AA has been a lifeline for me | TheUnion.com

AA has been a lifeline for me

We all deal with the threat of COVID-19. Although living in a pandemic is frightening, there is something that scares me even more — relapse after 16 years of sobriety. I am fairly certain that if I were to start drinking again, I’d have bigger problems than COVID-19.

Staying sober is my top priority; if I drink, it makes everything worse, not better. Although Alcoholics Anonymous isn’t the only way to get sober, it worked for me.

I still attend meetings regularly, something that hasn’t stopped during the pandemic. I attend meetings online, but there are some in-person meetings that follow COVID-19 precautions.

Alcoholism is a disease, not a moral failing. I swore off alcohol many times in my life, and yet found myself with a drink in my hand, wondering why I couldn’t stop. I was very disciplined and highly successful in my career. Surely I could conquer this. But alcohol doesn’t discriminate, just like cancer doesn’t care what’s on your resume or in your bank account.

Desperation drove me to AA. Hope got me to try what was suggested. Freedom and joy keep me there.

Here is what we say in our AA district: “If you want to keep drinking, that is your business. If you want to stop, that is ours. We have a 24-hour hotline (530-272-6287) and our website at http://www.dist20aa.org can guide you to in-person meetings, virtual meetings and other information. The hand of AA is here to help.

The winter holidays can be particularly tough for people with drinking problems, as well as for their loved ones. COVID-19 has added a layer of loneliness. In AA, we don’t get sober alone; we do it together.

In addition to regular meetings, there are Christmas and New Year’s Alcathons in Nevada County. Usually these all-day events are in person, but this year the meetings will be virtual. Check out http://www.dist20aa.org for details.

I am writing this anonymously, in observance of AA traditions. If you attend a meeting of AA, your anonymity will be protected. If you want help with your drinking, it’s a safe place. It’s also a place of laughter.

As someone asked me, “What do you have to lose except your misery?” Going to AA was the best decision I ever made.

Editor’s note: The author’s anonymity was granted in this case to follow the code of Alcoholics Anonymous about not identifying themselves by name. We deemed the message important enough to lift this requirement for this commentary. The author makes no allegations or accusations against others.

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