Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Supporting our AA friends during the Holidays

Holidays are a time of big “triggers” for many alcoholics. The AA community where I live is very aware of these pit-falls and, along with our regular meetings morning, noon and night they go even further when the Holidays approach.  An elaborate Thanksgiving meal will be held this week for example.  It will be open to all AA members and their families and even to those who just need a good meal.

Then it's on to December and the stress levels go even higher. For many years one of our most successful ways to handle this has been our “Holiday Marathon”. This year it starts on Sat. the 21st and continues thru New Year’s Day. Our members sign up to commit to 2 hour shifts so that there will always be a person to talk to if need be. Of course a Christmas dinner and a New Year‘s lunch are provided too.

We have been doing this for quite a few years and my favorite memory centers around a long distance trucker who found himself in our area during a critical point in his journey to sobriety. He had called our Answering Service for help in finding a meeting and they referred him to us.

When the trucker arrived it was apparent that he was in a bad way. He was newly sober and his hands were trembling. He was craving a drink although it was barely noon, but he stayed on for the rest of the day. You could just see the calm return to him the longer he remained. When it came time to close  up he asked if it would be OK if he slept in his truck in our parking lot.  Of course we said “yes”!

Long story short he stayed with us for the entire time … right up through New Year’s Eve and the following day. By this time we were all old friends and he had shared much of his life’s story with us. In many ways it was a miracle that he had been able to get sober and he was doing everything in his power to stay on the path. Needless to say we hated to say goodbye.

For all of my non-alcoholic readers I say … "raise your glasses, make your toasts, and eat those rum balls. Just don’t try to talk an alcoholic into doing the same … those 'triggers' are no laughing matter.”   Thanks and Happy Holidays.


Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Great story. Hope the group does well this year.

2:08 PM  
Blogger Marie Smith said...

The holidays are though for many people. I would hate to make the holidays harder than they already are for people. It is good to know there is support out there if people reach out.

4:09 PM  
Blogger NCmountainwoman said...

I love this post. What better way to help others through difficult times. It's a lifesaaving thing for some, I am sure. Way to go.

4:14 AM  
Blogger Arkansas Patti said...

You really made his holidays special and could have been worse. When I was just a teen, I worked for an answering service and AA was one of our clients. I remember many of those calls and was so glad there were people on call to help.

6:26 AM  
Blogger Goldendaze-Ginnie said...

from my friend Jan:

We do something similar here. There was a big Thanksgiving dinner yesterday at one of the churches, and will do something similar for Christmas, and the same will happen in the county south of us. It is a wonderful tradition.
More than just Thanksgiving is being thankful for Giving and thankful that you and so many others take the time to GIVE of your time, your experience and love. For some, like that truck driver, you all might have meant a matter of life and death... or at least a new beginning at a new life.
AA and NA are life saving groups of wonderful dedicated people.
I am proud to call you my friend!
(an anonymous possum)

8:03 AM  

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