Personal Experience on How To Deal With Alcohol Addiction

The meeting had twelve rows of four and there was a person in every seat. There were fifteen woman and twenty-seven men. The age group of the majority was thirty plus years old. The people were fairly friendly asking for your name and how are you before the meeting. The room smelled cigarette smoke because of the people smoking outside before the meeting. The host opened the session with a serenity prayer. Next, he spoke of the purpose of Alcoholics Anonymous which is to have a fellowship where people can solve a common problem.

Thirdly, he read through the twelve steps, welcomed any new people, and went through the chip system. A woman who carried chips for those who need a new chip for one year sober, six months sober, four months sober, two months sober, one week sober, and so on stood out of her seat and asked if anyone needed a chip. No one in the meeting needed a new chip or to start over again, so she went back to her seat.

The host then spoke of the alcoholics anonymous promises while a basket was passed around the room for donations. He then asked for the people who can be sponsors to raise their hands; there were four people who raised their hands, including my uncle. After that, he asked for who was one year sober, four people raised their hands. Lastly, he introduced the woman of the hour, the main event, Jan. Jan was the speaker for the meeting; she spoke of how she had her first drink to when she realized she needed help.

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Jan knew the location of every liquor store when she was an active alcoholic. She currently meets with an all women group in a church in New York; she became sober in New York.

As she was growing up she believed it was all about herself. She wanted to be the best in class, but she didn’t want to study, so she cheated on tests and quizzes. At home, she did chores for money, but it wasn’t enough money for her, so she took money from her father. Whenever her father came home from work, she would take the money from his jacket pockets. Furthermore, she wasn’t comfortable in her own skin; she was afraid. If she spoke to someone, she would freeze and get tongue-tied, so she became isolated. She said she had a good family; parents kept her fed, roof over her head, and introduced religion. However, she thought that god was harsh in Catholic Church because of how she felt in her own skin. She didn’t see a place with him in her life, so she stopped attending church. When she was in high school she went out with her friends to a gas station. They managed to purchase some alcohol, and when she drank the alcohol, she started to gain some confidence.

After some time has passed, her father taught her how to drink, so she would be aware if someone had put something in her drink. When she started college, fear and anxiety reappeared, so she started drinking alcohol again because it took those feelings away. She liked to pretend to be a bartender because of how alcohol takes away her stress. As more time passes, she drank alcohol so much that she no longer got hungover. She continually drank it because it took away her fears and gave her courage. She would use mouthwash to hide the smell of the alcohol on her breathe while she was at work or in class. She doesn’t like beer or wine. She was a functioning drunk for a very long time. She got married and had a child while being drunk. She and her husband got a divorce over time which caused her to drink to the point that she passes out and wakes up in her own pee.

Her daughter would was twelve or thirteen. Jan believed that she just needed to drink every drink to determine which one causes her to pass out. She soon discovered that did not work. She knew it was terrible when her daughter started waking her up after she was passed out. That situation opened her eyes to seek help for her addiction. She spoke to her neighbor about her problem, and her neighbor brought her to an AA meeting. After that she got a sponsor who helped her complete all the twelve steps. She is currently a speaker for AA groups to inspire them that their lives can improve and be manageable again. The group applauded and some people commented on her story. They basically said she was strong and should be proud of herself for seeking the help she needed. When the meeting was over, everyone joined hands in a circle and said the Lord’s Prayer.

I was uncomfortable because of the people and environment. When I drove into the church’s parking lot, the people who were already there were staring at me and my uncle. Their facial expressions told me they were confused as to why I was there. It made me feel awkward and want to stay in my car like a coward. I get out of my car, and walk alongside my uncle to the building that is for the meetings. As we were walking to the building the majority of the alcoholics were smoking outside before the meeting. I did not like smoking. I did not understand why an alcoholic starts smoking because it creates a substitute addiction. The church was a decent size altogether. The building for the meetings was small and the room was like a small classroom. The room was set up like an auditorium for the seating and podium. There were brown chairs with brown cushions that were oddly comfortable. However, the seats would not be comfortable after an hour. The room smelt a little musky, so the AC most likely needed to be changed. I did not like sitting in that room for an hour because of the smell and the vibe in the room.

The vibe in the room for me was friendly, yet it was awkward. My presence in the meeting made some of the alcoholics uncomfortable based on the facial expressions I noticed. The people were friendly and seemed to have no trouble admitting the fact that they are alcoholics when they introduced themselves. When everyone started saying the twelve steps, I was amazed all of them knew the steps by heart. A few would look over at me as I wrote down what was happening; they were confused. As the speaker was telling her story, some people were feeling the emotions that she displayed as she was speaking. Others were looking at her as if they were listening when they were actually going through their to-do list in their heads.

I was moved by her story, but I was criticizing her at the same time. I have a bad habit of criticizing myself and others. For instance, when she was telling the group her story, she moved from past to present past to present past to present, and it was difficult to keep track of where in her life she was as she was telling her story. I could tell she was nervous about speaking in front of people because she was gripping on to the podium tightly. If I were in her position, I would have written my story down to where everyone would be able to fathom what happened and when, chronological order. She wrote her story down but in her understanding. I understand she was struggling with alcoholism, and it ruined her brain as in her academics. She was not able to use proper English because of her focus on drinking. Another thing that bothered me was that she spoke badly of God and then spoke well of God then bad again. It was hard to follow if she currently thanks God or still believes that he ruined her life by turning her into an alcoholic. I was very confused the entire time she was telling the group her story.

