You can get greatly worn down watching your Loved One either trying to get sober just to relapse again, or not trying to get sober at all. Meanwhile, their life doesn’t improve… their debt grows, their relationships worsen, their prospects shrink.
The founders of Alcoholics Anonymous were brilliant in their awareness of the power of storytelling; their approach encourages individuals to get up in front of the group and tell their story. Some meetings, known as speaker meetings, are structured around someone taking 20 minutes to tell their story: what their life was like, what happened, and what it’s like now. Group participants then take turns commenting on the story and applying what they heard to their own life. It is tremendously moving to tell your story, to feel people’s compassion and to hear people relate with similar feelings. Even vastly different life experiences can conjure up the same set of feelings. We are so all different yet so much alike.
The last part of the story is what it’s like now. Being in the room listening to these stories is to listen to miracles.
I was in jail, I had lost my family and was living on the street, I had ripped off my family and they acted as though I was dead. My blood pressure would skyrocket whenever I tried to stop drinking, my friends had stopped having anything to do with me, I had lost my family, my job, and my freedom. I was 30 years old, 40, or even 60 years old… and then something happened to make me see my world with a new lens: I was arrested for the umpteenth time, my wife left me, someone I admire greatly walked away from me in utter disgust. Whatever it was, it was the pattern of my life… this was my life on alcohol and drugs.
I didn’t really set out to stop entirely. I just wanted a pause in the action. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I didn’t use for one day, and then I didn’t use that second day… I didn’t use for a whole week. Something about this attempt felt different, as though it was easier, as though my mind was made up in a new way. Today, I have been sober for one year.
So many stories, so many ways to get sober. I have heard thousands of individuals tell stories that are miracles on earth. No matter how far down the scale you have gone… you can get sober. There is hope for everyone and anyone, including your Loved One.