Help for Alcoholics

Help for Alcoholics


The best form of help for alcoholics is for them to help other alcoholics.  Hence the 12th step in AA that talks about carrying the message to alcoholics who still suffer.  Why is this such an effective way to stay sober?

Because helping alcoholics necessitates a certain level of sobriety.  Obviously, you cannot help another alcoholic if you are drunk yourself.  You can offer no wisdom unless you yourself are walking the path of sobriety.  And this is the whole entire point: to help others, you have to be straight yourself.  To reach out and help other alcoholics, you will sharpen your own saw.

Now if you get in the habit of helping other alcoholics on a regular basis, then this can become a very powerful form of staying sober.  The reason is because you will self consciously check yourself when you are helping others.  You may tell a newcomer in recovery to “do this, and make sure you do that, and do this every single day, and so on.”  Automatically, this challenges your own sobriety: are you doing these things too?  Are you practicing what you preach?  It becomes a cycle of sorts, when you help others in recovery.  You have to raise your own standards in order to demand the same of others, or you are just a hypocrite.  Most people will not allow themselves to be this hypocritical, and they will thus always be challenging themselves to practice what they preach and improve their own recovery.

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Creative Commons License photo credit: sashapo

This works regardless of what the specific strategies are.  Start with abstinence and then start looking for positive actions.  What will help the alcoholic to grow in recovery?  Spiritual growth?  You bet.  Holistic health and wellness?  Check.  Pushing yourself to grow personally, instead of using the cop out of “acceptance of self?”  You got it.  All of these strategies can produce positive action in recovery.

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And here is the big one: taking action rather than thinking about recovery.  How many of us can say that we have never sat around, believing that merely thinking about recovery can lead us to success in staying sober, rather than actually putting some footwork in and taking real action?  All of us are guilty of believing, at times, that we are being productive when we are simply over-thinking something about our recovery.

Recovery is all about action.  You want results, stop thinking so much and start putting in real effort.  Go to meetings, read the literature, write on a journey of self discovery, work through the steps with a sponsor, and so on.  Action is what helps alcoholics.


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