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Stopping Relapse

"Stopping Relapse, Nothing can make you drink! "
copyright 2011, all rights reserved

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

Words can have such power -- Newly-sober-in-relapse-programs alcoholics are often told that certain things can "trigger them to drink again." What does that really imply? That something CAN get them drunk. What do the wise oldtimers in A.A. tell newcomers? That "NOTHING can get you drunk". This distinction is crucial. The A.A. approach says that nothing is that strong that it can "make you" drink. A.A. places the responsibility 100% on the alcoholic to not drink. The IMPLICATION of the "valid triggers" approach, is that there are some things that can 'overwhelm one' and 'make one drink'. Then how does one tell newly-sober persons in treatment, to stay away from certain things, certain people, etc.----without saying, "they can get you drunk"? One can tell the newly-sober alcoholic that "XXX and YYY can make you very uncomfortable" and "you are tempting yourself too much, by going to that place.. go to a barber shop long enough, and you will want to get a haircut". The above statements put the responsibility on the alcoholic to stop the behaviors that tempt him too much-------but those statements do not MAKE THE LEAP that those things WILL get him drunk. And they do not make the leap that those things are so powerful that he cannot do something to not drink. That is why A.A. oldtimers tell the newcomer to "call me BEFORE you drink". They will meet the person who is "in the barbershop too many times" BEFORE he drinks........ they will meet him at any time, any day or night, to help him stay away from that first drink. He will be told "don't drink if your as* falls off.......and if it falls off------- put it in a basket and take it to a meeting". IN OTHER WORDS-------"NOTHING CAN GET YOU DRUNK". So so important-------to help the alcoholic NOT MAKE THAT LEAP from "slippery places and slippery people" to "they trigger one to drink" . Yes, the slippery places and slippery people can make the alcoholic want to drink...... but NO MATTER matter what is 'tempting' matter 'how slippery'....... nothing can 'get him' drunk. Big difference. Bill W. (co-founder of A.A.) recalls (in the literature of A.A.) how he was in a hotel and wanted to drink------ and instead, made a call. To meet with another suffering alcoholic. It took away the desire to drink. A.A. tells newcomers ------- "read the A.A. Big Book. It says that when all else fails-----help another alcoholic." Certainly not a matter of "oh well, this is too much. Might as well drink. Too many triggers are working on me. I shoulda worked on those triggers, but didn't." No------ even if you didn't work on 'those triggers'--------NOTHING CAN GET YOU DRUNK. Nothing. Is it Me?? When we're involved with an alcoholic, we can get to thinking that there is maybe "something wrong with us" when we feel that we can't take it anymore. We subconsciously feel like we should be like that new trash bag that is advertised on tv now------- the one that stretches and stretches --- to way beyond what other trash bags have been able to do ------- to accomodate more and more garbage. To be able to contain it. And what a relief when the family member goes to her/his first Al-Anon meeting and hears, "living with an alcoholic is too much for most of us". Finally------someone 'gave us permission' to really know, deep inside, that it IS too much. We who unconsciously live our lives thinking that we have to do do more and more......accomodate more and more of ANYTHING....even the nonsense. "Why CAN'T I take it anymore?!", we worriedly ask others in family recovery. "Because your bottom is being raised," we are told. What used to be normal---------is no longer acceptable.

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