Get honest with yourself

by Peter Twitchell

It’s time to face reality. I know some people who play hide and seek with their disease of alcoholism. It’s a self-defeating attempt to try and deal with your disease on your own.

Some alcoholics who would like to begin their recovery process of their addiction to alcohol like to keep their disease a secret, like they’re the only ones suffering. Some of these individuals like to keep to themselves. They don’t want anyone to know they have an addiction to alcohol.

When it comes to treatment, they want to go to a treatment center away from Bethel. Once they return, they don’t share their private lives with anyone; least of all an AA support group. They don’t want to be associated with others seeking help from their own community. Talking about their disease makes them look weak, and they don’t want to be labeled “losers.” And so, they convince themselves that they can lick the problem of alcohol addiction on their own.

Having been in the field of alcohol and chemical counseling for many years, I recognize this pattern of behavior in people I meet and others I get to know personally. They are so confident they can make it on their own that they forego any kind of aftercare counseling and other support groups, only to find themselves sinking back into drinking, and succumb to their addiction.

Some of these individuals that go outside the area to get treatment think their chances of recovery are better if they get treatment where no one knows them. Deep down inside this is a safety mechanism that they use to keep the door to relapsing open, just slightly. When despair arises and all hope is gone, the idea of sobering up vaporizes with their good intentions.

Some think that they can “sober up” by going to church. But going to church and prayer go together. When the going gets rough, taking a drink replaces prayer in a heartbeat. I heard an alcohol counselor state one time: “There is a drink left in everyone who is trying to quit.” I didn’t agree with his belief then, and I don’t believe that statement today.

When I decided to quit drinking on January 14, 1995, I was convinced that I would have to stop drinking and abstain from any offers to drink once I decided to quit. You should have heard the offers I had shortly after I decided to quit drinking. I told them I don’t choose to drink anymore, I choose life without alcohol.

All I had to do was change my mind, but I had to commit to my choice to quit drinking. I made that decision with a clear mind and conscience. The rewards have been great. The score is in my favor and I don’t have to worry about what I said or what I did last weekend.

I have more sober friends today and I have friends who are in power. And that’s what sobriety does for each one of us alcoholics. It gives us the strength to make it through another day. I couldn’t have done it, however, if I wasn’t honest with myself first.