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Anyone had experience of AA

(27 Posts)
lovemylover Sat 21-Oct-17 12:05:51

My son is an alcoholic, he has been to a detox centre for 10 days, then went on to a rehab for 3 months where of course he couldnt drink, but the day he came out went and bought a bottle of wine in less than 2 hours
I was so proud of him for putting himself in there
I am now so disappointed in him, hes back to his old routine, just not as much as before ---yet
He hated rehab, and to be honest from what he has told me i dont blame him
He said it was all about god and being humiliated for not believing in god, he said it was more like a cult
I had to fill in a questionaire on his behaviour as he was living with me at the time
I wrote the truth, he wasnt violent and basically just talked non stop, i said how much he drank etc,all truthful,
The counseller said it wasnt true and i was defending him,
He says he wont go to A meetings as they are "god botherers"
He looked like a different person when he came home,had put weight on. and his face didnt look gaunt anymore
He has now run out of money,hes been on sick, but his entitlement has run out now
He reckons he can beat it on his own, but i know he cant
He had a good job, but it was hard and very physical, also unsociable hours, so didnt sleep much eat properly,he was in a bedsit at the time, eventually came back here as he couldnt afford to live there ,rent was £100 per week. and the rest of his wage went on booze.3-4 bottles of wine a day,
He already has a liver associated health problem
Any advice or experiences of AA gratefully appreciated

tsonlyme Sat 21-Oct-17 12:14:57

I went to AA for around 18months about five years ago. I wouldn’t discourage anyone from going as I think it’s important that people do whatever works for them which is the priority in this situation but it wasn’t for me. Not one shred of my soul believes in a higher power which was problematic and I also have a phobia of public speaking which meant I couldn’t contribute as meetings are in a monologue style with a main share followed by people sharing from the floor.

Anyway - there are other ways. You could ask him to consider which is an entirely non religious and scientifically tested recovery programme - you're also not expected to go for the rest of your life. You learn the tools that help and then use them in your day to day life if you’re finding things difficult.

Neither will work if he’s not ready though, but you probably already know that.

Good luck 🙂

lovemylover Sat 21-Oct-17 14:49:10

Sorry,just realised caps on
What he told me about the counseller sounded very much like bullying, more like a boot camp really,
My daughters friend is a recovering alcoholic, and has been in rehab twice, but in London where she lives,it didnt sound anything like this one,, ,
It was too far away for me to visit too, so he had no visitors,
I will look into the one you sent a link to,
Thanks again

LittleDittyAbout Sat 21-Oct-17 14:55:47

The higher power can be anything, doesn't have to be a "god", but I too found it uncomfortable.

I went to a great alcohol recovery group, it was fantastic, with no religion at all. I'm in a different country but have a look online, there will be alternatives to AA.

Good luck to him, and you.

exWifebeginsat40 Sat 21-Oct-17 14:58:02

i got sober with AA and i’m the least religious person you could hope to meet. it saved my life.

i’ve been sober over 3 years now. and i started drinking aged 8. what works, works - but it takes a huge amount of commitment whatever the method.

rehab won’t clean your son up if he’s not 100% committed to staying sober. neither will AA, or SMART, or antabuse, or a new liver.

his choice. he picks the drink up - he needs to learn how to not do that any more.

lovemylover Sat 21-Oct-17 14:58:16

[tsonlyme].i have just looked at the link, this place is where my son got all his information from re detox and rehab, but didnt know anything about the actual meetings,
I will pass this onto him, our Dr has been fantastic too, which is another reason i am disappointed,he really helped my son
I believe there is medication that a Dr can give,he has an appointment next week

rosie1959 Sat 21-Oct-17 15:06:02

Sober with AA now for 11 1/2 years
I was in such a bad way was grateful for any help that was available 24/7 365 days a year
Certainly didn't let the God word put me off these people knew about alcohism and the help and support I received saved my life
Do I beleive in a higher power certainly not in the religious sense but there is a power within the rooms I couldn't find anywhere else an understanding of how I was feeling They had been there
Many people in AA are not God botheres but they still stay sober year after year
I at first didn't want to go in to AA because I knew it was abstinence to worry about a higher power would have just been an excuse
A load of ex drunks not really my idea of God botheres but they do d have a solution to my problem definitely not a cult AA has no rules or regulations

