A few weeks ago, I read a story about a woman who’d lost 21 kg. There were selfies of her smiling and waving in the mirror. Underneath her picture was her amazing story of how she had lost the weight with the help of a weight loss group. There was also a listing of meetings where other people who were affected could get help. Two meetings on each of four days.
It made me sad and got me thinking. Wouldn’t it be great to have the story of an alcoholic in my local paper? Smiling and talking about how great it feels to be free of the bondage of the bottle? Talking about all the possibilities there are to meet other alcoholics in the area?
There are most certainly, in my small town, just as many people suffering from alcoholism as there are people suffering from weight issues, if not more. How do I reach them though? I’m obviously not going to post a selfie on the local page. How do I get to that person who is just too scared to do anything and instead grabs a bottle of wine? How do I make the subject of alcoholism approachable?
Because that’s just what it isn’t here. It isn’t approachable. And I start to wonder why that is. Why is alcoholism any different from all the other things that people go to self-help groups for?
Because it’s deadly? Because it’s something that no one wants to have? Because it’s scary. This is the difference between having AIDS and having cancer. Both horrible diseases, but one has a stigma. One you don’t get better from. One you don’t talk about in polite circles. One you don’t post pictures about and ask how many “likes” you can get.
I think I’ve come to the conclusion, for me, that we will never be approachable. Not until someone has reached the point of knowing that they need us. Not many people are going to stop by of their own free will because they think they might have a problem. Not many are going to look into the idea of getting help before they actually need it.
Maybe some would – what do I know? A few of us have surely done just that. But I think it was mostly the other way around. I certainly know that I didn’t find the doors of AA before I was literally crawling through them with the last of my strength.
But my feeling of sadness remains: how do I get a group in my area? And even if I could – how do I reach those people who might want to stop by? How do I reach those people who have no other place to go?
I’ve been on my own for quite a while now and really miss having a home group. I’m not sure that I’m strong enough to start a group and go there every week to sit by myself. I’m not sure how I would do that or even if I could.
I guess I’ll just keep searching and praying for my HP to send me someone to be of service to today. I guess I’ll just keep on keeping on.
Yours in service and never ending questions.