Why Isn’t AA Helping?

A letter from one of our readers…

Dear Jeff and Debra,

My wife has an alcohol problem, and she knows it. She’s admitted she’s an alcoholic. After trying to quit on her own, she tried going to a few AA meetings, but nothing seems to work. I don’t know how to help her. She’s tried everything. What do you suggest?

Bewildered Husband

Dear Bewildered,

If someone went to the gym a few times, but said it didn’t work for them, would you blame the gym or the treadmill? If someone tried various diets, but quickly gave up on them, would you blame the diets?

Alcoholics get frustrated when there’s no quick fix. They’re used to the instant gratification of alcohol or other substances, and they’re impatient with the idea of working a program of recovery. It requires honesty, open mindedness, and willingness.

It’s no coincidence that “one day at a time” is such a popular motto among recovering alcoholics (and their families). To avoid frustration, keep it simple, and take it day by day. Participate in a Twelve Step meeting today, call your sponsor today, read some recovery literature today. Most people find they can do almost anything for one day.

Before too long, there will be positive results. Crash diets don’t work because they’re not sustainable. But if we take a slow and steady approach, we can be successful. Our communities are filled with people who are ready to help (they’re at the meetings). Experience shows that if we keep doing the next right thing, years of sobriety can be achieved by taking it one day at a time.

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