Dapplegrey2 Sat 21-Oct-17 15:06:57

Lovemy - is the medicine that the doctor can give something that will stop him drinking?
Is it called antabuse?

tsonlyme Sat 21-Oct-17 15:58:23

I learned an awful lot at AA, especially about making amends and not living in resentment and wouldn’t refute it as one way to get sober.

SMART meetings are discussions rather than monologues and I had no problem participating.

I also took Antabuse for a while and it worked really well for me to get me used to long term sobriety but it isn’t without side effects (I felt like I was on speed to begin with!) - and if he picked up a drink whilst on it he could kill himself so tell him that he has to be committed to sobriety if he goes down that path.

I wish you and he the very best of luck.

lovemylover Sat 21-Oct-17 19:50:59

Thank you all, i think he might try the Smart meetings,i have spoken to him about it, he is still convinced he can control how much he drinks,and not drinking a lot now but still too much and all day
He is a twin and the other one drinks a lot too, but not as much
Their father,[my ex] was a drinker, so maybe it does follow on
I dont drink ,and dont like to see them so hooked on it,
I have suggested he at least tries the local AA it might not be as bad as he thinks,

lovemylover Sat 21-Oct-17 23:32:10

[Rosie,]thank you,it is the way the counsellor was talking and felt like bullying that put him off, he accused him of lying and said all alcoholics were liars and c----ts, and lots of other nasty things ,it was like brainwashing ,but not in a nice way,
He has said he will go once at least to see what its like here,
I am sure it wont be as harsh,
He really has to try,or he will end up killing himself with it
I had an adopted brother who had dementia through alcohol, he was put in a home and disappeared for 3 months,he was found eventually dead in some woods,
We had lost touch and i didnt find out for 2 years,

He said they were told it was an allergy, not an addiction
Anyway i can only hope
Well done to you for staying sober,it cant have been easy

rosie1959 Sun 22-Oct-17 07:00:06

I hope he finds a way to keep sober
You won't find any councillors in AA just ex drunks from all walks of life helping each other
Are all alcoholics liars ? Well yes they are even to the extent that they will insist they haven't had a drink when clearly drunk they will lie to themselves that they can control their drinking An alcoholic no longer has the choice to control it
Is an allergy well alcohol had a funny effect on me and if I drank it now after all this time it would have the same effect In the simplest form my off switch as far as alcohol is concerned is broken I can never drink safety again
Alcoholism actually has little to do with alcohol take the booze away and you need to deal with life without booze that's where AA comes into its own

lovemylover Sun 22-Oct-17 10:03:00

I dont agree they are all liars, most might be, but not all, and not all hide their alcohol, but my son has never hidden any drink from me ,i know exactly what he drinks, so does his Dr, not saying hes perfect of course,
Its wrong to make people feel guilty when they are being truthful,
I am hoping he will go to AA, and get help,
He knows he has to stop, for his healths sakr=e, especially as he has Haemochromatosis, [too much iron] which can damage the liver even in non drinkers, i have it too, but thankfully never been keen on alcohol
I totally agree, its life without it they have to learn to cope with
He was frightened into asking for help initially, as he had 3 mini strokes, i know it must be hard to do, i only hope he can do it, he is a functioning alcoholic, and held his job down until the strokes,
I appreciate all the advice on here, and i have read each one out to him
Thanks again Rosie x

