Vital Places

I have seen men come out of asylums and resume a vital place in the lives of their families and communities. ~ Bill W., pg. 15

There was an unfortunate time when people who suffered from alcoholism were considered “crazy.” Back in those dark ages, the only answer that most doctors had for addiction was to lock people up in asylums and state hospitals in psychiatric wards. I am certainly glad that AA has helped to educate doctors and nurses, as well as the mental health professionals. We no longer are treated like lunatics or mentally defective folks. This is an emotional, physical, and spiritual disease that can never really be cured, but it can be contained, so long as the alcoholic abstains from drinking and works the AA 12 Step recovery program in all of his/her affairs. When the disease is active, it will disrupt the flow of family life. Wages, jobs, health care costs, financial and legal problems will cause the family burdens and may cause the spouse to have to take over wage earning or a second job to cover the alcoholic’s responsibilities.

Once recovery begins, the alcoholic will find that the family has move on without him/her. Their lives went on. They have found ways to fulfill the roles the alcoholic left untended. This will create friction, particularly with the spouse and grown children. There will be resentments. There will be a great many amends to make. The most effective amends will be the living amends. For however many years of pain, uncertainty, confusion and chaos created in the lives of our loved ones, there will need to be a plan replaced by: certainty, security, truth and consistency. We can and will do this thing. Our loved ones deserve a sober and healthy family leader to take the helm and steer the ship to safety. Our loved ones want us to be our best selves. All we need to do is attend AA meetings, stay sober, and do this deal.

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