I would not attend another twelve step group meeting by choice. I would attend to another one if it was an assignment. I was uncomfortable, confused, and could not stand the smell. My nose is ridiculously sensitive to smell. I did not like the cigarette smell, or the smell of the moldy, musty air conditioning. I was uncomfortable because of the looks people were giving me, and the talk of God. I am not religious, but I am a Christian. I do not like talking or hearing about God because I am lacking faith in him due to situations I have been through. I was most uncomfortable when we had to hold hands and stand in a circle. I did not like holding a stranger’s hand and listening to the Lord’s Prayer.

People become addicted to alcohol from the chemicals in our brain. Our brain tells us that we need alcohol to be normal. The chemical that tells people they are feeling good while drinking alcohol is endorphin. Neurotransmitters are involved in the alcoholism as well. A person’s heartbeat, blinking, digesting, and breathing rely on a person’s neurotransmitters (“Why Is….”) Neurotransmitters send a signal to the brain telling the person that they need to drink more alcohol to get the same feeling they got after their first or second drink. People start drinking alcohol with friends, family, and coworkers. When people drink a larger amount than normal, they think they need more alcohol to get the same feeling as before. Their body has gotten a tolerance to the alcohol so they need to increase the alcohol by volume level to get the same feeling. The more a person drinks the alcohol, the more likely they are to become tolerant to the beverages therefore drinking more of it than they used to feel normal. They drink alcohol so much that being drunk is normal to them.

A person is physically addicted to alcohol whenever they stop drinking and do not have any withdrawal symptoms. The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal are anxiety, shaking, sweating, high body temperature, seizures, and hallucinations. The causes of alcoholism are an imbalance in gamma-aminobutyric acid in the brain and glutamate. The gamma-aminobutyric controls a person impulses and glutamate triggers their nervous system. A person’s dopamine levels will also change. They will increase with the alcohol and make the person feel better. The factors that may be involved in alcoholism are genetics, peers, easy access, stress, depression, and the person’s age when they had their first drink (The Recovery Village.) Alcoholics may develop health problems such as, memory loss, diabetes, heart issues, thinning bones, cancer, mental illness, and liver disease. The alcohol interrupts the body’s ability to produce new bones and keep old bones strong; the person will have a higher chance of a bone fracture (Nordqvist.)

The only known treatments for alcoholism is attending alcoholics anonymous meetings, speaking with a therapist, and taking medication that will reduce or stop the drinking (“Treatment….”) The process of joining an AA meeting is to simply walk into the room and join the discussion or listen to the speaker who is sharing their personal experience of how the meetings helped him or her with their alcohol addiction. AA meetings help a person know they are not alone; they have people who can relate to them. AA meetings can be open or closed meetings. Open meetings are meetings for anyone to attend. Closed meetings are for alcoholics only.

Moreover, if they speak to a therapist, they are able to focus completely on themselves and the progression of the steps for alcoholism. Some alcoholics will say attending church will help with the issue. They will believe in something that a lot of people believe has a higher power than anything, God. In a church, people are free to say their sins and ask for forgiveness. It is a safe place for them to be themselves and feel any emotion they desire to feel. For instance, if the person wants to be sad, they can cry; if the person wants to be mad, they can scream and shout. Those who cannot afford a therapist attend church for free therapy as well as attending alcoholics anonymous meetings once a week. So, there are options for alcoholics who want to seek help and be able to manage their lives once again.

Whoever joins or attends an AA meeting they will realize they are not alone and have people who can relate and understand what they are going through. The most powerful and meaningful step is the first step: admitting their lives are unmanageable. It is the most powerful because it means the person is ready to start figuring out how to improve themselves mentally and physically. It is when the person realizes they are hurting themselves and the people around them, and they want to better themselves to be loved and cared for by their family rather than shamed and disowned.

The step that is questionable is step seven for God to remove their shortcomings. This is problematic because when the person starts thinking of situations in a humble manner, they will feel sad or angry, because the person they are seeing in that situation is not willing to understand or forgive them for their mistakes. It makes it difficult for the alcoholic to move on knowing that they are not forgiven by someone they need forgiveness from. The person will then see doubt in God because he is supposed to help when it would seem like he does not want to help the alcoholic. The alcoholic will then think they are a piece of trash and most likely go to a bar and get a drink.

If I could add another step, I would add a step that removes the people that encourage them to drink. Some alcoholics are still alcoholics because of the people they surround themselves by. Adding this step would help them make new friends or peers that will not pressure the alcoholic to drink unlike their old or current friends. I do not have any kind of addiction, but the step that would help me in my life would be step ten: keep an inventory of my life and right my wrongs. This step can be helpful because it will keep myself in check for school, work, and how I act with the people around me. For instance, if I were to be rude to a classmate one class, and realize it was mean at the end of the class, then next class I would apologize to the classmate.

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Personal Experience on How To Deal With Alcohol Addiction. (2022, Dec 16). Retrieved from

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