Contentment, and even happiness, is possible whether the alcoholic is still drinking or not.Alateen, a vital part of the Al-Anon Family Groups, is for younger members seeking help while walking through life with an alcoholic parent, other close relative or friend.
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People in Hazelden-style recovery (Nagy calls them “PIRs”) can present challenges, since, as Nagy learned by dating several of them, stopping drinking or using is not necessarily the end of the matter.
Readers should know that the book is written from the perspective of a member of Al-Anon, who is also a firm believer in the 12 Steps.
While the controversial disease model of addiction continues to provoke heated debate, Nagy discovered that “knowing addiction is a disease has helped me to confront and get over my past prejudices about alcoholics and drug addicts, and to better understand why they might think, act, and react the way they do.” “Change is tough for all of us,” says Nagy, “but it can be especially hard for an addict” because of the strong tendency to rationalize and resist needed change.
Addicts, she adds, “are also known for ‘wanting it now,’ a trait that could be related to their brain chemistry and addictive cravings.” (Or, as non-practicing addict Carrie Fisher memorably put it, “instant gratification takes too long.”) Her summation of the notion behind the AA/NA concept of a higher power is a common one these days: “Some might call their Higher Power God; others might define it as nature, the positive energy of their group, or an unnamed sense of spirit.” While that may sound naïve to some, what the addict must grasp is that white-knuckle notions of triumph through personal will may have to be abandoned along the way, if we are talking about chronic, active addiction.
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Click here to view the Newsletter Writing Guidelines and suggested topics. To have your Al-Anon or Alateen anniversary date published in the newsletter, send your first name, initial, and anniversary date to [email protected] she correctly points out that the AA Big Book is “written in an old-fashioned style that hearkens back to the 1930s,” when the amateur self-help group known as AA was founded.It’s easy to forget that there are common experiences that most recovering addicts are heir to.They have discovered friends who understand, as few others can.They have found the tools to help themselves – which can indirectly help their alcoholic relatives or loved ones.In the title of her book, Girlfriend of Bill, author Karen Nagy riffs on the time-honored public code for mutual AA recognition: “Are you a friend of [AA co-founder] Bill?