So yesterday I blogged about getting an AA Sponsor and although we have only had one meeting, I can wholeheartedly say that it is the BEST thing I have ever done. This saint of a lady, gave up 2 hours of her time to listen to me and share her journey and listen to my journey.
As an alcoholic, it is truly amazing, inspiring and also confronting listening to the stories of another alcoholic because we can relate, this is the premise of the ‘AA Big Book‘. As I’ve mentioned in my blog, every single night I am suffering from a panic attack which is almost debilitating. Yet last night, whilst sitting down with my amazing sponsor, I didn’t have a panic attack, nor did I have a panic attack on my way home from her house.
How did the meeting go?
So obviously the experiences with me and my sponsor (who will forever remain nameless) are unique to us, however how we worked together was we sat down and shared some of our experiences with our alcoholism. For me, some of the experiences I have had include:
- Constant ‘thirst‘ for alcohol – every single night I would crave either red wine or whiskey and I could not get enough. It’s often ironic, that we as alcoholics can sit down with a glass of water in front of us and not touch a drop, yet if there was alcohol in the glass, we would have devoured it and quickly.
- Hiding our Alcoholism and ‘Empties’ – I found out that we are the masters of deceit, I would constantly hide bottles of wine in the cupboard and sneak out my empties. I would also try and drink in private away from my husband or family so they couldn’t judge the quantity of alcohol I was consuming. But looking back, they knew.
- Shame – Every morning we would wake up feeling shame, whether it was because we just woke up feeling fucking lousy, or whether it was because we went into blackout the night before.
- Denial – If anyone had of ever said to me 6 months ago that I was an alcoholic, I would have lashed out at them. Now, whilst I will be keeping my anonymity, I most certainly understand that I have a dreadful disease and allergy to alcohol.
Big Book Study
Whilst we shared our own experiences with alcohol, we also went through the big book, whilst we only made it through the prefaces this week, it was fascinating understanding the background of alcoholism and knowing the journey that this disease and this amazing group of people has come from.
A really amazing and sad fact that my sponsor told me was that of all alcoholics in the world, only 3% of us go to a meeting to get treatment, and of those 3%, 1% will drop off. Whilst there are alcoholics who get treatments in other ways (e.g. private rehab, medical treatment with your GP, psychology etc). There are many many alcoholics in the world who remain untreated.
In my personal journey towards sobriety, I have been doing so much to educate myself on alcoholism and one thing that I have heard regularly is the health effects of people with alcoholism. Gout, is a form of arthritis that can occur in males who consume too much alcohol (yes, there other risk factors that can lead to gout, but alcohol is the main one.)