- Watching alcoholism

Watching alcoholism




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Watching alcoholism

Postby Molly M. » Fri Mar 16, 2007 11:10 am

Last night I went to see several of my students perform in the school choir. I got to the concert late and there was only standing room in the back of the gym. While I was there another student whom I'll call "M" came by.

M was expelled for most of the first semester for some pretty serious drinking and substance abuse issues. His mother and I had long converstations during this period while M was struggling to get his life back on track and petition to get back in school. Neither knows that I'm a recovering alcoholic. Since M's been back, I've watched him struggle to stay on track and still slowly slide backwards. Last night he was clearly under the influence; the smell of alcohol was trailing behind him like a strong cologne. It is so sad to watch these kids struggle with the disease. The most that I could do was to notify our school police officer that the boys might be driving drunk and to keep an eye for them.

I see it time and time again as they struggle against alcoholism and addiction and then get sucked back down. It serves as a constant reminder of the paragraph in the BB that says:

Once more: The alcoholic at certain times has no effective mental defense against the first drink. Except in a few rare cases, neither he nor another human being can provide such a defense. His defense must come from a higher power.


I am so grateful that I also get to be around people who are no longer getting sucked down into the disease. :)
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Postby anniemac » Sun Mar 18, 2007 11:39 pm

It must be very difficult to see such young people in the throes if this disease. Not that it's easy to see an older person suffering, either, but so young. I get a physical reaction just from seeing teenagers smoking cigarettes - I think of their not-even-fully-formed bodies already being attacked by toxins and it's so hard to watch....yet I started smoking at 14.

I love that quote from the BB, and it kind of makes me nuts when folks in AA tell a newcomer to "think the drink through". Well, geez, if we had the ability to do that, we wouldn't be in AA, would we?? :shock:
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Postby Dallas » Mon Mar 19, 2007 6:21 am

When I was freshly sober some other AA members latched on to me and started taking me with them on H&I (Hospitals and Institutions) panels, to take AA meetings inside to hospitals and institutions.

Three of my favorite places were the alcoholic wards of hospitals, the Veterans hospital and the adolescent units of psychiatric hospitals.

After I finally got one year sober, they let me have two panels. One was in an adolescent unit of a psychiatric hospital and the other panel was a locked-down adolescent treatment center. It was the most rewarding experiences of my life to go in and to talk to the young people!

I remember once, while attending my regular Friday night AA Speaker meeting, I got tapped on the back of the shoulder, and it was one of the kids who had showed up at an AA meeting and it sent goose bumps up my spine that the young person had recognized me and remembered me from coming into the psychiatric facility. It was an awesome experience!

On Sunday nights, I attend a local AA meeting that is attended by young people who are in a local treatment facility (they get to attend an AA meeting as part of their scheduled activities)... and for me, it's one of the most awesome meetings that I attend. I love it when they come and when they share. I'm sure that they help me more than I'll ever be able to help them! And, today (Sunday at my noon meeting), one of the young girls who had gone through the treatment center in the past... showed up to attend the noon meeting (on her own)... and looking for a lady to sponsor her!!!!

It's truly amazing to be able to be in a place where miracles are happening every day!!!! I'm such a lucky alcoholic!

Dallas
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Postby Molly M. » Mon Mar 19, 2007 12:24 pm

I really wish it was possible to start an AA group for teens in the school and get speakers like you guys. Unfortunately, it's against school policy. It's also against school policy for me as a teacher to directly adress a students substance abuse issues. I'm supposed to take my concerns to either the school nurse, the administration, or the substance abuse counselor (who apparently is not a fan of AA :roll: and not sober himself :roll: ).

For me this has been a huge 3rd step issue. The kids know that I don't drink or use any drugs--it's taken quite a while for them to believe that my life is alcohol free and they never ask why--they just think I'm odd. Alot of my kids with really bad stuff going seem to like me the most--I think it's that sense we all have of like to like, but then they find out I don't drink and they're kind of taken aback. All I can do is to keep on doing. But I pray that if some of them end up in rehab--they end up near you guys :D
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Postby Dallas » Mon Mar 19, 2007 3:30 pm

I've been working on the start-up of a non-AA organization to serve the community where I live to take literature and possibly guest visitors in to schools with educational objectives in regards to prevention of drug and alcohol abuse, and to educate about the different types and resources and help that is available. There are plenty of good publications, literature, posters and videos available that is published and made available through government supported agencies (and it's free to obtain).

The needs appear to be an organized effort to physically get the info out to students and parents. When a concerned parent wants to get help for their child... who can they turn to for information? (As was mentioned in the message above... all too often... the counselor may not be very helpful).

The schools and other public institutions suffer the threat of lawsuits in regards to anything (including AA) that might be 12 Step oriented, because of the references to God, Higher Power, or Spiritual (even if the schools would allow it).

In some areas here in the USA, the courts and judges are being sued for directing people to 12 Step Programs (to get court cards signed) because of claims that it mixes church and state involvement and has the appearance of endorsement by the state.

I've heard many convincing debates on both sides of the issues as to "is it right or is it not right." I prefer to stay out of the debates and the opinions. I would rather focus on alternatives. That way... I can be more effective and........ it helps maintain my sanity and serenity.
:wink:

Dallas
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