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Alcoholic Relapse

"Alcoholic Relapse, most who relapse have stopped going to meetings. "
copyright 2011, all rights reserved

by Toby Rice Drews
author of the "Getting Them Sober" books


Ninety-nine percent of the time, when people go back to drinking after going to A.A. for a period of time, it is because they stopped going to meetings. And of the the most common reasons for that stopping-going-to-meetings is "I'm too busy now, getting on with my life!"

In the field of alcoholism, we call that "playing catch-up" ----- i.e., trying to "catch up" for all the years misspent on being out of it------ trying to "make up to family"---- trying to "get ahead" on the job/career track-----trying to prove to family and community that "you're community-minded" by getting active in all sorts of local-politics committees and neighborhood associations and church subcommittees.

What's wrong with that? Nothing!------- as long as you, in your heart of hearts-------in your gut------ have internalized that none of that matters if you don't stay sober.

What's that you say? "Oh, don't worry------- I won't drink....... I DON'T EVEN WANT IT!...... all I want to do is make it up to my family for all the years etc etc etc".

What the newly-sober person in A.A. often does not realize is how true the AA Big Book is when it says that this disease is cunning, powerful and baffling. It doesn't just tell you (many times) to go back out and drink! It knows that you won't probably fall for that!

It says, instead, "hey you feel great! You don't need that many meetings!" And it peters out...............slowly.......... gradually......... so that the first six months or year, you've been going to a meeting or two daily..........and now it's about 2 or 3 a week........and you're secretly looking forward to just one a week........ and then one every two or so weeks--------so it doesn't interfere with your busy and growing schedule. And besides, your family was getting a little unhappy with why you still "need all those meetings".

And your therapist has been questioning "your addiction to A.A."! Neither of them understands when they say this-------they mean well-----but they don't understand.

When I have a newly sober client, I have them read "Under the Influence"...... I have them go to the website and read the sections called "Is the alcoholic serious about sobriety?" and "what happens when alcoholics stop going to A.A.?"

Alcoholism is not just a "little behavioral problem"........ it's a serious, fatal, progressive disease that just waits and hopes that the recovering alcoholic will forget the facts and "think he's well" and "can drink normally". It's a very very patient disease.

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