Alcohol has been long considered as the number one substance being abused by people who have trouble coping up with the multitude of problems in this world. Without a ready and solid support system, a person turns to drinking uncontrollably and makes alcohol their emotional clutch. By ingesting substantial amounts of alcohol at almost any time of the day, they get drunk and lost in a world in which there are no problems, no concerns, no stress, and no responsibilities. Alcohol paints an unreal picture of perfection and when it happens, that’s when the real problem starts.
But there is help available for people who are willing to change their life and stay sober free forever and one of them is to enroll in Alcoholics Anonymous or widely known as AA. Their 12 steps serves as a clear, spiritual direction on the road to recovery. These series of affirmations were first started in 1935 by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith. The initial step is admitting that one is “powerless” over the alcoholic drink and knowing and realizing that their lives has gone awry and they can no longer manage it without help or aid from other people specifically this group of unknowns who has undergone and is undergoing recovery themselves.
The founders of AA have stressed the need for first name basis when dealing with people with alcohol addiction. The other 11 steps included knowing that a superior and far greater Power will help them back to being their good old selves again, making a firm decision that the Supreme Being will help them, being humble enough to ask for forgiveness for all the wrongs one has done and to remove them from their lives and all other steps involves being aware of one’s frailty and weakness of combating alcoholism and the need for spiritual strength.
Alcoholics Anonymous has been largely successful in dealing with people who have alcohol problems but lately, there are reports that relapse which is common in an addictive state has gone alarmingly high. As much as 90% of those recovering alcoholics has “slipped” so to speak and has gone back to drinking again. Relapse is part of the illness or addiction and should not be considered as an expected outcome of the recovery steps. Before, the 12 steps has been the focal point of the AA but nowadays, the meetings has been receiving much of the attention, hence ,the high percentage of relapse reported.
Relapse will always be part of the addiction or the disease. Recovering alcoholics will find themselves not alone in this situation and they are part of the aforementioned 90% who suffers from relapse at least once before attaining their goal of sobriety. Experts say that picking up a drink after being sober for so long is not the definitive sign that you have backtracked. Relapse starts when one feels a change or difference in your attitude towards the recovery. If you feel that being sober and staying sober is no longer an important decision, then you might be on your way to slipping through the cracks.
Another sign that will signal you are on the brink of relapse is when there is a gradual increase or steady presence of stress in your life brought by trivial reasons or major ones. Other signs are social withdrawal or feelings of isolation, loss of structure in daily activities, inability to make sound decisions, the sense of being out of control and so many more feelings of inadequacy. These will lead you to reach out for your “Emotional Crutch” again everything you have worked for your recovery goes down the drain.
Yes, relapse maybe expected but it can be prevented. By staying as close to the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and being true to the guiding principles, there will always be a way out of the much dreaded relapse. With God as the center of your recovery, spiritual awakening is at hand which is the main key to the road of success-that is, a life lived to the fullest without alcohol!