting where she had heard, the founders of this site, talk about their work with people who find they are having a problem with alcohol. With this group you don't have to label yourself as alcoholic. All levels of alcohol addiction are helped