rosie1959 Sun 22-Oct-17 10:58:00

May I suggest he rings the AA helpline open 24/7 they will put him in touch with someone local who can talk to him by phone and reassure him Remember this person will only be another recovering alcoholic
What I didn't expect in the meetings was the laughter and feeling of no longer being alone with this
Never was I made to feel guilty from other members how could they as they had been where I was I only found tolerance love and pure honesty about where this illness could take me
All meetings are different if I didn't particularly like one I would go to another where I live there is a least one meeting a day within a few miles

lovemylover Sun 22-Oct-17 11:48:54

Thanks Rosie,yes i will suggest that,its what it was like in the rehab that has put him off, if he needs to go anywhere and needs support i am willing to go with him, probably not come to that of course
My son is 45,so not a very young man, and he really needs to sort himself out now,i would like him to be settled and happy, and his last relationship broke up partly because she couldnt stand the continual drinking, he has never been violent or nasty with it, and they are still friends,but i understand why they broke up, his dad was a drinker, and me not being its hard living with someone who is

rosie1959 Sun 22-Oct-17 12:27:58

He can only give it a try he has nothing to loose
AA doesn't have any rehabs although some will follow the 12 Step program and take people to AA meetings

Str4ngedaysindeed Sun 22-Oct-17 12:37:16

I've been sober do 4 years without AA or any specific support group. I did try AA and was unfortunate maybe to be in groups that were run by the same clique who were extremely pushy and did things I felt uncomfortable with. I know many people use AA successfully and wouldn't knock it - just not right for everyone.

AcrossthePond55 Sun 22-Oct-17 13:04:29

It's horses for courses. I know a man who hasn't touched a drink in 40 years because of AA. My brother didn't like AA at all. He uses an organisation called 'Life Ring', I'm not sure if they're in the UK. They don't have a program per se. They believe there are many roads to sobriety and it doesn't matter which you choose as long as it works for you. They're there just to support each other.

My brother is also on Antabuse. He says he will be for life. The benefit outweighs the risk.

lovemylover Sun 22-Oct-17 16:29:09

Thanks again everyone,yes its the 12 step programme he didnt like,he said it felt like they were like Jehovas witnesses
I can only hope for the best and he knows he is putting his life in danger, but cant get his head round the fact he cant just have an odd drink sometimes

MissConductUS Fri 03-Nov-17 22:14:05

yes its the 12 step programme he didnt like,he said it felt like they were like Jehovas witnesses

My experience is that AA groups vary greatly from one to another. One might be harsh and the next one down the road is warmer and more welcoming.

The 12 steps are simply an outline of how to get sober. Not everyone needs to do every step. But they are challenging and unpleasant. That's because putting your life back together and gathering the honesty and self awareness to change is challenging and unpleasant.

Get sober was by far the hardest thing I've ever done, but it was better than dying and I knew that eventually drinking would kill me.

MissConductUS Fri 03-Nov-17 22:21:15


There is a saying in AA, "Take what you want and leave the rest". No one is forced to do anything, and your higher power can be Kermit the frog if it suits you.

AA can seem rigid, but most people at first are highly resistant to change and expect the whole thing to be easy. As I stated above, he can find another group, but he's unlikely to be able to quit without some outside support.

lovemylover Mon 06-Nov-17 10:03:10

Just to update, my son has started going to the smart meetings, and seems ok with them ,he has another today
He has been refused medication as he has Haemochromatosis, [too much iron[] and the meds affect the liver, but so do most medications,
I think he should see our own Dr about that

bumpertobumper Mon 06-Nov-17 10:14:51

My partner has found Russell Brand new book very useful to help reconcile the higher power aspect of aa with his atheism.
Had previously rejected aa, but finding it helpful now.
I see that your son has started another programme, which is great, hope it works for him! Good luck.
But just wanted to mention this in case it is helpful for others (as RB is a divisive character grin)

lovemylover Mon 06-Nov-17 19:11:40

Thank you,i didn't know Russell Brand had written a book, cant stand him, but if his book does anyone any good that's great

lynmilne65 Tue 28-Nov-17 11:49:36

yes 30 years in AA

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