I recently made the choice to devote my life to being sober and clean. I first became an alcoholic when I was in college, and a lack of resources led to me self-medicating with alcohol and other dangerous substances. Since then I have kicked the drugs, but I keep finding myself turning to alcohol. I have no clue where to start on my track to recovery. I am on a very low income since I am a recent graduate and I cannot afford to stay at a rehab center or hire any professionals. I am also very suspicious of the traditional AA meetings because I do not want to have to speak in public because I am very shy. What do you recommend for someone in my situation?
“Looking for Help”
New Age Alcoholics Anonymous
Dear “Looking for Help,”
I am glad that you have come to me for this, because I have so many answers for you! Have you tired looking into an online community or peer support group? This can be done from the comfort of your own home and you will have completely anonymity. This is a type of new age alcoholics anonymous that is increasing in popularity. It can be done from anywhere in the country and you can have access to 24/7 support. These people will be just like you and me, they are your peers. They can motivate you to keep your sobriety and help you in times where you are feeling weak. Check out all the new age AA methods that you can use in your life to further your efforts towards getting and staying clean.
Make sure you have a set plan you can turn to in case of a relapse. Try to reach out for support from your family members, friends, and loved ones.
Best of Luck,
My teenage son has just gotten out of rehab and I fear that he is going to fall back into old habits. He is getting very frustrated with being around all of his friends who are drinking. I am almost afraid to let him out of my sight. Every time he leaves the house I am afraid I am going to be getting a call about either his death or arrest. He was diagnosed as an alcoholic and has also struggled with academics, jobs, and relationships. What are some preventative measures I can take to prevent a relapse in my son?
Dear “Concerned Mom,”
I am glad that you are looking into ways to help your son stay clean. A family member or parent can be a huge source of support for a recovering addict. Making a relapse prevention plan does not mean you are admitting there is a chance you could relapse because you are not strong enough. It just means that you are prepared on the off chance that it does happen, and that you are doing everything in your power to prevent the chances of a relapse. Your son is going to have to figure out how to cope with his friends constantly drinking and pressuring him to. Maybe suggest to him that he should branch out and make friends in new circles. As his mother, he is going to constantly battle you in all of your methods. You cannot keep an eye on him for the rest of his life. Eventually your son will have to learn the skills to cope with and keep up his recovery on his own. You will not always be there for him to fall back on and he needs to know that. As his mother you can remove any triggers that may be in the house, and cut down on your drinking as well. When children see their parents do something that is forbidden to them, it can make them want to do it even more.
It is important to note that your son is still not of legal drinking age and there are many dangerous things that can happen legally if he is caught. Citations and possible jail time are consequences that and result from breaking the law. If this is not his first offence he may have even stricter consequences.
Let your son know that the reason behind all of your madness is because you care and love him. Teenage boys often have difficult relationships with their mother, but you can still communicate with him and let him know how you feel.
Best of Luck,